"Bethie's Place"

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Archive for the month “August, 2015”

“Here’s ‘Something Nice’ “

Having spent nearly the last eighteen months in and out of hospital, and the better part of that time bedridden, I needed to quickly create a “new normal” for myself to get through what has been a long, oftentimes discouraging, and lonely recovery. Part of my “new normal” activities has been watching dvds via my Netflix subscription. Some I’ve watched over the months have been duds, and some have been gems that will stick with me for a long time.

Case in point was a movie I watched yesterday that had been done by HBO called, “The Normal Heart”. It tells the story of the beginning of AIDS, and of a group of gay men in New York who work together to try to get funding for this disease as they watch their partners die without help from the city or federal government. Watching this movie got me thinking about a classmate of mine from 7th-12th grade. To keep his identity private, I’ll refer to him as “Chuckles”, my nickname for him, because of his infectious laughter. “Chuckles” and I were in choir from 7th-12th grade, and I think we laughed every day for those six years. During our last choir class before graduation, our director gave us time to sign each other’s yearbooks.  I tossed my yearbook across the room to him, and said, “Hey, write something nice, will ya?” He returned my yearbook to me, and I didn’t give it another thought, knowing that whatever he’d written  would be found in the article about him featured in the yearbook, predicting that he would be a star on Broadway. That was 1979. Fast forward a couple of years when we met up again at the local junior college. He invited me to join him for coffee one morning, (I drank cocoa), and we had a long chat about a secret he had kept for many years and wanted to share it with me. My dear “Chuckles” revealed that he was gay, which I had pretty much already concluded, and I listened while he poured out his heart to me.  On December 9, 1993, “Chuckles” breathed his last breath, succumbing to AIDS. You’re wondering what he wrote, aren’t you?

He wrote, “Dear Beth, ‘Here’s Something Nice.” Love, Chuckles…..

Why did I choose to share this slice of my life with you tonight? I don’t know except to say that this movie touched me deeply, and I highly recommend it. Between that time when we sat down for coffee and the moment I learned of his death, we had lost contact.  Watching this movie  brought home for me how he must have suffered in the end and it gave me an opportunity to mourn the loss of my friend (which had never really done), and his writing what he did in my yearbook, was his way of shielding me of what was to come for him a decade later.

So dear “Chuckles”, I know every night in heaven has been “another opening, another show” and I can’t wait for a front row seat.

I Ask For Your Forgiveness

This evening it was brought to my attention by one of my blog followers that it had been over a month since I had last posted. I could be glib and say that time flies when you’re having fun, while that would in part be true, I really have no excuse except to say that I’ve been selfish, wrapped up in my life, and forgot about you my loyal readers and followers, and that pains me greatly. So I ask your forgiveness, and hopefully, I can forgive myself for this transgression, and get back to the business at hand of inspiring, entertaining, and sharing my life with you. So, can we wipe the slate clean and move on? I hope so.

When last I wrote, I was in the midst of getting your opinions of the first lines of my novel to present to James Patterson for his critique. Well, the critique process has come and gone, and yours truly did not get picked to have Mr. Patterson critique my work. Yes, I buried my head in the sand for a few days, wondering what I could have done to capture his attention, and then I thought, “you dummy, you’re being taught by a master writer.” Time to dust myself off, square my shoulders, and press on for the next opportunity to get a critique.

I’ve been reading as many writing reference books that I can get my hands on. Yes, I’ve even sneaked in some pleasure reading along the way, too! More later on that subject. I have solidified where my book begins, its progression, and its resolution, as well as its cast of characters. No, I haven’t written a formal outline…still resisting that one. But eventually I’m sure I will have to break down and do it. NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writing Month) will begin in November, so I’m hopeful that I will have enough material ready to hit the ground running and get the novel written and finished in the month of November.

On my health, I continue to make progress in my recovery.  I see the specialist one week from today, so I ask for your prayers that he will declare me healed, and discharge me from his care so that this long ordeal can be put behind me, and move on to bigger and greater adventures.

Lastly, if you’ve followed my blog since it’s beginning, you’ll recall a blog post about my doctor and friend, Dr. Francis K. Moll, Jr. We had been corresponding via mail very regularly, and then his letters suddenly stopped. I attributed this to summer vacation visiting his children and grandchildren. At the end of July, a  long-awaited letter arrived with news that stopped me dead in my tracks.  In May, my dear friend was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. I headed back to Google to learn all I could about this disease, and then wrote him a very long letter. And so the waiting begins again, watching the mailbox for a letter. Please pray for him and his family. If only I could jump on a plane and fly to his side to be there with him, I would but that’s not possible. So for the foreseeable future, my sole focus will be to write this book, bind it in some way, and send it to him for his birthday in November.  Maybe that will help me stay focused so I don’t sit here in California, wishing I was in Georgia holding his hand, and willing him to survive.

Well friends, that’s about all I have to share tonight. Oh, one more thing, have you heard about this new hobby for adults — adult coloring books? Yep, I got bitten by the bug! I always loved coloring as a little girl, and I’m finding it calming. Thinking I might send some of my creations to the good doctor to cheer him up.

Until next time (I promise it won’t be a month between posts)  …. “Bethie”

 

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