Monday, September 20
That was my mom's name. Most people called her "Chris." A few called her "oops" because she was clumsy. She was pretty, and fragile, and child-like. She almost never raised her voice. She loved yellow roses and daffodils, and as a grown woman she still slept with stuffed animals on her bed...a stuffed French Poodle named "Fifi La Femme" and a bear named "Peebs."
I miss my mom.
I always miss her, but lately it's been stuck in the forefront of my mind that I'm motherless. Being without a mother can be an incredibly lonely feeling. My mom's last heartbeat occurred on September 25, 2003 -- but most of her had died long before. Despite that being the case, her absence has been much more difficult than I'd ever imagined.
Death is so final to those of us still in this mortal existence. My belief is that I will see her again in another world -- but that's such a misty unknown here in the tangible realm.
When she was here, even if it were merely in a semi-existing manner, there was always hope. Hope that "this time" she would not leave...she would not abuse drugs...she would not try to kill herself...hope that maybe tomorrow she'd have a light in her eyes instead of that painful, lost child expression.
Publius Terentius Afer (195/185–159 BC) said, "While there's life, there's hope."
Not long before my mom died, I'd forbidden her from spending unsupervised time with my son. I told her she had to make a choice between us and the drugs -- and then I added that she needed to "get busy living or get busy dying." I actually said, "If you're going to continue on this path, please just get it over with instead of committing this slow, drawn out suicide that we all have to stand by and witness."
Obviously, I have some guilt over these words. I hope she knows I'm sorry for saying that.
I hope that she's with the Lord -- and I hope she can see that I've tried to do good, and to learn from her mistakes. I hope she knows she is missed, and that we all wish things could have been different. I've spent countless hours going over what I could have said or done to "fix" her. Everything is clearer in hindsight.
While there is life, there is hope. So for now, I have hope for the life I still have here, and hope that one day I will see her again.
Posted by Team Chastain at 6:12 PM
Monday, September 6
I used to be one of those people who wouldn't hesitate to get into a heated debate on hot topic issues such as politics and religion. Two words: Not wise.
The feelings associated with those particular subjects are incredibly personal and most often go much deeper than just the surface subject. Think about it -- how many times at the end of one of those heated debates, does the other person suddenly say, "Ah yes! I see the light and you're absolutely correct. I could not have been more wrong, and now I will forever more see things your way!"
Yeah...next to never.
The sad thing about NOT voicing ones thoughts but merely skimming over them with a generalized statement such as, "I'm conservative" makes it all too easy for folks to lump you into a category that you more than likely don't fit into. Rarely is anything so black or white regarding how one feels about political issues, or belief in a higher being, etc...
Am I treading delicately enough here? I sure hope so.
I've been called a "right winger" by some on the left, and "too liberal" by some on the right. I believe in fiscal conservatism and abhor big government, which is unique amongst the disabled due to how many of them cannot or choose not to work, thus relying heavily on government financial support. In my opinion, the government is balancing so precariously that I would not bet my security on them alone, but that's me. Alternately, I firmly believe that gay people should be allowed to marry.
When I was a little girl, we used to make a yearly trip from the Washington, DC area down to Morehead City, NC for a family reunion on my mom's side. The first person I could not wait to see was one of my mom's cousins because she would play better than all the other grown-ups. She'd run, play ball, spin you around until you came close to throwing up, then turn you upside down pretending she was going to drop you on the head! She taught me how to shoot spitballs, which was about the most awesome thing ever! To a passerby, she looked like a guy, but she's not. She's a lesbian who is manly in appearance and mannerisms. Based on my own experience with her, I could not think of many people who would have been a better parent, but considering she was at an age to start a family in the 70's and 80's (in the south, no less) she never really had much of a chance at that going over well.
My hubby and I recently got into a debate over this, and I ended up saying how I believe marriage is between the two people and God (my belief) so that would make it a "church" thing, and there's the separation of Church & State, so the government should have no say in gay people marrying. I was quickly shot down with a bunch of details, like legal issues, insurance, etc... totally overwhelming, and reminded me why I stopped having those discussions in the first place.
Anyway, I said all of that to say this: Don't lump people into categories without knowing where they stand on issues.
All conservatives are not capitalist pigs, bigots and/or racists.
All liberals are not communist, immoral, or America-haters.
We're all so multi-faceted, and that's what makes this a beautiful country!
Have you ever seen this little picture? I love it.
Posted by Team Chastain at 4:46 PM