My entire life I went slightly against the grain. When people made fun of a certain culture, I defended it. When everyone was wearing one style, I wore another. When people glorified bacon, I never liked it all that much. Some things are simply a matter of opinion while others are viewpoints that force groups to take sides. With political conversations ready to tumble out of mouths so freely these days, it’s become difficult for me. I don’t identify as a certain political party. Everything is too far left or right for me, and maybe that’s the problem in general.
There is no middle ground.
As a compassionate human of this planet, the only thing I can proudly be 100% sure of is my love of all walks of life. No matter color, sex, class, human, animal or plant.
Just because I may not agree with you totally, doesn’t mean I don’t see your point.
Just because I don’t like what you say, doesn’t mean I don’t see what you do.
Just because I care deeply for the well-being of animals and the environment doesn’t mean I don’t know about the other problems the world faces.
Just because I go about my life not complaining about political outcomes doesn’t mean I don’t know or worry about them.
Just because I hope for the best and look past the ugly in people to see the good doesn’t mean I’m naive. It means I have faith. I have hope. And deep down, that is the only thing we can control.
Happy Mother’s Day! This particular day is often difficult for me. I’m usually left alone to mourn my Mom all over again. It’s hard for some to understand — to those who never made a big deal about the holiday and who still have their mom with them.
I would be celebrating my sister-in-law since I am still in New York, but she, my brother and the kids are with her mother in Queens today. Once again, I am left alone today, thinking of my mother.
But this year feels different. While the weather is rainy, the birds are chirping and I’m still smiling over the beautiful gesture my 6-year-old niece made last weekend. Samantha, my brother’s daughter, is also my Goddaughter. I thought it would be nice to have a day to spend with just her.
Last Sunday, I took her to Manhattan to Alice’s Tea Cup for lunch followed by a trip to Make Meaning — a crafting place. Sam wanted to make something for Mother’s Day. Over lunch, her imagination ran wild on what we could make. She asked if I would be making something too. I knew she’d want me to, and I enjoyed being creative still, just like when I was a kid and begged my parents for a pottery wheel for my birthday. I haven’t grown out of it.
I told Sam I would be making something as well. Her face brightened and she said, “I have an idea! You can make something for your mom, too!” I was worried I was going to have the conversation with her again. The one where I explained that her grandma — my mother — was in Heaven. But she remembered and knew exactly what she was suggesting. “You can put it on her grave.” I smiled at her, wanting to cry, and squeeze her. Sam is at that age when she’s absolutely adorable, witty and quick as a whip. She either melts your heart or tests your patience to the point where you can’t believe she’s the same kid. My mother would have enjoyed her and my nephew so, so much, and they would have adored her right back.
Samantha sometimes throws tantrums and talks back, but when something is important and meaningful, she gets it. Like when I showed her my great granny’s recipe box. She was so excited to look through all of the recipes that were written by our relatives, and even me, as a kid. When she looked at me and asked if she could come up with a recipe, I knew how important she knew that box was to me. She ran around my sister’s house, exclaiming how her recipe was added to the box — showing all of my siblings. We all got the importance of that moment.
While my mother was not here to see Samantha come into this world, and she only saw my nephew, Sebastian as a baby, that does not mean Mom is not here to help us teach her and keep certain family traditions alive.
We have so few of my childhood traditions left. It’s no one’s fault. The family has gotten bigger, we’ve gotten older, and it was important for us to let go of some things, but not all is lost.
This Mother’s Day, I don’t feel alone. I am not in mourning all over again. I feel loved and like I’m good at loving, especially children. Someday I’d like to have a child of my own and spend many Mother’s Days with he/she or them.
As I gear up to move back to Nashville in a couple of weeks, it’s hard for me to think of leaving these children and my brother — who I’ve just grown closer to with age. It’s particularly hard knowing I am a piece of my mother to my brother, and with me leaving, he feels like she’s dying all over again.
It’s difficult for me to explain to him and the children why I can’t stay. It’s not them. It’s this feeling inside my heart that tells me I’m not supposed to be here — in New York. It’s the feeling I get in my heart when I’m in Nashville — like I’m onto something special.
But I will always be with him and those kids when I can. I just hope they all understand that. Like Mom, I have a knack for silliness and will always be good to make those kids laugh and maybe even my siblings, too, when they don’t feel very much like laughing.
International a cappella sensation Naturally 7 released the music video for their riveting rendition of Coldplay’s hit “Fix You” this morning. I’ve heard Naturally 7 perform this song live and it gave me chills, but accompanied with videos and images of families reuniting, I bawl like a baby. Watch the video right now and share it! It needs to be seen.
Created to pay tribute to the spirit of human resilience, Naturally 7 invites you to share and watch this video one more time and to challenge your beliefs about what is means to be “fixed” by the power of love. This time as you watch the music video and the embedded images and videos, ask yourself – “Who is really ‘fixing’ whom?”
“Fix You” is the first single off Naturally 7’s U.S. debut album Hidden In Plain Sight set to be released February 10, 2015. You can pre-order Hidden In Plain Sight and receive “Fix You” instantly: http://bit.ly/1ugb9w2
Author Sandy Lo’s new novel Indigo Watersis now available on Amazon. The nautical young adult novel is about two sisters aboard a dive boat, one who fears the ocean, and the other, seeking anything to make her feel alive. Indigo Waters is about overcoming fear, mending broken bridges, and falling in love in many different ways.
Sandy Lo, best known for the Dream Catchers book series and her work as a celebrity journalist, traveling barista, entertainment publicist and vegan foodie, is releasing a new novel, INDIGO WATERS.
The concept for INDIGO WATERS came about in the summer of 2013 when Lo set sail on a wild dolphin expedition, which had been on her bucket list since she was a little girl. A passionate animal activist, Lo knew the easier, more affordable way to accomplish her dream was to visit an aquarium where dolphins are held captive. Lo, instead did her research and came across www.dolphinexpeditions.com, which didn’t support entrapping dolphins to interact with their guests.
“I wanted to connect with dolphins on their terms,” says Lo. “It was an amazing experience where I accomplished dreams, overcame fears, and met wonderful people.”
Some of those wonderful people even inspired characters in the book. The cover for INDIGO WATERS was recently released, designed by Sandy Lo herself, and featuring photos from the expedition’s resident cook and photographer, Tita Dimnik, along with an image featuring the boat’s young apprentice and inspiration for the novel’s main character, Cosette LeBlanc.
“I was able to keep this beautiful experience alive by reliving it these past few months as I wrote the pages of INDIGO WATERS,” Lo says. “Of course, I mixed tons of fictional events and characters into the storyline, and added some romance.”
INDIGO WATERS is the 6th novel for Sandy Lo. Romance is usually a main theme in her books, but she is reluctant to categorize them that way. “In literature, romance is misconceived as tawdry, raunchy or fluff. I want my work to be known as more than that,” explains Lo. “There is real heart behind my plots and I am never telling a simple romance story. Each character is trying to overcome something and move toward a dream.”
INDIGO WATERS is about overcoming tragedy, moving beyond fear, discovering passion, and building strong relationships of all types.
ABOUT INDIGO WATERS
Everyone fears something. What makes Cosette Hadley’s fear different from most is that it is also her greatest love, water. As a child she found solace in the water, but after a tragic boating accident she hasn’t feared anything more. Madeleine, Cosette’s sister, known as the wild child of her family, prided herself on being fearless and always searching for a good time. The two sisters couldn’t be more opposite.
After some unexpected news, the girls find themselves spending the summer living aboard a dive boat in the Bahamas with a family friend. After five years of not being in the water, Cosette finds herself confronted with the one thing she works so hard to avoid.
Fin Hughes, the Captain’s son, is tasked with the duty of getting her back into the water. Handsome and arrogant, Fin finds himself torn between the two sisters. Are his feelings for Cosette worth pursuing, or does he give into the flirtatious ways of Madeleine?
The Hadley sisters need to overcome personal obstacles. Will they finally realize they need each other to survive this summer?
ABOUT SANDY LO
Sandy Lo was born and raised in New York City, but considers herself a free spirit. The past few years, Lo has traveled to different areas to write novels and for her work as the editor of www.halffullmag.com, where she is known as the Traveling Barista, vegan cook, and encourages others to live life with a positive attitude through blogs and celebrity interviews. Her novels, Dream Catchers, Breaking The Moon, and The Watch Dog have reached various best selling lists on Amazon in their respective genres.