FB friends are often strangers, and still, we give them validation through likes, loves, laughs and sympathy as they capture our hearts with their personal stories and lives.
Yesterday morning, a FB friend posted about a moving experience while helping out at the cemetery, posting the American flags in front of the veterans’ graves. Not only did I react to his post with heart, but my stomach was in knots and my spine shivered. An hour later, I commented on Mark’s post: Your actions are stronger than words.
As the day passed, I couldn’t stop thinking about his story.
Late that night, I sent a private message, asking Mark if it would be okay to use the picture from that post for a post on my author’s page. I planned to post his pic on Monday, along with a few words. However, after his response, I felt that in memory of all the brave veterans of the USA, it was my obligation to share the entire story with the world.
Here is what Mark wrote to me: “Would be honored. I didn't know any of the soldiers but found myself crying for them and felt unworthy to be in their presence. These soldiers gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.”
Veterans on the other hand, whether we know them in person or not, are our saviors if not our angels. They are far from strangers. Do we really show them enough respect? Do we say thank you as often as they deserve? I’m not sure!
And I wonder how it happened that Memorial Day, the day when we are supposed to honor and remember our fallen soldiers, has become a BBQ day with an over consumption of alcohol, and playtime on lakes and beaches. Needless to say how ironic it is that this day now records so many casualties on the roads from drinking and driving. Where did our reverence for our fallen brothers and fathers go?
Don’t get me wrong. I am all for a good party. But maybe these celebrations should be reserved for Independence Day, when we celebrate our freedom… not when we remember those who died for our freedom.
So please take a moment this weekend to stop whatever you are doing—and reflect on those who have gone before us, on whose shoulders and backs our country stands. Remember the origins of Memorial Day and love a little deeper, care a little more for one another, and hold your family and friends a little tighter. Take the time to tell the next generation about our country’s heroes and history. Just like Mark did with his daughter.
God Bless America.
As the spring flowers pop up all around and the trees start their budding, I’m reminded of the signs of new beginnings. It’s a time for renewal and fresh endeavors. It’s a time to refocus and get my ducks in a row. A quarter of the year has already passed and obviously I’m behind on my goals. My resolutions from January, to accomplish more this year, seem to rekindle this time of year. It’s time to pour on the gas.
We are only four months into the year, and 2017 has already presented its share of hurdles and even some endings, but also fresh starts.
I don’t want to dwell on the past, but I will point out that both endings and fresh starts equally devour my time.
Moving forward, I intend to make the most of the remainder of this year. I’m going to put my wellness on the front burner, refocus on my writing projects, quit sweating the small stuff, and spend more time nurturing myself.
As I sit with my bum in the sand, still warm from the hot sunshine of the day, and watch the sun sink into the gulf as the surf laps at my toes, I realize how truly blessed I am. As a writer the details of life are not lost on me. Then the realization hits me: The secret to staying on track lies within the ability to not allow the unexpected to paralyze me… to be aware of my senses and surroundings… to exist in the present and continue to enjoy the world around me.
For me, writing is both my escape and my grounding. For the remainder of 2017 I want to experience more of that. Hopefully it will be the fuel I need to catch up.
What has spring inspired you to accomplish?
I’m frequently asked about the moral dilemma associated with my novel, Pinnacle Lust—the affair between a young, single nurse and a married doctor. After I published my book, I heard worries about whether the hospital setting lends itself to this type of situation.
Yes, there is a moral dilemma associated with this kind of affair. And yes, a hospital has the right ingredients to cook up a steamy story. I was there, I witnessed it, and I lived it. And this may be why my opinion is a bit different.
While the attention of readers seems to focus on the morality of the affair, I struggle with other moral issues. Each time I get to the following part in Pinnacle Lust, my heart rattles.
“My beloved daughter,
The first chapter of my life was special to me but relatively ordinary.
The second chapter was different and very significant. It was, and still is, a beautiful part of my life. There were times when my life was overloaded with excitement and happiness deluded with loneliness and distress—times when my heart was aching more than it was relaxing—days when I could not distinguish between being silly and being brave.
Most of what happened to me then remains locked in my heart. Some of it turned into memories, some was buried in me, and some I still live every single day. Back then I had to keep it all to myself. I had to stay away from nosey people who would do anything to find out about me and about the life I lived. But I was faithful to my beliefs and to the man I loved. Later on, some of this material gave the city something to talk about, the other part is still besieged and locked within my heart and in my notes.
During the last nineteen years, from the moment you were conceived, it never crossed my mind that one day I would turn these notes to be the evidence of who you are. I never thought that my lie could be your truth.
I have to believe that you are mature enough to understand how babies come into the world. I’m sure you will not argue that it’s easy to make them. Yet I doubt if you know how difficult it is to preserve them and how harsh it would be to lose them. I doubt if you ever thought how you got into my world, certainly you never asked.
I am wondering if the world I provided for you really compensated for the missing part I held away from you.
The last part of my life is everything that happened after my last note—the part which I will never regret.
The pages you are about to read are my notes, but more importantly they are YOU! Please be patient; read them all before you make up your mind.
~Pinnacle Lust by Michelle Dim-St. Pierre
In my eyes, the real moral dilemma in Pinnacle Lust happens right here in this passage. It is buried in the decision Sharon Lapidot made to withhold the truth from her daughter, Leigh. Should she have waited eighteen years to tell her daughter that the man who raised her was not her biological father? Was protecting her daughter from a potential custody battle her decision to make? Will she ever gain her daughter’s trust again? Should she have told her daughter at all?
The struggles Leigh has with coming to terms with her mother’s past life show the depth and complexity of the mother-daughter bond. Like any real relationship between mother and daughter, it’s not always rainbows and sunshine, but hopefully the foundation is strong enough to weather the storms.
How will you be celebrating that special relationship with your mother this weekend?
Happy Mother’s Day.
It has happened to all of us. Someone in our life has died and our world slams to a halt. Sensations of texture, sound and taste are dull, as though a cloak of melancholy has been draped over the world. In the following days, memories run through our minds like home movies, replaying the moments we shared. At the end of time that’s really all we have left of the ones we love. Memories of perfect moments, each one of them a pixel in the picture of our lives.
As the weeks pass, we wonder how to move forward. Movement feels like slogging through mud. Over time, I suppose we each find our own way to shake off the lethargy and continue on with our lives.
But what am I to do if you were the inspiration for my current work in progress? The loss is staggering. How am I to keep from picturing your face as I write? You were my inspiration and my imagined audience all of these long nights of writing. Living the dream of never saying goodbye and the hope of tomorrow are what I’ve buried in the next logline.
How dare you say goodbye to me now?
As the days pass, the question in my mind begins to change: “How can I continue to write?” slowly morphs into “How will this change my story?” Because the story must still be told—the characters demand it.
And this one is for you. Fly high and rest with the angels. We will meet again one day.
How much has grief affected things in your life? Does life ever go back to normal?