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Dreaming of Peace on Memorial Day

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Many blessings on my military friends and their families — I’m sorry our nation keeps sending you into harm’s way. As this thoughtful video from Veterans for Peace suggests, I am also remembering and honoring civilian casualties of war and their loved ones this Memorial Day:

I pray for peace on this day of all days, and I hope that world leaders will take President Obama’s words at Hiroshima to heart:

“We’re not bound by genetic code to repeat the mistakes of the past. We can learn. We can choose. We can tell our children a different story, one that describes a common humanity, one that makes war less likely and cruelty less easily accepted.”  

 

** A footnote to my politically conservative Christian friends posting articles that criticize the president’s speech as “cowardly” or “an apology”: Setting aside whether or not one thinks an apology would have been appropriate, he did not make one, FYI. And I wonder which part of his actual remarks you think Jesus would disagree with?

Related:

http://bloggers4peace.wordpress.com/2013/02/11/kozo-cheri-asks-that-you/

Bloggers for Peace

 

Losing Track of Ourselves

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Today I am much involved in the wheres and whens and hows of logistics for a road trip, strategic plans for church, antibiotics for a tick bite, appointments for car servicing, blah, blah, and blah.

Having no useful words in my own head, I offer a few from the head of Frederick Buechner, one of my favorite authors. May they expand your world today, if only for a moment:

“We are much involved, all of us, with questions about things that matter a good deal today but will be forgotten by this time tomorrow — the immediate where and whens and hows that face us daily at home and at work — but at the same time we tend to lose track of the questions about things that matter always, life-and-death questions about meaning, purpose, and value. To lose track of such deep questions as these is to risk losing track of who we really are in our own depths and where we are really going.”

Frederick Buechner

Where are we really going?

Where are we really going?

On Not Being a Mother on Mother’s Day

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On Not Being a Mother on Mother’s Day:

I miss my mom. I hated Mother’s Day for a couple of years after she passed in 2008 — all the advertising and cards and balloons felt like salt in a wound. “Some of us don’t have mothers!” I felt like screaming.

Eight years later, I’m mostly rational again. My grief is gentler now, so I don’t mind being reminded of how blessed I was to have Lorna B. Griffin as my mom. I appreciate the special recognition for the role of mother, and I admire the dedication of my friends and family who are mothers and step-mothers and grandmothers. 

Think Before You Speak

I don’t like it, though, when people wish me “Happy Mother’s Day” without thinking. I want to make up index cards of statistics for these well-intentioned folks, reminding them that nearly one in five women end their childbearing years never having had children. One in five.

I’m one of the lucky ones. I am child-free by choice. Others, not so much — for many, their childless state feels  like a tragedy.

Personally, I’m not too bent out of shape by these misdirected greetings. I know people mean well, and life is too short to make up grievances where none are intended. It’s just a slight annoyance. Still, I know that for some, hearing “Happy Mother’s Day” directed at them is like a knife in the heart. Especially rote, impersonal regards from a stranger.

Try This Instead

I recommend that if you do not know someone’s maternal state, say something like, “Enjoy your day!” If they are a mom, they will hear, “Happy Mother’s Day.” If not, they will just enjoy their day.

Here’s another idea. While everyone is different, I love it when someone intentionally wishes *me* a Happy Mother’s Day, followed by a comment like, “You are a mother to so many people,” or “You are a mother to our church family,” or even (what an honor!) “You are a second mother to me.”

This recognizes and honors me as an individual. There’s no assumption that since I’m female, I must have given birth. There’s no awkward silence or imagined shame that I am somehow deprived because I did not give birth or adopt. There’s no sense of being “less than.” I just feel appreciated.

My Girls

My Kids, Eliza Bean and Mayasika

So: to all my loved ones who are mothers or step-mothers, Happy Mother’s Day! To all the females I love who are not mothers, I honor the woman in you. Thank you for being who you are, for nurturing the people who God brings into your orbit, and for spreading love in the world in ways that are uniquely yours.  Enjoy your day, everyone!

Happy Day, Mom!

Happy Day, Mom!

Grateful for Gratitude

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I know I need to write about Orange Man — I know I do. But words fail me. I just can’t do it yet. I felt genuine terror yesterday when I read that our security agencies are about to brief him on highly sensitive matters.

“Don’t tell him anything!” I wailed, right out loud. There’s simply no regulator on his tongue, and his only allegiance is to his own bloated ego, which is getting more and more inflated like some giant dirigible full of toxins that’s casting a huge shadow over my country and it’s going to burst and cover all of us with his Orange Poison of Hate.

So, you see, I’m not ready to write about what the Republican voters have done.

I also considered writing about my father, who passed away forty-one years ago tomorrow, while I was at my college orientation. I hadn’t wanted to go, but Mom said he would want me to, and she was right. But thinking about my Dad dying from alcoholism at just fifty-eight makes me sad, especially when I worry about other loved ones possibly be headed for the same fate. (If you wonder about yourself, I urge you to consider getting help.)

I’d like to write about the lovely spring weather and flowers and such, but it’s been raining for a week straight. My pansies have been flooded out. Plus, I’ve lost my umbrella.

DSCN4932

In case you haven’t guessed, I woke up a bit low this morning.

So I made a gratitude list in my journal, and I’ve decided that’s the best thing to share with you today. Here’s an excerpt:

My father being a kind man. My mother, my brother, my sister. My cats. My teal bedroom and the new matching quilt. Avocados. Cookbooks.The Bible. Books!! My drum. Airplanes. Candles. Music. Turtles. Cheese. Cheese pizza. Elephants. Rain forests. Brightly colored frogs. Having health care. The beach. Hummingbirds! Having an African-American president. Lilacs. The scent of vanilla. Fireflies. Stars. Prayer. Tea. Thank you!!

There you have it. I highly recommend the practice of gratitude. How can you be grumpy when you’re pondering brightly colored frogs?

Have an awesome weekend, my friends.

The Scar – A Poem

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I have a scar on the bridge of my nose, straight across.

I don’t see it, but others do.

Especially in the summer, when the slash of skin darkens.

It’s narrow, but long, slightly curved

like the edge of the paint can

my tiny toddler nose encountered

at the bottom of the basement stairs.

One person who always saw the scar,

saw it all his life

was my father

who was supposed to be watching me

when I tumbled

over and over,

down and down.

“We can get that fixed,”

he would say.

“It’s OK,” I would say.

It didn’t bother me

the way it bothered him.

Or maybe I liked that it bothered him.

I used to wonder, was he drinking?

paint-bucket_zy8Lrv_O

In response to today’s word prompt: Scars

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