Monday, March 8, 2010

You Can’t Choose How You Die

Mom is terrified of flying, so I promised take the trip to Oklahoma with her last week. When we were waiting in the airport I didn’t tell her what “Express” means and that our plane would be quite small for our 3+ hour flight. This news would have to wait until the last possible minute.

While waiting for the plane, I could see she was nervous so I tried to find the words to make her comfortable. I asked, “What are you afraid of?” As she thought to herself, I continued, “Are you afraid of dying?” After all, the fear of flying is simply a control issue, right? If Mom can just give up control, she will not be afraid. Sounds good in theory only, I’m afraid.

I said, “Mom, you can’t control when you die. If today is your day, there’s not much you can do about it. So if you let go of the fear of dying, then maybe you won’t be afraid to fly.” Here I am trying to teach my mom about life. My mom, a woman who was a Hospice social worker for longer than I can remember, a woman who raised five children and went back for two more, a woman who carves stone statues and designs stained glass in her spare time. Okay, life -maybe Mom has me beat but flying - now that’s something I know more about for sure.

Mom just smiled at my attempt to help her and answered with a simple, “I’m not afraid of dying. I just have a lot more living to do.” So simple. Did she just turn my words around? I guess wanting to live is different than being afraid to die, which got me thinking:

You can’t choose how you die, but you can choose how you live. It’s not a unique thought, but a good one to be reminded of every now and then. I choose to live content with what I have, I choose to make a difference where I can, and I choose to write.

Mom was not happy when we entered the tiny plane, but she did it. God really smiled on us because it was definitely the smoothest flight I have ever taken. Good job, Mom.

This week I worked on my book covers to distract me from my real task of writing the book proposal, here they are, let me know what you think.

** NOTE: These covers represent 3 Different Books - A Series of Memoirs

Please support me with your honesty.



  1. I've fallen Hook, tagline and sinker for "Breaking the silence".

    The picture, with the mouth cropped off, and Disney in the background is just perfect

    I would move the "Wonderfully Disfunctional" up to the top like it is in "it must be genetic", and move "breaking the silence" down to the bottom left...

    (Mind you I love "A search for words lost as a child." - it could even be the book title.)

  2. Graham,
    Great feedback. I'm going to play around with moving the title as you suggested. The disney pic is me when I was 9.
    Thanks for your support!!

  3. Hi Buffi,

    I too, like Graham, like the middle one - your missing mouth echoes the secretive/revelation nature of the novel and draws attention to the complicated relationship between innocence/childhood and the initiation into a very adult world.

    But I also like the black white picture, evocative and haunting at the same time. There's something very engaging about the slight shadow under her eyes and her very serious expression.

    Hope that helped...

  4. Sorry, I don't have an opinion to offer on the book cover.

    I'm not sure that I agree that we can choose how to live. I believe that fate? has some control, as much or more than choice. Choice certainly has something to do with it. I've made many bad choices that have made many parts of my life suck. Maybe even my whole life.
    To choose how to deal with our life as it is, is not really choosing to to live our life.
    If I could choose how to live, it would be in a warmer climate with a different life partner and better economic conditions. I can't do that, though.

    I think I like the one on the left, the full head shot of the girl (you?)

  5. Note: The book covers are 3 different books in the series - I fixed the post to make that clear. The first pic is my daughter and the second is me.

    GregoryJ - I guess you are right, there is much in life outside our control, maybe we can only choose from the paths that are available. I, too, would choose a warmer climate!!!