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Founder: Heart.Soul.Pen.® for women writers & the Women’s Writing Den. Essays: @NYTimes @WashPo @LATimes @BuzzFeed. Author: “Restless in L.A.”
Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

It made me realize how hungry I was for good stories.

I just read a story about something good, people sharing their humanity and saving a life. It made me realize how hungry I was for good stories.

I sat alone with my glass of Cabernet and my chicken tikka masala and my garlic nan in a makeshift outdoor patio in L.A., reading The New York Times on my phone. My husband went to Costco, my youngest to Universal for a movie. …

Sometimes, I want to sit on the floor and scream “I want my mom” like a little kid on the first day of preschool.

That girl’s got blue, I thought to myself, looking out at the water. Blue sea, blue sky, blue shorts, blue water, blue inside. How could I possibly look at this scenic view and feel blue?

I was feeling serene and sad. Comfortably ensconced in trees and water and nature, one of my favorite places, and yet I could feel how hard it was to control my darting mind. I thought about my kids at home: my 21- and 18-year-old young adults watching the house, and my youngest at summer camp. There was nothing to worry about, and yet my mind…

With the hours left in my life, I am keeping it real. I don’t have time for “people being drama.”

I sat down to teach HEART. SOUL. PEN. writing class drinking coffee from my I Love Me mug. This mug is very popular in my house and other people like to drink out of it, especially my husband. He likes it so much that I bought him his own I Love Me mug but he still drinks from mine. Mine has a little chip at the top so I know he knows the difference.

When I first started teaching women’s writing classes, they were live. Since I started teaching Zoom class, I have noticed that people cannot chew gum in…

Photo by Kelsey Chance on Unsplash

It was weird to be sitting among friends, ordering cocktails, acting as if we had not just survived a real-life disaster movie.

“The arugula is great,” she told me. I was sitting at a restaurant trying to make up my mind between the arugula salad and a flatbread pizza. The waitress liked the salad. “Okay,” I said through my black cotton mask. “I will have the salad and a glass of chardonnay, please.”

It was weird to be out again, sitting among friends, ordering cocktails, acting as if we had not just survived a real-life disaster movie. But we had. Although 600,000 Americans had not, including my son’s wonderful and witty 53-year-old, former first-grade teacher. It was still hard to believe.


He asked me why I didn’t get my writing posted on Monday. I tried to make excuses but it’s futile to battle with Baby Yoda.

Baby Yoda is sitting on my desk staring at me. During the pandemic, one of shows I briefly watched was The Mandelorian. Everyone loved the show but me. The only thing I loved was Baby Yoda. I thought the show was stupid. Now, a five-inch Baby Yoda sits on my desk, staring at me, while I work. Today, he asked me why I didn’t get my writing posted on Monday, like I said I would.

“I don’t know, Baby Yoda. I meant to write it but I didn’t.”

“Write or write not. There is no meant to,” Baby Yoda says.

Even though it has been a year, I cannot help but mark everything she is missing.

Tomorrow is my mother’s yahrtzeit. That means it is the anniversary of her death. It is her first anniversary. Or mine Or ours. The first year of my life without my mother. I have a Zoom call set up with family in Pennsylvania and Canada and Florida. My own children will join from separate road trips up the California coast. My husband is coming home early from work. My youngest will sit beside me. My mom will be honored and remembered and celebrated. And she will miss it all.

In the last several months: My son graduated from high school…

My mother would have been 79 years old yesterday. The pandemic is receding and the waves are receding and I miss her.

The last time I was in Mexico, in October of 2019, my mother fell. It was the last night of the trip and we got a call from the Emergency Room that my mother had a bad fall. I spoke with her. She told me she was okay and that it wasn’t too bad and that she would be out of the hospital before I got home the next afternoon. When we hung up, I was concerned but not desperate. I was flying home the next day. I would be at her apartment before she went to sleep.

Unfortunately, the…

They were back East. I was out West. Our parents were gone.

This Memorial Day weekend, friends of ours invited us to a backyard barbeque. I sat under an umbrella at their patio table, chatting with our friend’s mom. While he was making burgers and corn and slicing onions and tomatoes, his mother and I were discussing the Buddha I wanted to buy for the succulent garden I was planting, and Israel trips and whether they would be possible this summer, and how long she and my friend’s dad had been married. “More than fifty years,” she told me. …

Photo by Jordan McQueen on Unsplash

One thing is for sure: it wears a body down.

I sit in my new white cloud chair and put my feet up. I need a break from the news. I read the news every day and think about what is going on with the world. But, some days, it feels overwhelming. I believe in the good of people. I believe in the ultimate triumph of good over evil. But, some days the news is so disturbing and sad and frustrating and infuriating that I wonder if I am becoming well informed or simply making myself sick? Or both?

One thing is for sure: it wears a body down.


Mother’s Day many moons ago.

It took me years to realize that my mother only half-remembered my childhood because it was enough to get three kids through the day.

As young adults, my brothers and I used to ask my mom if she remembered a family vacation, a favorite family toy, the weird relative who visited, or the ten-speed bikes we rode around the neighborhood. Her answer was always, “vaguely.” My brothers and I used to poke each other and double over in laughter that our mother only had one kind of memory: vague.

“Do you remember anything vividly?” we would ask her as we snorted. I am glad I found this so funny as a kid because now, as a midlife mom, I understand.

My mother only half-remembered…

Robin Finn

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