Do It For The Children

When children hurt, we all hurt. But when we hurt children, we must be stopped. Like so many of my fellow human beings, I’m outraged and heart-wrecked that our country founded on freedom, and built by those who crossed borders and seas to live a better life, has any part in fissuring families. Okay. So I’m sad. I’m mad. So what???

I have an inkling of how those little children feel. One Saturday night when I was seven years old, the welfare barged into our house, accompanied by police officers bearing guns. I hid in the kitchen cupboard, but they found me and pulled me out. They separated me from my only parent, my mother, an alcoholic whom they deemed unfit. They separated me from my only sibling, my older brother, and my life’s protector. They put me in the back of a police car alone.

The foster home they thought had been arranged, hadn’t. So now there was no place to put me. I remember people arguing about where they could put me.

“Put me back where you found me,” I cried.

They ignored me, decided there was only one option to “help” me, and they drove me to jail. Grown up jail. They thought I was safe and better off because they gave me my own cell. I won’t tell you what happened, and I won’t compare my plight with the pain of the children around the world who are being separated from their families, but I will tell you that this is my country, and it won’t happen here if I can help it. Kids won’t be able to just “get over” what’s happening to them. Their parents will not morph into whatever the powers want them to be.

This situation will not change until we change. We do that by speaking up, standing up, and looking up. The God so many have forsaken may well be the only power with the strength and the wisdom to remedy this.

If any good is coming from the horror, pain, and outrage, it’s a glimpse into how malignant and misaligned a cohort can be, but above that, how compassionate humanity can be when united in a just and desperate cause.

Erase the political lines and bond us.

Let’s find a better way. Let’s speak up until we are heard. Let’s stand up until the bullies stand back. Our voices are the ones that must speak for those who can only cry in the dark for “Mami” and “Papi.”

You know what? Those welfare reps and police officers thought they were doing what was best for me. They thought they’d bully my mother into becoming “fit.”

They were wrong on all accounts.

So now what do we do? We pray, first and fervently. We call our representatives.  We keep calling until they answer.  We change leaders and we change laws. We go to the polls in droves. We go to the borders if we have to. We hold the children and hold ALL those who harm them accountable. God help us to never become calloused or complacent where a child suffers.

And we’re all children.

And all one family.

My prayer is that we’ll remember that and start acting like it.

Love is the only antidote for hatred. But love demands action and so let’s love on a higher level than we’ve ever loved before. Let’s do it for the children.

My Little Pink Hat

Tolstoy observed that everyone wants to change the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.  I want to change. Every single day, I want to evolve into someone kinder, wiser, more aware and more compassionate. At the start of 2018, I made some serious goals to help me climb out of the rut I was in. Here’s what I’ve learned so far. Success isn’t a massive leap. It’s lots of little steps in the right direction. It’s moving when you want to stay still. It’s honoring your inherent worth whether anyone else does or not. It’s how grateful you remain when you don’t get what you want. It’s being patient while you wait. AND…it’s delighting in life’s little gifts. This one’s silly. I’d always wanted a pink cowboy hat. Don’t know why, but I did. The world is full of pink cowboy hats. They’re stacked up at gift shops and gas stations. I almost bought one, once. I tried it on then put it back. It was a waste of money and something I didn’t need. Like anyone needs a pink cowboy hat.  I did. And now I have one. Who knew that such a simple thing could make me so happy. My wish for you is that you’ll splurge on yourself today. It doesn’t have to cost money. Maybe just time. Whatever makes you smile…do it. I tip my hat to you. My cute-as-can-be PINK HAT.

Life’s Treasure Hunt

 

I’m on a quest to reclaim all the pieces of my life. Some have been shattered, others neglected, a few lost, a few stolen. I want zentai, which is a Japanese word for wholeness. To do that, I’m taking back my courage by doing the hardest thing ever. I didn’t just start today, I’ve been working at it for a LONG time, but today, I realized how close I am to done and how very far I’ve come. I’d like to tell all of those who told me that I wasn’t good enough, smart enough, talented enough, that I am ENOUGH. And sooner than later, my impossible goal will be realized. Learning to reclaim life’s gems, like courage, is a treasure hunt that makes me want to wake early every morning just to see what I’ve reclaimed by day’s end. Here’s to your treasure hunt and all the success in the world.

Trying To Stay Connected

Somewhere along my journey, I picked up the idea that the only three things we carry into the next life are: the wisdom we gain, the relationships we make, and the personality that we develop.

 

I have a hard time knowing how to fortify relationships with my beloved kids and g-babies that live so far away. I visit when I can. We Facetime and talk every day. Sometimes we read stories at night. But it’s not enough. I still miss ‘em like mad.

 

Maybe because I spent a chunk of my life as a photographer, images are important to me. I look at photos and paintings and drawings to remember moments and experiences. Looking and remembering make me feel not quite so disconnected by distance. That’s why when Adelaide sent this winning image of her rapturing in a facial, I thought, “I’ll let her know how much I wish we could be sharing a facial side-by-side.”

 

Her response? “G-Mom’s so silly and just way too cute.”

 

Adelaide and I have those things in common, even if we’re divided by a million miles.