My friend Lauren Fleshman and I were talking yesterday about the week's roller coaster events and she said I should blog about it. She is a professional athlete and runs for Nike. She was one of Dave's athletes at Canyon High. In those days, she babysat Justin, Jess and Jojo, I always knew my kids were in good hands with her and I trust her advice for me. (She and her tri-athlete husband, Jesse Thomas own a successful health bar business called Picky Bars www.pickybars.com , super yummy.)
Last Wednesday, I was contacted by CHLA because of a medical breakthrough related to chemo-resistant ALL, which is what Justin had. Channel 4 wanted to do a story about what this discovery meant to a family affected by the disease. I had just given Dr. Siegel (Jacob's oncologist), a copy of BLOOD BROTHERS the week before and he suggested they contact me. I was asked, "Do you think you can tell us what it is like to have two children with leukemia?" My response, "Well...Yes, in fact, I wrote a book about it!" The media folks at CHLA didn't know about the book and neither did Dr. Bruce Hensel from Channel 4. Of course I brought books to the interview (at the advice of my former bank robber/amazing author buddy Joe Loya whose story I have shared on FB); so, Dr. Bruce and Jose Hernandez (camera man) were very positive about the book and offered to include it in the story. Ironically, the interview took place in the very room where we received the news that Jacob had leukemia 5 years ago! Being on the outpatient clinic floor where Justin and Jacob were treated, and where we still go to see Dr. Siegel every 3 months, was surreal--another one of those life events not orchestrated by me but done so in dramatic divine style. Dr. Bruce suggested we get more footage at our home on Monday! This was all very exciting and fun and timely. We were flying pretty high to leave CHLA after the interview, healthy, happy and cup overflowing.
We met Dave and Jess (our oldest daughter), at the Americana in Glendale for lunch, shopped a bit, found a $7.00 top (I love a bargain), visited the Lego store, ate Greek gyros and let the wonder of the day sink in. Later we went to Burbank to attend MUD's (Make Up Designery), orientation with Jess. I'm so proud of her pursuing make-up artistry and I think she is going to be great! While we were walking, my phone rang, it was the manager of a store I was scheduled to do a book signing at in a few weeks. As kindly as she could, she said that they had to cancel the book signing because of the psychic content of my story. While this may shock some people, it does not shock me. In fact, I fully understand their need to do so. I knew when I wrote BLOOD BROTHERS that this aspect of my experience would cause conflict within the mind's of devout, conservative Christians. As I share in BLOOD BROTHERS, I chose to leave it in my story because it is the truth of my experience and it helped me make sense of my loss. I opted to not let my theology get in the way of my heart on this one. I know that the difference between psychic and psycho is "o", "i", "c". I do see. I see my life, my son's lives, and the reality of living a faith based life in a world trying desperately to hold on to absolutes when death itself is the only absolute we have. Death taught me to make observations from a different perspective. At the end of our brief conversation she said if I left out that part in the next book (BLOOD SISTERS), they could promote the book. I think I chuckled a bit nervously at that, thanked her for calling and hung up. As I walked the mall, a sinking feeling hit me. I felt hurt. I have never been shunned like this before. Seriously, I don't think I've ever felt personally turned away. Sure, I've been rejected after job interviews, perhaps back in high school or junior high for something, but honestly, I can't remember feeling the sting of being expelled. I have always been the compliant one; no boat rocking, avoiding confrontation, keeping the peace.
I bear no ill will toward the store manager or owner. Neither should you.
I was on three radio shows this week, attended Lisa Bloom's book signing and gave her and her mom, Gloria Allred, a book, danced a foxtrot demonstration dance at my mini-book signing and might have interviews with Ch 2 and 11next week. More to come about that as it unfolds. The truth of BLOOD Brothers carries a life of its own.
It is fascinating how God's universe orchestrates. Truly fascinating.