Friday, December 31, 2004

2004 in Review

Happy New Year to all...

and to all a good night.
Last year at this time I was knocking on my neighbor's doors with a sleepy child in my arms letting them know there was a fire in the building. What a way to start the new year. The highlights of my year were:
March: My manuscript almost finished, I focused on cleaning it up by working with 2 other writers in getting feedback in 2 trouble spots.
April: I was assaulted at work by a crazy temp they hired at work.
May: My hands began to bother me so one of my writer friends offered to transcribe my dictations of the final edits to my manuscript.
June: I was out of commission from blogging, letter writing, and my creative writing and out from work on short term leave after being slammed with spam, viruses and DOS. Being sidlined from a digital life made me climb the walls of idleness.
July: Got back online and back to work after being out 8 weeks, only to discover all the data on my pc was gone, hard copies of documents lost, and my desk and projects in shambles. My house was in shambles too as the major part of the restoration from the fire was underway. My book was shelved until things in my life could get back to normal.
August: It was my son's 5th birthday and I had lots of fun planning and throwing his party after my home was almost back to normal.
September: My hands were still a problem, so I took vacation time. This time I enjoyed myself in the process by seeing lots and lots of movies and handwriting letters to all my soldiers.
October and November: These 2 months were crazy busy months at work and actually became a blur of activity.
December: Missing my deceased friends, I decided to finish the book and get it out to publishers so that I could share my memory of them with others. After failing to contact the writers that had volunteered to help me with the edits, I learned the book was submitted under their names and accepted for publishing. After many weeks of intense negotiation, I learned from my lawyer that because I didn't mail a copyrighted copy of the manuscript to myself my claim of authorship cannot be legally proved.
On the bright side, (not!) I received a promotion at work with a hefty pay raise, which comes with more responsibilities and more people to deal and work with. After much thought about all the positives and negatives of my job I decided to turn in my resignation today, which will become effective on 4-1-05.
As for my book, I was furious at first. Even thought of possible means of revenge, but have since calmed down. I believe in Karmic principles, so I know these ladies will get theirs soon enough! Because my lawyer never gave up and did raise enough enough doubts, the publisher has put off publishing the book for now. We will see what happens with it in the end.
As for blogging and writing? I will wait till I get better before coming back to write here about my musings. I will write from time to time. But if I'm to get better, I have to be a good little girl and stay off the keyboard as much as possible. This means not visiting my favorite sites including those of my blog family and friends.
Family: Although I may be in a digital void, you will remain in my heart and mind. I will especially miss my blog dad, Harvey and Sgt. Hook. They are special people those two.
H: Thanks for being such a terrific, and faithful supporter. You always managed to put a smile on my face during my sad or tired days.
Sgt: You are indeed an awesome and impressive man, and I'm referring to your character. As for your writing, I will miss it the most, for you continually inspired me through your own incredible writing. You will remain in my prayers until you return home to your loved ones.

One last note: at present I'm helping Catholic Relief Services, an organization I did relief work for, many years ago. They have sent every available body overseas to help with the tragedy in Asia and so I'm helping out, organizationally and planning wise, from NY. I can't stress enough how this area will need our support in the years to come. My fervent prayer for this New Year is that somehow the survivors of the So. Asian tragedy are able to find solace and a reason to go on with their lives in the days ahead. I hope they are encouraged by the support the world is showing them and I hope the support continues until their lives are restored.
Till we meet in the D-space I am sending electronic (((((((((((HUGS))))))))))) to you all. 

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Christmas Past

Christmas of 2001 was pretty non-existent for me. I was still numb from the loss of 6 close life long friends in the attack of the World Trade Center. I was so numb I was silent. It wasn't anything that I planned, it just happened that way after the people that I called, spoke to and emailed daily were gone.

That numbness helped me cope with the gaping wound that had been created in my heart from all my loss. It enabled me to show up at work, take care of my young son and function on a daily basis. To help me forget about Christmas that year, I decided to use my 4 weeks of vacation and return to Asia with my son and live amongst Buddhists, where Christmas isn't celebrated. It was the only way I knew to breach the void I felt.
Throughout 2002, I attended memorial services for 4 of my friends who had been identified through DNA. My numbness enabled me to plan memorial services for 2 of them and to be of support to their families. As the holidays approached numbness gave way to a slow emerging grief. Ironically, it was the ones who were identified who I mostly grieved over. I guess my heart and mind were still refusing to accept what was evident and instead I clung to the hope of a miracle.
Although I traveled for business over the Thanksgiving holiday that year, I stayed home for Christmas. I eventually forced myself to buy a few presents and put up a small tree for my toddler's benefit, but the sadness kept me from venturing out of my cocoon, even for services
By Christmas of 2003 only my oldest and dearest friend remained to be identified and honored in a memorial service. A good deal of my numbness had slipped away thanks to my writing about my wonderful friends to some new friends that were deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq. In my letters to these wonderful soldiers I shared fond memories and they shared with me about their loved ones. It was in sharing my memories and their lives with these soldiers that I was able to get in touch with my grief over each individual loss.
Without knowing it, these letters became my bridge back to life. Through them I found a way to grieve without being overwhelmed by the deep and profound loss of my close friends. To these incredible men and women I will be eternally grateful, for without knowing it, they helped me rise out of the ashes of this disaster and empowered me, through their quiet and resilient strength, to overcome this tragedy.
May God bless each and every one of them. 
Posted by: Michele at 03:01 AM | Comments (11) | Add Comment
Post contains 459 words, total size 3 kb.
1 {hug} Thanks for posting this :-)
Posted by: Harvey at December 12, 2004 01:25 PM (ubhj8)
2 I can't say it any better than Harvey, so I won't try.
Posted by: Salt1907 at December 12, 2004 01:46 PM (T8AyJ)
3 That was so beautiful. I am sorry for your losses. I hope your child is bringing you the joy you deserve.
Posted by: Rightwingsparkle at December 12, 2004 05:15 PM (qiDkw)
4 You inspired me also, because of you I have adopted soliders through Soliders Angels. You really are an inspiration to a lot of people, I am glad to know you. {{HUG}}
Posted by: Machelle at December 12, 2004 07:22 PM (74P7F)
5 What a beautiful post, written by a beautiful soul. Thank you Michele. It's good to see something from you, I've been worried, as I do know how difficult the holiday's can be - for any number of reasons. Take care - and don't forget - we're here if you need us. I have no doubt you supply as much comfort and healing to the soldiers you correspond with as they offer you. It's a wonderful thing. **Huge Hug**
Posted by: Tammi at December 12, 2004 08:57 PM (QSZLe)
6 Just checking in... [draws Michele a hot, flower-smelling, bubble-bath] You just relax for a while :-)
Posted by: Harvey at December 19, 2004 12:15 AM (ubhj8)
7 [sets down a little music box that plays "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas"]
Posted by: Harvey at December 22, 2004 11:02 AM (tJfh1)
8 Merry Christmas, Michele!
Posted by: That 1 Guy at December 24, 2004 02:31 AM (bKaU5)
9 {Christmas hug}
Posted by: Harvey at December 25, 2004 11:00 AM (ubhj8)
10 Uh oh, naked blog. You ok, sweetie? CTS acting up again?
Posted by: Harvey at December 28, 2004 10:07 AM (tJfh1)
11 Damn-blasted comments spammers. Anyway, I just stopped by to give you a kiss under the mistletoe at midnight: *smooch* Happy New Year, Michele :-)
Posted by: Harvey at December 31, 2004 05:04 PM (ubhj8)

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Our Family & House Rules

In This Family:

1. We follow the 10 Commandments. Especially the commandments about not lying/cheating, envying/jealousy, and disrespecting parents/elders.
2. We love, honor, respect and pray for each another.
3. We tell the truth always.
4. We consider one another's interests ahead of our own.
5. We speak quietly and respectfully with one another.
6. We do not hurt one another with unkind words or actions.
7. When someone needs correction, we correct him in love.
8. When someone is sorry, we forgive them.
9. When someone is sad, we comfort them.
10. When someone is happy, we rejoice with them.
11. When we have something nice to share, we share it.
12. When we have work to do, we do it without complaining.
13. We take good care of everything God has given us.
14. We do not create unnecessary work for others; it's called being conscientious.
15. When we go out, we act just as if we were in this house or church.
16. When we disobey or forget any of our family or rules of this house, we accept the discipline of our parents and elders.
Because my son's social filter is still not fully operational at age 5, his total honesty, under Rule #3, has gotten me into trouble a few times. Sigh! All I can do is smile, bite the bullet, and apologize for his rudeness. Once he went so far as to say "Excuse me mommy but I wasn't being rude, I was being truthful." Five years old and already dealing in semantics.
House Rules: In This Place:
1. We walk calmly from room to room and do not run, jump, skip, hop, or throw things around.
2. We go to speak directly to a person in the room they are in, instead of yelling at them.
3. We do the chores that are assigned to us daily as soon as we can.
4. We respect everyone'’s property and pets, and touch things that don’'t belong to us ONLY when given permission.
5. When called, we answer “Yes” and go to the person directly.
6. We let other’s know how we are feeling and let them know if we are: upset, unhappy, sad, frustrated or angry. No one understands silence or frowns.
7. We write or draw only on paper or art materials.
8. When we open something, we close it.
9. When we turn something on, we turn it off.
10. When we take something out, we put it away as soon as we’re done.
11. When we make a mess, we clean it up.
12. When we don't know what to do, or if we need help, we ask a grown-up we know for help.

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