Category Archives: Writing

A Humbling Pain

Sunset Girl by Leon Biss

One of the reasons I have gone incognito for the last couple of months is I had an ovarian cyst rupture and was completed incapacitated for four very long days.

Technically, ovarian cysts are fluid filled sacs within or on the surface of the ovary. On occasion, one of these lovely sacs may rupture and the act of rupturing can cause some serious symptoms.

It’s funny, depending on who you talk to; the symptoms can be slightly bothersome or extreme pain. Unfortunately, mine was the latter. I was picking up a box and all of a sudden I was hovered over in pain. By the time I got home, there was no getting comfortable and if I moved too much I felt like someone was trying to slice me through my midsection.

That weekend, I literally laid around; my husband was Mr. Mom taking care of all the household chores and planning a mini-birthday party for my daughter. At one moment, I was sitting in our recliner looking out the window, I noticed the beautiful oak trees and how the sunlight shone so beautifully through the branches. I had such a longing to get up and get out and was completed humbled by the pain.

Needless to say, I have recovered; it doesn’t happen overnight and actually there is some tenderness for a couple of weeks. Because of the 4 days of recuperation, I am officially a week behind in chores and activities. As I go about my day I will sometimes cause the discomfort and am reminded of those four days, I take a breath and remember how much I longed to go outside and am grateful to be able to do so.


Back to School

Back to School

Off they go, a little excited and a little sad.

Along the way, they walk side by side, two pieces of my heart holding on.

Happy to see that they are growing up, although sometimes it seems to happen so fast.

I will have time to shop and run errands on my own, but will miss at times, the “Don’t touch that,” and “No, we are not buying that.”

Be well, learn, and know that I will be the Mom who gives you a great big hug when you get home.



Children-free vacation
French Quarter
Friends and new acquaintances
Rainy and steamy
Music on every street
Wedding of friends
Second-line parade
Some of the best food in the states
Time together and then goodbye
Nothing like NOLA in July


A letter to Papi

By Robin Benad

Happy Father’s Day, Papi;

It is hard to believe that you would have been 75 years old. I won’t lie, I miss you like crazy and it still surprises me that you have been gone 22 years now. I wanted to take some time today and thank you for the many lessons you taught me in the 19 years I had you in my life.


After you passed away, I really didn’t want anything to do with love. Watching you struggle with brain cancer and having the forethought that it was not curable and that you only had months to live, was just too much for me. As a Doctor, I could tell that you knew just how long you had and made it your mission to see all your family and friends. I was so young and my first thought was it hurt too much to lose someone you love, than it did to take the time to love and let someone in.

Years later, I met someone; he changed my outlook on life and what it means to truly love someone again. He takes care of me, Papi, and he loves me for who I am.


You have two wonderful grandchildren. My daughter looks so much like me, that I know you would be nostalgic if you were here to see her. She gives the best hugs and is definitely Daddy’s girl. You finally got your boy, that is right; my second child was a bouncing baby boy. I always knew that you wanted a boy to share your love of baseball and when you had two girls you were a little disappointed. I don’t blame you for that or  feel like I am psychologically scarred, I understand the value of namesake to you. I also know that at your funeral many, many of your patients and co-workers came up to me and my sister and told us how you would tell them about how wonderful we were and how intelligent. They said that you were shocked about it and that we wanted to go to college and have a career. Your girls would have a choice in their life that wasn’t limited to finding a Husband.


Imagine my surprise when your brothers and sisters told me that as a child you lived for baseball. You would pick up sticks and rocks, set up a baseball diamond and play the day away. You had aspirations of being a baseball player but as a son with 8 other siblings, you felt you needed to be responsible and studied medicine. I know you loved being a Doctor but I also know it took a toll on you. It was a tough job, and your creative outlet was playing baseball. I look back now and remember how you used watch baseball on Sunday afternoons and if you had time you would watch little league games.

I remember when I told you that I got a part in the school musical and you thought I was joking. When I clarified that I really did get a part, you must have realized that this was “my baseball” and you supported me wholeheartedly. I still laugh at the recordings you made where you would fall asleep and the camera would record the auditorium’s ceiling. You were there after a double shift, no matter what.

I couldn’t give you, your namesake; but I have given you my stage name; I am always going to be “Natera,” because of you I am still actively pursuing my dream. After a long dry spell of auditioning and getting called back but not booking; my Husband plays your roll of being supportive and reminding me that getting up and getting back out there is important because it really does make me happy.

I miss you so much and won’t lie; my heart hurts when I think of all you have missed:

My wedding, I didn’t get to walk down the aisle with you. I didn’t get my Father/Daughter dance.

My husband and your grandchildren, you would have really enjoyed them. Sometimes I watch my son and he will grimace or give a look that screams of you; a little gift God has given me.

My life as a woman, I am much less anxious and very much at peace with everything. I love my life and I am grateful for most everything.

Today, we will celebrate all Father’s and the kids know you; without every really knowing you. You are Abuelo, and you are always loved.





The Letter


The Letter

A crumpled letter, accidentally thrown in the trash; no return address.

A letter declaring love for another and knowing that the other doesn’t feel the same.

The anguish, the acceptance.

Wishing the person well and slowly dying inside as they write.

A simple thought: was the letter discarded by the writer, or by the person who doesn’t feel the same?



Why I Write in a Journal

The other day I was going through an old bookshelf and purging some items that I just don’t need anymore. As I was going through everything, I found 3-5 journals. I started to peruse them and ended up laughing, crying and sympathizing with where I was at, at that time in my life.

When I originally started keeping a journal, it was so that I could Why I Write in a Journaldocument my life. What I did, where I went, what I learned, etc. When I was attending AMDA (American Musical and Dramatic Academy)  in New York, I also stapled all the paperwork that I received, critiquing my vocal and stage work. I would attach pictures and postcards I received from friends and family that were excited for me and took the time to express it. I still own it and every now and then I scan a picture or two and post it on my Facebook page for “Throwback Thursday.”

In my late 20’s and 30’s, the reason for the journals changed. I started to keep a journal so that I could clear my head. A little hard to explain, but as I got older I let my mind wander and it started to get cluttered with dates, activities, concerns, to do lists, etc., etc, etc. I noticed that if I took some time in the morning to just write everything that was on my mind, I could relax and get on with my day.

Did I come about all of this on my own? No, I actually was inspired  by two books, that I read within those years.

The first book was none other than

It’s funny, “Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy,” has totally evolved with me as a woman. When I originally picked up the book, I was an actress who was working full time in an administrative position to pay the bills and performing in theaters in the evenings. It was my first few years of being on my own, financially and I loved having all the time in the world, to write my “daily dialogue.” As my roles changed in life, the “daily dialogue,” changed. I went from a newbie adult, to wife/mother/caregiver/artist.

The second book that inspired me to write to clear the mind, so to speak, is

“The Artist’s Way,” calls them, “Morning pages.” The “morning pages,” are to be done every day  and it should be three pages of “stream of consciousness,” writing.

One more item that I would like to  include, is a website that I use when I don’t feel like, physically, writing in a journal. The website is

75o words really is my saving grace. After I prepare my children’s lunches for school in the morning, I sit down and check my emails. If I feel like my mind is backed up with excessive worry/clutter, I just go to and start to type.

Why 750 words?  Well, the creator of the site read “The Artist’s Way,” an found that 250 words is about the standard number of words per page.  Hence, if you are write three pages everyday, it would 750 words.

Do I write my daily dialogue/morning pages/750 words, everyday? No, but I definitely know when I need to and you can be guaranteed, that on those days, it is the first thing I do in the morning. The only time that I do write everyday, without fail, is when I am working on a show or trying to complete an artistic project.

In the end, the reason I journal is because it really does encourage me to create and focus on the present moment. If I clear the clutter in my head, I am able to live my life, as oppose to worry about it. It’s no coincidence, that when I take the time to sit down and write/type, I find myself more content in my everyday.

Don’t hesitate to share, why you love to write in your journal and what routine works for you.