Things I Like Thursdays – My Writing Bracelet

I keep this on my lap desk when I’m writing.

I bought the purple “A writer is a world TRAPPED in a person” bracelet from an artist on Etsy somewhere around the beginning of the lockdown, when I’d decided to pick up an old half-finished story and work on it again.  Since then, I finished another story and now I’m two or three scenes away from completing a novella.

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Lessons in Grief – Part 3

Fulfilling Final Wishes

At the hospital the night before The Mom passed away, she asked that she be buried with a particular ring that she’d left in her apartment.  Two years before that, she’d asked that a postcard I sent her from a visit The Husband and I made to NASA also be buried with her but when I asked her that night where it was, she didn’t have any recollection of it.  She was pretty out of it by then.

When we got to her apartment, The Husband found the ring, a circle of calla lilies entwined with the word Jesus, on her nightstand.  I stored it in a small box in my purse for the trip to the funeral home.

The day after she passed, as I started the sad task of cleaning out her apartment, I came across this magnet on her fridge:

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Things I Like Thursday – Under The Desk News

There isn’t much to like today, after the mass shooting in Texas on Tuesday, with all its attendant finger pointing and political BS.  Some days, just making it through one day and into the next is just so fucking hard.  Some days, all our hopes and dreams seem so insignificant and impossible to care about.

But I digress.

Or do I?

I recently discovered an Instagram account called Under the Desk News.  I probably came to it from Alexandra Billings’ account. 

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Lessons in Grief, Part 2

A Place to Visit

Up until my mother, Shirley Chester, died and was buried in the Boston area, I never really understood visiting graves.  I wasn’t compelled in any way to go look at headstones with names and dates that would just end up making me sad.  Maybe it’s because I know that’s just a physical place where their body resides but their spirit is beyond that rectangle of earth.  Since I believe that they’re still around, in a mysterious form somewhere beyond the mortal consciousness, I preferred to “pay my respects” by just talking to them and telling them how much I miss them.

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Things I Like Thursday – Christmas Movies

Last week was a Hanukkah recommendation, this week it’s Christmas!

2 reasons:

  1. I’ve just needed some Feel Good/Happy Endings stories
  2. I’m writing a Christmas romance and I guess the holidays are on my mind.

First up, Single All the Way, the first gay Christmas movie produced by Netflix, starring Michael Urie and Philemon Chambers.  It’s a friends to lovers trope with a bit of love triangle thrown in as tension. 

Peter loves his family in New Hampshire but the thought of going home single again drives him to extremes—he talks his BFF and roommate, Nick, into posing as his lover.  When that ruse quickly falls apart, mom fixes him up with her hunky trainer, James.  In typical romance fashion, wires get crossed, feelings get hurt and they all live happily ever after.

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Happy First Heavenly Birthday, Ma!

My mother would have been 88 today. 

I took the day off and streamed the first few episodes of the last season of Grace and Frankie, because we both loved it and she didn’t get to see this final season. 

At one point, I was thinking about birthdays past and how it got harder over the years to come up with presents for her.  As she lost more of her sight and mobility and the list of things she could eat got smaller and smaller, the defaults became DVD’s, books on CD and jewelry I made for her.

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Things I Like Thursday – The Matzah Ball by Jean Meltzer

So, I’m either late or really early for holiday reads but who cares.  I loved this rom-com about a Jewish writer of Christmas rom-coms whose life turns into a rom-com when she’s pressured into writing a Hanukkah rom-com. 

Rachel Rubenstein-Goldblatt is hiding her Christmas stories from her parents and her chronic fatigue syndrome from the world.  Jacob Greenberg runs a multi-million-dollar event business in Paris that masks his fear of abandonment.  They broke each other’s 12-year-old hearts at a Jewish summer camp 18 years before and have been archenemies ever since.

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Balancing Act

Anyone else having issues balancing their financial life in relation to their advancing age?

Making decisions lately has taken on a very different type of calculation, one that includes the question, should we save or should we spend.  If we spend money now, are we taking away from money we’ll need in 5, 10, 15 years or, Lord willing, beyond?  And if we don’t spend it now, will we regret not spending it later?

For instance, after making the decision that, barring a stunning lottery win, we’d be aging in place in our current home, we’ve been having a little work done.  But do we fix only the immediate needs and let the small stuff slide?  Balancing today against tomorrow, what if we need the money spent on a luxury today for necessities tomorrow?

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Things I Like Thursday – The Mom’s National Park Passport Book

As I was cleaning out The Mom’s apartment after she passed, I found lots of things that warmed my heart, made me laugh and made me cry.  But one of the most special things I came across was her National Parks passport book.  She loved the National Parks and visited as many as she could, usually with organized tours. 

Flipping through the pages, seeing all the stamps that represented trips and locations that she got to see, it just made me so damn happy.  I brought it back across country in my purse and now it lives in a box of precious items to be grabbed in case of evacuation (living in Cali, you need a designated box or two in case of earthquake, fire, flood).

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Lessons in Grief, Part 1

It’s been a while since I’ve written. 

My mother passed away March 6. 

Grief keeps its own schedule:

Not showing up when expected, like when I ordered the date to be carved into the headstone she shares with my grandparents.

Visiting at odd times, like when I tried to deal with a check written in her name.

But always at one o’clock on Saturdays, the time I used to call her every week.

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