Thinking about Kobe

It seems like the whole world is in shock since Kobe Bryant and his thirteen-year-old daughter Gianna were killed in a helicopter crash this past Sunday. I certainly am. He was an inspiration on and off the court for many people around the globe. And we are left devastated after his sudden and tragic death. But not only that, it has brought so much sadness up for me since I experienced firsthand the loss of my son, Paul. Of course, that’s not the same as Kobe’s wife Vanessa’s loss. She lost her husband and her daughter – they always say it can be worse, something I’ve never wanted to believe. It seems like I gravitate to those who have suffered horrible losses – like Chris Erskine, a LA Times columnist who lost his wife and his son in the past couple of years. And today I read an article by another LA Times staff writer, Sandy Banks, whose column this week is about the loss of her husband twenty-six years ago, leaving her and their three little girls. One thing that popped out … [Read more...]

Public Speaking – a new career?

This past Saturday morning I spoke at a meeting of our local chapter of the American Association of University Women (AAUW). And as usual, after all my stressing about it and worry that I would totally mess up, my talk went very well. I was on stage for forty-five minutes speaking about my writing background, local organizations that provide mental illness and suicide prevention help, how I used writing to get me through the grief of losing a son to suicide, and how I created my memoir, Leaving the Hall Light On from my journals, poetry manuscript, and writing workshop pieces. I also read two prose pieces and two poems from the book. I never thought I could hold forth for so long. In fact, when the program chairperson called to set up my presentation we decided to give the group a writing exercise if I didn't have enough to say in the time I was allotted. Although I had my cheat sheets in front of me and just needed to glance down on them from time to time to make sure I was … [Read more...]