Remember

Three hours into the 9/11 memorial service in New York, they are still reading the names of the nearly 3,000 people who died on September 11, 2001.  I watched the first 30 or 40 minutes at work, then kept it on in the background as I reluctantly started my to-do list.  Every now and then, I open that browser tab, un-mute the live feed, and listen to the names.  It seems disrespectful to turn it off.

The non-stop feed online of pictures of that day, planes slamming into the towers, clouds of smoke, screams, panic, fear, the terror of that day, is hard to watch.  I have seen videos and photos of the people who jumped from the towers, or people crowded at the windows of the top floors of the buildings, nowhere to go, and obviously knowing it.

There are comments under these photos and videos urging people to take them down, but I disagree.  We need to see it.  We need to remember it.

This terrorist attack by hateful cowards happened 18 years ago, just yesterday in the timeline of our country’s history, and what was learned?  What changed?  For a few weeks after the attacks, it was trendy to wave a flag, wear red-white-and-blue, call ourselves Americans.  Then…quickly…we started to forget.

It didn’t take long for the collective attention span to run out.  Standing together, one nation, unity were shrugged off to return to division and segmentation.  It’s become fashionable to put down the United States, disrespect our country, and denounce being American.  To drain our nation’s resources, take all you can get, then sneer and walk away without appreciation, thanks, or even a token gesture to pay back what was taken out.

How did this happen?  How did we as a nation fall so far, so fast?

Is patriotism dead?  Not for me.  I still remember the horror and disbelief of September 11, 2001, but I also remember how unified we felt as a country after the attacks, how we were able to draw together, help each other, lean on each other, honor those who had died, and how important it was to show the terrorists that we were one, we were not destroyed, and we would not let those who died ever be forgotten.

Over time, though, this country splintered into seemingly irreparable fragments.  Insulting each other over political beliefs and scoring cheap shots for party vs. party is more important than acting in the greater good of our nation.

Listening to the names being read at the memorial service today is difficult because of the senseless, horrifying way they died, and the agony that people who love them still wrestle with today.  I can hear it in their voices, see it on their faces.

But it’s also hard because each of those people, each name being read, is a person who is vilely disrespected with the behavior of Americans today.  If the bloody sacrifice of almost 3,000 innocent people can’t make people in this country straighten up, work together, and find common ground for this nation; can’t force them to open their eyes and cast aside petty nonsense for a unified front; and doesn’t drive people to want to make this a better country, instead of sitting on their useless asses and spewing venom about it while offering no viable suggestions for improvement…then what hope do we have?  And, more importantly, why do so many people accept this and make no attempt to change this?

I know I am not alone.  I know I am not the only one watching the memorial service today and finding it just as hard as last year, the year before, and the year before that, hearing the names, one after another, and feeling the enormity of the loss of that day.  I am not the only who observed a moment of silence at 8:46 AM.  I am not the only one whose chest tightened at the sight of the flag during the procession to Ground Zero, with pride, grief, and the fury of knowing this country deserves better from its own people.

Don’t let “Never forget” become a cutesy slogan.  Act it.  Live it.  And remember.

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Posted in 9/11, America, change, fear, Patriot Day, sad | 1 Comment

Letting Go

lettinggoAll too soon, the kids headed back to school today.  A new year, a new round of teachers, an entire school year stretched ahead of them to learn, grow, change.

One of the kids is not heading to school today.  Wolverine, believe it or not, is 20 years old and went to work today, just like he has every day for the past year or so.  I wonder if he still finds it odd to get up and dress for work instead of school.

Then again, I didn’t find it strange when I was that age.  I was glad to be out of school, glad to be starting college and then my first full-time job.  I had no idea what a struggle it must have been for my parents, watching all of us, one by one, get older, graduate, move out, move on.

Not many people still read this blog, but if you do, maybe you are one of the people who remembers when “the kids” referred to small children, toddling about, sitting in our laps, offering up little feet for shoes to be tied, requiring our accompaniment down dark hallways if they felt spooked.

Today, Bear is a senior.  Sunflower is also in high school, and Dove is starting her last year of middle school.

I am not one of those tearful, maudlin, clingy parents who wants their kids to stay small forever.  I enjoy watching them grow up, learn things, take care of themselves, move into new phases of their young lives.  I don’t call any of them “my baby” because they are not babies.  They are intelligent young people with their own minds and their own lives in front of them.

I don’t want to hold them back, restrain them, squash them, suffocate them.  I don’t want to sit on them with my own insecurities or emotions or fears.  That’s not fair to them.  I was allowed to grow up.  Why stop them?

Sometimes, when I don’t expect it, I look at one of the kids like I am seeing them with new eyes.  Instead of a little kid in front of me, I see the young adult he or she is now, and it startles me.  When did that happen?

We laugh now, sharing stories, talking about when the kids were little, and I know the kids feel like that was long, long ago.  In a way, it was.  In another, it was just yesterday.

This school year, I know everything we do with Bear is the last time.  His last prom, his last football season, his last school pictures.  Not far behind him will be Sunflower, and not long after her will be Dove.

My throat tightens at that thought, I admit.  I guess it’s fear of the unknown, wanting them to be happy, having little control over the steps they take next.  Hoping we have taught them well, prepared them to face the world without us holding their hand.

I won’t cry at graduation, or embarrass them with tears at the last football game, or sniffle all over them as they take their first steps into adulthood.  I won’t call them my babies when they deserve more respect than that.  It’s been their dad’s and my job to get them ready for that day, after all, to let go of our hands and walk out that door into their own life, on their own two feet, making their own decisions.

I might cry later, though.  Just a little.  I might not be able to stop it once they are gone, once we are supposed to go back into our house without them and wonder what to do with their old room, their things, little pieces of them that they probably no longer want but that we won’t have the heart to get rid of.

It’s not today, but it’s coming.  It won’t make it any easier to know ahead of time.  I will resist the urge to wrap my arms around them tighter, cling harder, trying to make them stay kids just a little longer.  They deserve to open their wings, spread them out, give them a test drive, soar on their own.

But I hope they always know that just because we let go to let them grow, just because we stepped back to let them step forward, doesn’t mean we will not always be there, one phone call away, hands ready, to steady them, hug them, hold them, then turn them loose yet again.

Posted in growing up, kids, parenting, young adults | 1 Comment

Nothing but a Baby Mama

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What more could I possibly add to this?  Every word is true.  A woman, an adult, a mother is able to move on after a relationship ends and is able to put the children’s needs first.   Her focus is on the children’s well-being, health, emotions, and happiness.

An immature piece of trash, on the other hand, is too selfish to ever think of anything or anyone but herself.   Kids are nothing but puppets and pawns to be jerked around, yanked apart, manipulated, and used, all in the name of feeding the egg donor’s insatiable ego.  Her jealousy knows no bounds, and her life revolves around her ex-husband even more than it ever did while they were actually married.  He has no right to be happier without her, damnit, and she can’t stand it.

When the kids are scattered in mangled bits, tossed about like torn shreds of confetti, destroyed for her own gain, what then?  Will she think she has won?  If so, what exactly did she win?  Being the biggest piece of shit in the kids’ lives?  Is that truly the best she can aim for?

Maybe it is.  At least, it might be the best she intends, because she doesn’t care enough to be a better parent for their sake.  She knows that he loves them more than she does, or she wouldn’t be so eager to weaponize them against him.  By her own actions, she admits he is better than her…but the rest of us already knew that.

Posted in can't make the bitch be a good parent, child abuse, children deserve better, crazy ex-wife, kids deserve better, kids' rights, miserable bitch, parental alienation, sad | Leave a comment

The Southern Cult

Just for chuckles today:Starter Kit

Maybe you have to live around these parts to really understand the humor in this.  All I know is, I laughed so hard when I saw this that I nearly pulled a muscle, because this perfectly fits damn near every woman I know in Hickville, the inbred and uncultivated trash heap where the kids are forced to live with Crow.

We even affectionately nicknamed that god-awful haircut and skunk-stripe bleach job pictured in the top row after Hickville, because for a while, it seemed like a town ordinance for every woman to have that godforsaken mess perched on top of her vacuous head.  It’s still a popular choice there, even though it is flattering on a total of none, but most of the womenfolk have shifted to a utilitarian chop job with pronounced sideburns (yes, just as lovely as it sounds, I assure you).

I am surprised that women in Hickville don’t have monograms tattoo’d on their foreheads.  I swear, they monogram everything, from shirts (for every holiday, mind you) to shoes to bags to towels to wreaths and those absurd, icky yard flags.  It’s like a raging monogram virus swept the town and left its indelible, tacky mark.  And if it doesn’t have a monogram plastered on it, then it’s doused in chevron stripes, preferably in loud, clashing colors, to make sure everyone notices them and their new, just-like-every-other-washed-up-has-been’s aforementioned haircut.

The only thing not quite accurate is that the auto back glass decals pictured do not include “Salt Life”.  That’s quite trendy in Hickville, even for people whose cracked heels rarely find themselves submerged in proper bath water, let alone sea water.

Wrapping oneself in a billboard for God is pretty typical too.  It’s like they think if they mention God enough times on their shirts, then people won’t notice the rather un-Godlike things they do and say on a regular basis.  Along the same lines, it’s like they need to constantly be reminded that they are, indeed, in the south, because everything is Southern This and Southern That.  Did they forget where they were?  Did all that bleach from the Hickville haircut sink into their diminutive gray matter?

The Holy Grail in Hickville would be a chevron-striped shirt, with a monogram tacked on the front, a quote about God plastered on the back, as long as the shirt brand is Southern Something or Other, and for some reason always a size or two too damn small, paired with distressed, too-tight jeans doused with cheap rhinestones, and a cell phone in a chevron-striped case poking out of the back pocket…oh, who am I kidding?  They like to stuff their iPhones right into their sweaty bras, which probably have monograms on them too.

The entire thing is kind of like the uniform of a bizarre redneck cult, one to which I am quite glad I do not belong…okay, well, except for bling on jeans.  Guilty!  And proud of it! I love sparkly anything and everything, in moderation, though.  But I was like that before I ever moved down south, I swear. And…*pinky swear*…I don’t own a single shirt with a monogram, a chevron stripe, or the word “southern” on it!

Posted in funny, Hickville, humor, things I hate, trendy crap | Leave a comment

Game 4

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The last 3 games have been this ugly.  And sad.  

Typically, this time of year, this blog would be dripping with hockey-related posts.  For those poor, sad folks who don’t follow hockey, allow me to explain: it’s play-off season!

However, it appears that someone failed to notify the Tampa Bay Lightning of this fact, because for the last three games, they have played like hockey season is long over.  I even hesitate to say they have been playing the game of hockey at all.  They showed up and skated around a bit on some ice at the same time that another team happened to be playing, but I didn’t see much attempt on their part at hockey at all.

Every year, I say I am going to switch to a good hockey team.  A consistent one.  A team that doesn’t frustrate and irritate me.  And every year, I put on my Lightning jersey and yell at the TV and roof for the damn Lightning anyway.

Game #4 is tonight, and if my Lightning lose, they are eliminated from the play-offs.  That is the most likely outcome.  Even if, by some unforeseen miracle, they win, they would have to win four games in a row to stay in the play-offs, and I don’t see that happening.  I suppose stranger things have happened, though, so I will still follow the score.  I will still root for the Lightning.  And if they are eliminated tonight, well…I will put my jersey away until next season, when we start this roller coaster ride once again.

Go, Lightning!

Posted in hockey, I love hockey, NHL play-offs, Stanley Cup playoffs, Tampa Bay Lightning | Leave a comment

Nothing Left

“Hate, baby, hate
When there’s nothing left for you.”
~ INXS, New Sensation

My adoration for 80s music aside, I love this lyric.  I’ve always liked that song, but those particular words take on new meaning now, knowing and seeing what I do now.

I’m no Pollyana, but I am not an especially negative person either.  I prefer to pay attention to the beauty, happiness, and humor in my life instead of the dark clouds.  I’d honestly much rather just be left alone than deal with most people in the first place.

Not everyone is like that.  Some people truly enjoy sucking the life out of others, spreading their negativity and venom like a cancer, no hint of happiness until they have made someone else miserable.

Crow is like this.  From what others have told me, she’s been that way for quite some time.  It shows.  She has permanent frown lines etched into her sour face, and she hates to see anyone else being happy.

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That is exactly why she is so volatile about Gary and me.  We are happy together.  We are something she will never have.  She is incapable of giving love, genuine love, because she loves no one but herself.

I would never choose to live that way.  It’s obviously a miserable existence.  But, just like the song says, it’s all she has, so she clings to it and milks it and squeezes every drop of gloom out of it, flinging her failures and squalor into everyone’s faces, hoping to drag them down to her level.

Most people have the emotional maturity to learn from their mistakes and adapt their behavior to better outcomes.  People like Crow do not.  She will never change.  It’s sad.  No matter how unhappy she is, she will refuse to let go of her bitterness and manufactured hate, refuse to make any changes in her life to be a better person.

I can’t control that.  I don’t feel sorry her, since it’s in her power to live differently.  At best, she serves as an example of how not to be, and I take it to heart.  I want to look at my life and see Gary, the kids, laughter and jokes, hugs and quiet moments, my family, things and people and memories that make me smile.  I don’t want to devote my life to negativity and toxins and venom.

Unlike her, that is not all that I have left.  And I intend to keep it that way.

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Posted in don't want to ever be like her, happy, life, miserable bitch, pathetic | Leave a comment

My One

Happy Birthday LoveWe’ve celebrated several birthdays over the years, and I hope we have a million more together.  Today is Gary’s birthday, and even though he always insists we don’t make a fuss about it, I want him to feel as loved as he truly is today.

There are about 7.5 billion people in the world, but there isn’t another one quite like Gary.  He is funny, protective, strong, smart, honest, and as real as someone could possibly get.  He doesn’t pretend to be something he’s not.  He doesn’t see the point.  Whatever he thinks, he says.  There is no wondering where you stand with him!

When I say he is my one, I mean it.  I can’t imagine sharing this life with anyone else.  I want to always wake up with him beside me.  I want to be there with him and for him.  I want to be as good for him as he is for me.

Happy birthday, Gary!   You have been my one, since day one.  I am glad we found each other.

Posted in birthday, family, love, my husband | Leave a comment