Please, tell me how I should “feel”


As everyone is aware, or at least the majority of folks, there is a lot going on in the world today.

Here in the good old USA, we have so much happening and watching the news can be depressing.

Recently, with the latest shooting, I was watching the newscast with a friend and we were discussing how horrible it was, wondering if the boy was mentally ill or a young man who got caught up in hate and “lost it”.

Several news reporters used the phrase, “We are trying to report how you should feel” regarding the shootings.

Really.

You want to tell me, and millions of viewers, how to feel about this situation?

Do you know me and my friends? Do you know all of those millions you try to delude?

I know that my friends and I have had varying feelings from shock, to anger, to disgust and just shaking our heads that yet another mass shooting had occurred by one of our own on American soil.

I have been stewing on this one for almost a week now, reading different opinions and reports.

Reading all that I can regarding this barely legal young man and, in my opinion, not only the hate crime that he committed but the domestic terrorism as well.

I have not seen where he has been charged with domestic terrorism.

To me that is odd because that is what he did.

He terrorized innocent people on American soil.

At a historic church no less and at a Bible study.

True peaceful human beings.

He sat with them for “close” to an hour, accounts vary on time but all say nearly an hour or more, then pulled out his gun and shot them. Reloaded and kept shooting.

Calculated, cold blooded murder.

I cannot imagine those in that room how they felt.

The terror. The confusion. The shock.

To be in a place of peace and be gunned down like an animal has got to be one of the worst feelings.

I know I cannot imagine nor would I disrespect those who have gone through this tragedy by trying to do so.

Losing you loved ones in front of you and having to play dead.

Thinking your loved one was just going to bible study and will be coming back home and they never make it.

I cannot fathom that kind of pain.

So to be told by the media that they were “working to report how we should feel in the wake of this shooting” is callous and disrespectful of the victims and their families.

It is disrespectful to the viewers.

Everyone reacts differently to situations.

Being told “how to feel” makes me feel very Orwellian.

And a bit creepy.

For me, my heart and prayers go out to the victims, their families and everyone dealing with this situation.

Also to the shooter’s family.

Again I can’t imagine it.

As to how I feel, I feel like I wish I could take away this pain, this hate, this obsession people have with harming others.

I don’t need the media to dissect my feeling or tell me how I should feel.

Believe me I feel.

Have a fabulous Tuesday my graceless friends!

Family Dynamics


I have been rolling this topic around in my mind knowing that if I chose to write about it I would probably have to be very cautious because I do not really want to offend folks.

Everyone has different family dynamics and often times, the “family” is not blood relations, but people that we chose as family in addition, or replacing, those kin folk we were born into.

My own original family was pretty basic.

Mother, father, daughter and son.

We had grandparents, great-grandparents, uncle, aunt, cousin, and many great aunts, great-uncles and cousins.

I have one son as does my brother.

I think they are “trying” for more children, well maybe one more, but my baby making days are done.

It’s sad sometimes to think I can’t have anymore and add to our family legacy, but also it can be a relief to not have to worry with it. If I get all crazy and want another child, I can adopt!

We are all pretty close, even though I don’t get to see my uncle, aunt and cousin and some family often as I would like as distance does separate us and schedules can be hard to coordinate. It doesn’t mean I don’t think of them often and still miss them.

I am close with my mom, brother and sister-in-law and we all live within 20 or so miles from each other so we do gather together on a semi-regular basis.

My son calls his cousin his “baby brother” since he is the eldest. They are the same age apart as my brother and I which is 3 ½ years.

Don’t get me wrong, I have lots of cousins and relatives I never see. I do not even know where some of them live or if they are still living.

It isn’t, that I know of, because of a family feud, but due to circumstance of just not being in each other’s life and growing apart.

My father’s father had one sister and she didn’t have children.

His mother was one of 12 children so I do have lots of cousins on that side.

My mother’s father had 2 sisters as did her mother.

I do see some of my cousins from one side but not the other.

I do not know anyone that doesn’t have some type of family drama somewhere in their trees!

They may not tell you or bring it out in the open, but I guarantee someone in everyone’s family has some type of drama!

Growing up I was fortunate I had 2 sets of grandparents and 3 great-grandmothers. It wasn’t until I was older and learned that not everyone has that family and not everyone was close to family they did have.

I am so fortunate to have so many cousins scattered around that I still am in touch with!

Though I wish I could see them more and spend time with them I am grateful for the opportunity to still be in contact, or reconnect with them.

I will admit there are a few that I have no idea what has happened to them nor does anyone else.

One cousin seems to have dropped off the face of the planet. Seriously.

It seems at times the only time I ever even see certain relatives is at weddings and funerals.

That’s pretty sad when you think about it but also, it may not be by your choice, but theirs or another relative.

I am fascinated with family dynamics.

I have friends who are twins who have an older brother.

Their parents divorced and their father remarried.

They have not only half brothers and sisters from them, but also found out their father spread his seed a bit more and have many half brothers and sisters.

I must say they have taken it quite well to find out they have half siblings the same age as them and to, for the most part, get to know several of them.

I can’t imagine finding other siblings when I was older and how I would react to that!

I have worked in assisted livings and as a caregiver for families.

It is so interesting to see who steps up during a medical crisis and who is nowhere to be found.

I know in my own family, no matter what is going on or who is not happy with each other, when a medical crisis arises, we are all there.

For me I could not imagine Not being there.

But I have realized throughout this life not everyone feels the same.

One lady I used to care for, “Miss Jane” (*names changed to protect the living), had 3 children. I never saw the children who lived in town but every few months. Then for only a brief period of time.

However her son who had moved to another country, would make the trek yearly to visit his mother and stayed at least a month. The majority of his time would be spent with his mother.

This lady had other relatives, however, during her life she wasn’t always so nice. She was diagnosed with dementia and after her husband died, was placed in an assisted living facility.

This was where I met her as I worked at the facility.

I met so many people whose family dynamics were fascinating to me to watch.

At times, it was also very sad as in the case of Miss Jane.

Here was a lady who had wealth beyond comprehension and yet her only visitors was a few times a year with random family coming to visit.

Only her one son who lived thousands of miles away came with any regularity and that was just once a year.

Another lady, “Miss Carmen”, had no children and only a niece. She had moved from Florida so her niece could care for her at our facility.

Her niece, Betty, came several times a week and always worried when she would go out of town that Carmen would need something and she wouldn’t be there.

Here Betty was worrying about how Carmen would miss her, knowing she had dementia and that prior to her moving her close did not see her aunt regularly due to distance but always talked on the phone.

She cared enough to go to her home when Carmen’s husband died and pay attention to her situation to see that she needed to step in and help.

And Jane’s “guardians” would have to be contacted when she needed new clothes because they didn’t see her on a regular basis.

Of course now we have instant access to the internet and being able to call, text or send a message on Facebook to get in touch with relatives far and wide.

However I still have to look at Jane and Carmen.

In my humble opinion, it seems that once some people get older, or aren’t as “nice” all the time, family members and even friends just stop coming around.

I did find out in Miss Jane’s case there were many friends who didn’t know where she was.

The two children who lived closer made a decision to not tell anyone because of her “condition”. Her son who lived far away rectified that after a visit and I was happy to see her have visitors.

We are all human and need the companionship and touch of others.

It does make a difference.

I understand some people chose to cut themselves off from their family and friends.

That is their choice.

But for so many, that choice is taken from them in many different ways due to their family dynamics.

I guess you can call me lucky and blessed because in my own life, I have not only my family, but a large collection of friends as well.

I know that they can send out an SOS and if I can’t be there in person, I am there for them in spirit and let them know.

Because if you don’t let people know you’re thinking about them, you care and you will do whatever you are able to do they don’t know that for sure.

You can’t assume they know.

You have to tell them.

So reach out to that random family member/friend that’s been on your mind.

Call, text, email, send a message to them just do it.

We never know how much time we have left.

We never know if that brief “hello I miss you” may be what they need to get through their day.

Always Keep Hope Alive.

I hope you all have a fabulously graceless Monday my friends!

 

Father’s Day 2015


fathers day

As I was thinking of what to write for my Sunday post I realized that today is Father’s Day.

For me this is a hard day to get through as my own daddy passed away in February of last year with stage 4 kidney cancer.

Our family was with him when he passed and that is something to be thankful for.

I was blessed to have him in my life for 43 years.

I was a “daddy’s girl”. I guess I always will be.

I am the eldest child and my brother is 3 ½ years younger than me.

I was always the rebel and the one who paved the way for him to be the “golden child” haha

My brother and I are very close and I know that on that account, I am lucky.

Father’s Day is bittersweet for him as well.

Two months after my daddy passed away my nephew was born and he became a father.

I remember walking into the hospital room seeing my little bro holding his newborn son and bursting into tears as I felt like I was in a magical place.

I was seeing a photo in my mind of our father holding me with the same look of pure love I was now seeing on the face of my brother.

Like father like son.

My own son was blessed to have known his “Pops”.

He still talks about him, misses him and promises he will tell his cousin all about Pops and how great he is.

I said “is” because that is how we keep him alive is by talking about him.

We aren’t obsessed with making sure he is in our conversations daily, however I know that a single day doesn’t go by without me thinking about him and I know my mom and brother feel the same.

My parents were married for 45 years.

A true until death us do part.

Our house was not “Leave it to Beaver” bliss but then there was Always love, even in the best and worst of times.

My daddy was ALWAYS there for me and so many others whenever needed.

He had more patience than anyone I know.

I know when he was younger he had a temper, he often told me about it and I heard stories from family and friends.

However he realized very young that a bad temper would get you nowhere and being calm even in a storm was the better way to move through life.

Often times when someone passes we tend to canonize them and make them more “saintly” than when they were living.

I can say that isn’t the case with my father.

My daddy was a well known and loved respected business man.

He knew and met people from all around the world.

The love and light he cast out to family, friends and strangers was astounding.

When he died, after the funeral, which was massive, there was a reporter from the local paper there to do an article on him.

I couldn’t find the words to describe the man who is my father.

Understanding, strong, loving, caring, compassionate, believed in equality for all humans, was the Yoda of golf, hunting and fishing, always there, never judging, always thought before he spoke knowing his words were taken to heart.

How do you really convey that?

I have said many times I do not like crowds.

I am pretty weird about it nor am I going to draw attention to myself.

However when daddy died I had made him a promise.

I keep my promises.

I sang “Amazing Grace” a Capella at his funeral.

There were hundreds of people there but I sang for him and my family as they knew it was his favorite and I would sing it for him.

I completely zoned out and saw him there smiling as he always did while I sang my heart out with tears streaming down my face.

I didn’t care about if I was off key or looked strange.

I only cared that my daddy knew how much I loved him so I sang to him.

This will be my second Father’s Day without my daddy “here” with me.

I know I will shed tears.

I know I will sing his song out loud.

I know that many of my friends and family members are also thinking of their fathers, grandfathers, brothers, uncles and friends who are no longer with us.

I know I do.

But I also know my daddy would want me to remember those who are still here too.

So to all of the fathers out there, and mothers who are both mom and dad, I send out a Happy Father’s Day to you!

I hope you all have a fabulous Sunday!

I am including one of my all-time favorite photos of my son and my daddy.

It means the world to me.

The Piglet is Home & unplanned weekend fun chaos!


My apologies for the late post but my weekend got thrown a bit out of wack but in a very unexpected, very good way!

I had settled in to work and write yesterday when I received a text from a close friend. He was traveling with his older daughter and his younger daughter had been with his mom, then met up with her mom, step-dad and step-siblings.

Apparently mom had “gone off” on her younger daughter and she was extremely upset. Her Grammy was further out and I was asked if I could go get her. This is not a kid that gets “worked up” over nothing. She isn’t whinny, bratty or overly dramatic.

I termed it “operation kid rescue”!

Before anyone gets all up in arms, the father has full custody and the mother, though I know she loves her daughters, is somewhat in and out of their lives. I am merely an old family friend and love both girls like they’re my own.

So I drop what I am doing and go across town to get Miss A. She’s 12 and one of the coolest kids I know. So is her 17 year old sister. Their dad has done a fabulous jobs of raising them.

Let me just say, I don’t care what you situation is, you CHILD should be the Most important person to you and above all else, especially if you are a divorced parent, cherish any time you have with you kid. Do not try to put them against the other parent. It’s cruel, mean and just plain wrong! Once they get older they realize what you are doing and they have the option to leave. Especially if the other parent has done their job and they know they do not have to take the verbal abuse. This really gets my blood boiling because I can not IMAGINE ever doing this to my child! It does not even compute! I will get back to the topic sorry!

I get to her, and thankfully no drama as dad has called mom and Miss A meets me in the parking lot so I don’t have to deal with the mom.

Miss A is a bit down, of course, so we hit Starbucks for her favorite fru fru summery drink (cause I know she needs cheering up and she asked nicely as it isn’t in my “go to” places due to the cost), then ran to Target.

I was looking pretty rough with my comfy pants, t-shirt, no make-up and hair pulled up style but she said I looked beautiful. Anyone see why I love her?!

I gave her the option of going to Grammy’s or staying with me. She chose me because I’m that “cool auntie” and I was thrilled as I was really missing my boy and he wasn’t coming home until the following day, now today.

So we hung out, at pizza, she did crafts, while I wrote some, we watched movies, chatted and laughed like kids. Ok, well she is a kid and I thoroughly enjoyed being around her!

We crashed out and then got up this morning with one thing on our mind. The boy is coming home today!

Let me just say at 12, kids are pretty self sufficient, at least this one is! I didn’t have to do too much per se, just BE there for her to talk to about any and every thing. It isn’t hard. And I rather enjoyed being auntie to her and she is genuinely a fabulous kid.

We got cleaned up, dressed and ready and finally at least I heard the door chimes!

The Piglet is Home! My tater tot, my boy, my miracle is HOME!

He was on vacation with his dad, grandparents, aunt and friends at the beach and having a blast I know but it had been 9 days since I hugged and kissed on him.

But God did I Miss Him!

I think we hugged and kissed for at least 10 minutes when he got home.

Miss A was laughing and hugging us too.  We were so happy to have him home because he is just a joy and so much fun! Did I mention I missed him?

So we ate lunch, packed up and went out to a festival for some much needed fun!

We stayed several hours, playing, people watching and visiting with friends when we finally decided it was time to go.

We got Miss A home just after her dad and sister got home so we all decided to get some grub as it was dinner time.

By the time the boy and I hit the road for home, he was snoozing in the backseat!

Of course he woke up when we got home, didn’t want to take a bath and I convinced him by saying he really didn’t want all that dirt on his clean sheets, there could be bugs in the dirt – kind of probably not true but hey it worked!

He is now sleeping away after watching a movie… and of course it took a bit because he was happy to be home, loving on me, needed more milk, was somehow so awake after being soooo sleepy!

But I couldn’t be happier because the Piglet is home and all is right in my world again!

I will post more “interesting” posts at times and them other times, like today, I have mommy brain but I am so squishy, gooey happy that my boy is home.

I’m going to go, again, and kiss him on the head just because I can!

Have a fabulous Sunday my friends!

Public Profanity and Censorship


I always thought I was so cool. I mean I thought I was weird, could be adopted (grant it I look very much like my dad’s mom but that’s just coincidence I’m sure), left by aliens but I was “cool” in my mind, the best and scariest of places, because I could and can say anything I wanted and No One could tell me I was wrong, the timing was bad, I shouldn’t have said that, etc.

Oh but the happiness of being able to “shout it out in my head is a good thing! Probably could get me in a coat that helps me hug myself but we won’t go any further on that one right now!

I was a teenage rebel. I am surprised my parents didn’t disown me though I am sure it had to have crossed their mind a time or ten. I got good grades but had no “one” group I was in. I was friends with everyone. I dressed normal and weird. I didn’t judge people based on who their family was. I spoke my mind, often to my detriment but also in defense of others. I truly tried to be a “good person”. I also skipped school, said mean things I usually instantly regretted and did things I would probably not do again. However I can’t help but wonder if it didn’t help mold me into understanding life a bit better.

I feel for the most part that I have survived and thrived and I am continuing to build on who I am. It’s neat to find more of myself all the time.

I have a WIDE variety of friends and family from ALL walks of life, races, colors, religions and I love them all for who they are. I call out friends or family who speak ill of another “type” of person as 98% of the time it is stereotypical and just plain wrong.

I Believe in Freedom for ALL Human Beings regardless of the color of their skin, their sex, their religion or whom they chose to love and call family.

I believe in saying how you feel without the repercussions of family, friends and society tearing you down. I don’t want to be censored.

Yet I censor myself. In life, in conversations and even here on my blog.

Sometimes I am too damn nice.

See, that’s the thing, just using the word damn may offend some people. I don’t want to do that but That is Just ME. A layer of me. Like an onion (Love Shrek!). Because peeling it down I am not so sure all that is meant for the masses! It could be scary!

In today’s world “damn” is really not a bad word. It wasn’t too bad in the 80’s even though some folks would say any profanity would send you straight to the pits of hell. 30 years later we say and hear far, far worse and see even more so what is then beyond that pit of hell to them I wonder?!

So I “censor” myself in my speech as I do not know who all will be reading my post and I am sure that in the future, stronger language will be used in some posts and I will probably go back and add *strong language may be unsuitable for young readers and those who can’t handle the truth because it’s just how I roll.

Because if I am real about how I truly am, when I am so emotionally charged up or angry or hurt or sad or even with my girls & close friends when I don’t have to “check what I say as not to offend” I say Bad Words!

A lot of them and artistically I might add. I used to call my good friend and ho (an endearing term as not to be confused as to something ugly here) and go on complete rants about Atlanta traffic and drivers. I would come up with some damn creative names for folks.

I also, in my mind, invented a ray gun that I could point at said folk that made the profane language flow from my face and made me feel terror for my life and turn them into a beautiful flower grouping by the side of the road for 5 minutes and then return them to the road in a better frame of mind without having lost any time. All of that from being able to “let it loose” with my speech to my friend!

I have mentioned before I hate crowds. Hate is a strong word but all crowds of Any kind make me a bit jittery. I can go with friends and family, have a fabulous time but I still get a wee bit nervous in a crowd. (They make medications for that ya know! Makes it a bit easier!). And I seem to find myself in crowds as is such with life. By crowds I mean 25 or more people unless it is a really cool gathering of a bunch of people I know and not people they know we just all know each other and it’s fun. Because then even though you’re in a “crowd” it’s of all friends. You still in the safe space where you don’t have to censor yourself too much, depending on the group. But once in the PUBLIC you have to censor yourself.

Have you ever been alone in your dwelling and something scare you and you scream out something you don’t want your mama or grandmama to hear? Or your priest, rabbi, nosey neighbor…you get the idea. Or you just found out something about someone or your own life and you just want to say words and scream out loud because it sometimes makes you feel better so you do.

But once you cross that threshold from personal space to public property you are in full on Censorship mode!

I know we aren’t supposed to care what others think. But then again why aren’t we? It’s a fine line to walk. Caring but not. Being yourself but not.

When I am in public I try to censor what I say due to others around me who do not like the language and for the sake of small children. In some instances if no kids are around, all bets are off and words are said. Sometimes it’s funny, other times I probably should have kept my mouth shut.

A phrase I heard often as a child and teen was “if you can’t say it around your mother or in church you shouldn’t be saying it.” And how well did that work out for the majority of us?!

I guess what I am getting at is I am not perfect and neither is my language. I cuss more in my head than I allow to come out of my mouth. But it does come out!

But I try to respect others and realize that just by overhearing something I say that is considered “profanity” that it could offend them in a way I do not even understand. And even know I may not know them I would still feel bad. I am the person who has been known to be at a restaurant late after having a few drinks with friends, say something crude then look around to see if anyone heard me and then apologize to them! Yep I am that person.

So even though I am still being free and being me, I censor myself. Because frankly I think everyone needs to a tiny bit just to try and show a little respect for others. You never know how that person could affect your life and how you could affect theirs.

This is however, just my humble opinion. And it doesn’t matter because if you cuss like a sailor, I am still your friend. If you do it in front of my mama, I will ask you to try and clean it up a bit. But once we are where I know we won’t offend anyone, I can match you word for word in that “sailor talk”!

That is enough deep thinking for one night and I am damn tired!

Goodnight my Graceless Friends!