Thursday, September 12, 2013

Why I Wrote the Book Suede

After fifteen long years, I have finally compiled my poetry together in a collection titled, Suede, which is a tribute to growing up in a cobbler's shop. My father stored leather hides wherever he found room, tacked to the wall and on the workbenches in back. The leather scraps found themselves piled in boxes, just like this photo, which is the cover of my book.
I like to call myself a blue collar poet, mostly because I write my poems for that audience. People who are like my father. He was one of the smartest people I ever knew, and he had little more than a high school education. My father always taught me that I was "no better than anyone else," a concept that both defines me and has caused me problems. It's because although my father taught me this, he got annoyed when I fell in love with men for who they were, not what they could give me.
This book pays homage to my older brother Tony, who died when I was 18, and to my father, who became my best friend in Tony's absence. My father and I grieved together--which means we fought, we made up, we argued, we laughed, and we loved each other with the deep ferocity that runs through our Italian roots. My father once told me, "You couldn't be more like me if you tried." In his keen self awareness, he saw that as both a strength and a weakness.
My father's death pushed me to get this book finished. I regret he's not alive to read it. I am sure that where ever he rests, he is beaming with pride.
Thank you for reading.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Doing the Best Job I Can

As most of you know, my beloved father passed away in October. Last week was Father's Day, of course, and it was strange because I did not have to buy a card for him for the first time in decades. Since I was a little girl, I've always tried to find or make a card that explained how much I truly loved him. I think he knew, but I liked to say it out loud.
Since October, I have had to pay numerous hospital, ambulance, electic & gas, cable, you name it, bills leftover from my father's life. This has not been easy, and I've had to take money out of my IRA in order to afford these bills. In the meantime, I've been in probate trying to settle the rest of my father's financial affairs. The fact that I live in Idaho and he lived in New York makes that a bit complicated, but not impossible.
Seventeen years ago, I was in a similar situation when my 28-year-old husband died of a genetic liver disorder. Back then, I really didn't know what I was doing. All of a sudden I was a young widow with a toddler and kindergartner, lots of bills, and no one to help me. On top of that, I received some criticism from people about how I handled the funeral, eulogy, and what type of wife I was. That was like being kicked when I was down.
We all know that people grieve in different ways. I am putting a pin in my grief, really, until I get my father's affairs settled. Otherwise, I will go crazy. I'm hoping that others see that I am doing the best I can and cut me some slack. My father was everything to me, and I would rather have him than his money. I think you understand.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Still plugging along...

Good morning, all. One of my dear friends, Joe Geiser, asked me the other day if I were still blogging. The answer is yes! I've just been busy. My father's bills keep coming to my house. LOL. The gift that keeps on giving. He's in heaven giggling his tiny hind end off. "See? You should have called me more." My younger brother and I are waiting for the will to be settled so we can pay for Daddy's headstone and start to move on (a bit.) I need to sell Daddy's house too. In the meantime, Jack and I are both working and taking care of our kids and trying to live our lives.
On the positive side, I am still going to the gym at least four days a week. Last weekend, I had a blast in Spokane with my two best girlfriends, Jackie and Aimee, and Jackie's daughter Ivonne. We got lost, laughed, ate lunch, got lost again, shopped until we dropped, ate dinner, and finally got home at 11:00 p.m. Then, Sunday evening, I attended a fundraiser for Tanzania. (Picture) That was really cool. I went with my friend Jamie. The venue was wonderful, and we raised a ton of money so that the villagers can have irrigation systems and clean water.
My first book of poetry, Suede, is in the works, so you can all be watching for that. It is so exciting! Thank you all for being such loyal readers. Without you, why would I bother to write? I love you, all. Cindy, the Cobbler's Daughter.