Archive for the ‘Why?’ Category

Why?

There’s so much I don’t understand about human beings. But I always try. Being a Libra I can’t help but try to see both sides. Doesn’t always work for me because I just get confused. Because I don’t understand a lot.

I usually get prompted to think about these things or remember incidents after one flash of television news.

Just saw that a Houston man killed two adults, four children (execution style) and was also going after the grandparents. Some type of domestic dispute. He was caught.

Guns. Don’t get me started. But that’s not my point.

Years ago I worked in Dallas. Huge office. About 1,200 employees at the time. We were growing like mad due to smaller offices around the country closing and/or consolidating. Mega-centers being the end result. Anyway, had lots of employees in the building.

There was a young woman. Twenty five years old. Had photos of her little baby girl plastered all over her cubicle. Adorable. Obviously, judging from the many photos, the child was the light of her mother’s life.

Then there was a court case. And her boyfriend was awarded custody of her daughter.

She picked up her two-year old girl from the boyfriend’s parents for a court approved visit. Headed north to the Oklahoma border and checked into a motel. She left early the next morning. Hours later a hotel maid found the little girl’s dead body tucked in the bed.

The mom was rescued after crashing her car into the Red River. She was eventually put in prison.

I remember sitting in my office trying to wrap my head around it. And my friend, Kim said to me, “Mary, you are trying to make sense of it. To figure out the why. You won’t ever make sense of it. Or understand why. And that’s not a bad thing.”

But every time I see something horrible on the news I think about what drives these people to commit such hideous acts. Is it a case of if I can’t have my baby then no one else will? If I can’t have my wife then no one else will? Or the loss of the family unit? Is it the scenarios that they never could have envisioned when they happily said “I do” or when they welcomed a beautiful child into their arms? Is it that most folks will eventually cope with life’s loss and move on but there are others that don’t have any coping mechanism at all?

I don’t know any of the answers. But often wonder why.

 

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Trayvon

I am going to repost at the end of this. I don’t usually do that. But nothing has changed since that last post. And that is the saddest thing.

Didn’t watch the court proceedings on television. I personally don’t think any of us should be viewing it unless we want to get off our rear ends and get down to the courthouse. Because not ALL cases are televised. Just those special celebrity laden, juicy and/or particularly nasty ones. All about the moolah and ratings.

We have race issues. And if anyone denies it I would have to call them a liar or the most naive person in the whole world. We are all guilty of it. In some way. I am not even saying it is our fault. It’s been so ingrained in our society (world) that sometimes it’s not even noticed. White people rule. Still.

But I have heard or read comments and so have you. Some people check to see racial numbers before moving into a neighborhood and/or school. Maybe not because they even dislike Blacks but because not a lot of money is plunked down in areas where Black folks live. Especially in cities. So education stinks. Everyone knows that. Yup.

We had the white flight. The pristine suburbs away from the city. But how were the Blacks going to leave?

White people use code words for Black people. I didn’t even know that until my friend told me recently. But when I read up on it (like I do everything) I saw that it was out there. Some said it came from the food service industry. That Canadians were known for not tipping and so were African Americans. Sigh. Really?

A lot gets blamed on the Black folk. Do you know what the percentage of Black folks is in America? According to a census report for the year 2012 it was thirteen percent. How can everything (or anything) be blamed on such a small group?

I read an article today. Interestingly enough it was not about Trayvon Martin.

It was about America. And how the minority populations will soon be majority. This means that these folks, the ones now largely ignored, under educated and jailed will be our workforce ready (tongue in cheek) to compete with the rest of the world. If the country doesn’t ¬†spend the time and money to fix this (and I don’t mean popping out more white babies!!!) then the country will suffer. Maybe that is what it will take to right the wrongs but USA might wait too long.

Sure, we love our sweet Black singers, our NBA athletes and funny actors. As my girlfriend once said, “Yup, everyone wants to sing like a Black person. Dance like a Black person. Play sports like a Black person. Emulate us in every way. But no one actually wants to be Black person.” ūüė¶

One more thing. I remember Eddie Murphy (Black American actor and comedian) discussing an incident. His celebrity only masks outward racism. Usually. One day he is on an escalator and a fan (white girl) is smiling and waving at him. Her male companion says, “What are you waving at that nigger for?” She said, “It’s Eddie Murphy.” Oh, okay, then.

People are not protected from racism. No matter how successful or big they make it in the world.

I am not even saying that Zimmerman is a horrible racist. But it exists in our world. And could have distorted his view. Maybe Trayvon looked suspicious (to him) because of that BUT he didn’t have to approach him. He did and the young man was shot. And killed. He was told by the authorities not to follow. He did anyway. Someone needs to be accountable. Because there was loss of an innocent, young life. Please don’t bring up pot smoking to me. Or graffiti. ¬†Or even stealing a necklace. Or that he wasn’t a squeaky clean youth. For God’s sake, if we killed off all of our not so squeaky clean youth then what 60s, 70s, or 80s bands would we have? And who would be writing this very blog?

I have gone on long enough. Sorry. See blog posting below. Nothing has changed. In years and years.

Walking Freely

March 21, 2012 by Mary

A young man, seventeen years of age, was shot and killed in Florida a couple of weeks ago. His name was Trayvon and he was black.

A twenty eight year old man was patrolling his gated neighborhood and thought Trayvon looked suspicious. So he called the police. The police told him not to pursue. He did anyway. And shot Trayvon.

Someone’s son.

That is the tragedy.

Trayvon who was visiting a relative in the neighborhood and was armed with nothing more than candy wrappers. And was scared of this grown man chasing after him.

But sadly, that is not the only tragedy in this story.

The man who murdered him in cold blood walks freely among us. Not charged. Not jailed. There is a law in Florida that protects him. A law that states you can stand your ground. In a nutshell- someone can meet force with force if they feel that it will prevent death or harm to themselves.

But what if you follow, chase and hunt down someone? Provoke and then shoot them? Not in your bedroom. But down the street in your neighborhood.

Well, apparently that law still protects you.

I’m not going to discuss guns. That’s a posting for another time. I’m not going to discuss the racism. That’s also a posting for another time.

Lots of people talk about how this country is going downhill and we are losing all of our rights. That can’t be true. Because we still have rights. The right to kill. And walk freely after doing so.

Walking freely was probably something that Trayvon, being young and black, never took for granted. He was scared. He was murdered. And he will never walk freely again.

 

 

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I don’t usually travel down the road of old stuff.

But every once in a while.

Was thinking about pieces of furniture from the Texas home. Maybe I should have held on to some of my favorites.

Happened to be thinking about this one huge, solid foyer table. Brought it with me to California and then sold it. A unique piece that unfolded lengthwise. It wasn’t cheap.

The buyer knew a deal when she saw one. She paid me $500.00 for it  in November of 2011. I asked if she wanted the pair of tall silver lamps that completed the look. She declined.

She emailed me later saying she LOVED the table and wondered if I still had the lamps. Told her that we decided to keep them but we’d let her know if we ever changed our mind.

Fast forward to February, 2012. We’re moving overseas. I emailed her. She said, “YES!” ¬†Wants lamps.

I gave her my price. She says I wanted less back in November (will have to take her word on that one as my memory stinks) and begs to have them for that price. I said if I couldn’t sell them she could have them at $75.00. An absolute steal. Really.

They were perfect except one was missing a bulb. I dusted the shades and bases.

When she arrived I said, “Why don’t you plug them in and try them? I can take the bulb from one and put it in the other one so you can try both.”

Says,”Nah.” And leaves.

Then I got this.

Mary,
I wished you would have been a little bit more honest. One of the lamp has a broken light bulb in the socket. This will be very difficult for me to remove. And I didn’t even check to see if they work. I guess I’m just to trust worthy. I don’t know why I did insist on checking if they worked for the price of $75.00, pretty steep for a broken lamp.¬†
Just wanted you to know
Lina
Awwww. She just wanted me to know.
Yes, I was a little upset. And not just because of the spelling and grammatical errors.

I immediately apologized and advised her that I had no clue. I had dusted and wiped them down but didn’t notice. I told her that a simple workman’s glove would do the trick to unscrew the bulb base.

The more I thought about it the more it bothered me. She received quality pieces. Bartered with me. And now she was complaining and questioning my honesty.

My husband told me to let it go. Not to let a complete stranger bother me. One who knows nothing about me.

So I let it go. I guess.

But it will always be a reminder. That there is always a nice, polite way to convey a message.  Whether written or verbal. You can get your point across without being accusatory, derogatory, mean or snarky.

Because people remember. Even old stuff.

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People all over the world were writing messages on their hands. This one is a relative of mine. It was just striking.

March 16, 2013: 22-year-old Sunil Tripathi went missing.

I blogged about his disappearance on March 26th.

His name was splashed all over the media on April 19th. Falsely identified as one of the suspects in the Boston bombing.

April 23rd, 2013: His body was found in the Providence River.

His poor family. I cannot imagine their despair. Having a child missing. Feeling like you should know and feel where he is. He is yours.

I have a 21-year-old college student. My heart really, really hurts for them.

Did they have nightmares of him calling for them?

And then insult added to injury.

My oldest daughter told me that her friend, a Brown student, had texted her after hearing that Sunil was a possible bombing suspect. He was frightened and asked if he could stay at my Mom and Dad’s.

That didn’t end up happening since two new suspects were soon identified. But this irresponsible act of screaming and streaming false information through the media did cause panic in people. Brown University kids living on campus that might not have known him. And his family, while knowing Sunil’s nature, could not hazard a guess as to the nature of other people armed with this information. Scary stuff.

I understand that everyone wanted to put two and two together. Put an end to the Boston madness. I’m totally okay with that. But there needs to be some discretion. Fact checking is a need to do¬†and not¬†a nice to do. Google is not God. Let the investigators do the investigating.

There were distraught people in this equation. An already wounded family was the target.

Sunil’s desperate family. All they wanted was for him to come home. They knew he was depressed. They loved him and wanted to help. A special family. I am sure he knew how very fortunate he was to have them.

The only good thing (I thought at the time) that could come out of this was that Sunil’s name¬†was in the media and maybe it would prompt more folks to look for him. And hopefully find him.

His illness was just that. An illness. No reflection on anything or anyone. We are complicated beings. Made up of amazingly intricate bits and pieces. Instead of being shocked when humans don’t work like they should I think we should be absolutely flabbergasted when things actually do work properly.

I am quite certain that Sunil knows the great lengths his loved ones went to find him. Everyone should have the blessing of such a family. Everyone should have someone looking for them. And everyone should be found.

Rest In Peace, Sunil. May the beautiful memories of you comfort your family now.

Note: The beautiful photo above is one of many messages from around the world meant to encourage and welcome Sunil home. This particular one was by a relative of mine. Mairead’s use of this color blue was striking and soothing at the same time. ¬† ¬†¬†

Old blog posting below about depression and reaching out for help.

https://justbeingmary.wordpress.com/2012/05/09/too-soon/

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Understanding

Sometimes I just don’t know what to say. Maybe that is why I write. I am a talker but once in a while I just run out of words.

Especially when I don’t understand things and words completely fail me. And sometimes even when I try to write. Like right now.

Like Boston. I don’t understand why someone would set off bombs designed to maim and kill innocent people.

I do understand that the evil doer succeeded. I am reading the stories. Evil killed a sweet eight year old boy named Martin. Evil also maimed his sister with a leg amputation. And evil injured his mother’s brain. A family destroyed forever. They were just waiting for Dad at the finish line.

So, I understand that this evil succeeded.¬†I just don’t understand why.

I got choked up reading about one brother calling his mother to tell her that he was badly hurt. He and his brother, who were cheering their buddy on near the end of the race, both lost a leg.

There are going to be plenty of stories. About the three dead and the many that were severely wounded. And we will hear wonderful examples of bravery, generosity and spirit. That will lift our own downtrodden spirit. But the reason for our faith in humanity needing restoration will always be a hurtful reminder of a horrible day.

Little Martin Richard from Dorchester was a beautiful, innocent child. Who just wanted to cheer his daddy on in a big race.

Why on earth and why in Heaven should he have died? Because I do not understand. And I will never, ever understand.

I guess I really don’t want to understand.

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Enough of the Irish talk. Back to daily happenings in Malaysia.

In November we went out to buy an outdoor sofa and love seat for the front patio. Since we’ll be sweating buckets anyway we figured it would be nice to sit down while doing so. We found a set that should last forever since it is synthetic rattan. I am thinking plastic bags will biodegrade quicker. Just my guess. So I will use the furniture forever to reduce my big carbon footprint.

They said it would take a month for delivery. Fine. For the cushions we chose a bright green apple color from the displayed palette. And I requested that the cushions also be thicker and provided them with the measurements. We plunked down a deposit and off we went.

After Christmas, they show up with the new furniture. With white, thin cushions. Ummm, I have a dog, a fourteen year old, and friends who like red wine. White???? 

My husband tells them he doesn’t want it. They said, “No problem. Keep it here. We will have the new cushions sent to you.”

One month later, I call them. I get transferred from one person to another. And another. And another. No one has a strong grasp of the English language. But I am the persistent sort. I leave a message on the last transferred call.

No one ever calls me back. And never get the cushions. Nothing.

I finally get a brilliant idea. Sales guy! I find the number of the original fellow who sold it.

And I start something like this, “Hi! You sold us some furniture and I would really like to buy more pieces from you (imagine a fishing line thrown out ready to reel him in) but I need the original order straightened out. And I love the furniture and have many friends that are also interested in purchasing from you! ” I imagine him seeing dollar signs and hearing the faint cha-ching! of a cash register. Although in this case, his name is Chang so it would go something like this. … cha-chang!¬†“But most importantly, don’t you want the remaining¬†balance?

Teejay says, “Okay, text me your name and order number.”

I do. It is now the end of March. Still nothing.

Sigh. The thin, white cushions are fine.

Last week a custom-made bed frame was finally being delivered. I had chosen a warm, brown colored wood.

The guys showed up, went to the room, and assembled the bed. I heard whispering and knew something wasn’t right.

I entered the room, “Hey, guys, howzit going? Everything good?”

“Yes, but only this.” He pointed to the brown headboard (which I ordered) and then pointed to the ebony footboard which I did not order. I know. I am weird like that. Wanting a footboard to match the headboard. Call me crazy. They called their boss. And they tell him that I am not paying the balance. ¬†Okay, new one will show up in three or four days.

Obviously color is a bit of a problem ova heah. But I did laugh, shook my head and resigned myself to never popping the champagne until the fat lady actually does sing.

My friends no longer want to shop with me out of fear that they might actually catch this order dysfunction thingy from me.

The footboard arrived today. Correct color. Yay for me! Although I suppose there could be someone out there still waiting for their ebony footboard.

They set it up. I tell them I no longer have the cash but will give them a check. I grab the nearest pen. And write out the amount.

He looks at it. Calls the boss again. Hangs up and then tells me it is no good.

Why????

Because I wrote it in red ink.

I knew I did it. But never thought they would care. I mean, all of a sudden, color is an issue?

I have never even scribed a letter in anything but blue or black ink. I just didn’t think they would get caught up in a detail like that.

Anyway, I signed a new check. Sent them on their way.

Today, a fellow comes by to install the two outdoor ceiling fans I ordered (compliments of the landlord). He points and asks where do I want it? I say, “Well, I think one here and one just over here.”

He looks at me, “Only one.”

I look at him, “What??????”

Big sigh. And I’m thinking, “What color is it?”

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One Of Them

This is a victim statement. I wrote it before the sentencing of a girl who, while driving under the influence, hit and killed a friend and classmate of my daughter.  His name was Cameron. And he was just eighteen. The girl was twenty four.

His family wanted different people from his life to contribute so the judge could get an understanding of what Cameron was like. I was to explain my relationship and then share a story, anecdote, or memory of Cameron. And also what I thought the sentencing should be.

So I typed my name and explained in this statement that my daughter, Rory, was a friend and classmate of Cameron’s. They attended high school together and graduated in the year 2010. And then I wrote the following. I wrote this some time ago and have changed a bit of it since then.

After Rory’s freshman year in Dallas we moved from Texas to California.¬† We were concerned about moving our high schooler to a brand new place after residing in Texas for twelve years. We had no family or friends in California. But J.S. Catholic High School changed all of that for her. She made friends with some really great kids.

Her last year provided a lot of different activities for the students.

This senior crew included Cameron.

These kids just enjoyed being with each other. Playing board games and eating junk food. They weren’t into drinking, drugs or sex. They were into AP courses, their families and figuring out what they would do with their lives.

One day, Rory asked if she could have some friends over Friday night.¬†I was a little hesitant. We had dinner plans and I really didn’t want unchaperoned teens in the house.¬†But she told us who she wanted to invite.¬†There were about eight kids.

Cameron was one of them.

The plan was to load up on junk food and play Scattergories (a board game). So we agreed. We wouldn’t be out late. My younger daughter, Annie, was at a birthday party and would be dropped off at home by my friend.

Rory said, “No problem. She can play with us.”

Sure enough, when we arrived home there was my eleven year old at the dining room table happily playing the game with the high schoolers.

Cameron was one of them.

Rory insisted we sit down and play. We didn’t want to intrude on their time but not one seemed to mind the old folks joining them. So we played a couple of¬†rounds with them. How many teens want an eleven year old hanging with them on a Friday night? Or parents sitting with them?

Cameron was one of those teens.

My friend, Lisa, bought a long dining room table about seven months ago. She said that Rory was the reason for the purchase.

When she dropped off Annie that night she had glanced in the window by the front door. Saw Rory and her friends gathered around the dining room table laughing. Having the time of their lives. She wanted that very same thing for her eleven year old when she got older.

Cameron was one of those gathered there. Laughing and having the time of his life.

But that life was cruelly cut short and Cameron will no longer be one of those gathered around his friends’ tables. Or at his parents’ table for a board game,¬†Thanksgiving dinner, or enjoying meals meant to celebrate college grades, a new job, a wife, the birth of children.¬†Celebrating life.

I have no idea what to say about the sentencing of the person who hit him. I just know that his parents are suffering. They lost their only child. Their beloved son. His friends miss him. There is an empty spot at a lot of tables.

Cameron’s spot.

Cameron died a year ago last April-not even a year after graduating high school. He was with a friend from high school on the side of the road by their disabled vehicle. A drunk driver swerved into the breakdown lane, hitting their car and causing Cameron to be thrown from the overpass.

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