Blood Moon Reflections

April 15, 2014

Like a brilliant yellow saucer,
The full moon rides the skies,
Waiting for a startling event
To grace our watching eyes.

A black mark casts its shadow
Upon its smiling face,
And the brilliance of the moonlight
Reduced slowly to a trace.

Like a flickering candle with reddish hues,
Its light soon extinguished, and then renewed
In the outline of the circle of the moon.
A cup of sunrises and sunsets
Brings muted color to the gloom.

A collection of colors—orange, black, and red,
Fills the place where bright light was instead.
Capturing the glory of the movement of God’s lights,
A rare experience happened in the heavens last night.

Susan McCrea
April 15, 2014

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Update on Writing

January 31, 2014

In 2013, my writing revived. An article, called “The Rock Hunt”, was published in the Inspire Faith anthology! It is a short account of my spiritual adoption in Christ. It is available through Amazon and the Sacramento Inspire Faith Christian Writers (elaine.faber@all-unique.com),

By the end of summer, I finished the rough copy of my book about my physical adoption, discovered at the age of 38, and the reunion with my birth family twenty years later. Each chapter is going through a thorough sifting by a critique group. At this rate, three chapters a month, I will have a polished manuscript by summer of 2014.

The key to completing my book finally came to me   last year, thank God. I had struggled for a long time and never completed my book. I saw myself writing it like slapping raw clay on a board. The clay had no shape. Later when all the clay was on the board, I would re-craft it, reshape and mold it. I am doing that now.

At the same time, I will submit short articles to different publishers and elicit the help of more seasoned writers as I proceed down this precarious road. I am excited to share the wonderful stories and adventures I have had in my life. It is a exhilarating time as I embark on a new phase of my writing career. I thank God for clear direction and a host of writers to accompany me on this journey.

New Movie, Out Today, OCTOBER BABY

March 24, 2012

Outstanding, amazing, already one of my favorites, how can I adequately describe the movie, October Baby, just out today? The story of a young woman, Hannah, suddenly confronted with truth about her origins, touched my heart deeply. Her incredible inward and outward journeys changed not only her but others profoundly.
This movie struck very close to home, mirroring my own story. I too have travelled many of the same trails, taking more years in my travels but traversing similar hurdles and high and low points.
All I can say, as other reviewers have already said, it is a must-see movie!

Out Today! New Book! As Good As She Imagined: The Redeeming Story of the Angel of Tucson by Roxanna Green with Jerry Jenkins

January 3, 2012

The story of the life and death of Christina-Taylor Green, As Good As She Imagined, is poignant, gripping, and incredibly sad. Her mother, Roxanna Green, with the help of experienced writer, Jerry Jenkins, captured the pathos of January 8, 2011, in Tucson, Arizona, when not only one of our legislators, Gabrielle Giffords, was seriously wounded but six other innocent victims killed.  Christina, nine years old, was the youngest.

Born on September 11, 2001, she was destined for greatness. Her heart was as big as her aspirations to make a difference in this world.  With great excitement, she went with a family friend to see a congresswoman at a corner meeting on one of our cities’ streets.  She did not come home.

Even though it is a difficult subject, I feel it is a must-read, especially for those of us who care what is happening in our country.  It is a sad reflection of the untreated needs of those who are severely mentally ill and of the lack of safety on the streets where we live.  Hopefully, it will incite many to action – to live full and productive lives, fulfilling our individual destinies as Christina so wanted to do, and to have more awareness, propelling us to action, of very serious, societal problems facing our nation.  We honor her by reading this beautiful and well-written memorial of her short life.

Year Memorial for Christianne

December 20, 2011

What an incredible tribute to our daughter Christianne! It began at graveside on the afternoon of December 17, 2011, with the unveiling of her memorial stone, a rose granite heart – written with white, “Christianne Noel McCrea, December 25, 1976 to November 30, 2010, A Beautiful Heart, Beloved daughter, sister, aunt, and friend”. On its back was a dove with the inscription of “And God shall wipe away every tear,” Revelation 21:4. We gathered in a semi-circle of family, neighbors, friends of ours and Christianne’s, on the grassy knoll where her remains lie. Our resting place will be at her side. A young friend from church, had her family home near the top of this hill. They had owned the property, which is now the resting place of Chrissie and her father among many. It’s a lovely setting in the southwest corner of Fair Oaks Cemetery.

A skilled and sensitive cello choir, orchestrated by Gwyneth, Christianne’s dear friend, began the program with “Flow My Tears” by John Dowland, a piece that literally flowed and evoked a wonderful setting and response. From there we saw (again) the wonderful slideshow of Christianne, crafted by Josh last year for the first memorial, with selected musical offerings and a tabloid of pictures of Chrissie. I gave a synopsis of her life from her humble beginnings, born at home in Fair Oaks on Bannister Road, through our sojourn to Scotland, 1978-80, and her varied school years to her tumultuous, tormented, and difficult adult years, ravaged by mental illness and drug addiction. There were glimpses of light, especially the light of Christ, Who shone on her in 2010 when she surrendered her life to Him.

Gwyneth introduced the heart of the program, “Stabat Mater: Quando Corpus Morietur” by Perogolesi from a recording of Christianne singing at a small Catholic church in Japan, December 29, 1993, on her way home. At sixteen she visited Gwyneth, who was working in Japan, for nine months, and had a wonderful time. It was a relief for us as she had been very troubled since her runaway at the age of fourteen. Andrea was the soprano who gave Christianne voice lessons. Accompanied by Gwyneth’s cello, Christianne sang the alto part beautifully. It was haunting to hear her voice at her own memorial. The translation of the words she sang was even more poignant. “Quando corpus morietur, fac, ut animae donetur paradise gloria” meaning “When my body dies, let my soul be granted the glory of Paradise.”

Then Lisa, her youngest sister, shared a video of interviews of close family members about what they most missed about Christianne, expressing qualities of her essence. One missed her sense of humor. Many expressed her loving, beautiful, non-judgmental heart, which is the fragrance of her we want to carry in our hearts forever.  Rosemary, her older sister closest in age to her, sang a musical composition with her husband Josh by Misty Edwards from the Song of Solomon, proclaiming her relationship with the lover of her soul, Jesus Christ. Linda, a church friend and one of the twins who have been to every service for Christianne, recited her first poem that the Lord gave her during this service. It was a beautiful expression of the love relationship with Jesus and His new bride, Chrissie.

The cello choir closed with “Crossing to Ireland” and ended with the plaintiff song, “Dona Nobis”. Although unsung, its words echoed in my being as a prayer. “Lord, give us peace.” This exquisite, artistic memorial was certainly a healing part of bringing peace to those of us who mourn the loss of our beloved Christianne.

Two Anniversaries

December 1, 2011

There are two anniversaries for me today, November 30. One is the tenth anniversary of my reunion with my birth mother. We had our first contact on this day as both of us became aware of each other for the very first time. I had been contacted by The Cradle and told my birth mother was found! She had talked to a representative of The Cradle, who told her I was looking for her. The rest of the story I will be sharing in future months.
The second anniversary is the one year anniversary of my daughter Christianne’s death. I visited her grave today with a friend. It has been a sad yet poignant day, full of memories.

BOOK REVIEW, Late Discoveries by Susan Bennett

September 28, 2011

In her recent book, Late Discoveries, Fithian Press, 2011, Susan Bennett deftly captures her experience discovering her adoption status late in life – a situation more and more common for older adoptees. Each late discovery story is unique, as is hers, yet have universal components of shock, denial, and other elements of dealing with the added trauma of realizing what you have always believed about your identity is a lie. Balancing her feelings of loyalty and gratitude to her adopted mother at her death, coupled with this radical disclosure, is no small feat. Susan is graced with compassion towards her mom yet anger towards the fact she was lied to by her, tackling each feeling in an appropriate time and place. Genuine love and devotion, the struggle to forgive, and victory over one’s negative feelings oozes out between the lines of this compassionate book, which is a great read not only for adoptees but for anyone who would like a deeper understanding of an adoptee’s journey of disclosure as an adult.
Discovering her birth family and dying to the hope of a perfect reunion are also sensitively written. Usually children are only given up in grave, dysfunctional situations. Susan learns her story, piece by piece, and has some very meaningful yet difficult reunions, mostly via phone, with the members of her family of origin, as she comes face-to-face with the details of challenging beginnings. Late Discoveries will find its rightful place in the long line of adoption memoirs, providing an insightful and honest look at Susan’s late discovery and her first year of disclosure and reunion, a successful beginning to integrate her new identity by making peace with her adopted family, her new birth family, and her pre-adoption history.

The Fire of Grief

January 18, 2011

Grief is a fire needing careful tending. If ignored, it builds up, going underground, and then erupts violently with a sheet of flame. It catches you unawares like a tidal wave emerging from a peaceful horizon. If tended too much, its flames can burn or even paralyze you.

It’s like walking through a smoldering forest with debilitating pockets of flames and smoke. There is a pathway through the burning – the mourners’ path, forged by those familiar with this inferno. Those who have walked before us can teach us where and where not to go.

If one refuses to see the blazing fires of grief all around them, the flames will still burn. Better to face it, equipped and ready with tools crafted with the tears of those who have walked ahead, and humble ourselves by following the mourners’ path, an ancient, well-trodden trail.

(I am writing this after getting off the path of grieving because of the tyranny of the present and getting hit by a firewall of grief. I have joined a support group with fellow mourners.)

(I just discovered that imbedded in the word grief, there is fire: In the word g-r-i-e-f, the last four letters are r-i-e-f = fire!)

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

January 12, 2011

Superb acting and excellent visual effects enhance the viewing of the new release, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. True to most of C.S. Lewis’ book by the same name, the movie captures the essence of the story.

Yes, there are some major changes to the plot. Narnian diehards will have a hard time accepting these differences, altering sequence and timing. The screenplay and its basic requirements impose upon the written word new criteria as a novel is transposed into visual art. In spite of the alterations, the writers have maintained the integrity of the characters in Lewis’ book. Eustace, for example, goes through the same transformation of personality even though it is done in a different context and position from the book.

The spiritual content also is preserved. Aslan’s land is a beautiful and moving picture of the afterlife. In an eloquent speech, Aslan inspires us to find him in this world by another name.

A movie that lifts my spirits, artfully transporting me to another land, time and place, gets my vote of confidence as an excellent movie for both young and old. I hope the minor story modifications will be overlooked by fans and that the movie will get the thumbs up vote of confidence it needs to be successful in a very competitive market. It is a great attempt to portray a very complicated novel. Congratulations to those who worked on this third Narnian movie! I will see it again and again, bringing those I love to enjoy this edifying epic

( I posted this review on the Narnia Fans website on Dec. 11 – http://www.narniafans.com/vdt_reviews/review.php?id=79, under Susan.)

Epiphany Reflections on Christianne Noel, My Daughter

January 7, 2011

January 6, Epiphany or “Little Christmas”, reminds me of my Christmas Day girl, Christianne Noel McCrea, born in 1976. When she was a child, I would have her friend birthday party on this day, or close to it, every year. It is only a short time since Christianne died on November 30, 2010. In memory of her, I celebrate her life today.      

 A year ago on the evening of January 6 and 7, my husband Martin and I crossed the Sierras on a rescue mission to pick up Christianne in Reno, Nevada. Missing for over a month, she was found there with the help of a private investigator I had hired. It was such a relief she was alive and willing to return to Sacramento with us. On December 4 she had left Sacramento on a Greyhound bus in a psychotic state with only $40, and I wondered if she would survive the coldness of the season and the dangers of her psychological condition. As she lived through harrowing circumstances numerous times, she came through again. It was a winter resurrection and the beginning of a new life for her.     

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               On the evening of January 6, 1999, I recall getting a phone call from her friends in the Hollywood Hills. “Christianne has not come down from a drug she’s taken, and we are very worried about her,” they said. It was her first psychotic episode, culminating in her first hospitalization. She wandered about Watts all night of the 6th and 7th; I stayed up and prayed for her. She wasn’t harmed, thank God. It was the beginning of her mental illness for me – a long series of hospitalizations, good spells in between, achievements, and deterioration, beginning just twelve years ago. It’s been a bittersweet journey, one I want to write about this year, as I remember her short life of 33 years.