The Road I Travel

With Mother’s Day hours away, I thought it would be an appropriate time to say goodbye to A Righteous Revival. I began this blog back in the summer of 2013 when it seemed like everything that could have gone wrong in my life had gone wrong. It served as a platform and medium of therapeutic outlet. My dedicated readers – you know who you are – have been supportive and encouraging these last almost four years and I hope that you will follow me on to bigger and better things at my new project.

I recently launched The Road Linds Travels to merge my two passions of writing and travel. Similar to A Righteous Revival, I continue to share my personal growth through candid stories, anecdotes, and memories. My dear Mother is still very much a large part of the motivation and subject of my posts. I believe she’d be very proud to see how far I have come since laying fetal position on the floor of my bedroom in Eternal Sunshine. I am very proud of myself.

Much of my strength is innate and learned but much of it, I got from my mama. She stressed how important it was to be a self-sufficient woman, never relying on a man’s emotional or financial support or anyone’s support for that matter. She showed me what hard work meant – the literal kind and the figurative kind that comes with simply living life. She was why I was able to remove myself from a toxic marriage, to pick myself up off of the floor that night, and keep on keepin’ on. She was a much-needed reminder in the form of an electrical wire when I wanted nothing more than to just give up. She’s forever my deepest inspiration.

With that being said, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the comments, dedication, and energy you all have put into following and reading A Righteous Revival over the last few years. I do hope you’ll make the transition with me and subscribe to The Road Linds Travels, as it is sure to be one hell of a journey! Much Love and peace.

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The Release

The Easter bunny was not as gripping as Santa Claus for me, nonetheless, as a child, we still decorated Easter eggs and our parents hid them as we searched anxiously throughout grandma’s yard for them. Whoever found the most was the “winner,” though winner of what, I’m unsure, aside from a warrant to boast. And I really loved boiled eggs – still do, though not as much as I did as a child. I especially loved when grandma would devil them up, er, make deviled eggs – I wonder why they are called deviled?

My dear mother was born on Good Friday, my aunt, brother, and mother’s birthdays have all fallen on Easter at some point in history and I am far from religious. Today, I do not celebrate this holiday. When you’re a kid, you’re more concerned with whether or not the Easter bunny is going to bring you a basket full of crap that’s going to “rot your teeth out” as the elders would quip. As an adult, you come to realize how deeply religious this holiday is and I’m just not one of those people that you’ll find sitting in a pew one Sunday out of the entire year.

I do miss the family gatherings, however, and there’s nothing like a holiday to make me realize just how much I miss them. I’d give anything to dye some eggs and whip up a home cooked Easter dinner with my mother right about now. It’s a beautiful, sunny Spring day in Los Angeles and the sounds of gathering families are plenty while the scents of their fruitful meals they’ll sit down to soon waft through the air.

Holidays just remind me of how I lost my family, gained one, and then lost that one, too. Dramatic sounding, I know, but it’s the truth and I kind of hate admitting how lonely I can be on days like today. I hate how speaking the truth can sometimes sound like I’m looking for sympathy when really I’m just looking for a release. And what good is the writing if I can’t release the truth and unload the weight that has burdened me for so long for shoving it deep down inside?

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The Power of Energy

I haven’t written in quite some time for A Righteous Revival – I’ve had plenty to say but various things have stopped me from starting and finishing a post. Tomorrow marks what would be my mother’s 62nd birthday and I’d be lying if I told you I haven’t cried tonight or earlier this week when she talked to me in a dream. I’d be lying if I told you that I am okay.

We live in a world filled with too much small talk and not enough feeling. Somewhere in history, “how are you,” went from being a sincere question that warranted an honest response to small talk that merely expects a one word answer like, “fine” or “okay.” If you actually divulge your true feelings, people become closed off and uncomfortable, wondering how their small talk made a right at the serious corner. We’re not always fine and we’re not always okay and that is okay.

Tonight, as I’m loaded up on antibiotics and over the counter painkillers as well as plenty of red wine, I remember my mother for her sincerity. I remember that every time she asked me how I am she expected a full report and if that’s not what she received, she would know it. We were that connected.

Nope. C’mon, what’s wrong? I can hear it in your voice, Linds,” she’d summon the flood, if you will.

I remember my mother for her candor. If she didn’t like something or if she was passionate about something, not a person in the room was a stranger to how my mama felt because she made it known. Sure, she apologized for it at times, but I think, as women, we grew up in a society that unfortunately taught us to do just that. I think my mother grew up in that society even more so than I did. I’ve since learned as a strong female, I should not ever apologize for strong convictions or even my presence, no matter how untimely it may be in a given situation.

My mother made everything so simple in a crazy world – she was a ray of light when the storm clouds rolled in and when the sun was shining! I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t angry with her for her untimely absence. She’s been visiting me in my dreams excessively over the last couple of weeks. I’m not sure what it means but I am certain it’s a testament to how intensely bonded our spirits are.

This is the 5th birthday of hers that has passed since she died and I still can’t tell you how I’ve managed to continue on without her. After she died, it became evident just how much I relied on my mother, how much I leaned on her for support through good times and bad. Somehow, still unbeknownst to me, I have paved my own way, put one foot in front of the other.

Oddly enough, my mother spent a couple of years leading up to her diagnosis brushing off her symptoms as a mere sinus infection, which I have been suffering from for over a week now. A few months after she died, I was diagnosed with mononucleosis, the same illness a piece of shit, hole in the wall clinic in Shawnee, Kansas, misdiagnosed my mother with when she was actually dying from stage four metastatic lung cancer with multiple tumors. Last week, she came to me in a dream to inform me that the antibiotics I was on were not going to work. Sure enough, I later discovered these antibiotics were part amoxicillin, a drug my body has grown immune to. I can’t say it enough – this is just how connected we are and have always been. Maybe that’s what keeps me going – the power of energy should never be underestimated. Happy birthday, Mama. I love you more.

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Sentience

My mother used to gush about how well beer went with chocolate and I agreed, so every time I enjoy a nice amber ale and there’s chocolate nearby, I have to indulge. It’s the little things like this that make me feel closer to her. I wish I could have introduced her to how good chocolate is with wine, though – especially dark chocolate with red wine!

The last gift she ever gave me was a set of decorative, pewter measuring spoons with etched hearts all over them. Every time I reach for those hanging in my kitchen, I taste the familiarity of the bittersweet memory. I had just moved to Brooklyn and she mailed them to me the way we used to mail each other during my college years. When I retrieved the large, white business envelope from my mailbox on that drab, New York winter day, I could see and feel the awkwardness of its shape – it certainly wasn’t just a greeting card inside there. Little did I know that was the last time I’d ever receive mail from my mother.

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She loved having her hair brushed or played with, so every time someone brushes or plays with my hair, I feel a pang of guilt for each time I denied my mother that simple, temporary joy. I’d give anything to feel her hair between my fingers, to run a brush through the length of her locks.

Whenever I’m at the beach, I look down in pursuit of the smooth, colorful sea glass my mother collected and loved so much. I recall her joyful smile while lounging in the sand and soaking up the sun one morning on a beach in Malibu, her ability to enjoy the silence that was so opposite of my inability. I wish she were around to teach me how she did it and to tell me what she enjoyed most about it.

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It is all about the little things and there’s nothing like losing the most important person in your life to make you realize this. If she were still alive, would snail mail mean as much to me? Would I still deny brushing her hair whenever she’d ask? Would chocolate be just another snack and would I even look for sea glass when perusing coastal lands? The truth is the little things have always meant a lot to me even before losing her but their meaning is so much deeper now, so much more sentient.

If Only They Knew it was also My Birthday – Loneliness and Defying Conformity

Their knowing looks caught my eye a couple of times as I savored mediocre, overpriced seafood, washing it down with agua con gas, what they call sparkling water in South America. Their faces spoke volumes of pity amidst the dim ambience and lively holiday chatter from nearby tables. If only they knew it was also my birthday, I thought to myself between reluctant bites of yucca con queso and poor excuses for sushi.

It was Christmas Day in Cusco, Peru and I had made reservations at a “fancy” restaurant in the city center. I had just arrived in Peru that morning and I was traveling solo for a week. There was a table of four, two older couples sitting diagonal from my small two-person table situated against the wall adjacent the picturesque window overlooking the Plaza de Armas. What they had obviously noticed was that my two-person table was serving one that evening and what they hadn’t noticed was that I, too, was studying and wondering about them – how did the couples meet? Are they locals? Do they always go out to eat for Christmas?

I was lonely. I’m not going to lie. And the shitty food didn’t help – I would later be chastised by a local for even stepping foot inside this particular tourist driven eating establishment. Had I known it catered to foreigners, I would have certainly opted for something else. Had the table of older couples asked me to join them out of sheer pity, I just might have!

It wasn’t the first time I had felt such a way at a restaurant whilst dining alone but it was the first time it was a holiday and my birthday whilst dining solo. A month after deciding to divorce David, I was on a business/leisure weekend trip to San Francisco where I had made reservations at a French restaurant located in Chinatown of all places. The food was actually really fantastic but the waiter who took forever to approach my table because she admittedly assumed I was waiting for someone made my loneliness the giant elephant in the restaurant. If only she knew I was going through a divorce! I ate half my meal before flagging her down to box it up so I could take it back to my lonely hotel room – at least there I could be lonely without an audience.

Doing things alone have always been a part of my life and more often than not, a comfortable and sometimes desired act – going to the movies happens to be one of my favorite unaccompanied past times. I recall having a conversation with my mother years ago while enjoying breakfast at one of my favorite mid-city Los Angeles cafés. When I told her what I was doing, she replied with slight dismay, stating, “I don’t know how you do that!”

It may have more to do with doing things that make me uncomfortable until I’m comfortable with them or it may have to do with enjoying the solitude of my own company versus the draining camaraderie that sometimes comes with others’ presence. I have a hunch it has a lot to do with doing the thing that society tells people, like the San Franciscan waitress and the old couples, is strange and/or pitiful. I find there to be a liberating factor in defying conformity, no matter how strange, pitiful, or lonely I might appear or feel.