Crash Anniversary January 22 – And a Trip to Remember

I scheduled a flight this year on the 58th anniversary of the plane crash that took my sister’s life, changed the lives of everyone in my family, and was the very reason I was born. Usually, my sister Linda would have sent me a warning email or called me to tell me not to plan a flight on this day. But, she’s gone now, so no warnings came when I planned this trip to LA for a book signing.

It was the last actual booksigning scheduled for the launch of Replacement Child, and I made it into a mini vacation for me and my husband to explore California together a bit.  The northeast has been pretty brutal this year and I looked forward to thawing my bones a little as a bonus. Another bonus was that I got to see some old friends who are out there.

That part was truly special, to catch up with old friends and to remember myself as I was when we were all just teenagers.  It is amazing what we didn’t know then–about ourselves, and about the individual challenges we all faced within our families.  Talking to my two childhood friends I realized that although Replacement Child may be anchored in a unique tragic event, the family issues within its pages are universal. We all have internal barriers to our happiness and success that we had to surmount, either from our parents or siblings–or just circumstance.  Parents were different with their different children, and each had their own experience–some better than others. Sometimes we barely recognize the description of a parent told from the point of view of our brother or sister. For many of us, it’s taken the better part of our lives to understand the reasons we may have sabotaged relationships, or chosen the exact wrong person to marry, or failed to take the risks needed for our success.  But, what I discovered from my own writing is that it’s never too late to claim your life and to live out your dreams, whether they are lofty ones or just the hope that we can be quietly happy with someone who we love, and who loves us.

Oh yea, the rest of the trip was fabulous! California is a beautiful wonderland. Maybe that’s my next dream, to live in those gorgeous hills near the ocean where you can almost feel your spirit lifting out of your body and screaming in delight.

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