It’s a New Dawn

One day this past summer I found myself alone with my thoughts in Galveston. From my beach chair near the shore, I soaked in the sun to the crashing cadence of the surf until I couldn’t take the heat. I stood up and walked into the waist-deep waves and said, “Take me down, Motherfuckers! You can’t fucking do it.” And I laughed out loud in the face of wave upon wave and walked in a little deeper.

It’s a new dawn.

Galveston saved me, and this week I return. This week’s writing retreat begins my new MFA program at a beach house nearby. Each morning through the sliding glass door of my condo bedroom—the golden orb rests for a moment on a blanket of orange and yellow and then rises into the blue. The waves advance on a new day and a new life. Each new dawn reaffirms my decision to be here. Each new chance to begin again—a gift.

It’s a new day.

I have a story to tell, and I have to tell it. For so many years, I thought the story was about my son Drew and his severe mental illness. I realize now it’s a story about me. It’s about my reactions and my coming to terms and what I’ve learned and how. It’s about my reality and my hope. It’s about sharing to help others and letting people know they are not alone.

It’s a new life.

So now I face the waves that crash into me. I stand my ground and let them hit, and I laugh out loud because I’m still standing tall with a smile on my face and a “fuck you” for anything that tries to take me down.

And I’m feeling good.

35 thoughts on “It’s a New Dawn

  1. Bring on 2020, I know that’s a bold statement, and not looking for a personal challenge directly from the cosmos to strike me with a satellite porta potty or anything, but sorta, yeah, bring it on, I’m just getting wound up! Perfect year starter, I’m definitely feeling your feeling good. Thank you friend.

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  2. What a beautiful orange sky! Wonderful that you are feeling strong,and capable. I don’t know what the program is but starting each day with inspirational sunrises is fantastic. I have never been to Galveston, but it looks super, and have always wanted to visit Texas.

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    1. The sky changes each day and minute to minute of each morning. There are better beaches, but Galveston has the convenience of home nearby and as you say, beautiful skies! A crazy good way to start the program. Thanks for reading, Dave!

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    2. I meant to mention this is the beginning of grad school for me. I received six credit hours during the retreat (9 AM to 9 PM each day with homework leading into it and more while there). My spring semester begins today, leading up to an MFA in Creative Writing at Houston Baptist University.

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  3. Crystal- that is the truest sign you are recovering! When you realize the story is MORE about YOU! Yours is the ONLY life you have the ability to change the path n the outcome of the story. Funny how this realization comes @ the most inconvenient times?My realization came as I wrote Patrick’s obituary! I knew my family felt as though I was going to lose it BIG. Actually, as I gathered my thoughts; I realized a whole lot about me needed to change to authenticate my story. Still working on ME n know I shall always be a work in progress; but I do know that speaking OUT LOUD about what goes on in family life n how we handled it is very freeing. No family is without heartache! If we’ll TALK to each other- we are fulfilling God’s purpose for all of us. That is to “ choose LIFE.” You are a marvelous writer! Take the path, drink the wine, choose life! M

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    1. Michelle—thank you so much for your insight here and for the kindest of words! I admire your strength! Every day continues this work in progress, and only way forward is by taking that next step. I’ve learned lots this week. I’m thankful to have found this path. Love you!

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  4. It is just as you say! The course needed to walk in order to say these things as True indicates the self evident: TRUTH!

    There are words like: praise. Esteem. Gratitude. What is the word that conflates these while also compounding these into allllllll the experience that went into making what you say so true?

    I can really think of only one, and because it is only a word, it will do only a poultry job of defining what can only be made fully reasonable in unity between spirit, body and mind…and as a human being, there too most (including myself) have poor skill.

    But the word I’d offer with as much humility as I can bring to bear is COMPASSION.

    IT EXISTS ONLY IN THE PRESENCE OF SUFFERING…AND VICTORY IN THAT.

    Amen….and it is so here.

    Peace.

    Ian

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    1. I keep thinking about my one word for the year, and I’ve narrowed it down to two, so I might just break the rules to that whole one word idea. Anyway—honesty and courage. That’s my focus this year. Thank you for reading and for that encouragement!

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    1. 😂 Thank you! The summer was a turning point. I had just quit my job. I hadn’t 100% committed to graduate school. It was just me and those fucks and the waves. It’s all good now, except I could use a paycheck, so I suppose I’m still working it out.

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