My Daddy – Things I remember


It’s been just over five years since my dad left us, and as Father’s Day approaches (and I am feeling the hole in my heart grow just a little) I have been thinking about the past. Those days filled with laughter and adventure, and I remember how lucky I was that for over forty years, I got to have him with me. That I got to have Michael A. Dearing as my father.

I remember him teaching us to play football, how to box. I remember 4th of July sitting on the roof and watching fireworks. I remember being tossed into the deep end of the pool, then swimming back to his arms and begging to be thrown again. And he did it again and again. Backyard Bear hunts and Big Foot Adventures in the park. Running from the Goose on the Westlake Gold Course. I hated that goose!

I remember being tickled and dog piled on. I remember watching TV, eating popcorn, stealing Cheetos from his plate, which was met with total disdain. I remember seeing him couched on the floor hugging and kissing my dog when he thought no one was watching. The Dearing Roll, weeding, BBQs in the backyard. RV shows and Greek Festivals.

I remember eating at new restaurants, driving around Ensenada, watching USC football. making new friends, taking my friends to visit every summer. I remember him walking through a room and everyone watching him. He could hold everyone’s attention and mesmerize people. I know I got my ability to tell stories from him. he was a Great storyteller.

I remember all the times he took care of me, and that one time I got to return the favor and take of him. Even when the power went out for 4 days after that huge storm in Cantu. I read to him from the Chronicles of Crime by candlelight, and we laughed (don’t judge until you’ve read it yourself – Magic!) and we would watch a few episodes of Harper’s Island on the laptop.  And he got better for a little while. But you can only hold off the inevitable for so long.

And that beautiful soul left us a year later. Your exit was peaceful and everything we hope for it to be. But you’re gone and we are left with a piece of us missing. That’s was true love does. It takes a piece of you with it when it leaves.

Life is short. Don’t waste it. Tell the people you love, how much you love them. Don’t hesitate to share stories, and see your family and friends. Tomorrow is never promised. And for those of you who still have your daddies, please hug them, and tell them you love them, and laugh and make memories, so that you can remember all the glorious days you’ve spent together.

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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.

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


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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.
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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:

TWIST Reviews – One Story at a Time – Bloodlines by S.L. Dearing


Disclaimer: These reviews pertain to stories in the anthology – Paranormal Anthology with a TWIST.  I have a story in this book (Bloodlines – I won’t be reviewing my story ;), so many feel that I cannot objectively review other stories in the same book I am also featured in… that being said, to each their own, I know my own level of integrity.  Thus, people can choose to believe me or not.  I want to review them and give my opinion… so I am.

Paranormal Anthology with a TWIST

Synopsis: When two children witness the abduction of their mother by the Gestapo, they are whisked away to France, where in the safety of the forest, they discover who they really are…

Review: Nope!! This is my story, the one I won’t review… well, because it’s mine and I already know how I feel about it.  I love it, but I’m biased.  So instead, I have put an Excerpt below.  Hope you enjoy… and maybe want to know how it ends 😉

Bloodlines

“I didn’t ask you to find just any children, Lieutenant Henke! I want those children! Idiot!”

The SS officer bowed his head, clicking the heels of his black boots together.

“My apologies, General. I was led to believe these children would be taken to Birkenau at Doctor Mengele’s request… for the Twins project.”

The SS General looked at the young lieutenant with disdain. The fair-haired Aryan youth was rising in the ranks of the SS due only to his fanatical obsession with the Fuhrer and the influence of his father. The lines around General Heinrich Muller’s mouth deepened. Idiots…everywhere.

“It is not your concern why I want these children… just find them! These specific children! And when you do, you will come and tell me and I will retrieve them! Do you remember the names I gave you?”

“Yes, General! Sascha and Eduard Engel!”

“Good… then locate them immediately and return to me and me only. Now Go!”

The lieutenant nodded and raised his arm.

“Sieg Heil!”

Muller raised his arm and clicked his heels together.

“Sieg Heil!”

Lt. Fritz Henke lowered his arm and turned, promptly walking towards the giant, black oak doors. He opened them and exited, then spun around and closed them behind him.

Muller pushed his chair away from his desk and stood up. He walked over to the window and looked out at the dark streets of Berlin, watching the rain fall hard and fast on the unhappy passersby. The Master’s plan was almost complete. The Chosen were being eradicated from the planet and the sheep were following the puppet. The only thing left to do was to find the children. His face twisted into a grimace, his blood pumping furiously to his brain as he clenched his hand into a fist. He had been so close before, but that bitch wouldn’t tell him anything. They had somehow gotten the children to a new location. He began to sneer. He would find them… and when he did, no one would be able to save them.

The bright light of the moon shone through the little window above the bed of Sascha and Eduard Engel, illuminating the tiny room where they slept. Eduard breathed deeply, lost in the world of sleep as his sister lay quietly next to him. She stared at the sky through the glass, the tiny flakes of snow gently falling from heaven. She twirled an oval, bronze pendant in her fingers and smiled. She remembered her mother. Her mama had always told her that snow was God’s way of sending little pieces of heaven to his people on earth so they would remember Him. Sascha missed her. ~~~

Well, there you have a snippet of my story… unfortunately, if you want more (which I hope you do – Please…) you have to get the book. 🙂  If you’re interested in any of my other writings, they are below.  Nothing like a little shameless plug, right?  Thanks… one more TWIST review to go!!!

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S. L. Dearing was raised in California and grew up in Arizona. Shannon attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, studying biology, then moved to Los Angeles where she spent several years studying at Los Angeles City College’s renowned Television/ Film program. She has worked on several film projects in many capacities, like First A.D. and Producer. She is a book reviewer for the Big Blend Magazine and has her own blog where she posts about life and books. Shannon has been writing since grade school, but over the years she has written several screenplays, poems and short stories. The Gathering is her first novel. Shannon currently lives in the No Ho Arts District of the San Fernando Valley of Southern California.

Follow Shannon Website: http://www.sldearing.com

Amazon Autor Page: http://www.amazon.com/S.-L.-Dearing/e/B00AWIC4JK

More Changes…


My life is all about change and my difficulty accepting it… don’t get me wrong, I’m so much better than I used to be, but I know I still have short comings.  I get stressed out sometimes when everything is in upheaval (like now, we’re getting a new fridge… organized chaos at the moment – how’s that for an oxymoron?)

First change, my job will be ending soon, the company I’ve worked for the last eight years was sold, so it’s take over time.  The new company seems fine, but their offices are too far to commute and gas prices being the way they are, well…  Don’t worry, it’s a good thing, I know this.  It’s a little scary, but I’ve got a plan… or two, so no worries about that.  After all, it’ll give me time to write, time to market my novel, time to travel… it’s all ok.

One of the most significant relationships of my life is also changing… not ending, but changing.  It’s also sad and scary, but I know it’s the right path for both of us.  I know that we’ll always be there for each other and that we’ll still hang out and share each other’s lives, just not in the same way.  I hope he knows how much he means to me and how I wouldn’t have changed a thing, that I would choose him all over again, even if I knew the outcome would lead to now.   Our love has changed, but it’s still there and now we have to change with it.

Late last year I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.  It was ok, because I was terrified I might have an enlarged heart.  You can’t fix an enlarged heart, but you can fix Type 2.  My diabetes was caused by my weight (which is… well, I’m a big girl).  An over abundance of cortisol due to excessive adipose tissue and eventually a tolerance to insulin, causing the pancreas to over produce the hormone until the body becomes so resistant that it just doesn’t produce it anymore… diabetes.  I caught mine early and although I was technically diabetic, I was still producing.  Good news, through diet and exercise and a great doctor who stayed on me and still does, I’ve reversed my diabetes.  I’m still on the long road to getting healthy, but I’m taking it day by day.  It’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks, and this dog is no exception.  But again, I am trying and detirmined to shed the pounds and all that goes with it.

The most significant change was losing my dad last year.  My best friend, my mentor, my hero.  That one turned my world upside down, but like the Black Pearl, even when I was upside down, I eventually found myself upright again.  It’s hard to focus sometimes, but I’ve been working on some projects that are getting me back on track.

Change comes to us all and every moment I am learning to embrace it, no matter how painful or sad or frightening it might be.  It can only make me a better person, teach me more about myself and help me grow and learn.  Time here is short.  We all need to make it the best time we can… and embrace the change.

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