If you all read yesterday's blog, or are one of my friends on facebook, you realize the day I had yesterday. However powerful it may have been it was reflective and indeed sad. The events from my evening before, plus the fact that on that evening, as shawn my roommate put it, not only were we placed center in a tragic situation, our house was indeed the triage for everything that surrounded the horrific incident.
Both Shawn and I were different yesterday. How could we not be? Shawn especially. You know? Sometimes, having worked in the field, I can forget how traumatic such an event can be for other people. Poor Shawn (who is, as was demonstrated by the little girl coming to our home that dismal day) the neighborhood fix it friend. You can almost always find my roomy out with one or the another neighbor talking away... him and his popular pooch, Sport. Indeed, not only is Shawn known in the neighborhood, he is liked very much by many. He is the first to volunteer a hand when one is needed (which sometimes causes friction here cause I am still waiting on my shelf in the garage!). Generally the first person called when one of the neighbors gets their new flat screen, the land lord needs help with a hot water heater in one of the condos, someone wants to make the jacuzzi work later than when the pool area is supposed to be opened... and recently, and shamelessly, Shawn just got this kick-ass makings for a theater room; large big screen hdtv, six (larger than they should be) speakers and a woofer that literally vibrates the whole damned neighborhood (when i first saw it I thought OMG where are we going to put that monstrosity?)... yet again, the room (which all the triage folks was traipsing through the other evening) still, months later remains unfinished... a pet peeve, can you tell?
Anyway, I on the other hand am totally different. Indeed Shawn and I are close. I think there are two other neighbors that I actually talk to... maybe is because what I talked about yesterday; my change in my life trying to get away from the things I have seen too many times; trying to make a different life for myself I am in this flux of now what... or maybe my sarcasm that I simply don't like people is more true than I care to admit. I am indeed an acquaintance to many... few are ever really let in... at least close in. Once you do get in, no matter what you do you are always loved and protected. Unlike Shawn, I am not an appeaser. If you talk poorly about other people most of the time your lips are moving... tear people down to build yourself up... hurt someone I love, I have shut you off and turned my back without a thought of how that looks or comes across... by-gones.
But not my roomy Shawn. He will appease the heck out of you. Someone could walk up and slap that boy in the face (speaking poorly of his pooch, sport, is worse than a punch in his gut), and the next day Shawn will be engaging them in this new little gadget he picked up somewhere... astonishing when you really think about it. How two brains that are built pretty much the same can fire so completely different?
For the very first time ever yesterday Shawn read my blog... by golly he even complemented me on my writing, which made me feel a little lifted (not in the compliment, but for years of rooming he finally participated in a personal part of my life which takes up 80% of it.) Still pale and a bit like a deer in headlights, shawn admitted yesterday he didn't really recall much of anything from the time the little neighbor girl hit the front door to long after the last police officer left that evening. Although very much there, he wasn't really there at all... indeed he was in shock.
Sad, but true, I don't know what it is like to be in shock. I am immune... I was sad and angry yesterday... but not over the death... I couldn't stop thinking about the life... the little girl. Oh, I couldn't shake it... most of the day yesterday normal things were just setting me off. I wanted to shake someone, make someone pay for the sadness and tragedy that exists in the world!
... then in walks Barb Best ... another of those just naturally nice folks... with an infectious enthusiasm... it is hard to feel down if you connect with her.
My optimistic reader... the one I spoke about in Fun with a Reader... blog...
... it appeared Barb made the front page of her local newspaper yesterday... that is right folks, not page six, not even page two...front page! see for yourself here...
First thing she did was shared it with me... and some fine kudo's she gave Courage of Fear and indeed me.
It appeared one of her friends caught wind of my blog, shared it with the local press and they ran the story.
I forwarded the piece to San Diego Union Tribune, goodreads owner, my daughter (of course), and indeed posted it for my fans and friends on the facebook pages and indeed on myspace.
Goodreads twittered about it last night.
This morning a few other folks are blogging about it.
My daughter writes me from GA and tells me one of her husband's friends who lives up in Canada contacted him via facebook, stating she read the story in a local newspaper up there.
My inbox gets bombard my people i had never met before, talking about the experience and thanking me.
The editor of the San Diego Tribune has turned the story over to one of his columnist.
And my absolute dear new friend, Barb, says to me today (I have tears in my eyes as I write this, for she has no idea...) who would have believed this would have taken off like this. You deserve this.
OH BARB. AGAIN THE BRIGHT LIGHT.
This was my response to her:
"Damn girl; this isn’t about me. This is about you! Too often the folks who do indeed spread kindness go unnoticed… You are the poster child for those folks… in a time the world needs it the most… I didn’t call the pizza parlor because you were reading my book… I called to give back to you a little something for the joy you brought to me!"
One of the things I think folks are missing here is this... for years, too many years, I was the go-to lady. Years of my life and indeed my daughter's life was consumed with service work... simple acts of kindness...and some not so simple.
The pay SUCKS.
The hours are long.
You are quickly forgotten.
Alone in it, there is not a measuring stick to, "am I making a difference?"
Go back through my blogs, read the personal stories behind the quotes of Courage of Fear...
My life, those personal stories ARE THE STORY...COURAGE OF FEAR...
I cannot tell you how to live your life, such as Barb Best and Shawn Raudman lives their life.
I cannot tell you how your attitude can effect a life.
I cannot tell you the importance you may or may not bring to another fellow traveler...
But it is all there, in the pages, of Courage of Fear... told through the life of the characters...
And recently, during a time in my life when strangers are trying to pull me down--sometimes trying to publicly humiliate me, the good lord sent me an angel... a bright light.
It is indeed Barb Best who is in the spotlight here. She is the the poster child for all of the many of us folks who so often get overlooked; who lift a spirit by a touch of the hand, bring home the homeless, detox a poet the good old fashion way, smile at stranger, open our homes to folks who have none, share a holiday, cheer a friend, enthuses an artist...people who do these things every single day with little or no thought of what is in it for them, it is just who they are...
...the ones you seldom see on Oprah, or in your local press... the ones who do what needs to be done cause someone needs to do them... the one who sees the good in the worst of the bad... the ones where little things excite the hell out of them... the ones that understand this life will indeed one day end and their time here is indeed important--caring little for the press they get, only the strength they share, they feathers they leave...
again, unknowing to Barb, till later that evening... she was a bright light in my life just by being herself.
I celebrate that... and you should too.
There is too much darkness in this world. We are indeed all connected. Make that connection count for something! Simple acts of kindness... and if you need help with that, well buy Courage or contact Barb or Shawn directly!
Have a grand day all. Peace.
p.s. My daughter contacted me and I stand corrected, it was not an article in Canada... it was TV... can you believe that? Who would've thunk? Indeed, who would have thunk.