His Sphere of Influence

Miles and I little at home_Fotor

Miles’s book, Sphere of Influence: An Approach to Self-Defense, isn’t up on Amazon yet. I hit a couple of small snags (nothing huge). It’ll be up soon. Today is a day for crumbling. For finishing up some projects, and giving myself room to consider new ones without overloading myself.

Today is a day for grief and for considering Miles’s sphere of influence. He’s constantly with me and on my mind, like a shadow. I think other people in the room are my brother. I think he’s there, beside you, or over there, standing on that side of the room and smoking a cigarette. Or tugging his knife out of his pocket to snip the filter off an American Spirit.

There were people who couldn’t handle going to his memorial service. Who got just a mile away and couldn’t go the rest of the distance, as if they’d frozen in place. I’ve seen other people fall apart, but I’m never sure if I have. At least, not outwardly.

Last week, a friend of mine said, “I know you, Rosa. Whatever it is you have to do, you just do it.” I don’t hesitate, not in most cases.

I get shit done.

Twice in the last couple of years, I’ve handled paperwork and the ashes of two dead loved ones and I’ve unpacked and packed up their memories and peeked into their closets. I’ve driven hundreds of miles, I’ve driven thousands of miles, and I remember tucking the remains of my little brother behind the driver’s seat of his ’98 Ford and saying, “Time to go home, Miles.” Time to go home.

With Grandma again

Grandma Polly holding Miles when he was a baby.

When I realized how much he’d written, I said, “Holy shit. This is a book. I can turn this into a book. Did Miles even realize he wrote a book?”

We stood in my kitchen in May of 2015 and I said, “Miles, did you ever think about writing a book?”

He continued doing his Wing Chun forms, extending one arm forward in the beginnings of Siu Nim Tao, and he said, “Eh. Sometimes. Maybe someday.” There was no someday, and there never would be. May, June, July, August– and then he was gone.

The book is done. I did everything I had to do.

Now, there’s just a few steps left to follow.

The bell is never interrupted.

Wait one minute,


or ten.

The first chime is still there.

— Miles Dylan Holden (M. D. Holden)

His sphere of influence will never be forgotten. I love you, little brother.

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