Father’s Day… Five Years Later


Dad and Shan - 1969

It’s been five years since my dad left us… and when I say left us, he died. Some of you have read my post, “My Father, My Hero, ” which was written a few days after he left. Raw emotions left on the page from fresh wounds, and now five years later, they are scars.

They prickle and hurt from time to time, reminding me about how much I miss him. The sound of his voice, his laughter, his wisdom. I learned so much from him. Some things obvious, other things not so much.

He taught me how to laugh. Introducing me to comedy in all forms, and allowing me to make my own decisions. Enjoying food… now, maybe I enjoy food too much, but because of he and my mother making me try new foods, I have a diverse and demanding palate. I think more parents need to do this (just my humble opinion). He taught me to work hard in sports and academics. He taught me how to be creative when disciplining a child.

He gave me an older sister, different mom ;). We didn’t get to meet until we were adults, but she reminds me of him every day. We look like him. She plays drums like him. She has his wild streak. She in turn has given me a niece and nephew.

He was one half of my parents. He gave me the other half. He gave me my mother. He fell in love with my mom. She is exceptional. Talented, logical, and loving. My mother and I have had a bumpy ride, but we came out the other side. Today our relationship is stronger than ever.

Together they gave me my younger brother and sister. My Rocks. We share the same memories. We share moments that he was a part of. We have shared a life that he was an integral part of. My sister gave us a neice.

Earlier this year, my father-in-law left us. Such a  lovely man. So full of life, and joy. It was difficult to be around him and not smile or laugh. He loved to mock my American accent, introduce me to English foods. He would make jokes with his son, that only the two of them would get. He loved his wife and his children, and did for all of them.

Now, I get to help my husband through this diffcult time. Hold his hand, dry his tears and help him to move through the pain of missing his dad. Nothing can prepare you for the loss of a parent. My sister explained it best. We were a unit. Even though my parents were divorced, we were a unit, and now a piece of the unit is gone and it can’t be replaced. That is the best description.

I miss him every day. But I don’t cry every day now. Don’t get me wrong, I still have my “daddy days”, but they are fewer. Every once in a while, it hits me like a mack truck, and for a little while it’s the same as it was when we first left. But them I cry it out, and it’s okay for a while.

The mourning process never ends. That piece of you is missing. It will never be filled. Despite that, I carry him with me. I see him when I look in the mirror, or around my home. He is always in my heart. Thus, he is always with me.

I am so blessed to have had him for a father, and a best friend.

Advertisements

Flash by Barbara Morgenroth – REVIEW and GIVEAWAY- Around the Universe Book Tour


flashbooktourbanner2

BOOK SYNOPSIS:
She’s been pretending to be 18 for so long, it feels like the truth.
When the only way for 15 year old photographer, Kip Chanin, to earn a living is as paparazzi, she can’t say no. Kip’s first photo is of Alex Milne, the handsome and volatile young actor. That one photo changes both their lives. Kip finds herself challenged to be a better photographer, a better daughter and to be a better friend. For someone used to getting by on her own, this could be Kip’s biggest lesson. The second biggest–You do what you have to in Hollywood to survive
Book Link:

REVIEW:

I have to admit, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book when I received it, but then again, this is why I love doing reviews.  There are a lot of books I would never think of reading, but then they are handed to me and I have to read them to do a review.  This is one of those books that makes be grateful to be able to do this.  The characters are multi-dimensional, smart, funny, sharp, damaged, flawed and believable.  The book takes place in my home town, Los Angeles, and Barbara Morgenroth knows her geography.  She also knows her industry.

I was so engaged by the relationships in this story, I read it in one sitting, then immediately bought the second book… which I read last night.  And I hope there’s a third book coming out, because Barbara does like cliff hangers.  Having said that, I don’t mind cliff hangers and I LOVED this book!!  Kip is an independent, smart, talented girl and although at times she seems much older than she is, we understand why, but then the author shows us this glimpse of a  young girl and we are reminded, she’s not a gown up yet.  The agents are all totally accurate, the actors as well.  The book is like an onion that has layers and layers of story.  I guess i could go on, but this story is truly phenomenal and it is an unbelievable ride.  Hurry with Book 3 please!!

5 pink stars

AUTHOR BIO:
Barbara was born in New York City and but now lives somewhere else.  Starting her career by writing tweens and YA books, she wound up in television writing soap operas for some years.  Barbara then wrote a couple cookbooks and a nonfiction book on knitting.  She returned to fiction and wrote romantic comedies.
barbaramorgenrothpr
When digital publishing became a possibility, Barbara leaped at the opportunity and has never looked back.  In addition to the 15 traditionally published books she wrote, in digital format Barbara has something to appeal to almost every reader from Mature YAs like the Bad Apple series and the Flash series, to contemporary romances like Love in the Air published by Amazon/Montlake, and Unspeakably Desirable, Nothing Serious and Almost Breathing.
flash121312Flash will be available for $.99 for Kindle during the duration of the tour.  Go grab a copy you won’t be disappointed!!!
There is also a GIVEAWAY.  Enter for the chance to win an
eBook of Flash or a camera charm (shown below).  camerapendant
To enter the GIVEAWAY, please click on the link below:
Please follow the links below to follow the entire tour:

Here comes 2013… well, here it is…


It’s been a while since I’ve been here and for that I apologize, but I thought as it’s January 1, 2013, I would start again and decide to commit, despite the obstacles the universe will inevitably throw my way.  The past two years I have had quite a few obstacles.  Loss of my father and sister-in-law, my marriage, my job and my health… but even with all of this, I have gained much.  I was lucky to have both dad and KC in my life for as long as I did.  And although my marriage is over, the friendship my husband, David, and I have is stronger than ever, so really it’s just the restructuring of our relationship,which is wonderful, because we still care deeply for one another and are still each other’s biggest supporters. So as far as divorces go, ours is sad, but still amazing.  My job, well, it was just that, a job, although I did enjoy it and the people I worked with.  Typical issue, company got sold and new company was too far away, so I opted to look for new work, which is something I’m still doing and it turned out to be the best thing, because it turns out, other people needed me and I had I been working, I wouldn’t have been able to help them.  So, fingers crossed, I will find gainful employment in the next few months.  My health.  I have struggled with my weight for most of my life and it finally caught up to me in 2011, after I lost my dad and fell apart.  I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.  But I can buckle down when faced with a horrible thing (and was relieved to discover I did not have an enlarged heart – can’t make a heart shrink) and you can reverse Diabetes (especially Type 2) which I did, but my weight loss slowed and I once again have not endured to get healthy.  I’ve managed to keep the diabetes at bay, but I know I need to drop this excess baggage.

So, here I am and once again a new year begins and I’m asked about resolutions.  I’m not going to make them, but rather I’m going to pursue that which will propel me closer to my goals.  I need to set a schedule for my life.  Now, not so rigid I have no spontaneity, but rather a schedule to keep me from distractions and procrastinations.  A schedule to keep me honest and away from the TV.  A schedule to keep me writing and pursuing.  A schedule to keep me working on all that I’ve already achieved.  I no longer have only myself to write for, I have fans.  Now I have an obligation to them.  I have family and friends who depend on me, even though I know I need time for myself. I have to schedule my life to find balance.  But I feel in my soul that this is the time for me to find that.

The last two years were not only about obstacles and overcoming them, as well as seeing the positive in them, but it was also about discovering more about myself.  I have made new friends, who are so wonderful and supportive, and reconnected with friends I had lost touch with, and found that no time had passed at all.  I’ve jumped off the cliff and landed safely at the bottom.  I’ve discovered now… this year… it’s all about climbing back up… most likely so I can jump off again.  But I guess that’s what life is… it’s about taking chances and exposing yourself to the dangers and once you survive, it’s about the hard work, climbing back up, so you can do it all over again.  Yup, it’s all about that hard work, whether it’s writing or getting healthy or laughing when you’re sad or job hunting or just doing what needs to be done.  The hard work that when you’ve completed the journey makes you smile, no matter how tired or sore you are.  The hard work that you can take pride in.  So, I’d better settle in… I’ve got a long way to climb before 2014.

Back in Baja…One Year Later…


Dad 1Well, here I am back in Baja, just south of Ensenada in the beautiful country of Mexico.  I’m sitting in the same room and thinking about how it seems like only a moment ago I wrote a post called ” My Hero… My Dad…”  But it was a year ago… and many things have changed, as we would expect them too.  The obvious changes… although I miss my father every minute of every day, it doesn’t hurt as much as it used to… I do smile and laugh.  I wish he was here to talk to and laugh with, but I know he’s around.  I’m looking to the future and what it might hold… there’s my writing, not just here, but my novel (well, novels) and screenplays and stage plays.  I’m learning to write music too… so let’s add that to the mix.

Some friendships have changed, some stronger, some not so much.  I’ve made some new friends and they are pretty terrific.  Some friendships have just changed, but they are as strong as ever if not stronger.  My family relationships have all gotten so much stronger.  There really is nothing like a tragedy to bring people closer together.

I have a multitude of blessings.  People and memories to be thankful for… times that will be etched in my mind forever (knock on wood).  I’m healthier, happier and stronger, but the hole is still there.  I don’t think it will ever be filled, but I’m ok with that.  It belongs to my daddy… no one else.  He’s still my hero… still my best friend… so I smile as I pack up more of his stuff, cry when I hear music that reminds me how much I miss him and laugh as I remember all the wonderful times.

Baja will always be his place.  The place he loved and shared that love with anyone he could.  It’s the place I will one day share with my children, just like he shared it with me.  Ensenada, Estero and Cantu… the people, the culture, the food, the music.  There is no where like it on earth.  So, I’m here a year later.  It’s still beautiful, and I wish he were still here to share it with, but its still beautiful.

My Hero… my dad…


Ten days ago I walked into my dad’s house.  He was in his chair, napping as he does, but something told me he wasn’t just asleep.  I called out to him and said “Hey, Daddy, wake up, I’m here.”  But he didn’t move, so I called again, but nothing.  Then I  touched his cold hand and the back of his neck, tears running down my face as I yelled for him to wake up, but he didn’t.  I sat down next to him and sobbed, my hands shaking until I had the presence of mind to call for help.   The rest of the day was surreal and it didn’t help that it took hours for them to come and get him, because he looked like he was asleep.  I kept looking over at him and waiting for him to wake up, with that groggy look on his face, and then smile at me for catching him napping… but that never happened. He was gone.

 

Over the last ten hazy, sad, tear and laughter filled days, I’ve been remembering my life.  My daddy was my best friend, the first person I went to when I needed help and advice.  I talked to him almost everyday.  As the days go on, I realize that I haven’t talked to him since that last Thursday.  Joking and laughing about nothing in particular.  That’s the hardest part.  I can’t hear his voice, or hug him goodnight, or hear his laughter.  It hurts when I think about what I’ve lost.

When I was twelve-years-old, I was going to bed and my dad started to cry and he said “When we go to sleep, I really need to hear ‘I love you’, it’s really important.”  From that night on, I never ended a conversation or went to sleep without telling him that I loved him.  I was blessed to have him for eleven years longer than I should have, after strokes and congestive heart failure and I was blessed to be able to care for him last year, when he needed me most.  That was one of the best and scariest times of my life and I treasure it.

I’m not sad that he has gone on to be free of the body that had stopped letting him live the amazing life he had lived, or that he’s off on the next great adventure.  I’m sad for me.  Mourning isn’t about them being gone, it’s about us being left behind.  It’s not like I’m ready to go yet, but I’m still sad for me and for the children I have yet to mother, who will only know him through my stories like I knew his mother.

A day doesn’t go by that I can’t hear his words in my head about whatever is affecting me, always good advice, always with love.  I remember going bear hunting in the back yard at night (which never happened, because Pat would never go outside), Bigfoot hunting in the park (that time I wouldn’t go and Pat ran maniacally into the woods, totally unafraid), watching the Legend of Boggy Creek, learning to box (no, I do not hit like a girl, you better look out for my right cross), coaching my soccer team, my basketball team, having to stop taking me to my swim meets because I was more interested in seeing my daddy then diving first, hearing “Suck it up!” every time I got hurt (it made me stronger), learning about the magic of Monty Python, going to see Caddyshack and ET, being tickled till I couldn’t breathe, telling him he forgot to cook the meat when he gave a three-year-old Steak Tar Tar, then listing to him bitch as he made a burger out of $30 a lb gound steak, watching him dance with my mom when they still loved each other, going to USC football games and tailgating, watching Football at Highbury and drinking in Pubs, scaring the French kids at St. Paul’s (I actually scared them, dad just laughed), dancing with him at my wedding, sharing a love of SyFy channel movies, hanging in Vegas, going to breakfast at 2am… there are so many more and I think some I’ve forgotten that my brother and sister will remind me of in the years to come.

I have been so unbelievably lucky to have been the daughter of Michael Dearing and to have been his friend.  I hope you are happy and free, off exploring whatever the universe has in store for you next and know that wherever you are and whatever you do, not a minute goes by that you are not in my mind, my heart and my soul.  I love you, daddy… it’s been ten days.   I miss you.  I love you.  Always.

Dad and Shan 1968

New Horizons


Once again, here I am struggling to do something I love and have never done before.  A radio play.  For those of you unfamiliar with radio plays, they were television before there was a television.  Families would gather around their radios and listen in awe to the  air waves float into their living rooms, those strange voices that became familiar over time and wallow in the mystery and magic of storytelling in one of its purest forms, the radio play.

I was introduced to this world when I was twelve-years-old.  My father came home after work one day and after setting down his briefcase, he walked into the family room and told us to find a seat.  He turned off the TV… yes, I know, but he is the parent, so even though we were horrified, we sat quietly while he took several 8-track tapes from a bag.  Yes, 8-Tracks… yes, they were real… for those of you who are unfamiliar with 8-tracks, they were a form of tape (prior to CDs… even prior to cassette tapes) that people listened to and recorded on.  Well, as these were the popular format of the time, my father purchased 8-tracks, but I digress.  For on these big clunky tapes were the old-time radio shows my parents had listened to when they were kids, but I didn’t know this and listened attentively while my father explained.   He would sit and listen for hours to all of these tales.

Flash Gordon, Superman, The Shadow and my personal favorite that would start my long time love affair with radio… the horror compilation.  This tape consisted of one story each from the following: Lights Out!, Inner Sanctum, The Witch’s Tale and The Hermit’s Cave.  I fell in love!!  I would sit for hours in my dad’s chair and listen to this tape over and over.  I could see everything laid out in my mind and I was enthralled.

When I got older, I began to search out the shows.  It was an expensive endeavor as each cassette tape contained 2 shows.  Then I discovered Ebay and the ever wonderful MP3.  I know have over 400 different shows and I’m still not done.  But again, I digress.

My passion has now bridged over into the opportunity to do my own radio play, and in 2 days I will be listening with anyone else who wants to listen to my first (and hopefully, not last) radio play. And hopefully, somewhere out there, a twelve-year-old little girl will experience all the things I did when I heard my first radio play.

May wonder and excitement be her first kiss into a brand new world, and open up the new horizons it did for me.

http://blendradioandtv.com/Creative-Celebrations/The-Burial-Ground.htm