If I wasn’t thrilled enough to be told by the people I work for that I can come in wearing jeans and sneakers, WordPress emailed to say my post “Gone” has been FRESHLY PRESSED!!

It’s an honor and I’m grateful and it’s for Philip, my love, my heart and my muse.

And by the way – Day Five is tomorrow and I am loving this job. So let me tell you something about it.

I didn’t know what to do to find a job. I mean, I was sending out resumes, but who ever gets a call back? Not I. It’s not the first time I looked for a job this way. It didn’t work last time, but then, emailing resumes was at least doing something. I felt utterly, terribly boxed in because I wasn’t being creative about finding work and I didn’t know how to be creative about finding work because it’s hard to be creative about finding work you don’t really want to do, and I was doing that thing I do: Somebody please give me a job or ask someone you know to give me a job because I’m helpless and you are so much better a person than me – Jesus, I don’t even have a degree – that someone will give me a job if you ask them to.

Whew. It’s hard to be me.

“You are not going to think your way out of this,” my therapist said. Which drove me crazy because all I was doing was thinking. I had no direction; there was no way that felt right. I couldn’t follow my heart because it was as confused as me. I was sending out resumes to do administrative work that I hate to do but it’s all I’ve ever done. (That’s a story for another day.) And all along Philip is saying to me, “Mom, it’s okay. Relax.”

For all the misery I felt and all the searching I’ve done, I never managed to become part of any GroupThink. I can’t seminar or retreat or conference my way to what it is I’m looking for. I’ve been cynical and ironic and all I’ve had to say to any NewAge rah-rah is, are you kidding me?? I knew there was something real and authentic about life and I was sure I’d recognize it when I saw it. But what I was seeing was people like Anthony Robbins and that’s just wrong. 

Besides, I was tired of trying to buy my way to salvation. There isn’t any magic formula for peace or enlightenment. Peace is here, now. If I’m looking for salvation I’m never going to find it because I’m putting time in between Me and It. And if the future never comes except as now, then salvation is now or never.

And what I mean by “salvation” is freedom from a life run by my ego, which always misses the point.

I’m bringing all this up because I think I’m about to take the risk of sounding nutty and if I do, it’s not born out of some kind of all-I-have-to-do-is-say-it-enough-times way I’ve lived that’s caused me to bring flowers to my troubled heart. No. If I’ve ever seen things that weren’t there, it was seeing myself as useless, worthless, dull and unloved. I haven’t been practicing any version of light and sweetness in the hopes of being rewarded with nothing less than the presence of God. I was just going about minding my own business until Life decided Otherwise.

And here I am, stuck at Otherwise.

So whatever I talk about when I talk about the stuff I’m about to talk about, it’s because it happened and it keeps happening but there it is. It’s my New Normal.

Philip is behind my right shoulder. That’s where I “hear” him. And I’ve taken to saying a word now and then to my dad. His “voice” comes from my lower left. I can speculate about why, but it doesn’t matter. I’m just saying what it feels like.

I didn’t ask Philip to help me with work. It just didn’t feel right. But about a week before I got the interview for my job, I asked my dad to Please Help Me Find a Job. That made sense because I associate my dad with work. My dad was a hard worker,  a blue collar guy, foreman for the Daily News, up at 5:00 every morning. And when I was young, he worked two jobs for a while. For whatever else he could or couldn’t give me, he took care of me in the way he knew how. By working. He’s the one I should ask for help.

The next week I was sitting at work, scrolling through Indeed.com and Monster.com and Idealist.org and GodHelpMeFindAJobOrI’mGoingtoKillMyself.please. Then I heard the words, “It’s taken care of.” What the?? It came from my left side, where my dad is. Okay, then. I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do with that, but I decided I it would be better to continue to send out resumes than go home and take a nap. But maybe I could relax a little.

Next stop was Craig’s List, which I mostly considered a joke, with jobs that demand Microsoft Office Expertise (You must be Advanced Proficient!!) coupled with a $10-an-hour salary and no benefits, juxtaposed with the unlimited-and-unrevealed incomes of Avon and various Work-At-Home schemes. Still, my love-of-a-friend X found The Guy through Craig’s List, so you just never know.

I answered an ad for a job in a town about half hour away from me. Within the hour I got a call. It was from a recruiter in California. It was her ad; she’d been hired by this small company run by a couple to find an administrative assistant. They didn’t want to place the ad on their own and then ask themselves what the hell were they supposed to do with the 200+ resumes that landed on their desk.

So the recruiter set up the interview for that Friday, and I got this terrific job with these terrific people in this terrific town where I can choose my hours as I like and wear sweats and flip-flops if I want and learn all this amazing stuff and become entrenched in the work in a way that feels really, really good and when I’m sitting there learning this stuff that feels really, really good I do not think about my son, just for a while.

And I will point out two things, which will make more sense after my next post, when I talk about Philip and signs and that kind of thing. I found my apartment on July 21st, and I got the interview (“It’s all taken care of”) on August 21st.

Forever 21, this child of mine. Forever. 

© 2013 Denise Smyth


18 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. wepoetsshowit
    Sep 12, 2013 @ 21:54:20

    I’m so happy for you both with your new “you love it” job and being freshly pressed! That’s awesome and I know Philip is smiling! xo


  2. Denise
    Sep 12, 2013 @ 21:57:41

    And I know you’re smiling, which makes both of us happy. Zoe, you’re one of a kind. You remind me I am blessed.


  3. Lucia Maya
    Sep 13, 2013 @ 02:08:47

    First, congratulations on your post being Freshly Pressed! What a huge, and well-deserved, honor! And I’m so happy that you have a job you love, and that’s bringing joy into your life – yay! I can feel Philip and your dad, both happy that you’re happy.


  4. Denise
    Sep 13, 2013 @ 05:00:37

    Thanks, Lucia. These last few have fallen into place, haven’t they? The apartment, the job, the award…it is hard to reconcile feeling blessed with what I carry. But of course it’s what Philip wants; they who we lose want us to live while we’re here. So I think I’ll get off the fence for now and enjoy this. ;o)


  5. Aimee
    Sep 13, 2013 @ 05:58:52

    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed! Those of us who’ve been reading you all along know how wonderfully written and powerful your posts are 🙂


  6. Denise
    Sep 13, 2013 @ 06:02:00

    You’ve been there from the beginning, Aimee; thank you.


  7. tric
    Sep 13, 2013 @ 09:29:49

    I am delighted for you. Your success richly deserved. It is a great post and what a coincidence to be freshly pressed for the post you wrote to ensure others know that your son is not “gone”. it is like he is saying “You’re right I’m definitely still here!”. Well done.
    By the way your link above to “Gone” is not working.


    • Denise
      Sep 13, 2013 @ 11:27:15

      Oh my God – I didn’t even think of that! Thanks for pointing it out; I can feel Philip smiling.

      If you’re referring to “Gone” that’s atop the “Freshly Pressed” logo, since it’s a widget, I didn’t know how to make it a link. I just figured I’d point out the post that was pressed. If I can link it and you know how, let me know. ;o)


      • tric
        Sep 13, 2013 @ 11:44:08

        I think if you open your post Gone and then copy the url. Then go to your widget and in side bar where you put the freshly pressed logo, highlight the word Gone. Then go to links and when you press link copy the url. Then save it. I think that should work.

    • Denise
      Sep 14, 2013 @ 05:54:26

      Unless I’m dense, when I go to the Widget area and highlight “Gone?”, there’s no place to click to add the link. I know how to do it when I’m posting….


  8. Rose
    Sep 13, 2013 @ 10:18:33

    Denise, I’m extremely happy for you and for all of your achievements! When you write, you are not only touching the hearts of those who lost someone they love, you are also touching the hearts of those who are not walking on the same path as you and so many other mothers. That to me, is a gift that very few people have it. You touched my heart and my soul with your words. Keep writing, keep sharing and count on us always…..




  9. Denise
    Sep 13, 2013 @ 11:29:08

    Thank you Rose. When I say Philip is my muse, I mean it. He’s giving me what I need, even if he can’t give me what I want…but who am I to judge? I am grateful that his death didn’t mean the end of our relationship. I know he’s trying to teach me, I do. But goddamn if I don’t miss him.


  10. Denise Hisey
    Sep 13, 2013 @ 18:25:27

    So much wonderful news!!!
    Congrats on everything! 😉


  11. Denise
    Sep 14, 2013 @ 05:55:11

    Thank you Denise; it certainly is a lot to happen within a month’s time. And it’s good news, all of it.


  12. tersiaburger
    Sep 15, 2013 @ 16:42:34

    Wow!! Amazing news – a job and being PRESSED!!! I am so happy for you. It is clear that your luck has turned my friend. Congratulations!!!!!!!!


  13. Denise
    Sep 15, 2013 @ 20:52:24

    Thank you my friend; I’ve been silent but I’m thinking of you. So much has been happening that I haven’t had time to focus. But I’m thinking of you, and am getting back to your blog this week. So many hugs to you…


  14. Becki Duckworth
    Dec 19, 2013 @ 21:36:08

    Congrats on Freshly Pressed and the job. I am so happy I found your blog and you.


  15. Denise
    Dec 21, 2013 @ 01:34:16


    Definitely, likewise ;o)


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