Evelyne died when she was five. There in the August cornfield with open blue skies above, her life ended. She was on her back, trying to catch her breath. Each short gasp bringing in the pungent smells of fear, dirt and him. Evelyne struggled as he easily pinned her tiny body between the corn stocks with his teenage frame. She wanted her mother. She wanted him to get off. Her cries were silent and not heard. Not by anyone. Not even the crows casting shadows over them as they scavenged for food.
“Don’t tell your mother, or she’ll spank you hard,” he said zipping up his Levi’s. Evelyne could still hear the sound of the stalks swishing and crackling as he walked away pushing them aside. She lay there in her rumpled play dress, sobbing in fear until his steps faded away and only silence was heard. It ends there. That’s all she ever would remember of that summer’s day while playing hide-and-seek with her cousins on Grandpa’s farm, and life as any little girl should be allowed to have, well, for Evelyne, it disappeared when she was five. I am Evelyne.
When we have children we hope for the best for them, but truly, even with a crystal ball, we don’t know what lies ahead for them.
Once they leave the nest, they are on their own to chart their own path. We, as parents, just hope their journey is smooth without too many downdrafts and that their flight will lead them to a fulfilling life.
In this blog I am sharing with you a recent conversation I had with my singer/ songwriter son, Emerson Hart, lead singer of the 2x nominated and Platinum awarded alternative rock band, Tonic.
His first album, LEMON PARADE, had 5 top ten BILLBOARD HITS, one of which stayed on the top of the charts and became the most played song on rock radio that year, “If You Could Only See The Way She Loves Me.”
We talk about his beginnings and what it is like to be a a songwriter/singer and musician. I can’t use his music in my videos because of publishing and record company rights shared with him. I have posted below the video he speak’s about and that he filmed in London when Princess Diana died.
Join my conversation with a singer and songwriter on his creative process, his solo career vs Tonic and what is in store for 2019.
It is never too late to follow your dreams no matter how old you are. We all have different chapters in our lives, going to school, choosing a career, earning a living, raising a family and finally planning and enjoying your retirement years. Maybe life’s early realities pushed your dreams aside, but there is no reason you can’t pick up those dreams now and make them happen. Where there is a will, there is a way. Learn to play an instrument, go back to school. If you want it badly enough, you can make it happen. If I can do it, so can you!
I had a dream that I awoke to a world of rationality, patriotism, non-partisan peace among men and charity to those who mean no harm. Love, hope for the future and for those willing to roll up their sleeves and work hard the opportunities were there. The churches and synagogues were an integral part of jointly helping their rebounding communities ….and I felt safe. Malice, greed and hatred were words unfamiliar to us. The year was 1947 and I was 8 years old.
This morning I opened my eyes and the forward flight of seventy years brought me back to reality that has no dream attached to it, but all the realities of our 2017 collective nightmares. How did this happen?
I have lived through 14 presidential elections, my family’s preferred candidate not always getting elected, but my parents were patriots who lived through the depression and respected our Constitution and the democratic process. With hate and malice toward none, they placed patriotism and love of country before politics. I am grateful for their strength that has allowed me to move forward in my life, sharing their same values.
My father always cautioned me that if I couldn’t say something nice, keep it to myself. “There are other ways to give positive reenfircement than hurting someone with negative speech or actions,” he would say. “Think before you speak. Always give someone the benefit of doubt and a chance,” he advised. “Do as your faith guides you, not as ‘they’ do.”
Well, it is evident everywhere I turn, all of this sage elder advice from my father years ago has evaporated in today’s divided political and hateful rethoric.
With fake news running rampant on the internet and passed around greedily like Krispy Kremes, everyone salivating to get their ‘two cents’ in to see who can be the most hatefully divisive, politicians holding up the democratic process because they angrily feel like it, Facebook ‘likes’ attached to vile negative posts, it seems we are doomed to perpetual division.
Where oh where has my country gone? Is everyone drinking denial Kool Aid? Hey folks, if you know civics, we have a new democratically elected president. The electoral college has spoken. I understand, reality bites for some, but acceptance and support of our Constitution is part of the privilege of living in this great country.
I am off Facebook and only sharing my blogs. I have turned off the television and instead I am reading more and working at my own craft and thank God everyday for the beautiful adoptive children in my extended family life who wouldn’t be here today if their birth mothers had had an abortion.
I am boycotting my once respected union peers out in Hollywood. I want to see them ply their craft and I care not a twit their stance on politics. Whether folks agree or not with you, fellow actors, award events are not the platforms to share your political rage. Just because you can, doesn’t make it right, or even interesting.
So, I don’t know how long my withdrawal from the political insanity will be, but with malice toward none I am giving the new president a chance to keep us safe, improve the economy, and move us forward. If he doesn’t, then, lucky me, democracy will allow a change.
In the meantime, for someone, do or say something kind today, will you? One small step for mankind may collectively save all of us in the end.
Lately, it has been hard to turn on the news. It seems as though there is so much violence among us that every day or so it easily makes its way into the headline news. And the most tragic element of it all, a great portion of the deadly violence is by persons who are mentally ill. Time and time again, it is not the guns or knives, but the instrument of death among us is a mind afflicted with mental illness.
Until we as a society wake up and make a conscience effort to erase the stigma of mental illness, arm ourselves with tools to recognize those who need help and take action by opening the attic door to the myths of brain disorders, the tragic news will only increase.
As the article explains, recovery is sometimes a difficult journey for not only the patient, but those caught in the chaotic mental web that is spun around them.
I found my healing through my writing and my son, Emerson Hart through his music.
There is recovery also by giving back to society through knowledge and understanding that if diagnosed early before the illness becomes acute there is help and hope for those who are not able to rationally help themselves.
Within our communities and families let us all start a dialogue about how we can erase the stigma of mental illness and in the process save lives of both the afflicted and their potential victims. Brain Behavior is the issue, not guns.
Grandchildren at times can be both joy and the backside of heaven!
I hate to admit it, but I have finally reached middle age, or to be more honest, I am just on the edge of the cliff from being ‘old’ at least in my grandchildren’s eyes. And who sees clearer than a bunch of pre-schoolers with virgin honesty that has not yet been corrupted by watching us adults? No one I have yet to meet in my travels, anyway.
For most of my adult life I have been writing about life around me as I see it. First as a CBS affiliate anchorperson and then as an author. And for several years now I have been writing about everyday living and how to make the most of it.
I am at my happiest when I am with my family or when I am creating. As much as I enjoy being in the public arena, entertaining, lecturing and helping other people, I was born a very introspective person. For some reason I have not always been able to comfortably share my own deepest thoughts and feelings, even with my closest friends and family.
Perhaps that is why writing so comfortable for me. What I feel, what I think becomes a fountain when put on paper. As a young girl with an older brother who was always off on his own with his friends, I learned to use my creativity to entertain myself. Being able to put my thoughts and feelings down has always been joyful to me.
During the 12 hour ride from New Jersey to Lexington, Kentucky this weekend I learned a new meaning for ‘sweet’ from my 18 year-old grandson. To me “sweet’ has always meant the stuff that packed the pounds onto my hips, the taste of root beer or the look on my little girls’ faces when they wanted something from me. But today it seems that ‘sweet’ has replaced ‘cool’ in hip teenage vernacular.
So when I think of aging gracefully, if there is such a thing, I say ‘sweet’. I told him about the comedian Jackie Gleason’s famous line as his character Ralph in The Honeymooners, “How sweet it is!” To me that always meant things were darngood. So maybe this current tweaking of the meaning of ‘sweet’ is not too far from Ralph’s gleeful proclamations years ago when life was rockin’ with Alice.
All of this thought pattern continued when in Lexington I picked up at the local Barnes & Noble a copy of Dr. Andrew Weil’s book, “Healthy Aging.” According to Dr. Weil we all begin aging from the time of birth. (Whoa! Isn’t that a depressing thought!)
He quotes the words of an Eastern philosopher, “The sun at noon is the sun declining; the person born is the person dying.”
Aging is really not reversible. But on the positive side, his message is clear. At any age it is important to learn how to live in appropriate ways in order to maximize health and happiness. That really should be an essential goal for all of us.