Sacrifice Something

The internet moves at light speed from one topic to another. Everyone must pick a side, and of course their side is always right.

I’ve been thinking about Colin Kaepernick for a while. Now I am thinking about Colin Kaepernick and Nike. Maybe what bothers me is that it just another talking point in someone’s Twitter feed or Facebook.

Where I live no one admits they voted for Trump. We pat ourselves on the back talking about how fabulously progressive we are. We voted for Obama! We’ll probably never ever stop talking about that.

Our town has a dirty little secret though. Instead of talking about what we could do for the disadvantaged, our school district worried about placating people of privilege who didn’t want their children exposed to gangbangers, the illiterate and people of color. They couldn’t entirely avoid the undesirables of course. The big point of contention was that the special people had to have a new high school built for their little precious angels. They were going to tell the school district how big the school could be and who could attend it.  For reals. They couldn’t take a chance on having their kids go to school on our side of town. My husband and I aren’t University professors! We have no books in our house. People on our side of town engage in gunfights as the children get off the school bus.

Of course all these allegations were ludicrous. These parents were very careful in official channels about how they delivered their message, since by and large they were highly educated registered Democrats speaking to a school board of mostly the same type of people. It was fun at times to watch a few of these people struggle to deliver their coded messages at school board meetings while they sweat, sputtered and spit.

Our school board spent YEARS on this issue, worrying about catering to the elite.

What is my point?  Instead of these sorts of hypocrites laughing at the Trump supporters who would burn their Nikes, maybe they should go SACRIFICE something. They could attend local government meetings and advocate for the disadvantaged.

My son’s football team played the new precious high school’s team and our team won.  I am sure the parents of the precious were fuming.

Somehow though as Friday Night Lights turns into College Football Saturday in our town, I doubt I will see anyone newly motivated to sacrifice something. The best and the brightest in our town will be getting drunk, pissing and vomiting on private property as they trudge toward the stadium. Students and grown ass folks alike.

This is my little corner of America. Yours may be different. If you think “sacrifice everything” is the ultimate message , make it a message of action not just a talking point.

What Would Dad Say?

My dad has been gone for a long time.  I often wonder what he would say about certain events.  He died previously to September 11, 2001, and that was one of the first times I’d had that thought.

My dad had been a lifelong Republican, but I don’t think he would recognize the party as it is today.

I was talking to my mom on the phone the other day.  My mom is beginning to have some memory problems but she still watches the news.  She was talking about all of Trump’s criminal associates but stumbled to remember their names.  I supplied the names as I could, Manafort and Cohen.

After our converation ended, there was a notification on my phone that John McCain had passed away.  My dad, like McCain, was a Navy man.  My dad of course did not graduate from Annapolis, he was an enlisted man.

A few years ago, when Trump questioned whether McCain was a war hero or not, because he’d been captured, I felt my dad roll over in his grave.  What would my dad have said about Trump’s remarks.  What would he have said about such a man who would  mock a veteran?

What would he say about Trump, a sitting President, whose behavior has been so egregious, he has not been invited to the funeral of Senator John McCain.

What would he say when it was other politicians across the aisle who would come to the defense of John McCain.

I don’t think my dad could imagine such disgraceful behavior.  For the people that still support Trump, how do you reconcile yourself with such disgraceful behavior.

 

Mollie Tibbetts

Mollie Tibbetts body was found just two days ago.  Mollie had been jogging on July 18th, and was reported missing on July 19. Her cause of death has been reported as multiple sharp injuries. I hate that people have taken to Twitter etc to make this a political debate. I just can’t imagine being a parent and seeing your child die before you, and in such a horrific, senseless way.  I can’t imagine being her parents and trying to grieve while everyone is arguing about their political take on the issue.  Can’t her family have just a little bit of quiet?  Times like this, I think our society would do better without social media.  Such a sad sad situation for her family.

Throwback Thursday…Renewed Strength

At work this weekend I met a man that melted my heart.  He was an elderly man with cancer which had begun metastasizing.  Though he was still undergoing treatment to fight the cancer, he was beginning to think that death was nearer than he would like.

Despite his circumstances he was incredibly gracious, more gracious than I would imagine myself to be in those circumstances.  We only spent an hour together.  My role was to help him, but it was he who provided me with awe and wonder. Though the subject of our conversations mostly were on the serious side, at the end of my shift I had a renewed strength in why I had pursued nursing as a career.  Even though there are many above me who dictate what I should do as a nurse and make more money, it is I who provide the hands on care, that receives the real gifts.

I’m not sure if I will see him again, I won’t forget him though.

Throwback Thursday…Big Hair and Bright Pink Lipstick

Waiting, in a daze.

She hears a song.

Wistful about times gone by.

a moody eyelinered man sings about love, and love lost on a mix tape now discarded.

Music beams her back.

Permed hair, lots of hairspray.

Bright pink lipstick.

A skirt that swirls just a bit, tanned legs

Dancing, feeling weightless, no pain.

Her eyes are closed, feeling happy and tranquil.

Lost in memories of friends and good times.

Then, “ma’am, MA’AM, its your turn”.

Nothing like being called ma’am

to jolt one back to harsh reality.

Not much to say about this one, except that I confess to having big hair at one time.  In summer the bright pink lipstick usually went with a tan, in the days when I didn’t worry about aging or skin cancer.

Throwback Tuesday…..Tears Never Cried

The words she never said

were like tears never cried

Tears invisible to the world

Still they remained with her

The world wanted her quiet

just to smile

Once she thought she was strong

to control the tears

she was wrong

the tears inside

the unspoken words

turned to stone inside her

a burden still to be carried.

Published one year ago.  Still true.  My issue, I suppose, because people expect me to be how I am most days, but aren’t sure what to do when I crack.

Throwback Thursday…..Written on Your Face

I knew your mother, so I met you.

Your mother, when I met her, was plummeting into the depths of a neurological affliction. An affliction slowly taking away the essence of who she is, her ability to talk and her ability to express herself.

Because of your mother I met your dad.  Your dad, a devoted figure at your mother’s side. Everyday trying to do the right thing. sometimes, struggling to hold back a tear or two or three.  Sometimes leaving the room if your mother’s mood changes because of her disease and she says something hurtful.

You, when I met you, almost always polite, smiling and gracious in  difficult situation. Do you get this from your parents, I wonder.  I can tell, though when you are having a harder time, your mouth hardens and your skin color pales.

Your mother, day by day, fading.  Still though, her face bears a royal countenance, a sort of beauty to be immortalized forever in a statue.  Sometimes a smile breaks the stillness of her face, a beautiful smile, a smile to be treasured.  A smile to connect her with husband, her children, her grandchildren.  A smile not to be forgotten.

Your dad, a representative of both parts of the married couple.  Stories to be told. Connections to be had.  I, who pride myself on being professional, steely and detached, soften as I get to know your dad.

You.  I see much of your dad in you.  Always trying to do the right thing.  What did you get from your mom, it is harder to know, apart from your clear blue eyes and shape of your cheekbones.  Oh and you have your mom’s smile as well.

Your mom.  Fading.  Withdrawing. Hungry only for the smallest amounts of food.

Your dad.  More tears, sometimes hidden.  Trying to get your mom to eat bites of most anything.  Mashed potatoes, sherbet, foods that take little effort to swallow.

You.  Are you aging or just simply weary?  You’ve grown a beard which partly masks your beautiful smile.  As you stand next to me, talking about your mom, I look up at you, your teeth almost seem like aging tusks emerging from your beard. No matter the physical price this journey seems to take,  still though you are devoted.

Your mom, slipping away from the world.

Your dad’s tremendous loss and sorrow.

You, your devotion.  Though not your intention, a lesson about family for your children.

The chapter of this book has closed.  Tears I did shed for the life of this lovely woman. Memories will be saved of her, and her wonderful family.

I wrote this post in early 2017, after the death of one of my patients.  When you are in nursing school, they don’t really prepare you that you are taking care of family members as well as your patients.  The family members I wrote about here were incredibly gracious in such a difficult situation.   It was an honor and privilege to know them.

Some family members aren’t so gracious.  My work family closed a chapter this year with a daughter of one of our patients who was always a challenge.  Wild accusations, swearing , insults and even slapping one of the workers who was caring for her mom was part of our time with this particular woman.  Thank goodness she was the exception and not the rule.

 

Throwback Thursday….Beauty

They say symmetry is an important component when we judge whether we find someone’s face attractive or not.

When your face turned from stone to one in motion, that is when I began to find you beautiful.  Who could resist the light in your eyes paired with the charm of your crooked smile.

I first wrote this in 2016. A man with a crooked smile is one I often find charming.  Those subtle imperfections give the face character whether it is a small scar there or those darn crooked smiles.  They will get me every time.  As we age we all gain more of those subtle imperfections, and with age most of us gain an appreciation of those imperfections and find them beautiful.  I have yet to find my grey hair charming though, so I use a toxic mixture every so often in attempt to persuade others my hair is perfectly radiant without a trace of grey.  

Pearls

pShe sits in a bar with a nautical theme and little white Christmas lights.

Her drink has become watery as she contemplates life’s latest complication.

Does she go forward with her parents’ plan to find someone to marry, and transform into a sedate society matron adorned with pearls?

Or does she detour from the plan for the man sitting next to her, the man with the Southern accent who spins words into a web in which she has already been captured?

Is it she who is the pearl, trapped inside a shell that has started to open just a little as she sits next to the silken tongued man. She lets him open the shell the rest of the way with his words to discover what she has hidden deep inside.

This is a repost from a couple years ago, along with some new commentary.  The bar mentioned is inspired by one in my hometown where the preppy, wealthy sorts would hang out.

The man with the Southern accent…..he is someone different, someone who is not in her parents’ plan.  She hopes to be understood by him.

The post also represents a more old fashioned way of thinking.  The woman only sees that she has two choices, but doesn’t see she has a third choice, to be independent.

Independence Day

This week the United States of America will celebrate Independence Day, on July 4.  242 years old.

I’ve been studying my roots.  I have new appreciation for the struggle my ancestors had to move to what they thought was the greatest country on earth.  I’m sure the rest of the world’s view changes day by day as Trump continues in his bizarre, irrational presidency.

All of my ancestors were Christians of one sort or another.  They were allowed to come to the US to pursue a better life.  Somehow though, the portion of American Christianity that helped elect Trump doesn’t think we need to extend this same kindness to our neighbors South of the Border.  How can these Christians reconcile the brutal behavior of the Trump administration with the teachings of Jesus?

We can do better.28085916085_11763ff751_c