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talknboutluvdancnboutarktecture

@talknboutluvdancnboutarktecture / talknboutluvdancnboutarktecture.tumblr.com

Hi. I'm finding my way after a life changing event has rocked my view of the world. I'm just trying to find my voice again. This is my blog; it tells of my victories and struggles, my fears and my hopes. But mostly, it just tells my story.
diebythedrop-deactivated2017022

I hope you know how much I love you

I said that three times today. Each time with tears in my eyes.

To my son.

To my boyfriend.

To my college bestie as I hugged him after his wedding.

I really do hope they all know. I don’t love many people. If I tell you I love you, it fucking means something.

This woman is everything. This statement is wholly, completely, and unequivocally something so important that it literally pains me to read it.

“If I tell you I love you, it fucking means something.”

How perfect is that? It’s every poem, every epic love story, it’s Iliad-like in its complexity and depth but so clearly expressed with the simplicity of its word choice that it floored me.

I love you. It means something. Fuck.

My wife and I had a conversation about this with her little sister just last week. I’m careful with my word choice- I’m freely affectionate and caring, but I reserve some words, some actions, to those I can’t imagine living without. The type of person that so impacts to my life in a moment, in a memory, in a touch…those people need to know they are important, they are vital, they are loved. So, I reserve a little piece of myself for them. A true expression of earnestness and devotion. I love them. And I tell them.

Perhaps my reverence for the phrase distorts my judgments about its use. But I will be candid- it bothers me to no end when it is tossed around as arbitrarily as a greeting to a stranger at the check-out line:

“Paper or plastic?”

“Paper.”

“Have a nice day.”

“Thanks, I love you.”

That phrase is entirely inappropriate for that exchange, no? So why is it so cavalierly accepted by some people and tossed around like easy banter or pleasantries. I am forever wary of people who tell me they love me and then spit the same garbage back to people that abuse them or that they dislike immensely.

My wife’s sister insisted that there are different kinds of love and different degrees and it’s not that big a deal and so on and so on… In some part I agree with her- yes, I love my wife in a way that I do not love my best friend or my dog or my favorite patient. That’s true. But I do know what it’s like to be loved unconditionally and so fully that I am moved by it with every waking breath I share in that person’s presence. I know that as she lives and breathes, my wife loves me. And I love her. Completely. Unequivocally. Wholly. And because I have that love, because I have that pool of reference to draw from, I am able to love others more fully and more deeply and more honestly. Because I know the value and importance of that feeling, of that assertion. I know the power of that statement. Because I needed it. It literally kept me alive for months during treatment. It kept me medicating and fighting and believing that waking up tomorrow was worth the pain of today. True unconditional love is what inspires me to write romance novels and be successful and take risks and let myself be loved and love those around me. But it’s a special thing to me. It’s sacred and I have a reverence for sharing that with others. It matters. It’s important. It fucking means something.

So if I tell you I love you, then listen. And know that you are worthy of that phrase, of that feeling, of that strength, because it means something to me to say it to you. I am giving you a little piece of me in every utterance. Don’t dismiss my intentions as pleasantries. And don’t use it like a misplaced, comma. It is not there to fill space. It is not there to punctuate a statement. It is a statement. It is a feeling and a wholeness and a vulnerability that is fucking important.

“If I tell you I love, it fucking means something.”

I love you. It means something. Fuck.

Go follow that woman’s blog. She is heavenly and wise and beautiful inside and out. And I fucking love her.

I’m reblogging this because I needed to read this and be reminded. I needed this today. And the content and feelings behind it today are no less powerful than the first time I wrote it.

diebythedrop-deactivated2017022

I hope you know how much I love you

I said that three times today. Each time with tears in my eyes.

To my son.

To my boyfriend.

To my college bestie as I hugged him after his wedding.

I really do hope they all know. I don’t love many people. If I tell you I love you, it fucking means something.

This woman is everything. This statement is wholly, completely, and unequivocally something so important that it literally pains me to read it.

“If I tell you I love you, it fucking means something.”

How perfect is that? It’s every poem, every epic love story, it’s Iliad-like in its complexity and depth but so clearly expressed with the simplicity of its word choice that it floored me.

I love you. It means something. Fuck.

My wife and I had a conversation about this with her little sister just last week. I’m careful with my word choice- I’m freely affectionate and caring, but I reserve some words, some actions, to those I can’t imagine living without. The type of person that so impacts to my life in a moment, in a memory, in a touch…those people need to know they are important, they are vital, they are loved. So, I reserve a little piece of myself for them. A true expression of earnestness and devotion. I love them. And I tell them.

Perhaps my reverence for the phrase distorts my judgments about its use. But I will be candid- it bothers me to no end when it is tossed around as arbitrarily as a greeting to a stranger at the check-out line:

“Paper or plastic?”

“Paper.”

“Have a nice day.”

“Thanks, I love you.”

That phrase is entirely inappropriate for that exchange, no? So why is it so cavalierly accepted by some people and tossed around like easy banter or pleasantries. I am forever wary of people who tell me they love me and then spit the same garbage back to people that abuse them or that they dislike immensely.

My wife’s sister insisted that there are different kinds of love and different degrees and it’s not that big a deal and so on and so on… In some part I agree with her- yes, I love my wife in a way that I do not love my best friend or my dog or my favorite patient. That’s true. But I do know what it’s like to be loved unconditionally and so fully that I am moved by it with every waking breath I share in that person’s presence. I know that as she lives and breathes, my wife loves me. And I love her. Completely. Unequivocally. Wholly. And because I have that love, because I have that pool of reference to draw from, I am able to love others more fully and more deeply and more honestly. Because I know the value and importance of that feeling, of that assertion. I know the power of that statement. Because I needed it. It literally kept me alive for months during treatment. It kept me medicating and fighting and believing that waking up tomorrow was worth the pain of today. True unconditional love is what inspires me to write romance novels and be successful and take risks and let myself be loved and love those around me. But it’s a special thing to me. It’s sacred and I have a reverence for sharing that with others. It matters. It’s important. It fucking means something.

So if I tell you I love you, then listen. And know that you are worthy of that phrase, of that feeling, of that strength, because it means something to me to say it to you. I am giving you a little piece of me in every utterance. Don’t dismiss my intentions as pleasantries. And don’t use it like a misplaced, comma. It is not there to fill space. It is not there to punctuate a statement. It is a statement. It is a feeling and a wholeness and a vulnerability that is fucking important.

“If I tell you I love, it fucking means something.”

I love you. It means something. Fuck.

Go follow that woman’s blog. She is heavenly and wise and beautiful inside and out. And I fucking love her.

I'm reblogging this because I needed to read this and be reminded. I needed this today. And the content and feelings behind it today are no less powerful than the first time I wrote it.

Survivor’s guilt

It’s a bitch.

I’m not going to candy coat this post. I’m hurt and I’m angry. All the time.

Here’s the thing about cancer: once you, yourself, have had it, it becomes very obvious to you in real-world settings. Where before it was once only a glossed over topic of discussion, it now becomes personal and suddenly it’s everywhere like a plague.

My friend Greg died last month. He had prostate cancer and he was disgustingly young for a bullshit disease like this one to come along and seize his life from him. He was a remarkable man because he was so at peace with the course his life had taken. He told me he’d done all the things he thought were worth doing. He was kind enough to let us glimpse his life through beautiful photography–HIS beautiful photography.

I found out his cancer had advanced the night before Relay for Life and I spent an hour in tears having an anxiety attack. I ran to the bathroom and dry heaved a couple of times. For three hours, I came completely unglued.

This man helped me through my treatment. He was an incredible soul. I don’t think I’ll ever know anybody quite like him for as long as I live. I don’t want to. I want his presence in my life to be forever special.

A lot of us in this pocket of tumblr knew him because he reached out to us. We didn’t have to look far for an ear who would hear us when we were miserable and suffering. This is the hallmark of a true friend. I want the people who read this blog to know that that is what he was: a true friend.

Two years ago, I was profiling a bunch of these kids in my hometown because they were honorary chairs for our Relay that year and I had to talk to the sister-in-law of an eleven year old girl who died of leukemia. Her name was Jackie. I never got the chance to meet her, but she was so remarkable. When doctors told her family they couldn’t do anything more for her, they met other relatives in the waiting room, most of whom were crying, and she said “Now is not the time, we have to figure this out.”

A month later she told that same sister-in-law with so much grace and so much dignity “I think I’m supposed to die to help other kids.”

She was so selfless and so fearless up until her dying day.

And now there’s another little girl dying of an inoperable brain tumor. She can’t swallow anymore. She can’t see. She can’t walk. But her mind is still preserved and she’s very much aware of what is going on. Her name is Sofia and she is seven years old.

Every time I this happens–every time it hits so close to home–it’s like having the life knocked out of you and trying to find the breath and the strength to stand back up again. It’s the remembrance that it could have easily been you. It’s also the guilty feeling of “Why wasn’t it me? Why couldn’t you have taken me instead?”

I’m told this goes away, eventually. I don’t really believe that. Not completely.

I mourn for my friends. I mourn for the people I never got to meet. I mourn for the parts of my self that died two years ago. I’m not guilty, I’m grieving.

I’m not guilty because I don’t wish it were me instead of them. I don’t want it to be any of us.

It crushes me a little bit every time. And just when I build myself up again, another one knocks me to my knees.

I’ll ask a lot of whys in my lifetime, especially about this. Why her, why him, why me, why them, why us? But I’m never going to have an answer for that one. So instead I’m going to let the grief double me over for a while. I’m going to mourn for things that will never happen, people who will never have the chance to be. And then I am going to pick myself back up. Again. One more time. And start to make peace with my anger and my hunger for answers.

Maybe someday I’ll be able to grieve again without stopping to wonder.

I was lucky enough to spend some of Greg's last days at his bedside. I'm not ready to put to words how I felt holding his hand and saying goodbye. But this post is lovely- he would appreciate this. Greg was one of those perfect humans- so selfless and so loving that even a stranger like me could one day dine with his wife after his death as though we had known each other forever. He linked people together. Greg bridged the gaps. He exemplified all the good lessons cancer should teach us. I love this post. And soon I will post mine as well. I miss you, Greg. Xo

HELLO TUMBLR!

Okay, the news is out! I will be in Provincetown, Massachusetts for Women’s Week doing a reading from my upcoming novel, Miss Match, due out May 2016!!

Come down and support all the fabulous authors and meet other great readers like yourself ;)

Click the link to find out what day and time I will be speaking- come see me! And keep your eyes peeled for an update on Miss Match, coming soon.

Xo

Fiona Riley

diebythedrop-deactivated2017022

i carry your heart with me

There is not much of anything good to be said about cancer. I won’t get into all the bad things, because there are so many, and that isn’t what this post is about. I’ve always been the type of person who tries to find the good in everything, even something as shitty as cancer, because that is how I make it through each day. The silver lining of cancer for me has been the friendships I have forged with other cancer survivors. (I know survivor is one of those hotly debated words in the cancer community – and I don’t want to get into that now except to say that, to me, from the moment you find out you have cancer you are a survivor, because no matter how long you live after your diagnosis you are surviving that shit.)

After my diagnosis, I hit Tumblr and started looking for people with cancer. I desperately needed a support group of people who would understand what I was going through.  That’s how I met Greg. From the very beginning, he was a great supporter of mine. He would frequently send me messages checking in on me. He offered encouragement. He offered empathy and insight. He offered humor. He did all of this even when he was dealing with his own pain from the shitty side effects of his own treatment. 

Greg has been an inspiration to me from the day we met. He was diagnosed with terminal cancer, but he didn’t let that stop him from living the life he wanted to live. He traveled. He loved. He laughed. He took the most heartbreakingly beautiful photographs. He showed me that there is life and beauty after cancer. He inspired me to find the beauty in every day and to live my life to the fullest, right now, because right now is all we are guaranteed. Greg truly understood that every day is a gift. 

Our relationship wasn’t all about cancer, however. We also bonded over a mutual love of The Walking Dead, and I will miss our chats about the show. I very much looked forward to our conversations after a new show had aired. We liked to speculate about what would happen next. The Walking Dead just won’t be the same without you, man.

We talked about meeting up in Cape Cod and eating oysters. We never got to do it, and that is something I will always regret. However, only talking to him online does not in any way diminish my affection for him. I will always carry him in my heart. 

Rest in peace, dear friend.  I will miss you so very much. Unfortunately, my words are too imperfect to capture your essence, but my heart knows, and that is all that matters. Cancer may have taken your life, but it will never kill your spirit. 

My friend Greg passed away today. I'm not ready to write about it yet. I'm not ready. But Jenn so eloquently put words to something that makes me feel like I'm drowning. She's so wonderful.

I hope Bea Arthur passes you the milk.

Nathan, You've been gone for two years today. I have so much to tell you. Some of it is good news, some of it is sad. But I know you'd listen and give me some sarcastic and loving reply that would make everything seem a little easier... I sent you sister a message today- I try to check in with her when I can. She leaves touching tributes for you throughout the year, she seems sweet. Your niece is soooo big now! Thankfully she never got your ears ;) I was filing some paperwork the other day and the Golden Girls came on. I immediately thought of you and smiled. I really hope Bea Arthur passes you the milk at the table, she seems like she'd be a good tea companion. Doilies and all. Some exciting shit you've missed: SCOTUS passed gay marriage here, Nate. It's like we'll be equal citizens in this world sooner rather than later ;) Hillary is running for President, Abby Wambach made out with her wife on international television and they didn't cut away, and Donald Trump got fired from NBC for being a bigoted racist. Things are wild these days. Keep sending sunshine and unicorns shooting rainbows out their asses in my general direction, k? I miss you. Please give Joan Rivers my best. Oh yeah, one more thing- I got a book deal...they want to make it a series. Can you believe that? They must be crazy ;) I love you. ~M

diebythedrop-deactivated2017022

I hope you know how much I love you

I said that three times today. Each time with tears in my eyes.

To my son.

To my boyfriend.

To my college bestie as I hugged him after his wedding.

I really do hope they all know. I don’t love many people. If I tell you I love you, it fucking means something.

This woman is everything. This statement is wholly, completely, and unequivocally something so important that it literally pains me to read it.

"If I tell you I love you, it fucking means something."

How perfect is that? It's every poem, every epic love story, it's Iliad-like in its complexity and depth but so clearly expressed with the simplicity of its word choice that it floored me.

I love you. It means something. Fuck.

My wife and I had a conversation about this with her little sister just last week. I'm careful with my word choice- I'm freely affectionate and caring, but I reserve some words, some actions, to those I can't imagine living without. The type of person that so impacts to my life in a moment, in a memory, in a touch...those people need to know they are important, they are vital, they are loved. So, I reserve a little piece of myself for them. A true expression of earnestness and devotion. I love them. And I tell them.

Perhaps my reverence for the phrase distorts my judgments about its use. But I will be candid- it bothers me to no end when it is tossed around as arbitrarily as a greeting to a stranger at the check-out line:

"Paper or plastic?"

"Paper."

"Have a nice day."

"Thanks, I love you."

That phrase is entirely inappropriate for that exchange, no? So why is it so cavalierly accepted by some people and tossed around like easy banter or pleasantries. I am forever wary of people who tell me they love me and then spit the same garbage back to people that abuse them or that they dislike immensely.

My wife's sister insisted that there are different kinds of love and different degrees and it's not that big a deal and so on and so on... In some part I agree with her- yes, I love my wife in a way that I do not love my best friend or my dog or my favorite patient. That's true. But I do know what it's like to be loved unconditionally and so fully that I am moved by it with every waking breath I share in that person's presence. I know that as she lives and breathes, my wife loves me. And I love her. Completely. Unequivocally. Wholly. And because I have that love, because I have that pool of reference to draw from, I am able to love others more fully and more deeply and more honestly. Because I know the value and importance of that feeling, of that assertion. I know the power of that statement. Because I needed it. It literally kept me alive for months during treatment. It kept me medicating and fighting and believing that waking up tomorrow was worth the pain of today. True unconditional love is what inspires me to write romance novels and be successful and take risks and let myself be loved and love those around me. But it's a special thing to me. It's sacred and I have a reverence for sharing that with others. It matters. It's important. It fucking means something.

So if I tell you I love you, then listen. And know that you are worthy of that phrase, of that feeling, of that strength, because it means something to me to say it to you. I am giving you a little piece of me in every utterance. Don't dismiss my intentions as pleasantries. And don't use it like a misplaced, comma. It is not there to fill space. It is not there to punctuate a statement. It is a statement. It is a feeling and a wholeness and a vulnerability that is fucking important.

"If I tell you I love, it fucking means something."

I love you. It means something. Fuck.

Go follow that woman's blog. She is heavenly and wise and beautiful inside and out. And I fucking love her.

Monday Mourning

I am somewhere I would rather not be, experiencing something I would rather not experience, crying over something I'd rather not cry about. Some days I wonder if I am cosmically cursed. I often wonder what a life without struggle is like. Some people dream for riches and fame- I think all of my dreams of late have been for an ease of living I don't think I've ever had. Let this be one less day of heartache. Let this be one less day of mourning. Let this Monday not be another cursed existence. Let this Monday mourning end today.

Only White Foods, Please

This begins the weekend of bland, fiberless foods. Tmi? Such is the life of a person with a history of colon cancer. I will be over here, drinking clear broth and consuming food without artificial color. Or any fiber. So, no nuts, seeds, fruit with "skin", etc. Basically I'm on the white bread and clear liquids diet until Saturday, then only clear liquids until the test on Monday. The real fun begins for the flush on Sunday. Good times will be had by all, I'm sure. ;) In other news, I will be in beach shape by Tuesday :) and likely 7 lbs lighter. Hahaha

4 FAMILY-FRIENDLY MEMORIAL DAY DESSERTS

PB&J CUPCAKES

INGREDIENTS: Cake 2 c. all-purpose flour 2 tsp. baking powder .50 c. butter 1.50 c granulated sugar 1 c. sweetened, creamy peanut butter 1 tsp. vanilla extract 2 large eggs

Frosting 1 box confectioners’ sugar .50 c. butter .75 c. strawberry, raspberry or grape jam

DIRECTIONS: 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 24 standard muffin pan cups with liners. 2. Prepare cupcakes: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder. In a large bowl, with a mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and granulated sugar for 3 minutes, or until fluffy. Beat in the peanut butter and vanilla. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce the mixer speed to low; add the flour mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups. 3. Bake the cupcakes for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, rotating the pans halfway through. Cool the cupcakes in the pans on a wire racks for 5 minutes, then remove them from the pans and let them cool completely on wire racks. 4. Meanwhile, prepare frosting: Beat the confectioners’ sugar, butter, and jam in a large bowl, with a mixer on low speed, until blended. Then, increase the speed to high and beat until light and fluffy. Spread the frosting on the cooled cupcakes

CREAM, BERRY AND NECTARINE TART

INGREDIENTS: 9 oz. tea biscuits 0.50 c. unsalted butter 1.50 package cream cheese 0.25 c. sugar 1 tbsp. sugar 1 c. very cold heavy cream 0.25 c. fresh lime juice 12 oz. small nectarines or peaches 0.75 c. blueberries confectioners’ sugar 11- by 8-inch rectangular or 9-inch round tart pan with removable bottom

DIRECTIONS 1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. In a food processor, pulse the biscuits to form fine crumbs. Add the butter and pulse to combine. Press the mixture in the bottom and up the sides of the rectangular or round tart pan. Bake until the crust is light golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool for about 15 minutes. 2. Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and ¼ cup sugar in a large bowl on medium-high until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the cream and beat until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes. Add the lime juice and beat to return to stiff peaks, about 1 minute. Spread evenly into the bottom of the crust. 3. Refrigerate until the cream mixture is set, at least 4 hours and up to 2 days. Fifteen minutes before serving, slice the nectarines ¼ inch thick. In a medium bowl, toss the nectarines with the remaining tablespoon sugar. Let sit, tossing occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add the blueberries and gently toss to combine. Top the tart with the fruit and dust with confectioners’ sugar, if desired.

PATRIOTIC PARFAITS

INGREDIENTS 0.25 c. sugar 0.25 c. water 1 c. blueberries 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice 1 c. heavy cream 10 oz. angel food cake 2 c. strawberries 0.50 c. shredded coconut 8 canning jars

DIRECTIONS 1. In 1-quart saucepan, stir together sugar and water. Heat to boiling on high, stirring occasionally; stir in blueberries and lemon juice. Remove from heat. Let cool completely. 2. In large bowl, with mixer on medium speed, whip cream until soft peaks form. Gently fold in cooled blueberry mixture. 3. Place a single layer of angel food cake on bottom of 1 canning jar. Top with 2 tablespoons strawberries, then 2 tablespoons blueberry whipped cream. Repeat layering of cake, strawberries, and whipped cream. Repeat with remaining 7 jars. Serve immediately, or replace screw caps and refrigerate up to 1 day. Before serving, top each parfait with 1 tablespoon coconut.

RASPBERRY-BUTTERMILK ICE POPS

INGREDIENTS: 1 c. raspberries .75 c. sour cream .25 c. buttermilk 3 tbsp. honey 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

DIRECTIONS 1. In a large bowl, smash raspberries with the back of a fork. Add remaining ingredients, and stir to combine. 2. Pour mixture into ice-pop molds and freeze for 30 minutes. Insert a wooden stick into each pop; then freeze for at least 2 more hours.

SOURCE: Delish