If the Family Turtle Could Narrate My Mornings

seaglass-sea-turtle-patti-schermerhornIt’s 6:40 and she is finally getting up, she hit snooze like three times. That’s what she gets for staying up half the night. Why does she even bother to set her alarm for 6:15? Now she is going watch the news while simultaneously finding the days attire. Her closet and dresser runneth over with clothing. The ticking time forces her to think on her feet, after much practice, this skill is on the verge of mastery.

Alright, clothes on, teeth brushed, faced washed, it is now 7:05. She only has fifteen minutes to make a quick breakfast and lunch. By this, I mean running around the kitchen throwing random things into her lunch bag, wanting it to magically become a meal. She is not a healthy one. In her lunch bag, you will find the following: candy, fruit snacks, cinnamon pop tarts, a chocolate pudding, and red grapes all stocked in bulk to share with her co- workers. Since I have not listed any real food, she will most likely go to lunch and return home with leftovers.

She now has about five more minutes to throw a handful of mints and headphones in her purse. I hope she doesn’t forget her wallet this time. It’s time put on her shoes if she can locate them. Seconds waste as the clock hits 7:19 she dashes out the door. A minute later she thrusts back in the house to get the coffee she abandoned on the table and then goes back to her room for her phone. Okay but seriously, this time, she is outta here folks. The mornings are always entertainingly predictable.

The Contract

17_photo-0I didn’t agree to such a contract, yet I still choose to abide by it. With my first breath, I was picked to live, but not to last. No one knows when these living documents will eventually waste away to extinction. I cling to the night because I am so unsure of the morning, but even the days die. Receiving such an invitation is a relief for the sunny hours and then night stalks again asking the same question. We as humans conquered much adversity, yet we can’t seem to shake the burden of death, the living predator. Even with so much to lose, life can easily become a mundane gift that collects dust.

I hate that it is the one thing I will never be able to write about, a complex tease that I am both familiar with but a stranger to. I imagine it is like flying in a plane through a cloud. Feeling stagnant yet speeding through the air, surrounded by a peaceful blinding white light. Death is unfairly just. We strive to out buy it, but we can’t live without it.

The Beauty of Silence

the-silenceI could not see her, but I knew she entered the room. It was silent. I never felt such solitude in the midst of others. I tamed my mind to concentrate on a simple assignment, breathing. My mind debated back insisting that I choose something less biological. My thoughts were terrified at what could come to mind; the threat of becoming to acquaint with the repressed that lurked in the abyss of me. My senses desperate for a distraction. But it was too late; she stole me with her still grace.

Her presence was rare and often underappreciated. My mind panicked in not knowing what to do in her company. Pure at heart, calm in spirit, she was. I entered a world of a delightful nothingness. It was a secure, peaceful, and inviting refuge. I was outside of myself, my location: Unknown. At the peak of utter euphoria my phone spoke in the distant, interrupting, and she swiftly departed.

I was forced to return to society’s mundane preoccupation. A world where stress is normal, tasks are ever-present, and entertainment is inescapable. I almost met myself beyond the roles I play, but my master said, “not today.”

The Release Magazine

Life Lessons From Kids

I may be young in years, but I am wise at heart. You adults underestimate me, failing to remember I soak everything in like a sponge. Here’s what I’ve discovered in my short years:

Honesty

You command me to always tell the truth, but when I do I get in trouble. One time I repeated what you said at home about your friend’s hair to her face. You gave me a scary look, but I thought you told her already. I now know that little white lies to spare the feelings of others is acceptable. I don’t understand why the truth scares adults so much, I thought you guys were supposed to be the brave ones.

Dreaming

Grown-ups have boring office jobs even though you could have been something awesome like an astronaut! How do you expect me to enjoy “take your child to work day?” When I get bigger I’m going be a rock star, spy, ninja, Olympian, and president of the planet, with millions of dollars. I would then buy a ton of candy for my friends and me. Then I’d make going to school every day illegal. I also would buy all the homeless people in the world a house, so that all could have an equal chance to succeed.

Looking at the world with awe

You grown-ups have lived in this world for hundreds of years, but you don’t take a second glance at the flowers that bloom in the spring.  You overlook the synchronized rhythm of the birds going on vacation to flee the cold. I have no idea how your jaw doesn’t drop when the sun is falling asleep and the sky looks like melted Skittles.

Forgiving

You adults sure do know how to hold a grudge. The longest I can stay mad at my friends is 3 minutes, and even that feels like forever. Most of the time I can’t even remember why I was mad in the first place. I learned that the quicker we apologize the sooner we can resume our play. It’s no fun playing tag by yourself, and it also makes you look weird on the playground.

So here’s what I’ve learned. Honesty is for the greater good, not something to be afraid of, but embraced. Dreaming is only half the battle, but nothing is impossible. The world is spontaneous and life’s simplest moments are beautiful. Forgiveness is essential to move forward and grudges are a waste of time, energy, and unsaid words.

Eight Hours to Live

time-passing-byI felt betrayed by God. My heart was broken by the one who crafted me into existence – only to prematurely steal it. I failed to reason my deserving for a permanent absence. My wrongs were child’s play compared to many. I cried in remembrance of the time wasted on things unworthy of attention. The departure of my life made me crave it all the more. Death, mysterious in its nature, terrified me. He is a familiar stranger that I hoped I’d never meet. I wanted to be spared for “good behavior.” But he instead upheld his title as “undefeated.” Within hours I would be nothing more than a cadaver.

With the acceptance of my fate, I prayed. I was apologetic for my naïve pride. I also thanked God for my life and the people in it. At the brink of peace, gratitude, and joy, a seed of doubt sneaked into my thoughts. The uncertainty of heaven scared me. I longed for someone to prepare me for death, for some reassurance of eternal life validating my beliefs. I reflected upon my life realizing that I was the proof.

Feeling spiritually renewed, I informed my family. The news impaired them, sobbing filled the room. Although my circumstance were beyond my reach. I couldn’t help but feel like I failed them. My once bright future was limited to hours. I wanted my parents to witness my future success. And have a sense of satisfaction on my wedding day, and upon the lives of my children. Unfortunately, my genes died with me, and I died as I came.

The hardest goodbye was to my mom. We’ve conquered many battles together, but death was an unusual enemy, to all. In an effort to comfort her, I jokingly said, “the umbilical cord can withstand all adversity, even life and death.” She smiled, but tears continued to flood her face as she held me close. I felt safe in her arms, almost as if she could rescue me. It was there I wished to remain forever. However, I had to leave. I told my family to meet me at church in my final hour.

I have many friends, but Julia was the epitome of a true friend. Our friendship was rare. We were close, yet we had respectable secrets. But this secret effected more than myself. Tears were expected with the arrival of my news. She asked me, “why you?” My response was, “why not?” I advised my friend to view life as a timeline. That each present moment was becoming an instant past. I left with expressing my love and appreciation towards her. I encouraged her to live enough for the both of us.

My goodbyes were in order, but something continued to tug at my heart. I was reminded of a former friendship that recently ended abruptly. With pride no longer an excuse I called her, and apologized. I didn’t inform her of my current situation; her pity I did not seek. She accepted, and returned the apology. We talked as if it were any other Tuesday, resuming the friendship to its natural state. Death made me bold, yet humble. I only wished I had discovered this revelation sooner, instead of being a living procrastinator.

I spent the final hour of my life at church. I again prayed, this time at the altar, amongst my family. As they prayed for me I sent up requests for them. The sanctuary was still, and closed from the world. Death stalked all the more. Knowing my inevitable fate. I troubled my mind no longer. I enjoyed the reminiscing of my life’s greatest moments. I oddly found myself laughing. At the peak of joy, I witnessed a glimpse of heaven. Then, I remembered I was dying. Death achieved his final ambush. Because I would not stop for him, he kindly stopped me, and took my breath away.

Shine Bright Like a Diamond

“Raise your hands all who are happy”. Two others, and myself, raised our hands as the rest of the class remained mute. I looked around in disbelief at the faces that contradicted their emotions. Just at the peak of my own happiness, it was kidnapped by guilt. I couldn’t help but feel responsible. Reality awakened me from the world inside my head. My own joy blinded me from the anguish of others. I strive to be a firefly at night, but my light has diminished. I am called to be a seasoned light not a season of light. My peers do not deserve temporary happiness, but unwavering joy. It is my duty to live in a way that will encourage them to follow me, as I, the Light.