Denial vs. Acceptance

© M.C.V. Egan

My second book in the Defining Ways Series Climbing Up The Family Tree; Defined by Pedigree is set in a sobriety or halfway to recovery house. I chose the setting deluding myself that I did not need to delve much into addiction. I just needed a setting where I had people from all walks of life interacting and discussing their past.

As my characters grow and become real (I am far from finished with the first draft) reality has set in and the basic realization that the first cure to addiction is ACCEPTANCE has given me so much to ponder on. I finally opened my eyes wide and removed the dark eyewear of denial.

As I explored this I came to the inevitable conclusion that it is clearly the key to addressing any issue, be it personal or global. Today as Americans we stand on that very edge of DENIAL vs. ACCEPTANCE, as we witness the reactions to the inexcusable shootings at the  Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Carolina.

I grew up with an amazing Step-Grandfather who dressed like Santa and went out of his way to be kind and helpful. I have some warm and amazing memories about this lovely man who served under Nimitz in the South Pacific during WW II and who lived in London when the war broke out as an executive for Standard Oil of New Jersey’s INTAVA branch. In 1940 in London, he helped a woman deliver her child in a Taxicab, so many interesting stories. (image below Xmas 1962, I wish someone had taught me how to hold the puppy properly) TioLuis Shady Oaks 1962

With all the wonderful experiences he had in his 91 years on this earth. He met Pancho Villa who would have killed him had he known he was Edward Cuilty’s son for God’s sakes, I mean HUGE experiences. The last time I saw him a few months before he died in a VA assisted living facility in Southern Texas, instead of focusing on the beauty of that life well lived, he harped on his sadness that a lovely white girl; my best friend, had married a black man and had two black children.

That is the deep seated bigotry that runs through the veins of so many Americans today and in the late 1980s. How can we as a country, a people, a whole refuse to seize what makes us a good people and accept and thus change that which does not?

It took me several years to mourn his passing as that last conversation left such an empty and confused feeling in me. It was hard to remember all the good, when he had shone such a bright light on such a huge flaw that he carried throughout his life. Inasmuch as I am originally from Mexico City, mine is a very white world, since 2008 I have ended many relationships, with friends and relatives, because of the overt bigotry and prejudice, they have openly exhibited.

I am an American by choice and I love my country the United States with all my heart. As an American it is my civic duty to be aware and involved. I hope all Americans have the courage to remove the dark glasses of denial and stare bigotry and prejudice full in the face and ACCEPT that the issue is real, very real.

The best words I have found today on the subject are by Jon Stewart

“We’re bringing it on ourselves,” he said. “And that’s the thing —al Qaeda, ISIS, they’re not s— compared to the damage we can do to ourselves on a regular basis.”

UNTIL IT DOESN’T by Zoë Marshall

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A Romantic  Comedy

 

FINAL COVER

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Bailey Swanson is relentlessly addicted to ice cream, hates jeans – yet thinks leggings are basically just colored sausage casings – and would be completely lost without her best friend Mark. He’s the only one that gets her, and sees through her difficult-to-love exterior.

Mark has known Bailey since they were both children. As her manager, he handles her failing acting career and is always there for her. As her friend, he’s held her hand through her most recent break up, all the while wondering if she’ll ever be whole again.

But Bailey is a disaster when it comes to romance — and while she’s trying to move on from her cheating ex, she can’t drown her sorrows forever in Ben & Jerry’s. She knows she has to get past this eventually… right? Unless a happily ever after just isn’t in the cards for her, in which case her plan to swear off all relationships forever is a good one.

Or maybe the answer is right in front of her face. Things aren’t always as they seem when it comes to the heart. That fickle little thing tends to get the best of all of us at one point or another…

 

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“I feel better,” he says as he gets up from the swing and stands facing me. He’s standing so close, it feels like something has shifted, as if the balance has been tipped slightly in an unexpected direction. Wait a second. What am I even thinking? This is Mark, for Christ’s sake.

I take a step back and let out a deep breath. The smell of the flowers surrounding us washes over me and I feel a weight lifted. “So, where does that leave you guys? Are you going to try to be friends?”

He looks up at the sky. “We’ll never be friends. I don’t think any exes ever are. There’s always something there, lying in wait. It can be disguised, but never destroyed. You can pile as much shit on top of it as you want, but in the end, it’s always there.”

I smile at Mark. “I’m proud of you, kid.”

He rolls his eyes and replies. “Who do you think you’re calling ‘kid’? I’m four months older than you are. You’re the kid.”

“Ok then. I’m proud of you, old man.”

He laughs and walks over to me, then gives me a playful punch on the arm. “Well, I’m proud of you too, jerk.”

We spend the next few minutes standing next to each other in silence, staring at the few visible stars. That’s something I love about Mark. We can be silent together. No matter how crazy fast the world is spinning, we can always just stand still. Together.

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authorZoë was born in Santa Rosa, California, but spent the majority of her “growing up” years in San Francisco. After high school, she attended University of California, Santa Cruz, where she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management Economics and Accounting. She tried the corporate thing, working at two of the Big Four accounting firms, but cubicles just weren’t her thing.

She’s currently living the ultimate cliche- an aspiring writer working two jobs, one as a server and one as a bartender. She’s living in San Ramon, California, spending her limited free time reading and writing. Her biggest vices are pizza and ice cream, which is why she lives in yoga pants and leggings. And she thoroughly believes jeans were invented by the devil.

 

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