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Archive for the tag “truth”

Tribute

For as long as I can remember, she was tall and strong. She commanded respect, you had better NOT cross her. She was my mom/our mom.There are four of us and each of us had a unique experience with her. So we can think of her collectively and as individuals. I know a great deal about her, yet there are mysteries that I will never be able to explain.

I watched her work by my father’s side, even though her wanted her to stay at home. She put the family first;  if he needed help he did not have to look far and it was the same for her. When we had cookouts, he manned the pit, but she was in the kitchen doing prep work.If he was under the hood changing the oil, she was holding the tools. If he cut the grass, she had the edger. She told many clients where they might go, when they tried to be unfair or avoid paying them. And her words were not empty/idle threats. A woman who only went to Jr. College in Kansas City, she knew her way around law and business. I could see her holding off  the klan with a shot gun ( for imaginative purposes only). She and my dad taught us what a marriage should be, and made the standard pretty tough to live up too by virtue of exposure to theirs.

Mom taught me things without ever saying a word, but I understood the lesson. I could tell her anything and  I did.She told me I was independent and self assured, I merely followed the example she set forth for me. Even when I did not believe I could do something I tried because I knew she expected that from me. I had never seen anything different from her and I knew she was watching me, if only in spirit. I tried to make her proud of me because I loved and admired her more than I have words for.

We lost her last year on October 30th 2015. I have not stopped crying, though I am told I will. I know I will forever miss her. I try to be happy and move on because she clearly thought I was strong and brave like her, but that was an illusion. I could be as she imagined I was, when she was here nearby here on Earth. More of the illusion. Now I am left to fly solo, and if you think that just because you are 50+ years old you do not need your mother you are grossly mistaken. Therefore, on what would have been her 83rd birthday I would like to pay tribute to my mom, Lorene Cates. You were the smart, strong compassionate, loving and beautiful woman I aspire to be. To this day, Mom I am in awe of you, my love is everlasting.

 

 

 

 

Still Explaining Himself

Okay, our President was in Britain this past week.The Mayor of London, THE MAYOR remember this, criticized OUR President for something he is so obviously ill equipped to address, beyond personal opinion. Britain’s possible departure from The            European Union. This “mayor” suggested that President Obama should not be urging Britain to stay in the EU because (and I am paraphrasing here people) he removed a bust from The Oval Office. Wow. That makes perfect sense for a “National Enquirer, tabloid style remark. He went on to suggest The President being part Kenyan makes his dislike for Britain clear. Our President once again demonstrated why He is The President and the likes of Mayor Boris Johnson is NOT!  Take time to view The Presidents remarks regarding the Churchill bust.Winston Churchill’s very own grandson stated Boris’ remarks were inappropriate.   Once again racism knows no bounds. When challenged or even if it is just a simple opportunity to TRY to be relevant the small minds of racist jump at a chance to be seen. Too bad “The London Fog” could not mask it’s mayor’s  narrow mindedness and stupidity.

And You Appear To Be Normal

I think one of the more challenging things about having a loved one with dementia        ( trust me there are a host of them) is their appearance.  We are so arrogant in what we deem to be basic knowledge;  when a condition or disease or situation presents itself to you and when you are personally involved, the logic flies out the window. You reach for anything that will help you feel better, because you are hurting. You are hurting when you don’t even know it. One day you will , and chances are it will come crashing down on you.

I was scanning through some very recent pictures of my mom, and while she did not look great she did not look like the person she is now.  She has help with personal things like dressing and hygiene. Little things like combing her once beautiful hair, has to be assisted or she will INSIST, her hair looks fine.

I am not dealing with it realistically, I can escape reality because I am not right there. However, when I am there physically, I am still not where I should be. I am putting on a strong face, because when I think about what is happening, when I allow myself to  accept my mom is not going to get better, it makes me so very sad and I weep. I cannot allow myself to sink into that place, because the business of life must go on.  I am grateful she is not deathly ill in a hospital. I do question quality of life matters. She is able to stay in her home with the help of my younger brother. You must understand there is so much more going on though.

Therefore, fair warning and a reminder “Things are not always what they appear to be.”

Neither Rain, Nor Sleet

Once-upon-a-time I carried mail; I was a pretty good carrier but I had several pretty nice routes in Los Angeles, California. I no longer work for the USPS, but what I have witnessed lately has me shaking my head with disapproval and disbelief.

What I have personally witnessed is mail delivery at night and I mean DARK OF NIGHT and mail delivery on Sunday!  What’s more is these are not outside incidents they occur regularly and they are happening in totally different regions. The night delivery happened in Inglewood, California. The Sunday delivery happened in Duluth, Georgia. This tells me there is a problem and it is NOT on a small scale.

Now maybe I missed the memo, but what my last communication talked about was the possible elimination of Saturday. There was no talk of replacing the Saturday delivery with nighttime or Sunday delivery, which is incidentally preposterous. When i was hired in 1985 “Special Delivery” carriers were being phased out. These were the carriers who delivered on days and at times the average carrier would not/did not. Also there were generally NOT delivering REGULAR mail.

I will start with delivering regular mail at night, it is dangerous and with the limited vision “misdeliveries” have to be at an all time high.When you see a carrier with a miner’s cap on walking door to door, you have to wonder what the manager is thinking. If someone walked up to my door after dark, making all kinds of noise that sounds like the are trying to compromise my security, calling the police would be the least of their concern.

Then there is Sunday. Okay this to me indicates the work load is out of control and/or poor planning, plus insufficient time management. Look at things from this standpoint, what business is really conducted on Sunday?  Therefore, where is the urgency? It is only urgent because that mail has been delayed.

This is a “pet-peeve” of mine, as I still utilize the U.S.Mail for small jobs, but I still expect to be dealing with a professional agency. I  still have friends that work for the USPS, I am not trying to discredit the agency, but I do see problem. I don’t want to read about a carrier being injured or killed, because of  an unsafe practice.

Therefore, if you see a carrier walking the streets at night or dropping mail off at your house on a Sunday, bother to take time out and write a letter to the USPS first, and if you don’t get a response your congressman next. Let it be known this is UNACCEPTABLE. If you don’t expect anything from an individual that is exactly what you will get, NOTHING. The same goes for agencies and industries. Expect and DEMAND more!

 

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.

And When I tell you I DO NOT UNDERSTAND…

That is EXACTLY what I mean. I was watching a video of great dance routines. These routines included tap dances of yesterday, they were men and women, they were you and old, they were black, brown, and white. All you could do was to be in awe of and admire the artistry.

Then the wheels in my brain started turning.. we can dance together, we can sing together, we can perform and admire one another’s accomplishments without a second thought. I thought about great athletes working and playing together without regard to anything but that athleticism. The summation was as such; We can sing, dance, work,  play, laugh and cry but we cannot live together because we are FAR too “different”. I am not naive by any stretch, but I need help here. I don’t know about anyone else, but I work so that I can have more time to do there very things we as a national community seemingly have no problem doing together. Yet place us on the same block, city, zip code and things get complicated?

I ask myself as I read posts from”friends” of people I love and care about write about how awful the GOVERNMENT is but these same folks are former military people who joined to get benefits granted to them by our same GOVERNMENT. The same camouflage wearing, gun toting, flag waving individuals demanding their monthly benefits. I wonder how someone I love and care about can have such detestable folks in their lives..they are so very”different”. RIGHT.

I watched a young Muslim woman on the news last night, she was a representative of a group called C.A.I.R. (look it up). It made me sad to see her and several other representatives on a world wide network try to make people understand that everyone who is a Muslim does NOT condone the behavior of one or two or even two hundred radicals. They felt the need to explain to America and the world amidst this  latest tragedy that cost 14 people their lives, they are united with the mourners and pray for justice.

I think of the lives lost in the past year due to”questionable”police officers, policies and plain old citizens. Black Americans, who many want to believe somehow brought all of this carnage upon ourselves. I hear the voices echoing,” If they” would stop dressing like that, or talking like that, to listening to that music, or running away from police…” No every person of color is not a criminal, no every police officer is not bad, no every plain old citizen is not looking to target practice on young black males, but why should we hide from and ignore these facts when something tragic happens.

Are we really that shallow minded? Do we really take a visual and run with it?  Of course we do. That is what makes me sad.

The truth is all of us, on one level or another, looks for rhyme or reason for things which happen around us or to us. Sometimes those much needed explanations take on the deformed look of blame. We look to blame because we are damaged, hurt, and live in fear! There is nothing wrong with being afraid, as long as you do not allow fear to define your entire being. Sometimes the fear you house is a lack of understanding. Face your fear; as difficult as it may be, stare it in the face. You may find some understanding, thus discovering that thing you dislike so much, did in fact come from lack of knowledge. Once that is taken care of you will eliminate the need to randomly hate. For  America, while we are busy fighting among “ourselves”, perhaps “our” real enemy is out there waiting for the turmoil to reach a boiling point; at that point when we are at our most divided and weak point “they” will have the ideal circumstance, the perfect time to strike. How’s your fear factor doing now?

Hiatus

Have you ever needed a break? A break that was such, you did not know how long you would require. If you find yourself unable to think/concentrate focus..it is time to rest your weary brain. My time had come. I was tripping, literally, over everything. Hopefully slowing myself down, eliminating some technology would allow me to reconnect with that which is real, that which truly counts.

The time passed and I looked around and it seemed as though time had stopped. The things I needed to accomplish still sat in the state which had prompted me to take a break from what I love, my writing. My writing helps me think and I had cut off my brain of sorts. My hiatus was to give me a chance to reorganize, I told myself but it was an escape, a run away from some real things that were happening around me, to me. The fact that the disarray still existed told me, I couldn’t run.

I woke up and scanned through some old photographs; a friend of mine from childhood had posted one in particular on Mother’s Day..I had not laid eyes on that lady for 45 years and it sent a chill down my spine. Tears welled in my eyes and a frog formed in my throat, I knew what my friend was feeling and I knew what I had been brushing aside, pushing past. The inevitable WILL come for us all, I don’t know why I though I had a formula to make it different for me.

Hiatus CANCELLED, Life RESUME.

T.H.I.N.K.

I saw this on a team message board on my moonlighting job. That job needs  to be as inspirational and motivating as possible. I am grateful for it none-the-less. So after once again being human and flawed I am inspired to write about one of my many, many, many flubs. I hope it will help someone else and perhaps myself do what my title suggests, but that does not necessarily mean anyone will in fact have to change.

“Before you speak THINK

Is it True

Is it Helpful

Is it Inspiring

Is it Necessary

Is it Kind”

Imagine a society of political correctness; nothing out of order, no one offended, facts to the point concise and non controversial. Well it certainly would keep us from being offended, but would it truly keep us correct?

There are some things we need to know. They are not all pleasant. They may pierce a bit but if they are helpful, if we allow ourselves to gain something of value from them, we are better for that information and the surface hurt can be put aside. Remember “The Emperor’s New Clothes”?The  Emperor was so “wrapped up” in looking good he was easily deceived into believing almost anything, including invisible garments.

In our imaginary-politically-correct perfect society we are addressing being able to say something, anything that is not absolutely nice. Why is that? That is because even in the fantasy of perfection we cannot deny that which is real.  How can we exclude the need to be made aware of something that is not-so-nice? We realize that in process we would eliminate our ability to appreciate that which is nice.

Therefore, I encourage you to THINK before you speak, I encourage you to listen but THINK about what was said, and finally I say consider the source.

“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.

Omission

Going way back, we can all recall not being told the truth. Through the innocence of childhood, through the self-preservation of teens, and finally the deception of adults. Okay may be we don’t have to go all that far back after all.

With nothing particular in mind the thought came to me regarding our inability to tell the truth, or the talent many of us possess in telling lies. I examined from the youngster to the elders. I did not take analytic notes, I simply noted behavior. Therefore, this is not a judgement but merely an observation.

I am a liar.. after you finish your gasp prepare to take another…so are you. Mind-boggling right? No it isn’t, and pardon the pun truth is, we are all liars. For by definition a liar is someone who says things that aren’t true. The definition does not say one who tells a certain number of non-truths, it doesn’t state that barring the tales meant to preserve feelings. nor does it give immunity based on age. Untruths=lies; Do the math.

Make yourself feel better by eliminating or excluding yourself from the pathological liar status, but perhaps you fit into another category and also take into consideration by virtue of those numbers, you may actually qualify.

In growing up adults are quite a mystery to children, they tell a child to do one thing when they themselves do something quite the opposite. It often takes the child transitioning into adulthood before the realization clicks. Therefore, no matter how hard you try to disclaim it, a little liar that exists is  often someone you helped create. We say how we admire children’s innocence and honesty, when in fact all we want to do sometimes is get away from or avoid that cute way ” Little Johnny” points out your wig looks crooked in a crowded room. It may take one incident like that, or maybe “Little Johnny’s “parents will be so embarrassed after the 20th time they pull their angelic offspring to the side and give him wisdom for all times, “If you cannot say anything nice… you can all finish this.

The fact is the truth can sometimes hurt, and if you want to be liked you cannot go about hurting people. Omission is the kinder gentler way we think, but is it really? Drawing the line in the sand we ask which would be better?  I think about leaving a key component out of some piece of machinery or perhaps an ingredient in a recipe; the machine may not work or work properly, the dish may not taste just right. How does an omission affect the party(ies) involved? You tell yourself it is better for__ if they don’t know. When in fact it is better for you, if you are the culprit or the doer of the deed. You may not have silver tongue and be able to deliver the information in a fashion that will not make the situation uneasy, so you work with what you have and use that forked one you do possess.

Little white, falsehood, fabrication, blatant, omission…words that have one thing in common you decide which one is worse, but do not be deceived or deceive yourself they are all lies.

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