Stroke of Midnight

Everyday Musings, Short Story

2015 fireworksThe clock strikes 12. My body is present in the new 2015 celebrated in with champagne toasts and a freshly dropped ball in Times Square brought to my couch via television satellite magic. My mind has been teleported to 2012- “our first real date.” I had just returned back to where everything is bigger, eager to slip out of the blanket of panic I wore hours early due to a delayed flight and into a dress fit for the downtown festivities to come.

This would also be the first time I would be a part of the cliché ringing in the year in the arms of someone who loved you- or in our case, someone who was going to grow to love you. Although we didn’t symbolically kiss when the fireworks sounded, I was wrapped in your arms. The crowd around us was large, yet the moment still seemed personal, only interrupted when the rest of our friends joined up with us. Moments later, we rode the bus home with me asleep on your shoulder. The perfect ending.

Advertisements

A Walk of Faith to the Cartago Basilica

Everyday Musings, Short Story

Over a two week period, around two million people walked from their homes in Costa Rica to the Basílica de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles in Cartago. Once in Cartago they went down the aisle to the alter on their knees. One lady, who came from Nicaragua, carries a picture of her daughter who has passed away.

Ouch, was all I could think as a pain surged from my knees up through my thighs.  Like thousands of Ticos, I was crawling from the entrance of the Basílica de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles in Cartago, Costa Rica, to the alter.  I approximated that the journey was 100 yards total, and I myself had only inched my way a couple of feet.  The sensation from compressing my knees on the hard pavement told me to give up, but I could not disrespect the holy place in such a manner.  After all, I was surrounded by older people who had spent the entire morning walking to the basilica, and despite aches in their feet, still had the energy to finish the path. I, myself, had only taken the bus. Every time I stopped, I felt the lady dragging her baby in a stroller along with her run over my heels, urging me to move forward. Placing my agony aside, I progressed, remaining tranced in the atmosphere.

An Unusual Person in An Unusual Place

Everyday Musings, Short Story

The embassy threw a big Independence Day in San Jose, Costa Rica on July 4 for U.S. citizens and their guests. It was filled with patriotic music, information booths, carnival games, all you can eat hotdogs and bagels, and all you can drink beer, pepsi and water.

While browsing the veterans table a senior citizen caucasian male addressed me and asked where I was from. Without looking up I told him North Carolina. It’s a question I hear everyday, and I have been programmed to automatically spit out an answer. In his next breath he said, “Let me ask you a question, how do you feel about the word n****r.”

Starfish Stories: You Only Live Once so save who you can

Inspiration, Short Story

A young girl was walking along a beach upon which thousands of starfish had been washed up during a terrible storm. When she came to each starfish, she would pick it up, and throw it back into the ocean. People watched her with amusement. She had been doing this for some time when a man approached her and said, “Little girl, why are you doing this? Look at this beach! You can’t save all these starfish. You can’t begin to make a difference!” The girl seemed crushed, suddenly deflated. But after a few moments, she bent down, picked up another starfish, and hurled it as far as she could into the ocean. Then she looked up at the man and replied, “Well, I made a difference to that one!” The old man looked at the girl inquisitively and thought about what she had done and said. Inspired, he joined the little girl in throwing starfish back into the sea. Soon others joined, and all the starfish were saved. – adapted from the Star Thrower by Loren C. Eiseley

I remember my first interaction with Tom*.  Our shadowing period had ended, and I was assigned to his class.  He sat, not disrupting anyone, but not doing his work.  I pulled my chair beside him and coerced him into completing his warm-up.  As Tom wrote on the prompt for the day, he began to open up to me about his academic situation.  “Miss,” he began, “I’ve already did this before.  This is my second time in the 7th Grade, but they said if I pass all my classes, they will skip me up to the 8th.”

I listened intently.  This was not an uncommon story.  A lot of my students are overage, and profess the desire to buckle down, turn over a new leaf, and undo the stigma of them being unsuccessful.  I went through my usual questions.  Tom’s reasons for his lack of committal to his studies ranged from the work being hard and unrelated to life to the work being boring and undesirable to finish.

My mind fashioned an idea.  I gave him a sheet of paper and told him to list everything that was holding him back.  “Man that will take too much time and paper,” he exclaimed.  “So be it,” I answered. “ Just try.”  He wrote until he exhausted the topic.  At this point, I took the paper, crumpled it up, and threw it in the trash.  With a stern look, I gazed into his eyes and stated, “Now that all your excuses are gone, you can move forward.”

I still hear your voice…

Everyday Musings, Inspiration, Short Story

I still hear your voice.

You’re presence whispers in the little things I do. No big memories, its the little things that matter.

Your omnipresence is so surreal. In the bathroom, as I splash water and it drips down my face, I am reminded of nights I spent at your house. “My second home.” My free space.

As I move to the kitchen, I recall your ubiquitous cookbooks and complex spice racks.  My experimental place where I first baked a cake. Mmmmm good times…

Your memory never escapes me.

I remember our “family” get togethers at my place. Mom made her famous Kool-aid punch, you always brought the smoked meats.

Now you’re the second of our family to be gone. The first was my sister gone too soon. Now you, my other mom. Both of you claimed by diseases that we spend thousands on reasearch for but no man can cure.

CANCER YOU GOT A GOOD ONE!

Who would have known this would have been our last summer together.

I took seeing you in the hospital for granted. I never like those places. No matter how friendly the staff- the smell, doors and people suffering puts my stomach in pretzel knots. Nausea surfaces into my throat each time.

But sometimes life makes you do things you don’t want. I wanted to support my mom, your most faithful visitor, and you were there. So I went.

God’s Got Your Back: An Inspirational Story about Triumph

Short Story

I remember it like it was yesterday.  I was a sophomore in college, making good grades, not getting into trouble, but still having fun.  I was living the life… if you catch my drift!  To put the icing on the cake, I was in love! Not that puppy type love those Bow Wow, Justin Beiber and Lil twist types sing about, but real love!  He was my one and only, and I his (at least that’s what he told me).

I can remember the day we professed our love.  It was a cool September 3.  We spent the night together and I woke up glowing all over and feeling complete.  A few weeks later, I began to get sick. Pain shot from every crevice of my body. It felt like my body was working against me, and I knew I needed professional help.  So off to the doctor I went.