April 30 2007

You’re Back! 

Welcome back Blog Readers! Glad you returned after my little rant last week. And I didn’t get one nasty email about that freedom of speech remark – in fact, everyone who commented concurred with my thoughts. It’s reassuring to me that many people are as fed up as I am with all the negative stuff in our society.

And these disturbing issues do need to be addressed and talked about - in hopes that these all-too-often occurrences can - at least sometimes or even once - be prevented. The topper last week was seeing the obit of that pretty teenage high school girl who didn’t want to...


live anymore. It absolutely breaks your heart.


I was glad, however, to see that the family requested donations be sent to Crossroads, a wonderful nonprofit organization which is dedicated to providing a range of services to children and adolescents who are experiencing emotional, behavioral and substance abuse problems.


I pray those who are suffering, in so many ways, will find the help they need.  


I was also glad to see that my words did indeed get people talking (especially parents) and maybe even get the message across to those in authority to help prevent future tragedies.  


Here were some comments regarding last weeks’ blog: 


“Your blog was right on target--it's scarier and scarier what is happening on high school and college campuses. Why kids like Cho go untreated is alarming. Thanks for writing that. I would have kept my kids home, too, under the same circumstances.” 


“Freedom of speech has made us all prisoners of fear, hate and disrespect. Disrespect seems to be the root of many evils in my opinion.” 


“I agree, especially with the sentiment about Don Imus.  I think a huge part of the picture starts at home. This society as a whole has become more interested in getting what it wants and more "stuff", than in realizing what gifts they already have and nurturing those into a positive, caring addition to society with values and integrity to pass on to their children.  I rarely hear kids of today refer to anything their grandparents had to say.  I cherished the time I had with my grandparents and miss them every day.  She [grandmother] not only knew what her kids were doing, she knew what all of their friends were up to.  Who needed police?  In my opinion, society needs to take a long hard look at what it values and why.” 


And this from my buddy, and former magazine editor, now living in Europe, said:


“This is something I can say from afar, after three years away, is very oddly and tragically uniquely American. People always ask me WTF is going on there that kids keep blowing each other away.”


And then there’s this from a male musician friend of mine:


“Gee, Dee, you’re getting pretty political there - just don’t get into Gun Control – some people know where you live.”


 I’m not sure he even knows how I stand on that issue, and no, John J, I’m not going to go there – well, save for this one little comment: 


While it is indeed a frightening, and disheartening, thought imagining everyone wielding guns around everywhere you go (kinda reminds me of that Wild, Wild West show we boomers grew up with), I do agree that it’s high time we are legally able to defend ourselves in our own homes. Just last week in Cleveland, a 15-year-old attempted to rob a man on his own property, and the man shot – and killed - the kid. As terrible as that is – and it is terrible, that it’s come down to this – that man’s actions, along with others in similar situations, may finally get these thugs thinking before they act. It all just makes me incredibly sad that our world is so violent.  


And if you’ve read any of my former blogs, you know what’s coming next:


Why can’t everyone just be happy? And if you can’t be happy, at least be nice. That might make you happier. Really, try it sometime….  


Well, so I guess I did get into that issue, now didn’t I?  . . . Okay, enough on that topic….


I have to remind myself that I’m not in the running to replace Rosie O’Donnell (and don’t want to be). So yes, let’s keep it mild, shall we? J  


Praise The Lord – But Keep it Down, Will Ya? 


I love this one:


Some residents in Massillon are raising “Cain” because church worshipers are too loud with all that happy singing and praising the Lord stuff.


My, oh, my, the way the world is today, we can’t have that now, can we?  


Of course, it’s a black congregation causing all that ruckus. And I think I’m going to head down there real soon and join them, before those neighbors who “don’t like that high-decibel style” of worship obtain enough signatures on their petition to stop them.


I’m not kidding. I’ve always wanted to go to a black church because it always looks like they’re having such a good time (remember Whoopi Goldberg in Sister Act, now didn’t that look fun?). And I think it would be a wonderful, and positive (and we can always use positive) experience. I think it’s great that they all get excited. I’m Catholic and I do really like my church, especially our priest, who is a very intelligent, interesting speaker (and most of all, has a sense of humor – which is essential to my continued attendance), but sometimes the mass is just too slow. It’s why I don’t do Yoga. I like lots of energy around me (this does not come as a surprise to those who know me). And I like singing (though I sing solo . . . so low no one hears me, that is - and believe me, that’s the most Christian thing I can do for those folks. Just ask my husband . . . and my best friend  . . who’ve heard me sing - and loudly).


So I see nothing wrong with happy, loud voices thanking God for their life. Everyone should be doing that. Maybe we’d all be a lot happier … Or at least more grateful. And nice.


Missing Mom 


Last Friday was the anniversary of my mothers’ death three years ago.


All of us baby boomers are at an age where our parents are becoming ill and dying. So many of you can relate to how I feel. I’m upset that all those people were wrong. The ones who told me, “It gets easier with time.” I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t. I honestly miss my mom more today than that first year. I think I miss her phone calls the most. Her voice was always animated, “Heeelllloo, what’cha doin?” she’d sing into the receiver.


She’d then tell me what she’d been up to the past week and this is how the conversation often went:


“Hi, Mom.”


“Oh, you’ll never guess who I saw yesterday!”


“Who, Mom?”


“Well, I was walking to Marc’s ‘cause I was almost out of cat food, and you know Smokey just won’t eat anything but that canned stuff. And then I remembered I had to first stop at the post office, and I wasn’t even sure I’d make it there before it started raining, those clouds did look awfully grey . . . but luckily . . .”


“Mooommm, who did you see?”


“Now, just hold your horses, I’m getting to that . . .”


And when she finally got around to telling me, it was usually someone I didn’t even know… 


Another time she called and excitingly asked:


“OH, you will never guess where I was today?!”


“Where were you, Mom?”


Now this time she really did surprise me . . .


“I was at Eliot Ness’ funeral!” 


Now, granted my mother did like having a few beers (on weekends it was Gin & Squirt) but this was on a Tuesday afternoon and although giddy, she sounded perfectly sober.


“Come on, Mom, Eliot Ness died years ago”


“I know,” she said quite smugly. “But they moved him to Lake View Cemetery today, and I was there.” 


I can’t recall the details on why, or the year (I’m thinking it was ’97 or so) so I just called my 84-year-old uncle for more details because it is quite a story. He’s going to look into his newspaper archives and get back to me, so I’ll save that for next week. 


But yeah, that was my mom.


How can you not miss someone like that?  


I cannot express to you how much I miss those chats and stories of hers that I, in truth, used to think took too long, or often was stuff I wasn’t really interested in.


Yet, those are the moments I should have appreciated more. Those are the moments I really miss.


God Bless you, Mom 


So, till next time, blog readers - Call Your Mother.

If you’re lucky enough to be able to .  . .