Tuesday, September 9, 2014

It's Been a Long, Short Month

My brother mentioned on Sunday that it had been one month since our mom passed away.  It hardly seems possible. But time continues to march on, whether we realize it or not. It's been a month of sadness, grief, drama, and change. 

Here at home our little group of three has been enlarged to four.  Rather than be resistant to this new change, J has been absolutely thrilled. His favorite uncle is now here all the time.  He has someone other than me to see every day. Indeed, he spends a lot of time with Bobby. Although Bobby is patient with him, I know that having all this attention can be a bit much. We are currently having to remind J to stay off Uncle Bobby's bed. J doesn't click with just anyone. Only certain people get to enter his world so I am very happy when I see that connection.

The house is currently stuffed to the gills with furniture, books, and all manner of things that help to make a house a home. Not only did Bobby bring a lot with him, about the same time we were blessed with things from the Hubster's side of the family. Most people use the term "in law" or even "In love" to point out the relationships that aren't by blood. I dropped that a long time ago. They are simply my Mom and my sister. They've downsized a bit to make their lives simpler, and Mom made sure I got the furniture. I love stuff with history so I'm happy it all came to the Hubs and me. Along with a dining set came various other items that I am still going through and putting in place. Things that once belonged to sisters in Christ; lovely ladies who still have much to teach me, even though one dear sister has been gone for a few years now. Remind me one day to tell Miss Erna's story. Suffice it for now to say it is one of dedication. She was a woman of quiet strength. Neither a non believing husband nor cancer kept her from worship if she could help it.

Slowly, day by day and box by box, we are settling in once again. Day to day life is being figured out. Life tends to move on that way.

One month after her passing I'm still scrambling a bit to find my footing. Family that I thought would pull closer tended to pull away into their own safe groups. I'm not so sure that I haven't done the same. Grief tends to do that. Grief heightens emotions and makes people strike out and hurt others in some cases, sends us running to arms we know that are safe in others.  Hopefully, prayerfully, in time family "fights" will heal. 

It's been a long hard month in some ways, yet it's gone so quickly. It reminds me that we need to make the most of life while we have it. And we need to hold on to family while we can. Easier said than done, I know. But life is fleeting, folks. In the blink of an eye it's over. What will we have to show for it at the end?  A life of striving to live like Christ, or a lifetime of looking out for number one? Gathering of loved ones to hold on to, or grabbing for things that give us stature or pleasure?

Thursday, September 4, 2014

An Open Letter to Adults About Teaching and Correcting Children

 Dear parents, teachers, aunts, uncles, and other adults in charge of children:

Just a few days ago I was verbally attacked by an eighteen year old and her little friends. It happened publicly, on Facebook, because this child has obviously been taught, one way or another, that this is the proper way of handling a situation. Throw out a liberal dose of profanity and beat one's chest in the manner of a gorilla, sprinkling in words like respect.  

Sad to say, at first I took the bait, although I did not read this child's entire rant. I responded from the heart. Then I deleted and apologized to anyone who could have read any of that on my page. I am by no means perfect, but I won't listen to that type of speech. I close my ears to it. Using that language at me on the phone earns a hang up. In print, the delete button comes in very handy.  I even stated that conversations are welcome; profanity and abusive language would be removed and those involved would be blocked from my page.  My husband took it upon himself to guard my page so I wouldn't have to see it all. Why? Because I'm related to the 18 year old and the ones who chose to follow her lead.

I did see that one adult came to the defense of the 18 year old, remarking that no one knows the truth about the 18 year old. The sad truth is, that in this world that can quote and twist to their needs in many cases the verse in the bible that says judge not, everyone does. Matthew 7:1, NIV, states "Do not judge, or you too will be judged."  Because I was judged, those who read the diatribe on my page judged the 18 year old by her words and by what they could see on the 18 year old's own page. 

Truth: People know you by your words and your actions. If you are proud of those words and actions, own it. If you aren't happy with the way people see (judge) you, then perhaps it's time to do some thinking.

Some will dismiss the actions and words of those involved in the verbal attack as those who don't know any better, or "they're going to do stuff like that, they're young".  Just kids. I see. That makes it okay then. Or does it? As i said, the main instigator was 18. One of her followers (whether he wrote himself or was "hacked") is in his late 20's. 

Truth: Parents, Aunts, Uncles, Teachers, and other adults in authority, we must remember that the words and actions of our children are a reflection on us. 

Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.  KJV Proverbs 22:15

It is up to us adults to teach and to correct bad behavior while the children are young so that when the world sees our little darlings, the world doesn't hold up a mirror that makes us unhappy.  We all love our children and we want to be the cool parent whose home is the local hangout, right? That's what keeps our children loving us, right? Not so much. Being a parent means teaching right from wrong, and how to deal with a situation that makes them unhappy. In other words, if we do not correct our children's behavior now, someone else will do it later, and the way it is done may lead to heartbreak. Not everyone will simply hit delete and move on. Some will choose to involve the police or other court system, some will retaliate in kind and introduce violence. We only have to read or watch the news to know that deaths occur everyday in this country(!) over matters that could and should have been talked out.  Many scream about how far we've come as a society, and how certain groups are dragging us back in time to "the bad old days." Read your history. We haven't gone forward or backward. We're simply spinning our wheels because the lesson's aren't being learned.

I for one, have many lessons still to learn. I am by no means perfect. But when someone has a problem, I am willing to listen as long as it is brought to me in  a respectful manner. Respect is another word being thrown about in this world, like truth, but few know or care about its meaning. That, my friends, is another lesson for another day. For now I have spoken my peace. Thank you for listening.