Tag Archives: library

Me, Myself and March

1 Mar

I know, kind of a weird title, don’t you think? But in my defense it’s about the month of March and how busy it’ll be for me. So, it is about me, myself and March.

The month starts with a great tradition we Romanian people have, called Martisor.

martisor

We celebrate for 8 days (cool tradition, huh?), from March 1st until March 8th which is our national Mother’s Day. Women wear these trinkets for the entire month, reminding us of spring knocking on our doors, but also who loves us (we receive the trinkets from boyfriends/husbands/fathers, etc).

I have to admit I don’t really celebrate Martisor anymore since I moved to the US, but Mom is still visiting so we plan on getting together with my oldest sister and my cousin for a little party. We need this since mom is leaving on March 5th. We spent the past 6 months together talking our heads off until late at night, laughing, crying, soaking in the sun, and our bond became so strong, so intense, so deep unlike any other relationship. Mom, I will be missing you like crazy!

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My friend Tina along with her lovely hubby John is visiting until March 6th. They are from New Jersey and contemplate moving to AZ. I say: pack and come faster! If you love sun 365 days a year, a relaxed and laid back atmosphere, and not too crazy traffic then AZ is the place to leave.

March 14th I’m leaving for the Festival of Books held  at Univ. of Arizona in Tucson, AZ.

festival1

Between March 15-16 from 9:30am and 5:30pm you’ll find me in booth 107 along with some of my favorite authors: Kris Tualla, Morgan Kearns, Deena Remiel, Mimi Sebastian, Virginia Nelson to name a few, and many, many more. This is an incredible opportunity for you, your family and your friends to buy books at incredible affordable prices, receive swag, bookmarks and participate in countless giveaways.

March 17th I’m participating in the Toastmasters Tall Tales Contest at the district level. I won the club’s contest with a story about how I grew up in the land of Dracula. And yes, I lived among vampires.

March 21st I will be teaching a workshop about the importance of a critique group during the process of writing. The workshop will be held at Dog-Eared Pages a fantastic library in Phoenix you MUST check it out. I’ll start promptly at 5:30pm for an hour log presentation followed for Q&A. If you want an autographed book then don’t miss out on this event. I have a really nice pen I’ll be using 😉

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Address:

Dog-Eared Pages Used Books 

16428 N. 32nd Street 

Phoenix, Arizona 85032 

I look forward to Natalie and Caleb’s wedding on March 28th. Can’t wait for these two to tie the knot, two beautiful and incredible individuals who I’ve known for a couple of years now, ready to start on their together journey through marriage, family and love.

This pretty much wraps my March so far. I haven’t mentioned my Toastmasters Club meetings every Thursday starting at 6:30pm. I try to make it to all of them, but then again life gets in the way and I miss a few. I still struggle with my fear of public speaking but I can see a big difference in my attitude since joining it. If you like me fear public speaking I encourage you to find a Toastmasters Club near you and join it. It really helps, promise. 

I also didn’t mention my nephew’s surgery, which is scheduled on the same day as my mom’s departure, March 5th. Talk about bad timing. He’s been in the hospital on and off since September of last year until December 18th when the doctors removed his colon (mind you he is only 19yr. old). This will be his second surgery, with one more to go until he will finally function normal.

I rarely get so personal on my blog, usually keeping my family’s affairs out of it, but I think it’s important for you all to know that as a writer we don’t stop being someone’s child, someone’s cousin, sibling, friend, co-worker, parent, spouse and the list can continue. We don’t stop cooking, doing laundry, taking out pet to a grooming appointment, watching a movie or going on a date with our partners. We do all of the above. And then some more when our imaginary friends talk to us, one story at the time.

The green blanket

25 Feb

Death scares me. Dead bodies scare me, a scare I’ve been living with ever since I saw my grandpa in a coffin. I was twelve at the time and still remember his stench, his body still, and decay distorting his face in ways for years I kept dreaming of.

The other day as I drank a cup of burnt coffee in the waiting room outside my nephew’s hospital room, a family walked in. From the conversation they had I understood that the older, limping woman just lost her husband. Her daughter and son held on both sides as she sat across the room, diagonally from me. I didn’t mean to eavesdrop, but being just them and myself in the room, crumbs of the conversation reached my hearing.

“You need to take better care of yourself, Mom,” the daughter sniffled.

“I will.” The woman sighed, looking down at her bony hands resting on her lap.

“You need to get out of the house, do something,” the son added.

The woman didn’t respond right away, staring at her fingernails as if she saw them for the first time. After a long exhale she said, “All these years, I’ve taken care of your father. I’ve stood by his side . . . Now he’s gone and I can live again. Maybe I’ll get that garden going. Maybe the library takes me back for volunteering. I have so many books I want to read. Or maybe I’ll travel. There are so many places I want to see . . . Or maybe I’ll have my hip replaced . . .”

“The pastor is here,” a hospital employee announced and the family followed her.

I remained in the waiting room, thinking about the widow, about the family left behind and how they coped with their loss. To the worries about my nephew’s life, somehow sadness snuck inside me. Hospitals—unless when a baby is born—aren’t happy places, and if I never step inside one, I won’t miss it.

I got up and stretched, walking down the hallway, my mind all over the place and nowhere in particular. I stopped at my nephew’s door to listen if he was awake, but he wasn’t, and so I continued my walk.

Patient’s rooms marked one side of the long hallway. Above some doors a red light signaled the occupant needed help. Nurses in colorful scrubs walked in an out, with either trays with meds or syringes peaking from their breast pockets. The other side of the hallway was reserved for offices some closed some open. Further down double glass doors lead to the ICU.

I turned to look at the ICU doors opening with a clicking sound. A nurse pushed a bed, a green blanket stretching over the entire bed. Underneath the blanket laid an obvious form of a body.

I froze in place, the memory of my dead grandpa flashing before me eyes. Walking right by me the nurse pushed the dead body, an emotionless smile plastered on her lips. She was doing nothing but her job, a job like any other job.

For a moment the urge to run strangled me, but fear crippled me, rooting me in that very spot. My own eyes refused to look elsewhere but at the motionless form beneath the green blanket. Feet, legs, protruding belly, shoulders, head, nose . . .

Life has never seemed so fleeting and fragile. One minute you’re here, the next gone. One minute you make plans, build memories, a family, love and work, and just as quick you become nothing more than an empty vessel covered with a green blanket.

I’m still here. Breathing, blinking, walking. And I’m still scared of death. I know it’s natural, irrevocable and part of the circle of life.

No one knows when we are sentenced to go, me included. But what I do know is that I want to live, feel every breath I take, every heartbeat, every tear and smile. Build a different kind of garden; read books, travel, work out, spend time with my parents. Go to happy hour with my girlfriends. Go on dates with my husband. Fall asleep resting on his shoulder. Watch Smallville with my son. See him become the man I raised him to be.

Because after all, life is fleeting and fragile.