Is There A Doctor In the House?


Well, I’m not sure if it’s my imagination, or people are just becoming ruder. In the last few weeks, I’ve had many experiences on the airplanes, with whining, tantrums, and self-centered behavior. And that isn’t the  babies.

A few weeks ago, a woman left her suitcase right in the aisle and sat down. As I approached to ask who owned the bag, the man in the aisle, pointed to her. He looked disgusted as well. I said, “Mam, your bag must be stowed for takeoff.” “Well,” she said, someone took all of my overhead space.” I reminded her that this is shared space, and that I had made several announcements to let people know that there was space int the next cabin. She defiantly crossed her arms, as if to say, “I’m not going to budge.” As if the man on the aisle could read my mind, he stood up. I said, “Go on.” At this she stood and took her bag up front. I saw the flight attendants, very graciously place it into the business class closet. I thought, she probably told them that I gave her the ok, to do this.

At any rate, it was taken care of. Or so I thought. After we were inflight, she came to the back. She asked for my name and the name of the other flight attendant. I asked her if I could help her with something. She claimed, “No, I’m going to file a complaint.” “Oh,” I said, “About your bag?” “Yes,” “I’ve been flying for 20 years, and someone always, takes my bag and puts it away for me.” At this I laughed. Now, this was no little old lady that needed assistance, or I’d be happy to help. She was a con artist. So, I said, “Well, that was very kind of them, but when you bring a carry-on, you are responsible for carrying it on, stowing it, and then carrying it off.”

“No!” She said, “That is your job!” I couldn’t believe my ears. “Are you serious?” I said. “That is an occupational hazard for us. We can’t lift everyone’s bags and put them away. Just a year ago, I tore my rotator cuff, and there is no way I’m lifting hundreds of people’s bags all day.” Then she said something that made me laugh even harder. “Then you go out and heal, and come back to work. I can’t help it, you are a small, weak woman!” I was just beside myself, and I wondered how long she had gotten away with this. I wanted to say, “If I’m small and weak, what’s your excuse for not lifting your own bag?”

Now I said, “Listen when you file your complaint, make sure you ask them if this is a job requirement for us. I would like to hear the response. And perhaps then you will understand.”She huffed at me, and went back to her seat. The other flight attendant’s couldn’t believe it, when I told them what she had said.

Then we had a woman with an earache, on my next flight. The woman on the aisle called the flight attendant, and said, “Isn’t there something your airline does for sick people? Like move them to First Class or something?” The flight attendant in the back told us about the conversation. We had all kinds of scenarios for interfering woman. I said, “Hey, let’s take the red/infection control bag, to the back and wrap the woman in it.” “Yea,” and we can all put on our gloves and white masks.” We were all laughing.

The purser went back to find out what was going on, and she finally asked the woman in the aisle, “Are you traveling with this woman?” “No,” She said. “Oh, because you seem so concerned,” she said. She just kept sticking her nose in where it didn’t belong. First of all, if the woman had an earache, she probably was traveling with a cold, and as I pointed out to the Purser, “the air pressure in every cabin is the same.” And the sick woman, wasn’t the one asking for an upgrade. It was the nosy woman sitting in her row. She probably wanted extra room.

Now last night, there was a couple sitting in business class. Right before the service was about to begin, the woman across the aisle from them, handed the flight attendant a note. On the note it said;”Can you page to see if there is a marriage doctor, on board? The couple across from me won’t stop arguing!”

The flight attendant, thinking she was joking, wrote on her note, “You’re kidding, right?” The woman was not. I came up to help them with their service and they told me the story. I realized that this woman was serious. And that, although the couple were having little arguments, here and there, it wasn’t loud and abusive. More like hen-pecking by the wife. I just laughed as I said, “Hey, can you imagine that announcement? If there is a marriage doctor onboard, please ring your call button. We have an emergency! There is a couple onboard having an argument, and it may cause the woman next to them, to have stress-related illness.”

I wondered at the terrible behavior I’ve seen. I’ve always said, “We can avoid 99% of the problems in this world, if people stopped minding other people’s business.” Now I’m not talking about serious issues, where someone needs to get involved. But it seems some people just create drama, wherever they go. And more often than not, it happens on airplanes.

Last night a woman was in the last row, with her two children. She let these toddlers make all the decisions, for everything. I see future, bad-mannered, adults, coming down the pike. Then she took all her trash, and stuffed it on the floor,under her seat. My flying partner and I, surmised that her home, is probably like this, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see her on an episode of, ‘Hoarders, Buried Alive!’

I wonder if it really is a change because of the confined space. Or the air pressure. I have seen it all, but lately the common courtesies, are not very common.

I know a flight attendant with a blog that addresses these very issues; He is The SkySteward.And He writes about, Jetiquette. Yes, it is very useful information. However, what I said about therapy patients, holds true in this case too; Sane people go to therapy to learn how to deal with the crazy people around them. Crazy people don’t think they’re crazy, so you’ll never see them going to the therapist. (Unless a court order) Which doesn’t count. By the same token, rude, ill-mannered people, would not be reading information on etiquette, and common social graces. Because they have none, and yet they don’t realize that what they are doing is rude.

So, with that in mind, read the info, so you’re prepared when you come across these folks. Perhaps take copies with you, to hand out. I personally think, it would be nice to have a little booklet, addressing these issues, in the seat-pocket. Now wouldn’t that be fun? And as your reading your copy, the rude person next to you, who loves to be observant and read over your shoulder, will be able to read about themselves! Yes, that could probably one of the last pages, so they can get the full benefit of the text. Like, “Rule Number 10. Never, ever, read over another person’s shoulder. It is similar to eavesdropping. An invasion of privacy.”At this point you may look right into their eyes. That should be effective.

Oh, yes, and as I’m sitting here in the gate area, I am reminded of a huge pet-peeve, for many of us, non-revenues, commuting home. It’s the people that wander up to the gate, with food and coffee, 5 minutes before departure, and ask, “Are you boarding?” What is that all about? Don’t they read their itinerary? Don’t they realize TSA, has control issues of their own? And if they choose to go through your stuff, well, game over. And then they get through security and stop to get food? Many of us commuters, have been walking down jetbridges, or on airplanes, only to be pulled off last minute, because someone got out of bed late.

Just a few minutes ago, a guy got his boarding pass with 10 minutes to spare and asked, “Can’t I just go get a paper?” All of us looked at each other in amazement.The agents said, “No sir! We’re ready to leave!” He argued, “It’s right over there!” I was thinking, this guy has a lot of nerve. And what is going to change in that paper between now and when he lands. Besides, there’s broadcast news on the plane. Once again, “It’s a dollar waiting on a dime.”

I’m just growing weary of the whole, “entitlement’ attitude. I found one simple word to put an end to all of this nonsense. And it’s a word that, rude, arrogant people, have not heard enough. “NO.” It’s simple and to the point. It’s a solution to ending ‘world rudeness.’ And it’s  a universal word, that everyone understands.

Have a great holiday, and don’t let those Grinch’s,  ruin your travel plans!!!!

Black Friday on the Crazy Train!


The Prince of Darkness beckons you!

And who would be a better representative of this momentous day, other than Ozzie? The Prince of Darkness to promote this day. Come on out folks. Take your chances and board, ‘The Crazy Train,’ to shop on Black Friday!

Yes, I continue my rant. I can’t resist. I went to the Swap Shop on Black Friday. So, I’m not a legitimate, Black Friday, shopper. But I just had to get into the murky waters, of river rats, swarming to the malls.

Now, my son knows. I’ve given him the drill, “no yelling at bad driver’s,unless he’s driving. So, as is his custom, when he sees my tension rising because someone cut me off, etc; he touches my steering wheel and yells, “Moron!”

I go to the local Flea Market, to check out some things. I hate to pay full price for anything. And besides, I have a good friend, who works there. He lives solely from the proceeds, he brings in from selling things donated to him.

I  love the hunt that comes with looking for that certain thing, which is too ridiculous to buy at a retail store. Most people who go to bazaars and flea markets, know, it’s all about bartering.  I learned a long time ago, that people redecorate, and just get rid of things, which are in brand new condition. I’m not going to pay way more than an item is worth, just to say, “it’s new.” I don’t care about, “the story,” and I sure don’t care about impressing anyone.

Then the icing on the cake, confirmed every ill feeling I had about our new excuse to spend, Black Friday. I was watching the news, later. People trampling each other, and a woman, pepper sprayed a crowd, at a Walmart. Why? Oh, well, don’t you know? She had to get that X-Box. Well of course. Everyone, should have one. Honestly, I could have been watching, Wall Street, and the Occupy movement. It looked identical. Except in this case, a shopper sprayed other shopper’s. At least the 1%, stay at home with the $$$, until the chaos of the poor, greedy people, has subsided. While those in the media and marketing, who had created this blitz, probably sit back with their golden bowls of popcorn and watch in amusement. I’d think very similar to the gladiators, of old.

I watched with amazement, to see what greed, caused such actions. And it’s just this greed, which is the root of our problem in this country and in the world. The need for instant gratification. It’s not isolated to those in the top echelon of society. It all begins in the heart.

Yes, Ozzie was right. This is really, The Crazy Train! I’m sure not boarding. No one seems to notice, that, Black Friday, is just a new term, to turn this season into a ‘vampire holiday.’ It’s another ploy to get the people in red, to put them in the black! Playing right into their greedy hands.

Now, we also have, “Small Business Saturday.” Oh, great. Let’s not forget about those poor small businesses. Yes, it reminds me of my daughter. The other morning she came home at the wee hours and I was irritated.  She went to work and didn’t return. I knew she hadn’t worked 12 hours and I was concerned. “Mom, I was helping to set up so we could feed the orphans tomorrow. I would think you’d be happy about that!” Oh, here we go. A table-turning??? You think I can be manipulated that easy? I had to point out that I wished she were that considerate. If she was, she’d think about her own family and the turmoil she’s been causing. “Well, you better help with the orphans,” I said, because you may be standing out on a corner with a sign yourself!” Like everyone else, I pointed out, her priorities were a little messed up.

Now, these marketing strategies, seem to be working. All these people spending money we don’t have. Wait, last I heard, we were supposed to have a huge deficit. But then we have corporations, getting bailouts, only to turn around and declare bankruptcy. (Solyndra) All the corporate people probably helped the economy, by plugging it back in during their shopping sprees, this Christmas.

Now, I  think we need to use every day of he week, just to get that economy pumping again. I mean, if we’re going to be played, how about taking advantage of this, and guilt people into spending, for 7 days? We can really be tapped out by Christmas. Wonderful. And think about how much interest, the bankster’s can make from all the bankrupt people. Then when the bills come, which no one can pay, we’ll just increase the deficit. Yes, I definitely think we need to add some more incentives to spend.Ahh, the heart of man. Just persuade them to get the latest gadget. The ‘must have, for this season. And I love the fact that we’re supposed to actually feel sad, for those poor businesses.

How about, “Spend your unemployment, Sunday? Food Stamp gift cards, Sunday. Madoff, Get Out of Jail Cards, Monday. Bail out your favorite corporation, Tuesday.Repossess your purchases, Wednesday.Oh, and my favorite, “Bail Out an Occupy Wall Streeter, Thursday.

Yes, there are just so many opportunities to give.  And didn’t our Lord say, “It is better to give than to receive?” And I guess some people think, you should run people down to get that gift. Well, at this rate, “on the 12th day of Christmas, I’ll be eating my partridge in my pear tree.”

Oh, I am really starting to understand that the Lord was literal, when He said, “Peace on Earth, Goodwill, to all men.” Yep, that’s where I shop, and so will you, if you keep squandering. Hope you remember the real meaning of this occasion. That’s right….His name is Jesus! The reason for the season!

We’re Having A Tent Sale!


Happy Thanksgiving!

And I can’t wait!!!! In fact, I’m going to purchase a tent, so I can sleep in it for next year’s Black Friday. Am I missing something? Yes, I guess I am. I’m really missing, Fall.
I mean people are literally sleeping in tents, for sales on merchandise, tomorrow. I sure hope that they find something they can really use….like a life.

Sorry, folks, but I’m wondering why we have people lining up like the seniors at the local early bird special’s, when we are living in a country that’s broke. According to statistics, a record number of people are unemployed, so where is the shopping money coming from?

But I began to think, you know, tent’s are really a good investment. Because most of us, will be living in one soon. So, buy stock in Coleman or other sporting goods companies, who produce them.

I’ve been joking for years, that the American dream of home ownership, is really a ball and chain. When you think of all the repairs and upkeep. I tell people if it weren’t for my children, I’d live in a tent.

It’s travels better than an RV. Well, most of the time. Then my mind began to drift, back to the last time I actually slept in a tent. It was a concert, called Bonaroo.

I was with two friends. The concert was to be in a giant cornfield, somewhere in Tennessee. I met my friend’s in Chicago’s, O’Hare airport. My friend, Karen went to elementary school with me. She’s lived in a little town, practically her whole life. And she calls herself, The Country Mouse, and I’m the City Mouse. I just call her bumpkin. The reason’s are varied and obvious, when you meet her.

To start out the trip, her boyfriend came in to the airport to meet me. She had a tent which he checked to arrive in Tennessee, when we arrived. As we went to our flight, I remarked that I thought it incredible that she had a cell phone. She stated, “I know, I need it to get ahold of Bill, when we get back, so he has it now.” “What????” I said. “Are you kidding me? Why would you do that?” She look confused, so I pointed out that we were going to be at a major event, and this would be our way of communicating with each other, should we become separated. “Oh, yea, but how am I going to let Bill know, when I get back?” So, I guess you have one cell phone, and never thought you could use this to call his landline?” “What’s a landline?” Oh geesh! I was already getting irritated. She probably still uses paper cups, with a string.

Now, we got to the airport in Tennessee, and it was total chaos. There had been a terrible storm, and all the flights were delayed. We walked into the area where bags were just piled up, with a yellow tape around, as if to warn people to stand back. “I’m going in!” My friend said. She dove into the bags, desperately looking for the tent. Nothing.

A representative said, “Everyone, listen! We are going to be sending your bag’s to the concert site, once they arrive. We will be having buses, leaving every few hours, to deliver your belongings.” Oh, this is just great, I thought. I guess we’ll be sleeping outside, on our air mattress, or in our rental car.

I never would have imagined, that this concert would be so crowded, and that every miserable thing I could imagine, played out that weekend.

My whole mission was to see Dave Matthews. I love them, and I also had hoped to see The Dead. Out of all the bands performing, I thought this would be easy enough, to schedule.

It was bumper to bumper traffic, and on the way in, to the cornfield, it was reminiscent of a party I was going to, in my teens. We all finally got to a very secluded cornfield, and just ready to tap the kegs, when a long line of squad cars began to ramble down the dirt road. They shut us down before the first beer was tapped. What a major bummer, that was.

Here we were just inching along, and I see a car in the ditch at the side of the road. I had to get a picture of this, since we thought it hilarious that someone could be going this slow and end up in a ditch. “They had to be totally wasted,” we agreed.

We finally got into the concert site, and people were directing our parking. We all parked next to each other, and I distinctly remembered the girl with her heavy southern drawl, saying, “We’re gonna be parkin a lot of people in here, so get close.” I thought, “how crowded can it be?

We went to check the Lost and Found to see if the tent had been delivered yet. Nope. Nothing. I sure hope it gets here before the weekend is up,” I said. But I really was joking, and had no belief that it wouldn’t be with the other luggage being delivered.

I decided to head out to see Dave Matthews. My friends didn’t want to go, so I said, I’d mark my way and find the stage they were performing on. There were several. As I headed off, I noticed that people were still headed into the concert. So I stopped and asked the girl directing people, “How do I know which area we’re parked in?” “Oh,” she said. “This is the Magnolia section.” “Yes,” I said, but I have a map, but how can I see it? It’s not marked with any signs.” “Well, we’re really parkin em in. Ya’ll just have to find yurself a landmark, like some over hangin tree, or some balloons, or somethin.” “What? Are you serious?” Oh well, I wanted to see Dave Matthews, so I just got my bearings, and started walking.

Sure enough. Concert was over, and I was walking back, and there were thousands of people. And every parking area looked the same. Oh no. This was getting bad. Now I was getting more and more angry, as I thought my girlfriend, left her cell phone with her boyfriend. How is that going to help me? What an idiot! I thought. Right now, I wanted to hang her up as a landmark!

I walked and walked. I met up with a couple guys, that we had met at the start of the concert. They helped me look for hours. Nothing. I was getting more upset. We’d stop and hang out with people, and then start walking again. I finally gave up at about 4am. We were all invited to hang out at a campsite with a group that worked the concert. “Hey if any of you want to sleep in that tent, those guys are working the concert, so feel free.

I fell asleep in someones tent and the next morning, sure enough, a guy and girl came in. They’d worked al night, trying to help people like me. They didn’t even question who I was, or what I was doing sleeping in their tent. It was the whole communal experience. That’s why I love hippies.

The next morning I decided, there’s one place I need to sit and wait. If my friends are going to go someplace, it’s the bathroom. I found the ones closest to the area we had parked and sat. I was wearing a shirt that said, “Flygirl,” and about an hour later, I hear her yell my name. I  looked up and she said, “Where were you? I recognized you by that shirt.” “Oh my gosh! I could kill you for leaving your phone!” I said. “This is exactly what I was afraid would happen!”

The next day we checked for the tent again. Nothing. My friend told me how miserable it was for her and my other friend, because I had the keys to the car, and they had to sleep outside on the air mattress. That did give me some satisfaction, as I said, “Well I got to sleep in someones tent.”

Now, tonight we were looking forward to seeing, The Dead. All of a sudden, there was a torrential thunderstorm which was coming into the area. Tornadoes had touched down. Some guys in an RV next to us, invited us to hang out inside with them. Good thing, because those tents were blowing everywhere. I said, “I don’t think anyone is going to be seeing, The Dead tonight”, I said.

We had such a miserable time, that we decided to leave a day early. It was a big, muddy mess. A total Woodstock experience. A guy in an ATV, was pulling cars out of the mud, and we had him pull ours out too. I cracked up with my friends, when we returned the rental. It was a mess. It looked like we went to the Redneck Mud Festival.

When we got to the airport, I was sitting on a seat near our gate. “Hey,” I said to my girlfriend. “I saw a guy that looked just like Bob Weir,” except he was kind of old and scraggly looking.” As my last memory of him, was actually backstage at one of their concerts. He was looking kind of hot, back in the day.

All of a sudden a guy walked up to me and started talking. “You coming from Bonaroo?” “Yea,” I said. We’re leaving early. It was just too crappy out and we never got our tent.” “Oh, did you see our band?” He asked. “I don’t know. Which band is that?” I asked. “The Dead.” “Oh, you’re kidding.” I said, not recognizing him. “I thought that looked like Bob Weir, walking by. But then I just thought it was an old hippie.” He laughed, “He is!” he said. Then I asked him if they actually had people come out. “Oh, you would have been surprised. Thousands were out in the rain.” He said. Then he reached in his pocket and said, “this is for you and your friends. And he handed me some guitar pics.

We were laughing at the whole experience later. I couldn’t have been at a worse concert. Well, except the other one, with my daughter when I ended up in the middle of a mosh pit. But that’s for different story, which I’ve already told.

I called my friend about the tent. Still, no news. “I said, they’re probably having a tent sale.” I mean, she had been telling me what a great tent it was. Maybe someone else needed one.  About 6 months later she called me, cracking up. “Hey,” she said. “We finally got the tent.”

That was back in 2004. Since that time, my friends boyfriend passed away from cancer. I had lost contact with her for awhile, but when we reconnected, we were still laughing about the memory.

I’ve realized, I’m not so much into the weekend outdoor concert experience. So I would definitely not be interested in camping outside a store for, Black Friday.  But, I guess some people think they’re going to miss something. Here’s a couple words to those who hold to this belief….You’re not.

You’re Not Superficial, You Only Seam Like It!


Yea he's my kid

Ok, this particular evening, my son came running into the family room, as he often does, to perform for us.Yes, it seems he thrives on attention. Yet, when I mention that he should be in theater, he cringes. “No way! I’ll never do that!” Then he acts as if this is just so far removed from his personality.

The fact is, that as long as I can remember, he’s come up with characters. He used to do a hobbled walk, and say, “I’m a little old man, walking away.” When he was only about 4 years old, he started this.

Once, I was picking up a pizza, with my mom and him, in a little carry-out place. We sat in our chairs, and as an older man stood up, my son began his little   comedy routine. “Look! It’s a little old man, walking away!” He said, “Look! Grandma!” She could barely contain herself. She was laughing so hard, and couldn’t look up. I said, “What are you doing? This is embarrassing. I almost walked out.

But, he is incredibly funny. And it has presented challenges over the years. So, here he comes bounding into the family room, to start. He begins a little dance he does. He kicks his long lanky legs, up into the air, as if he’s one of the Rockette’s. I begin to laugh, because his legs are so white, and skinny. He has black shorts on and is hilarious.

Then we discussed the new carpet. My ex-husband just installed it for me and he’s a perfectionist. He was obsessing over a seam in the carpet, which I honestly couldn’t see at all. This was just more fodder for my son.

Now, my son was imitating him. He strides into the room and says, “How beautiful. Oh wait! What’s that?” He looks down, horrified.

Then he says, “I’m sending you to Disney World!” He pretends he’s from the Show, Extreme Makeover, and starts laughing himself, as he’s playing out the scene in his head.

“Hey, this is funny. So you are at Disney, and Ty Pennington, calls you to show you how he’s demolishing your home.” Yes, I can see it,” I said, as I’m laughing. “Like he gets a wrecking ball and begins to smash the house.” “Yea,” he says. “Then he brings in a bulldozer!” He brings all the people in the neighborhood. We are laughing hysterically, as we repeat lines from the show.

He says, “Yea, they wreck the whole house, just because of the carpet seam and then they put it all back exactly the way it was, except they fixed the seam.”

Then, they have the big, bus in front of our home,  and the crowd begins to shout, “Move that bus!!!” As the bus moves to reveal an identical replica of our last house.

There’s a whole swell of people, crying and telling us how sad they felt, when they saw the huge seam in the middle of our carpet. And no one should have to live like this. At this, Ty and his gang, tell us that they have someone special to perform for us. And he introduces, Eminem. “Oh, I just couldn’t bare the thought, of ya’ll livin like that.” He says. “That would make me lose my mind.” And as a tribute, he performs his song, Just Lose It.

I was so exhausted laughing, I wished that a sitcom, would pick this up. My son, is already coming up with  some pretty good routines.  What brilliant, comedic genius. And it’s being wasted in middle school. Hope they don’t dumb him down too much.

I decide it’s time for us to come home, and I remind my son that at this point, Ty needs to be standing at the door, to usher us in with the famous lines, “I only have one thing to say to you! Welcome Home!”

Now don’t get me wrong. I love this show. It has real people, with terrible struggles. I’m not making light of any of those people. And it’s not to say, I don’t really need a home makeover myself. But the little seam, which I can’t even see, made me laugh. I can’t imagine someone coming in and saying, “what’s with that seam?”

We both were both cracking up and I thought, I will never be able to look at this carpet without thinking about this invisible seam, which became more visible with my son’s sense of humor!

 

The Most Divine Romance


I know I gave you a promise. Long before we met, I gave myself to you. I made a vow to wait for you. How would I know, that it would take so long? I was young and full of excitement. And then I ruined it. The pressures of the world, and the desire to have someone, drove me to break my promise to you. I had messed everything up. Please forgive me, but I was looking at the natural things, and lacked the spiritual maturity to understand. Driven by my emotions and a foolish heart, I had almost given up all hope, and then you made your entrance. And you had no fanfare. No majesty to attract attention. In fact, it was this very quality which made me notice you. A man of such prominence, with no desire for recognition.

In every other aspect of our lives we are different. But in matters of the heart, we are the same. And this is how I recognized you. This is how I knew you.

To just stand near you was enough for me. It was two pieces of a puzzle coming together. A spiritual tie, which cannot be severed. God and universe joined forces to join our hearts. And I know that what God joins, no man can separate.

Yes, “the things I wanted, you had bought for me.” But it isn’t ‘things,’ that I want. And although I may seem, “graceless,” I’m not completely without grace. My compassion for the hurting, and the pain I feel for the suffering of others,  runs deep. You have given me the example to follow. The grace and humility which I strive for.

And yes, “I do know who you are.” I always have. Before time, I made my promise to you. And when you came, you knew who I was as well. You staked your claim. When I felt I was falling, you came and rescued me. You caught my feet from slipping, because of your unconditional love. You know everything about me, and yet, you love me. Many times I wonder, How is this possible?You alone, captured my heart and covered me. You are my Boaz, and I am your, Ruth.

And you promised never, to leave me, nor forsake me. I know you’re there. You always send your messages to me. Words of such love and devotion. I have the same feelings of love and devotion for you.

And this is the most incredible love, to ever exist. It’s not natural, its supernatural. Although, I had been hurt, I know, it is my Lord’s way of purifying me. Burning out the things which, hindered my relationship   with you.

You did watch me suffer. But, you also knew it was part of the plan. I never tried to “show you the same.” I just withdrew because I thought, you abandoned me. But then, I remembered the words, spoken to me, so many times, and it is these words, I found the true meaning of this experience.

saiah 54:4-10

King James Version (KJV)

 

4Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.

5For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.

6For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God.

7For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee.

8In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.

So, now I wait. I know it is a test of patience, but I can hold on. Because I know that you are worth waiting for. I won’t defile this love, by allowing anyone to deceive my heart. I belong to you and you only.

Losing My Independence


Watching time ebb away

As I watch my mother, aging, right before my eyes, I am struck by the different emotions, I live with on a daily basis.

Since I moved her into my home, a little over a year ago, I’ve battled. I battled my own anger, guilt for being angry, and sadness.

She’s one of those stubborn, old people. Yes, we’ve all had experience with them, and some are related. I watch her, as she loses ground, and she fights me in the process. There are times, I try to escape, what I am witnessing, but I can’t. I know, what is inevitable.

She rails against me, with every doctor’s visit, new diagnosis, medicine, vitamin, change, she must make. In order to keep the vehicle going. She has an addiction to chocolate, which I must monitor. I’ve told her that I’m her Warden. At this she laughs. If she buys it, she’ll eat it all. When she gets sick from it, she tells me, “I don’t like that.” As if it’s really the chocolate which made her sick. I remind her, “Mom, it’s not the candy or the chips. It’s the fact that you’re compulsive when you eat, and you don’t stop yourself. No matter what it is, you’ll get sick, if you don’t ration it.” She sarcastically answers, “Yes, doctor.”

She picks her skin raw. I watch her, as she picks on her face. It annoys me. She was just diagnoses with skin cancer, which she has to have removed this month. I tell her, “Mom stop that picking!” She tells me, “I’ll do what I want. It’s my face!” “Ok,” I say. “Abuse your body all you want. Eat chocolate until your sick, and pick your skin right off!”

Then I feel the guilt. I wonder why I don’t just walk away, before I get angry. I realize that I’m upset that she can’t do things for herself. I know at times, I feel resentment. This mixed with love, gives me a feeling of sadness. I feel it as I wake up in the morning.

Already responsible for so many in my life. I realized I have been a caregiver, all of my life. It’s not a role, that has been given to me, since my mother became older. She had given me this role, as a child. I didn’t know anything different.

Then I married a man, who acted as if I was his caregiver. At one of our group therapy sessions, his counselor asked him, “Why do you allow your wife to do everything for you?” His answer; “Because she’s so good at it.” This is when I felt anger. Isn’t part of a marriage to make your spouse feel secure in the marriage? But then, I believe, that I attracted this to me. I still remember him telling me that “he felt he loved me, even though he didn’t know me. But when he saw me with my younger brother, and the compassion which I had, he really fell in love.” Now I can understand, that this must have been a need inside of him, which drew him to me. The need for a mother. A care-giver. Thus, the role was defined, from the start of the relationship.

I suddenly come to the realization that it “losing our independence,” isn’t isolated to an aging parent. I don’t feel as if I’ve ever had mine. Always being responsible for another. The load of care has been on my shoulders since I was a young girl. I’m amazed at how all of the trauma in my childhood forced me to take on the care of my household.

Just yesterday, as I was painting my walls, my mother looked on. “Is that fun?” She asked. “Well, it becomes tedious, I told her. “Do you want to help?” “Oh no! I can’t do that!” She said. “Wait a minute, mom. Have you ever painted, before?” It dawned on me, that although my mother bought a home, when we were kids. I never saw her make any improvements. “No.” She said. “Your brother did.” “Well, so did I,” I said. “I painted my bedroom.” Then I remembered. We had done different things in the house, but she was the spectator. She never did anything. Yes, my mother never seemed involved in anything. So why would I expect her to want to do anything now? It doesn’t stop me from trying though.

I’m older and wiser now. I balance the need to give care, where/when needed. I remember a psychologist who had spoken about this with our children. “Let them do what they are capable of doing.”I apply this principle with my own mother. She has become a child.

The other day, my daughter heard us and commented. “I was laughing when you confronted grandma about eating all that chocolate. She sounded like a little kid.” “Well,” I said, “she is like a kid. She doesn’t eat a meal, when she gorges herself with junk, and then she lies about it, when I see it.”

I know, I get upset to handle all of this, and some days, I feel like throwing in the towel. Especially as she prattles on and on, about moving to her own place. I think it’s abusive to allow someone like her to live alone. And sometimes, I think, she really doesn’t realize that I have to help her with everything. If she was to be alone, she wouldn’t survive. And then, I’m tempted to allow her to try, just so she can accept what is happening. But that is replaced with a deep compassion, for her circumstances.

Last night, I had a dream. I remember it vividly. I believe this is the Lord’s way of giving me an even deeper experience, and understanding of my mother.

I had my daughter with me, and I was struggling in my body, to do simple things. Walking, talking. We were in a pool, and I was watching her and friends, throwing a ball. A man handed it to me, and I tried to throw it. My hand went limp, as I tried, in vain, to throw and watched the ball drop in front of me. “What is wrong with me?” I thought. I used to be good at throwing a ball. It must be in the wrong hand, since I’m left-handed. I switched arms. I was getting irritated with the man, although it wasn’t his fault. “Give it to me again!” I yelled. I was determined to throw it. I tried with my left hand, and again, it fell flat.

I saw my daughter and her friends look at me, with eyes of sympathy. I just couldn’t grasp, that I had lost this skill. It is the simplest thing in the world. My body just wouldn’t cooperate with what my brain was telling it to do.

As I woke, I pondered this dream. I felt the Lord gently speaking to me. “This is what your mother deals with, each day. Her anger, is not at you, but at her lack of independence.” I was filled with a deep compassion and a new feeling of empathy came over me. “Yes, Lord, I understand now, how difficult this is for her.”

It must be very similar to someone who has had a stroke, or forced to live in a wheelchair. A loss of things, which they had known, all their lives. It is a process, akin to grieving the loss of a loved one. To know we had something, and lose it. And then have to rely on others for their help. I’m not so sure, that I won’t be like her one day. Although I think, I may be a little kinder. Constantly talking about my plans. No matter how silly, they may sound. This is the way we are to live. The Lord tells us that, “For lack vision, my people perish.” He didn’t tell us that this is age-specific.

So, I don’t try to rob my mother of her vision. This is the only thing which she has left. Although, each day, when she starts to talk about this, I tell her, “Mom, this is the day which the Lord has made. We are to rejoice and be glad in it. ” “Now how can you be glad in this day, when you are concerned about the future. Let’s enjoy each day, as we live it.” This seems to help her change the topic….at least for a few minutes.”

Up on My Roof


That's a chip off the block!

I was watching the video of my daughter’s birth with her a few days ago, and wondered where all the time has gone.

My daughter is now 24, and my son is 13. He was laughing at the whole video. As she has become the exact opposite of what I’d seen in her youth. She was extremely shy and afraid of any attention. My son is completely different.

Yes, my daughter was literally afraid of her own shadow. I still laugh as I recount the story; she was pointing at the ground and screaming as she kept running away from something. I thought it was a bug. I grabbed her into my arms, and she kept pointing as I tried to set her down again. She screamed and lifted her feet. As I finally realized, it was her shadow, which terrified her. I said, “That’s your shadow, honey. Look.” And I tried to show her my own, and how it moved with my body and the sun. She was crying, as she pointed and yelled, “No tadow! No!” I just couldn’t stop laughing as I thought, I truly have a ‘scaredy cat’ on my hands.

I told her, I had the same problem, when I was very young. I was extremely shy. I had a teacher write to my mother, on one report card, that I was a good student, but I was very shy. I assumed it was because of all the trauma I had experienced in my young life, already. It wasn’t until 7th grade, that I really started to come out of my shell.

I assured my daughter that one day this would happen for her as well. But, she now, sometimes, I wish she would stay in it!

The other day, I was just returning from an early doctors appointment. A little irritated with my daughter, as she hadn’t come home until about 3am. She works late, and hangs out with her friends sometimes. Yes, I know, she’s 24, but she still lives in my house. And I always had the belief, when you’re in your parents home, you abide by their rules.

As I began to drive up to my house, I looked up, and much to my surprise, I saw someone on my roof. “Wait,” I thought. “I do have a contractor coming over.” Then as I tried to make sense the thought process, was as follows; I don’t remember telling him to come over. I just said, to call me. I don’t know what he’d be doing on my roof, as my work is kitchen related. And why is my daughter up there with him?”

Ok, I didn’t even make it into the driveway, as I realized, this is my daughter and a guy she knows. Someone whom, I’ve never met. And as she was trying to scootch down, she realized, she’s busted. The guy was sitting with a cigarette in his hand, and he was clearly scared.

I stopped, car running, as I wasn’t even in my parking place, and stepped out, as I said, “what the hell, are you doing on my roof?!” Yes, I was mad, and I said, “Both of you get down here right now!”

I was fuming. I waited at the foot of my stairs at what seemed to take a while. I yelled again, “Get down here! Both of you!”It was obvious, they were scrambling to get a story together.

They both come down, and I say, “Could you please tell me who you are, and what you’re doing on my roof, besides, smoking?” The guy looked pretty young. But he was very cute. He had a muscular build and was extremely polite. He took off the baseball cap he was wearing and said, “I’m so sorry maam. My name is Mike.” “No!” I continued, “There’s no shaking! You tell me what you’re doing in my house and up on my roof!”

“Yes, maam. Your daughter picked me up this morning. I meant to introduce myself, but you weren’t home. ” “Oh, really? So do you just skip the introductions and go right up to a persons roof?” “No maam,” he said. “It was very disrespectful.” He then placed his hat on his head, and removed it again. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t put my hat on.” I thought how humorous this was, in spite of how angry I was at the time. He was more worried about having his hat on, and showing disrespect, than the way we actually met each other.

“Listen,” I said. “I blame my daughter, more than you. Most decent people come to the door, to meet each other. ” “Yes, maam. but it was my fault. I asked to go up there.” “Yes, but my daughter knows that this isn’t acceptable. ”

Now my daughter said, “mom, I need to drop him off at home. ” “Oh no you don’t!” I said. I’ll be the one dropping him off!” I told them both to get into the car. As I continued my rant. The guy was trying desperately to find favor. I assumed he saw my ring, with the Superman logo on it. As he pointed to his arm and said, “Mam, I just got this tatoo.” It was a huge ‘S,’ on his bicep. My daughter told me later, she wished she could tell him to shutup, as she knows, I hate tattoos. Then he continued, “I’m going into the military, mam. I’m hoping to get into the Special Forces.” “Oh, really?” Well, you won’t make Special Forces, if you keep pulling stunts like this.” Then I turned to my daughter, “Why don’t you do that?” “Oh no mam. You don’t want her to do join the military.” “Yes, I think it would be a good idea,” I said.

Then I end up dropping him off at his mother’s complex. But before going through the security gate, he says, “You can just drop me off right here. I can jump over the wall.” “What in the world?” I said, Haven’t you ever heard of a front door?”

He laughed as he put his hand out, one more time to shake and apologized, over and over again. This time I shook his hand, and told him to stay out of trouble. “Yes, maam,” he said.

I questioned my daughter about this all the way home. “He’s just a friend.” She said. He’s only 19, and he just celebrated his birthday. I talked to him this morning, and he asked to come hang out. I went to pick him up and wasn’t sure where you were or when you were getting home. But I knew you’d be home soon. I just didn’t think we’d be up there when you got home. “Yea, well it would have been just as bad to see the guy parading out of your room!” I said.

Then, as if it would buffet my anger, she said. I don’t know if you ever heard of it, but he’s into ‘parkore.‘ That’s where they jump off roofs and stuff. So when he saw ours, he said, “Oh, that is so cool. Can I go up there?” I told him he could, but knew if you came home and saw us,you’d be mad. “Yes, I am! You should have told him to go jump off someone elses roof!” I said.

“Why wouldn’t I be angry?” I said. “First of all, it’s outside your bedroom. Secondly, I’ve never met the guy. And lastly, he’s smoking. Not to mention the liability. However, I was impressed with his polite manner,” I said. He sure seemed to have better manners than that last douche you went out with.” And I had to think about it. That guy made a point of coming over to meet me and was very nervous about it. As I began to ask him questions, I realized I didn’t care for him, since our first meeting. Even though it seemed he was going through all the motions of the polite, meeting the mother, routine. As I analyzed some of the responses to the questions, I thought, he seemed shady. As it turned out, I was spot on, in my assessment.

My mom used to refer to these kind of guys as, Eddie Haskell’s. You remember the guy from Leave It To Beaver. He acted as sickeningly sweet, and would turn around and bully Beaver, as soon as Mrs. Cleaver left the room. I still remember her words, upon meeting friends of ours, “He/She’s nothing but an Eddie Haskell!” Since most of my friends, were pastor’s kids, she was usually right.

Yet, this guy in all of his silliness, seemed funny and rather innocent. Even though he was trespassing on my roof. In his mind it was a perfectly normal experience.

“Mom, I’m not interested in this guy. He’s only a friend.He’s way too young and I met him through my other friends. He came here from Arizona and wanted to visit his friends.

I went up to her room with her to continue my speech. I can’t even say, I sounded like my own mother, as my mother never set any rules in our home. As I looked around her room, I realized was a mess it was. “I asked, how could you let anyone into this room?” “Well,” she answered, that’s how you know I’m not interested in the guy.”

“You need to get your own place and then you can sit on your roof all you want.” I said. “I know. My girlfriend and I were just talking about that last night.” Well, on second thought,” I said. “I can just rent out a part of the roof. You can pitch a tent there. And I can rent out your bedroom. Tell your friend, Mike, that I can rent him a space too. Since he seems like a drifter. Then the song came to me. And it was written by, The Drifters. Up on the Roof. Hmm, how appropriate, I thought.

As I started thinking about it, I realized. It’s not a half-bad, idea. AS I shared the story with a woman at work, she laughed so hard, she was nearly crying. “Oh, I don’t think it’s so bad.” She said. Then I was sharing with some others and it was funny to me, to see how the men, always mentioned the potential liability, and the women always found it humorous. Which makes me think, there were a whole lot of girls, who have done things like this. They seemed to be reaching back into the archives for flashbacks.

Then I called my daughter later. She had spread the story to all of her friends. I’m somewhat of an urban legend, among her friends. What with the last guy, and this latest incident. She told me her friend Emily, has always been afraid of me. And now as she shared the story, she said, her eyes opened wide and she said, “Wow, your mom’s really scary!” My daughter said, “Well, you know how they talk about dad’s with their daughters? My mom is 10 times worse!”

I cracked up about this. Then I thought, “Am I overreacting?” But I had a brief stint living with my father, when I was a young adult. But it was accepted, his house, his rules. Adult or not.

I spoke with my son later, and said, “Hey, I found a guy sitting with your sister on the roof this morning.” “Who was he?” he asked. “I have no idea,” I said. And then I thought about it, as my anger subsided. I laughed as I said to my daughter. Hey, I’ve been single for years, and was so concerned about bringing a guy over to the house. But I’ve never done this, let alone invited him to sit on the roof with me. Maybe, I’m just jealous!” We both laughed at that.