The summer month that I turned sixteen, the love of my life was killed in a car crash

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Original Artwork by the Author

The summer month that I turned sixteen, the love of my life was killed in a car crash.

I had never known anyone who had died. The news was the worst possible news that I could have heard. I was a tall, gawky introvert and not close to anyone, including my family. The death had a profound effect on me and the rest of my life.

What made it so tough was that the love of my life didn’t quite know he was yet. But he was going to be. This was to be our summer together. I just knew it. We went to different schools, so our meetings were very chance. Our houses were catty corner to each other and we often caught each other looking at and possibly for each other from across our yards. …


I did what any single woman automatically does when meeting a new man. I summed him up and within seconds knew he was definitely not a prospect for me.

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Original Art by the Author

I had been officially divorced for two years, living in my own home for four years, legally separated from my ex-husband for five years and emotionally separated from him for many, many years. Ours was not a loving or nurturing relationship.

I loved living on my own at last, making my own decisions. What a difference my new urban neighborhood was from the suburban one I left. I hosted “art night” every Tuesday evening where a group of expanding creative souls would come meet, eat, drink and create together.

I enjoyed restoring the 1926 Spanish Craftsman home. One of the last things I needed was a good desk for my office that I improvised in the breakfast nook. Restoration Hardware had the exact size I was looking for. Although much higher than my usual budget, I took the plunge and ordered the desk. …


It was one of those dreams that you know was important to dream and worth remembering.

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Original artwork by the author

In real life I had separated from my husband but we were still living in the same house. I moved into my daughter’s room since she was away at college.

The room had a single bed with a wicker headboard. It had a lock on the door. I bought my first laptop so I no longer needed to share the desktop as we had always done. The window in the room faced the fence, but I didn’t mind.

It had been twenty five years of a not so good marriage. We had three wonderful kids, lived in a nice home, but we were not partners. We didn’t help each other, cheer each other on. …


Rituals like our stories, give life meaning and depth

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Photo by Emily Bauman on Unsplash

I’m not a religious person. I’m not sure if there is a god or if prayer makes a difference. I do love a good ritual though.

Ritual is defined by a ceremonial act or action. I have always enjoyed adding ritual to my life. When I practice a ritual I am drawn into a deeper, more sacred space. My life feels more meaningful and so much less mundane.

My rituals are personal and have not been taught or handed down. The first ritual of my day is the cup I choose for my morning coffee. I have a cupboard filled with just cups. Cups that people have bought for me, cups that I have bought for myself and cups that have been handed down from loved ones. Instead of just reaching blindly for any cup, I choose a special cup for that day. …


From the time I can remember, I was aware of how I looked.

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Photo by Septian simon on Unsplash

Little girls are often told how pretty they are. Their clothing, hair, and complexion are scrutinized and commented on by everyone they meet. From the time I can remember, I was aware of how I looked. Most of my childhood I felt that I didn’t look pretty enough.

As a teen it wasn’t just boys my age that I wanted to look pretty for. It was everyone. What I wore each day mattered. How my hair looked, how smooth my skin was, how thin my body looked -- all were constant thoughts that accompanied me daily.

My first jobs were in restaurants and bars and I was very aware that how I looked made a difference in the tips I earned. When I started my own business at thirty, I chose the talent agency business. Since I was behind the scenes, I could dress casual to work, but whenever I was on a panel, giving a lecture or meeting with a client, how I looked mattered to me. …


I never liked the feeling of the word surrender. I thought it meant to give up.

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Photo by Ava Sol on Unsplash

For me, words have certain shades and textures. I never liked the feeling of the word surrender. I thought it meant to give up.

Merriam-Webster defines surrender as giving oneself up into the power of another, to yield.

The most important part of that definition is the word yield. Yield doesn’t mean to stop, it means to allow. When I substitute the power of another with the power of life itself the texture of the word surrender changes. I’ve held the word, examined it and have practiced new ways of interpreting it. The word surrender has become precious to me.

The first time I experienced my new relationship with the word was fourteen years ago when my ten-year-old son lay in a hospital bed in a coma for nine days. My healthy, vibrant, athletic young son went from having a fever to being rushed to the ICU of Children’s Hospital. …

About

Carol Shamon

Writer and painter living in San Diego, CA

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