Sunday, June 18, 2017

Phone Calls From the Other Side

On this Father's Day, I find myself reflecting on the fathers in my life. My husband has been a loving, good, supportive, sports-loving father to our son. My son has been an all-involved, good, supportive, loving father to our grandson. And my father, who's been gone from this earth 24 years, was, well, he was a throw-back.

Daddy (he will forever-and-always be Daddy to me), was a traditional father of the time. He worked hard to support us, had a hobby side business that he worked just as hard at, was the type of father who made sure we all sat down to dinner together every night (a tradition that lives on with my family), was strict, believed in punishment (and honestly, I'm the better for it), and we knew he loved us, even if he wasn't always comfortable saying or showing it.

But what I remember, and miss, most about Daddy are the phone calls.... Long after I'd left home, I would call home several times a week, almost always getting Mom and talking with her for minutes or hours about life, love, family, the price of tomatoes, etc. But on rare occasions, Mom would be off running errands, or at the hairdresser's, or wherever, and Daddy would answer the phone. And he and I would talk until Mom showed back up, be it for minutes or hours. We would talk about the weather, about life, about love, about children, about politics, about family, about friends....our conversations would meander all over the place, and that's what made them so magnificent. Growing up, I did not find Daddy to be much of a conversationalist, but after I left home, a whole new side of Daddy opened up to me over those phone calls.

When Daddy died, the minister that performed the eulogy asked my sister and I for our best memories of Daddy. Mine was the phone calls.... god, I miss those calls. I would give almost anything to be able to call Daddy on the other side now and bring him up to date on what he's missed these last 24 years, get his advice, get his opinion on the current state of affairs, tell him his grandson was grown into a truly wonderful young man/husband/father, tell him all about his great-grandson, who loves reading, learning, and Taekwondo....oh to have a conversation with him again! And as sad as it makes me to know that can never happen, I do know that every moment is infused with Daddy and those conversations....I cannot hear the words or the voice, but oh how I feel them in times of need, or sadness, or joy, or just in the ordinary moments.

So, little ones, on Father's Day please know that even when your father leaves this realm, if you want them to, the conversations with your father will live on every day in your memories, and in the ordinary moments of your life. Rejoice in that....rejoice in such phone calls from the other side.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Educate Yourself

It's been a very long time since I shared anything on this blog...I fear I have let the journey overtake me a bit. But with what's happening in this country right now, I find myself needing to slow down the journey and pay a little more attention to things.

What has inspired me at this moment is "the wall." I got into an online argument with someone about "the wall" and that person's lack of any knowledge about "the wall" appalled me. I had posted a link to a BBC article about the negative aspects of "the wall" in terms of wildlife, which is something not a lot of folks seem to be paying attention to. This person's arguments started with "that article isn't even real because the images of 'the wall' are fake since it hasn't been built yet" - which showed the person's lack of any knowledge about "the wall" as 40% of the 2,000 mile shared border with Mexico IS already home to "the wall." But the statement from that person that really got me was "the animals will just have to decide which side of the wall they want to live on." Let that statement sink in for a minute.....

So, all the wildlife that lives in the border region is supposed to make a conscious decision about whether they want to live in Mexico or the United States. Will they take a poll? Sign some sort of oath about their country of choice? What the hell?!?!?! After a rather protracted exchange with this person, trying to get them to actually READ the article (which I truly don't think ever happened), and trying to get them to see the idiocy of their statements, I gave up and said "I guess it's best that we agree to disagree." As Winston Churchill said, "Never engage in a battle of wits with an unarmed man."

Approve or disapprove of our government leadership right now, the lack of knowledge - and worse the lack of desire for knowledge - of a lot of our citizenry, and seemingly a lot of our government, right now is absolutely terrifying. And it's quite possibly the main reason our country is heading in the direction it is.

Please, little ones, educate yourselves. Do not take anything at face value. Take the time and do the work to learn every side of every issue. Make your own judgment based on ALL the information. Our future is at stake....educate yourself!