Last night I was a guest on a phone conference broadcast to talk about my new published poetry collection, UPWELLING www.dvorkin.com/annchiappetta/ . Thanks to Bob Branco for inviting me on his show, Branco Broadcast, recorded and then distributed by Bob to a wide listening audience. If you cannot make the live call, you can listen to it later on Bob’s UTUBE channel. Very unique and accessible to all audiences. I’ll post the link when I receive it later on this week.
I read three poems and received much needed feedback, all of it positive. One caller asked me to talk about being a child of divorce and if it had any influence upon my writing, and I said yes. I then read a poem I’d chosen called BEFORE YOU GO, which was about my relationship with my father, which was never the same after he remarried. Another caller asked me who my mentors were; he was also a teacher and was curious to know about my mentors in school. I said that my seventh grade English teacher, Ms. O’Brian was the first to actually mentor me with my writing talent. In elementary school, my English teacher for fifth and sixth grade, Mr. Ankowitz also was my mentor in terms of grammar and spelling. He also was a leftie and would tell me that it wasn’t how my handwriting looked that was important; it was the quality of the actual words, sentences and paragraphs that mattered most. In college, it was many professors and a neighbor who was an editor who made my term papers shine. Needless to say I had more than my share of mentors and this allows me to pay it all forward when I get a chance.
Prior to this event, my first book signing was another success. Many of my family, friends, former co-workers and colleagues came to congratulate me, purchase copies, and chat. I was so touched by the outpouring of support. Verona came with us, too, and she was the greeter as folks walked into the room. Some folks hadn’t seen her since her retirement in 2014 and complimented as to how good she looked. Bailey tried his best to behave and he did pretty well considering all the people he recognized.
I have said that there are stories within stories, so here is one I am sharing because I think it is very special and serendipitous.
I was talking to the receptionist, carole and while we were setting up the conference room, she handed me a beautiful yellow chrysanthemum in a vase. I realized this was a sign that all I had done and will continue to do is being witnessed by our Mom’s spirit. Why, one may ask, how can a yellow mum make me get so emotional? For months I struggled to find just the right flower to be part of a tattoo dedicated to Mom. After searching around, I made the mum my choice. Now, Carole could have overheard me talk about it, but I wasn’t going around flaunting that I was going to get a mum for Mom tattooed on my bum, er, I mean, shoulder.
When she presented me with the flower, I shed a few tears and hugged her, telling her that what she did meant more than she could have ever known. I did not see a butterfly, cardinal, or other signs of the afterlife trying to communicate with me; instead, Mom came to me through another person, in a one-to-one moment and her simple gift of a single golden token of congratulations. Mom’s grace has been apparent in every step of this book and while I don’t necessarily believe that every flower means it is Mom saying hello, I do pay attention at times when it is important to pay attention to a greeting from the veil. Thank you, Mom, for showing up and being there in spirit. I love you and miss you every day.