Monday, November 3, 2014

crying foul

I forgive, but it takes a while to forget.
The other day my BFF cussed me out. Like literally cussed me out. I think I got called everything but a child of God. It hurt me too. I'm a sensitive soul, though I seem thick-skinned.

Perhaps had I done something particularly horrible to her (killed her dog, stole her husband, robbed her), I might have understood her foul display directed at me. But I didn't. A joke I made at her expense about lateness set her off, especially because she had a bad day. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Character costumes

I would make a great Susie!
In just a few short days Halloween will be here. I plan on enjoying Fla-Ga festivities in Jacksonville instead of passing out candy to the kids this year. And right now I have no immediate plans for really dressing up.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Grief Etiquette 101

I took a break (again), but I’m back. Let Writing Wednesdays resume once more.

Unfortunately I’ve had to work through grief over the past few months due to the passing of my beloved grandma. This isn’t the first time a loved one has passed away, but quite naturally it hurts deeply to the core of my heart.  I’m finally coming to terms with my grief thanks to lots of prayer, grief counseling, and the support of family and friends. However, I cannot come to terms with the blatant ignorance of grief etiquette I’ve experienced. If my grandma was here, we would probably sit at her kitchen table and discuss the offending parties. Alas and alack she is not. Instead I must write about it. It’s almost as if the world needs an etiquette book on dealing with a bereaved family. If I wrote such a book, a few chapters would look something like this:
Chapter 1: Your maid doesn’t live here.
Don’t ask a member of the bereaved family to prepare your plate when you come to “comfort” them. At one point I was ready to snap on people visiting the family because they kept sending me to get something.  Apparently it didn’t matter my grandma just passed away. Most visitors were quite capable of getting their own plate. Yet I kept getting requests to make a to go plate or a to stay plate. I should have given them a plate in the face. And don’t even get me started on a visitor who was trying to get a slice of a cake someone made for my cousin, while she was crying to the side. No one cares about getting you cake, food, soda or anything else. Get it your own self. You should be making sure the family is served, not the other way around.
Chapter 2: Age ain’t nothing but a number.
I know people mean well, but so many statements are annoying for a grieving family, such as, “I know what you’re going through.” Actually you don’t. You can empathize, but you have no idea. Avoid saying that. Also there is another phrase to avoid. I hated the question, “How old was your grandma?” Often when I answered, “In her 80s,” the response was, “Well she lived a long life.” Is that supposed to make me feel better? That doesn’t make the pain easier. She lived for 80 + years, but I only had her for 29 of them. She could have lived to 100, and her passing would have still been too soon for me. Just strike the entire “lived a long life” phrase from your mind.
Chapter 3: It’s a shame what you say.
People get shamed for everything, but it doesn’t make it right. It’s even worse when someone is grieving. I wrote a good thousand words about my family getting “shamed” (grief shaming and fat shaming specifically). So I won’t linger too long on this point. The key thing to remember is you don’t shame a person for how they grieve. Grief is not specific to one person in the family. We all have pain. And commenting on a person’s weight gain (or weight loss) is the quickest way to get told off. Or in my case, to get an article written about you and posted on an online publication (the pen is mightier than the sword).
Chapter 4: Gimmee, gimmee, gimmee
Don’t try to take items of the deceased from family members. I have developed quite the attachment to my grandma’s dusters. Not only do they make me think of her, but they are absolutely comfortable and feel fantastic. It’s like naked hour with clothes on (much to my roommate’s relief). One visitor had the audacity to tell me I better give her some of my grandma’s dusters. She was on the quick track to getting told off. Those dusters are my inheritance. Grieving families are under no obligation to give any of their loved one’s possessions away. Demanding something from them is just downright rude.
I could go on and on. I’ve realized people can be stuck on stupid when you’re just trying to grieve. The Incredible Hulk side of me almost came out, more than once and rightly so. Perhaps my future book, “Grief Etiquette 101- How NOT to Get Stabbed by the Bereaved,” will make the world a better place for bereaved families everywhere.

What etiquette tips do you have to share? Or is your grief etiquette lacking?

Monday, July 7, 2014

Writing again

Many moons have passed since I last posted something. Honestly, I can't even blame it on my granny's passing because I had already started a sabbatical. I'll blame that on not having a laptop. Yes, poor Nettie went to her reward. Quite naturally it didn't help when Grandma Pearl went to her Heavenly home either.

For a while I wasn't writing anywhere - work, journal, online. It was as if the words just up and died within me. Depression had me only wanting to wear my grandma's duster and lay in the bed just looking at the walls. Reading wasn't even an activity I wanted to do.

Slowly but surely I have come out of my funk. I attribute it to grief counseling and my ever vigilant friends who made sure I didn't jump off a cliff (shout out to the fantastic Cee for "suicide watch). Let me state for the record Cee didn't think I was really going to commit suicide. But she did think I was going to just lay in the bed forever never to come out and play. It was certainly looking that way for awhile.

At any rate, I'm back. Granted, I still have my bad days, but they don't last for weeks on end. And I'm starting group therapy with grief counseling to help out too. Most of all I'm writing again. Grandma Pearl would want me to continue to do so. In her memory I will.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Reflections on my grandmother

Unfortunately my grandma passed away a few weeks ago. It was a shock to the family, and no one is really taking it well. She was my last living grandparent and the only one to see me reach almost every single milestone (graduating from high school, college, getting a first job, getting a better job, buying my first car). The only things she won't get to see is me getting married, having children or graduating with a master's. On the program I gave reflections as a grandchild. Though I spoke from the heart, there was actually a written draft which appears below:

Monday, March 10, 2014

True Confessions of a Goody Two-Shoes

Goody two-shoes was a nickname that followed me around for years as a child. But sometimes I wonder if the sobriquet was truly earned. It's not like I really had to work hard at it. Maybe I would feel a little better if my life was more like an after school special, or at the very least a D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) scenario.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Back to School Pressures

Family members have been urging me to go back to school for a master’s degree since the day I graduated with a bachelor’s. It’s starting to get annoying. Whenever I mention an upcoming trip they find a way to turn the conversation to the fact that I could be using that money for school. Perhaps I could if it was a priority for me.

Friday, January 10, 2014

the call

One thing very important to me is my relationship with the Lord. Quite naturally I don’t take too kindly when someone mocks it. Such was the case the other day with a gentleman caller. I met him last Friday and a gas station. He was polite in his approach, so I gave him my number. Mistake one. Everyone who asks for your number doesn’t deserve it. Unfortunately I said in 2014 I would be less discriminating when it came to males. I graced him with the digits; despite the fact I could already tell he wasn’t my type. Sure he was attractive and didn’t sound like an idiot when speaking, but I still had the feeling I didn’t want to be bothered. I didn’t listen to that feeling. Mistake two.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Goodbye Green Machine

What the Green Machine looked like in its glory days.
The Green Machine is no more. It fought the good fight and finished its course. My beloved first car has gone on to the great car lot in the sky. Contrary to its appearance and lack of maintenance I did indeed love the Green Machine. How could I not love it? It was my favorite color, kept on chugging along with nary a complaint and got me from point A to point B. I can fondly tell you about every single dent, scratch or spray painted spot on that car.