Order of the Good Write

That Magic Feeling When the Words Flow. A Blog by Debi Rotmil

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Winnie the Pooh Wisdom


Do loved ones who have passed send messages from the beyond?

One night, I was thinking of my mom and dad very deeply. There were memories and tears. Since they both passed (Mom in 2009 and dad in 2010) I’ve always hoped (and perhaps…sensed?) they were watching over me.

Then, sometimes – it feels like they are not. Like they have moved on into deep space, where things are so awesome, psychedelic and divine, that they couldn’t give a damn about hovering over me like Casper the Ghost.

Or, maybe they’re in the middle of a nothing dream. Nowhere.

It felt that way that night. There was a sense of being…alone. Really alone. I never feel “really feel alone”. Even before my parents’ death, there’s been a lingering sensation that a presence, some unknown angel or decease relative, has been with me.

Maybe it’s an old imaginary friend I never gave up as a child.

Or maybe it’s a real other worldly being assigned to me, as some believe happens before birth. (I’m on the fence about these beliefs.)

After my folks died, there was a feeling that this lingering presence was joined by them.

My dad, comes through strongly. Although I love my mother, my father was the closest connection to me. We were cut from the same cloth.  I was born the day after his birthday. We were/are both Sagittarius. I was daddy’s girl.

That night, feeling like I was flapping in the cosmic wind, I went to bed with my iPad and went on Facebook to see what was up.

Then I saw the Winnie The Pooh quote above.

I adored Winnie The Pooh as a child, and still hold the character dear to my heart. I even own a series of Milne’s rough sketches.

Maybe it was a sign from Dad telling me he was still around? Who knows. Until it’s my time to leave, maybe these notes and the belief they appeared at the right moment, is enough for me to believe.


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To The Conductor on the 5:19pm Train to Southeast…

…that took off from Grand Central Station on November 10th, 2010.  I stopped at White Plains. You gave me a dirty look because I was a little too anxious to get through the doors leading to the platform. I wasn’t being rude to others. I wasn’t rushing. I was waiting, with eyes cast down, struggling to not burst through the doors to get to the hospital as fast as I could.

whiteplaintrainstaThis isn’t supposed to make you feel bad. It’s just to make you more aware of the people who are riding your train on a daily basis. As I think back on that fateful day, I remember that quick ‘fuck you’ look you gave me because I was trying to get past people on the train to place my feet on the platform.

Just a little note, Mr. Conductor, in which I’m sure you’re aware, yet it’s worth reminding – there are people who sit in your seats everyday who are walking, talking beings dealing with personal catastrophes they can’t reveal. That is – unless they explode in screams of agony until the men in white coats come to get them. Most of us carry around a heavy load. Some people may be stressed from the work day that has ended. Some have a load of problems at home. Some of us may have just heard their mother had died via a voicemail message that was left while we were in the dead wifi-less ionosphere of the 125 tunnel.

That was my situation that day. I received a call at my desk at the New York Times. My mother was dying. I left the office and grabbed your train.  The 5:19pm train to Southeast, possibly even Chappaqua. I retrieved two voicemail messages – one from my 1/2 brother, another from my uncle telling me my mother had indeed died. This was when we were whizzing by Bronxville. I think. Let’s just say it was Bronxville. It’s a pretty town. I can’t remember because I was in shock. And I was stuck on your train with a bunch of strangers, ready to burst in sobs.

When you give a double bitch look to a customer who is in deep thought, whose body is floating in unconscious mode for sheer survival under the weight of massive shock, anxious to move, just move out that door – it’s not about you. It’s not about me having to get to someplace before anyone else, or just another moody commuter giving you grief.

And having said that, I hope that bitch take you gave me when I was looking at my phone and waiting for the doors to open, wasn’t because someone had just yelled at you, or gave you a problem. Perhaps you had a loved one at the time who was ill, or your home was being taken away, or your parent was in a hospital bed dying. If that’s the case, I’m sorry.  But four years later, and despite knowing there were bigger things to deal with that evening – I can’t seem to get your nasty look out of my mind.  You didn’t know it, but you were damning someone in the early, mind numbing, heart breaking throes of grief.

In the four years since, I hope you’ve opened your heart about the people whose commuter passes you view in passing, or tickets you tick off.  Take a moment to understand there are walking, talking dramas all around you. Because one nasty look to someone could mean you’ve added your negative face to the memory of the day her mother died. And that isn’t good.

To all the other conductors at Metro North, I think you’re awesome. Despite this one unfortunate moment with this particular conductor, you’ve all provided good humor and kindness.

Let’s all be careful. You never know what someone is going through.

Inspired by the human stories over at Humans of New York.

This story, in particular.