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Archive for the month “February, 2015”

Twice A Child IV-Acceptance

This is my current situation; I am weak, my doctor has told me I need to take even more medication and now I cannot even escape my reality for a few hours by going out unaccompanied. What would you do? That seems an easy enough dilemma, I say. However, I forgot to mention a little thing I am 81 years of age. When presented with this problem at our own individual ages, we think what we would do at the only age we truly can identify with, we exist in the now. Therefore the solution I come up with, may very well NOT be the solution needed here.

I think get yourself healthy first, that means following doctors orders, resting taking your medication. Hey but I only have one prescription to take, once a day. Additionally, I CAN come and go as I please. Maybe the unorthodox way is not completely out-of-order. Sometimes in spite of things, we as individuals do know a little something about self. There is the basic underlying fear something bad or worse could happen if these restrictions are not honored.  However, we as the helpers have to put ourselves in those elder shoes and realize how the confined feeling would affect us. “Toss caution to the wind”.. well maybe sit it outside so it can gradually pick you up and blow along slowly.

Human Beings will do amazing, unusual, desperate things in order to make themselves feel some level of comfort/self-comfort. Our aging loved ones may hold onto items or a routine that makes them feel like their situation is not changing unless they themselves let/make it change (i.e. needing to pay bills daily OR using that as an excuse to get out of  the house).

Patience,vigilance, and understanding will prove to be your double-edge-sword. Perhaps you will do daily battles with it. Words of caution, you may not always win. Now is a time when vantage points and perspective take on an entirely new meaning, and my friends our is not the only view involved here.

I Need God To Fix This

Having one of those mornings? Well how about”having one of those years”? Waking to the unknown of the day, feeling like throwing the covers over your head and asking the Heavens for a “do-over” long before you know what lies ahead.

Well you have been on this Earth for some 50+ years now so I imagine there have been one or two days like this during your lifespan. This middle-age thing we are experiencing daily is a trip all by-its-lonesome. I applaud those of you who proclaim you have remained steadfast and true to God. This is faith in it’s truest form; do not deceive yourself, for if it is not true your very beliefs will come back to haunt you. Having more than what I deem to be enough or my share of the challenges that make getting out of bed a task, I pondered about this place that I now occupy physically and mentally.

The realization of how every-little-thing was interconnected seemed to daunt me.  My problem solving skills were placed on screen before me. I saw the optimist, I saw conniver, I saw the escapist and I pretty-much saw them in that order. Life is cyclic and I knew that the individuals that I charged with solving my problems appeared in that order, not by chance but by choice. Choices I was making when I told myself, I had no choice.  Then the debate began between conscious and sub-conscious,  is the medication real or is it a placebo.

As the world crumbles around me, I see myself standing in the middle of the road dodging debris falling around me. Lots of near-misses. In an out-of-body way, I wonder why do I bother moving. Surely one quick hit and all of my problems will be no more. The answer is so very simple and basic. I WANT TO LIVE! I am NOT unique that is what human beings are about.

It is NOT in our nature to give up, that is why we fight so hard, for so long, for so many different things. If we had it our way the easy way would, chances are, be the only way. We have been raised in a society that strives to have it quick and simple and why is that so appealing to us? Well that is easy, so we can go on to do more things with the time we already do not have enough of/for. Yet when things don’t go our way, we revert to the childish behavior we were constantly told we have to abandon when we became adults. Sometimes our brains don’t get the memo and the blanket goes over our head, again.

However, we were born to accomplish one great thing and given plenty of time and resources to complete our task. By-the-way YOU don’t get to be the judge of what is determined great. Now beaten, now lost, now confused, where are your tools?  God has given us all we need but he has also allowed time for the distraction; the distraction to teach us the importance beauty, patience, and rest. In the midst of the storm don’t look away, look toward.

A View From Inside-Part IV

I cannot blame today’s youth completely. I believe we parents did not prepare them. We were so busy making it better for them, because we could. Our parents and grandparents fought long, hard, deadly struggles. We forgot, the pain, the long talks, the faces of disappointment, anger and fear. We did NOT want our children to see that in us. We forgot to remind them that trouble is always waiting for an opportunity. What happened it bypassed us and went straight for our jugular vein. It knew we would not let it slip up on us, but our children, weak vulnerable that was the target. While they slept, while we were away from them to far to fight for them, it pounced.

I recall hearing time and again, “It’s a jungle out there”. As a child, I dismissed it as one more thing adults say that children don’t understand, but they are not talking to us anyway. The older I got it made more sense, it became relevant to my life it addressed the competition involved in staying alive. Now I could relate. Once my kids were born it took on a whole new meaning.

As the mother of two sons, I remember the days they were born respectively. Back in those days you did not really know what you were having until the child was born or if the ultra-sound tech got a “lucky” shot. I remember wanting girls both times. I told my boys as young adults, not to hurt them but for information. I did keep a deep dark secret from them and that secret was I did NOT want to face the challenges and likely heart break having a son who was black could bring.   I knew in spite of everything one can do to prepare that man-child, a predator waits for him. I also knew that I faced having to tell my innocent boys about this treachery or leave them helpless and clueless. I was afraid for them. Hell of a choice AND one that I had less than a decade to decide which one was the right one.

The right choice was for us to take them away from the element. We moved them into a predominately white environment complete with a public school system that ranked among the scores private schools in Southern California. Whew, now I could breathe. There we were defeating the odds, so we thought. They were from a two parent household, above average income, educated parents and an area that was “safe”. Remember that decision I had only a decade for? The first came in the form of them being ostracized by people they were entrusted with. Fortunately we were always present, always watching over, always apt to pop in. However, didn’t we take them to this place so we would NOT have to do all of that?

My eldest son did not experience this unyielding ugly and potential danger first, it was my youngest. I always wondered about that. My eldest is dark and clearly black. The “baby” had his own grandparents laughing at his fair characteristics, but that happens in our families more often than NOT. I remember the day we took him from a beautiful little church school on the peninsula, because no one would play with him; they were afraid of him because he was a big boy. I thought how could ADULTS allow that to go on? Furthermore not bother to tell us. He went to that little church school two weeks before we found a more diverse environment. If my husband, who was ever-present (as I was), had NOT happened along to bring him a surprise lunch, we may have never known. He was a big, tall kid, he has big tall parents so that did not phase us, but being told the other children were afraid of him. Remember he was also a fair-skinned child.

In the wake of so many ugly police related wrongful deaths I wonder if the fear began for these same policemen as early as preschool? If so did an insensitive teacher, like the one at my son’s former school, ignore the behavior. I cannot say enough times I do not believe all policemen are bad, I do believe all police departments could benefit from addition training. Clearly something is being missed.

 

A View From Inside-V

Now I address fear and anger for the future. Each day something more happens, each day the media releases information that incites and upsets me. Married to a black man, mother to two black sons and expecting a black grandson. I cannot forget what is done to men in our race just because of their skin color. I watch people try to explain away the injustices, trying to make these terrible things our fault exclusively. Please understand and do not get me wrong, for everyone has to be held accountable for their deeds. None of us is exempt in this sense.

However, let us examine the phenomenon of the victim victimizes, the punished punishes, the abused is now and abuser. What do they all have in common?It is simple really, you survive something horrible and bad, but you are not treated and healed therefore you believe the treatment you were given is the treatment you must give.  You view these things as normal, the way it should be and you act accordingly.

I came across a piece about the family of actor Don Cheadle. His family genealogy was the subject matter and it was uncovered his ancestors we enslaved by Native Americans. It seemed to come as somewhat a surprise to him and others that watched the piece also were enlightened. While I knew of the enslavement of our ancestors, I also knew there were men who rose to the esteemed position of “chief” in some  tribes as well.  Mr. Cheadle remarked about the status of his kin as they were at one point people without a country. Being slaves of the Native American tribes put them under the jurisdiction of those same tribes and once the USA determined and declared slavery was illegal, those Native Americans were NOT under the rule of the USA. In many cases a separate negotiation had to be conducted for the slaves to be freed and then only to be placed in a status as outcast. They were not American citizens and they were not recognized as members of the tribes either.

I initially shook my head in disgust and disbelief. I asked how could a people who were treated so horribly by the white European settlers turn around and adopt the very same hideous practices. However, Native Americans often took slaves from wars among the warring tribes. “To the victor goes the spoils…” I do not want to trivialize this, but to point out how these negative practices are cyclic.

The behavior has to be modified and changed. Bridges and positive interactions will breed positive interactions. Stop believing every black man is a man with the strength of 20 angry men on crack with an I.Q of 7 because he was stopped by the police, justifying “shoot first ask questions later” mentality. Understand a mere fashion trend is not a disguise for a hardened criminal. We charge our law enforcement officers with many tasks but one task they must take on, along with a great portion of our society, is to not merely look beyond an individuals  skin color; no they must go one step further and they must do it rapidly, they must do what John Grisham asked of his audience in A Time To Kill, “Imagine them white”. Can you accept the challenge?

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