Some of you know that we lost our beloved beagle several weeks ago. Nemo’s death was a surprise of the kind none of us want. Afterwards everywhere we looked there were sad reminders. Toys, collars, beds–and he had more beds than any dog could possibly use. Friends sent sympathy cards. The emergency vet clinic called to tell us we could pick up his ashes. We had to tell his pet sitter he was gone and experience the loss all over again. One night I dreamed about him and was jubilant because he was alive and I was sure I only dreamed that he wasn’t. Only, of course, I had that backwards.
Helen Keller should know.
Born blind and deaf, she overcame more suffering than most of us can imagine, becoming one of the most inspirational writers of the 20th century. I’ve used her quotes before, and probably will again.
All of us suffer throughout our lives, but isn’t it amazing — bordering on miraculous — how much our lives are filled with the overcoming of suffering, thanks to family, friends, professionals, God — and ourselves?
Let’s try to recognize and be grateful for the healers in our lives. And I hope we can recognize our own healing effect on those we love.
Today When We Were Sisters arrives at stores. Those of you who pre-ordered from online bookstores like Amazon or Barnes and Noble will probably find your copy in the mail or on your e-reader today. I hope you enjoy it.
I have good news. I’ll be signing books at Bookstore One in Sarasota on Friday, June 3rd. If you can’t be there–and you will be missed–you can call the bookstore and order a copy for me to sign that night. They will charge postage, of course, but this is a great way to get a signed copy without flying all the way to Sarasota. Here’s the Bookstore One website with all the info. I’ll be signing between 6-7 PM.
Before we moved to Florida we lived in Arlington, Virginia, and our home was only a few miles from Arlington Cemetery.
I visited when a friend or family member from the military was laid to rest, and I was always shocked by how beautiful a place it is, the rolling hills of green lawns and majestic trees and row after row of white tombstones.
It was hard to imagine all the men and women who were buried there, so many of them having their lives cut short by war. It’s been said that, “Heroes don’t wear capes. They wear dog tags.” So true. And I mourn them all this Memorial Day.
As I write this blog Alicia Keyes is singing Girl is On Fire on my computer, but no, wait, now it’s Hell on Heels by the Pistol Annies. And I happen to know that Katy Perry is about to sing Roar, a fabulous spoof on all those Tarzan movies I grew up with.
Why, you might ask? What do all these songs have in common?
The answer? All, every one of them, might well have been written for When We Were Sisters. And because I found them as I researched the novel and listened to popular music for inspiration, I want to share this special YouTube playlist with you today.
Nemo, our beautiful Blue Tick Beagle, left us this past week, and we miss him very much.
For nine years he was a joyful and healing presence in our lives — though also a trial from time to time. Nemo was rescued from the path of a bush hog as an abandoned puppy by our oldest son who passed him on to us as soon as he could eat and drink again. Possibly because of that start, or more likely because of his beagle genes, Nemo was fond of any passing bits of paper, of stones and sticks and anything he shouldn’t eat. Our vet, on examining a Nemo X-ray, said that Nemo had swallowed not a rock, but a rock garden. I once had to call a community center that reimbursed me for travel to a speaking engagement to announce that Nemo had eaten the check and would they mind reissuing it?
Cecilia: We’ve heard from Robin Lenhart and her husband Kris. Today Cecilia tells a little of her story. Cecilia clawed her way to the top of the music scene to become an internationally famous singer-songwriter. But neither fame nor fortune have been enough. She’s close to only one person, Robin, her foster sister, and now, after a very private breakdown, she realizes she must go back into her past with the one person who shared it with her, and put an end to secrets before she can finally heal.
Do you sometimes find it’s so much easier to judge others than to see into their hearts?
I think we all do. But finding the right path for myself is difficult enough — and an ongoing challenge — and to presume that I can determine the right path for another is a big stretch.
In my personal life and during this time of painful tension in our country, I hope to be more patient with those I love — and those I don’t love as much or even at all. I hope to be kind in the face of unkindness, patient in the face of impatience, while still standing up for the things I believe.
Kris Lenhart: Last week we heard from Robin. This week we’ll hear from her husband Kristoff Lenhart. Kris and Robin are at a crisis point in their marriage, and when Robin leaves to film a documentary with her foster sister, Cecilia, Kris has to look back on his life to evaluate the man he has become and why. Here are some of his thoughts.