Thursday, August 9, 2012


"When you opt to change everything, always remember to breathe, and embrace it all with eyes wide open".- T.L. Tate

   For the past three days, my life has consisted of furnishing two bedrooms in my parent's home where my girls and my Sheri will be until I rejoin them in October.
   After a long, slow drive pulling a trailerful of belongings, and fighting a major bout of uncertainty and utter self-recrimination, reorganizing and living the days side by side with my parents slowly made me realize I had not taken a deep enough breath.  I hadn't even allowed their unconditional love and support to allay my fears. 
   No transition is easy.  It was all I could think of, but I didn't count on the closest people in my life to make it an experience so filled with laughter and hope.  No one knows how to make you feel more welcome than my mom, and no one, I mean no one, can elicit a laugh like my dad.
   I've missed being around them far more than I thought. 
   Once I finished putting the new furniture together for the girls, I left Sheri to organize the girls' clothes.  It's not that I didn't want to help.  I'm just a man.  No good when it comes to girlie world and its many aspects.  If I had tried to help, Sheri would've undoubtedly kicked me out anyway.
   I finished sanding the last coat of polycrylic on the new workstations, where I'll hopefully be editing or writing the last of a fourth novel.  Once I was somewhat pleased with the shine and smoothness of the desktops, I went out and came across four ornaments that my mom has set up in her never ending efforts to decorate every space over which she's given domain.
   The first one said "Welcome".  I smiled at the sea shells above the letters.  Mom loves the ocean and its limitless secrets.  She often pointed out that one drop of ocean would eventually touch every coast in the world, given enough time.  We could all learn a lot of patience from the blue seas.
   I climbed the steps to the back yard and on the railing there were three stone planters, each sprouting a posy.  One had the word "Hope" inscribed upon it.  Hope, I thought to myself.  The same reason my parents took me out of my adolescent world in Ecuador and brought my sister and me to America. 
   Next to Hope, another stone planter had the word "Believe".  I've never fully believed in myself or what I could do, but I've had some incredible people infuse me with a confidence I've never had. 
   Jo VonBargen, who has to be one of the most amazingly unique human beings on this planet, stuffed me full of belief by writing a review of The Gaze that shook me the very core.  To hear that you've done well from someone so talented is priceless.  I allowed myself to believe, for others have been believing in me all along.
   Heading to the yard, the last stone planter gave me a glimpse of what my new life in Connecticut will be with one word: "Happiness".
   It seemed as though some higher power, along with my mom, set those signs before me, doing away with the dark, cold shadows of regret I've fought day in and day out for the last two years.
   As I stood there, choking back tears at the signs before me, my best friend from high school, 25 years in the making, sent me a text with the familiar words we've written, spoken, and texted to each other every time we faced a transition, everything's going to be all right.
   Even my dog, Her Highness Bailey, looked over at me with her eerily expressive eyes and I could almost hear a voice in my head saying, "Quit worrying so damn much."
   Her Chocolate Furry Highness just chuffed and plopped down on the grass, staring at the treetops blanketing Ansonia.  I followed her gaze and soaked in the sounds of the Connecticut traffic, the screams of seagulls announcing our proximity to the Atlantic, and the singularity of the moment. 
   "Yeah, Bay," I said, crouching down to scratch Her Highness behind the ears.  "Everything's going to be all right.  We've been welcomed here, a place of hope where belief will lead us to happiness."
   In reply to my flash of half-baked poetry, Her Highness simply rolled her large brown eyes at me, giving me an I-knew-it-all-along-you-hopeless-human snort.
   Old Tate's words flashed in my mind as I ran a collage of the past two years, the lows, the desperation, the constant fretting, and the avalanche of what-ifs that stole entire nights of sleep... and I finally exhaled.

   Javier A. Robayo



  1. No where left to go but up. Just remember the little people (namely me) when you get there. :)

  2. I hope I've made you feel welcome as much as mom and dad have. :) I can't tell you how heart warming it's been for me to see my boys along with your girls and saying, "I finally get to see them grow up together!" I love having you guys with us and I can say that I now feel complete! Everything will be alright, ñaño. You'll see. Nothing but good things will come our way from now on. I love you!! :)

  3. Well said. The plants, the animals...they've all got it right...just be...

  4. Bert and I have know all about bottoms too and the one insight I offer, hard won I might add by this bulldog (my nickname by those who know me best), the less you fight it the faster it passes on. And you are blessed. At least someone reached some very loving arms out to you. It will become as grand as you allow it. So let it be, dear one.

  5. What you leave behind is all the obstacles that might have kept you down, yet you've managed to surge forward. Great blog as always, the mascara people love you.

  6. Thank you all for all the encouragement! Um... I love the mascara people too? ;]