Friday, November 29, 2013

Writing and Walls: 7 Ideas for Overcoming Writers Block

 Do You Need Some Ideas for Overcoming Writer's Block?

Recently, I confronted the dreaded writing problem above. I was involved in a writing research project about autobiography that lasted nearly five years. During that time, I learned many things about myself as a writer and how to deal with my own resistance. What follows is a partial list of ideas to try when you are suffering from any kind of resistance that becomes a roadblock between you and your own writer's journey.

l. Don't give up, just give in. Sometimes you need to go ahead and leave the page for a while. Go for a walk. Get a snack. Sharpen pencils. Wash the dishes. Just remember to come back and try again.
2. Start writing - anything. Write in a journal anything that comes to mind. Write a list. When some ideas start coming for your writing project, simply shift to the writing about the project.
3. It's no big deal. Accept that everyone who writes gets stuck. You are not inadequate or abnormal.
4. Trick yourself. Say to yourself, "I will just write a few ideas here, maybe one page and then I'll stop." Often times, you start to feel like working once you get over the resistance (and it's all about resistance.
5. Read about your subject. Caution: Remember that your point is to get ideas or get inspired so put the reading material away or go back to your writing screen after you cull some worthy bits of info or inspiration.
6. Bribe yourself. Seriously! Promise yourself that you will give yourself whatever you yearn for (a hot bath, a delious dinner, a funny movie, etc.) and then do it. If you don't give yourself the treat, you will not believe yourself the next time!
7. Cure boredom. Play music that helps you write. Go someplace unfamiliar to write (Starbucks?). Write on the run (while in transit).

Okay, this is just a preliminary list...feel free to make your own. 

  © Cynthia Pittmann 2014

More here:

Vision for writers: Writer's Tips

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Becoming Visible: Time and Color Gradation

One recent Saturday at the Esquela Artes Placticas in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, I encountered the concept of color gradation. The painting exercise we practiced was to take a color and mix it with white or black until an ever lightening or deepening shade results. While mixing and studying the color change, I reflected on how color represents time and that the subtle color variations are like moments in life. Most of the time we are not aware of subtle shifts in color. Green is green. Red is red. Blue is blue. Time is like that too because we notice that it's the morning, afternoon, and night. However, when a color is mixed with white or black in varying degrees subtle shades become visible. It is clear that green is a myriad of possible greens. Red and blue are potentials of color in which to dive! Our awareness of time is similar to our awareness of color in that we don't usually remember the moment. Anyone who has practiced present moment awareness knows this shift in perception. If you've gone on a mindfulness retreat, you know what I mean. Even the slogan Just Breath is a focusing practice that brings you into yourself so that you become aware of the real moment.

I remember a practice that I learned from reading G. I. Gurdjieff that is called (self) remembering, which is at any moment you turn your attention back on yourself and realize something such as, "Hey, I'm here. I'm alive." It's a practice of noticing that you are in existence. This self-remembering changes your daily experience of time.  I have practiced this technique on and off for years but at one time I consciously dedicated my focus to self-remembering for many daily moments for several months. What I discovered is that it altered my perception of time and my feeling of a solid boundary between my body and the space around it. Most of us experience time and life in chunky ways that are carefully divided by daily (and seasonal) routine.  We break it up every day into pieces such as waking up, eating, going to work, exercising, and  sleeping. The routine defines how we experience time.

For most of us, it is only when an event occurs that breaks our daily pattern do we shift in our awareness of time. Consider an unexpected event to your normal routine; for example, the arrival of an out of town guest. Suddenly you find yourself actively engaged in lively conversation at a restaurant well into the evening. It's past your bedtime!  You're so engaged in the moment that you forget all about your routine and your strategy of life management that organizes life into predictable chunks of experience. These occurrences let you know that time and pattern are constructs that make your life manageable but also invisible.  Unconscious routine can obscure gradations of color. However, a person's ordinary engagement with time can shift by consciously practicing various techniques. To illustrate, the method of periodically focusing on your breath can help you become aware of time and thereby, shift your ability to see, know and engage in more subtle ways. Try the self-awareness exercise below and pace it to your ever slowing and deepening breath.

I am here. I breathe. I am filled. I am empty. Inhale. Exhale. A moment. A string of moments. I am in life. I am life. Breathe.

Certainly the experience of breathing is ordinary but the awareness of breathing is another thing altogether. Conscious breathing can deepen your contact with a non-ordinary experience of life. Just as color has degrees and shades within what is normally classified as GREEN; time has degrees and shades that are made visible by strategies of consciously remembering.

Each moment is a prism of quiet vibrancy.

People have asked me that [what is the experience of inner awareness]
before, and I always feel that they expect to hear the dramatic account
of some sudden miracle through which I suddenly became one with the
universe. Of course nothing of the sort happened. My inner awareness was
 always there; though it took me time to feel it more and more clearly;
and it equally took time to find words that would at all describe it.

~~ Krishnamurti.

© Cynthia Pittmann 2013

Color Gradations with 20 steps:  Complementary, Monochromatic, and Analogous Demonstrations

Also in Oasis Writing Link (TM)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Meta and Loren Thorndyke lived on a ranch of approximately 140 acres in the hills of Cayucos, California. Those beautiful rolling hills were always covered with three things: the delicious smell of sage and anise, bellowing brown Swiss steers and people. Ours was a large family and Aunt Meta and Uncle Loren’s ranch was where everyone from every side of the family wanted to be. It’s where we brought our friends, boyfriends and girlfriends, husbands and wives, and eventually the next generation of children. It was the center of the family. If our grandparents had lived to ripe old ages, I imagine their ranch would have been where the family would have converged. Since John and Corina Walter had died fairly young leaving such a large brood, Aunt Meta had become the unofficial mother and grandmother for us all. She wasn’t the oldest daughter but that didn’t matter. Meta was everyone’s mother, no matter who they were. Once you walked in that back door, you were family.
Meta Thorndyke was the richest woman I have ever met. She had no money so to speak. What she had was worth far more than dollars and cents. What Meta had was priceless. My Aunt Meta was one of my mother’s older sisters. There were fourteen children in all meaning older was usually measured in months versus years. My grandmother, Corina Gada Walter died at only forty-two years of age. My understanding is her death was caused from twisted bowels from all those births so close together. Of course, in my family, the stories themselves get more twisted each time they are told, so who knows what actually killed her. Still, it makes for good conversation when we’re all together trying to outdo one another with our inside knowledge of all the family’s history.

Meta married in her twenties. His name was Jimmie McCauley and he would remain the love of her life until the day she died. They were married a short time by the standards of that era, however, long enough to bring two daughters into this world. My cousins, Maureen and Mickey were only two and three when their father died. He was a veteran of World War II and had suffered physical trauma which eventually took his life. It was the late forties. Being a single mother of two small girls back then cannot compare to the young women on the same path today. Regardless of the circumstances of how Meta ended up a single mother at such a young age, she lived in a small town with limited opportunities. Her life could not have been easy nor people always kind. She soon married a local rancher, Loren Thorndyke and moved her children into his parent’s farmhouse in Cayucos, California. Cayucos, the city she was born and raised in, the city she would die in, buried near her parents and siblings in the local cemetery.

I asked my aunt one afternoon, while drinking coffee in that same farmhouse kitchen, why she had married Uncle Loren. Had she known him her whole life? Was she in love with him? Was she happy? I can’t recall all of her answers but one, I will always remember. She talked about loving Jimmie McCauley and missing him even then, as an old woman. She spoke of loving my Uncle Loren but more like a brother and yes, she was happy. I thought about that conversation for many years because it seemed sad to me, to lose the love of your life and marry someone you loved like a brother. Then, when I was older, I realized the aunt that I loved, adored really, had planted a very important seed in my heart. It would stay there for many years, seemingly dead. Until, at the very moment I needed it most, watered by my own bitter tears, it would grow and produce the most beautiful answers to some of the most painful questions. My aunt had taken the bitterness of life and used it to grow something wonderful for herself and her daughters. Bitterness, much like compost, can have a lot of death and rottenness about it. My aunt taught me the value of not discarding life or its lessons, no matter how difficult it gets. She taught me to keep turning the ugliness over, watering it with tears when necessary and eventually, miraculously really, it turns into something wonderful and unexpected. It’s rich and beautiful and organic with a smell of the earth that goes deep into your very soul if you let it. My aunt taught me that while drinking coffee at a kitchen table in an old farmhouse. I’m pretty sure she had no idea what an incredible gift she had given me that day.

Life as I have known it for most of my adult, married life has drastically changed over the last two years and all I can think about lately is Meta Thorndyke. I have spent my life trying to do right. I have worried about money and bills, my husband and children, being a good daughter, sister, wife, friend and citizen. I have worried. A lot. Like almost every day, all day, a lot. For the most part, all that worry has produced little to nothing of value. It has robbed me of sleep, peace, joy and freedom. I can see that now. So, where do my memories of Aunt Meta fit into all of this? That puzzle called my life is being pieced together even now.

My life as a child and as an adult was and continues to be tethered to Aunt Meta and her ranch. They are both gone now and yet they both are more alive to me now than ever. There are framed photos scattered throughout my home of my days on the ranch. Days filled with calves sucking our fingers, lambs chasing us on the back patio, picking wild blackberries behind the old creamery and swinging off a rope in the barn only to drop into the sweet smelling hay below us. Nights filled with old mason jars full of tadpoles we had scooped out of the old cement water troughs in the dark, hoping to see them morph into big fat toads in the morning. Then there were the puppies and kittens. The barn cats provided us with kittens on a regular basis and my Uncle Loren’s sidekick, Pepina, would produce a few puppies now and then. After the house was dark with every adult soundly sleeping, we kids would sneak out into the quiet of the countryside night, skies filled with a million stars and head to the old shed where all our soon to be contraband slept. It was thought they would be safe from coyotes there, they were definitely not safe from marauding children. We would each grab a favorite and scamper back into our beds where we snuggled down into those wonderfully worn, handmade wool blankets and slept with our furry treasures. Life was good.

Lest I forget, my aunt also had a monkey named Willa Mae. She had been purchased by my cousin Mickey while at college. Mickey soon realized a monkey and college were not a perfect fit so Willa Mae was sent to the ranch. My Aunt Meta loved that monkey as did most of the rest of us. Willa Mae wore diapers and little preemie sized baby dresses. She looked and smelled like a monkey because she was a monkey but she was also the perfect size to play baby with. It was never hard to find her. She was always in someone’s arms, usually my Aunt Meta’s. But the times we kids could convince her to leave the safety of Meta’s arms, convince meaning pleading with a piece of fruit, she was ours if even for a short time, to dress up and push in a baby carriage. We loved her and cried giant, hot tears when she was buried under the old fig tree years later. I still miss that monkey.

My aunts love of nature, her amazing ability to grow humongous gardens behind the old barn, her lack of care for fashion or finer things, her gnarled hands from years of hard work, her love of family meaning anyone who walked in her door, her love and care of animals, her outspokenness on all subjects, her complete lack of political correctness coupled with her love of all people helped make me who I am today.

I remember looking at my mother’s hands many times and comparing them to my Aunt Meta’s. My mother was the baby of the family and one of the best women I have ever met in my entire life. She shared many of the same qualities that made her sister Meta so great. One difference however was my mother was much more of a city girl than my aunt. My mother had her nails and hair done weekly, she did hard work but of a different nature than Meta. She was also outspoken and an animal and people lover. They were two versions of the same person really. The city mouse and the country mouse. Often, as a child and as an adult, I would hold my mother’s hand, stroking it with love, burning the image of her manicured fingers and diamond rings into my memory. Even then, I knew I would need to remember someday, her hands, when she was gone. It would aggravate her though because I would always say, “Someday, I want hands that look just like Aunt Meta’s.”

“Why in the world do you say that? My poor sister’s hands are a mess from all that mans work she does. Why would you want hands like that?”

“Because mom, Aunt Meta’s hands are beautiful. You can see her life in them and I can see my life in them.”

It’s true. My life has been in my Aunt Meta’s hands all these years. I have done what I thought I should do, what I needed to do, what was right to do. But through it all, I have seen her hands reaching out to me, drawing me in, offering me more, beckoning me to do what I was meant to do. So now, finally, the journey begins. Again. I get no credit for the coming changes. I have actually fought against what is coming. Thankfully, God, life and probably my Aunt Meta have now forced the fork in the road upon me in such a way that I can no longer ignore it. I get to choose which way to go, to the left or to the right but choose I must and so I am choosing. I am choosing to leave behind thirty-five years of fear, worry and doubt. I don’t need them anymore. I am choosing to live the life I was meant to live.

My Aunt Meta was truly the richest person I have ever met. She didn’t have money or famous friends but her house was always full of food she raised and grew herself, fed to people from every walk of life who loved her. She didn’t have new clothes or fancy fragrances. She wore pants and blouses worn out from hard work and her perfume was an honest day’s sweat. There were no new cars just my dear Uncle Loren’s old pickup truck, battered and bruised from ranch life. She didn’t drive because she was blind from the age of twenty-eight due to glaucoma. Life had often given her manure, scraps and what looked to be worthlessness on more than one occasion and she took every bit of it and turned it faithfully, often watered with tears, into a deeply hued compost and grew the richest, most beautiful life ever.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Courage to Paint


 Sculpture by Jorge Zeno: "LA NAVE DE LOS PINGUINOS"

Last Saturday after art class I had an undefinable and unsettled feeling. What is this about? I stopped at Treasures in Old San Juan to talk with the design connoisseur and shop owner, Sonia.  I told her how I felt disappointed with my art work that day and she asked me, "Are you getting a grade or something?" It made me realize that my standard for work has little to do with outside approval but more with inside resonance.

I think I was displeased because I failed to meet my own expectations, i.e., I didn't take risks. We were doing color studies and the idea of form and space was loosely addressed by four exercises.

My inspiration was blocked and I could only think of color rather than form.

Çolor moving all over the water or a forest...

I painted backgrounds rather than a foreground images. What was that about? I worried that I wasn't being brave. Trust the process and not the product...go with it...sigh...

I love that "Bubbly" feeling and childlike sense of wonder that erases all sense of risk.

Here I am back to the page, brush in hand, ...armed with a little inspiration courtesy of Colbie Caillat :

© Cynthia Pittmann 2013

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Spinning Wheels Got ta go round: Revisiting Early Dreams


I had my first painting class last Saturday at the Escuela de Artes Plasticas de Puerto Rico

It was a class on color theory. I arrived for the first class two weeks ago and the start date was postponed until the next Saturday. I arrived on the next Saturday and discovered that the professor was absent. By the third class, I expected that we might not have class or maybe some other changes could occur. Perhaps the room location would be changed? (Ah, life in Puerto Rico!) It's okay though. I did not mind the changes because they gave me more time to become accustomed to the routine of driving to Old San Juan, which involves finding parking, figuring out how long it takes to walk to the classroom and of course (for me the essential information),  locating the nearest place to have a cup of coffee. More importantly, I had time to deal with the stress of revisiting the old dream of studying art. 

I'm in a period of life called "the redo" as in the common expression, "I want a do-over!" This "redo" does not include everything done in life (meaning regrets) but rather what was not done, which could also, but not necessarily, mean regrets. This understanding signifies that I realize that it's hard (if not impossible) to do everything in one life.

I highly recommend that you revisit your early dreams. At some point in life, I think everyone should take a look at the remaining memory-bits of their earlier choices (and their consequences) and try to re-construct them. Asking questions such as:

What did I decide? What were the consequences? What choices led to the life I am living now?  How would I like to shift the current direction of my life?

Periodically, we should give ourselves permission start again. In order to have a happy and satisifying life, it's essential to avoid heavy regrets about life decisions. It's so easy to say, "It's too late."  How many people look back and say, "I wanted to be an/a __________(artist, singer, dancer, musician, pilot, actor or?) and my __________ (parents, husband, school counselor, children, fear, logic, or?) made me choose _______(business, teaching, homemaking, and so on). We all make decisions that blame circumstances (such as the preceding) or ourselves and we accept that their direct consequences; however, we don't always know that, in fact, many times we did not decide. We delayed our decision so long that the choice no longer was visible.

We don't realize that not deciding is also a decision.

On a personal note, I don't think I'm alone when I say that many artistic people find themselves in non-artistic fields just because they did not choose. Certainly, we can argue that our creativity has been put to use in another "more practical" career; nevertheless, that earlier desire often demands our attention. It can still push retired people, for example, to take dance, voice, pottery, modeling class or to show up for an audition at the local community theater. What I'm suggesting is that this "foolish" behavior is worth it and nudging you to start now. Don't wait until you have the time. Further, this choice to actively engage the remnants of the earlier less encumbered  you, can awaken the memory of wonder, i.e., the ability to appreciate and experience unencumbered joy.

Be warned! Making the choice to revisit your lost dreams causes mental and emotional turmoil. For example, for the last few weeks  my nighttime dreams have been influenced by symbols of that earlier time in life (and the earlier me) where I changed from being a carefree idealist to a "poser" pragmatist. I choose the word "poser" because those who genuinely know me realize that I remain an idealist. You might say that I suffer from  a Pollyanna-ish optimism and try my hardest to keep her under cover. I'm a look for the silver-lining kind of person. Indeed, I force myself to squarely deal with the dreaded practical problems all of us encounter in ordinary life. It's fine. I have no problem with keeping my feet on the ground. However, I know that a real emotional/psychological breakthrough can be made by jumping out of an airplane- of course wearing a parachute! (I did that!) And if that experience was one of your early dreams, you don't actually have to jump out of an airplane but just engage the dream  and at least (below) play with a parachute (photo credit). Or maybe go zip-lining? (I want to do that!)


My homework assignment is met with some anxiety. Recreate (with acrylic paints) the color wheel using the three primary colors yellow, red, and blue (photo credit).

It has to be exactly 15 inches in diameter and "look pretty." How do I do that? Below is what the homework assignment should look like...

Only, a reasoning and/or creative person must be aware that the brushed in and home-mixed colors might not behave! I am a novice but at least I'm choosing how to spin my wheels. I wonder what kind of dreams I will have tonight? 

"Spinning Wheels" by Blood, Sweat and Tears

What goes up must come down
spinning wheel got to go round
Talking about your troubles it's a crying sin
Ride a painted pony
Let the spinning wheel spin...

© Cynthia Pittmann 2014

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Daily Writing Practice: Remembering Dreams

Remembering Dreams

Do you ever wonder how you can remember dreams? Lately, I've been reading Carl Jung's Memories, Dreams, Reflections and attempting to record my dreams every morning. If I can remember my dreams, I will have a view of the hidden me. I want to look into the parts of my personality that I hide from myself - risky business! I consider myself honest about my motives and practice self-witnessing. Maybe that sounds strange but those of you who are in some kind of meditation practice know that witnessing your thoughts and actions (without judging) can yield a tremendous amount of information about yourself. I am looking to find a creative energy source that will bring my writing alive with vitality. I've discovered other techniques to wake up the muse but I would like a more reliable routine that keeps me in touch with my imagination.

The goal is to wake up everyday, notice what in floating around in my mind and then immediately write down everything in my mind - take a "mental picture" as it were. Words, thoughts, images, sensations, songs and so on. I have discovered that I must notice my thoughts before I move from the bed. I cannot allow myself to talk or engage in any preliminary activity before I write or else I lose the thoughts. Some days I'm successful while others (like today) I get caught up in washing dishes, making coffee, preparing for the day and before I know it - the dreams are gone! What did I dream last night? What influenced my subconscious? Blank! My mind is unable to remember my dreams because I had too many intervening thoughts before I recorded my dreams such as - why hasn't anyone done the dishes in two days! It's a good thing I didn't cook dinner last night or else there would be more dishes. How can I get cooperation about cleaning the house? And then my mind goes analytical - Why are we so stuck in these social gender roles that I'm the one who breaks down and does the dishes first? It's enough to wipe out anyone's morning dreams! My thoughts are a giant eraser rubbing out the lightest dream pencil marks first but today, the entire page was all gone.

Mental palaver! Jung uses that word as in to arrange a palaver to mean conversations  he has with the Africans at night. He wants to know if they have dreams and if they provide some kind of insight into their daily lives. He attributes their resistance to sharing their dreams with him as evidence of a lack of trust or "shyness." Jung even offered rewards - cigarettes, matches, and safety pins for sharing dreams but they wouldn't budge. I'm thinking that maybe they didn't remember their dreams because of too much palaver! I have been recording by dreams every morning for two weeks - let's see if some pattern emerges. I have a safety pin in my pocket for good luck.  Do you have any dream wisdom to offer? How do you remember your dreams?

©  Cynthia Pittmann 2013

~Also published in Oasis Writing Link (TM)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

There Once Was A Girl

Hey Kel,

You died one week ago today. One week. How can this be when it feels like only seconds have passed? I gave your eulogy. I said something funny and made people laugh just like you asked me too. Do you have any idea how hard that was? I think you probably do. It was you getting the last laugh on me, wasn’t it? It took me days to write and rewrite and rewrite and rewrite. I finally deleted the whole damn thing the night before your funeral and went to Cayucos Tavern at midnight. I drank way too much and sang Rolling Stones songs way too loud. Can you believe that? Me, getting soused until 2a.m. and making a fool of myself in public. How unlike me, right?  The next morning, I sat in bed and wrote, bawling my head off the entire time. Did you hear me yelling at you? How could you be so selfish and leave me? How could I be so selfish and want you to stay?

Anyway, here it is. I mean, just in case you missed it.


The first time I met Kelly, she was 10 days old and I was 1100 days old and Char was just old. My mom came home from the hospital carrying this pink blanket that she laid on her bed and I thought surely I was finally getting that monkey I wanted. I remember lying on my parent’s bed, disappointed for a moment that she wasn’t a monkey but kissing Kelly’s forehead again and again, smelling the sweetness of her skin. She smelled like sugar cookies to me.


I loved my baby sister. We had the best times together. Like the first time our mom left us home alone and Kelly and I decided to build a fort in the living room. The living room we weren’t allowed to play in because it was reserved for company. The living room with the brand new Mediterranean, putrid green furniture. The living room with the giant naked angel lamp. Yeah, that living room. As soon as our mother’s car was half way out the drive, Kel and I ran to the garage and got a can of my dad’s infamous twist and tie. Back in the house we strung that miraculous twirly green wired string from the giant bulbous putrid green Mediterranean lamp on one side of the room all the way over to the giant naked angel lamp on the other side of the room. Then off we ran to our bedroom, grabbed our bedspreads off our beds and flew to the living room squealing with anticipation. This was gonna be freakin awesome. As we flung our bedspreads over the twist and tie, the two lamps hurled themselves at us at something like a million miles an hour. I’m pretty sure I heard the angel screaming.


As teenagers, Kelly and I went different directions. My life goal was to get married and quickly over-populate the world. Kelly’s goal was to rule the world. She started at KFC and ended up in one of Corporate America’s corner offices. It was downright freaky watching her morph into our dad, Charles Casas.  I mean she had the business suits, the Cadillac and minions. I remember her boss buying her a black leather jacket one Christmas. It was beautiful. I especially liked the writing on the back of it: The Wicked Witch. It’s what I had called Kelly for years. I felt jealous many a day at her life. I still didn’t have a monkey and she had flying monkeys. The truth was, those monkeys loved her. I think a lot of them idolized her. She deserved everything she achieved. She did it the old fashioned way. She earned it.


As adults, Kelly and I drifted apart for a minute. We didn’t understand each other very well. Then the first brain tumor happened and nothing else mattered. Our differences didn’t matter, our life choices didn’t matter, our faith or lack thereof didn’t matter. Only one thing mattered. We were in it to win it. Together. Kelly and every single person she loved and who loved her. We were in it to win it.


For years I wrote about Kelly’s journey. Some people were amused. Some people were offended. I was told more than once that I was inappropriate, disrespectful and rude. I made fun of my dying sister’s circumstances. She was the butt of my jokes. I posted pictures of her with really bad hospital hair. I put our private conversations out there for the world to read. There was only one reader I ever wrote for though. Kelly. She told me from the beginning I was not allowed to cry. Too many people were crying over her life and it made her sad. She asked me to write about her life. She told me I had to be funny. The best days ever for me were hearing Kelly laugh. That and hearing her call me a moron. Moron meant I had hit a home run for her. Like not that long ago, she was really sad. And she was worried about me. She asked me where I saw myself in ten years if I didn’t make some changes.


“Well, Kel, ten years from now I believe I will be in the poor house, jail or a convent. It’s hard to decide which way to go.”


That got a “moron” from her.


Kelly’s last words to me were, “Say something funny.” She said it twice so I made fun of her hair. Yeah, right there in the hospital as my sister lay dying, I made fun of her. A few nights after Kelly was gone, I realized she was talking about today. She was worried about all of us. She wanted us to laugh.


In closing, I want to say thank you.


Thank you Theresa for being the one Kelly would save if we were all on a sinking ship with only two life vests. We love you.


Thank you Rachel for loving and caring for my little sister through thick and thin and I am not talking about her weight fluctuations. We love you.


Thank you Cher. Thank you. For cooking. For cleaning. For yelling at Kelly to get off her ass and walk. For laughing with me until we cried and crying until we laughed. For sleeping with Kelly when she was afraid and sleeping with me when my heart was broken. Thank God for women like you that sleep around. You’re an angel and I love you.


Thank you Char and Debi, for still being alive. I love you both. Char, I promise to let you put makeup on me and do my hair. You can even take me shopping now and then. I promise to pretend I like it. Deb, I promise to call you and talk about Char behind her back like little sisters do. We can laugh and giggle at how old she is. It’ll be fun. I promise.


To Kelly’s minions, past and present. Thank you for loving her, encouraging her, writing and emailing. Calling and visiting. Thank you to “her girls”. Karen, Gina, Denise, Nicole, Pam and all the rest of y’all for all the weekends. She dreaded you seeing her before you got there and then did nothing but talk about what a great time she had with you. How much you did for her, physically, spiritually and emotionally.


To our family……there are just too many of us to name but I can honestly say, Kelly loved every single Walter/Casas family member. She loved you. 


And finally, David…..Thank you. I know it wasn’t easy. I know how hard she could be on you. I also know how much she loved you. I thought it was totally gross when she told me she was dating a tattooed biker. Then I got to know you. I still think you’re gross but not because you’re a tattooed biker, just because you’re a guy. We love you David. Remember…..we‘re still a part of your posse…..or gang…..or pack……or whatever it is you people call it.



So there it is. Did I do ok, Kel? I made people laugh. That’s what you wanted, right? I think that’s all I have to say to you for now. In truth, I am not speaking to you today. I am really angry with you. So is Char. That’s right, we are talking about you behind your back. Deal with it!