Birthday

Dear Big Brother,

Today, you would have been 58 and in a few short weeks, I’ll be 50… You could see 50 so closely the day you left this world, were you excited about it?

This is such a weird journey on my own. Yes, I have lots of people in my circle, many of the names and faces you would remember. Our family-circle has shifted and changed and it still isn’t right without you here. Even though we not super involved in each others day-to-day life; I always had the promise of you. I always knew you were at the other end of an email or phone call. And now, now I can’t help but feel a little lost.

So in true Little Sister fashion, Big Brother, I have a few questions…

Is there Bingo in heaven, if not, I bet Mom is super pissed

Has Dad made peace with God yet?

Is Grandma Hedges still gloating over all the times she gave me the wrong ingredients to a recipe, so I’d fail and she would be needed to make it right?

Is Uncle Stan still playing the piano and telling bad jokes?

Did DiAnn make in the gate ok? She probably gave Saint Peter a rough time

I don’t remember Grandma Blanchard, does she remember me?

Does Jesus still do the water into wine trick? Golly, I hope so

Uncle Hink still has a harem, doesn’t he?

Will you save a seat for me, next to you? I’ve got a lot of shit yet to do here and lots of people to annoy.

Miss you much.

XOXOXO,

Me ❤️

p.s. I still haven’t forgiven you for locking me in the dryer, but we’ll hash that out when I get there

For What It’s Worth

I’m going to take a jump off the deep end; a topic I rarely discuss…

My family has a love of politics. My dad was mayor for over a decade in our small, sleepy town. My mom was highly opinionated and vocal [on most everything]. My brother was well versed and I have cousins who are smart and articulate on the subject. It is likely however, they would not agree with each other, but would be respectful. And as for me, I couldn’t really give two shits about it. I know that is callous to say, but I can’t believe in something or someone, when I know it is all a carnival and the politicians are just puppets and clowns. 

That being said, this rambling isn’t really about politics, but humanity. I’ve written many pages about life in a small town. I don’t believe my small town was all that unique, for its time. Yes, I’m that curmudgeon that reminisces about the “good old days”, but small town living in the 70’s is a land far-far away from life today. Believe me, I’m no June Cleaver, but I guess I’m far more traditional than my radical exterior. Yes, I am the old broad that bitches about the music today. No one is going to be singing Justin Bieber tunes 44 years from now! <reference: Stevie Wonder, Superstition, 1972> Look to the current movie trends, remakes of comic book heroes and cheesy movies like Point Break. (for real). But then there is the really dark side… 

We have become a society that glamorizes excess, lack of morality and just plain old stupidity. How in the world did the Kardashians become a thing? WTF is their purpose in our life? They aren’t real, they are a manufactured commodity that intends to sell us a shit show. We covet their glamorous life, younger and younger girls are seeking out lip injections. They are spokespeople for hair tools, makeup and other things that are intended to make we, the paupers, be like them while we flat iron our hair. News flash, they don’t do their own hair!!!

We have become a nation that is debating, making laws and creating hate over where someone pees!!! Seriously?!? As if struggling to identify who they are at their core isn’t tough enough, lets search them upon entry to see what they’re packin’ so that WE may decide where they pee. It’s a bathroom!!! C’mon, stop the witch hunts. Predators come in every shape, size and gender. It may even be someone in your own family or your kids’ coach. Stop. Just stop. 

We have become a people that criticizes, judges and condemns things that go against our beliefs. We must label every thing we do not understand. That Muslim in line at Target, must be a radical terrorist. Sorry, she is actually Hindu. We condemn anyone that isn’t like us or our beliefs. Stop. Please. 

I recently visited a women’s  federal prison facility in West Virginia. Half dozen women spent a week building relationships, showing love and digging deep within ourselves to find a place of compassion and grace. We quickly connected, felt love, empathy and a sense of protection of our new spiritual daughters. Yet, I’m met with the attitude and judgement of “what’s the point, they’ll just end up there again”. If I have any say in the matter, I will stand in the gap for any one of those girls and cheer her on. Maybe with someone who actually cares and believes the best about her, she may find peace and a new way of doing things. 

We are all one bad decision away from devastating consequences. 

We all have a God-shaped hole in our heart. That place of purpose and longing. A place to feel safe and loved. Sadly, we stuff it full of garbage. Buying things we can’t afford. Living to impress others. Dumping our own identity so that we can be like someone else. Stuffing the hole with excess, drugs, bad relationships – all in the name of being connected or belonging to a community. 

So, my circle back to politics…

The current presidential candidates, I think we deserve them. They embody all that is wrong in our nation. We created them. Lying, bigotry, deals and bargains to stomp on people to get ahead, changing our views and vocabulary to make people think more highly of us. Name calling and finger pointing as an attack to create chaos and outrage. We believe that they are real, authentic and genuine; about as authentic as the Kardashians. 

I am heartsick over the condition of our nation; our greedy, phony, sad and desperate land. Search that God-shaped hole in your own heart, kick out the garbage. Seek out the things that speak life. Speak truth. Live love.