Category Archives: Relating

Please Say That Tyler’s Story Will Change Just One Heart

Yesterday, I posted the faces of Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei in my anger. Angry at them for their callous disregard of our right to privacy. I wanted everyone to see who pushed Tyler Clementi over the edge. I want their faces to be known so that they can’t “just move” to avoid recognition.

Yesterday, I was angry.

Today, I am sad. So very, very sad that a beautiful human being has left this earth. A violinist. A student. A friend. A son.

I want to tell his parents how very, very sorry I am that they lost their son so tragically. I want to tell them I can’t imagine the pain and loss they are suffering. I want to tell them to “just breathe.”

Maybe it’s because of the losses I have endured these past few weeks. Maybe it’s because I lost a dear high school friend to suicide during our first month of college. Maybe I am hoping upon hope that Tyler’s death will be a wake-up call to every amateur videographer out there.

Just maybe.

“Yes, I understand that every life must end, aw-huh,..
As we sit alone, I know someday we must go” – But this was much too soon. And I ache knowing that Tyler felt so desperate, so alone, that he felt his only choice was suicide. And I can only imagine the pain and heartache those close to him (most of all, his parents) are feeling. Such guilt for not helping. Unneccessary guilt, unfounded guilt. But guilt, nonetheless.

“Oh I’m a lucky man, to count on both hands
the ones I love,..
Some folks just have one,
yeah, others, they’ve got none” – I am so blessed to have an amazing support system. And Tyler’s death reminds me of those out there who have precious few in their lives to turn to. I wish my arms were long enough to reach them all.

“Let’s just breathe” – We can only do what we can do. We can love our children with all our might. We can remember those in times of need. We can cling to our spouses, lovers or friends. But some days it’s all we can do to just breathe.

I chose to write about this again today because many of you commented that you were unaware of Tyler’s story. Tyler Clementi deserves more press, more than Ravi and Wei, that is. His is the spirit that was shattered. His is the life that was ended.

Nothing can bring Tyler back. But maybe his story will reach through the internet and touch hearts. Maybe it will turn hearts and change just one soul out there, encouraging kindness, compassion and most of all, privacy.


Filed under Be-Causes, Music, People, Relating

I Grieve. Or I Am A Rock. Take Your Pick.

 Two weeks ago, my brother-in-law died.

Yesterday was the anniversary of my daughter’s boyfriend’s death.

Today, my aunt died.

It’s been a rough few weeks. To make matters worse, my aunt wasn’t doing well for the past week or so and I had no idea. She lives over 2000 miles away and we kept in touch through emails and holiday cards. My parents knew. But chose not to tell me. (Dysfunction is alive and well in my family.) I already live with the regret of my last visit with my grandmother. And while I feel good about how I maintained my relationship with my aunt, it bothers me in this moment that I didn’t get the chance to talk to her one more time. If I had known she wasn’t doing well, I would have called her. She’s not the type to email me and tell me she’s suffering. And I had no idea.

“I grieve for you
You leave me
Let it out and move on
Missing what’s gone
They say life carries on
They say life carries on and on and on” – The grief in me misses the relatives and friends who have passed. This part of life sucks. Losing people. Good people. People who are loving, kind, fill you with joy. And because I’m getting older I’m in for more loss. How do you reconcile that? How to adjust? We carry on. But with more lonely moments than before.
“I’ve built walls,
A fortress deep and mighty,
That none may penetrate.
I have no need of friendship; friendship causes pain.
It’s laughter and it’s loving I disdain.
I am a rock,
I am an island
And a rock feels no pain;
And an island never cries.” – Anger. At my parents for cutting me off like this. Punishing me for not playing by their rules. Anger at the loss I’ve experienced and the more to come. I will get through this. But for now I want to be an island. I want to never cry. I want to feel no pain.


Take your pick.


Filed under family, friends, Music, Relating

Thank You, Ernie Harwell, For MY Love Of Baseball

“And rather than goodbye, please allow me to say thank you. Thank you for letting me be part of your family. Thank you for taking me with you to that cottage up north, to the beach, the picnic, your work place and your backyard. Thank you for sneaking your transistor under the pillow as you grew up loving the Tigers. Now, I might have been a small part of your life. But you’ve been a very large part of mine. And it’s my privilege and honor to share with you the greatest game of all.” ~Ernie Harwell (January 25, 1918 – May 4, 2010)

Another of my heros has died. Ernie Harwell, the voice of Detroit Tiger baseball. And he was speaking about me, sneaking my radio underneath my pillow so I could listen to the games.

For 42 years he called the games on both radio and television for Detroit. He is the only “voice” of baseball that I’ve ever known. He was humble and down-to-earth. He was loved because of his great appreciation for the game and for the fans.

My father loved baseball. He used to tease that he once tried out for the Tigers but Hank Aguirre took his spot. Because of his love for the game and, through a child’s eyes, he played so well, we believed him. I remember going to the games with my father, sitting behind the third base line, eating hot dogs and peanuts. He taught me how to score. He taught me how to play. He taught me to love our favorite American pastime.

Sports announcer, Ernie Harwell, only deepened my love for the game. He was known for his infectious enthusiasm and clever phrases. I’ll never forget watching a game with my dad and after a fan caught a foul ball hearing Ernie say, “A fan from East Lansing will be taking home that ball today!” That was near where we lived! How did he know that fan? My dad laughed. That was Ernie’s charm. He had a way of making the game accessible, exciting and fun.

Year later, when I moved to Savannah, Georgia, I arrived at rehearsal early. A piece we were working on had to be memorized by that evening. I needed the peace and quiet. Always the procrastinator, I turned on the radio. It was set to AM radio. For kicks and giggles I decided to see what I could pick up. Suddenly, I heard Ernie Harwell’s unmistakable voice. Announcing a Tigers game. I sat there, stunned, listening to a broadcast from 1000 miles away. I teared up, missing home.

I have never written a fan letter. Yet, I have formed many in my head. When I heard, 8 years ago, that he was retiring I composed one of those fan letters. I even looked up where I should send it.

But I never did.

And for that, I’m sorry Mr. Harwell. I would have said thank you for keeping me company all those late nights, sneaking a listen to a double-header when I was supposed to be asleep. Thanks for helping to nurture my love of the game. But most of all, thank you for sharing YOUR love of the game with all of us.


Filed under Lessons Learned, Relating

You Met Your Husband Where? Online, Of Course

What’s more embarrassing than saying that you met at a bar? Admitting you met online.

Aidan at Ivy League Insecurities wrote a post the other day about where she and her husband met. And she is finally comfortable admitting that they met at the neighborhood bar. She wasn’t always comfortable. Vague references were often used, “Oh, we met in the neighborhood.” Which reminded me of myself. Only I’d say, “Oh, we met at a health seminar.”

Which was true.


Cross my heart and hope to…..ok, well…’s sort of true.

I was married before. Quite young. To a man 10 years older than me. In my “oh so wise” early twenties I thought I knew myself, what I wanted, who I needed. I was so wrong. He was 31. Comfortable with who he was, what he wanted, what he needed. I was a baby – merely 21 years old. What did I know of love, life, marriage, myself? Nothing, as it turns out.

I grew. He didn’t. He had already grown. We were nothing more than roommates by the end of our 10 year marriage. With infertility testing and a beautiful baby girl adopted from Korea between us. We weren’t good for each other anymore and we were a horrible model of what marriage should be for our daughter. So we divorced.

Enter the internet.

What an amazing place! Chock full of interesting facts, figures and people. I enjoyed my online “friends.” But I like that they stayed, well, online. I had no desire to meet people face-to-face. I was a single mom. A teacher. Surrounded by students and colleagues all day long. Somewhat introverted, I LOVED my downtime. The peace and quiet of home. I dated a little but my primary focus was my daughter and my job. In fact, when my daughter was home I did not enjoy an active social life. Except for my Junior League responsibilities I rarely hired a babysitter for her. If she was visiting her dad, only then would I go out.

But my health – my gynecological health – had never been formerly diagnosed. Because I always knew I wanted to adopt, former-husband and I never pursued the whys of my infertility. I’d had troubles with my periods, tipped uterus, endometriosis since my teen years. I’d already been told I may have difficulty getting and staying pregnant. So, not a surprise when the difficulties began. But now I was a 32-year-old single mom. I still had irregular periods. Pain. I wanted to stay healthy to be able to raise my daughter. But the doctors could only suggest more tests and surgery. The tests and surgery required to find the answers, I wanted to avoid.

I poured over the internet. Absorbing information. Joining message boards. And I found an online chat regarding infertility. A panel of “experts” to answer your questions. I signed on at the appointed date and time. The rest, as they say, is history.

Interesting “speakers.” Interesting questions. Interesting answers. But none that really pertained to maintaining health. Just about all of the questions related to how to get pregnant. The questions I posed were largely ignored because the audience wasn’t really interested in my questions. My future-husband noticed this and private messaged me. He told me he had some information I might be interested in and to email him with specific questions. He’d get back to me.

And he did.

So our email friendship began. Writing about health. Writing about wellness. Then writing about books, movies and current events. Soon we were just writing. Every day.

This went on for about a year. And then there was a “live” health seminar in Atlanta. He was going to be there and would I join him for dinner? My heart went pitter-patter.

When I first laid eyes on him, when I first saw his beautiful blue eyes, I got this feeling in my heart that I was meeting my dearest, best friend from kindergarten and was just now seeing him all grown up. I don’t believe in love at first sight but there was definitely something to this first meeting in real-time. Something wonderful.

After our dates (we also went hiking – one of our favorite pastimes) he left to go back west where he lived. We went back to emails and now phone calls across the time zones. We made the effort to date long distance with visits back and forth. It wasn’t enough.

And since I wouldn’t tear my daughter away from her father, my future husband moved here.

So we DID meet at a health seminar.

Twice. Once online. Once at a convention center.

I met my husband online. And I can now proudly say, I’m so glad I did.


Filed under Relating