My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Friday, September 30, 2016

Deeper Things - Things That Have Touched My Heart Recently

Are we sure it's Friday? This week has been so confusing. Austin being off on Wednesday and working on Thursday - having Cosette on Wednesday instead of Thursday - just has made for a weird week. The thing is... what happens in my day doesn't change much from day to day. The only perceptible changes are what other people are doing... like Pop going to church on Sunday and Wednesday and playing golf on Thursday. And Tuesday. And other days when he can. When they do things on the wrong day I don't know what day it is!

My mom has her first injection today. This is what will slow the spread of the cancer. It's very expensive and insurance won't pay all of it. So that will be fun. Good job, Obamacare, we're all living better lives. *eyeroll* I don't know what kind of side effects are expected with the injections so we'll just see what happens. The good news is we have practically nothing on the schedule for the weekend. That I know of. And I don't always know. I'll share more about the injections she's having in a later blog post for those who are interested.

So...  I have a little doggie tucked up beside me. The house is quiet. My hips are killing me. The weather is perfect. I actually wouldn't mind if it was colder. Leaves are just beginning to show some color. It's OCTOBER TOMORROW! How did that happen?

I thought this one be a good day to go a little deeper in my blog and talk about some things on more than just a surface level. Between the exhausting emotion of the custody case this past Summer, my mom's illness, dealing with my own limitations and the political environment I've been just glossing over stuff because to feel anything for too long would just leave me too raw and vulnerable. I didn't want to feel all the feels... as they say.

Then there was this Facebook post last week that stopped me in my tracks. It was written by one of Cody's friends from school and baseball, a guy he grew up with who was another one of my kids... and Cody was definitely one of this guy's mama's babies... they flew him to Detroit for visitation with the friend's dad one Summer... they had him over for spend the nights that turned into spend the weekends. They were brothers. He was part of Cody's "Village" that raised him - a United Nations looking village that contained people of all different skin tones - and all these kids and their parents hold a special place in my heart. I don't consider myself racist in the least bit... I have dated people of various races,  my nephews are mixed, my daughter-in-law is Mexican so my beautiful little Oliver has Mexican American heritage. I feel like I'm "race-adjacent" in the same way I'm "gay-adjacent" by having many gay friends in my life over the years.

Long intro... I'll get to the point. Cody's friend is African-American, highly intelligent, the friendliest guy you'd ever meet, always smiling and happy, unlimited energy, well-educated and well-spoken - he's just the kind of man that any mom would be proud of. I definitely am. I mean... he's well-connected to the point the he's met Obama... and John McCain... and I don't even know who all else. He very sincerely plans to be the 50th President of the United States. This is a kid - not really a kid anymore - with ambition and drive and determination. But last week he posted on Facebook about feeling anxious whenever a cop gets behind him. I would love to share the direct quote but I've messaged him for permission and haven't heard back yet. Then in response a white friend of his (not Cody, trust me!) made it out like as long as he wasn't doing drugs and followed every single command that he was fine. I'm just not so sure that's true any more. I think the anti-cop / cops vs. black men rhetoric has escalated to the point that things are happening that didn't happen before. Or if they did... I didn't know about it. And there's a lot I don't know.

The thing is... his comment made it so much more real to me. It made me realize that being "race-adjacent" and "not racist" as I would describe myself, doesn't mean that I necessarily understand what it is to be in his shoes. This young man that I have watched grow up. who doesn't have an ounce of "thug" in him, who probably is the most well-mannered child Cody ever hung out with... he is afraid of the people who should be making him feel safe. That just broke my Mama Heart and made me want to hug and him and - make it all better some how. He's not a cop hater. His step-father was a cop. I'm sure he has never done anything the least bit out of line but still this young man feels fear. Honestly, it made me cry. And although I could go case by case of the various cop vs. black slayings and say - "but this guy was breaking the law..."  or "more white people are killed than black" and... "black on black crime"... yeah, I know all of that.  We all know the validations and excuses. The truth of the matter is I've been pulled over five times in my life. All five times for speeding. All five times I was relaxed and casual and respectful, of course. I felt annoyed. Stressed that I might face a speeding fine. I felt embarrassed but the thing I didn't feel was fear. I went away from each encounter with just a warning and I can't help but wonder if that's because I'm an overweight middle aged white woman. And I can't imagine living in a world where I had to feel fear whenever I got behind the wheel.

That was the day I stopped trying to justify it all and just allowed myself to absorb what it might be like to be someone other than me. That's the day I decided to just let people feel what they feel without being defensive. Not saying that the rioting and all that is right... just saying that we sometimes have to admit we don't know what it's like to be someone other than ourselves.

All that being said. Being me is a struggle of it's own. I'm single in a world where things come in twos. I'm unable to do a lot of things people just take for granted. I feel (at times) very isolated... and other times really glad to be insulated against the world. I can't be who I want to be... go where I want to go... do what I want to do... because I have a body that doesn't work like it's supposed to. I'm not feeling sorry for myself... I'm just saying, from a deeper perspective, it's frustrating. I rely heavily on my parents for... everything... and there's a lot of "what happens in the future" type fear for me, exacerbated, of course, by my mom's illness. There is so much already that I can't do - that might surprise  you to know I can't do - that makes me really nervous about what ten years or twenty years on might look like.

I'm not good at handling change. Austin's work stuff has been eating at me. I edited my initial rant so that Austin isn't impacted by my opinions of his employers... got it out of my system for now. I'm frustrated by how he's being treated and it seems so unfair...

EXCEPT. I know...what taught me to handle these situations was living through these situations. I know that my kid has a beautiful safety net spread beneath him. He will not starve or be evicted or have his car repossessed or have his power cut off or any of those things that I had to face as consequences for employers who didn't play fair. Lightning forced me to move to a cheaper apartment because I was too comfortable/afraid/unaware that I could have a nicer place for less money. It took lightning for me to look around and find something else. Facing a jerk of a boss who does things that are completely unfair may move my kid into the place where he's supposed to be so I'll complain here, with you guys, among friends and family and not take my picket sign to march in front of the place Austin works. I mean, I wouldn't stop you guys from doing it... but in the meantime I'm just trying to keep him covered in prayer every day, in a way that I haven't been as faithful to do as I should.


Politics. Can this just be over already? We are at the stage in the election process where nobody is changing their minds and all the pomp and circumstance and constant news coverage does nothing but rile people up or increase their blood pressure. Hillary is a champion of women's rights... unless they're someone her husband has slept with or unless they're still in the womb... She has more political knowledge except... she knew enough to leave those guys to die in Benghazi. She knew enough to know she needed to cover her a$$ and blame it on a video. The Arab Spring took place under her watch and she did nothing diplomatically to shore up that very shaky part of the world, leaving room for ISIS to grow and begin to rape, torture and kill so very many people. How many people have died because she didn't do what she should have done? Don't even get me started on emails and pay for play and all the things she's done that make her just a very crooked, bad, not-worthy-of being president person. Beyond that, I think she's hiding an illness but I don't want to go too far down that rabbit hole because it gets crazy really quickly.

Meanwhile. What would Trump say about my grandson? Or my daughter-in-law? Or her precious family who have been so wonderful to my son? Trump is crass, rude, uncivilized, out of control. Can we trust him not to push the button and start World War Three, assuming you don't think it's already started (and you could almost argue that it has) and... that Libertarian guy can't name a single world leader and doesn't know where Aleppo is. All we can do is pray, y'all. It's a crazy world.

I guess I've dug deep enough for today. I am so grateful for my life, for all of these bonus years. We sort of breezed right past the anniversary of the day that it almost ended for me... it's been 8 years now! Can you believe it? All of the amazing things that have happened in my life over the past 8 years... great meals, warm hugs, pride in watching my kids grow and become great partners and fathers, being able to be here with my parents and be an "only child" for a season of life, learning to love dogs, having a kitty cat for a best friend, learning another language, watching so much great stuff on tv, being able to live in a place as beautiful as this, having a time of life where I can breathe, relax, reflect... and of course, best of all... being able to be a Nana to two precious little angels... despite the struggles and uncertainties in life, I am so glad to be here for these bonus years!

If you've made it all the way through... thanks for sticking with me today. Thanks for the role you all play in my life and for caring about what I have to say. Hope your weekend is amazing and that when you scratch beneath the surface of your life that you'll find the same kind of rewards that I find and not just fleas! (sorry... sitting with a dog... who doesn't have fleas but ... never mind). Happy Weekend! Love and hugs!


monica said...

Yeah, you were on a roll. I bet that felt good.
Hopefully your mom won't have any side effects.
I pray she will feel better and be able to do
what she likes.
Austin's boss sounds like a real winner. We've all
experienced that type of authority at one time
or another. Nothing worse than a boss on an ego trip.
I'm ready for cooler temps but I don't care for these
days short on sunlight.
Have a nice peaceful weekend!