So there we were, an extended family of about one dozen scattered about the sectional couch, tentatively and collectively focused on the television across the room showing the final minutes of the movie Elf. The little ones had quieted down for a few minutes; for a scene or two we could hear the words instead of just watching the images flicker by.
Then, in the penultimate scene of the film, Zooey Deschanel gets up on a carriage and starts signing Christmas carols to… I don’t know, something about Christmas Spirit and an amount of it needed for Santa’s sleigh to take off – or an idea along those lines. On the corniness scale, this ranks somewhere past Nebraska in August. If Splenda could talk, it would tell this scene to tone down the sweetness a notch. Continue reading The True Value of Christmas
In the days that followed her passing, during the grim perfunctory tasks that come with cleaning up after a life, my mother’s handwritten journals made their way into my hands. There were five books in all, each one spiral bound with a very Hallmark-esque pastel flowery cover. Newspaper clippings and hard copies of emails received rained from the books when handled.
Mom told us, my sister and I, before she passed, that she wanted us to read them; indeed, our eventual reading of them was her sole purpose for writing them. She wanted her children to know her, as an adult, in a way she never got to know her parents. My sister grazed through them immediately after her funeral; I read through a couple of the books during business trips over the Pacific in the subsequent months. I think subconsciously, neither one of us was ready to absorb any of the words – not yet.
Continue reading An Investment in Peace
Every time I go overseas for a while, I only think about two things on the flight home – seeing my Dad and seeing my cat, Clifford. I can’t help but smile wide when Cliff goes through his routine of greeting me at home after several weeks apart : chirpy meows for a minute, then walking away with a stiff tail pointed skyward, turning around, more chirpy meows, then trotting back to me purring and rubbing my legs. Oh sure, he’s excited I’m home, but before he can display that he needs to let me know that I fucked up, he knows it, and it is unacceptable. Continue reading Love, Loyalty, and Four Legs : Our Pets
August 20th, 2012.
The sting of bone on linoleum. I suppose that’s the moment I realized that nothing was ever going to be normal again. I always assumed the idea of actually falling to your knees in grief was a contrived act of attention-seekers, something you did when you knew someone was watching. Continue reading …But Her Spirit Lives On…
Maybe it’s just me. All my life, I would reflexively and constantly envision where my life was taking me, and how the people in front of me would fit in to that picture. Some people would get the lifetime pass, but for most I had to be able to loosely identify how we fit together. Would you be helping me? Would I be helping you? Would we be able to hang out and relax together? Did we entertain each other? Continue reading The Solemn Power of Being There