hafacenturyncounting

Motivated by a lack of material.

Archive for the month “July, 2013”

Alexandria Mac… Do You Know Who Your Children Really Are

I’m gonna call her Ally even though I do not have her permission. We don’t know one another, we have not been formerly introduced. From her photo she is a pretty little blonde, no stranger to make-up, sports a tiny stud highlighting a piercing, and she looks a little wild. My sister told me about Ally so I visited her page on Facebook. She did not seem to be that interesting at first; I noted right away she wasn’t much of a speller and clearly grammar was of little or no importance, yet she speaks seven(7) languages.  Her employment and educational background don’t demonstrate much talent, but she is clearly an artist. She comes from a large family; two dads, a mom, seven siblings including a sister who shares her exact name. Finally she had about 50 friends( I wonder how many of them are prevaricators as well)  a number of them adult male and that concerns me, although you cannot tell how old she is from the pictures.

Now lets talk about my niece Bree; she is my little sisters only child, she is a “tweenager”, and she suffers from sickle cell disease. I have written a couple of things about her, and the struggle that is a fact of life for individuals afflicted with this disease. The frequent visits to doctors and hospitals made my sister decide to be a stay-at-home mom, in order for my niece to have the extra attention she oftentimes requires. I have talked about how hard it is for a mother to watch her child helplessly go through these crisis’, the strength they all must have, and the challenges of their future. Happily I can report the sickle cell has not affected her creativity and her transition into her actual teens is going to be as “fun filled” for her parents as that transition has been or will be for each and every one of us who has raised/is raising a child.

By the way my niece knows Ally and I have to say she knows her quite well. The reason she knows Ally so well is, because they are one in the same person! Bree was in the hospital a month or so ago when her mom discovered Ally. We ask what was she thinking about, why did she do this thing? Yet, in being fair, is there really any answer that a parent would find acceptable, aside from  school writing assignment about journeying into fiction writing. Do we have a Jr. Catfish” on our hands or is she merely “catfish food? I say this laughingly and jokingly, but I caution you against this. I think we are all aware of the predators lurking about.

Maybe Bree is yet another writer in this family that possesses a wonderful imagination and loves the written word.That of course would ultimately be my hope. Honestly I think she was just being a “tween”, demonstrating resourcefulness(TRANSLATION: tryin to be slick). However in this day, age, society nothing can be overlooked and being aware helps corral behavior. Please bother to monitor your kids and their activity online. I know this can be difficult, because oftentimes they know far more than we do when it comes to technology. However, if you ignore and pretend this cannot happen in your household, you may be in for a rude awakening. Alexandria may have a cousin or two in cyberspace who resides under your roof.

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The Birth Of A Prince(or Princess)

Such a special occasion, a time of celebration and excitement. The fact that you are there makes it that much more cherished. After months of waiting, hours of labor finally this tiny helpless being arrives. He arrives unaware that there are millions anticipating, for all he needs is the love and comfort of two. As they gather to get a first glimpse of a face that is going to change so much in the days to come, his appearance is admired by his awestruck parents who find him simply perfect. No truer words were ever spoken than when the Duchess of Cambridge offered,” Any family knows how we feel”. Profound, no but it was refreshing to see a side of so-called ROYALTY that was just normal and human.

Here we are at the threshold or even in the throws of our new stage of parenting; grandparents. We anticipate their arrival from the time they enter the world, to the weekly visits and overnight adventures. We watch closely and contribute our knowledge and experience to our children regarding their upbringing, where requested and allowed. Sometimes even when our pearls of wisdom are not so welcomed, we offer them anyway. We adore these little beings of whom we are free to love and spoil, but send home for the “hard stuff”. Charmed and beloved, they are our little princes and princesses.

As you travel into this wondrous land which may require you to be in the public eye, be mindful and careful that all who encounter your little angel(s) may not recognize who they clearly are to you. Remember you have the benefit of being an insider, you have known them from the start and what you see is the whole picture not a momentary temper tantrum.

During those less than pleasant times all others will see is yet another spoiled brat misbehaving. Expect nothing more than that. Try not to impose upon others and in turn you can enjoy time with “your little royals” in a calm leisurely manner. The most important lesson you can learn is this; the next time you see a little one writhing on the floor in your favorite department store or hear a scream in a clam quiet environment,  rest assured with the knowledge there is some little prince or princess in disguise nearby and they simply forgot they were not alone.

Stepping Out

Once there was a little girl who had lost her way. A kind handsome stranger saw her wandering around appearing to be lost. This gentle man went to her and made things better. He not only showed her the way she needed to go, he went along to protect her. Only after awhile it didn’t seem like they were getting to the destination, she could see it in the distance but every day as they seemingly moved closer the destination still appeared to be in the far off distance. She began to question in her mind if the kind stranger really knew the way. The paths they took started looking like roads they had gone down before. Time went on but they still did not get to where she was going. He took her to a beautiful house but once inside over time it became a cave. She could always see it was light outside, but feared what might be waiting because she had been there so long. One day she went to the door while he was sleeping, she opened it and stood there.

Are you standing on the brink of something? Do you need to take that all important move, but for one reason or another something holds you back. I think the most difficult thing to do is recognize what is missing or what needs correction/ adjustment in regards to self. Pointing that “finger of blame” is far too easy for a lot of us. A crutch does not simply support you, after a while you become dependent on it.

Many are broken and need healing, but once the healing process has taken place you have to be brave enough to test those areas, stand alone, and yes “get to steppin”.

And The Guilt Rests Where?

It comes across my mind many times, on many occasions and in conjunction with certain events, how much we are products of our environments. This not necessarily a bad thing, but truth is we do have to work hard to resist the bad behavior we are often time exposed to.

Being a product of your environment sometimes affords you certain perks that you overlook and never think about, for when it is good we bask in the moment. Yet on the flip side; when denied something you want or feel deserving of and you cannot get, what does one do.

I came face to face with my bad several years ago and I live with it. I was very sad and disappointed to find yet another negative, most recently. Don’t misunderstand here pointing out these two particular instances is not to suggest this is representative of all my faults and shortcomings, this is an illustration and a cross section.

I sat in front of my laptop typing and I didn’t like what I saw. I never would have guessed this and had I not been in the midst of this wrongdoing I myself detest, I probably would have noticed. I didn’t see or pay attention to the signs. Distracted by circumstances I allowed myself to slip into survival mode and that also became my silent excuse for my behavior.

As human beings this is a part of what we do, we adjust and we adapt, it makes it possible for us to continue and thrive. However, sometimes the toll we pay for this survival is costly and I am not just speaking of monetarily. Starting this piece I touched on the benefits we received as being part of a certain environment, now we are exploring the consequence. That is why I used the word “guilt” in opposed to “responsibility” in the title.

My suggestion to solve this is, if you see after a considerable effort that things around you are not changing, you make a change and distance yourself from that undesirable situation. As an adult you cannot help where you come from, but you can chose to extract yourself once you discover you are not happy with the surroundings. If you don’t you will look up and a mirror will be reflecting your image, as that thing you were so unhappy and intolerant of.Then you will know where the guilt rests.

XIV-Hafawhatyousee

As I move away from this case (Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman) something draws me back; the same as last year when I wrote about it initially, it feels like there is a weight on my chest.  I say what I have said in the past; Serve on jury duty, become familiar with the law(as best you can) and remember”life isn’t fair”. Just because you have the right to do/be does not necessarily mean it will be so. Unfortunate reality, so govern yourself accordingly.

This is a good place for former and current police officers(black especially) to do  more good for the community. Talk to the youth, let them hear from one who was in the trenches what is seen/perceived and  show them how to apply that information. You hate to think about a civilian taking the law into his own hands and getting away with it, but remember he was a “COP-WANNABE”, there is a difference. He wanted to be “seen”as worthy.

We as outsiders(not happy with but respectful of this verdict) have to get some solace that this is not over for George Zimmerman. State Court, Supreme Court, Magistrate Court, Court of Public Opinion (no order/relevance implied). Talk about celebrity and infamy. Zimmerman no matter what will never walk down a street, go to get a bite to eat, obtain employment without having to look over his shoulder because maybe some vigilante may decide to take the law into their own hands. For whatever he thought he saw that night in February 2012 and acted upon, this is now his reality.

The Martin family will never feel better for no court in the land, no amount of money on this planet can EVER replace what was lost, their child and they will never be able to forget that.

Then there was the case in New York 2007 John H White- a black man convicted of shooting and killing an unarmed white teenager at point-blank range. He was convicted of manslaughter. This case was racially charged and once again each side accusing the other of playing “the race card”. You can review this case on your own, but if it does nothing else it demonstrates how we, the layman public, are manipulated and fooled into believing we have a universal understand of what goes on  and where it takes place, when we are in fact only spectators and speculators.

I do not know if it has been done before, but a thought did occur to me. It was spurned by these type cases and the climate subsequent to them, and of course my friends and loved ones, who motivate me on a continuous basis. What if in court everybody looks the same when a case comes before a jury. When I say looks the same I mean everyone is intentionally made up to have the appearance of the same multi-cultural/ethnic group. If you truly intend on taking race out of an equation you have to make it so no one can put it into play in the first place.

My favorite Author John Grisham  demonstrated and characterized it best in  his book ” A Time To Kill” I will merely summarize it here; the only way justice will truly be served in cases where different races are involved is for a jury to see the individuals as they see themselves. They must be able to relate. We want  to believe we are more intelligent than that, we have moved forward, and we are sophisticated.

Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream of a country where people are NOT judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character, cannot take place if people are constantly bombarded with negative images which make them back away from opportunities to get to know a person’s character. They retreat to primitive ways and deal with what is simple; that which is right before their very eyes, an image. Yet we all have to admit there is quite a bit more to us all, than that which you see on the surface.

Our country takes a great deal of time notating the diversity of her people, but it is not always in a positive endearing light. There is pride when the Justice System is spoken of.  She smiles and boasts that she is “the land of opportunity” but what of the fine print; as long as you adhere to the preferences, visual or implied, of those who are in charge at any given time. “Equal protection under the law”, except if you look this way. I am expecting, living, reacting to that which is written and read, that which I see. America, she has grown up but she has nonetheless grown farther apart in the process.

My Soul To Take

On days when you cannot put your finger on what exactly is wrong, there is a sensation inside of your body that allows you to feel. Is it your mind playing tricks on you? Is that pounding really just your heart?

I remember “A Child’s Prayer”; it was on a wooden plaque, the writing was royal blue set on a white china background, with the picture of a young baby sleeping. It was my grandmothers and she gave it to me. When my boys were young I taught the prayer to them and the same plaque resided on their bedroom wall until adulthood. I thought I had lost track of it but was happily informed it is still safe with my younger son.

I would, at times, make myself think of what it would feel like to lose a child. I know I could never comprehend this nor do/did I want to. The mere words in the prayer “if I should die..” made me shudder. My granddaughter and I say this age old prayer, and she smiles when we say it together because at 3 years of age she certainly has no idea what this means. To her it is just another attempt of her Abuela to do something that is remotely like singing.

Over a year ago a young man/teenager/child was killed in Florida. There were so many questions, so many perceived miscarriages of justice, and more media coverage than you could digest. I was angry, I was hurt, I wanted answers and I wasn’t even related to this child. We have to characterize Trayvon Martin as a child because he was in fact a minor. When I saw a graphic photo of this child lying in the grass after being fatally shot, I began crying again. I was gasping for air and unable to conceive of or comprehend what the people who knew and loved this child felt.

I  have prayed for him and his loved ones, I pray for justice, I pray for all the parties involved, because this is a tragedy on all levels; all people who hear of it are touched by it, whether they want to be or not. No matter the outcome of this trial the Zimmerman family will never be the same either, and people we cannot be insensitive to them, because George  is their loved one. I stand by my previous comments, that there will be no winners in this case.

People who inhabit our prisons, people who live in the streets, people who commit crimes against and in our society did not just magically appear out of thin air. They are the product of a union; somewhere along the lines of their lives someone loved and cared for them, just as sure as something went wrong and caused them to go wrong.

Pray the Lord takes these souls; soul of people whose lives are cut short or merely end, but also pray to the Lord that His essence takes  hold of the souls of the living. For if He has their souls/our souls, that are so closely interconnected, we will no longer have to cry for ones who have been lost to the Earth, to their loved ones, and to us all.

VIBE

What is it you are sending out? Is the mood you are in reflective of your condition?

Sending out negative only allows it to bounce back. Frankly, negative is something most of us could do without or deal with a lesser amount of. It also comes to us so easily, so effortlessly that we may not even be aware that it is happening. You have to realize unlike charm and personality, your VIBE cannot be turned off and on at will. It is deep within you, a part of your being, like your individual pheromone. Now you know why some stranger will talk to you, or maybe decide not to based on something you have no idea about. Yet it is happening anyway. It is in the air, atmospheric if you will.

It is autumn, it is warm in the day and cool at night. Later in the season it will be cool in the day and somewhat cold in the night, but that’s okay. This beautiful time of year gives off a VIBE that makes you want to breathe in sunshine and sway with the leaves to a tune of the crisp breezes. After you take in some of the wonders of the day go out and spread some of that beauty to someone who is in need; you don’t need to say anything they will feel it, they will feel you, they will get your VIBE.

Tired

Ever wake up and feel like rolling over and covering your head? Sure you have. What makes us tired? Well there are the textbook answers, working hard, being under stress, not getting enough rest. Yet, the one thing that doesn’t come to mind and should be first on that list is from not doing anything. When we humans don’t use what we have, we lose it. Muscles atrophy and so do our brains.

I had this thought as my mother crossed my mind. She is 79 never learned how to drive but you’d be hard pressed to find her at home during the waking hours of the day, unless she just wasn’t feeling well. While we do not necessarily need to be in a constant state of motion, we do not need to overdo the rest state either. You are tired because you don’t do anything, and you don’t do anything because your are tired. Now injury and illness will slow you down, but that is not the audience this is directed at.

The state of Georgia tops the nation in childhood obesity, and our children are now developing adult-like diseases. Remember when kids went outside to PLAY? It is hot outside but I have to let you in on a secret, “IT’S SUMMER”! There was recess in elementary school and physical education in middle and high school. The release of energy after being made to sit, listen, and learn had/has benefits that we are now seeing are vital. Plus the habit of inactivity is a pattern that can and will follow you throughout your life.

Now in the morning when the alarm goes off don’t cover your head or throw something at the clock. Take a moment and do some deep breathing, fill your lungs up and release that oxygen, it will get the blood flowing and your heart pumping. Roll out of bed onto the floor and do a little yoga and stretching. Make your way into the bathroom get refreshed and ready to face another day, and be grateful that you are here to face that day.

Can I Get A Witness

There you are sitting in a parking lot, BAAM!! You look around and you see two people arguing and it is clear to you there has been an accident/collision of some sort. You proceed to go into the sandwich shop next door.

Later at the department store  you walk by a display where the mannequin is postured in a fashion that makes it virtually impossible to pass without hitting it. You hit it and catch the model before it falls. Moments after you pass you hear a scream and the sound of metal and glass shattering. You see a display fall and run toward the commotion, there is a young woman on the floor rubbing her head. You go to her, asks is she okay and offer any help you can provide. A member of the store’s staff comes and you leave. You have done your part here.

How many times have you observed a situation or an incident that made you look twice but did not move you to act or get involved? I realize this is asking a great deal of most of us. We stand  a chance of being told off or to mind our own business, we may do the wrong thing and be in trouble for trying to help. What do we do, we go about OUR business and don’t get involved. Do you ever ask yourself,”Why?”

Let’s explore something else here, the insurance aspect.  There are times when responsibility is questioned what gives the edge is someone who has no vested interest. This outside disinterested party can easily mean the difference of a repaired vehicle minus out-of-pocket costs versus none. After all after being involved in a wreck is enough of a trauma, couple that with having to pay for something that was not your fault merely adds insult to injury.

Very recently a couple of things happened and as a result of these incidents, I know am going to pay closer attention to things and be an active participant whenever the opportunity presents itself to me. Now you must exercise caution involving accidents and injuries, but the one thing you can almost always do is give an eyewitness account, if you are one. Always bear in mind one day the shoe could be on the other foot; you may need some stranger, some independent witness to come forward and say,” I saw what happened and here’s my information.”

A Truly Beautiful Soul

It doesn’t happen often, but when it does no matter how subtle, you know it. You encounter a person who has” light” emanating from them.

Today I attended the memorial of one of those oh-so- rare souls. I have wanted to write something about her but avoided doing anything until I thought I was ready.

Something is missing in my life, but it is still deep within my heart. The love of my friend. I know the love is not gone it just isn’t in the easy access form I have grown familiar with. I would not be honest if I said I am okay with this, but I also recognize the fact I have no control here. I sat in the pew today, thinking what a wonderful lady and friend I had in Kay. I watched and listened to her two brave children tell stories, read poems, and give tribute to their darling mother. The tears streamed down my face, I could not stop. The odd thing was usually when I cry like this, there is a lump in my throat and an indescribable pain. This was not the case today. I was able to sit and listen and feel; I knew my friend was okay, and I knew the hurt I felt was simply stemmed from my missing her.

I was a part of a celebration of a life and the dedication of a truly beautiful soul. The words flowed in a manner that you could feel everyone’s, who was in your presence, affirmation that what was said was true.  We all knew her bright cheerful smile and positive outlook. There wasn’t enough time to cover all the things she meant to all those she touched, so instead we had a few moments to sit and reflect quietly. For what is life but a collection of moments. I can say I was touched by an individual who looked at life with fresh and renewed hope each day. Years on this Earth and interactions with people did not make her lose faith in the good that existed, now matter how deeply it may have been buried in some.

God gives us individuals like my friend to remind us that there is a rainbow out there, and just because you cannot see it does not make it any less real. I am a better person because I knew Kathryn L.”Kay” Short and I will forever remember her with a smile.

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