Because I’m Happy

I’m a weirdo who finds vast truth in the meaningful location of the mysterious planets in the wondrous solar system, who feels a tangible intensity around the stunning full moon and who reads her horoscope on a daily basis, talking excitedly about retrograde, elements and cardinal signs. I often hear “crazy” being used as an adjective in reference to me as well – a quality I have proudly never denied. I’m comfortable with this label because I would rather be a crazy weirdo in this world than a blind, unconscious fool merely existing instead of actually living.

I have recently signed up for the 100 Happy Days challenge. This challenge entails posting pictures with the hashtag #100happydays each day for 100 days. At the end of the challenge, you will be rewarded with a mini book of all of your photos but what I’m really looking forward to is the true reward – the reward that deepens my gratitude, the reward that directs my focus more heavily on the positive than endlessly dwelling on the negative and the reward that continues to strengthen my understanding that happiness comes from within ourselves.

I do believe the key to positive change is inner happiness, feeling comfortable in your own skin and allowing that happiness to radiate through to all of life. At the risk of shamelessly sounding like a tree-hugging, grass-smoking, rain dancing, moon howling hippie, the day I realized people, plants, the air, the clouds, the birds and other living, breathing beings, are all connected by energy, my life began to change then. My mind, my heart and my soul are wide open and thrilled to be experiencing and living through the unexpected influx of changes that are presently happening.

Since the total lunar eclipse on April 15th, I have been undergoing some initially subtle but extraordinarily wonderful changes in my life and I want to document the beauty that I am witnessing in conjunction with these inevitable changes. I thought, what better way to do so than with 100 Happy Days? I love taking and sharing photos and they do say a picture is worth a thousand words – sometimes more, in my humble opinion.

If you would like to join me in the 100 Happy Days Challenge, you can sign up at

I give you Day 1 of my #100happydays…

Bedtime cuddles with my youngest kitty. His name is George and this is what bliss looks like.

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Hey Dad


Hey Dad – I can’t believe it’s been nine days since you left this world.  It’s still a little hard to believe and hits me like a baseball bat every now and then.  Lots of crazy things have been occurring lately – is that you?  Did you come back as a ghost like I asked you to?  I hope you’re happy and at peace like Elle said you are.  I hope you’re proud of me.  I feel closer to you in your physical death than I did when you were alive.  I guess that’s a good thing.  I’m also glad I got to tell you all that I needed to tell you.  I will write more later.  I miss you.  I love you.

Pops & I Summer 2008

Pops & I Summer 2008

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Hate Me So Good

What I want from you is empty your head and they say be true and don’t stain your bed but we do what we need to be free. And this leans on me just like a rootless tree…”

The above are not my words but lyrics written by the talented recording artist, Damien Rice. By now, if you’ve been following my blog closely, you recognize what an important role music has played in my life since I was the size of a fingertip lounging in my mama’s womb.   I would guesstimate that about 85% or more of my posts have included some reference to music. It would also be accurate to state that it’s almost physiological and there is a soundtrack playing in my head 24/7. My family, friends, coworkers and neighbors could vouch for me as they’re subjected daily to my instantaneous references to random songs during regular conversation or endless sing-a-long.

Yeah, that project is put on hold so we can stop,” my art director approaches my desk to inform me and I respond by singing The Supremes, “in the naaaaaame of love! Think it o-over!” Giggles abound all around at my quirkiness.

Most of the time I have the perfect song to fit every mood, situation, conversation, memory, what have you but every now and then, I must search or patiently wait until I hear it or it comes to me. After Sunday’s unfortunate encounter with David, I went home in need of a song, even a line in a song, something, anything to describe exactly how I feel about him presently. It didn’t come to me until the following morning while working on Disney princess graphics at my desk. My iPod was on shuffle, volume on full blast, earphones in and Damien Rice’s raw and emotional, “Rootless Tree” began. It was like swimming in a dark sea, wondering which direction was up and out of the water when finally, I could see the light.

“…What I want from us is empty our minds and we fake the thoughts and fracture the times that we go blind when we needed to see. And this leans on me just like a rootless…”

When the poignant chorus began, it was like coming up out of that ocean, gasping for much needed oxygen.

Fuck you and all we’ve been through. I said leave it ‘cause it’s nothing to you and if you hate me, then hate me so good that you can let me out, let me out, let me out of this hell when you’re around…”

As tragically sad as the song obviously is, it is real and it describes my exact sentiments. While many would refrain from listening to it, it aids in my healing. It was the song I was searching for after Sunday’s spectacle and has been on repeat for the last few days. The chorus alone would have sufficed in its insulting common thought, “Fuck you and all we’ve been through.” Not to mention its effectual plea, “If you hate me, then hate me so good that you can let me out…” Insert heavy sigh right there.

Post Sunday’s, “Taxes and Twain” event, I self promoted myself to leader of the “David Haters” line whereas before I teetered back and forth between the “David Haters” and the “Non-Haters” but always mid-line – never leader. As someone who wholly believes that hating someone is self-inflicting harm what with the negative energy it takes to feel and exert such deep emotion, I’m also someone who believes in keeping it real. And right now, I hate him.

I have to gently console and remind my hateful side that it’s perfectly human to hate someone as much as I loved him and if you’ll notice I’m using past tense now when I speak of love. The reason for doing so is that I clearly see and understand the man I loved is completely gone and perhaps sadly but truly, never even existed but in my imagination. If anything good came of Sunday, it was the blatant reminder of why I’m getting a divorce. I didn’t fall in love with that person I was sitting next to in the tax office and I didn’t marry the boy that stood in the parking lot continually disregarding any and all responsibility as part of a committed union.


Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you
And all we’ve been through
I said leave it, leave it, leave it
It’s nothing to you
And if you hate me, hate me, hate me, then hate me so good
That you can let me out, let me out, let me out
Let me out, let me out, let me out, let me out
Let me out, let me out, let me out, let me out
Let me out, let me out, let me out

Let me out, let me out, let me out
‘Cause it’s hell when you’re around

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Taxes and Twain

Not only did I see David yesterday for the first time in six months, I sat directly next to him in a small office of a highly recommended tax consultant, breathing the same stuffy air for what felt like one of the longest hours of my life. When he arrived late and walked through the door, we cordially said hello and I’m happy to report that the initial sight of him did nothing warm and fuzzy to me – not in the least bit. I purposely avoided eye contact as much as was possible and I also evaded any potential personal questions that were not directly related to the business transaction that was filing our taxes.

After receiving the professional advice of our tax consultant, we decided to file an extension in effort to maximize our deductions. An additional appointment was set up and David and I exited the building together. As we made our way to the parking lot, he politely divulged information related to the divorce paperwork and civil court proceedings and informed me that he had arrived at the tax offices via Lyft, a car service company. The goodness in me, the fucking endlessly compassionate heart I carry around on my sleeve was feeling generous as I patiently waited for him to finish what he was saying. Just as I was about to kindly offer him a lift to the nearest MTA station, the Universe reminded me of exactly why I was discussing divorce with this stranger standing in front of me in the first place; Why I am, in fact, a better person than he and why I will not be walked on by his selfish, inconsiderately clueless ways any longer.

David began to state that we owe the IRS exclusively due to my self-employment income and I knew exactly the acquisitive direction in which he was headed with it.

And you want me to pay for it?” I calmly asked with a slight grin and nod of my head, knowing full well the answer to my rhetorical question.

Yes,” he greedily declared with authority as I coolly turned and walked away from him, toward my car.

You can’t say that that isn’t fair!” He shouted after me as I continued the short walk toward my car, thankfully increasing the distance between us as all compassion had immediately been replaced by rage that was speedily reaching its boiling point.

I turned toward him, a sarcastic smile apparent upon my face and I serenely appeased him with, “I never said it wasn’t.”

I got into my car and sped away while he walked down the street. It wasn’t until I was out of sight that I allowed myself to explode into a semi-blinding, headache inducing, gasping for oxygen rage. This was quickly followed up by my first minor anxiety attack in months as I tried to explain to my auntie who was now on the telephone exactly why I was so dramatically upset. I couldn’t believe the negative effect I allowed David to have on me afterward though I was proud of my calm demeanor in front of him. He has not deserved my energy or my presence, for that matter, for quite some time and the Universe eloquently demonstrated this for me. I am listening, loud and clear. Thankfully I will never again make the mistake of being giving toward someone who gives me nothing but immense heartache.

David text me about half an hour later, “I’m sorry if I upset you. That wasn’t my intention.”

His empty apology made me chuckle at its garish irrelevance. Clearly, six months has changed absolutely nothing – David has no plans in accepting his responsibility for anything anytime soon, if ever. I’m not holding my breath – that’s for damn sure.

Later in the evening, I civilly informed him, via text, that I was not going to allow him to fuck me over in such a way, that he would be held accountable for half of whatever may or may not be owed to the Internal Revenue Service. I reminded him that the decision for me to become self-employed was a mutual one made when we were still “happily” married, foregoing to add that the decision was made in a last ditch effort to save our marriage with its ideal flexible schedule. I also rightfully pointed out that the majority of the deductions were coming from expenses that were solely mine – business expenses that were being used to his benefit but you didn’t hear me complaining.

And let me just talk to my readers real quick about one of the larger assets being used as a deduction in our taxes – that brand new vehicle David just had to have in lieu of a used one – you know, the one he almost totaled after putting only about sixty miles on its odometer? You know, the one he conveniently didn’t need any longer once we decided to separate? Somewhere in his warped mind, I believe he honestly thinks he did me a “favor” in “giving” me the car. If I recall correctly, his exact words were once, “You’re welcome.”

Sure, it’s a great car – I am grateful that I have reliable transportation to get me where I need to go, namely my job, but when you figure in all of the money that goes into this expensive possession, David was hardly doing me any “favors.” He was selfishly saving his own sorry ass from being financially responsible for hefty car payments, insurance, gas and maintenance, which he later rubbed in right in front of me to our old landlord. That conversation went something like, “Oh yeah, it’s gonna be great! I can walk to work. I don’t have to pay for gas or worry about car payments and insurance!” He excitedly declared knowing full well I was around the corner in direct ear shot of his dick-headed audacity.

In conclusion of last night’s texting war, it was decided that we would eventually file our taxes as “Married, filing separately.” Fine. With. Me. David continued flinging insulting text messages my way and I could have further engaged him in my equitable defense of his pathetic attempt to get me to exclusively pay for any taxes due but a Mark Twain quote came to mind, “Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.”

Mark Twain Quote

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Only God Knows Why

It’s been three years since my dad passed away and I can still recall feebly squeezing his feet through the thick quilt as he violently sobbed underneath his bed sheets like it was yesterday. I can still hear the shrill ring of my cell phone as my uncle called to inform me that my dad took his last breath and I can recall the way my body fell stiff at the unfortunate anticipation of this phone call.

I remember sitting in a midtown Manhattan Starbucks a few days after his death attempting to be honest with David, ashamedly admitting that all I wanted to do was walk out the door and step out into the heavy Park Avenue traffic without hesitation. This, of course, did not go over well with David and he couldn’t begin to understand nor even endeavor to try. In fact, if I recall correctly, this morbid admission caused a minor argument between us. The unexpected irony of it all is that I’ve walked in David’s shoes – the loosely laced up tennies of a naïve, idealistic, passionate human being.

My dad and I had one glaringly positive quality in common and that was our love, admiration and superior taste in music. When Kid Rocks’ “Only God Knows Why” was released in 1998, I was in the eighth grade gearing up for high school. During its rise in popularity in ’99, my dad ephemerally made it known that he was really feeling this song, that he could relate. Aside from the obvious lines “…I take too many pills / It helps to ease the pain / I made a couple dollar bills / But still I feel same…” I, like David, didn’t take the time to dig deeper though I did try. It was just something I couldn’t understand at the time no matter how much effort I put forth.

My dad’s addiction to downers had recently come to my knowledge, at the age of fifteen, and perhaps my genuine effort was hindered by my idealistic nature and supreme anger at his sole fault in ending my parents’ almost twenty-five year marriage. Either way, if I had known then what I know now, I would understand that my dad was utilizing the blessing of music as a profound means of communication where he verbally lacked.

It took me quite some time to recognize that my parents are also “only human.” There’s so much more to that Kid Rock song than poppin’ pills and making some money. It’s better late than never but I certainly wish my perfect stranger were around so that I could personally try even harder to decipher the unspoken words between each line.

“Only God Knows Why” Kid Rock

I’ve been sittin here
Tryin’ to find myself
I get behind myself
I need to rewind myself
Lookin’ for the payback
Listen for the playback
They say that every man bleeds just like me
And I feel like number one
Yet I’m last in line
I watch my youngest son
And it helps to pass the time
I take too many pills it helps to ease the pain
I made a couple dollar bills, but still I feel the same
Everybody knows my name
They say it way out loud
A lot of folks fuck with me
It’s hard to hang out in crowds
I guess that’s the price you pay
To be some big shot like I am
Outstretched hands and one night stands
Still I can’t find love

And when your walls come tumbling down
I will always be around

As it…hey

And when your walls come tumbling down
I will always be around

People don’t know about the things I say and do
They don’t understand about the shit that I’ve been through
It’s been so long since I’ve been home
I’ve been gone, I’ve been gone for way too long
Maybe I forgot all things I miss
Oh somehow I know there’s more to life than this
I said it too many times
And I still stand firm
You get what you put in
And people get what they deserve
Still I ain’t seen mine
No I ain’t seen mine
I’ve been giving just ain’t been gettin
I’ve been walking that there line
So I think I’ll keep a walking
With my head held high
I’ll keep moving on and only God knows why

Only God
Only God
Only God knows why, why, why, why
Only God…knows…why, why, why
Only God knows why
Take me to the river edge
Take me to the river, hey hey hey


Pops & I 2009

Pops & I 2009


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The Things I Miss

I miss the consistent rumble of mass transportation above and below ground and I miss the convenience of its services. I miss my no-bullshit Brooklyn born amici with their fuhgeddaboudit “accents” and their endless stories of growing up in the Bedstuy neighborhood or the roughest blocks of Bushwick. I miss the beauty that is upstate New York and the thrill of exploring an avenue less travelled. I miss walking in the shade of a perfectly architected skyscraper or strolling down the historic fruit streets in the sought after neighborhood that is Brooklyn Heights. I miss the reflection of lower Manhattan in the East River’s waters as seen from bustling Brooklyn Bridge Park.

I miss the option of boarding a ferry to travel to the movie theater from one borough to another and I miss getting ice cream from Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory in the summertime. I miss leisurely walks across the Brooklyn Bridge and the ever-changing view of the skyline in every direction as one meanders from one borough to the next. I miss the wondrous culture of park-sunbathing, book-toting intellectualists mixed with non-English speaking, camera wielding, wide-eyed first time tourists commingling on the same melting pot of an upper west side block.

I miss after work shenanigans with my fellow fashion design major, former college roommate and Dominican beauty of a best friend and I miss our go-to hot spots – Culture Espresso for java and Havana NY for their happy hour tapas and adult beverage specials. I miss weekend brunching rituals in Brooklyn’s stunningly eclectic Park Slope neighborhood and viewing the nightly sunset and natural expanse of Prospect Park from my bedroom window. I miss outings with some lovely ladies I proudly call friends who share similar, significant losses and I miss the support that these brief but substantial occasions provided.

I miss the annoying, boom box carrying, talented, dancing kids on the Q train and I miss the intoxicating aroma of churros in the Union Square subway en route to hipster-ridden Williamsburg. I miss the plethora of gypsy cabs heckling me to utilize their services in lieu of a regular yellow cab and I miss daily breakfast treks to Panera Bread on Fifth Avenue with my favorite coworkers. I miss the spring breeze, early summer evenings, the colorful fall season and the heavily apparent festive Holiday spirit that is early winter in New York. I miss the meditative experience that is people watching on the train and sitting in Madison Square Park.

Madison Square Park photo taken by me on 3/11/2011

Madison Square Park photo taken by me on 3/11/2011

I miss endless access to towering rooftops with bucket-list-worthy views of Manhattan’s skyline. I miss fish tacos from Pinche’s and I miss boxes of biscotti from Little Italy’s Ferrara’s. I miss faster than usual walkers and I miss bypassing and complaining about the unusually slow walkers that “must be tourists!” I miss lunch hour pizza from “that place on 34th between 5th and 6th Avenues” and I miss suggesting to my coworkers that we go to “Fork and Spoon,” though purposely calling it “Fuck and Spoon” due to its outrageous prices.

I could continue my endless list of “The Things I Miss” about the city that never sleeps but it would only continue to demonstrate that none of the above could be recalled or “missed” without the acknowledgement of David. None of the above occurred or was made memorable without David as a part of the occasion whether directly or indirectly. If I was enjoying happy hour tapas with my best girlfriend after work and David didn’t happen to be working that night then I called him to let him know I would be home later.

My time living in New York was inevitably associated with David and as much as I miss the city, all of the above memories and then some are attached to him in some way shape or form. I know that I must confront this bittersweet reality personally and on location in order to fully heal and I intend to do so sooner than later, though I understand that this cannot be accomplished without a deep, cavernous hole in my weeping heart. In due time, I trust new memories will be created in the magnificent city that mysteriously pulled at my soul from the age of four.

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My Light in the Dark

We sat on the comfy couch in her decorated living room, the Christmas tree twinkling against the snowy, morning light and ripped wrapping paper strewn around us. My mama and I held each other as the song continued to play, rocking back and forth to the melodious piano. She began to shed a few loving tears as the revealing lyrics began,

You make everything so simple in a crazy world / And I’m trying to find the words to say / You make everything all right just by being around…”

Make me a CD of all of my favorite songs for Christmas, Linds,” She instructed me to do for her during the holidays of 2009. I had not only made her a mix CD of all of her requested songs, including “Sympathy for the Devil” by The Rolling Stones (She had fantastic taste in music in case that wasn’t previously mentioned) but I had snuck in a few of my own that I thought she would enjoy. One ditty, in particular, I strategically placed at the end of the CD.

I want to play a song for you,” I disclosed as I handed her the mix CD adorned with a festively self-designed album cover.

I dedicate this song to you, mama,” I earnestly confessed.

I had stumbled across this wonderfully talented and not so well known female artist, Laura Izibor, from Ireland earlier that Fall. Her song, “Mmm” struck a sensitive chord with me as it immediately made me think fondly of my mama every time I heard it. I often refer to this musically related intensity as, “plucking at my heart strings.”

The song continued to play and my mama’s heightened emotions became more visible with each verse that was sung. We held each other tightly, her head resting on my slumped shoulder, both of us swaying with the soothing melody.

“…You’re my light in the dark / Guiding, guiding me Home / Your faith in me is all I need / Your love sets me free…” That one line, alone, has always stuck with me, as I couldn’t think of a better way to describe my exact sentiments toward my extraordinary mama.  After she passed, I wandered around in what seemed like perpetual darkness with no place I felt secure or comfortable enough to call home. My motivation, my self-worth, and my enthusiasm for life – it all, and then some, drastically floundered in her initial absence and long after.

As today heavily marks what would be my dear mama’s 59th birthday, I find myself greatly reflecting on that white Christmas of 2009 in Kansas City. It was the last time my entire immediate family – mom, dad and older brother – were together under the same roof celebrating our favorite holiday. All it took was an incredibly moving three minutes and twenty-five seconds of my life, my mama and I’s life together, to create an everlasting memory – a memory that, today, reminds me that even in her physical absence, she forever remains my light, guiding me, centering me with her unconditional faith and love.

Celebrating my mama's bday - 4/08/2010, West Hollywood

Happy Birthday, Mama! Celebrating her bday – 4/08/2010, West Hollywood

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93 Million Miles from the Sun

My mother’s birthday is swiftly approaching – April 8th. It will be the third I celebrate without her blessed and lovely physical presence. To state that I miss her would be the ultimate caldera of all understatements.

The month of April, in general, has been a particularly difficult month since that dreadful 365 days we called, 2011. My father passed away on April 10th of that year, my brother’s birthday is the 13th and my nonna passed away on my mother’s birthday, the first without her, the following year in 2012. It may seem silly to keep track of all of these significant dates, however, when they’re clustered together like so, it is difficult not to.

The fourth month of every year has become like “the holidays” for me – Joyful, special events meant to be happily celebrated near and dear those closest to you that have tragically morphed into morosely sad occasions due to deceased or estranged loved ones. My goal, since my mother’s passing, has been to keep her spirit alive through treasured memories and anecdotes I’ve stored away in these large troves I call the mind and the heart. As time moves on, the knowledge that she is gone does not become any easier but the ability to smile and celebrate in her memory and the time I gratefully had with her thankfully becomes more pronounced.

Though I somehow always feel as if I do not do her justice through my words, blogs, conversations, what have you, I’ll never stop trying. It goes without saying that I am often moved to tears amidst deep thoughts of her untimely absence but I recently found myself smiling, almost chuckling, at a distant, fond memory. There was a time when feelings of joy of any kind were seemingly impossible and in that endearing moment, as I drove, rounding the corner of my neighborhood, homeward bound, my heart blissfully burst with the startling recognition of her spiritual presence.

One invaluable virtue I have inadvertently attained from losing the most important person in my life after only twenty-six years is the ability to know that I can get through any roughage life carelessly throws my way. I can forcefully drive through any roadblock and I can gracefully leap over any hurdle. This I know because I’ve already faced what initially presented itself as the end of the world and I came out on the other end, heart still beating and oxygen still being inhaled. Basically, unless it is my own inevitable death, I will always live and it will always be okay.

Just last week, I was faced with an unexpected emergency that required my full and immediate attention. After a brief meltdown complete with the shakes, anxiety and bountiful sobs, I sat on my living room floor and calmed myself down and figured that shit out. I handled it in less than forty-eight hours and if I may say so myself, I was quite proud! I wouldn’t have been able to do it without a couple of my dearest friends, as well, and for this, I am sincerely grateful.

In my moment of initially unbearable weakness, I truly felt the support of my mama’s extraordinary strength. I heard her reminding me of my own inner strength, reminding me that I can do this and I will.

It’ll all be okay. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end,” She whispered. “One thing at a time,” I kept repeating her wisdom like a guiding mantra in my tormented mind.

No, I was not hearing voices – I just know, in my soul, in my heart, that my mama is with me, especially in those trialing moments where I feel as if I need her presence and unfaltering wisdom the most.

No, I unfortunately cannot take my mother to be pampered on her day of birth, I cannot light candles upon a scrumptious, homemade birthday cake that she will blow out with her own breath, and I cannot wrap a gift that she will tear open in anticipation. What I can do is keep her beautiful spirit alive. I can tell stories of her perseverance, her strength and the unconditional love she selflessly gave to those nearest and dearest to her amazing soul. I can assure my mother is known in her death as if she still walks the Earth. I can continue to be motivated by the drive to render my dear mama proud of her only daughter.

When I first heard this song, it was the spring of 2013. I immediately thought of the two people who created me and gave me life, followed by feelings of self-pity because I could never “come back home” as the lyrics described. Those sentiments have since been replaced by the valuable knowledge that my home is wherever my heart is, wherever I am capable of centering myself. And my heart is exactly where I have willfully held on to my parents. Like the memory of my mama that unexpectedly brought a smile upon my face, this beautiful song now brings me great comfort in times of missing both my mama and my dad.

With love, I dedicate “93 Million Miles” by Jason Mraz in memory of my immediate family, Colleen Denise Nelson (Dellinger), James Richard Dellinger and Jason Michael.


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Dead (and Vulnerable) in the Water

There are times when I wish that David was consistently a dick but then I think back to all of the times when he was a complete dick and I realize it affects me just as much as when he’s not a dick – only in a different way. I look forward to the day that we no longer have reason to communicate – that we can delete each other’s numbers from each other’s phones and forget that we have it memorized. I look forward to a day that we no longer have cause to text back and forth. I look forward to a day when the mention of David will make me say, “Wow, I haven’t thought about him for awhile” and I’m certain he looks forward to a similar day in regards to me.

My infrequent vulnerable moments are typically triggered by communication with him be it short-lived or in-depth. I find that when he’s civil and polite, it makes me miss him. For example, shortly after the disturbing surprise phone call from his older brother on New Year’s Day, David reached out, apologizing on behalf of his brother for anything “offensive” that might have been said. I didn’t respond to this texted apology because I fleetingly felt warm, fuzzy and forgiving which was quickly followed by me rightfully questioning how easily it was for him to apologize for others’ wrongdoing but never mind all of the hell he put me through. And reminding myself of the hell I went through is exactly what I must consciously do in those times of longing, of missing.

That’s not to discount his sincerity. I obviously cannot speak for him but I’m sure he has similar feelings to my own and I know that he genuinely wants to keep things civil which is probably a hefty motivation behind his niceness. The truth is, I would rather him be courteous than be an asshole.

Perhaps it’s not David’s demeanor be it nice or not but the very fact of his existence that sends me into that familiar anxiety mode whenever I hear from him. I’ve always said that losing someone to death is slightly easier, for lack of better words, than losing someone to life because at least in death, you know where they went – or at least you know they’re not roaming around, conducting their lives without you. In life, divorces, break-ups, falling outs, what have you, we effectively become absolute strangers who happen to know each other’s deepest, darkest secrets yet we live the rest of our lives behaving, pretending as if we don’t.

All of David and I’s communication since we separated our living spaces back in October has been conducted via telephone or email. California law apparently prohibits any form of physical contact during a divorce hence the temporary restraining order that appeared amidst all of the divorce paperwork and the designated middleman that is my best friend. She retrieves and delivers various documents to both David and I and might I add, a stupid piece of paper has a governing prominence in my life yet again. Need I say, I do not take it very seriously – definitely not as seriously as I took my marriage and all I can think is, those poor trees! Marriages, divorces, restraining orders, oh my! – all a senseless waste of trees! Mother Nature should be pissed! Ha! – Oh, I’m probably going to offend someone with that one. I’m only trying to make a point and I’m only half kidding.

As I stated once before, I’ve moved on in every way except emotionally. I’m trying not to beat myself up for this but man, can I be one brutal son of a bitch when it comes to my heart! Rationally, I understand that expecting myself to be completely over the man I married, the person I vowed the rest of my life to, is a lot to expect. When not cognitively rational, it is difficult for me to accept that I can allow someone who is essentially, now, a complete stranger, move me to tears.

We’ve all heard the motivational speakers, i.e. the awesome friends in our lives who are “always” thinking rationally on the outside of our bubble – I’ve divided mine into the “David Haters” and the “Non-Haters.” Depending on the type of mood I’m in, I decide which side to consult.

Don’t you cry over that boy! He don’t deserve your tears, honey! He didn’t give a fuck so neither should you! Chin up, buttercup! Hang in there! He always loved you and I know he misses you, too. You’re doing the right thing! I know I’ve heard it all and the list goes on…

Finally, let me just share the real mind fuck of it all, the grand daddy of mind fucks – Sometimes, like the present moment, I’m thinking both rationally and irrationally therefore I’m flogging my pride for writing and sharing all of this even though I know that it’s a beneficial part of my healing. I don’t wish to be pitied or viewed as someone who is unhappy or perpetually lonely because that couldn’t be further from the truth but I lucidly understand that pride has no place in matters of the heart, of love. At the same time, I foolishly curse myself for boldly exhibiting my weaker side especially when a short blog post doesn’t even come near to sufficiently or accurately detailing the intricacies of almost four years’ worth of complicated emotions.

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Who I am, Who I’m Not and Who I Wanna Be


As the full Frontier airlines plane calmly rose higher and higher above the cirrus clouds, I pulled out my journal to write what would be the last letter to my dear mother that she would physically ever be able to receive.  Less than twenty-four hours prior, I had received word that my mother had “days,” left on this earth.  Palliative care concluded that her life’s end was nearing as her oxygen tank was set to its highest level – I needed to come home immediately.  While at work in New York City, I booked the earliest flight to Kansas City from JFK that I could find.

As my ears uncomfortably popped from the heightening pressure of the plane’s cabin and “You Found Me” by The Fray blasted on repeat in my ear buds, I placed pen to lined paper as I described in my blog, “The Number You Have Dialed has been Disconnected”…


Dear Mama,

There’s so much to say.  First and foremost, I want you to know that I’m going to write to you all the time (just like this) even when you’re physically gone.  Our pact keeps going through my head – the one where we agreed we’d die a day apart, but always argued who would go first.  Rather than sit here and tell you all the reasons why I’m sad and angry and for lack of better words, devastated, I want to tell you how much I love you.  Everyone who knows me or has known me well knows just how much you mean to me, though I don’t know if they’re aware of the depth at which this goes.  You are a part of my heart and we’ve always been so connected.  This past week and a half, a flood of memories (very good ones) have been inundating my mind and while I’ve welcomed them, I’ve also unwelcomed them because I know what they mean.  For some reason, I always know. 

“…Where were you when everything was falling apart? / All my days were spent by the telephone that never rang / And all I needed was a call that never came…” The lead singer of The Fray asked God as I wondered similar thoughts and the ballpoint pen continued writing away.  I knew there were absolutely no words that could ever genuinely suffice for the “last words” I wanted my mama to remember hearing me utter but I just knew I had to write something…anything…

I can only hope that we remain this connected once you’ve passed.  Tell grandpa and dad that I love them.  Oh, and John Lennon.  I hope you get to spend time with your brother, too.  I’ll never understand how someone who has given so selflessly her entire life, someone with the largest heart in the world doesn’t gain the world.  It’s so unfair and I hope that the good die young for a very good reason.  Unfortunately, no reason in the Universe will ever be good enough for me.

“…In the end everyone ends up alone / Losing her, the only one who’s ever known / Who I am, who I’m not, who I wanna be / No way to know how long she will be next to me…”

I was losing the most important person in my life, the person who knew me better than anyone currently, before or after, the woman who raised me, guided me and loved me unconditionally…

I can’t buy you your beach home in North Carolina, I continued writing, and do all the other things that I wanted to do for you.  Yeah yeah, these may be material things, but all things you deserve.  I’ll never get used to not picking up the phone and calling you every single day.  I thank you for trying mom.  I thank you for being so strong and teaching me to do the same.  I thank you for fighting like hell and staying positive even when you knew I’d lost hope.  You always say to me that I always do everything I say I’m going to do and that has always been my motivation for success.  Who’s going to tell me now?  Everything I do in my life, all the successes, have been for you – to make you proud.

“…Lost and insecure, you found me, you found me / Lyin’ on the floor surrounded, surrounded / Why’d you have to wait? / Where were you? Where were you? /Just a little late / You found me, you found me…” I sat in my confined window seat of the plane, desiring nothing more than to curl up into the comforting and familiar fetal position, where my life all began.

My mama weakly squeezed my hand as I read my four-page letter to her.  She may have been doped up on painkillers but I know she was coherent enough to be just as grateful as I was for those last intelligible moments of connection – Just her and I, holding hands.  I was reading to her not in the English accent as she would often have me do for shits and giggles but nonetheless, I was reading to her.  And instead of Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series, I was reading to her my innermost, touching thoughts that I could thankfully muster up on a packed flight halfway across the country.

I cannot imagine my life, this world, without you – I don’t want to.  I am so sorry that you have endured this kind of pain mama.  One of my favorite memories that keep playing in my head was the trip to Wyoming with you and Dad and continually playing Jackson Browne’s, “The Pretender” on repeat.   I’m listening to it repeatedly right now.  It forever reminds me of you.  ‘You started out so young and strong only to surrender,’ I quoted an affecting line from the song.

You sacrificed so much for others, especially your children, your entire life.  There really is nothing that I can say that will suffice my love and my sorrow – nothing.  I’ve never felt so at a loss for words.  Every time I look in the mirror, I will see you.  People will see you in me, too.  They already do. 

I’m strong because of you and I can only hope that I’ll remain strong like you when you’re no longer here to deliver your pep talks full of wisdom and values.  I don’t care what anyone else says because I know so many people love and care about you, but no one loves you more than I do. 

I thank you for always trying to protect me and making decisions that you thought best for your children.  I thank you for teaching me how to give and love, morals and values.  You don’t want a memorial but the rest of my life will be dedicated to you and our memories.  Thank you for always instilling in me an attitude of I can do and be anything I wish. 

I hope that, if we’re reincarnated, you live a long and happy and prosperous life with all the breaks in the world – that means never cleaning a single toilet or baby’s poopy ass.  I thank you for your humor that I never fully understood, but the funny thing is that I have a part of that in me, too.  Mom – I’ll never let you go.  I couldn’t.  I won’t.  And I’ll see you sooner that we know.  You have one of the most beautiful souls I know and that shall live on.

I willfully choked back the influx of tears – I needed to remain strong for my mama.  The inevitable tears need only be shed on my own time sans company.

Please visit me often, be it in my dreams or waking life.  I could go on forever because really, there are no words that truly suffice.  As I said in the beginning, I will continue to write to you for the rest of my life.  I love you so very much.

Love, Linds

After one of my mother’s brothers passed away late October of 2008, “You Found Me” by The Fray spoke to her in a way that I wasn’t quite familiar with as I had yet to experience the significant kind of loss that she had.   After the knowledge that my mother had only days, mere hours left, this emotive song strongly resonated in a way with me that it never had before and still continues to do so to this day.  I now understand why my mother questioned a higher power, why that song touched her lovely soul in an intensely emotional way that it barely touches others’ ear drums’.

“…For years and years and years and years / And you never left me no messages / Ya never send me no letters / You got some kinda nerve taking all I want…”

It’s like a prayer to this day.

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