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Archive for the category “One For My Friends”

Parting Gifts

There you are, standing waiting for the results. You hear those infamous words, “and the winner is…” Your name is not called. You get an accommodating smile, kind words as a testament to what a great job/effort you made. All you hear is, “I did NOT win. A game show tactic, a way to make all participants feel ok with where they ended up. Perhaps this is short-sighted, perhaps it is ungrateful, however, allinall, no one plays for second.

I recall vividly when Tiger Woods was at his peak, he was all the sports magazines and writers could talk about. Whatever tournament he was in, he was projected to win. He was in the number one spot without competing for YEARS. Disgruntled, disappointed players spoke of NOT being counted out, but they fell, one by one. Others, who included champions spoke of him and looked upon him in pure simple “awe”.

Then he met with his “fall from grace”. No one stays on top forever, but the abruptness of the ending is what bothers us the most.

All beginnings are or should be with hopeful expectation, this one was no exception. Not what was the norm, there was a degree of cynicism. You move forward anyway, nothing else of significance is happening…”why not” To your surprise it starts off good and gets better. RAPIDLY. Before you know it there are flickers of hope, they soon turn to stars in your eyes. The fact that he says and does the right things at the right time is no coincident or happenstance. You will later discover or deduce it was a plan, his “M.O.” Nonetheless for now it is all good! You make time for one another. There are countless reasons for communication you both seem to seize each and every one of them too. There seems to be a meeting of the minds and therefore why shouldn’t you endeavor a physical connection.

One of the biggest challenges of online connections and long-distance relationships is a time factor. When you are in close proximity, you figure out early on whether or not you want this to move forward, and it is as simple as selecting a middle ground location. The couple that has to face the fact they are miles and miles apart have to be cautious as well as factoring in timing. How long do we wait to see one another in person, where do we meet, if we like one another how far do we take this on an initial meeting? For one wrong move, one miscalculation or misinterpretation can destroy the potential relationship before it gets out the gate. Moving too fast may give the impression of desperation or promiscuity ( imagine that at our age). While moving too slow make for more competition to enter into the equation.

Therefore, you play it by ear, you go with your gut. At first seemingly you are on the right track. Then out-of-the-blue everything changes. You ask what happened, what is wrong with the other person, what did you do wrong. These questions asked separately or in conjunction with one another still call for expert interpretation and still you have a massive margin for error. One might think well go straight to the source. While that seems to make sense what gives you the expectation that any truth will come from the direct approach. Then you are left to your own devices. You figure, guess, surmise numerous scenarios and each of them gives you solace, until you entertain another possibility.

Nothing is feeling right at this point in time, and nothing makes sense. In my humble opinion it, all boils down to this, you were NOT playing for a consolation prize, you were in this to win. Somehow you fell short and for whatever the reason, nothing makes it better. In the end you realize that no matter what you obtained from this experience, there is virtually nothing to keep this from happening again. Yet you find yourself right back in the arena, playing for the win. Again

Now Don’t Get It Twisted

The one that voices their opinion without concern for those who have opposing views. Yet, giving respect accordingly. The title or name that gives identity to someone in your life or presence. My late husband and I would often take notice and revel in the need of our society to give everything a label. Oftentimes the name alone did not suffice, it had to have a catchy little phrase to draw much more attention to this person or thing. Why? you ask…because it is our feeble way of trying to appear as though we truly understand. Remember the word appear.

This may already seem to be a collage of rambling thoughts. Thoughts of confusion; thoughts of disappointment and “being let down”, thoughts of anticipation and the need to “hurryup“, thoughts of “gut-wrenching pain” from loss and grief, finally thoughts of reflection forgiving and “letting go”. Each of these categories worthy of time devoted to them individually but instead tossed about in our psyche in no particular way, with no rhyme or reason that we can pinpoint. Well, it is understandable that one might not be able to make “heads or tails” of anything

The feeling of, “I’m not gonna show you mine until you show me yours, can sometimes overtake us emotionally. Yet it also serves as a warning. We have to preserve our dignity, our ego and that which is familiar to us. For without this familiarity, we are lost; and at this juncture in our lives, we can ill afford to be lost and possibly have to start over. The thought is ridiculous. Yet it plagues us. Is your head spinning yet?

Here it is the real twist. This piece is twisted because at times that is just what we are. We are bobbing and weaving through our lives. Afraid to move or sit still because we may miss something. Being painfully aware that we do not have our entire lives ahead of us, because our chronological age tells us odds are we now have a very finite number attached to us. Yet once again, things have always been like this. Our navigation process may have changed, but our ultimate destinations remain as they were when we began our journeys. Whether we see ourselves as taking a direct route, wandering off the beaten path, or floating about into oblivion many of us find ourselves questioning where we have ended up.

Good, bad, or otherwise it IS in our very nature to say, “What if….” That does not mean we want to or would change things; it just means that we entertain thoughts of the possibilities.

I Just Knew I Was Right

Have you ever just pegged someone completely correct? It is as though you have the power to tell the future. The individual seems to walk, run, go-through-the-motions like a perfectly chorographed dance.

We all enjoy being correct. No matter how much we deny it and try to act like we get little satisfaction from being right , the truth is the truth. However, there are situations and circumstances that just have to make you feel so much better than just being right, like when you dodge the perpetual bullet.

Though it is validation, can you recall when you would have given anything to be wrong? Thoughts swirled about you and your particular individual, but instinct, common sense, and that gut feeling took over. You could not deny such a combination. Rather than acting on impulses and with your heart, you used your head.

Therefore, today when confirmation presented itself all you could do was smile. Like looking through a two-way mirror, you were able to observe him go through his VERY predictable motions. When you talk, because you still talk to him, he tries to make the situation seem innocent and as though he is this benevolent creature saving yet another poor soul. All he is doing is more of the same, the same Modus Operandi, the years have changed but he has not. He is no more able to be emotionally available than he was when you met him and now, he once again embarks on another venture that will undoubtedly be a failure and he will be able to proclaim he is the victim. He wants to take you on this ride with him, under the guise that you two are friends. The truth is you are NOT friends, he has taken you on his trips throughout the years, you just have not been in the car beside him. Even though you have been close, and you felt yourself slipping; you have watched from the ground or just outside the line. He even got angry because you told him that you knew who he was and his behavior was typical. The “friendship” may not survive this time. Now all you can do is smile as you know you were right and did in fact dodge-the-bullet.

Wise and/or Comforting

In the blink of an eye, it happens. The shock and disbelief overwhelm you. No matter how many times before or how many after that this happens, you are NEVER really ready.

You hear the anguish in the one YOU are close to as it is felt. It resonates within your very being and you know how very helpless you are. You can only listen and offer your availability, somehow that seems so trite and insignificant. You want to do something, but you also have to be aware that you could inadvertently say something stupid in your effort to help. You recognize there is no real help that we mortals can actually provide. So you sit silently; if they are in your physical presence take their hand and hold it, hold them if they will allow you to. If you are not with them in person, bond with them in any spiritual fashion that is available. Pray. There are no answers or replies that will help at this point. Just be there. We MUST be there for one another. No man knows the hour… One day someone will have to be there for you, it is likely someone already has been there. Take note of our being so interconnected. Help the one in need to simply…breathe

How Long Does It Take To Get Close To Your Heart

This came from an examination of word usage. I describe a relationship as “dear“. Afterwards, days later I thought ,”I hope that is not taken wrong.” Isn’t that amazing? I said something nice, positive and I worried that IT MIGHT BE TAKEN WRONG?

Here is my explanation. I treasure people in my life, I make every effort to make them know that. None of us has time promised and in a heartbeat LIFE changes. I do not call people friend with an asterisk. It is truly how I feel, what I think of you, and I have examined it in the dictionary VERY thoroughly.

Relationships and interactions with people are complicated. Think of how you know someone for years, decades ; “out-of-the-blue” you discover something about them that it does not make sense, something you did not know. Then think of a person you meet in passing; in a matter of minutes you are finishing each other’s sentences and feel as though you have always know one another. Ask yourself are these instances logic? Perhaps not, but this is where the heart takes over. Not what you think, but what you feel.

Therefore, if there are any questions, any doubts in anyone’s mind when it comes to my usage of the words dear or friend, if I used the words I meant exactly what I said.

If You Had A Choice

I remember a song by the Impressions from my childhood. I went to YouTube to make sure I was not imagining things and I verified it all. Time and again I remind my readers, I am a girl from Kansas City raised by church-going people. We moved to California and it was culture shock of amazing proportions.

I was questioned about my feeling towards a certain actress. I knew that I was not asked why I don’t like this performer randomly.. I love a debate but I select the ones I will participate in. This was my friend, so I bit. Before the discussion was over I was told( in so many words) that my feeling about this actress made my friend believe/feel/think we would not be friends if she had been born lighter.  I do not feel that way. I did not think my opinion of an actress was indicative of me, but it brought me to a point that I wanted to discuss and write about.

I am passionate about race. I also want to believe that in my lifetime the racism bulls%#@ will disappear. Is that idealistic or naive? Perhaps. However in the wake of a massacre in a church, in the midst of several states introducing bills/ legislature to ban a flag that throughout the history of The United States of America has insighted violence, implied white supremacy, represented death and destruction, I need to believe something positive will result from all of this.

I venture to say my feelings about being black is NOT unique. Some members of the white race may find this hard to believe or understand, but black people are proud people. Black people LOVE being black!The actress I spoke of earlier is “conveniently black”. My friend pointed out others, my response is the same for them as well. The difference being I have NOT heard of an incident in which the others have “tah-tahed” being black off when directly questioned. Is she(the actress) a coward or is she utilizing a special gift( the gift of the chameleon)? “If you had a choice of color, which one would you chose my brother?”Black people do not want what YOU(White people) have; we only want what is ours… YOU argue,” go out and work hard, pull yourself up by your boot straps like other groups”. Then I offer you a couple events in history and places where black people did just that, and the end results are Rosewood, Florida or  Tulsa,(Greenwood Neighborhood)Oklahoma massacres. “Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.” Undermining the efforts of the black race in America is a well thought out plan. We are not “belly-aching”, we have valid substantiated gripes.

In this time period, where so much information is readily available, the thought of someone passing for white is bazaar . Yet not so very long ago you had a woman who by most accounts is clinically white, passed herself off as black. How bazaar was that?  No job application you fill out now will fail to ask a question about your race, the difference now is you don’t have to answer. Once upon a time it was against the law to say you were one race when you KNEW you were another, now one must be cautious not to break the law by being too insistent in asking about someone’s race.

What must it be like to wake in the morning and NOT be concerned about race. I have friends and acquaintances who have lived abroad for several years and what stands out about the experiences they speak of is the LACK of or down-right absence of racial incidents! I cannot fathom that thought. I want to see, feel, believe one day I will experience those things, right here in America. Back to the choice; what must it have been like to be trapped in a society and a body that threatened your existence because of your look….and to have a magic wand that could make all of that disappear, your own personal cloaking device. I imagine it was very similar to what we have STILL have in America. A great deal has changed, but a great deal remains the same.

 

“How Do I Feel About My Country…

And how does my country feel about me.” I wish I could write about so many other things besides race in America, but I cannot. I cannot ignore that race exist, I cannot ignore that people use it as a means to exclude, I cannot ignore that it affects me every waking hour of every single day. I have figured out, like millions of other African Americans, how to move on forward in spite of how I feel.

What does it feel like to wake in the morning and NOT wonder how you will be put in a spot that makes you have to justify your being there, or walking into a room and NOT have your skin color along with hair texture noted, before any other credential you may possess. What is worse,  is feeling that I may never experience this feeling. I push forward, I try NOT to focus on this, but at the same time I have to be aware and remain sensitive to this UGLINESS. On a gorgeous clear, spring day as I take in the sights sounds and fragrances, I must pull myself back and place myself in tune with the hostile environment that surround my being.

I read a little note via social media of a relative, of a good friend of mine. It wasn’t even a paragraph long, I got so angry that I wished for that fantasy ability to travel through time for the express purpose of beating the shit outta someone. Yes that is anger and it was out of control, but it does happen. Fortunately, I do not possess the power to “time-travel” cause there are a couple of nurses(probably retired or deceased by now) who would feel the wrath of an angry mother.  This plague, this cancer that consumes our America so, we bother to share and teach it to those who may not know of it directly or even understand it. How cruel we are with it, to take it to a vulnerable one and force it down their throats knowing they are weak, needy, and/or afraid.

I once thought, how whites in America were fearful and alarmed about something that would not happen. I thought white people fear when the numbers switch and there are more blacks, blacks would act toward whites like they had acted toward us. I thought nothing could be further than the truth, unfortunately I now know I was wrong. Black people have been pushed too far; the black society of 2015, is nothing like the black society of 1955. “Annie get your gun.. well Leroy has one too!”

You see/know the separation exists and it is economic; it is disguised as other things but at the root, it is money. The small and greedy no longer want the bulk of it, they want it ALL. I do not want to see our country fall, but I do recognize there are factions here that would rather see that happen than to have the goods divided up fairly.

The divide continues to grow, the crack continues to widen. The differences are NOT the problem, it is the unwillingness of the people to work with the diversity that IS already HERE. Freedom is not free, but it also does NOT exist if ONE is denied it. How do I feel about MY Country..It’s the people, not the place.

Call Me, Ms. Fix-It

Okay folks, I admit it when it comes o repairs I leave it to my spouse or a professional. However lately I have marveled and been annoyed with paying high costs to have simple repairs done. My better half says ,”I’ll fix it” but the schedule of  when is very hard to narrow down ( I am being extremely polite and understanding here). There is nothing worse than needing something repaired and having a very capable individual at your disposal , yet the thing you need fixed remains in disrepair.

About a year or so ago one of my dear friends sent a picture of one of her kitchen appliances that SHE was going to install some type of switch in. Now mind you my friend is an engineer, but she does NOT fix household appliances for a living, nor is it a hobby. I was in awe. If you saw her with her well manicured hands and bikini worthy body you’d say, no way. I don’t need to tell you that she was successful in her venture. I have to give acknowledgement to my pals though they are talented, creative, and physical. My group of grandmother friends do not let that title hold them back. They are painting rooms balancing baby on their hip and that hip is free of osteoporosis.

My challenge was not a new one. For about 11 months my in door ice dispenser has only been giving crushed ice. I did not really see that as a big problem and  beyond the first month of discussion we let it linger on. Well the warranty is getting ready to be up and the thought crossed my mind what if this leads to something else. You all know they do not build appliances like they used to.  Why repair it when you can replace it, and that is fine if you have resources overflowing. I do not, my money tree has yet to yield the first dollar bill. Therefore, I have to be more practical. I have had considerable luck going to the internet finding answers to tech problems. I found directions on repairing my dryer belt that I passed on to the man of the house, I solved an iphone dilemma, and there were couple more DYI projects made simpler.

I was up early Sunday morning and I said, ironically, “What the HELL”(couldn’t resist that one).  I went to the internet and “googled” my problem. I did not get a feasible answer first time out, but I refined the search a bit and taadaa…”my workable answer”. I went upstairs to the fridge and followed the steps sure enough once I finished solid cubed ice came crashing out into my cup. I felt like Rosie The Riveter, no more crushed ice for me, unless I select crushed.  I don’t have to call for a service man to come tie up my day, I didn’t have to beckon to my spouse, I did it and so can you.

“Dear Kay”

I woke up thinking about my dear friend Kay this morning. A lady I met in my most recent years, yet she made such a profound impact on my life that she felt like family. Now I do not take family “lightly”. The bloodline we share with people we are connected to is undeniable. They invoke joy and rage in us that is beyond compare. You are taught that there is nothing like family, but have you ever met someone who just “clicked”? No matter what your faith or beliefs you KNEW this person belonged in your life. Well that was my friend Kay. Although, I imagine there are numerous people who probably share this feeling, it is okay for there is a part of my friend that belongs only to me.  Today is Kay’s birthday so I want to say a few things to her and I know she can hear me because I can still feel her.

Dear Kay,

I thought about you yesterday. I had my birthday reminders set and you of course are on that list. I miss you so much. I do not drive over to Lilburn without you and Bob crossing my mind, but you know I shy away from Wydella. I hear your voice and recall how you loved your chocolate, chocolate you were kind enough to share with me.  Sometimes I cry because you aren’t here for me to drop by and have just a quiet little chat with or watch “Ellen” dance across the stage.Then I have to replace those tears with a smile when I remember telling my mother of you and your spirit and resilience, in hopes she  would be inspired and motivated to fight the illnesses you did NOT let stop you. My mom would say, “That lady is something else”. I would say,”Mom you have no idea..”

I still stay in touch with the “kids”. Betsey is still beautiful, like her mother ( Veronica Lake had NOTHING on you my friend). Robbie is sweet and thoughtful, chasing those roaring rapids. Of course  the sources of your true pride and joy, the grandsons, are growing and moving forward in life. They have these positive energies around them and that emanates from you, Kay. Give Bob and hug for me, cause I know he is right there beside you. I simply love you.

Your friend forever,

Eileen

A Birthday Card

Birthdays are special to me. Folks who are close to me know this and know I generally do not miss anyone I know special day.  It is a role I took on when my favorite aunt passed many years ago, it just fit.When mail was a main vehicle of communication our family knew there was a card coming on their birthday, and if you were local the most fabulous cake you could imagine, because Aunt Elinor saw to that.  I am not infallible as she was, nor am I the baker.  I  do offer what is available to me.

Pressed for time I wanted to share something from my childhood. Today marks a special day for a lady I have know since childhood. I met her as an awkward tween, when I moved next door to her. She was a pretty girl and I knew my life would be “hell”. However I was pleasantly surprised.. okay I was down right shocked, when she came into the backyard separated by a chain linked fence and offered a friendly “Hi”. I was swinging like a child, because I didn’t think anyone was watching. I said, “Hi” back to her and froze. She started up the yard and we were friends from that point on.. No not really. The sound of a record scratching drives home this point.

There is far more to our story than that. However, this is called  A Birthday Card not a series of books, and I say that because it would take volumes to cover what Kim and I have shared over these past 4o+ years. I think of the boyfriends, the times we did not speak to one another, the marriages, the parties, the births, and the passing’s. Departures and arrivals, zeniths and plateaus; I know I never dreamed the pretty girl next door would be my lifelong friend, so many years down the line and still as pretty as ever, as a matter of fact she is beautiful from the inside out. On the anniversary of her birth I just want to say, “Happy Birthday!! and Thank You my sister, and my friend for life. It is your birthday, but I have been the recipient of the gift for decades. Be blessed.

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