I have a reoccurring dream about my grandma. She is sitting on the front porch of her house, which is brilliant white set upon a brilliant white hill. I climb the steps and sit beside her on the front porch swing. She smiles at me and I take her hand and lay my head on her shoulder. I say, “I love you grandma.” “I love you too sweetie,” She replies. I look at her. “I miss you so much.” “I’m still here,” she says. “But it’s not the same.” I say sadly. “No. no it isn’t,” She says as she hugs me.
I close my eyes and see flashes of my childhood with her in brilliant color and texture. I see myself picking blueberries for breakfast in the early morning. I see me running through clean white sheets she is hanging on the line in the sunshine. I see me lying in bed beside her at night with the wind blowing the curtains in the window as she teaches me to pray.
Every child should have a person in their life like my grandma. I was so blessed to have wonderful parents. But to have another person who thinks you hung the moon, as my grandma did about me, causes a child to believe in oneself as never before.
I was one years old when my grandma’s husband died. She never re-married although still young and attractive. (She had had my dad when she was 15) She ran a “nursery” from her house that would be called a daycare today. There were two rooms attached to her garage and that is where the children ate and slept. She lived on a 10 acre playground. She had a big swing set, but nothing else. We played with old rubber tires, making up our games by building with them or rolling them or laying in them. We had trees to climb, dirt and ditches to play in. I don’t ever remember being bored. Imagination is a wonderful playmate.
It drove my dad crazy that she would hardly charge more than she spent. If a mother couldn’t pay one month, she would let it go. There was something so strong and independent about her. And there was love. Oh boy, was there ever love.
There were birthdays and Easter. There were Sunday dinners, Fourth of July, and any event she could celebrate, she did. Every Christmas Eve of my childhood was spent at my Grandma’s. First with just my family, my Aunt and Uncle, and later my cousins and nieces and nephews. We would start out with a big dinner with us kids itching to get it over with so we could open our presents. When given the go ahead, we would race to the living room and stand and marvel at our glittery presents as they reflected the brilliant lights of the Christmas tree. It was……magic.
Years later after my grandma had died and I was grown, I remember singing Christmas carols in a choir at a nursing home. As we were singing I noticed an old lady in a wheelchair crying. I left the stage and went to her and knelt down and took her hand. “Are you alright?” I asked. She said simply, “I miss Christmas.” I knew exactly what she meant. I said, “I do too.”
When my father died I was only 22 yrs old. My grandma was only 68. I spent 2 weeks with my mother, sleeping with her and comforting her. But during the day when everyone would come over, I drove to my grandma’s. As much pain as my mother was in I knew that there was no greater pain than losing a child. As usual though, my grandma was the one who made me strong.
My Grandma was never famous, never wrote a book, never won a Pulitzer, she never even finished high school, but she forever lives on through her love. She celebrated my life. She taught me how to celebrate it as well. Her love and her caring are a part of me that I give to my children and they will give to theirs. Generations from now my great great grandchildren will not know my Grandma’s name, but they will know her, because she will live in them by the love that she passed down. That is the legacy each of us is allowed to give. Who will remember what you did or the car you drove, or how much money you made? But love…that will be forever remembered and lived.
When I realized that I was losing my grandma to Alzheimer’s, I tried to tell her how much she meant to me before she forgot me. I stumbled on the words. How do you thank someone for giving you self confidence? For teaching you compassion? For loving you unconditionally? Words did not seem enough. I simply said, “Thank you for loving me so much.” With her usual way of making me feel like a princess, she smiled and said, “You made it easy.”
In my dream when I open my eyes I am alone on the porch swing. I look around for my grandma, but I can't find her. I close my eyes again and hear my heart beating in the quiet. And I realize that she is there, in every beat of my heart. In all the love that I feel.
She is there.
Saturday, April 30, 2005
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 10:10 AM
Friday, April 29, 2005
I missed the anniversary of the toppling of Saddam. But this one Iraqi blogger from Free Iraqi didn't. Here is his poetry. Beautiful.
Two years now and "they" still wonder
And "they" still ask
Was it worth it?
Was it right?
Two years and it seems to me Like it was yesterday
Two years and "they" keep trying
To silence the voice inside us
Yet it only grows louder
I was once free When I was a kid
But when I grew up
I couldn't be the man I am
I couldn't be the kid I was
And I couldn't flee
Two years since I finally became
The man in me, and the kid in me.
And "they" want to take this away?
"They" would have to kill them both first
The man and the kid
And turn the clock back around
And still "they" can't change me back
Two years since I stopped weeping
Inside of me, day and night
Two years since the widow
Found her husband's body
In a feast of death for the human death lord.
Two years since the orphan
Where his father lied
And now they finally have peace
And they have a future
No matter how painful it is to go on
And their dreams still go on
Two years since I started dreamingDreams that have a chance
And are becoming true
Two years since I regained my heart
And then I found her...
And she found me...
And the world looked beautiful!
And "they" think they can separate us?!
Think again, or keep wishing.
"They" say we are being slaughtered
"They" say we are being abused
Am I blind or are "they" the ones who are sightless?!
As why can't I see what "they" see?
And the best "they" can offer of their view is Maybe I'm a CIA?
Or maybe the other "they",
that of their accusations is paying me?
But who is their accused and rumored "they"?
Oh, the accusers have so many names for this other "they".
Sometimes they're the CIA
Sometimes they're the NSA
Sometimes they're Bush and the gang
I say, yes they exist and they "pay" me, and I'm seduced.
I see with my own eyes this other "they"
And I call them simply, Americans.
What are they paying me?
Oh, you couldn't afford that!
Saddam couldn't afford it.
Sadr cannot afford it.
"They" think any of these can?
Could their "they" even try!?
Two years and some are still
Trapped in the past
And some cannot withstand the moment
And want to arrive without struggle to a better future
While others just enjoy what is already better now
And work to meet the future, bettered with them.
Two years and they ask Should I be grateful?
Do I even need to answer that!?
YES, and to the last breath!
posted by Ali 7:41am
via Malung TVNews
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 7:24 PM
Have ya'll seen the latest Marines commercial with the young man climbing a mountain of rock with his hands and then reaches the top and sees himself as a Marine? It is just too cool of a commercial. I tried to find it online but couldn't. I thought this picture of Marines in dress blues onstage with the image of Marines raising the flag on Mount Suribachi seen in the background during the Virginia International Tattoo in Norfolk, Va., Friday was almost as cool though. Marines just rock, don't they?
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 2:16 PM
Everything you could EVER want to know about last night's Presidential news conference can be found here. Including programming notes and the ABC staff's opinion on who Bush should call on and why. And then what actually happened with lots of quotes from others. It's very blog like and very interesting actually.
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 8:41 AM
I have been hearing about these videos that kids tape of violent fighting and selling them. That is sick as is this from The Feature:
"Happy slapping" -- essentially violently attacking someone while it's recorded with a videophone -- is a growing problem in the UK, with British Transport police investigating 200 incidents in the last six months in London's public transport system alone, with who knows how many attacks going unreported. This isn't harmless childplay, the ferociousness and utter stupidity of these attacks is appalling. And the hooligans have embraced user-created content: they share the videos via Bluetooth, MMS and the Web, often describing their efforts as "Happy Slap TV".Blogger Alfie Dennen has cobbled some videos he's found together to make the point that these kids are violent criminals (via The Mobile Technology Weblog). It's grim and disgusting footage, showing clips of kids attacking not just their friends, but complete strangers minding their own business."
I am growing increasingly concerned with young kids having no conscience. I know we have always had a few, but now it seems to be going mainstream.
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 7:53 AM
Thursday, April 28, 2005
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 10:13 PM
I just got this e-mail from Martin Gillespie, Director of Catholic Outreach for Bush.
"Congressional Republicans passed a bill yesterday entitled "The Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act" that would make it a federal crime for an adult to take a minor across state lines for an abortion without her parent's consent. The measure passed the House by a margin of 270-157.
President Bush praised passage of this legislation, and stated the following: "I commend the House for its bipartisan vote to protect the health and safety of minors by ensuring that state parental involvement laws are not circumvented. The parents of pregnant minors can provide counsel, guidance, and support to their children, and should be involved in these decisions. I urge the Senate to pass this important legislation and help continue to build a culture of life in America."
Unfortunately, the vast majority of House Democrats opposed this common sense measure, including Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. This is the latest-- but unfortunately not the last-- attempt by the Democrats to stop President Bush's ongoing effort to build and sustain a culture of life in America.
For this reason, we need your help more than ever to educate your fellow parishioners and Catholic friends as to where the two parties stand on the most important issues facing Catholics and all people of faith."
I just read a while back about the mother of a boy who took it upon herself to take his 14 yr old girlfriend across state lines to have an abortion. The girl's mother or father knowing nothing about it. And guess what folks? It was all legal. That's right. Another adult with an interest in making sure this baby doesn't arrive, is allowed by OUR society to take that child without her mother or father's consent, and have a surgical procedure performed that will affect the rest of her life.
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 6:11 PM
The Advocate brings us this regarding Jeff Gannon:
"Gannon denied the characterization of himself as a gay prostitute in a interview with The Advocate conducted via e-mail. “There is much misinformation and exaggeration about my past,” he wrote. “What is most interesting about it is that the people who talk about it the most in very graphic and disparaging terms are the ones who probably see nothing wrong with it.” Gannon, 48, adds that his sexual orientation is a private matter and that he objects to being “called a fake, phony, and faux or that ‘he was posing as a journalist.’ I was and still am a legitimate journalist, and I did some solid reporting.
The fact that Gannon has lost his White House access has not stopped him from writing. He has his own blog at JeffGannon.com, with political views that are the polar opposite of Aravosis’s. He rips apart Democratic leaders as well as “Doonesbury” cartoonist Garry Trudeau for making light of Gannongate. Gannon’s site features the tagline “So feared by the left, it had to take me down.” via Jeff Gannon.com (Jeff is on the cover)
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 4:45 PM
Scarborough lays out the Democrat's religous hypocrisy perfectly:
"The Times keeps telling us that these Christian assemblies are un-American. Would it be cynical to suggest that it may be because those church meetings are led by conservatives like James Dobson or Pat Robertson?
If a preacher pushed a liberal agenda in God's house, would we hear a discouraging word?
Well, let me ask you this. How often have you read the word "theocracy" in stories reporting on church speeches by Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, or Bill Clinton?"
Read the rest.
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 12:30 PM
As you have probably heard, Laura Ingram has breast cancer. It just so happens I caught a rerun from 2004 on C-Span yesterday of some symposium that her and Tucker Carlson did debating Al Franken and some other lefty that I recognize but don't remember his name.
She is without a doubt the classiest most informed debater out there. She blew both lefties out of the water with her arguments. No doubt. Tucker just kind of went along for the ride.
Keep her in your prayers.
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 7:58 AM
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 11:29 PM
Zarqawi jumps out of a moving truck as our guys are chasing him and gets away. We find his computer and tons of cash and some co-horts. This is like a freaking James Bond movie. Why can't we catch this guy? He just slips away like the invisible man. It's crazy. Let's GET THIS GUY ALREADY!
Also, why is Saddam just sitting in jail? What is the holdup? Are we waiting for the new government or stability? I for one, would like to see this trial move forward.
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 10:47 PM
Monday, April 25, 2005
Continuing with 2Slick . Just a reminder. He is a "Former Army Black Hawk Pilot. Deployed to Iraq with the 101st Airborne from Feb '03 to Jan '04 (OIF 1), and Kuwait (with 3rd Army HQ) from Aug '04 to Jan '05."
Do you see any other way we could have fought this war?
I'm certain there were many ways we could have done it. I'm sure there were many ways we could have fought World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam, etc. John Kerry and his fellow critics have an unbelievable gift of hindsight- they could have brought down Saddam and installed a perfectly functional Iraqi government without any loss of life. I won't pretend to be that good. I guess I'm just not qualified to be a Democratic Presidential Candidate...
It doesn't matter that there might have been other ways to have gone about it- our forces do the best they can with what they have. Hindsight will ALWAYS yield better solutions. The American public gives way too much credit (and assigns way too much blame) to the suits in Washington. I don't think the typical American citizen knows or appreciates the fact that any decision made by a Pentagon bigwig is going to be based on information/intelligence/assessments forged by a staff of thousands and thousands of military soldiers and officers. There are so many checks and balances in place- at every level of command- that nobody is going to get away with making a ridiculous, bone-headed decision. There are too many commanders that care way too deeply for their soldiers.
What is your personal opinion of Rumsfield? Of Bush?
Rumsfeld is brilliant- he rarely takes the time to defend himself from critics, because he's always too busy fixing the world's problems or visiting wounded soldiers. If he would just take some time to sit in front of a camera and say, "I'm really not such a bad guy," the press would love him. If he would just cheat on his wife and create a huge sex scandal, I think he'd become a "media darling" overnight. Let's hope he never does that.
I did enjoy the Russert interview a few months back- when Rumsfeld blasted Tim (who I like) for jumping on the big-media bandwagon and playing stupid Michael Moorish video cut-and-paste games in an effort to nail him. It was out of character for Rumsfeld to defend himself like that, but he did a great job.
I have nothing but respect for Rumsfeld, and most of the people I served with feel the same way.
Bush is a liberal. Ron Silver (the actor) makes a great argument for this. As does Michael Totten. Yes, I think he's a liberal, but I like him anyway. It's strange how so many people in the world seemed to adore the guy who found safe-haven with an intern and a cigar while millions died and terrorists roamed freely. Even stranger how so many people so despise the guy who takes action against evil in an effort to bring peace and prosperity to whoever wants it. I'll simply never understand that, but then again, what's to understand in this crazy, crazy world of ours?
I'm proud to have served under President Bush's command.
What was the general attitude about the Presidential election while there?
I was in Kuwait during the election. I was surprised at how little people seemed to care. My perception was that just about everyone voted (mostly for Bush), but few people actually paid attention to what the candidates were saying. I felt like a lot of the military people were voting for Bush for the same reason that so many minorities vote for Democrats- because it just seems like the right thing to do. I was definitely surprised by that- but I'm glad they voted for the right guy. No complaints there...
Do you see a real chance for peace in the middle east anytime soon?
"Soon" is such a relative term. I definitely see a chance for peace in the Middle East, but I don't think it will come anytime soon. We can't stop the car bombers who want to blow themselves tomorrow or next month or next year. They will strike if they want to, and they simply cannot be stopped. What we CAN do is continue to work over there and help set the conditions for the car-bombing culture to become extinct. It will happen eventually- as long as we are committed to seeing it through.
How much do you think it helped you personally having access to the internet and blogs?
It was a great way to keep friends and family in the loop without having to send a million emails a day. I also learned so much from reading some of the awesome blogs that I discovered- LGF, Blackfive, Totten, and of course- RightWingSparkle!
How has the transition from the military to the private sector affected you?
It's given me a whole new perspective- cliche, I know. But I can't think of any other way to say it. It's different. I can't believe how much freedom I have. People aren't depending on me. I'm not making gut-wrenching decisions that may affect people's lives. I'm just figuring out new and exciting ways to increase revenue and market share and enjoying lots of time with the love of my life- it's great! I sort of feel like I just finished running a marathon that never ends, and now I'm drinking a cold gatorade, enjoying the scenery, and cheering for the people who are still running...
I'm thinking you deserve it and more 2Slick. From the bottom of my heart I thank you for serving our country. Thank you for risking your life for freedom in this world. Is there any way any of us can ever really show how much it means to us that men like you fight the good fight, who find within themselves a greater purpose that we will never know.
I'm glad you came back 2slick. And for those who didn't, we all should live our lives a little better and with a little more passion in honor of them.
It is because of them and you that we walk free.
God bless you and all who stand to fight at the wall of freedom.
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 9:46 PM
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 8:36 PM
Sunday, April 24, 2005
A while back I decided to try and find my best friend from high school. She had married a friend a mine and settled in my hometown and I had last seen her at my father's funeral 20 yrs ago. I thought it would be fairly easy. We didn't go to the same high school, but I had many friends at hers and my boyfriend had gone there. In my search I found a 20 yr reunion website for her high school and found pictures and information on my old boyfriend. As I sat looking at pictures of this man who had broken my heart at 16, who had aged as we all have, I remembered what it was like to be so young and so in love.
The summer I was 15 I met him after a highschool baseball game. He was a gifted athlete and would later play college ball. Meeting him was literally like being hit by a truck. I was a rare confident teen. I had boyfriends since I was in 1st grade. It had all been fun and games up to this point. But this, this was love.
My usual witty responses got stuck in my throat. My confidence in my looks disappeared. He seemed to like me as well, but unfortunately his cousin liked me a lot and he didn't want to hurt his cousin. I would see him at games, at the pizza hut we hung out and I would start to shake. My heart would pound. I HATED IT! I tried to make this feeling go away. My interest in other boys disappeared. I could hardly eat. All I could think about was this guy. It was like listening to the same song all day long. And there was no way I could find to turn it off.
Finally, the situation resolved itself and he called and asked me out. I don't remember the conversation. I remember hanging up and almost passing out. I laid on my bed, put my hands to my face and screamed.
I honestly don't remember that first date either. I think I must have been in such a state of nirvana that it was almost like a drug induced high. I call it a love blackout.
I turned 16 and it was the summer of love. When I finally got to the point where I could actually breath around him, we started to have fun together. It was a rollercoaster ride of emotions for me. The high when he called and the low when he didn't. He never treated me badly, but it was clear that I was crazy go nuts in love with this guy and he.....well....he liked me a lot, but there was a wall there I could not break through. I remember lying on the couch in my living room with him and my head on his chest listening to his heartbeat. I would close my eyes and try to will his heart to love me.
Loving someone more than they love you is so painful I don't think I could have ever gone through it again. When we were together I would soar. But when he didn't call for days I would fall into a depression I have never experienced since. On the one hand I was so grateful to be with him when I was that I never complained about the times when I was not. So I made it pretty easy for him to take me for granted and he did.
Then the day came when I found out he had cheated on me. (Then that just meant he had gone out with someone else) I may have been in love, but I still had my dignity. Cheating was not something I would ever put up with. I wrote him a terse note and that was that.
For about a month I soaked my pillow each night with my tears. I didn't just feel my heart was broken, I felt it had been torn to pieces. But after a while I put the pieces back together and went forward. I will always be grateful that he never took physical advantage of the love I had for him. I thought of myself as pretty strong, but he had a way of making me pretty weak.
But the story doesn't end there.
I learned many things from my first love. I learned to never let yourself love someone more than they loved you. I learned to never feel that the thought of losing someone should make you let them walk all over you.
A few years later after we had both gone to different colleges, we saw each other at a club. He called me and wanted to see me again. I'm not saying my heart didn't flutter a bit, but the scars had kept me from the soaring feeling of love I had felt before. Over the next few years we saw each other when we could. He said to me once, "You're not falling in love with me like before." I replied, "No, I learned my lesson." Did this bother him? I am not sure. Like before there was still a wall there I could never break through. But I was in full control this time. No more broken hearts for me.
But still..... That girl who was crazy go nuts in love was hiding behind my heart waiting for him to go crazy go nuts and be in love with her the same way.
My senior year in college he called to tell me that his college baseball team was playing my college that weekend. He said he would call me when he got there. He did. He told me he had about an hour before practice and could I come to the athletic dorm and see him.
Now this may seem like an insignificant detail, but you will understand at the end. At this time in the early 80's all curly long hair was in, right? I had straight long hair. I was so excited about seeing him I didn't bother to stop and roll my hair though. I just flew out the door and drove over there. When I got to him I gave him a big hug and he looks at me and says with a slight smile, "Thanks for fixing your hair for me."
In that moment I knew that I would never make this man happy. I knew that I would never be smart enough, be pretty enough, or love him enough. As much as my heart yearned for him, my mind knew better. A deep sadness flowed through me.
He said, "I'll see you at the game tomorrow, right?" "Yes," I replied, "I'll be there." But I didn't go to that game the next day and I never saw him again.
He has married, divorced, remarried and has 3 children. He lives in my hometown. I saw a picture of his wife and wondered if she had broken down that wall.
I never did find my best friend. She had divorced my friend and remarried. Sometimes we lose things that are so precious to us and we just never find them again.
So it goes.
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 7:01 PM
I had a conversation with an atheist friend of mine the other night. He firmly believes that being gay is genetic and is a gene that is passed on from family.
His theory is this. He believes that for generations when homosexuality was not accepted, gays married out of social pressure and had children. Thus the gay gene was passed on. Now that the social pressure is no longer there and very few gays are opting to have natural children if they have children at all, then he believes that gays will diminish and finally be eliminated from the gene pool. He figures in 50 years there will be very few gays left.
Well, I had to think about that one. No one has proven there is any kind of "gay gene" of course, but the interesting thing is that gay people themselves very much want it to be proven that there is one. The reason being that it proves this isn't a "choice" they make and they were "born" that way.
So I was thinking that if there is a gay gene, doesn't it follow that that gene is passed on and that my friend has a point?
Look..... I am no scientist, which is abundantly clear here, but I wondered what your thoughts are on this theory.
Posted by RightwingSparkle at 5:34 PM