Archive for the ‘Families’ Category

Sunday’s biggest story on the front page of The Washington Post was horrific!  Having recently lost some relatives I found myself wondering just how they had been cared for in this last rite of passage.  I can be happy that my Mother was in the upper county of Frederick Maryland when she passed away and that the names of funeral homes listed in todays paper did not include the ones where other loved ones had been taken.

It is disturbing enough to me that one has to undergo embalming and autopsy exploration, amid other unknown rituals after the last breath is drawn.  I for one keep begging my husband to not let them embalm me or dice me up.  I have read too many Kay Scarpetta novels written by best selling author, Patricia Cornwell not to understand the various ways the dead body can be mistreated or taken apart.  I want to have none of it.  Nothing.  There is nothing dignified in the processing of a corpse, no matter how you dress them up.  

My Native American ancestors had it right.  Build a pyre, place the revered or loved one on top and burn the remains. Clean, fast, respectful.   I figured that or the Vikings way … on a small sea craft, whereas a bowman projects fire on the end of his arrow to ignite the tiny craft.  At least everyone knows the end ritual was as it should be.

When I was in the first grade I thought it would be lovely to ascend into Heaven just as Jesus did.  In fact I visualized me being floated upward on the clouds, with my angels flying along beside me, while strumming their harps and cooing soft happy words.  No one wants to believe they are going to be here one minute and poof * gone the next.  I just pray that my remains will remain … well … intact.  That I will be respected and allowed my Vikings Last Request.

For those of you who have by now read the terrible story on todays front page, I too share the revulsion of these dastardly deeds.  According to The Golden Rule, the people who did this must want the same thing to happen to them or their loved ones?  No matter, The Creator knows who, what, when and where.  He might not understand the Why of it, but we can rest assured He will deal their final requests in His own way.


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526508553_78e0c9db36_bBurying the proverbial hatchet or choosing to look at something as water under the bridge sometimes depends upon just how big a deal the circumstance actually was. There is an old saying, “Harden Not Thy Heart,” which to me means that if you feel discord, anger, hate or animosity toward a person, place, thing or event, then the repercussions can be harmful and perhaps even fatal to your health.

Perhaps the most forgiven people in our lives are our very own siblings or relatives.  You know, they are the ones who are closest and can drive home their weapon of choice. Be it a look, a gesture, a lengthy or profound silence, one or more harsh words, or the razor-sharp instrument of their tongue .. while not real, it surely feels as if it could be when it pierces our hearts. Yes words have a way of dealing blows and cutting us to the quick.

Recently I had a huge incident within my close knit tribe and even though I was the injured party and, I had a right to my justifiable indignation and invariably pissed-off emotions, the whole mess left me feeling guilty for feeling anger, hurt and speaking words I would later regret saying.  These are folks I love I argue with myself and I cannot believe they are acting this way and (this time) I was the injured party.  It does me no good to go over and re-hash our conversation or view again in my mind’s eye the whole unpleasant scene.  I find my reaction is what really ends up hurting me the most.

It is true to bury the hatchet, let bygones be bygones and that it is water under the bridge tends to soften the blow and in time the feelings have their own way of recuperating.  The best advice is to make up as quickly as possible for we know not how long we have upon Mother Ship Earth.  Why not be at peace and forgive, which only really means to let it go.

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Once upon a time a little girl went to the Sears store in Knoxville, TN.  It was a Saturday and her parents, brother, sisters and grandmother all scrambled into their station wagon.  The last to climb aboard was the child carrying her book about Old MacDonald.  It was her favorite story.  Her siblings let her sit in the tiny compartment between the middle and rear sections of the family car, the stair was her chair and with her book on her lap, their father started the engine and off they went.

It didn’t take long to drive to the department store.  Once there they ventured to the section of the store for catalog orders and pick-up.  After a few minutes the excitement wore off so the little girl decided to explore the area by sitting on each of the chairs, running around the room, and swinging on the leather portion of the lane divider.  She was quickly remanded because she was a bit too rambunctious.  So she settled onto a small chair and opened her book to read.

The pictures in her book were of farm animals which were pretty.  The old farmer was pleasant enough too.  Looking up she suddenly felt a chill go down her spine.  There in the sea of people standing in lines, ordering goods from sales clerks and delivery men placing boxes on the counter, she could not see any of her family.  Panic overtook her and running to the middle of the room wearing a forlorn expression, her eyes filled with tears.  Searching the room, her eyes like a scanner, her dread grew until finally she opened her mouth and let out a pitiful wail.

That did it … she had been left behind!  She was in full voice now and people stopped to see why she was crying.  Within a few seconds her mother scooped her into her arms asking her, “Are you all right?”  Relieved and mumbling her fears she responded timidly, “I thought you had left without me and went home.”  This was followed by fresh tears running down her tiny face.  Her mother reassured her that she would never do that then hugged her tight.  I was that child and I lived with the fear of being left behind for many years.  I can still feel how intensely frightened I was.

Bloggers Unite
Over the past few days, I have been reading up about families who have been separated by wars, earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanoes, emergencies, deliberate separation, 9-11, tribal conflicts and being forced into modern day concentration camps and then there are the refugee camps.  Designed to keep you in a tiny area with a maximum amount of other displaced people.

But what makes matters worse is that so many of these people do not know what the fate of a loved one is or where they are.  I saw a photograph of a small child carrying her baby sister on her back.  They did not know where their parents were, smoke was filling the air in their village, both were crying and this small girl was for all intents and purposes, the new head of their family.

Another matter I read about in the Congo is the fact that many people have not eaten for days and the workers are scared to just drop the food because some of the displaced might end up getting hurt.  Who made the (executive decision) to let them starve so they wouldn’t hurt themselves fighting over food.  Absurd!  However they were given bars of soap.  They cannot eat soap, although I have read of people eating dirt to fill their bellies, to stop the pain from starvation.  This is insane!

Feed the people.  All able men and women should help plant fields, grow the food and stop the nonsense that there isn’t enough to feed every person on earth.  No one should starve.  No one should be made to have their country or home invaded.  No one should have to be separated from their loved ones, by force.  Natural disasters are bad enough but that people are turning others into slaves and chattel is grotesque.

This is supposed to be a civilized world.  I know because I read about it in my history books in grade school.  Africa used to be a lush mysterious continent where civilization began and wild beautiful animals roamed the plains.  What in the world happened?  Who decided to let this occur?  Why are the people of Africa turning against their own countrymen and women?  Why are these atrocities allowed to happen?  The big feet of our United Nations needs to step in.  Stop pussyfooting about and do something.

Why cannot these refugees be united with their loved ones, allowed to earn a living and be treated with respect?  Everyone deserves the minimum of food, shelter and clothing.  But because we are related in our humanness we need to hear the cry of our brothers and sisters.  Just the way my Mother heard my terrified cries and I had only been lost for three minutes.  Imagine if you will searching for your family but not able or even allowed to find them.  That is physical and mental cruelty!

Find an organization that will take your donations, buy supplies and food but also deliver said assistance to the ones who so desperately need them in order to survive.  Find a reason to write a blog or your congressman or the leader of a nation where their people are being mistreated.  Find a way to help, for everyone deserves to know the fate of their loved ones.  Everyone!

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Uplifting and Poignant

Every time, without exception, after I have wached this video, I have tears streaming down my face and an ache in my heart.

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