Tuesday, February 8, 2011

February 8, 2011 - Lots and lots of rain

They say when it rains, it pours, and lately there’s been a heavy downpour in these parts. I know that life is all about attitude, and how you look at things can make or break how you live your life. Looking at things from a positive perspective can work wonders for the happiness in your life, but sometimes it’s hard to look at things with a positive spin, especially when they involve the actions or circumstances surrounding other people that you have no control of. Here are some of the things that have been happening lately where I’m finding it hard to be upbeat:

Dena Bolton

This afternoon while I was on a break from work, I checked my email and found a message from a fellow writer and friend. All the message said was “Sad news John” and it came with an URL to a posting on the YCN forums. The first post in the thread reported some sad and shocking news about a fellow writer, Dena Bolton. The message read:

“I just got news that Dena Bolton is dying. Dena had been complaining of fatigue and not feeling well for the last two months and her doctors said it was depression and arthritis. The pain was so intense her husband brought her back to the hospital on Jan 31st.

She has cancer throughout her body. Her kidneys are failing and the doctors say there is nothing they can do for her. Dena can no longer speak, and hospice has been called in. They are saying she has a few days at most. If you're a praying person, please pray for Dena and her family as they go through this most difficult time.”

It’s hard to hear this type of news about anyone, even a stranger. I’ve known Dena for quite some time as both a fellow writer for Associated Content from Yahoo and a friend on Facebook. She writes pieces on all sorts of things that interest her, such as Tennessee Titans football, recipes, poetry, personal memoirs, and especially a lot of helpful articles about gardening. Though I didn’t know her too well, personally, I do know that she is around my age, which is way too young to have such a thing happen to her.

Another friend posted her favorite article by Dena earlier, which I read and enjoyed. It’s called “My Best Christmas Ever” and it’s a heartwarming story that captures the type of person and writer she is. You can read it here.

This terrible news brings me back to a little over a year ago when I found out (months later) that another fellow writer and friend, Betty Malone, had passed suddenly and without warning. I knew Betty much more intimately than I do Dena, and the news of her passing was a terrible thing to hear. Her death moved me so much that I penned a tribute to her. Please read Betty Malone: A Belated Tribute to a Member of the Family to learn more about this wonderful human being who I had the pleasure to share this world with.

In this day and age, technology has indeed become a great link for people far and wide. I am amazed at some of the wonderful and talented people I’ve met and befriended through cyberspace. The friendships I’ve developed with some of them have been among the most genuine friendships I carry and when they suffer, I share their pain. If you are someone who prays, please do so for Dena and her family at this time. They sure could use it!


When I came home from work today I received a Valentine’s Day card in the mail (my one and only!). It was from my mom. It was a cute card. The front of it read, “Son, sometimes when I look at you, it’s hard to believe that you’ve grown into such a warm, loving, wonderful man.” I know she meant those words.

The inside of the card got cute, following with “Then I remember-hey! Look who raised you! Happy Valentine’s Day! Love, Mom.” After her salutation, she wrote in her beautiful handwriting, “I’m always available to listen.” I knew what that meant. My mom was worried about me and she was using the occasion to reach out to me.

I called her later on this evening. It’s been over a week since I’d spoken to her last and even after reading the card, I made the call with trepidation. You see, ever since my dad passed away a couple of years ago, things have changed between us, and not in a good way. I could write several pages on hers and my relationship, but all I’ll say is that we’ve had some extreme ups and downs over the past two years.

Upon answering the phone, I could immediately tell that something was on her mind. We made some uncomfortable small talk before I finally asked her what was wrong. She told me that our relationship was troubling her, and that there was a tension between us that she didn’t understand. I knew exactly what she was talking about.

For the past several months, it would seem that I have changed in many ways. I’ve been reminded of that on occasion by my friends, coworkers and family. Deep down inside, I know that they’re right, but I’m not sure exactly how or why I have changed. I just know that I’ve been very frustrated with my life over the past several years and I’ve turned inward to deal with my problems where I hadn’t before. The situation was magnified by my recent experiences, when I kept everything inside and stayed away from those around me who care.

It’s obvious that there’s a lot that needs to be worked out, but I’m trying. I told my mom that this recent distance had nothing to do with her, and that was the truth. I haven’t sought any solace in anyone over the past several weeks and I’m dealing with my issues in my own way. There’s no affront to my mom or my friends or anyone else for that matter. I just feel that in time, as I get over this hurt I’m feeling and get on with my move and my life, things will work out. I just have to keep moving…

Me and mom

A Different Kind of Hurt

I know I’ve said that I wouldn’t speak of anything to do with him much more, but at the moment he’s on my mind and doing so helps me to get through this. The hurt I’m experiencing right now is much different than before. I’ve had a lot of time to think about how things had been during the two or so weeks we had reconnected and I only wish my mindset now was present back then.

I visited a friend this evening for a cup of coffee and this was one of the things we talked about. I spoke of the mess leading up to the Robyn concert and an ensuing email I sent him afterwards that was never answered.

“The writing’s on the wall,” my friend said to me.

At first I wasn’t sure what he meant by that, but after I got home I thought about it. Sending that email was yet another stupid move on my part, and I should have known better. It was late and I was tired and thinking of him, but I wasn’t realizing the severity of his words the day before. The earlier email I had sent was the final straw for him, and I have no one to blame but myself. I should have known that the things I said were maddening to him and lead him to answer with vitriol and dismissal. I didn’t receive that message until I didn’t get a response to the email.

Yes, the writing is on the wall and I have to live with that. I just find it so sad that it had to end this way. After the good times and tenderness we shared, I hate to think of him thinking back on me with unpleasant thoughts and I hate to have to think back on the same things with nothing but sadness and regret. But what’s past is past and I cannot undo anything that’s been said or done. Like I said before, I just have to keep moving…

These are but a few of the things troubling me today. Other family and personal issues continue to occupy my mind and I find myself getting less and less sleep. As they also say, with each day comes fresh hope, and I can only hope that tomorrow will be better than today! Thanks for reading!

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