Friday, December 30, 2011

Smart


*****Rant Alert*****

Over the past few weeks, I have encountered many "smart" people, both children and adults. Kids with high IQ's who are achieving high grades in school. And adults who are not working, going to school, or doing anything really significant. What happened to these over-acheiving children? They were so smart. I thought they were going to conquer the world. What happened?

The only answer I can come up with is LIFE happened. These kids get plenty of book knowledge in school. But they don't seem to get life skills. Kids don't know how to cope with adversity, because many simply have never had to face it. Mom or Dad make sure that they never face the consequences of their actions. Things are always the "teacher's fault." Many kids don't have a concept of budgeting or saving for things they need. They are afraid to take risks and "just do it." They have never been taught how to fail.

I just want to shake these adults and say "Go to college, live in a ratty dorm, and eat Ramen noodles. You will survive and you will have an education that no one can ever take away from you." I want to say "Take the fast food/retail job. You will learn skills that will serve you well in life. Things like the fact that, in life, you are going to have to take orders from people without your level of intellect." I want to send them to classes to learn life skills if they have not learned them from parents or grandparents. And, if they really don't have a clue where they want to go in life, tell them to join a volunteer organization like "Americorps" that will help them clarify their goals. Or, join the military. 

Just DO something. 




Sunday, December 25, 2011

Together for Christmas

Today is the 21st anniversary of my mother's death. I remember spending Christmas Day 1990 sitting in the ICU waiting room of the Vicksburg hospital struggling to let go of my Mama. On paper, the date is the 26th, when the doctor got there after midnight to pronounce her dead. But, she was gone Christmas night.


Since then, Christmas has been bittersweet. It was my Mama's favorite holiday and she went all out. After her death, I cut way back on things. Less spending, less cooking, less decorating. Trying to find someone off the "beaten path" to help. Not necessarily bad things. And eventually, as time passed, I began to truly enjoy parts of Christmas again.


But now, with my Daddy dead only 10 days, I am now spending the wee hours of Christmas morning in tears. It is like I am not only grieving his loss, but the loss of my mother again as well. Both gone, right here at Christmas time.


The one thought that brings me comfort at this point that my Mama and Daddy are together for Christmas, once again. And not just together, but in Heaven to boot. 


So, I will mourn my losses and hope that time once again heals me enough to enjoy the Celebration of the birth of Jesus once again. 







Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sorting Through

One of today's tasks was to meet with the rest of my family to sort through some of my Daddy's things. I will be the first to admit, I am not good at this sort of thing. Even with the person gone, it seems like such an intrusion to go through their drawers, closets, and desks. 


As the others picked out things to keep as mementos, I found very little need for this. I am at a point where I am trying to simplify my life and get rid of the "things" that are not really useful or beautiful. I have photos, both displayed and on my electronic devices. My memories are safe in my head (at least for the moment). I did bring home a small coin bank that my Daddy has possessed as a child, simply because I liked it and found it charming. 


Twenty one years ago, it was much harder to part with my mother's things. While the rest of my family tossed, I gathered and boxed for going through at a later date. I guess that need for tangible things has diminished as I grow older and realize that the real "mementos" are the gifts my parents gave me growing up. I learned to be resourceful, generous, helpful, and (most of the time) kind from my parents. I learned the value of a dollar and how to work for it early on. I learned the importance of family and being there for each other. 


And these mementos are the ones that really count. 



Saturday, December 17, 2011

Timing

My Daddy went "home" on Thursday night, December 15th. 


In the past, I have never really understood when a deceased person's loved ones said things like "It was a blessing" or "He/She is not suffering anymore." I do now. 


Watching my Daddy weaken, become disoriented, and struggle for breath was the hardest thing I have ever had to watch. By the final days of my Daddy's life, I was begging God to take him home. 


Now I am the one saying "It was a blessing." Don't get me wrong. I will miss my Daddy terribly. But he is not suffering anymore. 


And I am beyond thankful.