when in the course of human events the truth hurts

Yesterday, as I have already shared, was the anniversary of my late brother’s birthday. Of course it was also the 241st birthday of these United States and their Declaration of Independence from England and King George III – which of course all Americans know is why we have parades everywhere and why we wear all the red, white and blue stars and stripes, watch that Will Smith movie and why we enjoy anything and everything under the hot July sun, as well as the blowing up of all the rockets red glare, legal and illegal.

We all do know this?

Right?

Of course we all do because we are Americans it’s ‘murica that we are celebrating as we celebrate our Independence Day.

Right?

Naturally, it would be safe to assume that all of us Americans would recognize the Declaration of Independence because, after all, that is what we are celebrating on Independence Day – these United States declaring their independence from Great Britain and the British Crown.

Of course we all would.

Except we all don’t. Some Americans don’t recognize it at all. And some might even take it as a personal attack on their politics and their Leader and…well, it’s sad to imagine that some of us who wrap ourselves up so tightly in the Stars and Stripes imagining that they are more American than anyone who does not ascribe to their beliefs can not recognize the words of the sacred document that was the catalyst of the birth of our Nation.

Sad.

And laughable too.

Sad!

No, it was not an attack against the man who is sometimes in the White House, nor is it not a call to arms to overthrow him and the Party who, for now, is in charge of all branches of the Federal government; even if some passages might remind us of the weird that is history repeating itself sometimes.

Some Americans might not recognize the actual words of the Declaration of Independence when they hear it or read it, but I am certain that 15,000 new American citizens do – as they must pass a citizenship test which SURPRISE includes questions about the Declaration of Independence.

on the deck of the USS Hornet, Alameda, CA photo credit – Sharon Rummery

Congratulations, my new fellow Americans!

For what it’s worth, I tested myself too and I am really embarrassed to admit that I missed one of the 20 sample test questions.

Whenever you feel that future is threatened, whenever those values of liberty and justice for all that drew us here seem under assault, you need to speak up and speak out. That’s the whole point of the freedoms we cherish.

Senator Kamala Harris

the cool kids

This might quite possibly be the only time ever that I was one of the cool kids.

…the cool kids of the Borough of Ben Avon, circa 1969.

I miss you, my brother. You’re supposed to be celebrating or regretting turning 54 years old today. But you’re not. Thirteen years now. Miss you, still.

Not only had my brother disappeared, but–and bear with me here–a part of my very being had gone with him. Stories about us could, from them on, be told from only one perspective. Memories could be told but not shared.

John Corey Whaley ~ When Things Come Back

wanted: role model in chief

I don’t know about you all but here we are halfway through 2017 and I am exhausted…like feeling older than the hills exhausted.

I am old enough to remember when Michelle Obama said, Let’s be very clear: Strong men – men who are truly role models – don’t need to put down women to make themselves feel powerful People who are truly strong lift others up. People who are truly powerful bring others together. 

It really does feel like a lifetime ago – yet it wasn’t. It was EIGHT MONTHS AGO!!!

Fuck!

When I was a little girl I looked to people like John F. Kennedy as an inspirational hero. Sure he was assassinated when I was just a toddler, but his influence and inspiration lived on; along with his brother, Bobby, and Martin Luther King Jr. Children look to the leaders, the men and women we see in media as role models to inspire us to aspire to our own greatness – the stuff that childhood fantasies and dreams are made of. Of course they are not perfect people, as no one is. But these role models show us strength, power, character in lifting up the weakest and bringing people together to do great things. It’s no surprise that for many children it is the Presidents that they look to for this. For my older children it was Bill Clinton. For my younger ones it was Barack Obama – and Michelle too. Yeah, like I said, not wholly perfect but, in a child’s view, larger than life, lifting others up and bringing others together.

And then there is the current President of the United States and…

Honestly, anyone with a child has to be asking themselves, how do I explain this President’s actions especially since he faces no consequences. Well, anyone except perhaps Sarah Huckabee Sanders. To defend a schoolyard bully saying he punches back harder when punched and that this is a good thing was beyond the pale – and laughable when suggested that the previous Administration was never attacked as much as this President and THIS President does show the dignity of the office every day in his actions.

All of America collectively smirks asking, you DO know Donald Trump?!

Pundits shake their heads and laugh at the expectation that our President of the United States should be a person above reproach in their character, dignified, a role model and a strong leader who inspires. This is Donald J. Trump, they tell us. And somehow, that is supposed to excuse him…excuse the tweets, the personal attacks, the misogyny, the bigotry…all of it with no apology.

NO!

We should expect better.

We deserve better.

Our children deserve someone living in the White House who inspires them to work harder,  to do better, to do good things, to do great things.

Currently there is no such person residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Sad!

 

no one cares about your car

Before I met my darling husband, I awkwardly navigated the life that is being young, single and, perhaps not so ready to mingle but doesn’t want to be alone like pretty much every young, single adult ever. The amount of awkward that was me was ridiculous.

Kids, I can’t express enough to you how thankful I am that you never knew the young, single me. The fact that you’re alive is a miracle! No, really. It is.

But I was a kind of normal, single young woman and I wanted more than anything in the whole world to have somebody who loves me. So I did what most single, young people my age did – after I went to church and Bible Study that my aunt and uncle encouraged me to go to. They meant well. Like me, they wanted me to meet people and make friends but perhaps I was too awkward even for their church and College/Singles Bible Study. So, after Bible Study, I headed over to the local 18 and older club. Many thanks to that one girl in Bible Study who told me about it too.

No kids, the club is not where I met your father. 

Does anyone really meet their forever love and soulmate in the club?

I did mingle…and danced…and maybe drank a little…and maybe mingled some more…and came to appreciate the fact that the club was not the place where I would find my soulmate.

Wanna see my car? It’s a 260ZX and like super cool.

And it blah-blah-blah-blah…

Truth be told, it was a kind of cool car back when I was single and mingling. It’s an even cooler car decades later in 2017. But if the most exciting thing about a guy was his car, I was not mingling anymore.

My darling husband drove a 1973 Pinto Wagon when we met in 1982. I could have cared less about that car because to me there was so much more about this guy – his smile, his eyes, his wit, his attention to what I was thinking that was so much more important than his car…or the 260ZX owned by the bro up in the club.

To the bro in the club, and the Bible Study and anywhere then it’s not about the car that you drive. It never was about the car that you drive.

And today, years later, I am happy to discover that for my daughters and for their friends, that no one cares about the car you drive, bro. No one. Really.

Tonight I shall sleep the blissful slumber that is the truth that I have raised up my daughters right…and the mamas of their friends have too.

at last, docking

Eleven years is a long, long, long, long, LONG, LONG time to be on a cruise.

Believe me.

Such is life with a circus like mine.

Worth it though. Every single time they smile. Every time. Every single time.Truly, every damn time. And just when I thought we need to dock this cruise already, it was time to hit the high seas again – one last time.

But at last, at long last, we are docking this cruise we signed on and paid for. At long last!

Smile, Son!

Eleven years getting the best of orthodonture care from the best of orthodontists in the 209.I’m going to miss sending every six weeks in her office probably just as much as she is going to miss the checks that I have written her over the years. I shared with her today, for the first time, the tale of our beautiful smiles cruise. We both agree that it has been a long, but pretty delightful cruise with lots of smiles along the way. But all good things, even the best of cruises must end.

And we all can not help but smile even bigger and brighter – thanks to Dr. Duong.

.