Just Say Something

September 20, 2013

I have saved an article from Newsweek, written by Betsy Okonski in 1996, titled “Just Say Something”. Betsy and her husband lost a baby in childbirth. What Okonski wrote was exactly how I thought in 1995 and still do to this day. Here is a quote from the article.

“One of the most helpful things you can do for a bereaved person is to acknowledge the loss. Don’t fear causing pain by bringing it up. It was much more upsetting to me when someone acted like nothing happened. Keep it simple. ‘I’m sorry’ may feel inadequate, but the truth is that there is really nothing you can say that will take the pain away. Sincerely said, ‘I’m sorry’ says that you care, and that’s what is truly needed.”

“Grief lasts a long time….if you have not acknowledged the loss yet, regardless of the reason, do it now. It is never too late.”

On Tuesday of next week it will be 18 years since the plane crash that took the lives of my husband and two sons, Joel, Adam, and Seth Herzog. Thank you to everyone who helps keep my memories alive each day. Thank you to everyone who has said, “I’m sorry” or “I have been thinking of you”. 

 

 

 

 

Books Make a Difference

July 11, 2013

I had lunch today at Wooglin’s Deli in Colorado Springs with Meagan Frank, Senior Writer at Books Make a Difference. Meagan graduated from Colorado College a few years after I did. Actually, it was so many years after my graduation that an old friend of Meagan’s asked her if I was her mother! I thought, “I wish!”

Meagan is a writer, mother, wife, athlete, speaker and now my friend. Check out <www.booksmakeadifference.com> to learn more about Meagan and Books Make a Difference — an online magazine celebrating books, their creators and fans, and the positive difference they make in people’s lives.

Looking for something to read?

May 23, 2013

If you are looking for something to read over the three day weekend, feel free to check out my book, Radical Survivor: One Woman’s Path Through Life, Love, and Uncharted Tragedy. I think the book is really good but you don’t have to take my word for it, you can read a review and see what you think! Check it out at the Story Circle Reviews website!  Imagehttp://www.storycirclebookreviews.org/reviews/radicalsurvivor.shtml

Mother’s Day

May 12, 2013

Pictures speak a thousand words. No question that I loved being a mother. ImageImageImage

Chocolate Chip Cookies

April 17, 2013

When I am sad I bake chocolate chip cookies because baking them reminds me of cooking with my youngest son, Seth. I am going to take the cookies to a friend tomorrow whose son took his own life Sunday night. As Christopher Robin said to Pooh, “Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

Image

I like celebrating birthdays!

March 27, 2013

My birthday was on Sunday, March 24. My first birthday cake was a cinnamon roll with candles at Rudy’s Little Hideaway in Colorado Springs. Greg, my fiancé and I, and a small group of friends (and waitresses) sang to me. It was a perfect party! The next day I had a little birthday lunch with my BFF, Donna, and that night I celebrated with friends at book club.

On Monday, Amazon ordered 8 more of my books so I packed those up and sent them. That was a nice surprise! Maybe some people read about the book on Susan Estrich’s blog. You can read it by clicking on this link: http://www.ww.creators.com/opinion/susan-estrich/radical-survivor.html  

I hope you have a great birthday this year whenever it is!

Image

 

The Colorado Springs Youth Symphony and memories of my sons

February 14, 2013

Today I attended a fundraiser for the Colorado Springs Youth Symphony (CSYS) and the Children’s Chorale. In one hour we were able to eat breakfast and listen to beautiful music presented by both groups. Gary Nicholson, my best friend’s husband, started the symphony over 25 years ago and continues to conduct the top orchestra. It was wonderful to listen to the beautiful music. At our table sat someone I had not seen since my sons were in elementary school – the father of children who knew Adam and Seth. He gave me a hug and told me what his children were doing now. Our talk made me think about what Adam (who would now be 30) and Seth (who would now be 28) would be up to. Playing tennis? Small business owners? Teachers? Doctors? Lawyers? Married? Not married? Parents? 

It was nice thinking about them as grown ups even though it also makes me sad. I wish I could call them and wish them a “Happy Valentine’s Day.” I hope, wherever you are reading this, you are spending some time with someone special today. Greg, my fiancé and I are going to walk the dogs and wear red. 

 

Image

What happens when you have a free download of your book?

February 10, 2013

My book, Radical Survivor, was a free download on February 2 and 3. It was downloaded 11,150 times. I checked Amazon about every hour and watched the numbers go up. Each time I held my breath not knowing what to expect but there it was – by the end of the day Sunday 11,150! I was overwhelmed with gladness! Little did i know that this download would stimulate continued interest! The book has now been downloaded over 100 times for the purchase price on Amazon and paperback book sales have also increased.

Another great thing? People are posting reviews of the book on Amazon. 🙂

One person who downloaded the book contacted me for an interview for her radio show. I met Julie on the phone and you can hear the interview  on Book Tour Radio. http://booktourradio.com/radical-survivor/  It was a pleasure talking to Julie – we have a lot in common!

Happy day.

Los Angeles

February 1, 2013

Los Angeles

View from my brother’s deck this morning.

Ear infections and “Radical Survivor”

February 1, 2013

I am in LA with my fiancé, Greg, and his son, Jordan. Jordan is going to do an internship for three months at “Young Hollywood” so he can learn more about being an actor, director, screen writer, and film maker. I am so excited for him!  I came along to visit my brother, see friends, and do a little reading.

I realized when I was landing in LA last night that there was something wrong with my ear…no wonder Adam, who had frequent ear infections, did not like to fly! Somehow I got an ear infection! The doctor said that people usually get them from poking themselves with Q-tips but I swear I did not do that. He said, “Well, you are just luck then.” Lucky I am now taking an antibiotic so I can fly back to Colorado Springs on Sunday. Woowee! Well, enough about that!

To learn more about Adam feel free to read an excerpt from the prologue from “Radical Survivor” which you can download tomorrow and Sunday from Amazon. You can also sign up to get a free copy of the book during the month of February on Goodreads!

PROLOGUE 

SEPTEMBER 24, 1995 

AS THE SUN peeked through the blackout curtains in our Las Vegas ho- tel room, I looked over at the boys, sleeping peacefully in their own queen- sized bed. Turning my head, I caught Joel smiling at me. Sixteen years of staring at those impossibly long eyelashes still had not tempered my jeal- ousy of them. He reached out to me. Memories of the previous night, and what we’d gotten away with after the boys fell asleep, were clearly still on his mind. I scooted backwards so we could spoon. We lay that way until I heard Adam whisper to Seth.

 “Be quiet, Mom and Dad are still asleep.”

Seth, eleven as of the day before, rolled out of bed on his way to the bathroom, holding the stuffed white tiger he’d won at an arcade after seeing the real thing at The Mirage Hotel. He tiptoed by and I winked at him. Reconsidering the urgency of his trip, he climbed into our bed. Adam, almost thirteen, quickly assessed the situation and scrambled in with us. Joel turned suddenly and the tickling started in earnest.

 “STOP! STOP!” Adam screamed as his fingers reached unsuccessfully for Joel. Seth and I slid as far away as we could, but before we knew it Adam was on top of us trying to get away from his dad. Yelling and laughing as we poked his ribs, Joel groped blindly for retaliation. Seth and I shrieked and tumbled onto the floor.

“Wasn’t that an amazing show last night? How could anyone be that strong?” I gushed, hoping for a momentary distraction. We had seen the Cirque du Soleil show Mystère as part of Seth’s birthday celebration the night before. The feats had been spellbinding. My change of subject worked. Joel grabbed Adam and they attempted their own version of a Cirque act, with Seth joining in.

 “Nice muscles. Maybe you guys should audition,” I teased as they rolled onto their backs.

 “Who’s up for a breakfast buffet?” Joel said breathlessly.

***

This had been a good idea. Late in August, Joel’s friend Homer Osborne had stopped in at Joel’s shop, Total Tennis. Homer suggested that they go to Las Vegas to watch the Davis Cup tournament in September. Homer had a pilot’s license. If Joel could get tickets, Homer would rent a plane and fly them to Vegas. Joel couldn’t resist an adventure that included tennis, and knew our sons would be up for it as well. As an elementary school principal, I presumed I would be too busy to go, so Joel bought tournament tickets for himself, our sons Adam and Seth, and Homer and his wife Linda.

Then I realized I would miss Seth’s eleventh birthday, which was September 23—Saturday of that weekend. I wanted to go with them.

 I checked with Homer about joining the trip. He told me the plane had only four seats, and Seth was already going to be sitting on Joel’s lap. There was no room for me, so I had booked a seat on a commercial flight to Las Vegas. It was a little convoluted, but everything had worked out. I had enjoyed relaxing by the pool. We’d celebrated Seth turning eleven the night before with dinner and the Cirque show. He would only turn eleven once—I was glad I’d been there.

 We got dressed, packed, and delivered our suitcases to the hotel valet. The sun was shining as we walked down the street holding hands. The only people on the sidewalk were families and tennis fanatics like us. The finals between the USA and Sweden would be held at Caesar’s Palace after breakfast. We were all feeling a bit rushed: the boys because Joel didn’t want to miss any matches; I needed to catch my flight home. It was okay that I was going home a little early—my workweeks often extended beyond Friday. Sundays were for catching up.

 “That looks like a good one,” Adam announced, pointing across the street to a restaurant with a buffet.

 Sitting down to eat, Joel checked with the boys about their homework. They could finish it on the plane ride home, they assured him. I started to think about the school newsletter column I would write on my flight. We’d all be doing our homework high above the Rockies.

 “I will keep this hat forever.”

 Seth was admiring his prized possession from the previous day’s matches. By a stroke of luck, we’d seen both Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi after the competition, and they’d autographed the hat.

 “It’ll be worth a lot of money,” he added. My budding tycoon. I smiled and agreed. Adam and Joel were in a deep discussion about the upcoming tennis match.

 Joel paid the bill and we walked back out into the September heat. We headed toward Caesar’s Palace where the matches would be played. I had a boy on each side of me. I was holding their hands. We arrived at the crosswalk in front of the hotel. I kissed Adam then Seth and said, “I love you” to each of them.

 Joel hugged and kissed me. We offhandedly gave each other the I-wish-you-weren’t-leaving-but-see-you-soon smile of people who are in love and must separate for a short time. No big deal.

 He said, “I love you. Be careful.”

 I looked straight into his eyes. “I love you. You be careful!”

 My family continued across the street. I headed back to the hotel, picked up my suitcase, and took a cab to the Las Vegas airport.