Thursday, May 14, 2015

You Might Be An American Asshole

Remember one of Aesop’s Fables ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf’?

The story is about a shepherd boy who constantly yells to the villagers a wolf is attacking his flock. He does this so much to get attention that finally the villagers quit believing him. When a real wolf does attack no one comes to his rescue.

That is what I think is happening today in our culture with people getting all butt hurt over a perceived slight or offense and it gets blown way out of proportion.

White male
Middle class
Inner city

Why the labels?

If you are a fat, black, transgender from the poor inner city who worked your ass off and became CEO of a company and became rich and have mainly white males working for you because they were the most qualified and you converted to Judaism, have an autistic daughter and a thug son, you vote conservative but you are an asshole.
You are an ASSHOLE! That is the label you have to own. You don’t even have the right to be offended if someone calls you that because it is the truth. You are an American Asshole! OWN IT!

The rest of the labels should not matter and we have to stop the insanity of using those descriptive labels to pretend to be offended and create a stink about it when the only label should be “asshole”.
Or criminal.
Or rude person.
Or mean person.
Or…..oh well, you get the picture.

We need to have personal accountability and it not matter the color of skin, how we voted, our religion, etc.

I will not intentionally offend someone but then I don’t surround myself with people who limit themselves with that first list of labels. They also are not the kind of people who would pretend to be offended just because it may be the popular thing to do.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Mother's Day Without Mom

Mother's Day is approaching this weekend and for many of us we have had to deal with losing our mothers to death.

My mom died in April so Mother's Day followed shortly after. I needed to pick up a greeting card for a friends approaching birthday that year and had no thought whatsoever when I walked in to the card store other than the birthday card. The clerk immediately said "happy mother's day" to me and at the same time I saw the rack of Mother's Day cards. My heart stopped for a second and I felt like I could not breathe. I practically ran from the store. My pain was still that raw. Then my feeling was that of being pissed off that a clerk in a store would say that to me when I was not her mother and that she caused me so much pain. We all know it wasn't her that caused me the pain that day even though she should not have said it.

Healing took place and the pain was not so raw after that first year and I learned to celebrate my beautiful mom every year on Mother's Day. Part of healing is doing something to honor those we lost. One of her favorite flowers was red geraniums so I began planting a pot of those in celebration of her every year. Yesterday when I went to the garden center to get them the fragrance alone brought back so many wonderful memories.

Before I plant these today I will stick my nose right in the plants and inhale deeply the very distinct smell and feel so blessed for the mom I had. She taught me how to survive, thrive, and blossom just like these hardy geraniums I plant each year and see each day when I go out my backdoor.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Who Was The Real Celebrity?

This past weekend included two annual events I enjoy thoroughly. One of the events includes people I don’t get to see often enough so it is always good to sit and talk with them because 2 or 3 in particular are some of my favorite people. They happen to be “celebrities” with names you would recognize.  One of the things we share is a love for live music and the weekend always includes that via jamming with friends and drinking plenty of adult beverages. I take many pictures during the weekend and some video of the experience. Some get posted to social media but most just stay on my phone so I can look back and recall the good times.

The other event this weekend didn't have names you would know, nor would you even recognize their picture if I posted them. The “celebrities” at this event were military or former military. One of them has had so many surgeries he has lost count. He is blind now and endured other injuries that have changed his life forever. Then there is the soldier who will probably have his leg amputated soon who insisted on attending the event and participating.

That event was a 5k combat mud run started by a retired law enforcement officer and former Army. Every penny his organization raises stays in our community to help our local wounded warriors. He and his volunteers devote countless hours, and I am certain, many of their own dollars to this cause.

For me, the true celebrities haven’t had their face on a TV or movie screen or their name on a record album. They have had their heart and soul under a uniform representing our country with honor. No fame and certainly no fortune for them. They should be who we proudly stand beside to get our picture taken.

The really cool thing….
The 2 or 3 “celebrities” I mentioned at the beginning who I said were some of my favorite people, those people would agree with me. 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Honoring A Great Man And A Great Friendship

For months now I have been trying to come up with some way to honor my late husband Ed on the 5th anniversary of his death. 
Those 5 year milestones seem to be more important for some reason and I wanted to do something special. I considered having one of our legendary oyster roasts we were famous for in the backyard, some sort of fund raising event to give back to a coastal preservation group he was passionate about or our local non-profit hospice I am passionate about. After all the thinking and debating I still could not come up with anything that seemed just right.

A few weeks ago I still had not thought of anything that resonated with me as the right thing to do when I got a call his best friend, Eli, was very sick. He and Eli met in 1976 when they both moved to Wilmington, NC. When I came in to their picture, I learned to care about and love Eli as a great friend also.

Eli lived about an hour from me and when learning of how sick he was I began going almost daily to his house and doing what I could for him. He was an extremely private and independent man so allowing me to help him was huge. On one of those days he looked at me and said “I dreamed about Ed last night for the first time”. I asked what it was about and he said he didn't remember the entire dream just Ed saying to him “Hey buddy, you want me to take the lead on this or do you want it”. He and I both knew what that meant and we didn't have to even say it.

Eli’s physical state was declining very rapidly and I saw all the signs of impending death. During that time we had many conversations about his affairs and what his wishes were. In one of those he asked if I had any of Ed’s ashes left and I assured him I did. He asked if I would mix some of Ed’s ashes with his and scatter them in what is now called 'Ed’s Field' at the area they hunted in. It was the same place Ed wanted some of his scattered and was done about six months after he died with his hunting buddies present. Eli then asked if I would mix some of Ed’s ashes with his and scatter them in the place the two of them flounder fished more times than could be counted. That request took my breath away for a second. Five years later, that is the only place I have not put Ed’s ashes that he requested. Now, I can mix the ashes of these two great friends, maybe gather up some more of their friends on their boats and celebrate these two individuals lives and how they touched all of us in their own unique and special ways.

When I began taking care of Eli, at the end of his life, I promised him I would hold his hand through this journey and I physically did that constantly. The power of human touch is so incredible and I believe, especially at the end of our lives, just like a mother/child bonding at the beginning of our lives. Holding someone’s hand who is dying is an amazing and beautiful experience. No one should die alone and no one should die without someone holding their hand if at all possible. Being that person is humbling and such an honor.

I was once again reminded of “two things I know for sure; things change and I will be happy”. Things certainly did change with MY plans to honor Ed on this anniversary. His plan and maybe HIS plan was not what I would have chosen. The most amazing and incredible way to show that honor though was to care for his best friend in his last days. I know that it was no coincidence Eli died on the 5th anniversary of Ed’s bi-lateral lung transplant. Eli knew the significance of that day because your lung transplant anniversary becomes like your birthday, maybe more important. We had talked about it the week before and how we were both surprised it had been 5 years already. He and Ed probably conspired to make it on that day.

So tomorrow will come and it will be the 5th anniversary of the last day on earth of a great man. I will do something quiet and private because he and Eli already took care of doing something big to celebrate it. 
I can’t top that. 
That in itself makes me happy.