It HAS to be something else, doesn’t it?

Without any forethought or planning other than marriage, I moved to a smaller town of 15,000, give or take, in the heartland.  It was a predominantly white town of blue collar Maytag workers…lots of union workers…my first impression as an outsider…kind of a clique town.  I finally landed a well paying job for the county sheriffs office, made a lot of friends, helped organize labor union representation for county workers, volunteered in the community and raised 2 successful daughters.  Through most of my life in this small town/county, my only real political problems involved going up against the old white men republicans that sat at the head of the county board of supervisors when we negotiated union contracts and my hatred of these same old white men every winter when my gravel roads became impassable.  Rather an idealic life, wouldn’t you say?

Then Maytag up and left the community for Mexico and was later sold to the Whirlpool Company.  A state prison was built south of town, crime increased which I will always believe had something to do with the inmate population being in the back yard, we acquired a more significant drug problem, I have no facts or figures on the percentages but I maintain we spent a lot of time, money and energy on a lot of lost souls whom I referred to as dirt bags….unless you have worked as a public service employee……law enforcement, health services….you just don’t know what is out there…..and you really don’t want to know.

Now 40 years later, I have been changed.  I look at the plight of these dirt bags differently, I maintain their lifestyle is the result of years of poor, broken families who just gave up on their kids and their kids, etc.  I believe they escaped their hardships with drugs and everything else to make themselves feel good in the moment and this cycle of survival began.  I understand this lack of compassion and hatefulness pouring out of  our conservative D.C. Government….the dregs of society draining our coffers because they are lazy and refuse to work.  For the most part I understand it….I don’t agree with it because I have become one of those bleeding heart liberals….. but I understand the mentality.

BUT ISNT HEALTH CARE….LIFE AND DEATH…..A RIGHT WE SHOULD HAVE AS AMERICANS…..AS HUMAN BEINGS ON THIS PLANET….especially in contrast with the billions and billions of dollars available for everything else?  Don’t we deserve a right to LIVE above and beyond every other perk in the United States of America?

Until next time….

After death

Death of a parent can really screw with your life.  For anyone who has had a wonderful, deep, loving relationship with a parent that has died, I know the pain is so great that you really wonder if you will survive.  The immediate overwhelming grief is incompacitating.  Sometimes after a parent has passed, intellectually we can feel relief that it is finally over and I’m speaking of long, painful or difficult illness and dying process.  Somewhere you  grasp the reality that you love them enough that you are thankful they are finally without pain and fear!

But there are others of us out there who do not have the wonderful, deep loving relationship with a parent.  These relationships are colored with many different crayons.  The reasons are many and very personal and obviously painful.  Death in these kind of relationships are difficult because the survivor’s grief is all wrapped up in the fact that this is the end….there is no turning back, or fixing the relationship mixed in with the emotion of not feeling anything at all.  Yet a devastating understanding that this is not how you are supposed to feel…knowing full well that your memories of the life you shared negates any real emotion you have about the death.

……my answer after my mothers death was to dig deep and work and work and work to find some peace within myself…understanding that she did the best she could do with what she had to work with.  Understanding that mental illness is not just an excuse but an actual disease.  Letting go of the painful negative and remembering the positive memories that are now able to be recalled.  8 years ago today, the healing began.  I still don’t feel a lot of grief in her death but I am able to feel some affection for the woman who raised me.  R.I.P. Mom.

Until next time.