Forty-three years

My husband Bob and I are married forty-three years today. I'd say it is a miracle considering all the nay sayers at the time we said, "I do." My parents were openly hostile to our getting married since my husband was not our same religion. Don't I look a little up tight at the scene - a judges chamber? Since we had both been married before, we had a tiny wedding - about ten witnesses at the ceremony and for dinner at a local restaurant afterward. But that didn't matter to us. We were confident about what we were doing. And that has never changed even though we experienced the greatest loss any mother and father can have - the death of a child. Yet now we still can laugh out loud at all those folks who predicted our marriage would never last. I wrote the following poem after forty years. It's included in my memoir, Leaving the Hall Light On.   Forty Years (now forty-three)   He folds her in his arms and looks down at her with his deep blue eyes and a small, … [Read more...]

Please welcome Eleanor Vincent, author of Swimming with Maya

I first met Eleanor Vincent, memoirist, essayist, and award winning author, in a writing workshop at Esalen in Big Sur California. It was in December 1999, four months after my son Paul took his life. While I was just getting my writing fingers moving again. Eleanor was already writing the first parts of her wonderful memoir, Swimming with Maya: A Mother’s Story. We have been friends ever since. And I am so pleased that Swimming with Maya was just re-released in paperback and eBook by my publisher, Dream of Things, this past February. Join me in welcoming Eleanor Vincent to Choices as she discusses her life since Maya died, the writing of Swimming with Maya, her writing work now, and some of her favorite books, authors, and things to do on a Sunday afternoon. MS: You have experienced one of life’s greatest tragedies. How can people who have experienced a personal tragedy find peace and meaning in daily life? EV: I think it’s different for everyone, but in general t … [Read more...]

Thoughts about Casey Anthony

Casey Anthony I didn’t follow the trial. I hardly knew any details until the verdicts came in yesterday, so I can’t and won’t comment about whether I think she is innocent or guilty. Who am I to have an opinion about that? Besides that's been decided already. What I do know is that Casey Anthony ended up with a dead child. I know what that feels like because I also had a child who died. It is a parent’s worst nightmare. What I’ve seen in the news since the verdict is not one bit of sympathy for Casey Anthony because of that. I find that curious and cruel. This woman has lost everything and probably herself as well. This woman hasn’t even had a chance to grieve for this child. Isn’t it about time we let her alone to do that? The media must stop trying cases outside the courtroom and get a little compassion. … [Read more...]

WOW blog tour stop No. 6

Today I'm the guest of Linda Neas and her blog: Words from the Heart Linda says, Words from the Heart are powerful. Words, when connected to Spirit, heal, bring hope, connect us to the world. Words nurture dreams into a reality. Words from the Heart bring Peace. And these are my sentiments exactly. Please read my post How to Survive the Death of A Child   at: http://contemplativeed.blogspot.com/2011/06/how-to-survive-death-of-child.html About Linda M. Rhinehart Neas, M.Ed: Member: National Writers' Union (NWU) Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) National Association of Multicultural Educators (NAME) Latest book: Gogo's Dream: Swaziland Discovered Please help the orphans of HIV/AIDS in Swaziland... All profits from book sales go to Possible Dreams International Also see my memoir featured on bookhashtags.com today! … [Read more...]

My Jazzman

A young man whom Paul roomed with on Suffolk Street in downtown Manhattan contacted me today. And though his email is most welcome, it made me think of My Jazzman even more. My jazzman beat it out on the mighty eighty-eights, played those riffs, tapped his feet bent his head down to the keys, felt those sounds on his fingertips. Yeah, he was a hot man on those eighty-eights. But all too soon his bag grew dark. He went down, deep down. My jazzman played the blues, lost that spark, closed the lid. And, yeah, you got it right, quit the scene. laid himself down in that bone yard for the big sleep. Yeah, for the really big sleep. … [Read more...]

Don’t go there. You don’t need to imagine it.

When people want to know the details about my son's death, I try to avoid specifics; not to protect myself, I already know all the gory details. No, I want to protect the asker, especially if he or she has children. I want to protect imaginations from going to a place where they have no reason or need to be. People can’t help asking these questions. They feel their interest is comforting to me, but I find it more of a burden. The tables get turned, and I feel the need to comfort them. It’s happened over and over. When they say they just can’t imagine losing a child, let alone losing one the way I lost mine, I say, “Don’t go there. You don’t need to imagine it.” I love Anne Lamott's books. And she's a great public speaker as well. That's why I decided to use a quote from her book, Operating Instructions (Anchor Books, 1995), to start off my memoir, Leaving the Hall Light On http://www.LuckyPress.com/madelinesharples.html. The death of a child is a parent's worst nightmar … [Read more...]