It Isn’t A Tragedy

I over heard a conversation this morning between two women. It left me a bit gobsmacked and annoyed. It seems these two women have a mutual friend who had a kidney transplant via a relative. One woman said it was such a tragedy that their friend had to have a transplant. They went on to talk about how everyone needed to make allowances for her erratic behavior, and that she should be treated carefully as she recovered. After all, with someone else’s kidney in her she would never be normal.

I thought, “Tragedy?’ Not to me, it isn’t. That woman will live a long healthy life, she is not an invalid, she is not helpless, she is the product of the miracle of medicine and blessings. How can that be a tragedy? They acted as if having any transplant was something no one would ever want. What?

Tragedy is something that cannot be controlled, stopped, or overcome resulting in either an end of a life or constituting a complete change in circumstances for a survivor. Tragedy is losing a new mom to childbirth. Tragedy is a child with incurable cancer. Tragedy is a wounded warrior who has lost limbs, sight, ability to walk, or suffers brain damage or mental illness from serving in the war. Tragedy is a teenager committing suicide. Tragedy is a plane crash that kills 300 people. Tragedy is an old person freezing to death. Tragedy is the mentally ill on the streets of the country when they belong in a safe institution where they can be cared for, instead of suffering the effects of cold and heat, and the lack of food. Tragedy is losing someone to addiction to drugs or alcohol. Tragedy is having a funeral for a twenty year old girl whose death was sudden and unexpected. Surviving a kidney transplant is not a tragedy! It is, instead, an opportunity to celebrate a new and continued life!

What those well meaning women are doing is placing their friend in a box labeled perpetual victim. In pandering to her, giving her excuses for bad behavior, and creating a tragic attitude around her, they are making her weak, mentally, physically, and emotionally. In refusing to celebrate the miracle that her life is, they want to demean it. That isn’t friendship, that is an attitude of superiority. “Poor little thing, she will never reach her full potential,” one of them stated. The other agreeing and doing the Southern thing when faced with perceived tragedy, shaking her head, and murmuring, “Bless her heart.”

I don’t get it. I really don’t understand their attitude, especially treating her as if she is fragile and unable to cope with surviving. She isn’t one bit more special than anyone who has survived a horrific illness. Instead of encouraging her to be helpless, they need to stand behind and beside her as she moves forward into a strong, healthy life. Instead of lowering their expectations for her life, they should be the best of cheerleaders, celebrating each and every milestone in her recovery. And, the last thing they need to be doing is enabling helplessness. I repeat, she is not an invalid. The only tragedy in her life is that her friends see her as a victim who will never be normal instead of a survivor.

Rambling thoughts on self protection.

I am tired, depressed, and worried. Tired, because I didn’t sleep much last night. Spent most of my time praying and thinking. Depressed, because my heart is filled with sorrow and a feeling of failure. Worried, because those who are cowards and expect someone else to protect them are pushing to take away our right to keep and bear arms to protect ourselves.

You can kill anyone with just about anything that has a blade, or that is heavy enough to land a killing blow. Anything from an ashtray to a sledge-hammer can land such a blow. So, how long will it be until only the criminals and the government have weapons. If we defend ourselves with knives, will they be removed from our hands? What about baseball bats? What if we learn self-defense and fight off our attackers (if they don’t shoot us with their gun first), will we be going to jail like the make people do in England?

How long, I wonder, before we are not allowed to defend ourselves or our property at all. How long until it becomes a crime to speak up or stand up for yourself? Do people actually believe that if we remove guns and weapons from the hands of the law-abiding that the world will suddenly turn into a nice, happy, place with fairies and flowers everywhere? Take away those things we use to protect ourselves from the criminals and the criminals will do what they want.

This is the United States of America, or it used to be. Changing the constitution takes a three quarters vote from the entire Congress. So the second Declaration_Committeeamendment will stand. Local governments will do what they think best for their town  or city, county, or state. So the stupid “celebrities” who are “twittering” garbage like changing the constitution haven’t a hope of doing anything but making themselves look even more moronic than usual.

Besides, If I get rid of my gun, will they get rid of theirs or make their body guards get rid of the guns they carry? Didn’t think so. They NEED a gun because they are targeted for being famous. Shrug . . . that’s what they asked for, that’s what they get.

I don’t advocate violence when it can be avoided or stopped by working things out. However, when dealing with someone hurting innocents, I cannot sit and watch it happen without trying to stop it. I don’t have to use a gun to do that, it is always the last option. But, if someone starts shooting, you don’t bring a knife to a gun fight.

What amazes me, and really bothers me, are the number of people who say that something else should be done because fighting back is wrong. So, if you see someone being raped or beaten, do you just stand there and take photos with your phone, or do you step in and try to stop what is happening? Calling the cops is the thing to do, but they could be minutes or hours away. So what do you do?

You might get hurt. It isn’t any of your business, you don’t know that person, so why should you bother? If you were the victim, would you want people to just walk on by and ignore your need for help? When did Americans turn into a bunch of selfish, uncaring, unsympathetic, cowards?

It used to be that when someone saw a bad accident, they stopped to help. Now people stop to take videos with their cell phones to put up on YouTube. They see everything from the point of view of a video. I guess that makes it unreal, less urgent, and the further away they are from the reality, the less they give a damn.

Compassion is no longer considered an important quality in a person. Children are taught to be nice to everyone, to accept everyone, even if they are bad or mean. To ignore things they don’t like or are uncomfortable with rather than make a scene. But Compassion is no longer taught. True compassion, not the “let’s make nice” fake compassion taught to kids today.

Don’t think for yourself either. Not supposed to do that. The young teacher killed in Sandy Hook, CT. hid her kids in a closet. Bet you that it is against the rules to put the kids in a closet. But she had the courage to think outside of the box and saved all those kids. One put all her kids in the bathroom and refused to come out until the cops opened the door with a key. Bet you arent’ supposed to do that either, but she did. What great examples of courage and compassion.

So, I am tired, depressed, and deeply worried about the people who have given up and given in to the cowards way out of things. I guess I will just need to suck it up, stand up, speak up, and do the right things, for the right reasons, at the right time.

On Gun Control, Sorry for the Rough Language.

My friend said this: Having said that, NOW, let me be blunt… any fuckwitted, violence-addicted, gun-idolizing moron, who thinks the reason 20 five year olds were gunned down is that there weren’t enough guns in the school, or that the solution to gun violence is more guns, please feel free to un-friend me now. I am appalled by your ignorance, and disgusted by your brutality. You are not the kind of friend anyone needs.

I SAID THIS: My apologies for the rough language.
Fine D***** if that is what you think of people who want to propect themselves from killers. MY SON WAS MURDERED, D****. And by all that is Holy I WILL CARRY a gun to protect myself and those I love. I am NOT fuckwitted, I am NOT addicted to violence, and I do NOT idolize guns. They are a tool, nothing more. I am not ignorant, and I am not brutal. I am a MOTHER who lost her eldest son because someone ELSE decided to take his life and the life of his best friend. WHY? Just because, according to him, he wanted to see what it felt like to kill someone.

Until all you people out there who hate the gun and not the killer, walk a day in MY SORROW first, DO NOT JUDGE ME! GO look at your child lying on a slab in a morgue and identify him while he has a hole in his head and is covered in blood. Go pick out a casket for a TWENTY ONE YEAR OLD son who has a one year old baby at home. ATTEND his funeral and watch them place YOUR FIRST BORN into a grave and cover it with cold red clay from the ground of Oklahoma. THEN tell me I am a voilent loving, gun monger because I BLAME the KILLER and NOT the gun! God Damn it all, grow the hell up and see the TRUTH for once.

I get so sick of the whiners and moaners out there who don’t know one damned thing about how it feels to know that you COULD NOT PROTECT your child from some mad man who kills for not reason other than the selfish need to kill. So FUCK YOU D****! for once put aside your crap politics and see the TRUTH. I am SO pissed that someone who calls themselves a paster would be so damned willing to jump on the BLAME the gun and gun owners wagon and be totatally without compassion and understanding. The goddamned gun didn’t kill those kids, it was a fucking tool used by a crazy person to kill them.

Taking away our guns will NOT MAKE THE world safer. A crazy man in China wounded over 20 kids over there in a school today. Killiers will find a way to kill, no matter the weapon they choose to use. For God’s sake D****, and all her idiotic knee jerk friends, KILLERS KILL, not the damned tool they choose to use. Talk toa a parent or loved one of a woman who was raped and stabbed to death before you get so damned holier than thou over something so damned horrific and painful. THEIR daughter is still dead, no matter the weapon.

THIS IS NOT POLITICAL, it is PERSONAL to very single one of those parents of those little kids. So screw you D**** and YOUR DAMNED IGNORANCE AND POLITICS because you don’t know one damned thing about sorrow and loss of a child. Unfriend me if you want, I don’t give a damn right now. My heart is to filled with sorrow and tears for those poor people and those tiny kids that now rest in God’s arms.

Election Season

I am, unashamedly, an American Patriot. As such, I tend to lean to the right on most issues. Although I am an independent, it is the right side of the political spectrum that most closely matches with my personal understanding of what our Constitution, History, and purpose as a country mean. This particular election ‘season’ is filled with frustration for me and most people I know.

First of all, I have no respect for the man in the White House. I believe him to be a liar, anti-business, anti-constitution, anti-military, and anti-American. The man has not followed through on anything he ‘promised’ when he was elected four years ago. He has only thrown our country into further financial difficulties, embarrassed his office in the world arena, and made the United States look weak to our enemies. Not to mention he is friends with some of the biggest criminals and terrorists worldwide. In short, I loathe the man, so much so that I refuse to use his name.

On the other side of the election is Mr. Romney. Despite all the press digging to find dirt on him, Mr. Romney is proving to be an honest, decent, patriotic, and intelligent man who deeply cares for our country. I don’t care what his religion is, I do care if he can fix the financial mess we have before us, and if he is willing to protect the constitution of the United States of America. I do care that he is pro-life, and I do care that he has been faithfully married to his wife for over 30 years. I care that he understands how hard it is to be a parent, I do care that he is pro-second amendment, I do care that he will appreciate every single man or woman serving in our military and the service that they provide the country. And, I do care that he is a man who will stand by his principles, fulfill every promise he makes, work with both sides of the congress, that he has integrity, honesty, and humility.

This election has caused more divisiveness between myself and my friends than any other in my adult life. I am not quiet about how I feel about that man in the White House. My liberal and progressive friends are not happy about that. In fact, two of my oldest and dearest friends are no longer on my social network. Mainly because I got tired of all of the victim nonsense that most liberals spout. I also got tired of trying to explain things like finances, spending, honesty, and integrity. It hurts to cut them off, but it is either that or stay frustrated and upset every day.

I suppose I could try to let them whine and moan, and just keep my mouth shut, but to do that I would have to deny that which I know is true. Lying by omission is as great a sin as outright lying on purpose. I can’t do that. Not for long anyway. Eventually I would end up spouting my opinion and the whole thing would start all over again. It is very frustrating. And the choice was heart rending. The saddest part of all is that my progressive and liberal friends will never understand why I felt pushed into making this decision. Will we be friends again, maybe. But it won’t be the same because now I don’t really trust them and I don’t think that they will forgive me for being so daring as to delete them from my social network world.

So, here I sit, two of my oldest friends out of my daily life. It is depressing, but also empowering. Depressing because I will miss them, empowering because I stood my ground and made a difficult decision to protect my mental health. Sigh . . . sometimes I hate being a grown up with integrity.

He cried.

He didn’t cry when he enlisted, because he was both proud and scared. But his mother did.

He didn’t cry when he was at boot camp, worn out, and so tired he could lie down and sleep in the mud. But his buddy did.

He didn’t cry when he was sent to the war zone, he was scared and worried, but proud to serve. But his girlfriend did.

He didn’t cry when he was so miserable with the heat that he thought every last bit of liquid was sucked out of his body. But he wanted to.

He didn’t cry when he had to spend days outside the wire, sleeping in the sand, and living off MRE meals. But he did get mad and cuss a lot.

He didn’t cry when the EID blew up in front of him, he was too busy trying to save the lives of the men and women in his unit.

He cried, when he saw the rifles and boots lined up, helmets on top, representing those who didn’t make it. Then he cried, because those were heroes, brothers and sisters in arms, men and women who laid down their lives for him, and all Americans, in a miserable desert far from home. But, not for long. He had to get back to the job he was trained to do.

He cried, when the airplane carrying him home lifted off from that evil land, and he cried again when he saw his family waiting for him when he got stateside. He cried to see the girl he wanted to marry. He cried when he walked into his home after nearly two years away.

He cried when he didn’t stop having the dreams about wounded and mutilated bodies of his friends and companions.

He cried when everyone told him to just forget and get on with living.

He cried, then he pulled the trigger that ended his life.


I thought we were friends. She seemed to understand me. I thought we were friends, because she always acted like she cared. I thought we were friends, when she listened to my words. I thought we were friends, since we used to laugh together. I thought we were friends, because she acted like she supported me when another hurt me. But, I was wrong.

Betrayal is a painful thing. It sneaks up and stabs deeply in the most heartrending way. It comes without notice, staring coldly in the eyes of someone trusted. It rends the soul, and tears the balance of life asunder. Betrayal is a soulless thing. It is used as a tool to demean and torment when someone changes allegiance or love. It wreaks havoc, shredding honor and pride. It is a weapon designed to eradicate the last vestige of faith, the last refuge of hope. With betrayal, love dies.

In the empty, windswept canyons of the soul, anguish cries out in horror. Lost in desperate need, the soul, in despair, howls with disappointment and sorrow. The overwhelming agony of spirit can shame the heart into hopelessness. The cold, abandoned wreck that once was courageous, fearless, is withered to a skeletal, dried wisp.
The agony and destitution of the soul is matched only by the torture of the psyche and the void of the heart. The raging echoes of the abandoned spirit cry out in pain, but no one hears, no one cares.

The friend betrays, the heart withers, and the soul suffers alone in the windswept canyons of lost and lonely spirits.

Cleaning My Closet

Today I was standing knee deep in stuff I cleared out of a closet in my granddaughter’s bedroom. As I stood there amid the broken toys, cast off clothing, and miscellaneous pieces of discarded rubbish, I saw it as a sort of metaphor for my life.

Once, like all those toys and clothes, my life was shiny and new. I was excited about the future and everything looked and felt right. The toys were going to bring me ultimate satisfaction and fulfil their roll forever, and I was never going to change so all my clothes would always fit. I never, not once, thought about the fact that life is always changing. I didn’t plan on out growing anything, nor did I plan on finding the toys boring as I changed and grew within.

At sixteen, newly married, in the middle of the hippie era in San Francisco, I was free to experiment and play with all sorts of new ideas and life style choices. And boy did I play hard. Like a child let loose in a toy store, I had to try everything new. But, like a spoiled child, I soon threw aside each new thing because I became bored, or saw something brighter, bigger, and more exciting to try. Eventually, like all children needing boundaries, I got bored with all of it and started looking for something to give meaning to my life.

At nineteen, I was a mother, and everything changed. All the toys of my childhood were useless and soon gathered dust in a closet that would, in time, become filled with cast off and forgotten things. By twenty-one, I had two young children and a husband who was obsessed with his career. We moved from place to place as he changed jobs and worked his way up the ladder of success. Each move caused me to place more and more of my discarded life into that closet. Soon the floor was covered, and I was working my way up the walls. No matter how much I reorganized, I couldn’t bring myself to throw out the harmful toys, the unflattering clothes, or the old mouldy feelings of worthlessness.

Things moved along from day to day. Life went on, my children grew, and one day I found myself looking at that closet with loathing. I had changed so much that a lot of that stuff in there didn’t apply to me any longer. Broken pieces of rubbish, hateful feelings, anger, sorrow, and all the old things that no longer fit were wearing me down. I had found a new purpose in my spiritual self. I had found a place to settle, even if it meant my husband was away all the time.

Life got busier as the years rolled on, and more of my life traumas found their way into the closet, to be closed off so as not to effect my life. Why deal with anything when there was still room to stuff everything in the closet and close the door? I got older, my children got older, and my husband drifted further away. But that didn’t stop me from looking for new toys to replace the losses in my life. One of the best toys I found was food. Lots of lovely food, and all of it found a permanent place on my body. So, instead of dealing with my emotional needs, I fed them, and stuffed the extra feelings in the closet, even if it was getting harder and harder to close the door.

Then, one day, the door burst open and would never close again. My son died. There was no more room in the closet, and I couldn’t shove my hurt and broken heart in there. When I tried, the door fell down. All those old toys, past mistakes, broken pieces of my heart and soul, old clothes of my former self, and every single miserable hurt flooded out, knee deep, into the middle of my life.

I was so overwhelmed, I didn’t know where to start cleaning things up. Finally, after a long, fruitless struggle, I started by picking up one thing at a time. I would examine it, carefully, see if it had any possible value, if it could be repaired, or if it simply needed to be loved. I would then place it in a stack. I had three stacks; one for giving away, one for sharing with my friends and family, and one for the rubbish man. As each stack grew, I began to feel lighter, free, and most of all, I felt my spirituality come back. My heart began to find all it’s lost pieces, and the old clothes that were mouldy and no longer fit my new perspective on life, were easily thrown away.

Soon, I had three towering stacks of emotional toys and clothes to share, give away, or throw out. Sometimes the recipient of the items appreciated them, sometimes they passed them on and recycle them, but the things I threw away no longer hurt or annoy anyone. They are buried deep in some landfill that will become an eternal garden in time. There are some things I have kept because I just can’t get rid of them. Mostly they are memories of important moments that have changed and redirected my life. They are often painful memories, but memories I need to keep around so I will continue to be motivated to clean out my closet.

As I have gone through those stacks over the years, I occasionally add to them. The closet floor is pretty clean, although I do get lazy and just toss things in there from time to time. There is a new door on it too, but made of glass and it is very easy to see when I need to clean my emotional and spiritual closet. There is no hiding from myself now. It’s a good thing I am no longer searching for perfect things to fulfil me, because I have discovered that I am really just a plain, old-fashioned woman who enjoys the simple things in life. Eventually, with a bit of elbow grease and determination my closet will not only be empty, it will be clean and I will be free of greed, fear, and pain. I guess I’d best get back to cleaning my granddaughter’s closet. Metaphor or not, there is still work to be done.

Grannie’s Hands

Her hands lie upon her stomach quiet and still. Telling, in their scared wrinkles, the story of a lifetime.

As a child her plump dimpled hands clung to her mother’s. They were, at times, covered with mud, sticky sweets, and all of the mess and mire of childhood. When she was a young woman, her hands were thin and lovely, yet strong enough to cope with the life she anticipated as the wife of a farmer. Those hands were adorned with a simple gold band, and, in time, held each of her newborn children.

They scrubbed, cooked, cleaned, and washed for her family. They comforted the ill, held the weary, and buried the dead. They were scared by fire, cut by life, and calloused by work. But to me, they were simply Grannie’s Hands.

I remember how they touched my face, braided my hair, and tied my shoes. I remember watching them as they sewed on buttons, kneaded bread dough, and planted flowers. They gently held my hands as I learned how to measure sugar for vanilla cookies, cried out my hurt feelings and fears, and poured out my heart when I fell in love. I remember Grannie’s hands reaching out to hold my first baby, and watching as she touched the face of her great great grandchild.

Her hands passed down instruction, discipline, talent, love, comfort, and compassion to four generations, and now, on her death bed, they are still.

But  as long as I live, I will remember Grannies hands.