Raw

Life Has Been Rough

I’m not gonna lie to you, kid. We’ve hit a rough patch this year.

It started to spiral when we first learned of Grandma’s cancer. That one felt unfair and unbearable. You see, she had just put a down payment on a local apartment which would have made her life a little easier and put her closer to her daughter and us grandkids.

Two months after her diagnosis, she passed away.

My husband and I had vacation plans during this time. We decided not to make any changes because Grandma would have shaken me silly if I cancelled plans and lost money on hotel reservations. So we celebrated her funeral hundreds of miles away.

Two days after returning home, we received an Eviction Notice in the mail.

You can’t make this stuff up.

Our current landlord was selling the unit we rented – which we knew of course – and the new owners told us to vacate the premises. I guess they let our neighbor stay though. It would have been a great situation if WE had purchased the unit, but it was wildly out of our budget. And clearly, the landlord was out to make an easy profit since they literally did NOTHING to repair the place. I’m talking unraveling carpet everywhere, cracked paint, drafty windows, peeling linoleum, leaking faucets…

That’s how tough the housing market is though. You’re going to pay out the ass for a dump. That’s why we’ve been hunkering down in a rental.

By the grace of God, my sister’s house was still up for sale. She pulled it off the market and offered to let us quick-rent until we could get back on our feet. It was a stressful time. We would look into buying her place, but it’s a bit smaller than our rental unit even.

We’re settled in maybe two weeks. GW takes a much needed cross-country motorcycle ride with his buddies.

The first night at their AirB&B, his bike gets stolen.

We just dumped hundreds of dollars in maintenance repairs into the bike which I’m still paying off on the credit card and we don’t even have a bike to show for it. Poor Hubby is stranded. He calls me at 3am absolutely wrecked. They have to call their trip short and he rides on the back of his friend’s bike all the way home.

What next, you ask? We’re wondering the same. By now, we’re totally spent. Nerves are short. Empathy is at an all time low. We’re taking it day by day, nice and slow, just trying to repair.


I don’t usually question God too much. It’s not really his fault. Think about it: You build a paradise, create some adorable monkeys to take care of it, and they go and wreck everything bringing disease and rot into your garden. This isn’t a sermon, but that’s my dogma. God spun the world into motion and gave it to humans to care for. We are accountable for our own mistakes and the mistakes of our forbears. God is gracious, but not a magic genie to lift us out of our mess every time.

Because it’s our mess, isn’t it? We should clean it up.

But conveniently, my sister’s house was available and she was gracious enough to rent to us.

Imagine that.

That’s God moving if I ever saw it.


Even though our situation sucks, I consider it an honor to help others in need. So when our struggling single-mother friend asked to borrow my car because hers needs emergency repairs, of course I said yes. She stood at the door and knocked, and God said “I know a gal who’s working from home and has a spare vehicle. I’ve got you covered, child.”

And while God doesn’t always deal in miracles, the next day, my friend’s car was repaired ahead of schedule.

And the mechanic offered to let her pay half now and half later.

And then her boss drops cash on her desk to cover it all.

Imagine that.

And just as a little reward, my supervisor calls me and says she’s going to temporarily remove a stressful client package off my plate until I get more comfortable in this new role. Because I was really struggling, y’all.

I’m thankful for silver linings this year. We’re pretty blessed.

This has been,

Fanny T. Crispin

If you want to help in some small way, you are welcome to buy us a coffee on my donation page Ko-fi-FanTC. Do not feel obligated at all. We’re doing fine. We both have secure jobs and we’ll climb back up soon enough.

Thank you for listening.

Raw

Tough Questions

“How are you doing?”

That question never created such a vacuum of indecisiveness as it did just then. I’m fine, but I’m not fine.

I’m a wreck, but holding myself together pretty good. I’m teetering on an edge, so precariously balanced I feel the tension throughout my body. It’s tight. I can continue as I am holding everything together or at any given moment fall apart into uncontrolled weeping.

My grandmother is dead. Not two months ago, we discovered she had cancer. Over the weekend, she was admitted into the hospital with a severe infection the doctors couldn’t bring under control. All her organs began failing rapidly.

I understand sudden death. A crash, a gunshot, the ones that go quickly. It hits you – and hard. Then they’re gone. When you witness the decline, the symptoms, the steady steps of a body failing, it looks so different. It hits different. What do they feel in those final moments? Their body is fighting to survive, keeping everything strung on a frayed thread as they lie there in a comatose state.

She opened her eyes. I didn’t know if it was just the body losing control or if she was really there. She couldn’t speak. But something was wrong. I felt it and I felt I knew what it was too.

“Getting tired of sleeping on that side, Grams? Don’t worry. I’ll ask the nurse to shift you. You’re doing so well. Go back to sleep.”

It was time for her morphine. Pain brought her back to Earth, back to her useless body. The Hospice care aids said she would recognize our voices and touch, but only the family’s. So maybe Grandma was more connected to Earth than we realized. Maybe she was in a difference space – a sort of loading platform with her train peeling off a mournful sound in the distance. She was just waiting to say her last goodbyes.

And she was waiting for Mom – her daughter.

And waiting to get comfortable one last time.

I stood in the hallway with Mom while the nurses shifted Grandma and got her into a mostly upright position. We entered the room. Grandma’s eyes were wide open. I approached to see if she was alert, but these eyes were empty.

Then she looked at Mom. And died.

I never thought death bothered me too much. I have my faith and my God and all that. I guess I’m just angry because we thought we had more time with her. We made plans. She had her health and an active lifestyle. Then, in two months, she was gone.

The trouble with humans is we think we have time.

This has been,

Fanny

Books and Affiliated, Raw

Be Your Own Hero

It’s pretty evident in my writing. The heroine always needs someone to help her defeat the villain. She builds a team throughout the story, so she’s not doing the journey alone.

Which is fine. Everyone needs a team backing them up. But the reality is, this was a direct correlation to my psyche at the time. I wasn’t strong enough to fight my battles. My heroines betrayed my own weaknesses.

It took challenging myself in my job and gaining confidence in my career to prove that my MC could do the same. I interviewed tough. I got my sh** together. I show cased my accomplishments without reservation. It’s true the old saying that a writer needs to become the person they need to be to write the book they need to write. I’m finally the person I need to be to write empowered female characters. I finally feel empowered in my own story.

And you should be empowered in your story. After all, you’re a hero, not a passing placeholder. Live like a hero.

This has been,

FanTC

Poetry, Raw

Dreamscape

I once had a dream
That was so dark
A Titan came
To poison the Earth,
Hitler drove
A big black hearse,
And I was trapped
In this damned verse.

I once had a dream
That was so black
The devil himself
Said to send it back.
Mecha monsters
Blue and red
Battled over Earth
And to the death.

In this dream
A slice of yellow cake,
An evil scientist,
And a ride I’ll never take.
I watched the planet
Spreading black,
The Titan and
His staff of death.

He looked at me
And I at him.
This was the end.

This has been,

FanTC

PS: A slice of yellow cake??? What, was I hungry or something?

Raw

Why Are You Here?

I once met up with a fellow writer during my early publishing years. We connected at a local meet-and-greet. We traded books as was familiar with these sorts of events and the conversation continued into email – so old-time, I know. We proposed a time and place. I came equipped with my positive reviews of his book, prepared to discuss and praise.

I’m not sure why he was there.

It didn’t take me long to realize all he wanted to talk about were his own ideas and aspirations.

He must not have had many writer friends, because the bookish communities develop a type of code of conduct. You learn not to tout yourself over much and to be a sounding board when necessary. There’s common respect among persons even across genres and age groups.

I’ve learned to file these encounters away politely and move along. There are so many more intriguing persons to devote my time to. And trust me, I do not mind one bit that you would like to tell me about yourself. I love to listen.

Just don’t be a narc.

This has been,

Fanny T. Crispin