Photos from the California Women’s Film Festival

Such a fun evening.Debi CWFF2

And a great honor to receive Best Feature Screenplay at the 2016 California Women’s Film Festival.

None of this would have happened without Max Adams and the Academy of Film Writing. Max rocks as a teacher and a mentor!

And I had my own fan club there!

Ken Harter, my always supportive husband, Aaron Harter – his son and Catie Blalock – Aaron’s girlfriend. And fellow screenwriter, Mike Cregan.

Debi CWFF– debi

 

RIP Dixie Yazbeck

October 26, 2001 – May 14, 2016.

debipic

Dixie has been my constant roommate, travel companion and comforter for almost fifteen years.

Little pieces of life leave. Fissures in the dam. And I cry endlessly with each. Those fissures repair themselves eventually or that dam would break and I’d flood all life downstream.

Dixie

I imagine Towanda Yazcat and Fefe will terrorize me for a few days as they adjust to not having Dixie to pick on (don’t get me wrong – she loved the attention). And I’m a big sloppy mess.

I love you, Dixie. Forever.

  • debi

Overfunction?

I’m an overfunctioner. I just learned that word this morning on the way to work while I was listening to Brene’ Brown’s Rising Strong (a must-read for anyone who considers themselves part of the human race).

I recognized my own tendencies as Brene’ was describing the person who “does” instead of “feels” in the face of grief. Good lord – the very definition of debi in times of sorrow! I push aside the horrible overwhelming feelings and “take care of things.”

But not only that, by taking over so much, I allow others to fall into underfunctioning. According to Brene’, when someone becomes an underfunctioner they fully feel, they allow others to do for them – all the things that I fight so hard against for myself. Underfunctioning can be a two-edged sword. It can encourage drowning in sorrow, depression. But, and this is a big BUT…

Underfunctioning can also be a blessing, one that I need to somehow embrace. I allowed, probably encouraged, my now incredibly capable daughter to be an underfunctioner during times of grief. And it burned her with searing pain at times – feelings she often didn’t know how to handle. But through the years she has figured out how to make a balance. She feels (so much more than I do) grief deep in her soul, accepts it and then she takes baby steps, bigger steps and finally walks boldly away from it. My grief follows me, haunts me, tries to rise above the surface and I just keep pushing it down with to-do lists.

As I was typing this, I listened to Joe Biden speak of not knowing whether he will run for president. I admire the man – he is feeling his grief and not embracing an overfunctioner’s attitude. He stated honestly, with heart-wrenching pain in his voice, that he doesn’t know what he will do, whether he will run for president of the United States. With only a few words, Vice President Biden laid his soul bare to the world. “True bravery and bad-assery” as Brene’ would say.

When will I allow myself to fully feel like Mr. Biden and my daughter do? Will I ever allow it? And if I do, will I ever recover afterward? I think that is probably what I fear the most.

But! I have an extensive support network and I’m intelligent and could navigate to health. Maybe I’ll truly convince myself of that and get there someday.

~ debi

And Happy Birthday to me.

Fleeting

It goes by too quick. Life does.

I look into the face of my dear friend. In the hospital. (Apparently, it’s a recurring thing lately – these hospital visits.) He has aged. I have to admit when I look in the mirror – I have too. Dammit. And dammit that it took the alarm of the ICU to get me off my butt and by his side.

We share news of kids and grandkids (his) and great-grandkids (his again – yes I’m envious). Nearly four decades of communal history are in the room with us… like it all happened yesterday: crazy dangerous fun, laughter, pain, loss.

He says he doesn’t want to grow old. This scares me. So I ask him, “But if your quality of life is good, old is good, right?” I can’t bear losing him.

But I don’t think I’ll lose him any time soon. He’s a tough bird, “older than dirt” according to his estimations.

He’s side-stepped doctor recommendations for a good long while now, hence ICU and the once-again stay in the hospital. This time they’ll be keeping him for a while – in the pulmonary rehabilitation wing. The fun of youth catches up.

(Seriously!? Are we allotted just some quota of over-the-top living!?! I suppose there’s no rhyme or reason to the life and death cycle TIMING thing but it’s REALLY hard to not contemplate and wonder if there is some allowance-of-fun-score-keeping device that pulls the plug on us through death or discomfort.) Sigh… Enough ranting.

CW
I wish you comfort, my friend.
And LOTS of old age that we can share together.

I love you, Claud Wayne.

– debi

Hi-jacked…

Yep.

Nine members of my family and almost four-hundred other persons. BA flight 2069, December 28, 2000.

It’s not something I think of often, but my daughter, Rachel, recently posted on Facebook a dramatic re-enactment of the hi-jacking causing a flood of memories. It made me wonder how others on the flight were affected by the experience.

Here’s one article with comments from fellow passengers:

BA 2069

My thoughts?

I distinctly remember my heart pounding so loud and slow that other sounds were drowned out. I’d never felt as calm as I felt in those moments – and I’ve never felt that since. I knew we all were on the verge of death, and I was thankful all nine of our family were together so none of us had to face the pain of life without the others. I accepted my fate as easily as I would accept a hug from a loved one.

Does that sound callous? My husband of twenty-two years, the father of my children, had died suddenly in an electrical accident six months previously. Russell, Rachel and I were still reeling from the loss. For me, the contemplation of imminent, sudden death was not at all frightening.

If you were on the flight, what are your memories?

If you weren’t on the flight but have had a similar experience, please share.

– debi

Decisions and Gratitude

Earlier today I was chatting on AIM with my son, a 29-year-old successful deep-thinking man:

RUSSELL

god i’m so glad you didn’t put us over yours and dad’s life…  I tell people about that sometimes in conversations about kids and they are like uh wat? and i’m like yeah, wtf did you want my mom to do? give up her life for me? kids are supposed to grow up.

ME

yah we did do that right. I learned it from Nana and Grandpa. Plus I was madly in love with Dad, and we made a decision together that he and I were the most important persons in our lives.

I got really busy with work for a couple hours. Curiosity got the best of me.

ME

hey what brought up that convo earlier?

RUSSELL

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/0bf95f3c-f234-11e1-bba3-00144feabdc0.html#axzz265rpdZPH

*

We often don’t know the implications of our actions at the time.

There is nothing as fulfilling as receiving gratitude for decisions we made years ago and knowing that the wisdom continues today.

Thank you, Russell.

– debi