Going (going) Back (back) to Cali (Cali).

On July 4th, I got a call.

Someone you love is hurt. Someone you love needs help. Someone you love is in trouble.

At first, I sat on my hands and did all of the things my rational side wanted to do. I made a mental list and compiled the slender facts I had. I plastered on my, “It’s the FOURTH OF JULY, Y’ALL!” smile and put the dogs on the grill. Because, in a crisis, there are the immediate reactors and there are the people who put hot dogs on the grill and pretend that life is fair and that we have a smidgeon of control over outcome.

Then, the big wave hit and my heavy feet climbed my steps and I put myself to bed. Because, in a crisis there are the people who can’t sleep and there are the people who must.

In the morning, this morning, I woke up and had to buy a ticket. It wasn’t a, “let me check on a, b and c.” It was, I need to buy a damn ticket right now. And, bless my good credit and my plastic, I could and I did.

And now, I am flying into a war zone of family feuds and hurt feelings and grief and confusion and feelings of responsibility that are being juggled and tossed like an ill-trained circus act. The one where everyone who lived in the same home gets in the same room and we all fall into the safety net because no one ever learned how to catch one another.

So, I’m going to my birth “home”. And, I have a week to sit by bedsides and make miracles with my two hands that never even could figure out how to make a penny disappear.

And, I think, that having a birthday while I’m there will be a great honor. To accept that with age comes big life and growth whether you want to grow or not and forgiveness whether you have it in you or not and hope, because, what else do we have?

Until I return to my heart home, shooting through the star-riddled sky on a metal tube serving cocktails, with all of my humor in my carry-on and some new understanding and a little more age and hopefully, all that fine hope in my checked luggage, think a little thought and laugh a lot of laughs for me.


  1. You are so lovely. Inside and out. I’ll miss you while you’re gone – and I’ll be sending you all of my hope and good wishes!

  2. Chevelle Sopkin says:

    I want to write you a much more in-depth reaction to this post. But I just don’t have the mental strength to pull it out of myself with kids in the backyard, dinner about to come out of the oven in 9 minutes, and braving through the EXACT same situation myself at this time. Right down to spending my 35th birthday (and my son, his 4th) by bedsides & dealing with dysfunctional family dynamics to rival the best of em’. I’m also power of attorney, so much of the decisions are mine. In short, I want to offe you my strength & support, even if it’s only in knowing that I truly do understand your current struggles & will be thinking of you as well. Much love. <3

    • Bethany says:

      Thank you so much for taking the time to check in and share part of your story with me. I’m happy this piece spoke to you and, I’m happy you reached out. It makes it so much better to know that in this world, we are never alone. Even in these moments that feel the loneliest. Peace, support and strength to you as you navigate your own family turmoil. And love. Lots of love.

  3. Not sure where you’re headed, but I’m in Cali and we have wine. 🙂 I may be mostly stranger, but I’m a mom with a crazy family of my own. Happy to provide a place a of refuge should you need it. I’m in the Bay Area. Email me if you need anything! alisamonalisa@gmail.com

    • Annette says:

      I’m down South (North San Diego County) and also have wine. And vodka.

    • Bethany says:

      Oh, I wish I was headed to Northern California. I could use some Bay Area healing. I’ll be in your more smoggy sister City down south. BUT, I so appreciate the invitation to a chaotic home with wine. Because, that IS my refuge. xo

  4. This is heartbreaking. Sending you much love and strength on your trip. I’ll be thinking of you.

  5. I’m sending a special prayer your way tonight. xo

  6. Your family is lucky to have you. Love and prayers for a safe and sane trip.

  7. Wishing you well, or at least as well as can be hoped for in the circumstances. xoxo

  8. All the best with the peace keeping mission. You’ll be missed but sounds like your family needs all the wonderful laughter and life you bring with you.

    • Bethany says:

      Thank you, Shawna. I hope I can bring peace and strength. A tall order, but, I think I’m ready. I so appreciate the support.

  9. Safe travels, friend. They’ll be better for having you.

  10. Don’t worry, we’ll be here when you get back. Just do what you gotta do, do your best to smile at the absurd, and come back safe and sound. {Actually, I’ll be here, in Cali when you get here… in the Central Valley, want some wine? ;)}

  11. I hope all gets worked out! I’m in Orange County if you need anything!

    • Bethany says:

      Thanks, Wendy. Orange County is not too far away. If I need a break to stalk some Housewives of OC, I’m calling you.

  12. Prayers of calm and comfort for you and your family. Hugs!

  13. When you get through what you need to get through, remember that your cyber family will be here with open arms. Good luck and a big ol’ dose of good Ju Ju is headed out West (and I have family there-yeah, it’s pretty cray cray on the West Coast).

    • Bethany says:

      Cat, thank you for the support and the open arms. I’m going to need them. If the hands of the arms could be holding cocktails, that would be swell too. xo

  14. You are more than in my heart, kid. You know I’m there with you, and here for you.

  15. You are a strong and amazing woman. You know I am praying for you. Keeping you in my heart

  16. Candace says:

    Happy Birthday. I’m sorry you are going through a trying time. ;(

  17. The great thing about flying into a shitstorm is you get to fly out. Home is where you family is, not where you grew up. Hang in there, and take notes!

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