Apr 30, 2007

Last night, I had the most beautiful dream. I was making love with Christopher Meloni, (think Law and Order SVU), and it was marvelous. I didn't want it to end, (what woman would?), but of course, it did. Damn!!!! At least it wasn't a nightmare. It would have been for him, if he was dreaming the same thing, though.

Now, why did I dream that particular dream about him? I think it is because I watched one of favorite movies, "Harold and Kumar go to Whitecastle". It is not a movie for deep thinkers. It is for me a movie that reminds me of my early twenties, where every night was an adventure, and doing stupid, irresponsible things were the norm. I remember climbing into some guys catamaran, and sailing around the Chesapeake Bay, feet dangling in the water, with a beer in my hand. Despite his numerous attempts to show me his living arrangements on board, I declined. He was a very attractive guy, but too full of himself for my taste. When we came closer to shore, the tide was out, so we waded by to the beach.

I remember riding on the back of a motorcycle with an incredibly handsome young man named Star, (it was the seventies, remember?) my arms wrapped tightly around his middle. Later on that evening I discovered he was a virgin, don't ask how, but most likely when I said, what the hell are you trying to do? Then I got to play teacher, and found I could be full of myself too. Was that a pun? I don't' know.

And then I met M. No not Shyamalan, but a young sailor who was part of the group I hung around with. We mostly met in someones apartment, and got stoned, listened to music, and acted like fools. It was marvelous. I guess being away from my restrictive home-life, being on my own for the first time, I went buck-wild. M. and I would go on to have a wonderful relationship, and I loved him as much as a twenty year old heart can. We laughed at ourselves, and I was always amazed that he could lift me over his head. Strong little rascal that he was, he made me laugh. His best friend had a crush on me, and was torn between his friendship and wanting to get in my pants, I guess. Not a polite way to put it, but much more direct, don't you think? I finally told him that his friendship with M. was much more important than anything else, and then he was just mean to me.

I remember when we went to a movie or something, we were so stoned we tried to act normal, which just made us look more obvious. I mean, how long can you stand at the refreshment counter, overwhelmed by the display of snacks, discussing the pros and cons of which item you want the most? "Man I'm really liking those hot tamales, but those m&ms are good too. Shit, there just so much stuff! Man, I'll never figure this out..." How much can you laugh at the "Omen", and not seem a little off? We never considered that probably half of the people there were in the same boat we were in. It was glorious days, full of fun, sand, half-assed work, which mostly consisted of the re-telling of the previous nights adventures, and the sound of the waves. We sat outside our little apartments on the cement, and rejoiced in the cool night breeze that flowed over our bodies, a welcome refreshment to sun-drenched skin.

We were visited by law-enforcement officials a time or two, peeking out the peep-hole trying to hide the evidence and act like law-abiding citizens, with music blaring in the background, most likely Led Zeppelin, and "Stairway to Heaven".

"We received a complaint about the music. You guys have to turn it down a bit, ok?" 'Of course, sir, we didn't know it was so loud. You guys doing ok? Man, we really messed up with the music. We're really sorry, cause that isn't cool, you know. Hey man, can you tell us who called?"

"The lady downstairs." We looked at each other in shock. Damn, she can hear us?!? What have we talked about? Consumed by paranoia, as we searched our minds about topics we had discussed. But we soon returned to our previous activities.

Driving was always a hazardous adventure. Driving over 25 miles an hour seemed too dangerous, while we constantly checked the rear view mirror, expecting to see the dreaded blue lights any second. We were never stopped, but the anticipation made everything so exciting and real.

Where are they now? I have no idea. I got married, to a man who lamented more than once that I was not a virgin. I did too. Why, I don't know, other than the religious background reared its ugly head, reminding me that I had been wicked. We soon moved to Pensacola, and I missed my friends horribly. We lost touch, and other than a few phone calls, and letters, I never heard from them again.

I think back on those days fondly, wishing sometimes I could relive those moments of freedom, the care-free fun seeking existence that surrounded me. But, like, man, I'm an old lady now, so it can't be done. But the stories I can tell!

Why hadn't I met Christopher Melloni back then? Probably because he hadn't been born yet.

Apr 29, 2007

I received this email a few weeks ago, and for some reason, even though it is one sent in good faith, in hopes of comfort, it bothers me. It appears here exactly the way it appeared in the email. Why the sender chose to center the text, I don't know. Perhaps he chose this style to make it more poetic. I don't expect you to read it all, as the fourth paragraph pretty much sets the tone. He says he is responding to my letter, but he actually is responding to a message I left on the Legacy guest book site for my son. I do this often, just another way to let him know much I love him. And take note that God's concern is for 'humans' and not every living thing on earth. I don't mean to disrespect this man, I guess I just need to discuss it.

I read your letter regarding Travis in the Guest book in Legacy. I find these letters heart wrenching. I trust that you will not feel this is an intrusion but that you’ll recognize that I am impelled to respond to your letter.

I realize that you’ve probably received many e- mails. I’m hoping to offer a little hope for you and your family.

So many wonder why there is so much suffering & death? And the big question, why doesn’t God do something about it?

God's original purpose was for His children - humans - to live forever on the earth, as shown in Genesis chapter 2, Psalms 37:11, 29 & 34. NOWHERE IN THE BIBLE IS THERE INDICATED A CHANGE FROM GOD’S ORIGINAL PURPOSE. As a matter of fact God’s original purpose is emphasized repeatedly throughout the scriptures.

Our creator has every intention of making the earth a paradise with happiness and joy…no sickness, death, war or weapons of war anymore. Please take the time to read ISA 34:5-7 and Psalm 46:8,9. The Bible is describing the earth…not heaven. This is why Jesus, as the promised messiah and future king, could so strongly endorse, emphasis and repeat the point taken from the above scriptures in Psalms when in Mt 5:5 he stated that the mild tempered (meek, teachable), shall INHERIT THE EARTH. It’s simply a matter of when and the Bible is very specific on that also.

But…what happens to us when we die? Where will the people come from to “inherit the earth”?
The wisest man that ever lived, Solomon, gave us scriptural hope for the dead. In the book of Ecclesiastes at 9:5,10 Solomon described death as SLEEPING. When we die we are unaware of any event taking place, we are unconscious. One of my favorite scriptures regarding this is found at Mark 5:39 wherein Jesus was about to resurrect a little girl that had died and he described her death as sleeping. Notice that the people laughed at Jesus’ description of death but also notice how mom and dad felt after the resurrection (vs 42).

This is how you can feel when this occurs on a paradise earth that our creator promised us. This promise at the Garden of Eden was emphasized at Isa. 55:11 when God said “so my word that goes forth from my mouth will not return to me without results”. What God says he is going to do…he is going to do.

Imagine…seeing our loved ones again, united families in peace….only this time sharing an earth not ridden by crime, sickness, and war.

God is not to blame…God has every intent of healing the problems caused by men.
I hope these thoughts have been as comforting to you as they have been to me.


There is something condescending about it, as if the writer assumes I have never read the bible, which I have, or that I do not understand it. As anyone knows who has lost a child, God, or whatever you call him, becomes a target for your anger. You cannot understand why he chose your child. My thoughts at the time, were, it should have been me. I still think that. All the words in the Bible or any other book will not change that.

I have faith that I will see my son again, but it is not necessarily because of anything in the bible. It is because I know his spirit lives in some form or another. What that is exactly, I won't know until I die. And no one else will either. Faith takes many forms, and does not have to be dictated by any one book. Every so often a new, more improved version of the bible comes out, and very soon I think we will see an "Idiot's Guide to the Bible" coming out and selling like wildfire. I have no doubt there is "Cliffnotes" for the bible out there somewhere. The bible most people read is the King James Version, and when quoted, the quotes are used mostly to illustrate the meaning the person quoting wants to convey. Hence those words are subject to....interpretation.

The sender of this email, which I am sure had the best of intentions, meant to comfort me, but they seemed to make me feel cheated in some way. It doesn't take away the pain. For me, it made it worse.
The way we conduct funerals in this country is totally bizarre. We take our dead to a funeral home, instead of bringing them home. The body is dressed and painted to look as if they were "only sleeping, 'he looks so natural doesn't he?' We let someone else prepare the body of our beloved, instead of doing it ourselves, out of love and respect. Very few have a family cemetery, located nearby, where the mourner can look out the window and see the grave. The funeral itself is conducted in a muted style. Even the tears are kept as silent as possible, and we are uncomfortable at the uncontrollable grief of a family member. Other cultures embrace extreme displays of grief, and to me, that seems much more natural.

Reading a few passages of the Bible may seem to be a sure-fire way to heal those wounds, but for me they have the effect of trying to conceal your pain with a fine veneer of false comfort, clinging to you like dust, but so easily brushed away.

As for Psalms, this is my favorite:

Psalm 121
1I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.

2My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.

3He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.

4Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.

5The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand.

6The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.

7The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.

8The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.

As for the word "Lord", I'll go with the original, "I am that I am".

Apr 28, 2007

Do you have a reservation??

"Facing court orders and an onerous deadline to address the state’s prison overcrowding, California lawmakers approved a construction program that would add 53,000 beds and move 8,000 convicts to other states.

But the bill did not include what Mr. Schwarzenegger, experts on prison overcrowding and many Democrats had originally called for: changes to the parole system and the creation of a sentencing guidelines board that would take into consideration how many beds are available in prisons before sending more people to fill them. "

Now, maybe its just me, but there is something about waiting for an available bed that reminds me of an emergency room. The doctors have decided to admit you, but you wait for hours until they find a room for you. Most inmates who go to prison are housed in a county or city jail before they are transferred. If they are sentenced to a year, instead of 12 months,then they remain in jail, as opposed to prison. (I'm not kidding, folks!) With this approach, which I call the ER approach, prisoners waiting to go to prison, would have to wait in already crowded jails.

In addition, most jails around the country, along with the prison's are already overcrowded. So, having inmates wait for their reservations to be arranged will remain in the jails. Personally, I find that the best solution would be to build more prisons.

Then again, I also feel that many of the inmates in prison today are there because they have violated the the three-strike rule. This could be done by breaking any federal law. Habitual offenders we like to call them. So, the junkie down the corner who is convicted of illegal drug possession, without intent to distribute, will do the same time as would an inmate convicted of murder. Perhaps in a different kind of prison, but time is time.

Each state has a drug court, or rehabilitation system, wherein a person convicted of a drug felony can complete a program which may reduce their sentence, or put them on parole. There are arguments that a felony is a felony, but many of these people convicted are just using drugs. Junkies. Not the big guy smuggling the shit into the country, or even cooking it up in their kitchens, but the user. The big-guy's marketing target, if you will.

How about a drug offender complete a rehab program before they are imprisoned? In the state where I live some counties have such a system, but you must be convicted and be put on parole, say a first offender status, violate your parole, be sent back to jail, and then are entered into the drug rehab program. Does this make sense to you? Any sense at all?

These inmates, whether in jail, or prison, are the individuals creating the need for more beds and more room. There are people still serving a sentence for possession of marijuana, not for distribution, but for their own use. And prison is one of the best places to get illegal drugs.

Perhaps it's not so much our penal system that needs correction, but our sentencing system. Marijuana is a misdemeanor, unless you have a pound or so in your possession, and heroin is a felony. Both are illegal, both are basically forms of self-medication, not a good one, perhaps, but that's what they are. Alcohol is the number one drug for anxiety. But, shit that's legal. So, am I saying we should legalize all these illegal drugs floating around on the streets, in every neighborhood, all across the US? Perhaps. We serve alcohol. Just add heroin and cocaine to the tab, and throw a hefty state tax on it, and voila! Extra revenue for the state, or federal government, all under the control of the ATF. People are doing these drugs, and it doesn't seem to be stopping, it actually seems to be getting worse.

Ok, do I want someone driving down the street hopped up on cocaine or heroin? No, but they already are. Do I want someone tooling down the road in their SUV drunk and weaving down the road? No, but they already are. That's the main reason cops carry breathalyzers.

Arnold has at least made an effort to correct the over-crowding in the state of California, except for the part about sending prisoners to other facilities out of state. But, that still is not the best answer. There are other options.

Apr 27, 2007

I knew it would happen eventually. And, it is flattering in its own way. Meaning there are actually people out there who believe I can think independently, and even reasonably. If they only knew!

I was tagged by Shrink-wrapped scream. A wonderful photographer and writer who flatters me. I had been tagged by Anne of, which I tried my best to forget (you'll see why). Then on top of that, Betmo nominated me for a Thinker's Blog award. Again I am flattered. The last thing I recall being nominated for was Secretary of the Ivor Elementary School PTA. That one prompted me to scour my brain for any possible excuse to decline, but none was legitimate. ("Damn, you know I want to, but Monday nights I hoe in the garden, yeah, even in the winter, don't ask me why, I just do it...") So, for a year I was the workhorse for the PTA.

However, I digress. This is particularly hard for me, as it is imperative in my moral take on life, not to leave anyone out or anyone hurt. Which is why I have a young man sleeping on my couch that is evidently allergic to work. Well, he does work from time to time, and contributes to the household in his own way. He cooks. (God love him!) Even as a child, when I got a new toy, I worried incessantly about the old toys, concerned they might feel left out, or uncared for. So that meant that Barbie and Ken adopted a one-eyed rag doll with a rip in its side.

However, I will attempt this, and remember, those I do not name here, will be worried about, while I chew on my fingernails in agony and remorse. (maybe a little too much info there) But those I do name are more than worthy of being mentioned.

Here we go.
1. The Future Was Yesterday. His blog is one that is filled with political commentary, and snips of his life that are constructed by a true word smith. His posts are provocative and timely, and very interesting. Should be required reading for high school political science class.

2. Betmo. Her blog has sent me on many a search mission to find out more about whatever subject she writes. Her passion and steadfast opinions have always inspired me. Her absolute support of freedom of speech has given me many opportunities to examine my own position.

3. Spadoman. When I first started reading his blog I was spellbound by its beauty and humanity. He writes of travels, spirituality, tragedies, and his life in breath-taking prose. You find yourself often re-reading a post, just on the off chance you missed something. His photograph's illustrate his writing wonderfully.

4. Shrink-wrapped scream. A blog I just began reading not too long ago, gives me a picture of her life that is beautiful and real. Whatever she writes about makes me think that I wish I was her neighbor, and I wish I was that sane. Her blog reads as well as a novel, and always makes me recall the good memories of my own life.

5.Beth. The sole purpose of her blog is to inspire the reader to think, whether it is about a life event, or a very simple concept, you never come away without reflection, and waiting for the next entry.

I give a most respectful nod to Bardouble29, Anne, Psychotherapist, and Mary. Ok, maybe this is cheating, but I don't care!!

The rules:

a) People should only respond to this if, and only if, they are tagged.

b) Those who have been tagged, should now list five blogs that they themselves find makes them think, as well as also including a link to this post, so that people can easily find the origin of this award.

Now honestly, wouldn't you rather be the secretary of the Ivor PTA?

Apr 25, 2007

Ok, I listened to the whole Alec Baldwin message he left for his daughter Ireland. The most troubling things I heard was the reference he made to her mother. Trashing the mom doesn't help the situation, and ultimately puts a child in the position of defending the parent being accused of whatever. Trust me, I know.

The divorce in this case has to be causing major problems for this young lady. That fact that the details are so public, the fact that the parents seem bent on destroying each other, is shameful. It makes me wonder who is nurturing this child. When my ex and I divorced, we made an unspoken pact that we would not come between our children's need to be with each of us. Which means, since I had custody, albeit they were 14 and 15 at the time of our separation, we didn't try to keep them away from each other. Many other couples are able to do the same thing. It boils down to maintaining a civil relationship with the ex-spouse for the benefit of your children. In other words, telling your kids their mother or father is an asshole, doesn't help anybody. Even saying something like "all men are jerks, or all women are jerks" is not good. Look at the message and labels you are giving those kids.

The long-term effect of all this name-calling, and divorced couples sharing their adult concerns with their children can be devastating. We won't get into the problems with trust, or abandonment the child might feel. Or the confusion over who to believe and not believe. Let's just look at the aspect where either parent expects the child to understand their point of view. It's a tremendous burden, one no child is capable of carrying. If you see a child acting out, in self-destructive ways, I will promise you there is something going on in their home that is causing it. There is some aspect, whether spoken or not, of their home life that has driven them to seek comfort or acknowledgement from somewhere, and being a child, that somewhere might not be the best place for them. They do not have the information yet to make those decisions. And when the child becomes an adult, what do you think will happen? They will become what they know.

If they grew up in household where trust was absent, then they will have problems with trust. If they grew up where verbal abuse was common, then they will seek the same in other's because that is what they know.

I have to admit listening to the whole message, and hearing the anger in Alec Baldwin's voice, is intimidating, which may very well be why the young lady chooses not to talk to him. I wouldn't want to either if I had to listen to all that crap. This is a time in her life where so many things are going on biologically that it is stressful for her to cope with that alone. With two warring parents, who fight their wars in the public arena, the stress and shame must be enormous. And she will feel shame. I just hope there is someone in her life that she can reach out to for unconditional love, who doesn't expect her to take sides.

Now, about pigs. I worked one of favorite jobs at a swine production farm, where I was the midwife and nursemaid to 160 sows and up to 1600 pigs. I was with them through birth until weaning, and then had to check on the little buggers until after they moved to the big house. I love pigs, which is why I quit my job. I collect pigs, I used to have a pet pig. I know pigs. And a pig is biologically very close to humans anatomically. They are extremely intelligent, and will not lie around in their own shit and mud, if they have a choice. The only reason pigs wallow in dirt or mud is to keep themselves cool. Without a pond or some other source of water for cooling purposes they will die, because they do not sweat. A pig left to its own resources does not shit where they eat. So I admire pigs. Always will. The cutest thing you will ever see is two baby pigs chasing and playing with each other. So, I would much rather be called a pig than a bitch.

Or a nappy-headed "ho".

But that's me. An eleven year old girl would be very hurt by such words. Even is she did call her dad a loser-creep-stupid-fuck. It may sound like I'm back-pedaling, and maybe I am. But hearing the whole message, the rage in this man's voice, was scary. The one time I got that mad at my oldest son, he flicked a booger in my hair and I chased him for a good half hour around our yard, until I was exhausted. Travis said it was the funniest thing he ever saw.

Maybe it just boils down to these two talented people just taking a chill pill and learning how to laugh at themselves.

Apr 23, 2007


Ok, it seems that Alec Baldwin called his daughter a selfish pig. He berated her for not calling. Should this man be hung? I don't know.

There have been times when I have told my boys that if they didn't behave, I was going to kill them. Was I really going to kill them? No! Did they think I was going to kill them? I'm not sure, because they laughed so much, it was hard to tell.

If a parent tells a child to call them at a specific time, and they don't, there is a process that goes on in the parent's mind that is commonly referred to as "worry". As in "what in the hell are they doing! I told lil Johnny to call, and I'm waiting. Where is this kid? Who's he with? What is he really doing? Goddammit, wait till I talk to him! I'm gonna tear his ass up!!" This is a mild example of worry.

Too many parents today don't even give a rat's ass if they talk to their kids or not. Here's a man who definitely seems to want to be a part of his daughter's life, and someone leaks a private conversation between the two of them. That's disgusting.

You have to admit, at least he didn't call her a motherfucking little bitch. At least she didn't call him a loser-asshole-fucker-freak. It seemed to be quite normal to me. I don't know about you guys, but I would much rather be called a pig than an bitch. The worst part of this whole affair is that everybody has to go to court.

Sucks, doesn't it?

I like pigs. Have worked with many. Some of them real-live oinkers.

Apr 19, 2007

*Once upon a mid-day dreary
While I cussed IE explore
Suddenly there came a tapping,
But twas not a gentle rapping,
Rapping at my chamber door...

It was a crazy ass lady robin, trying desperately to bash her brains in by continually running into my patio door. My cat's are in absolute ecstasy, watching this bird bang her head repeatedly against the glass. Why she hasn't self destructed by now, I have no idea.

I've tried to figure out what the hell she's doing. I thought first she saw a reflection of herself, and was trying to fight it, or run it off. Then I thought, maybe sometime or other she had a nest in here, and was trying to gain access. Somehow that doesn't seem right. I used to have chimney sweeps that would nest in the chimney of an old farm house we lived in. It was wonderful to here them in there chirping, but it drove my ex batshit. Which made the chirping that much more enjoyable. They are the most beautiful birds I have ever seen. How do I know? One flew out into the house, and the kids and I chased it around for an hour or so, trying to throw a towel on it, so we could take it outside. We finally did, and the little bird was not the worse for its adventure.

But this Robin has been banging her head for about 4 days now, and she is one tough bird, I got to say. I was going to search for info, but I accidentally deleted IE7, and, my advice, don't do it...ever!!! I wrangled with that mother for two days, and somehow reinstalled it. (Don't ask me how, but I did!!)

Anyway, back to the bird problem, we hung a few items outside the door, to frighten her away, but she's too smart for that. She saw right through our petty plan. I guess the next step is a scarecrow, but as it is spring, that would not be seasonal. Oh, well, what the fuck...

It has to be some instinct driving her, and I'm scared I am going to look out sometime and see bird brains splattered all over the door. (Why did bird brains make me think of Bush!?!)

On top of all that, she's shitting all over my deck, in front of the door. How she finds time to eat while she's making a run at the window twelve hours a day, is beyond me. When I open the door, she fly's off, and I even let the cat's out, thinking maybe they would scare her away, but I think she scared them away.

Is she a loony bird? I don't know, but I got to give her credit for not giving up. Maybe she just doesn't like sliding glass doors. Any suggestions?

*my most sincere appolgies to E.A.Poe, for using any parts of his most magnificent poem, "The Raven".

Apr 13, 2007

Friday the 13th

Oh, my superstitions are running high. I grew up with superstitions and tales of mysterious portents of death and disaster. For example, one story that involved my great grandmother concerned a huge fireball that landed in the woods just beyond their cabin. The next day someone came to tell her that her husband had died.

Another great-grandmother, living alone on a secluded hill, heard knocking sounds all the outside of her house. Being my descendant, she immediately put a pistol in her pocket and stepping outside, walked all around her house, the well house, and finding nothing, went back to bed. Shortly thereafter, her daughter was bitten by a copperhead, but survived.

Growing up, we never stepped on a crack, (having a huge desire to preserve our mothers' spinal column), we never walked under ladders, and I still wonder when a black cat crosses my path. So far, no ill effects, because I usually pull over and start calling, "Kitty, kitty, come to mama.."
I will not tear up any photo's, or throw away any letters. It just doesn't seem right somehow.

One weird thing that happened to me occurred in Georgia in the 1990's. I was staying with my sister-in-law with my two boys in tow. She had a wonderful old house, that I would love to have. Earlier that day she had been cleaning the floors, and here comes a whole truck full of close friends, to spend the weekend. Cooking now became a top priority, so I set about cleaning the kitchen and getting field peas and lima beans out of the freezer, and trying to decide what meats to cook. I was standing at the sink, putting the frozen food in cold water to defrost, when out of nowhere, a six foot black snake dropped from the ceiling. I guess I made some noise, as my brother-in-law came running. By this time, I'm trying to get the snake out the back door, because I don't like to see them killed just for being snakes. But, my brother-in-law arrived to soon and the snake was dispatched and displayed for conversation all evening.

Curiously, that night, the whipper wills had moved in closer to the house and were singing up a storm. This is always a bad sign, as the whipper will, in folk mythology sometimes warns of impending death, and may escort the dead to the hereafter. I felt uneasy. But the evening went off without a hitch.

The next day, one of the young men, about 16 or so, who had come to visit was riding in the back of a pickup, going about 15 miles an hour, and fell from the truck, hitting his head. Seein g that he appeared alright they continued on their journey. When they got home, the young man immediately stretched out on the sofa. He was complaining of a head-ache, and wanted to sleep. His face was flushed, and he was nauseated. Ok, now alarm bells are going off in my head like crazy, but mom and dad said they would see how he did for the next few days, and if he didn't get better, take him into the doctor. I'm babbling about not waiting, go now, you never know, please, but it was the parents decision, and I felt helpless. I listened to the whipper wills all night as they seemed to move closer to the house. Their song was endless, beautiful, but without end.

The next day the visitors left, and we learned that the following day, they took their son to the ER. He had suffered a brain hemorrhage, and by the time he was admitted, and sent to a room, he was in a coma. The following day the parents were told that the bleeding had been so severe, that he was now brain dead. The parents then had to decide whether to remove the machines that were keeping him alive. They chose to do so, and this young man lost his life.

Of course we were all shocked. We dispaired that he was taken to the doctor sooner. We mourned his loss, and attended the funeral.

But, I have often wondered about the snake and the whipper wills. My upbringing, immersed in folklore, made me think about warnings and all the signs I had learned of death and disaster. I remembered the snake, and listening to the non-stop call of the whipper wills, hidden in darkness, coming closer and closer each night. Were they telling us of this young man's impending death? Were they waiting to carry his spirit away? All of this can be explained easily by coincidence, but it does make you wonder. Is it really coincidence? Shortly before my father passed, I would hear the whipper wills sing at night, and did they get louder? Was that my imagination? I don't know. But I feared and hated the sound. Silently, I cursed them, saying don't come around my door, you have no need here. Many will consider this the ravings of a hill woman, raised in ignorance, sounding like the old granny women who could cure ailments with roots, and strange herbs. But it does make you think. Doesn't it? Just a little?

Apr 11, 2007

He's better...

We went back to the emergency room yesterday, and, after doing a CAT scan, which basically showed that the clot "was not larger, maybe a little smaller", they gave him something for pain, and we came home.   Because some ass-hole doctor put him on oxycontin a few years back, which he doesn't take anymore, he has a very high tolerance for pain meds.  So, what they give him works ok, but he still has pain, and probably will for a while.  Chronic pain is a bitch, if anyone has ever had it.  Thank God I have a high tolerance for pain, or I would be bitching and moaning all the time.   As the southerner's say, 'ole Uncle Arther (arthritis) is a pain in the ass.  Wish he'd carry his ass back where he come from.'

What really bothered me was his blood pressure.  Before they released him, his blood pressure was 145/104.  Now, I'm no doctor, but I think he should be on medication to control it.  I have taken it at home and it has been 189/110.  The doctor said, 'It's not high enough to treat.'  The family doctor  says 'it's not high enough to treat.'  Bullshit!  Can anyone say stroke?  My brother was 32 when he developed high blood pressure and has been on med's ever since.

EJ doesn't like me to talk to the doctor.  Because I have worked in a hospital, and use words like ambulation and affect and vital signs, and ask what are his O2 stats, the doctors immediately distrust me.  Don't ask me why.  Maybe they think I'm trying to show off, but if you have worked for anytime in the health care field, these words become part of your vocabulary.  Anyway, I jumped his ER doctor  about his blood pressure, and she said it wasn't that high.  I said it was.  She said it wasn't.

I ask questions.  Always.  Because I know what fuck-ups sometimes work in a hospital.  I know when they do shift change, some of the personnel sit around a bull-shit for an hour or so before they decide to check on a patient.  And, I know they make mistakes. 

Don't get me wrong.  Most of the people who work in health care are very caring and professional.  But it's the ones who stand around looking like fools that make it hard for everyone else.  I know the first thing you do when you enter a patient's room is greet them by name and wash your hands, which I did not see anyone do. Fuck the gloves, they are not foolproof. I know you always leave a patient with a call light in reach, which he didn't have.  Shit, I saw a lot of things that weren't up to par, but, maybe I'm too picky.  But I know when Medicare and Medicaid come in to do their annual inspection (so the hospital will continue to have that contract), good lord, the whole staff goes into overdrive to correct all the mistakes.   What's even wierder is that they notify the hospital, usually a month in advance what days they will probably be there.  What does this say about health care?  A lot of the things that goes on in a hospital happens because the legal department makes sure their ass is covered.  That's why you sign that statement before surgery saying you could die, because your surgeon might be an idiot or a crack-head or whatever.

You guys can jump me about this, but the best doctors I have dealt with were from India.  You may not be able to pronounce their names, but for some reason, they treat you like a person.  Some doctors from the Philippines also have this trait.   And they will listen to you, and answer your questions. 

I always wonder what a doctor's grade point average was when he graduated from medical school.  What if it was a 2.5, or just enough to pass?   Kinda scary, isn't it?

Apr 10, 2007


I'm not sure if Ej will be going back to the ER today or not.  I tried to make him go yesterday as he has not improved since he got home.  He told his friend more about his condition than me, as he doesn't want me to worry.  Yeah, right.  Anyway, we'll see what happens today.  I could force him, but as he's 28, and that's hard to do.  He is as stubborn as I am. 

The other day, a friend of ours came over to fix our heat pump, God bless his heart, and he brought his wife with him.  She and I, (notice I didn't say me and her, which was my first instinct) sat and talked while they worked on the pump.  Somehow we started talking about politics.  I can't remember who brought it up.  Oh, I remember, I showed her the decorations on my blog, the anti-bush ones, and said I  hoped she wasn't a republican.  She said, well, as a matter of fact....she was.

So we discussed Bush's Iraq policy, and she was all for it, stating if we didn't do something about the terrorists, if we pulled out now, they would just follow us home and blow us all up.  Well, of course I had to voice my opinion, saying that the terrorists were not from Iraq, but Afghanistan, and other Arab countries.  That Bush went into Iraq looking for a reason to invade.  She said, well they hated us, and would do anything to see our country fall.  I said, all the Arab countries hate us.  I said many operations in Iraq were conducted to keep insurgents from crossing the border into Iraq from Syria, one for example, Operation Matador. 

Anyway, she said something to the effect that she had voted for Bush.  I said, Whatever for?  The man is insane.  There were a few things about dignity, and going after those responsible for 9/11.  I said most presidents wouldn't have had any other options than to go after them. 

We disagreed on this.  Anyway, things got a little heated, and I said what had always been in the back of mind, but I had never voiced.  That if wasn't for Bush and his war, my son might still be alive.  She said, I swear I'm not making this up, she said  not necessarily.  I looked at her, and said what do you mean?  She said he might have been deployed to some other location and been killed there.  Maybe I'm wrong.  I'm the one who  said it.  Which opened me up to responses such as this one.  But the coldness of a statement like that shocked me.  So matter of fact, like discussing who fumbled the ball at the football game. 

Then I started thinking about destiny.  It was all I could do to keep from screaming and ripping her throat out, but all I said was I had never thought of it that way.  I was pretty much shocked, I guess.  I should be used to it by now.  Most people react to his death in Iraq the same way.   "Well, he's just a statistic."  or "What did he expect would happen?"  Unspoken, but hanging in the air, challenging me. 

Then I try to talk about the son who wasn't a corpsman.  The one who loved cats, who loved his family, who could do just about anything and make people laugh.  The one who read books all the time, and whose son was the light of his life.  And, its like I'm talking to myself.  The subject is changed, to something at random.

Many will say that some people are just uncomfortable  talking about death.  Well, there is such a thing as being appropriate and acknowledging someone's loss.  It's not hard to devote a few minutes to listening to someone talk about this type of thing.  Its a type of validation that says, yes, I hear you, and I will listen for a moment or two. 

Maybe I'm wrong.  Maybe she was right in what she said.  I'm still a little floored by it all, but she was in my home, and it is my policy that whoever enters my home, will be treated with respect, until they start throwing beer bottles and act like a crazed baboon.  We all have boundaries. 

So, I'm asking you.  Did I over react?  Did I take a simple discussion and turn it into another thing all together?  We actually parted as friends, but why do I still feel sad about the whole thing?

And, as for EJ, when I tell people what happened they seem to think he bumped his head.  No big thing.  Is it just me, or has the whole world forgotten the word compassion?  Do I expect too much?  Tell me what you honestly think.  I really need some kind of feedback on this.

Apr 7, 2007

He's home!!

I got to bring my son home yesterday.  He still has the blood clot, but they say his prognosis is excellent.  They gave us instructions on what he can and can't do.  His head hurts, but he has medication for that, but there is something different about him.  He is not sleeping as much, and his headaches are getting better, but, of course I still worry.  I feel sometimes like he is made out of glass, and I must be so careful with him.  As he would say, Mama, that's bullshit.  But I can't help it.  I go in his room and take a peek at him from time to time.  He just seems so much quieter, but I guess that is part of the healing process.  His blood pressure is down, which is wonderful.  I feel confidant that he will be ok. 

I wanted to thank everyone for all their kind comments, and prayers, because every prayer, every good thought counts. 

It's strange.  I know he is a grown man, and perfectly able of making his own decisions, but, it is hard for me not to try to "keep him from getting hurt".  I have even said, believe it not, quit playing with that, you might poke someone's eye out.  I think, I have turned into my Mother.  Not necessarily a bad thing, but something I had wished to avoid.

Again, thanks for your thoughtful and caring comments.

Apr 4, 2007

Send good wishes, ok

My oldest son has been a constant source of support since he lost his brother, my youngest son.  He was the one who carried the burden of knowing his brother had been wounded in Iraq, had lost a foot and hand by an IED device which exploded by a mosque, in Hit Iraq.  I learned later that causality officers had been to my old address in West Virginia to notify me, but the assholes there, did not tell them where I had moved.  I had just sent Travis an email telling him that I had moved to Virginia, and how to contact me.

EJ had been informed by his father, but chose not to tell me until he learned whether his brother would pull through or not.  He knew I would worry myself to death, and would do everything I could to get to Baghdad where he was being treated.  As soon as he could be stabilized the plan was to have him transferred to Germany.  Everything seemed to be going well, until his lungs failed.  Evidently his lungs had been burned so severely by the explosion that they were destroyed.  He was placed in a coma, removed from all the machines, and died.

EJ came home from work at lunch that day, said Mama, sit down here with me, we have to talk.  I sat down, having no clue, and he told me that my son had been wounded, and he had passed away that morning.  I kept asking someone to slap me, wake me up, because I was having a nightmare.  That none of it was real.  He held me, while we cried, and walked around in shock.  I remembered how I stood in the kitchen that morning, and felt, I swear, someone blow down the back of my shirt.  I turned, and no one was there.  Was it my son, letting me know he would be ok?  I like to believe that. 

The death of my youngest son proved to be the last straw in my oldest son's eight-year relationship with his fiance.  He moved in with me, after the funeral service, and we went about our daily lives, always aware that part of us was gone.  We drifted on a sea of disbelief.  His father lived in Georgia, and had been distant with both of us during the whole thing.  He was there for my son's widow, along with her family, and that was his choice at the time.  Since then, my son and I have dealt with all of pain, and grief pretty much on our own.  He has not worked since then, at times wanting to die, wracked by guilt that he could not save his brother.  He was always his protector, and being eleven months apart in age, there was not a time he could remember his brother not being there, somewhere, a part of his life. 

He fell this past weekend and hit his head.  He came home, and went straight to sleep, which was unusual, because he has had trouble sleeping since all of this happened.  I didn't know about the fall until I spoke to him the next day.  He said he was dizzy, had a the worst headache of his life, and couldn't focus.  Of course I called the paramedics, but they decided his injuries were probably minor.  After they left, I took him to the ER, and after a cat scan, they found bleeding on his brain, which was creating pressure in his skull.  They could not tell if the bleeding would continue so he was transferred to the best hospital in the area where they do brain surgery.  He is now in the neuro ICU, and depending on what the cat scan shows today, they will decide how to proceed.  The blood clot is in his left temporal lobe and, as he is suffering no effects showing damage to speech, ambulation, or memory, it is a miracle in itself.  I go to see him, and it hurts so much for him to talk, that I just sit and watch him.  It makes me think of when he was born, a month premature, and all I could do was watch him in his crib, hooked up to wires, in the neonatal intensive care unit.  He had hylen membrane disease, which means his lungs weren't developed fully, but he survived.

Over this passed year, I have told him he is a survivor, that he comes from a long line of survivors, people too stubborn to give up.  I'm not quite sure what his prognosis will be, but I feel his recovery will take a while. 

But, so far, he seems to being doing as well as expected.  For some reason, I have been calm and positive when I am with him, and do my crying and worrying at home.  But, I have faith he will be all right.  I have faith he will recover, because I can lose him.  All I ever had really was my children.  My son's.  So proud of them, so blessed to watch them grow, and become the wonderful young men they grew to be.

Please keep him in your thoughts.  He is a good, kind-hearted, and giving young man.

That's him.  The good looking kid with the fish in his hand.  Bass-fishing, the love of his life.