Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A Visit to the Blue Hole

I haven't seen my brother in 20 years. 
In the wake of Mom's unexpected death, he moved to the mountains in Tennessee and I moved to the island of Puerto Rico. It's common to look for peace and new surroundings when tragedy suddenly strikes. Nevertheless, the closeness you feel as siblings never goes away. It's so good to reconnect with my brother Richard!
We walked to the Blue Hole and I couldn't resist going in! Soon I convinced him to come in too! 
It's not so cold!! (I lied!) he looked at me in the water and decided to show me how it's done.

"Are you going to jump!? I exclaim. He tells me, "That's the only way." 
Sibling rivalry? He wins - hands down! 
Now Patrick the General decides it's time to join the party! It's his first swim ever!! 
Poor baby! The water is so cold! Better get him out, now! 
Life can be so hard. We have to make the most of the good times. 

Jump right in and live!! 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Dear Mom

For Susan Pittmann who died a violent death by an angry and bitter man on this day 22 years ago:

Dear Mom,

I like to think of you as happy with all of your children and grandchildren nearby. 

You must know that you indeed have lived a successful life - though brief, you made every day meaningful! 

You taught me how to love unconditionally and focus on the good in people. 

Your memory is a great comfort to me.
I celebrate your life more and more every day! 

Your loving daughter, 

Cynthia ❤️

"To laugh often and much; 
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded."

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882)

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Traveling Today through JFK

I'm hearing the soft rhythm of Sade playing in the background while drinking large gulps of American style coffee and sitting at a clean table on a cushioned chair using free wifi and an iPad set up for public use. Where am I? A coffee house?

No! I'm at the JFK airport in New York.

What happened to travel in the last few years? The last time I was in this airport on a family trip, the plane was delayed, we had lost our connection, and it was dreadfully uncomfortable. We waited for hours cold, hungry, tired and trying to sleep on the floor with fifty other waylaid travelers caught in route like flies in this crafty spider web of concourses, terminals and shuttles. Victims at the mercy of impatient airline officials and over zealous security agents, e.g.

 "Where are you going and to what purpose?" 
 "What are you transporting in that red jar? 
"It's homemade cherry preserves?!" (There they go into the trash!)

I felt like running to the nearest exit, "I'm unsat! I'm unsat!" For those of you who don't know, that's military jargon for "unsatisfactory" but it's equivalent now would be "that's a fail." Only the panic feeling of "I'm unsat" is more to the point. I felt guilty and afraid that I would get caught. But what had I done? The general atmosphere after 9/11 was intense, we were all guilty until proven innocent. I stayed  away for a good while. I stopped traveling north. 

Today, I'm mystified by the contrast of my memory with the current reality. Is this the same nightmare airport where more than once,  I've been caught midstream on my way to somewhere.
I'm not complaining about the comfortable wait, I'm just taking it all in and feeling more and more delighted by the moment! Times have changed while I've been sipping a cool drink by the ocean on the beautiful island of Puerto Rico -  oh yes, they keep changing by the moment! I'm pleasantly surprised that this change is good; in fact, it's brilliant!