Love and Hearts and Grandparents

If we have someone who loves us — I don’t mean who indulges us, but who loves us enough to be on our side — then it’s easier to grow resilience, to grow belief in self, to grow self-esteem. And it’s self-esteem that allows a person to stand up.

Maya Angelou

 

 

from Grammy 1966

 

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from Great Grandma 1967

 

I have much to be grateful for in my life. The love of family is at the top of the list. As a child…and then as an adult…I was well loved by my grandparents. Held up. Cherished. Accepted.

All four of my grandparents – and my one living great grandparent – took the time to write to me. Personal letters. Postcards. Valentines. Birthday cards….
I heard from them on a regular basis…knowing I was important in their lives. And not forgotten, even though we lived miles apart.

Treasured pages of handwritten news, stories, questions about my life and plans for the future….
Offering encouragement and understanding
And unconditional love.

 

Photo a day challenge – Hearts

RDP – Intimate

 

Quote of the day…hope of the day

light in forest

 

I have a certain way of being in the world, and I shall not, I shall not be moved from doing what I think is right by jealousy, ignorance, or hate.

Maya Angelou

 

When recently asked about “the haters” by an 8 year old boy, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady responded with a smile.

…the haters? We love ’em! We love ’em back!
Because we don’t hate back.

Just about knocked me off my feet getting dressed one morning last week. While watching Good Morning America’s “kid correspondent” interview football players at the pre-Super Bowl media events.

No matter what you think of TB12 or the Patriots or even football, that answer shines a bright light. What a concept: Love them back.

Perhaps easy for someone like Brady, who is privileged and insulated from those aforementioned haters. Who troll on his Instagram feed and who knows what else.

However…
What a concept for a child to hear from a public persona. A role model even.
And…dare I say…for adults to hear as well.
ADULTS.
Who, it seems, in the last couple of years have grouped themselves into political camps of haters…on one side or the other. Who is in charge in the USA. And who isn’t.

Notice I don’t say haters and non-haters. There is too little visible love on either side. There is just hate, distrust and fear for the “other.” Whether it be the other political party, the other politician, the Other who looks nothing like you or sounds nothing like you. Or doesn’t think like you.

In many cases, this fear slips out…crossing that invisible line…morphing into hurtful anger directed at those you profess to love. Your partner. Your parent. Your sister. Your brother. Your best friend. Your child. Because they disagree with what you hate. Or don’t hate.

How could he believe that?
How could she vote for him?
How could he vote for her?
I just can’t visit them anymore.

Is it fear…or ignorance…
Or perhaps inescapable helplessness.
Doors slamming
As reality tilts and shifts.

Right becoming righteous
When grounded in hate…
Blindly insisting on one way.
Shades of gray disappearing…
Crowding out space for understanding why…
And where do we go from here.

In the end
Reaching for what
is right
begins with
tolerance
respect…
for our shared humanity.

With empathy…
somehow…
someday…
hopefully
we will
inch
closer
to
loving the haters.

At least it’s a start.

 

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This post inspired by V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #34: Reaching
and An Upside Down World

 

Quote of the Day…

There are years that ask questions and years that answer.

Zora Neale Hurston

 

So what will this year bring?
Questions…
or answers.

It seems to me that I still have questions left in the queue…
from decades of living.
Still scratching away looking for answers.
To the why.

Questions that have diverted…
And led me down new paths…
Or retraced old ones.
Piling hopes upon hopes
Continuing, still, to persevere…

I was often admonished in the classroom for asking too many questions.
Ever curious, my hand shot into the air asking for clarification.
All the time. Quietly. Waiting my turn.
Which sometimes didn’t matter…
My 9th grade Spanish teacher, Señora M., did not appreciate my curiosity…about how to translate verbs, why the feminine or masculine was used. Why anything.
Stop asking so many questions! she finally instructed. In front of everyone.
After a while I kept my hand down.

My high school English teacher encouraged questions. For the 3 years I was a student in his class. Blessings to you Mr. Marston.
Lucky for me he answered every one. Including the correct usage of it’s and its. “A lot is a piece of land” he’d repeat over and over; cringing at the use of alot of this and alot of that in our weekly theme assignments.
(auto correct doesn’t like it either. He would have been pleased).

I apologize across the universe to him that I still resort to alot…but not alot very often. I remain grateful for his patience. And assuring me…yes I would be safe at college after Kent State. And yes, I was smart enough to succeed. He nudged me down that road. In the direction I needed to go…all those years ago. Answering my questions.

Maybe I am finally winding down with all the questions.
Perhaps 2019 will be the year of answers…
And new destinations…
if I pay attention.

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This post inspired by V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #31: Destination

Quote of the Day….

Illness is the night-side of life, a more onerous citizenship. Everyone who is born holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and in the kingdom of the sick.

Susan Sontag

 
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Check one:
Is your health: excellent ___ good ___ fair___ poor___

And so begins the lengthy registration page at the doctor’s office.
Held tight on a clipboard. Which is attached to a pen via a piece of string.
Or choose a pen with a huge plastic flower glued to the top. Ostensibly so you won’t walk off with it. Pens must be expensive. And how sanitary is that?
I really wonder about the fingerprint smeared iPad I am often asked to register on. Taken from a rack. Unsanitized. If I wasn’t sick walking in, chances just increased I’d be sick a few days later.

Anyway…
Back to the health question…why would I be at the doctor’s office, ID and insurance card in hand, ready to pledge my first born for payment if need be…if I was in excellent health?  Or even in good health….

I used to take my health for granted.
Doctor’s visits were annual physicals for the most part.
As a child and young adult, I could leap out of bed, get dressed and be ready for the day in minutes.
Young and vital.
I ate well. Exercised. Took the stairs. Did sit-ups.
No special soaps, creams, drops, pills, patches.

I had no idea my health was time sensitive.

Years passed without a major illness.
Hospitalized briefly for birthing 2 babies. Totally worth it.
But then my 40’s hit and body parts started complaining.
And doing new things that I didn’t like.
Odd symptoms popped up. Baffled the docs.
And then my 50’s…more of the same.
But who has time. I sure didn’t.
A career. House. Marriage. Two kids. Parents.
My activities. Everyone else’s activities.

Health – and wellness – became elusive.
And so started the grieving process.
For what I used to be able to do…
…including the ability to check off “excellent” or “good” on those registration forms.

This post inspired by Ragtag Daily Prompt: Vital

Quote of the Day…

Old age is like a plane flying through a storm. Once you are aboard there is nothing you can do.

Golda Meir

 

Isn’t that the truth.
Even when I want to say…get me the hell off.

I am not ready for this yet.
For the irrelevance thrust on me.
Rendered invisible. Packed in behind the younger.
Respect once earned upended in the turbulence of senior discounts…
now that you’re 50…60…over 60….doors start to shut. Deaf ears abound.

Forgetting one too many things
Which 20 years ago went unnoticed.
Or commented on.
Not now.

Mask floating down. Got it.
Pulling the life vest cords. Got it.

I tell the younger kin I am not this old inside my head.
They nod. Eyes looking beyond. Already past me.
Uncomprehending…until it’s their aged faces staring back at them.
That’s what she meant.

There will be no mad dash for the exits.
Even in an emergency.
I’m on this ride for the duration. Wind. Rain. Thunder.
Wrinkles. Gray hair. Early dinners. Early to bed.
System slowdowns. Bumpy rides. Love and loss.

Dried up everything, but oozing with wisdom.
Experience.
And ideas. Just ask.
But they won’t.
Whatever.

The longer I’m on this stormy plane ride, the wiser I get.
Not my first rodeo.
So there.

2019…more transitions…
…the next leg on my Golden Years journey.
Seatbelt fastened and secure.
Building up those frequent flyer miles.
Wheels up.

plane window
This post inspired by: V.J.’s Weekly Challenge – Transition