I have a handful of childhood friends from the old neighborhood where I grew up. We’re spread all over California, but we’re committed to each other; to our friendship. We send group texts, plan the next reunion, share updates, fears, joys, and tragedy.
We’re in our 60s now, having grown up in the flower power generation. Some of us are retired, others almost. We have wrinkles, and our bodies don’t always cooperate. There have been divorces and deaths – We’ve lost children and parents.
This morning one of those group texts flashed on my cell– and I crumpled onto the couch, unable to believe the finality of the message. A friend’s mother had died, the last surviving mom in our group. She was a lovely woman we called Big Mary, who had hosted several of our reunions and would join us on the back patio laughing and remembering the old neighborhood. We adored her.
We looked forward to seeing her as much as each other. If she didn’t host the reunion, we’d Skype her. Did she know she represented our missing moms?
When someone dies, it brings with it all the losses that have gone before. The Hospice worker in me knows this. Still, the reaction to death never ceases to catch me off guard. That’s when I turn to the page. I find comfort in writing about loss and love. Because when you peel away the layers of your life, what else is there?
Farewell, Big Mary. Thanks for everything.
Boot Language News:
1: It’s the first anniversary of the publication of Boot Language. Thank you, thank you, thank you for making it such a great experience!
2: Boot Language is on the second printing!
3: Wahoo! We have 40 reviews on Amazon …their minimum for offering to increase Boot Language’s visibility!
4: The audiobook is featured in the latest Audiofile magazine (page 46), along with an interview with the narrator, Nicol Zanzarella. Love her!
I’m an introvert, and this book transformed how I teach. Passionately argued, superbly researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people Quiet has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how they see themselves.
In Quiet, Susan Cain argues that we dramatically undervalue introverts and shows how much we lose in doing so. She charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal throughout the twentieth century and explores how deeply it has come to permeate our culture.I encourage all parents and teachers to READ THIS BOOK!
Introverts are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion (Amen!); who favor working on their own over working in teams. It is to introverts—Rosa Parks, Chopin, Dr. Seuss, Steve Wozniak—that we owe many of the significant contributions to society.
Vanya is the award-winning author of Boot Language. She’s spent decades teaching writing as well as mentoring educators in the oldest, continuously used schoolhouse in California. Her essays have appeared in a dozen literary journals and anthologies. Find out more about Vanya at www.vanyaerickson.com.