An emotional holiday commercial from Chevrolet is hitting home with many Americans and could very well become one of those ads we'll never forget. The automaker's more than five-minute ad, called "A Holiday to Remember," opens with a family gathering. A man and his daughter are talking about the declining well-being of his wife, who has early-stage Alzheimer's. "There's some days she doesn't even recognize me," he says, answering his daughter's question about whether her mom has more bad days than good. A young woman, presumably the older couple's granddaughter, overhears the conversation and makes a decision. "Let's make today a good day," she tells her grandmother – who sits with a vacant look – before carefully leading her to a blue 1972 Chevrolet Suburban in the garage. As John Denver's "Sunshine On My Shoulders" plays, the young woman drives her grandmother through town, reminding her of pivotal places in her life, like her childhood home, her high school, and a drive-in theater that triggers a memory. It was there the now elderly woman's husband first kissed his wife-to-be, the granddaughter says. Her grandmother then corrects her: "No, I kissed him. He was far too shy." She then tells her teary-eyed granddaughter: "Bill! I need to see Bill." The pair return to the family home, where the longtime couple hold each other and kiss with tears streaming down their faces. He has her, for a moment. The ad was created with help from the Alzheimer's Association because most importantly, the commercial showcases what people living with Alzheimer's and their families go through, especially around the holidays. An estimated 6.7 million Americans ages 65 and older are living with Alzheimer's in 2023, according to the association. Internet users are opening up about how the ad is making them feel. YouTube user @kathiowen observed that "the best marketing tells a story." "Thank you Chevrolet for the tears of joy," she said. USA Today's story by Emilee Coblentz: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2023/11/29/chevrolet-holiday-commercial-alzheimers/71743866007/ The video is on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnZGEUA4oBk
It was a damp cold inside the abandoned church, as I sat in the rotting pews. Staring at the beautifully broken stained glass windows, a depiction of a westernized God glaring down directly at me, his eyes burning so hot, it could have lit the cigarette in my hand. My eyes dart to my hand, almost certain the little, white cylinder has caught flame. It hasn't, of course, and so begins the search for my lighter in one of my many pockets. The search is over and the cigarette is lit. I watch the plumes of smoke drift into the ceiling beams that are barely holding up the weight of the church anymore. The roof caves in, on the brink of collapse and the floorboards have been ripped apart, now used as firewood inside someone's house on cold winter nights. I play with my lighter and the glow sets eerie shadows across the walls, the warm, orange light making the cold cower in the corners of the crumbling building. I stare at the lighter, thinking; what a beautiful ending it would be to go up in flames, engulfed in the heat of fire and the comforting warmth of slow burning. My dead body would be a new addition to the deceased building, adding onto the pile of history that seeps into the dark, oak floors. A mess of flesh and flame, rotting wood and the footprints of sinners and saints. I light cigarette number two, throwing the first butt to the floor, where it lay in its own ashes. I don't bother to stomp it out despite the small flame I can see catching on a splintered piece of the floor. I can feel the flame grow beside my foot as I hold eye contact with the stained glass God yet again calmly inhale my smoke. The fire snakes along the floor, creeping its way into the pews and slowly up the supporting beams. I can feel it enveloping me, the heat growing almost unbearable. The hair on my arms singes and my body starts to sweat. I can taste the salt on my cigarette, can feel it dripping down my neck, my back, my legs. The church's structure begins to fall from the sky, as if God himself is spitefully throwing flaming spears towards me. The already caved in roof crashes down and the flames rise higher, leaving behind a heap of burning wood and bodies.
Sasi Krishnasamy - history Sasi Krishnasamy was born on January 22, 1984, in the village of Palani, Dindigul district. His parents were Mr. Krishnasamy and Mrs. Nageshwari. When he was five years old, his family moved to Coimbatore city, where he completed his schooling and higher education. After finishing his studies, he worked for a private company and then joined the jewelry industry in 201112. He married Mrs. Gokila Sasikrishna in September 2009 and had two children, Sowmiya Sasikrishna and Gowtham Sasikrishna. Sasi Krishnasamy had a keen interest in spirituality, yoga, and meditation since his childhood. He learned from various masters and scriptures and developed his own insights and teachings on mindfulness and self-awareness. He also had a passion for social service and helping the needy and the oppressed. In 2020, he founded the Ayngaran Foundation, a nonprofit organization based in Palani, with the vision of spreading spiritual wisdom and uplifting humanity. The foundation offers various programs and activities such as meditation camps, yoga classes, motivational talks, free education, health care, environmental protection, and animal welfare. Sasi Krishnasamy has a large following of devotees and admirers who seek his guidance and blessings. He has also written several books and articles on spirituality and social issues. He has a YouTube channel where he uploads his videos and podcasts. He is also active on other social media platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Biopage, AllAuthor, GoodReads, BookBub, and BookLife. Sasi Krishnasamy is regarded as one of the most influential spiritual leaders and social activists in India. He is known for his simplicity, humility, compassion, and charisma. He is often invited to speak at various national and international events and forums. He has received many awards and honors for his contributions to society.
It is an odd feeling being fifty. Wrinkles are settled in now, and my body feels more flimsy by the day. An elaborate continuum of forgotten memories hangs by a thread. As time passes, my thirst for spontaneity dissipates. My brain is resistant like dusty cogwheels waiting for a spark. Looking around, many strangers I used to know now rest six feet under with an identical bouquet of flowers adorning an $11,000 gravestone. Some of their bodies were taken by the wind, drowned in the deep blue sea, or kept in generational attics. Looking back, I lost many jobs in my late 20s, but thankfully I had a second chance to restart my life. Today is my 50th birthday. A day I never knew would come so soon. Occasionally, I wonder how differently my life would have played out or ponder on old friends. Even at this instant, I can taste the bittersweet memories of nostalgia in my lukewarm cappuccino. Reaching into my pocket, I felt a terrible shock enter my body. Like a pinch too sudden and too painful to even breathe. Slowly I pulled out my hand with purple bruises and a pack of sewing needles. A series of flashbacks entered my mind. My mother had sowed, and her mother sewed, and before her, my great-grandmother sewed, and her mother before that. Funny how bits of my past somehow sneak into my present and future. The pain took me back to when I was a little girl sewing patches of all textures and colors onto my corduroy pants. Clothing was scarce then, and most of my blankets were quilted. Sowing became a part of me and followed me through adolescenthood when I joined the Craft Club at my school. During the second meet-up, I noticed a girl named Lila, with hazelnut eyes and brown hair, in the back of the classroom with a croquet kit on her desk. After introducing myself to her, we became instant friends with the everlasting promise of world domination. Our friendship ended abruptly when she told me she was going to study in Europe. I lost contact with her and thought about her occasionally over the years. Even now, her mystery plagues my mind in times of solitude and reflection. Today is my Birthday. My kids and grandchildren are waiting for me to come home and celebrate a year more. This morning has been my secret escape into the past, but now I must return to the present and finish my cold cappuccino. I reach the table next to me and grab a few napkins to place my needles in. It is an odd feeling being 50, but now I feel comfortable in my flimsy skin. My life has played out the exact way it should have, and now I must keep telling my tale so that my daughter and her daughter, and her daughter will tell it too.
My grandma has always been the glue that has stitched our family together. She is that tall tree whose roots are so sturdy they cannot be cut down. She is the reason we want to visit home during the holiday season. She is a reminder that though we no longer have our parents, God had purposefully placed her in our lives for such a time as this. It could be her contagious laughter that changes any atmosphere or her mischievous gaze that lets you know she has been around the world for some time. Her hugs let you know that she is in love with you, and her cooking, though not the best conveys a sense of home. My relationship with Grandma was rocky for a long time. We could not see eye to eye on certain things. I blame it on our similar traits of hot temper and stubbornness. After my grandfather passed away when I graduated high school and turned nineteen, things took an even darker turn. He had left a business with no will, and per tradition, the oldest of the siblings inherited the responsibility. My mother, at the time, could not care less, so the weight fell on my shoulders. The business was in so much debt, which made it difficult to revive for an inexperienced high school graduate. After several attempts to save the business, it continued to drown in debt. I had borrowed some money from several people with a promise of reasonable interest, but I could not pay it back. Needless to say, we had to close the business. The people I owed money to were banging down our throats, leaving my grandmother in shame and embarrassment. A few months after the business had closed, my grandmother and I had a talk in which she requested that I leave home and stay with my mother for a while. I took this demand to heart as a form of abandonment and rejection. I obliged her wish, but I could not erase the brokenness and disappointment in her gaze. Our relationship was bad, but it had taken a crack for the worst. It was difficult to forgive myself. Years had passed, and I had not set foot at home, even for the holidays. I found a job and proceeded to pay off my outstanding debt. I did not dare to return home and face her. The wound of not being able to forgive had caused a deep rift between my family and me. I lived in isolation, away from them, as a way of self-punishment. I would later lose my mom to AIDS, but even that would not repair our relationship. It had been years since my mom's passing, and my siblings and I kept in touch. I would ask about her well-being but end there. One random day, I received a call from Go-go (translation: grandma). She proceeded with the greetings, and I replied with a sceptical tone, "I'm okay." I can't describe to you how surprised I was by our next conversation. “Sneh, why have you not home?” I thought to myself, has old age taken her memory hostage? “Are you still angry with me?” Nope, she still remembers. “Don't you know how much we have missed you at home?” The shock had silenced my tongue. She continued to express her concern for me and her desire to see me before she dies. Bear in mind, this was just the old people's way of quilting you, not a declaration of a terminal illness. While she talked, a stream of tears came pouring down my cheeks. I felt a lump that had suffocated me for years releasing. It was the first time I let go of the guilt I carried for so many years. I realized that I had imprisoned myself in this self-imposed cell, and only I had access to this key. You know that infamous saying that being unforgiving is like someone taking poison and hoping someone should die. I had been poisoning my soul with bitterness and hatred. My grandma opened the door to healing. I decided that the next step would be to return home. Little did I know, that a lockdown would be implemented. Because of the pandemic, I realized that the anger I carried would amount to nothing. All of a sudden, the senile remark about her dying could become true. During the months of lockdown,I fell into a deep state of depression. By grace, the lockdown restrictions had been eased, and I returned to work. After many months, my finances settled, and in August 2022, I went back home. When I arrived, there she was, my old lady, seated outside her muddy kitchen hut. Her body was frail and wrinkled but still beautiful. Her left eye was near blindness. “Who are you?” I blamed her eyes that had given up on her sight. “Again, she asked, "Who are you?" I replied, "Go-go, it is me, Sneh." She could not contain her joy and hastily cupped me in her arms, joking about my weight gain as if we were old, lost friends. It was foolish of me to think that love, coupled with wisdom, could not forgive a multitude of mistakes. After a couple of days at home and we became friends. She would, like all seniors, question my marital status and my capacity to conceive great-grandchildren. I still wonder if I deserve her, but I believe God had placed her in my life intentionally for such a time as this.
My first memory of COVID was late at night in December of 2019. I saw it on the news, looking at my phone in a pitch black room – a room in the apartment my family had just moved into. An apartment that was small, 11 stories high, and about 7,000 miles away from where I used to call home. When I was ten, my parents shifted the entirety of my life by moving us to Kyoto, Japan. What made me remember this moment - looking at my phone at the news in the midst of unpacking and struggling to live in this completely new culture - is that I told people. I told others about COVID and everyone shrugged it off; as did I, not realizing it would change the trajectory of our lives – everyone's life. A few months later: It's February, 2020. Light was streaming in through the thin brown curtains of my open-windowed classroom at school, all 20 students sleeping on chairs or squishing onto the one stained couch at the back of the room, all looking for a cushioned seat to sink into. Three teachers were jammed in the room. First they said we would be wearing masks. I didn't think anything of it, as did everyone else. The following week, my teacher, standing in the shadows of the light bleached room, said we would all be going into online classes. Everyone was silent. No one understood. Throughout the next three years the borders in Japan stayed closed. Traveling back home over the summer required 5 hours of paperwork after 20 hours of flying, plus quarantine. Only at the start of this year did the Japanese government finally release their grasp on the Mask Mandate. Even today about 85% of people still wear masks; it's like a regularity now, a parasite that people have learned to live with and don't know how to live without. I was in online school for over nine months in total, and staying home wasn't the worst part - it was being told I was going to be able to go to school in person, and then a few weeks after actually being able to see people, we would have to go back into online school. March 2021: The waves licked at my feet in beautiful Okinawa Japan in the late afternoon during spring break. We had been at in-person school for five months when I got the email –- we would be going into online classes for two weeks. That turned into over two months. In the US people sat outside their houses on lawn chairs, talking to their neighbors through their windows. Japan doesn't have front lawns, or back ones. They have windows that are only opened when clothes need to be baked in the sun because dryers take too much space in the house. I talked to almost no one for a year, and, having just moved to a polar opposite country to the one I had been previously living in, I felt trapped in a cage labeled “overwhelmed.” For the first couple months where we lived free of COVID in Japan, there were many foreigners visiting. Where we lived, we weren't surrounded by only Japanese, but also those from the west who somewhat made it feel like home. Then, the borders closed, and the land was quiet. My world felt silent for two years. As I was able to begin riding the train again each morning, not trapped in my home, I realized how being foreign and living in Japan was not pleasing to some. The stares. People crossing to the other side of the street when you are near. Moving to a different bus seat when you get too close. Though every country experiences these problems, living in a closed-off Japan, trapped from the rest of the world - trapped me too. But then I met a girl online, and she filled my life with light. And soon I met another, who lived close by and came over to my house often. Though there were days I felt alone, I knew that I had wonderful people around me - and I will never forget the hilarious Zoom calls with my friends from school… I miss them. I moved back to the US in June, and not wearing a mask felt odd, but freeing. I now live in Texas, and I see that everyone talks to everyone. They are kind – they say excuse me if they are in your way, and they smile at you more often than not. Being in Japan, not talking to many people for so long due to language barriers and the extensive shut down COVID inflicted on the country made me realize how deficient I was in the complex action that was being social. Despite all of this, Japan was a blessing, and COVID wasn't a curse. It was painful; but it also made me stronger. I understood the meaning of looking out for myself, and to simply enjoy life as it was. Sitting at home and typing at my laptop for a whole summer resulted in an entire book that has infusions of my life in it, something I never would have done if COVID didn't occur and I didn't have the time. COVID resulted in me learning about myself, even if it was a struggle to realize that. Those four and a half years were worth it, even through the hard times, and experiencing the entirety of COVID in Japan, though difficult, allowed me to see the goodness in a newfangled place halfway across the world.
I only remember that dark, windy night. The accident. I was having a dreadful headache. I hit the wrong pedal, I accelerated. From there on, I can't remember anything, just me waking up in an ambulance. I couldn't hear anything, just my own breath hyperventilating. Immediately, I arrived at the hospital and the nurses took me to a private room to be checked. It was bizarre that they checked me constantly, which led me to believe I was very injured. I was trying to sleep when I heard a doctor entering the room. When I opened my eyes, I saw a tall man with a white coat. He said that I needed to be transferred to another hospital where I could be monitored by specialized equipment. They took me to a black van where I couldn't see anything through the windows. They started talking. I couldn't hear any words from the stress I was experiencing. Abruptly, I started feeling very dizzy. —Do you know where you are?— That was the first thing I heard after waking up. I was sitting in a chair looking at the wall, zoned out. I just got transferred or at least that was what they told me. Apparently, there was an accident; I can't remember anything. —Pass patient 16 to a room, he is not answering— No, no, no. What room? Get me out of here. I got to the room. I want to get out of this place, yet I don't even remember my name. I just want to get out. —Get me out of here— I repeated to myself while the people in white coats were connecting stuff to my body. I don't want this, make it stop! —Get me out of here— I yelled, but apparently, no one heard me. —Get me out of here— I cried out for help, again no one heard. I was trembling. I couldn't feel my body, which to be honest, I didn't even recognize as mine anymore. My heartbeat quickened. Tick tock I heard a clock. —Get me out of here!— Tick tock. —Get me out— Tick tock. —Get me— Abruptly, everything went dark. Silence. I wasn't dead, I couldn't be. —Patient 16– then everything was bright again. —You blacked out— said the man in a white coat. Then everything went back to normal, if normal is the word to define this whole situation. The past days, the doctor said I've made improvement both physically and mentally. I don't know how I made progress if I never felt off. However, I do experience nightmares, and I don't like the looks I am getting from the people in white coats. They seem as if they are hiding something. The doctor said fresh air would be good for me and that I needed to go for a walk. I don't like going for walks, it scares me. The voices in the halls scare me; nevertheless, I'll go later. I don't know where I could end up. I evaded the halls; I couldn't help myself. They're too scary, so I made my way through the garden. I ended up in a forest with yellowish-leaves. I lost track of time. There were stones on the ground with names of people, also there was a big hole that looked as if it was going to be filled up soon. I panicked; I don't like to panic because of the voices, the voices that come from nowhere. They talked about death. I refuse to think I'm going insane because if there is one thing I am is sane. Rain poured down, it felt like acid. As the rain showered on my shoulders, I ran. ——— My phone rang; I picked it up wondering what could've happened so late at night. —Dr. Collins here— I answered. —Yeah Collins, I've got a patient here; he's outside. He's at the yard, you know, the yard— he emphasized, it was obvious he was at the graveyard, but why? —Also this patient doesn't match any of the files I have here, Is he a…— —Patient of mine?— I interrupted, anyone could be hearing. —Yes, yes he is. I'm on my way— then I hung up. Before I left I checked on our latest operating procedures on our “volunteers”; most of them were still in progress. I went quickly to the main lobby. Once the door opened, the cold wind of late autumn night flew through my coat, down the hall Dr. Bailey spotted me. —Collins!— she called my attention. —Bailey— I responded. —Our procedure with 66 was a succes, yet there is a patient outside, patient 16– she stated. It couldn't be 16 he was… —I'll hurry, thank you— I interrupted my thoughts and arrived at the CCTV room. —Stephan?— —Hello sir, you see the patient, he's been staring at that stone for at least ten minutes— I then saw him turn around. When he saw the camera, he ran into the woods. I had to go. —Sir, there's a gate, after our last escape we reinforced it— I left without answering. ——— I felt scared, the eye on the wall, it looked at me. I ran into the woods. The voices kept screaming, sounds of pain. Someone screamed. I felt whimpering, the voices were no longer there, no more screams. There was a thunderstorm. A shower of lighting hit the ground. As the last strike hit, so did my body, and everything went cold.
LaBlanche, an intrepid detective with an eagle eye for detail, returned home late one night. She had been out on a case all day, and all she could think about was pouring herself a glass of wine, and curling up with a good book. But as she opened the door, something felt off. The house was too quiet, too still. LaBlanche had been in many dangerous situations in her life, but she had never been quite so scared as she was in that moment. She crept through the house, slowly making her way to the study, where she knew her husband was meant to be. To her shock, she found him lying on the floor, motionless. For a moment, LaBlanche couldn't move. Her mind raced, trying to make sense of what was happening. He had been murdered, she realized. With a trembling hand, she reached for the phone and dialed the police. When the officers arrived, they brought LaBlanche in for questioning. She gave her statement, but despite her best efforts, she could not provide them with any leads. For hours, the detectives interrogated her, trying to discover any hidden clues that would lead them to the killer. But LaBlanche had nothing to give them, and eventually they let her go with a warning. She stepped out of the police station with a sense of determination. She would not rest until the killer was caught and brought to justice. She knew that she had to act fast, as time was running out. She had to find out who had done this, before they struck again. LaBlanche set out to investigate the murder on her own. She retraced her steps, thinking of all the people her husband had met in the days leading up to his death. She visited his work, talked to his colleagues and friends, and went through his emails and messages. But she could not find any clues that would lead her to the killer. One night, as LaBlanche lay in bed, she heard a strange noise coming from the study. She got up and crept towards the room, her heart pounding in her chest. As she got closer, she could hear footsteps coming from inside. With trembling hands, she pushed the door open and stepped inside. To her surprise, she found a man standing there, rifling through her husband's desk. He looked up as she walked in, his eyes widening in surprise. LaBlanche recognized him as one of her husband's colleagues, a man who had always seemed a bit too interested in their personal lives. "What are you doing here?" she demanded. The man hesitated, then stammered, "I was just looking for some papers that I left here earlier." LaBlanche knew he was lying. She took a step closer, her eyes fixed on his face. Suddenly, she saw a flicker of fear in his eyes. She knew then that he had murdered her husband. She just had to gather enough evidence to prove it.LaBlanche's mind raced with a million thoughts all at once. She had to keep the man at bay while she searched the room for any evidence that would confirm her suspicions. She took a step closer to him, her gaze still fixed on his face. "What do you mean you left some papers here earlier?" she asked him. "And why are you so afraid?" "I...I left some important documents here earlier," he said, his voice shaking. "I needed to come back and get them." LaBlanche didn't believe him. She knew he was lying. She continued to edge closer to him, looking for any sign of a struggle. And then she saw it - a small cut on the man's hand, barely visible in the dim light. "What happened to your hand?" she asked him.The man tried to hide his hand behind his back, but it was too late. LaBlanche had seen it. She took another step closer, and this time, the man stepped back. "I...I cut it on a broken glass earlier," he stammered. "It's nothing." LaBlanche didn't believe him. She knew that the cut on his hand was a sign of a struggle, that he had fought with her husband before killing him. "Show me your hand," she demanded, taking another step forward. The man hesitated, then slowly held out his hand. LaBlanche saw that the cut was deep, and still bleeding. She knew that she had found her evidence. "You killed him, didn't you?" she said, her voice low and menacing. The man looked at her, his face pale with fear. "I...I didn't mean to," he said.LaBlanche knew that this was just an excuse. She could see the guilt in the man's eyes and knew that he was lying once again. She had to make him confess. (CONTINUATION IN NEXT POST)
CORNERSTONE Years on, he graduated the best and began working at a reputable hospital as Head of General Doctors. Unknown to me, I was admitted into the same hospital he worked. “Ma'am, I'm sorry but you will have to stay till you are okay to leave,” the nurse said to me, diagnosed of Diabetes. “I am the mother of the worst kid on Earth. I am so unfortunate,” these I said soliloquizing. My son who walked at 3 and spoke at 5, made me realized fate had something wonderful in store for me. “I'm damn tired of this whole situation. I am filing a divorce against you,” these my husband said in fury. I had to take up a job as a cleaner to fend myself and my son. My son's dream was to study in one of the prestigious school in the world, ranked high in medicine. He once told his friends but they laughed him to scorn. They had the belief only the wealthiest gets in. “Mom, my friends said I can never get admitted into my dream school,” he cried home from school one day. I encouraged him to get off their myopic views of success and aim for the top. The more his friends and many other persons discouraged him, the more I encouraged but when I do the opposite, there was none to encourage. This was hard for him as I was his strength and at same time, weakness. I considered my financial capacity and the bad though of accepting a loan. A year later, his gap year took off. Unknown to me, he had been ruminating on what to do as the next phase of his life unfolded. He couldn't afford not resuming the college he was going to commit to the next year's fall. “You can't get into Harvard. It is very expensive. It has a very low acceptance rate. There are no college upfront costs programs to aid your application.” These statements made by his friends got him encouraged instead of the opposite. He began researching free programs, discovered the best fit for him, applied and was luckily selected. “Honey, where are you packing your luggage to?” I asked in surprise. “I'm leaving to my friend's place,” he replied. “What will you get yourself doing? Who is this friend? Where exactly does he lives?” I asked thousands of questions he had to answer. “Mom! Mom! Mom! I want to go hustle and make my living on this terrestrial ball an impactful one,” he replied. “Don't weep as I won't change my mind,” he commanded on seeing my teary eyeballs. After his departure, I busted out in tears that could fill a 50 liters bucket. He worked hard, applied. It was enigmatic for him to believe he got accepted into his dream school on full ride scholarship. Then I realized the saying “Diligence with resilience is really the gateway into success” and “Luck is not by chance but preparations meeting opportunities.” There was this practice in the hospital where the H.G.D. as referred to, visits all patients through a particular week in a month. I was lucky to be admitted during this period. On the third day of that week, it was my ward's turn. He came in, asked how I was feeling. I had a second look at him and discovered the tall handsome doctor was Brian. “Dr. Brian Rowland Adrian” I called out his name, in bewilderment. He was surprised to have a patient know his full name. I introduced myself and busted out in tears immediately. “Mum, is this you?” he replied in shock. We hugged for so long and shed tears of joy. He was happy to behold his father's bride after nine years of separation. Coincidentally, there was a male patient who was diagnosed of high blood pressure. As usual, he went in to ask the man's wellbeing. “This patient's face is familiar” he said to himself. “Sir, have we met before?” he asked. “I don't know you,” he replied. He could recognize the old patient's face as his father's but the patient couldn't. “Are you not Mr. Rowland Brown, the father of one Brian Rowland Adrian?” “Yes, I am but who are you? I don't know you before. How did you know the full name of my son? Have you been monitoring my family since I married?” he replied questioning. “I'm the son you left to die. The main reason you divorced my mum”, Brian replied. Immediately, tears flowed down his cheeks as he couldn't stand the shame of being treated by the same person he left untreated. “My son, please forgive me ,” he pleaded agonizingly. Brian left in anger and came show me to Rowland. “Dad, meet mum you left to suffer. I'm the product of only her pain and suffering,” Brian said in tears and rage. He promised not to forgive him. I had to intervene by begging Brian's forgiveness which took weeks for him to consent. A few days later, we both got discharged. Brian moved us to the house he had built. While having a reconciliation dinner together, I tapped Rowland and said, “Indeed, the stone the builders rejected is now the cornerstone,” rotating my eyeballs and neck round the whole beautiful paradise.
While rummaging through his op-ed notes, which he had barely jotted down, as he stood up to leave, Rufus sighed, as his mind or rather what was left of his sanity began to take a plunge into the abyss of what he called ‘the nihilist's cave'. It had been a rough day, as he had been staring at the blank Word document for hours, just waiting for the divine intervention after which he could start summoning his magical word prowess but all to no avail; the only highlight of the day remaining to be that of the scuffle he had with the Executive Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper, about his previous article being provocative. Rufus had come out with blazing guns, all pointed towards the Editor, declaring him as a threat to the ‘real' journalism; yes, Rufus was extremely protective of his work, be it good or bad. Anyways, now he was reminiscing and thus, going down a rollercoaster of emotions, with clouds of emptiness and a grief unbeknown surging throughout his heart, making him feel nauseous. He clinched the edge of his desk as hard as he can, such that his hands were soon red as a freshly pluck cherry. His mind gradually filled with doubts: was his work really magical or did he even have a passion for journalism? Amidst the war raging through his mind, he felt like a loser, as simple and as basic as that. ‘Your work is losing its quality, Rufus.' ‘Your articles don't exude that energy anymore.' ‘Don't you think that this career may not be the right choice for the person like you?' Colleagues' rants, boss' remarks, and a part of his own soul were simply breaking him into shards of nothingness, at the moment. The cab that he had booked had left after waiting for half an hour. Yet, here he was, alone in the office, slowly succumbing to despair. He remembered the Sales Manager job, Dad had told him about, just a week ago, when he had asked him for some money to pay the rent, because his writing job at the local newspaper hadn't been paying him much, as he hadn't been able to feature for some weeks now. He thought that maybe he should apply for that job, with a dilapidated state of mind. The prospect of writing down the resignation letter for his current job, soon surfaced up. Putting his op-ed notes back, he switched on his old Dell laptop, which at least took ten minutes to light up. Navigating the cursor, through the tiny alleys, surrounded by app icons, he finally reached his destination: the same blank Word document which he had stared at, the entire day. As he was going to complete the first sentence of his resignation letter, his phone beeped; it was an Instagram notification. A woman named Philly had direct messaged Rufus, while sharing one of his written pieces, which he had uploaded on his blog page. ‘OMG, I am in awe of how beautifully you write!!! TBH, I think you have made my day!' As he read the message, tears swelled up, his mind cleared and remembered his Literature teacher's words, ‘Rufus, People won't necessarily read what you write, let alone like it. So just remember that you just have to write on and on. That's what makes out the best of the writers.' The divine intervention that he'd sought the entire day for writing had finally come; it was simply a two-liner message on Instagram. He couldn't thank Philly more. Whenever he rethinks about resignation, Rufus remembers that day and Philly. It is the smallest of messages which may mean the whole world to anyone.
"An unexamined life is not worth living." Socrates My mother would always wake me up and say, "Come to pancakes." I was somehow a sleepaholic, and it was very difficult to leave my bed, to be honest. However, the fragrant smell of strawberry pancakes led me towards our small kitchen. My mom started laughing at me; she knew how to wake me up. I had never missed my morning classes because of my mom. Everything changed after COVID-19 was found in Uzbekistan. The pandemic of COVID-19 was officially announced in our country as well. My mom is one of the experienced nurses, and she went to the block areas of treatment for some unknown period of time. The first time, I had not been woken up by mom. I was too scared of losing my mom forever. Every day, I went to sleep and closed my eyes with only one dream: "Please, mom, wake me up." After some time, I raised the question of why I didn't do anything to help my community while my mom was combating this illness. I thought if we helped each other, it would be easier to fight against COVID-19. I texted all my classmates, and we made a solid decision to help our community. I organized a volunteer group called "Help for the Needy." Mostly, we delivered necessary products and medicine to elderly people in our neighborhood. Initially, there were 13 participants in our group, but a week later, another 18 people joined us to play their part in our community. I was not supposed to say I had done something big, although it was really helpful to combat this illness. It is worthy to say that our neighborhood is one of the first places to be considered free of COVID.Two months later, my mom came back home. She continued to wake me up like old times. Although I was mature and started to wake up by reminiscing. Honestly, COVID was a very challenging period for each of us; however, it taught me to be a part of society and truly wake me up to my own understanding. Moreover, I recognized the true values of each of my family members, friends, and relatives. This difficulty made me more sensible and mature. Life is an invaluable gift for all of us. Thanks for the challenges that forced me to value my mom. But I'm still loving my mom's voice: "Come to pancakes."
I looked out the window and looked at the beautiful blue sky and then thought to myself, “What a wonderful world.” I decided that I would go for a walk to a cafe and come back later. I ordered a cappuccino with extra whipped cream and took it to go. I shortly left and just went to the park and read for a bit and got tired and started my walk back home. As I was walking, I heard screaming. Not the good kind of screaming but the bad. I walked towards the sound of the noise and found three goon men beating up a guy who was bleeding profusely and DEAD. I gasped and I started running. Not the little jog that I do when people chase me for fun, I was full-on sprinting. So many thoughts were running through my mind. I heard men screaming after me but that gave me more morale to run even faster. At some point, I went into an isolated area and hid. One of the goons caught up to me and started searching for me. The goon that came for me with a scar on his lip shot at the sky and I cringed. I thought I was going to die. As if my silent prayers were answered, the other goon came running and said, “I think little princess girl is gone, let's head back to the boss.” I don't know why, but I started crying. I had a death scare and I'm still alive. I cried so much, my eyes turned bloodshot red, my nose was running and probably red too and I was shaking. I decided to run back home. I was traumatized, that was for sure. I couldn't talk or eat properly. I would skip school and not go out of the house. I felt so trapped in my mind and body. I would lock myself in my room with my back to my door and just look into space and do nothing but breathe and think. “Honey, you have to get out of there at some point. You can't stay in your room your whole life. When will you graduate if you plan on dying in there,” my mom said with a sad voice. The day I came back from the incident, I didn't talk to anyone. It's been a week and I hadn't left my room. She left after some time, probably waiting for my response which she didn't get. “Darling, Adrien's here and he wants to talk to you,” Mom said. I was tempted not to open and let them in but I love Adrien. He's my big brother and my best friend and I couldn't just not see him. After a lot of contemplation and thinking, I opened the door. I hadn't stood for a week because I was sitting the whole time. My legs were wobbly but Adrien caught me and hugged me for the first time in a long time. He had moved to California for uni and I hadn't seen him in almost a year. “You smell, bug,” Adrien said and I laughed. I missed him so much. I was out of my room but I still wasn't talking. I hadn't talked in some time and it was weird. Adrien and Mom tried talking to me but I wouldn't speak. I refused every time they tried and they gave up and decided to leave me. My mom tried asking if I would like to talk to a therapist but I gave a pained look. She must have thought that there was something wrong with me. I was watching Friends when Adrien came with popcorn from the kitchen and sat next to me. “Hey,” he said with his perfect smile, and I couldn't help but smile. He looked at me with a look of happiness then pity. I looked away because if I saw that look in his eyes, I would start crying and I didn't want that, for him to see me cry. “You know, if I didn't leave the house that day, I would be fine,” I said, but since I hadn't talked in quite some time, my voice was hoarse. He nodded until he realized that I had just spoken. He called Mom and she came running from wherever she was from and screamed, “What, what happened?!” “Hazel, she just spoke,” Adrien said with the hugest smile I've ever seen. Mom smiled too and it was nice, to cause someone's happiness. “My baby, she's speaking,” Mom said with tear-filled eyes. After what felt like a zillion years of telling them what happened that day, I like a heavy load was lifted off my shoulders and I felt good inside, to not suffer alone. Everything changed when I read the book, “Girl, wash your face” by Rachel Hollis, and was moved when I read the part which said a lot but when summarised said, “Girl, get a hold of your life. Stop medicating, stop hiding out, stop being afraid, stop giving away pieces of yourself, and stop saying you can't do it. Stop the negative self-talk, stop abusing your body, and stop putting it off for tomorrow or Monday, or next year. Get up right now. Rise up from where you've been, scrub away the tears and the pain of yesterday, and start again… Girl, wash your face!” To say I was moved was an understatement, I was touched to the core. I told myself that I would rise up and be better because what I went through and what caused my depression and anxiety doesn't define me but what does is how I move on and become the better me.
Happy Women's Month. One of the most fundamental issues that still need attention, especially in third-world countries is education for women as an empowering tool to uplift themselves. There are still voices of dissent and people who scoff at women who rise in their ranks and claim their places as leaders of an industry, or masters of their chosen profession. Here I would like to share a little bit about Education in Women. Shobana's Musings (https://shobanasmusings.blogspot.com/2023/03/education-for-women.html) I have incorporated a spotlight on my daughter who has just completed her Master's in LLB. A proud moment for us indeed. I have started a Weekly Newsletter and I hope that you will consider following the blog where I share my views on all and sundry. I have a new book published which has garnered great reviews so far on Amazon. You can read the first 2 chapters and the reviews at https://www.amazon.com/Where-Rain-Falls-Shobana-Gomes-ebook/dp/B0BWK6YBH6, Or read it on Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/my/en/ebook/where-the-rain-falls Have a great week. Best wishes, Shobana Gomes https://alittletimewithshobana.blogspot.com
On a rainy day, the drivers hooked their horns while waiting for the traffic to flow again. Nearly 45 minutes to 60 mins of cars backed up from the highways, and the drivers began to be impatient with each other until the patrol police officers controlled the traffic, allowing people that get to their destination. Over by the pizzeria, Nicholas' Seeker, I begin my work shift by checking to see if screens need to sort out, restacking the boxes, grabbing sauces from the coolers, and refilling the parmesan and powder sugar shakers. As hours pass through the evening, orders flood the screens within minutes; Simon, the general manager, told us to kick into high gear. When I saw the food items flowing out from the oven, I suffered from a panic freeze and silently imagined daydreaming. Rosa and Lisa saw me freeze in my imagination and woke me up with a musical shake on my body. Immediately I woke up and witnessed food items dropping on the ground like a gumball machine. While they work on new and remake orders, Lisa, Rosa, and I speed us boxing orders as road runners dodge the coyote's traps. After four to five hours of rush orders, the screens started to clear, and everyone took a short break while eating, snacking, or drinking. While some days can run smoothly, there are days where it's out of control and let course take its wheel. That's why I kept pushing and let my mind run free. Next time we have rush orders, I'll bring my lucky pants and hat.
A peaceful and rapid rain poured over the State of Texas. People hook their horns to the nearest front cars while waiting for the green light to turn on. The ground begins to create puddles that spread wildly like a portal. Over by the pizzeria place, Nicholas' Seeker, Kyla clocked in to prepare for her shift. She placed her purse inside the office while grabbing her drinks from the oven. Kyla checks to see if anything needs to complete before starting her day. She became one of the recognized employees the customers enjoyed seeing daily. Everyone loves the smile on her face, which helps them keep faith that their day runs smoothly. One of the managers, Rosa, waits for her to take over the oven and layer a chicken box and bread box. "Hola!" Kyla shouted. "Hey, mama. I'll be back. I need a smoke break," Rosa said before walking away. "Gotta it. Leave it to me," Kyla said. The general manager Simon returned from the restroom and washed his hands before jumping onto the makeline and telling the workers to load the three ovens. The orders flood the screen, triggering the workers to kick into high gear and make these orders quickly. "Kyla, we're loading all three ovens. Let us know if you need help," Bella said. As the food items pile close together, she breaks a sweat and immediately needs assistance at the oven. Brie and Lisa ran to Kyla's aid to help her. "Brie, read the tickets, and I'll help Kyla," Lisa said. Brie nods and begins reading the tickets. Even with three workers, the oven pushes the food out like a vending machine dropping candy or snacks. Kyla's speed could be better, which makes her feel low self-esteem and silent from speaking. "Come on, Kyla. Let's push forward and worry less about everything else," Brie said. "How nice of you, Brie? I want to go fast like Sonic or Road Runner, yet I can't kick into high gear. I'm like a sloth, who sleep all day and night, and come to work feeling like a zombie," Kyla said while laughing softly. "Oh, yea? I didn't sleep last night because my neighbor committing a mistake in front of my house was okay. I came in two hours late from my shift time after finding out what they did," Lisa said as she laughed. Kyla and Brie couldn't contain their inner laughter and release it. As the last food items were boxed and sent to the customers, Rosa returned from her break and saw them sweating off their bodies. "Rosa? I thought you left," Brie said shockingly. "You said you promised to come back and left me to dust with these orders," Kyla said. "Well, excuse me, miss! I came in early this morning and carried these heavy boxes myself without help. Afterward, my back hurt, and I dislocated my ankle went I slipped onto the floor," Rosa said. The ladies looked awkward and walked away for a short break before another round of rush orders. Kyla sighed as she barely survived the short period of food items coming out quickly; however, with the help of her coworkers and managers, she managed to do little work while they picked up the slick.