The Kindness of Strangers

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop

Well here I am camped out at a hotel near the airport in Boston. I have a wonderful view out my window of what looks like a tank farm. Fuel for the Airplanes perhaps?

Everyone here at the hotel could not be kinder to me. I went down to the desk yesterday morning to extend my stay. I began telling the clerk that I had to stay longer because my grandson’s funeral mass is not until Saturday morning. As soon as those words were out of my mouth the floodgates opened and I began sobbing uncontrollably. The people standing there at the desk comforted me, patted my hands, and stroked my back.

Standing around me was an assortment of flight attendants, pilots and various other travelers. They did their best to console me, a total stranger. I was so grateful to them. Like ripples in a pond, I think this time of sorrow gives others an opportunity to think about their own troubles and loved ones. I bet they took time to talk to their family and friends and tell them loved them. I would like to think that anyway. Life is too short to let squabbles and hurts get in the way of loving those close to you.

The desk clerk started typing away furiously and offered me every discount she could think of…senior citizen, military and whatever else they could find. When they were finished punching the magic buttons my bill went from $160 per night down to $100 per night. I am so grateful.

So anyone can make a difference in someone else’s life. The opportunity may come at you out of the blue at a moment’s notice. Never pass up a chance to show kindness to a stranger. You may never know how much it touches their heart.

Thank you, dear readers, for listening.

 Mental Illness – A Crime Punishable by Death

Rest in Peace, Christopher

Rest in Peace, Christopher

When did mental illness become a crime punishable by death…without even a trial? That’s what can happen to a loved one if they live in the frozen North of our great country. I’m so angry that I’m having extreme difficulty putting it into words.

My grandson has been struggling for years now. His latest residence was a homeless shelter for veterans in Boston. He got in some kind of disagreement with them and they threw him out, in the middle of the night, when the temperature was in the teens. If it was that bad why didn’t they call the police? I’d rather my grandson be in jail than in a funeral home waiting for us to bring him to his final resting place. There are not enough tears in the ocean to shed at this travesty.

Many of our young people are behind the eight ball in multiple ways; inner city crime, emotional disorders, mental illness, substance abuse, homelessness and many more problems. Most health care professionals have no training in treating people with alcoholism and mental illness together.

Many will say “we can’t give you any medicine for mental illness because you are drinking.” I’m sorry, but that is a big giant load of horse crap. Maybe if they gave someone a valium they would calm down, go home, if they have one, and go to sleep, instead of wandering the streets, and even dying on a park bench or a train station. Are they afraid of liability issues? I wonder.

So my grandson is laying in a coffin now. He slipped through the cracks. But can we even call it a crack?? It’s more a huge fissure that’s getting wider every day. Pray for our children.

A Thief in the Night

For you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 1 Thessalonians 5:2 New International Version

Beloved Christopher, Rest in Peace

My dear readers, the thief in the night came quicker than I thought. My darling grandson, Christopher age 26, was found dead at 5:30 am Saturday morning. My heart is broken at the loss of a sweet but troubled young man. When he first started talking he named me “Grandma Vick.” I was happy with that, because he had another grandma so that was his way of telling us apart.

What is even worse than this loss is the grief I feel for my daughter, my own baby, who has lost her beautiful son, her baby boy. I was with her when he was born, and love the both of them so much it hurts.

Christopher was a young man with a big chip on his shoulder. His father died young from either a suicide of drug overdose. He has suffered for years with mental illness, and drug addiction. Recently he was living in a homeless shelter for veterans. From what I can gather so far, he got in an argument with someone in the shelter and was either kicked out or left. He stormed off and went into a train station. Boston’s temperature lately has been in the low 30’s lately. He probably feel asleep or passed out from drugs or alcohol and succumbed to that and hypothermia.

So today I’m in Boston to be with my daughter to offer any support I can give her. We need to make arrangements to lay Christopher to rest. I’ve had a lot of trouble and arguments with my daughter, but there is no way that I could live with myself if I did not come to her side in this most painful time that any parent will ever experience, the loss of a child.

All I can ask of you is please pray for Christopher, his mother and family in our time of sorrow.

Thank you for listening.

Something Wicked This Way Comes

I’ve had this feeling for a while now. It’s kind of like the talk that Morpheus gave Neo in that Matrix movie; “You know something is wrong, but you don’t know what it is. You search day and night, but can’t find it. You can’t smell it, taste it or touch it. It is all around you. You are in a prison for the mind.”

If I’m not careful and I slip up on a daily basis, I begin to doubt my sanity. Every day the news casters gleefully share the latest disaster, murder, insanely unwise new legislation, etc. Then the talking heads analyze it 8 ways from Sunday. But, in the end I’m expected to believe that everything is not only just peachy keen finer than fine, but getting better every day.

If I beg to disagree I am labeled as paranoid, a nervous Nelly, glum, a wannabe prepper nut, depressed, or a glass half empty kind of person. And this labeling even comes from other people who are feeling the same feelings, and talking about it all the damned time. Talk is cheap and so they just want to whine about latest news sound bite. However, they do not want to really get down and dirty and talk about what might be coming. Forget doing anything about it. Oh they may go out and buy a few extra cans of tuna fish and stick a few dollars in a coffee can, but that’s about it.

Well, I don’t buy it. And it’s only when I make a conscious decision to stop buying it that I feel anywhere near what might resemble normal and calm. But the question remains. How can I prepare for something coming when I don’t know what it is, or if it even exists?

All civilizations rise and fall. It usually doesn’t happen overnight. Most start a slow slide to oblivion rather than the fall of Pompeii where the mountain belched and destroyed every living thing in less than a day. Here in the U.S. our rights as private citizens are taking that slow slide to oblivion. The scary part is that much of this legislation chips away at our right and more important our DUTY to be self-reliant.

Did you know that in some states it is illegal to collect rain water? How disturbing is that? The rationale behind this is that rain falling out of the sky is public property. Therefore if we collect it we are “hoarding” the rain water. Well the earth can be considered public property also. Does this mean that I can’t own my home and the ground it stands on? Am I hoarding my little piece of the earth? There and many that think so. The most frightening thing of all is that there are many people who think along these lines in positions of public power.

We the People

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. Preamble to the Constitution of the United States of America.

My question today, which I’ve been mulling over for the past few months, is what the hell happened to “We the People?” Because I’m looking down the barrel of my 60th birthday coming up I’ve been looking back over my life from a freedom and privacy perspective. My rights, personal freedom and privacy, have eroded drastically over the decades. Women’s rights are moving backwards at an alarming rate.

I’ve gone from being annoyed at the necessary evil of having a government to be afraid of the government. Taking a few moments to read the constitution and amendments to the constitution is a sobering experience.

Take the Bill of Rights for example. Our Bill of Rights is the collective name for the first 10 amendments to the United States Constitution. It came into effect on December 15, 1791. Not a day goes by that some action of the government or law is passed or Presidential order is signed that violates these rights. I use to naively believe that the guys at the top of the heap used this Bill of Rights as a guideline.

I no longer believe that. When I do watch the news I tend to sit there with my mouth hanging open in shock, asking myself “did I hear what I thought I just heard?”

I think that part of the problem is that our children are no longer taught this in school. When I was in grade school we had a civics class. In the class we learned about how the branches of government are supposed to work. We had to memorize the preamble to the constitution and recite in class. We studied the Bill of Rights in great detail including how they came to be.

Today, our 20 and 30 somethings have the right to vote but have no education on how our government was intended by our forefathers, who created our nation, to work. Think about it for a second: People have to take a test to operate a motor vehicle, but no knowledge is required to go to the polls and decide on actions that could affect our lives for generations to come. Instead being taught common sense and courtesy they are taught that whatever they want is how it should be. If you don’t like something get a law passed. Pay no never mind that the law may infringe on your neighbors rights.

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