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My Marriage & Divorce

I was married 34 years only to discover my husband never wanted to be married or have children.  Our first 5 years, he stayed because it was easy and it was what people did…he had no intention of keeping vows, even though when I questioned our compatibility he told me his family did not believe in divorce.

Married 5 years – a gal says to me “Why do you stay married to a guy who hits on women?”  I never spoke to that jealous liar again.  I am pregnant with Jill and Frank  responds “how did that happen?”  No excitement. Jill is born, Frank takes no time off work.  Picks us up from hospital when discharged and drops us off at home.   I am pregnant with Jan and his response is “Again?” followed by a vasectomy immediately after her birth.

Married 11 years – Frank’s Mechanical Contracting networking often lasting past midnight, steadily increases from one to three nights weekly. My sister tells me he’s having an affair because I can’t find him the evening I take Jill to the ER.  My cousin tells me if he wanted to be home, he’d be home.  So much harping from them that I demand one night he tell me who “she” is and he responds, “you don’t know her.”  I scream and cry in disbelief.  Six-year-old Jill comes out of her bedroom, teary eyed hugging her blanket.  A nightmare follows. I kick him out.   He tells me I’d like the other woman because she’s a lot like me, only thinner.  We lose a few friends who don’t want to hang with a cheater.  Frank admits there have been so many women he can’t give me a number.  He says he was horrible, but never again.  He’s learned how painful this can be. I wonder who has been with my husband?

A Catholic nun counsels us, believing Frank, and guilting me into forgiveness so I can save the marriage.  Frank cries, but he cries for himself.  He wants to be the one “watching the girls grow up.”  I let him come home.  He’s home each night and on weekends, but there is little remorse or understanding and per the nun I’m not allowed to mention the affair or it will ruin everything.  We continue our small-talk relationship, never make family plans, and all social life is due to my planning (and personality).  He’s along for the ride.

He moves us to a dump fixer-upper home so  we can have a fresh start.  Not true.  It’s another “project” for him.  It’s a nightmare.  A few months into the dump-home I get a phone call from a man who wants to know why my husband is with his girlfriend (the other woman).  Frank insists its because he needed to be sure he made right decision and tell her never to contact him again.  Months later one of her friends call and tell Frank she’s in the hospital and needs him.  I throw his car keys out the window and scream if he goes to her…it’s over.  He stays home.  Pure insanity.  I kick him out again.  He calls everyday begging me to take him back he loves all of us.

I am working, I can barely think, his harassment wears me down.  My parents are a mess, mom is depressed, dad says they’re broke, they move in with me.  Frank won’t give up.  I’m emotionally wrecked.  After a few months, I tell my parents they need to find a home.  They move out, Frank moves back in.  I don’t give a fuck about anything except the girls.  I cry a lot, but keep it secret.  At Jill’s First Communion we pose for a family picture.  (Poor little Jill; I had no idea what this was doing to her).  My family tries to accept Frank and they do slowly.  Frank doesn’t change.  He’s still distant, aloof, and “in his own world,” as Diane says.  Diane calls the other woman,  DJ (Donna Jean) DeWeese, rips her and tells her to never interfere in her sister’s life again.

There is no emotional connection.  Frank doesn’t emotionally connect with anyone.  I am treated no different than a sales clerk or neighbor.  I can live this way if it makes life good for the girls.  They get to stay in their schools, mom’s at home, they play sports, dad is there, Jill excels at school and in sports, and Jan spared the daddy-girlfriend details believes her dad’s quirks (harmonica head gear so he can drive & play) are funny.  I hate his piano and harmonica.  Those are Frank’s loves.  They demand nothing; not even conversation.  They drown me out.  (I still hate his fucking music.)  It’s okay. I have… an agreeable husband, great family, good friends.

East Indy deteriorates, so we move to south Indy.  Frank will not go North even though that’s where our friends are moving. I’m disappointed, but at least my sister lives south and our grown daughters are moving with us.  We begin doing things with Diane and Charlie almost every weekend.

Then, I get sick. Very sick. I may need a heart transplant if medicines don’t work. Frank remains aloof. Elaine comes to stay at my house. I have drug reactions. Elaine calls the doctor. Doctor says it’s not drugs.  Elaine calls Diane and we go to ER.  At the ER I find Dr. Singh. He gives me hope. I see him every week. We prep for the heart transplant data bank – liquid diet, treadmill, medicine, and prayer. Frank insists I go to his class reunion. I go, but cannot stay so he takes me to the hotel room and rejoins the reunion. My heart later improves and I’m deemed a medical miracle.  I’m so relieved for the girls and grateful to Dr. Singh and God.

Frank begins going to work every morning at 4-5:00 AM.  He wants dark and silence in the bedroom after 8PM.  Eventually, after Frank’s incessant whining and complaining about my noise, I move to another bedroom.  This continues for about a year.  I question his sleep habits.  He assures me it’s because of his responsibility at work.  He can get so much done before others come to work.  I’m suspicious.  One morning I follow him to work.  I call him from the parking lot.  I tell him I followed him because I thought he might be having an affair.  He is shocked I would think such a thing.  He works hard to keep the company going.  I have no idea the pressure he’s under.  I leave feeling guilty.

I am so happy to be rid of the death sentence; I can tolerate anything, even a distant uninvolved, aloof husband.  About a year later, on Ash Wednesday,  I pray to God that during Lent He can help me become content in my marriage and understand Frank better. God immediately answers my prayer.

The next day, on Thursday, Diane calls and wants me to come to Lori’s house.  I see Charlie, Diane, and Lori sitting at the kitchen table.  Lori tells me she saw Uncle Frank having dinner with his girlfriend.  I’m sick.  I go home and confront the liar.

Frank’s sitting on the couch.  I say, “Mystery solved.”  He says, “You know her.  It’s Susie VanTreese from my high school reunion, she’s Dutch.”  What the Fuck?  She’s Dutch?  She was in your homeroom?  Who gives a Fuck!  He tells me not to worry because they’ve talked about what they are going to do with me.  He tells Vince Kotarski he never thought about how an affair would affect his daughters.  He tells Jan that he’s never told her who to date.  He tells Ella that he and Susie have a lot in common; they’re both Dutch and they like the same cereal.  I ask Frank if there were others during our marriage.  He says I ask too many questions.

I make him leave and wonder how the hell I’m going to survive.  It’s the worse time of my life. Frank calls constantly telling me how hard it is on him that Jill and Jan won’t accept Susie.  Jan cries in fetal position in my bed at night.  Jill relives the trauma of his first affair. Dee cries as if he’s died because she can’t see him.  I fucking want to kill him, but I’m too tired, sick, and weak.  My sisters hate him.  My brother says cheaters always cheat. Charlie never wants to see him again.  That Easter Jill, Jan and I sit on Jill’s kitchen floor and cry.

Meanwhile, I learn Jason is abusing Dee and Jill.  After a few years, Jason convinces Jill (probably because he hates me) to see her father.  I tell Frank of Jason’s abuse.  Instead of stepping in as a father, Frank tells me to mind my own business.  Frank doesn’t want to rock the boat.  I hate him and I hate Jason.  Dr. Singh is tells me to limit stress.

Jan is getting married. She is not speaking to her father, so Frank keeps his plans to take Susie to Hawaii; the trip we were supposed to go on.  I tell him to stay in town during Jan’s wedding.  What if Jan wants him that day?I call Susie’s answering machine and ask her to not go because of Jan’s wedding.   Geezzz, I thought maybe as a mother, she would tell him to stay in town for his daughter’s wedding.  Nope.  They go.  As Jan prepares to walk down the aisle she asks if I think her dad is somewhere around?  “I don’t know.”  Frank calls my cell during the reception to see how it’s going.  I say, “fine; enjoy Hawaii,” then I get drunk.  Later, while snooping through emails, Jan finds out Frank was in Hawaii.  She hates him.

It’s 2019 NYE and I still hate everything this man has done to destroy our family, especially me.  I’m never comfortable around him, but because I don’t want to be excluded or thought to be a bitch, I suck it up best I can and try to pretend everything is fine.  The kids have forgiven him because kids need their parents’ love.  I might need counseling.  It seems that Frank wins again.  Maybe if you’re a narcissist you always win. He’s got his slut-partner, lots of money, trips around the world, good health, adoring children, and a private life; so private Susie believes he’s still married to me.  He does what he wants, when he wants, and with who he wants…  for him, life is good.  For me, life is good…but, it could be better if Frank lived in North Korea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What’s Happened in this Country?

  beyonce       miley-cyrus1

Many scream about women being victimized by Trump’s predatory words, but consider this acceptable entertainment.  Beyonce did a fine Super Bowl half-time as she shouted power to BLM. 

Looking at our society and what is accepted by celebrity and our liberal government, I’m surprised that so many are rocked by the latest Trump Trash.  What?  We cannot allow the “P” word and nasty talk to make it’s way into our pristine White House?  I expect the liberals to dig up more Trump Trash.  Trump was a wealthy hot-shot in the entertainment business. He has an ego the size of Mt. Rushmore.  He’s crass.  He’s a braggart. He can’t control his Tweets or his mouth.  He’s offended just about everyone. He’s also figured out the establishment, the deep pockets, the money trail, and the corruption. He’s scaring the hell out of congress and senate members who vote to please special interest and Wall Street.  Why are  there so many bed-wetting, hand wringing, righteous Republicans willing to toss their party’s platform to the wind?  What happens if Trump exposes their mafia government; the government that has not been of the people, for the people, or by the people for decades?

I have intentionally watched CNN (Clinton News Network) for several days. Clearly, Trump is up against the media, the liberals, the debate moderators, Democrats, and establishment Republicans, special interest, and Wall Street.  This powerful group has convinced the sheep that moral character matters more than issues.  They’ve also managed to cause mass amnesia.  There is a large sector of the population that has set aside the fact that Bill Clinton set the bar about as low as it could go when parents had to be careful that their grade school children didn’t ask too many questions about oral sex; or the fact that Hillary defended him by degrading, intimidating, and threatening his victims.  Sanctimonious liberals and conservatives have fallen under the spell of celebrity and liberal media.  Unfortunately many citizens refuse to vote because they are so disgusted by the candidates; they can’t see past their furor.  Not good.

Trump has my vote because he’s the candidate most likely to prevent government-funded no-restriction abortion.  As a Catholic, I cannot in good moral standing vote to eliminate all protection of the unborn. I want closed borders, legal immigration, repealed Obama Care. I want cops to be innocent until proven guilty (like the rest of us), and I don’t want race relations to plummet even further.  I want our veterans taken care of…yes, allow them to get medical care in another facility if the VA can’t get to them.  I want new Supreme Court Justices to rule according to the constitution,  not according to their feelings or current society desires.  I want a stronger military.  I don’t want our leader apologizing for America’s past or present.  I don’t want amnesty granted to all the illegal immigrants.  I don’t want my taxes raised so I can support more government funded handouts and all the dependent un-vetted refugees that Hillary will bring into our country.  I want blacks to be able to pull themselves out of the ghettos instead of continuing the cycle of entitlement dependence, which ensures the high crime rate, black on black shooting, and despair continue.

This election, it’s either Trump or Clinton.  Let’s quit feigning shock at Trump’s discretion, and quit pretending the majority of our politicians are of high moral character by choosing Bill Clinton’s crimes over Trumps ridiculous bragging and crass ways. One of these men will occupy the White House. Bill will have a whole lot of time on his idle hands. Hope the Republican traitors sleep well when we are flooded with un-vetted and illegal immigrants and a new Liberal Supreme Court that takes even more rights away from state governments.

We are not electing a Spiritual Director and if we were Hillary would not qualify any more than Trump. Too many people have their closet doors locked as they sit on their moral high horses. Because both candidates are so flawed we have no choice but to vote for issues. It’s clearly black and white.

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About us Catholics…

I did not write this.  I pulled it from a Catholic site. I can’t give credit because I can’t remember the site.  If someone else writes it,  and writes it well, then I have no problem stealing it.  It’s good info for my non-Catholic friends.

Not True…

Catholics Worship Mary

Catholics often carry and pray Rosaries or have statues of Mary in their homes, so it can appear that Mary is on the same level as God. However, Catholics do not worship Mary, and doing so would be a grave sin in the Catholic faith. Instead, she is given great honor. After all, Mary is the mother of Jesus, who is God. Therefore, Mary is the Mother of God and deserves honor and respect. The Fourth Commandment is “Honor thy father and mother.” Jesus would never break this commandment and neither should we. When Catholics say they are praying to Mary, they mean that they are praying for her intercession—that she will take their prayers directly to Jesus, her own son. It’s a similar concept to asking someone you know to pray for you. Intercessory prayer is very different from worship that is due to God alone.

Catholics Aren’t Saved

Many well-meaning Protestants try to “save” their Catholic friends and are genuinely concerned for their eternal salvation. However, Catholics define “saved” in a different way than Protestants. Catholics believe that the sacrament of Baptism is the beginning of salvation when the baptized person is cleansed of Original Sin (the sin of Adam and Eve, passed on to all humans). After Baptism, Catholics must remain in a state of grace in order to enter heaven at death. Certain sins, called mortal sins, are very serious and take away grace. To commit a mortal sin, the sin must be serious, and the sinner must know the sin is serious and willingly commit it. There is no “laundry list” of mortal sins, but such acts as murder, adultery and worship of idols could be considered serious. Grace is restored when the sinner receives forgiveness through the Sacrament of Confession. Therefore, a Catholic must be in a state of grace to be “saved” and enter heaven and eternal life with God.

Catholics Must Obey the Pope

Catholics view the pope as the leader of the Catholic Church, but he is not an absolute authority. Like any leader, the pope is human and is subject to sin and human weakness. He is entitled to express opinions and give advice to Catholics; however, these are not necessarily official Church teachings. The only time the pope is considered infallible, or giving a teaching that is free from error and inspired by God, is when he speaks “ex cathedra,” or “from the chair.” This rarely occurs; in fact there are only two ex cathedra teachings given in the entire 2000-plus year history of the Church. Catholics obey God and Church teachings and doctrines, which also bind the pope.

 

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Thirty Years Later

1984 –  I’m 32; she’s 7…

I’m demanding over and over, “Who is she?”

He says nothing.  Expressionless; no emotion detected.  Blank.

I’m thinking of my sister, my friends, my anger.  He’s not having an affair.  I’m tired of defending him.  He would never have an affair.  He’s working hard; providing for his family.  His job is different.  The men network late at night in the bars.  It’s how you move up in the mechanical engineering business.  Other husbands have 9-5 jobs.  What makes me angry is he’s so careless.  He doesn’t bother to tell me he’s working late.  We delay dinner.  The girls get hungry; the food gets cold.  It used to be one night a week; maybe two.  Lately it’s been three nights a week.  Tonight I’m angry.  I don’t even know whether to be suspicious.  I can’t imagine he’d do that… he’s a decent man.

“You don’t know her,” he says.

Surely, I didn’t hear that right, “What?  Does that mean you’re having an affair?”

“Yeah, I guess,” he answers.

I can’t remember the rest of the conversation.  I was emotionally hysterical, angry, scared, sad, and hurt.  I know I was screaming, but what I can’t remember.  How could this be?  We had a good life and two beautiful little girls.  What the hell was he thinking?  I wanted to beat the shit out of him, but felt like I might pass out.  I was in shock.

The phone rang.  It was my pastor, Fr. Munshower.  (Fr. did not call often and to this day, I’m not sure why he called that night.)

As soon as he identified himself, I said, “Frank just told me he’s having an affair.”

I stayed on the phone with Fr. M for quite a while.  He calmed me down and said he’d see me the next day.  I saw our little girl standing in the doorway.  How long had she been there?  She had on her red checkered nightgown and was holding her blanket.  There were tears in her eyes.  I’m sure she didn’t understand, but she knew something was very wrong.  I never asked her how she felt or what she thought.

“Jill, everything’s fine.  Go back to bed.  Go on, honey.  It’s okay.”

She walked away and I never saw her again until morning.

Our life changed that day.  I thought we were good parents.  I thought Frank and I had the same goals.  I wondered if something was wrong with me.  How could he do this to me?  The girls?

Frank moved in with a guy from work.  The first week or so I remember going to bed with a bottle of wine.  I drank and I cried.  I prayed, too.  Mostly I cried.  I thought about divorce and step-parents and bills and how to survive.  I tried to make things appear normal for the girls.  Jill was 8; Jan was 5 or 6.

Frank got the girls on Sundays because I told him to get them.  He was oblivious to what this was doing to them.  Did he think it was no big deal that Daddy left?   I was going to get a divorce.  He didn’t want one.  Could I wait?  He was so confused.  I think he believed this was most difficult for him.  Poor man was so torn.

He even confided, “Deb, you’d like her.  She’s a lot like you only thinner.”

God he was an idiot.  I remember screaming, “She’s not like me.  I don’t sleep with married men.”

Frank and I went to counseling.  He loved me.  He was sorry.  He would never do it again.  He said the right things, but I didn’t feel it.  The girls didn’t ask questions.  I acted as if Daddy being gone was okay.  I felt sick most of the time.  I did not see the fear in Jill’s heart.

Frank and I reconciled after 2 separations that lasted over a year off and on.  During this time, he moved out, back in then out again and back in.  We also moved to a different home.  My sick parents moved in and then out.  I worked and then didn’t work and then worked.  My life felt like it was a train wreck, but still I never talked to the girls.  I kept my head above water and then finalized the deal.  We were staying married.  I was told to forgive and never mention it again.  That was how our marriage would heal.  Today, I know that’s bullshit.  No one healed.

Frank may have been faithful for a while.  He was a perfect liar for the next 20 years.  Eventually, I fully trusted him again.  Jill never trusted him.  He left for good 10 years ago.

I don’t know what happened to Jill.  I know she was the best student, best athlete, best daughter, and best granddaughter.  She worked at being the best.  At times, her determination and stress would unnerve me.  Being the best is not easy.

Jill continued trying through high school and college to be the best.  She expected others to be good also.  She had little tolerance for those who messed up.  She never drank or smoked or did drugs.  She was going to be the best forever and doing bad things would jeopardize being the best.

Today, Jill is falling apart so she can be put back together in a good way.  Being the best almost killed her.  She has PTSD from living with an abusive husband for 10 years, she has OCD and a host of other problems from living with fear her Daddy would leave, and her Mommy would always be mad.  She’s had multiple surgeries and medical complications.  She now has conversion disorder and her body doesn’t work.  All she wanted was to grow up and have a family and a good marriage.  She didn’t know how.

Failure is not failure unless we repeat it over and over.  Being the best made Jill believe she could make something out of nothing.  Being the best caused her to believe the impossible.  Being the best lowered her self-esteem, and intensified anger, fear, and pain.  She pushed away people who loved her, and hung on to one who abused her.  She told herself everything would be alright, but it kept becoming more wrong.  She ignored “danger ahead.”  She ignored red flags that completely swallowed her. She convinced herself it would get better.  She failed to see her daughter; the same as I failed to see her when she was a little girl.

“It’s okay.  Go back to bed.”

Children are not resilient.  I will never be able to undo what happened to Jill.  But, finally, 30 years later, I can say I’m sorry because finally, I see it.

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The Aftermath of Abuse

What happens when plans are jumbled up, you don’t know what tomorrow holds, and you face the unknown?  There are no promises.  How can you do it without fear?  You can’t until you trust yourself.  Believing you have no control is absolutely wrong.  We have more control than we are led to believe.  Much of what happens is a consequence of what happened in our past.  We cannot change it, but we can look at it, own it, and learn from it.  We can accept that we did the best we could at the time.  We can ask for forgiveness if we hurt someone.  We can forgive those who hurt us.  Forgiveness cleans the slate and gives us a chance to start over.  We remove toxic people from our lives.  We keep people who feed our spirit.  We learn we have rights.  We learn to be assertive without being aggressive.  We learn how to take care of ourselves and let others be responsible for their actions and consequences.

Starting over is difficult.  Few people would choose to be knocked flat out with the grueling task of deciding what to keep and what to throw away.  What matters?  When life is good everything seems to matter… then suddenly not so much.  We become selective.  Relationships matter.  Health matters; being self-sufficient matters; feeling peaceful matters.  Once we recognize and loosen our grip on past we can move forward. It takes discernment and an openness to change.  We can have love and support, but we are alone.  No one can do it for us.  We must dig deep.  For Christians, it takes listening to the whispers of the Holy Spirit.    For others, I’m not sure what it takes, but still I’m sure it’s a solo journey.

My daughter is on that journey.  She is sharing with me things she didn’t realize until she dug deep.  I was in that past with her, but even so her journey was solo.  As she moves forward rebuilding her physical, mental, and spiritual life I walk beside her, but I can’t do it for her.  That for me is a most difficult truth.  While she is learning, she is teaching me.

 

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Some Things are Meant To Be…

We run by Goodwill to unload Jill’s donation. Among the donations, I spot a perfect drop-leaf table for my new unfurnished room. I can put it against the wall so it will take up little space, but then pull it out to use as a dining table when family visits. I’ve got to have it. “Jill, get me that table.”

“Mom, I have a patient who works for Goodwill. They don’t do it that way. You can’t buy the table before it’s processed.” I tell her to at least ask the guy, but she takes her receipt from him and drives away.

“I can’t believe you didn’t ask.”

“Mom, we don’t even know if it will stay at that store. It might need to go to a distribution center.”

“Well it might not.”

Jill drives me back to Goodwill, pulls into a parking space, and says she’ll wait for me. I walk past the 6 cars dropping off donations and go straight to the source.

“Sir, I’d really like to get that table.”

“Okay, I’ll tell the manager. He’ll price it and put it on the floor.”

“Really?”

He nods.

“So, if I come back in 30 minutes I can walk in the store and buy it?”

“Sure.”

I skip back to the car (not really, I can’t skip) with a big smile. “I got it.”

We drive to my house to get my car so we can fit the table.

We return to Goodwill. “I can’t believe this,” I say walking into the store. “This is perfect. It’s meant to be.”

We see the table. Walking toward the table I feel my space being invaded. Why is this old man so close to me? Suddenly four of us are circled around the table – me, Jill, an old man, and an old woman. The man says, “I think we should check the leaves to make sure they stay up.”

I watch as he puts the leaves up. It’s perfect.

“Oh, this is my table. It was in the donation pile outside. I had the guy mark it and bring it in so I could buy it.”

He ignores me. “They work,” he tells us. His woman is glad they work, “Sometimes they don’t work.”

“Do you want this table?” I ask.

“No, it’s yours. You take it,” the tiny white haired woman says. He adds, “We were only checking to see if it works because she needs something to hold her oxygen.”

“Oh.”

They both smile. I smile back. Darn, they’re so nice. I notice her little pocket book hanging on her arm and his way too big for him jacket hanging on his bony shoulders. They look toward another table, but it’s too big. It won’t fit.

Crap.

“So, if I don’t buy this table then you’ll buy the table?”

“Oh yes, we’d buy the table. She lives on the 3rd floor and I live on the second. Retirement homes are small. I had to get a twin bed or I’d not be able to move in that place.”

“Oh, so if I walk away you’re going to buy the table?”

“We don’t want to take your table.”

“It’s not mine. I can’t buy that table now. God would smack me. So, if I come back here later the table will be gone because you are going to buy it, right?”

“If we don’t buy it will you lose your religion?” he asks.

“No, I’m not going to lose my religion.”

“Okay, we’re buying the table.”

“Promise?”

“Yes.”

I walk away, but I can’t leave the store. Maybe they won’t buy it. I hang out by the register. I watch them pay for the table. We leave.

“Jill, I can barely function right now. I also bought salt and pepper shakers at Ikea and got home and they were bent. I can’t even use them.”

“Mom, you might be focusing a little too much on material things.”

“Maybe.”

The only reason that table was on the floor was because I had it put on the floor. The only reason I didn’t get the table before the old couple appeared was because I wasted the perfect amount of time at home before heading back to the store. The table was theirs all along. It was meant to be…

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Gay Marriage?

Kudos to the Supreme Court on the gay marriage ruling?  Not from me.   I understand, but I see this ruling differently than some. I am not looking at this in an emotional “all about love” sort of way.   I’m not addressing this as a Christian. I’m addressing it as an American citizen.

We are diverse and our religious beliefs are bigger than the government. Religious Freedom will most likely be challenged by lawsuits trying to force Christian vendors to service gay weddings and receptions, Christian adoption agencies to place children in gay homes, Christian parents to tolerate sex education which includes homosexual safe-sex in the public schools.  Most likely individual gays will not file these lawsuits; it will be the radicals with an agenda.  If all along gay partnerships had been contractually supported to afford gays the same protections under the law as married couples i.e., next of kin in decision making, division of property when the partnership ends, fair housing, etc. the Supreme Court may not have been involved.  Had we respected gay partnerships and not put religion into the mix we would have perhaps been able to avoid this… now, we’re facing God only knows what with radicals at the helm.

The Supreme Court has robbed us of the opportunity to govern as individual states.  They’ve opened Pandora’s Box. What about age of consent, the death penalty, marriage / divorce laws, prostitution (look at Vegas), polygamy?  Do we really want to infringe on state governments?  Do we want each state forced to abolish the death penalty or allow prostitution? With state diversity we learn from each other. We can look at state laws and how they handle moral issues and compare social, economic, and growth statistics.  We will do ourselves no favor having the Supreme Court rule on these moral issues.

Much bigger than this landmark decision, yet largely ignored, is what’s happening around the world.  On the same day as the Supreme Court’s ruling on gay marriage, terrorists gunned down dozens of tourists on a Tunisian beach, left a severed head atop a fence outside a French factory and blew up a Kuwaiti mosque in a bloody wave of attacks that followed an ISIS leader’s call to make the month of Ramadan a time of “calamity for the infidels.”

We should probably shift our attention to our ignorance or blindness of evil as it infiltrates our world and our country, while President Obama lights up the White House like a rainbow.

No happy dance happening here.

July 2, 2015  This ruling is based off Ore. anti-discrimination law, which includes sexual orientation.   UPDATE: GRESHAM, Ore. — The owners of a Christian bakery in Oregon have officially been ordered to pay $135,000 in damages to two lesbians who claimed that they suffered emotionally after they were told that the bakery could not make a cake for their ceremony because of their religious conviction that marriage is between one man and one woman.

The two lesbians, who claimed to be discriminated against, identified as Rachel Cryer and Laurel Bowman, submitted individual lists of just under 100 aspects of suffering in order to receive the damages. They included “acute loss of confidence,” “doubt,” “distrust of men,” “distrust of former friends,” “excessive sleep,” “discomfort,” “high blood pressure,” “impaired digestion,” “loss of appetite,” “migraine headaches,” “loss of pride,” “mental rape,” “resumption of smoking habit,” “shock” “stunned,” “surprise,” “uncertainty,” “weight gain” and “worry.”

In April, Alan McCullough, an administrative judge with the bureau, recommended a fine of $135,000, with one of the women receiving $75,000 and the other $60,000. Prosecutors had sought damages of $75,000 each.  This case is not about a wedding cake or a marriage,” the final order, written by Commissioner Brad Avakian, read. “It is about a business’s refusal to serve someone because of their sexual orientation. Under Oregon law, that is illegal.”

BINGO:  Lawsuit #1 ignores religious freedom… there will be hundreds more.

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The First Shall Be Last

Walmart.

After 10 minutes of searching for help, I grab the phone behind the counter and call for assistance in computers. A gal comes, but she doesn’t know anything about computers. She finds a guy who can help me.  We go to computers and begin discussing options. A lady interrupts,  “What’s the difference between Dell and HP?” He answers her. She says, “Can you come over here for a minute?”   She takes him.

I follow.  She starts telling us about her Dell experience, and how she spilled Coke on her last HP desk top, and how her son told her she shouldn’t eat while on the internet, and how some computers have fuzzy screens. She wonders which computer will do her Facebook games the fastest. I’m surprised at my patience. She wants to know if I play games. “No, I don’t play games.”

The woman chooses the biggest screen laptop because she’s 64-years-old with bad eyes.  I tell  her all 60-year-old people have bad eyes.  My guy unlocks the cabinet and grabs her laptop.  Since I was here first I tell him I’ll take the computer we were looking at.  He says, “Sure, as soon as I ring her up.”

I follow them to the cash register. I’m not letting anyone else horn in on my guy. While my guy is ringing up the computer, the woman tells me her granddaughter leased a computer at school then had to give it back.  She tells me that’s not safe, and that her granddaughter is going to go to orthodontist school. My man tells her what she owes and explains her warranty. The woman pulls out a wad of money. There’s money all over the counter.  She’s digging in her purse.  She doesn’t have enough.  Oh, dear.  She calls her son for advice.

My guy refunds her money and they head back to the computers. I follow them. We’re starting over. Her eyes are bad; can she get the same screen size?  Is there enough space for her Facebook games? What brand is this?  Is it better than a Dell.  She doesn’t like Dell computers.  After 20 questions and several minutes she chooses a cheaper computer.  I follow them back to the cash register.  She’s got enough money. She tells my guy to tape the receipt on the box so no one thinks she’s stealing it. She tells me she’s making chickens for supper.  She wants my man to point her to the chickens. He points. She’s off to find the chickens.

Finally, just me and my guy.  We head to the computers.  Here she comes. “Hey, my son says laptops get hot. They can burn up. I need a lifter or something.”  My guy looks at me.  I don’t want her to call her son so I nod, “go ahead.”  I follow them to computer accessories. My guy hands her something and tells her to pay for it with the chicken.  She’s happy.

I’ve got him again. Within 10 minutes, he gets my computer, rings it up, I pay, and kiss Walmart good-bye.  I wonder if that woman realizes how lucky she is that I was not the woman in the Walmart video?  I could have found someone to beat the crap out of her.

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Boring Peacocks

How many times have I tried to listen to a boring sermon… One time I told a priest friend how boring a different priest’s sermons were and was told we go to church for the mass. What? I thought if we missed the homily we missed mass; it’s that important. I like how Pope Francis puts it right out there.

He told a group of new priests he was ordaining to make sure “that your homilies are not boring, that your homilies arrive directly in people’s hearts because they flow from your heart, because what you tell them is what you have in your heart. Examples edify, but words without examples are empty words, they are just ideas that never reach the heart and, in fact, they can harm. They are no good..

(-for those giving a sermon) The homily must be intent only on pleasing God and not himself. It is ugly to see a priest who lives to please himself, who acts like a peacock strutting around.”

So…I think about this boring stuff…if we listen and speak from the heart we will not be boring because we will connect with the other person.

Peacocks never connect.

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Bed Bugs

Mary Ann lives across the street.  She’s 83 and on a tight budget, but she managed to get new living room furniture.

She whispers to me on her driveway, “You’ve not been invited in for a while because I was afraid I’d spread bed bugs in the neighborhood.  Don’t tell anyone.”

She’s sure she got them from her grandchildren, who spend the night anywhere and then visit in dirty clothes.

She invites me inside to sit on her new bedbug-free couch. She’s proud of her furniture. We talk about how she found the money to buy it. We talk about the store, the price and the deals. We talk about colors, paint, and decorations. We even talk about the exterminator.

A few days later, she tells me how upset she was when I left.  She was never going to invite me in again.

There was a big wet spot where I’d been sitting. She thought I peed on her couch.

Her mind was racing, “Should I try to soak up the pee?  If I use soap will the material dry stiff?  What if the couch stinks from now on?  What is wrong with Debi?  She must have some serious problems.”

She paces and debates for over an hour.  She touches the spot to see how much I peed.  The spot’s dry.  It only looks wet.  It’s the nap.

“I was so glad you didn’t pee on the couch.  I was never going to have the neighbors in again because it would hurt your feelings if I you weren’t invited, too.”

“Seriously, Maryann, if I was that oblivious to wetting my pants my kids would  have me in a diaper.”