News from Windows of Light
In This Issue
THE KNOWING Available on Amazon. in digital book form and coming soon in print. If you're in a book club, join our contest to win a visit from me and a group reading at your club. Updates and information will be posted on my new website, nitalapinski.com
The steering wheel burned like a hot coal from the nights cold freeze beneath my palms. I pressed a clenched fist to my lips blowing warm air in hopes of chasing the icy numbness away. It was 10:13 p.m. and I'd just finished work. Anxiety slithered in my stomach like a snake. It was Christmas Eve in 1983, and I hadn't purchased one gift for my kids. My roommate Susan, had taken her toddler son David, along with my two and bought a tree. Together they'd hung light's and decorated. Susan placed a few gifts beneath it for my children. At least they'd get something.
Like the end of every month I was broke with just enough to cover the rent. Financial responsibilities clicked through my brain as I considered how I might squeeze a few extra dollars out of thin air. The reality of life lodged in my throat and I wondered if I had some oranges to put in their stockings.
It killed me to think of stockings filled with oranges and a few peppermints on Christmas morning. I had my own empty Christmas memories. The first time we had no tree or gifts I was thirteen.
"Were not having Christmas this year" my mother informed us . "I can't afford it and you girls are old enough to understand that I'm doing my best."
Disappointment raced through my body and I thought, don't be a sniveler, suck it up. Christmas is just a bunch of crap anyway. That's what I told myself. But honestly, waking up on Christmas day with nothing felt sad. I was embarrassed when at school other kids asked, "So, what'd ya get?" I'd lie and make things up. I didn't want that for my kids. They were too young and innocent for such harsh realities. I felt helpless in my own circumstance.
Bright colored lights hung from rooftops and trees along the street screaming happy holiday, cheer I didn't feel as I passed. Tension hammered in my temples as I parked behind a pickup truck. My head fell forward and banged against the wheel in defeat and I cried without restraint, and then I screamed. I screamed until I gagged. I pounded my fists in helpless rage until nothing was left but a salty thickness that ran from my nose.
I pulled myself together and went inside to a party I'd promised my friend I would show up for. I managed about an hour and left as depressed as I'd arrived.
My foot pumped in a desperate motion against the gas pedal in my old beater. I closed my eyes and prayed, "God, please let my car start." The engine turned over and relief escaped with my breath. The lights from the dash cast a soft glow inside the car and I noticed something sticking out from the ashtray. I reached for it with numb fingers. It was a piece of paper. I pulled it to my nose so I could see. A neatly folded one hundred dollar bill stared back.
It took a few minutes for me to accept that I was holding such a sum. Where did this come from? Who put this here? I glanced at the house filled with people celebrating the holiday and I cried again. This time it was gratitude mixed with disbelief.
I drove straight to Toys R Us and filled my tiny car. I bought toys and wrapping paper, stocking stuffers and gifts for my roommate's son too. I had so much money that I bought food for Christmas dinner.
I asked all my friends, "was it you who gave the money?" "No," they each replied, "it wasn't me."
To this day I don't know who gave such a generous gift, but each year no matter what, we give to someone who needs a little help.
I wish for you all a happy holiday. Enjoy your friends and family and maybe find a way to give a little something to one who needs it.
The official launch party for my book THE KNOWING was a huge success and I owe a debt of gratitude to several people. My stunning book cover was done by Al Vitaro, who I met when buying a meditation chair for my retreat last April. He created several video shorts related to the book. His work is nothing less than phenomenal. Thank you Al.
I highly recommend his chairs and am including his website for you, zenbydesign . Check it out, you will love them too. My little sister is the face on the book, thank you Farrah.
The Capital Grille, Scottsdale did a great job offering delicious food and outstanding service. Linda Kammeyer took care of everything. Thank you Linda.
Some of you may know Beverly Kidd as your favorite anchor from news channel 3. Beverly now writes health news and fitness articles for women on a new website, health2fit
The articles are fresh and informative and well worth following. She is interviewing me on the benefits of meditation which will air the first week in January on her website.
Last but definitely not least, my sisters flew in and surprised me making the night more special than I can say. A thousand thank you's to everyone who has supported me and believed in me. I hope you read the book and recommend it to a friend. Thank you,
Once again, thank you.