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Friends And A Tribe

Cincinnati1I started this post two months ago then after the death of my aunt, traveling to help clean out her condo, and all the life-ing going on I set it aside.  With everyone’s videos and blog posts this week, I decided it was a perfect time to dust it off and finish it.

Whoever said real relationships can’t be formed online was dead wrong.

I met Katie first through a mutual friend over two years ago. You can call her my Twitter BFF. She makes me laugh at every turn and through collaborating with her, I learned a new skill, but I’ll let her keep writing the RomComs. She’s the master, I am but the student. Finally meeting her in August was THE BEST THING EVER. Next was Bianca. We bonded through our mutual love of General Hospital and you can usually find me tweeting with her and Katie about it. Her books about the dark side of love give me a thrill like no other. Two words: page turners. Then I met Kennedy and Stephanie and hilarity ensued. There’s also Callie, Peter, Stuart, Ian, and Wiz.

Then, I gained a tribe. A tribe of writers of different genres who support each other through humor, compassion, and encouragement. Emery and I would tweet with each other here and there. Then one day, he included me in a #FF. Soon after, Sonya tweeted me that she was following me because Emery said so. It was a gregarious move and I loved it. Before I knew it, I belonged to a tribe that welcomed me with open arms. Matt, Jennie, Adam, Olivia, Niko, Sarah, Doug, Shay, Jason, Angelina, and Hayley. I joked the other day that Sonya is the gateway drug, but it’s true. She brings so many people together.

Up until I met my tribe, I never really fit in with one group. Kind of like high school when I would wander away from my fellow band geeks and drift from clique to clique. I am fortunate to have stumbled into this group. Everyone possesses their own talents and while writing is a shared talent, what binds us is deeper. I like to think it’s our letting go of our egos and being ourselves with each other, being honest in the moment about how we are doing and feeling. If you ever want to see edification in action, watch my tribe when someone has a bad day or just received bad news. It’s simply amazing.

Every member possesses their own talents. We aren’t a group of sameness. We’re a tribe of diversity, each with their own voice that we celebrate. That’s where I fit. Where we are all different, write different things, and really don’t care that we aren’t uniform. The conformity within the group isn’t conformity at all, but unity in being. Or, as Olivia says, our real connections.

The same can be said for the friends mentioned before the tribe. The difference is the social network of the tribe (HELLO! SOCIAL NETWORK) providing an interconnected support system. Rather than a small safety net here or there, I have this GIANT net to fall into when I need them.

From that enormous net, I formed a friendship with Doug. The tweets increased, the sharing grew, and the laughter has not ended. He’s my other best friend, my awesome twin, and the male version of me. Meeting him last month on my road trip home from my aunt’s was THE OTHER BEST THING EVER.

I don’t need anything for Christmas this year because, as far as I’m concerned, I have it all.

 
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Posted by on December 23, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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A Time To Die ~ Part 5

bouganMyr stopped next to the concrete tombstone and knelt, laying the flowers on the grass in front of it then glanced at the inscription.

Mikhail Nikolayevich Dmitriev

1957-1992

Devoted to his family

Devoted to everyone but her.

She wiped the tears away. “Mama and Papa were right, you were gloop kak prabka, dumb as a cork.” She leaned over where his head would be. “I remember, Misha. But you forgot what love, family, and family honor really means.”

She straightened herself, still gaziing at the ground. “I wanted to come to the funeral but Natasha said you didn’t want me there.“ She let out a long sigh. “You’re going to miss your new nephew or niece. Five more months. And all three of us are fine.”

She stood and brushed off the grass sticking to her pants. “I thought I’d be visiting Chris’ grave first.” She took another deep breath to keep the tears at bay. She mourned the loss of him and his family since the day he disowned her. Now she grieved for the brother with whom she would never be able to reconcile. “Do svedanya, Misha. We’ll make sure Natasha and the kids are taken care of when they need it because that’s what family does when they truly love each other.”

She trod down the hill in measured steps until she arrived at the car. Chris leaned against the hood with his arms folded. He noticed the tears rolling down her cheeks and wrapped his arms around her. He could never make this better for her. She suffered one loss after another and he would be next once his body couldn’t fight anymore.

He made her a promise in Jeremy’s office and at their wedding. He intended to fulfill that promise with everything in him. All his attention. All his love.

“You still have me,” he said, stroking her hair and kissing her head, “and the baby.” Until death do they part.

©Debi Smith, 2014

 
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Posted by on August 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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A Time To Die ~ Part 4

Cincinnati4Chris and Jeremy chased each other on the unblemished concrete in Jeremy’s driveway. Chris jumped, trying to get higher than Jeremy, and lofted the big, black ball into the air. Jeremy spun to watch the ball hit the backboard, fall on the rim, and bounce as Chris landed on his feet. Jeremy leaped for the rebound and took the ball to the end of the driveway; the agreed upon half-court mark. They faced each other eye to eye, stooped over and bent at the knees. Jeremy bounced the ball as close to his body as he could and Chris swiped at the ball like a drunken chimpanzee unable to move his feet.

“I need a break,” Jeremy said between heaving breaths, still dribbling the ball.

“Fine by me,” Chris answered and placed his hand on the cement to support himself as he sat. As soon as he let his body rest he couldn’t keep himself in that position so he rolled back flat against the ground and Jeremy followed suit.

“Did you tell your parents yet?” Jeremy rolled the basketball on the ground with his flattened palm.

“Yeah, last night after we left your office,” he answered, laying his right hand on his chest and his left arm on the ground perpendicular to his body. “During dinner.”

“Are you serious? What did they say?”

“Totally serious. After Dad choked on his steak, Mom dropped her knife, Tom spilled his milk, and Susanna stopped crying, we prayed. They support our decision.”

Four months before Chris was born, his parents moved into the house next to Jeremy’s family. Jeremy was three. Their families spent time together regularly and once Chris was old enough to play, he and Jeremy became inseparable.

“When are you getting married, Jer? Or are you going to be a bachelor pastor for the rest of your life?”

“I haven’t met anyone interesting enough. Got any friends like Myr?” He picked up the ball and rolled it up and down his chest. “You’re lucky to have her,” he adds.

“Yeah, I know.” He lifted his upper body and supported the weight with his forearms. “Will you take care of her when I’m gone?”

“C’mon,” Jeremy said, sitting up, “It might be a long time before that happens. Besides, she’s a big girl.” He tried not to worry. Chris detailed his doctor’s treatment plan, which he prepared in the event one of Chris’ tests returned positive so they could implement it right away, when Jeremy returned to his office. They felt confident in his doctor’s competence.

“I know, but I want to make sure she’ll be okay. That she’ll be taken care of and won’t be alone. I don’t want her brother to worry about her when he has his own family.”

“She is his family.”

“You know what I mean.”

“You know what I mean, too. She’ll be fine. She knows what she’s doing. She always has.”

“Is this a private party or can anyone join?” Myr asked, standing over them.

“Now that you’re here the party can start,” Jeremy answered with a grin. “Sit.”

“How’s your brother?” Chris asked as she kissed them both on the cheek.

“Stubborn as usual. He forbids me to marry you.”

“What did Natalya say?”

“She wasn’t there.” She sighed. “I know he’s been worried about me since Mama and Papa’s accident, but if he says I’m not his sister anymore, what’s the difference?”

“He didn’t know how to react and said the first thing that came to him,” Jeremy answered in an attempt to reassure her.

“You don’t know him very well, Jeremy.”

“You have me there.”

Maybe going through with the wedding was a mistake, Chris thought. Her brother will outlive me. Then what will she do? Stop thinking like that. Pull yourself together. She’ll be fine.

“You’ll find a lot of people reacting like your brother because they don’t understand,” Jeremy said.

Myr leaned back and lifted her face to the sky with closed eyes, letting the sun warm her and bring her the peace she longed for since she left Mikhail’s.

Everything will work out, Chris told himself.

©Debi Smith, 2014

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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