Posts Tagged ‘choices’

When I lived in Southern California I attended Mass in my community. It was always led by Fr. Fred.

Loved his sermons. I would, more often than not, leave with a message that would cause me to reflect for the week.

Fred would also write a little blurb in the weekly bulletin.

I just moved to India and was unpacking some things in our new home. A purple piece of paper fluttered in the drawer. It was one of Fr. Fred’s reflections that I had cut out of the church bulletin about seven years ago.

It is as relevant today as it was then. Nature wreaking havoc (always) and the “blamers” coming out of the woodwork (always) to tag these disasters as God’s dissatisfaction with us.

“God is punishing us because…..!”

“God is punishing them because…..!

Ummm, no.


It sort of struck me as interesting that I should find this-with the U.S. coming off the heels of Harvey and Irma and some folks wanting to place the blame on the sins of the people.

What Fred’s saying is that natural disasters are just that. We sometimes happen to be in the path because of where we live. It’s not a judgement or punishment. It is what it is.

Many folks are faced with personal disasters that have nothing to do with Mother Nature’s force and it’s hard to understand. It might be illness, an accident, death of a loved one, job loss, etc.

We are not being punished although it can feel like we are. It might not be anyone’s fault but still we are rendered feeling helpless. I suppose the only choice, in these instances, is how we try and move forward.

Other times we can get trapped in our very own disasters which are caused by the choices we make. Not anyone else.

This is when we need to be looking within and not blaming outside sources. And really ask ourselves if we are owning our choices.

We are not being punished.

It’s all about choices.




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Living away from home is quite an experience. In some ways it’s pretty surreal. I could write a book.

There are things I miss. Like choices. Might be funny coming from a decision-challenged Libra like me but it’s true.

I was home in the U.S. for Christmas and stopped in the grocery store. I always forget how huge it is. Aisles wide enough for me to do cartwheels.

My daughter and I stopped and had a moment of silence at the entrance.

Instead of keeping it healthy and only sticking to the perimeter we opted to hit the middle aisles. Just to stay current.

The choices! The variety!

I don’t even need to comment on the Goldfish or the Keeblers. You get the picture. Or you see the picture.

But check out that CHEEZ-IT section!

Scrabble Junior with lettered crackers so you can play while you eat. Can’t possibly feel guilty if you are learning.

White cheddar.

Classic Snack Mix for the big game.

And Double Cheese Snack Mix because you know the single dosing of fake cheese just won’t be enough. Okay, that was mean. I do see that they are all stamped with “Made with real cheese.”

Provolone because you just went up a step in the cheese category.

Oh wait, there’s Colby and Pepper Jack also!

Grooves for those of you who like a little texture.

Zings for those who like a little more action.

Whole Grain for you health freaks.

Reduced Fat to fit in with your new year’s resolutions.

BIG for those of you who think that bigger is better.

Cheddar Jack because you just don’t like Pepper Jack.

Duoz because two is better than one. Sounds a bit like the old Schaefer Beer jingle. The one cheese to have when you’re having more than one!

Mozzarella can never be left out of a cheese snack assortment.

Not even sure what the Avengers and Star Wars flavor could be.

Finally, never, ever forget about the Original.

We didn’t even buy CHEEZ-ITS that day. But we certainly had choices.

Way too many.


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It appears that the killing of Shaima Alawadi in San Diego might be an inside job. Inside the family.

I figured that might be the case. I’ve been following the story and that’s why I held off ranting about it. Because you always have to look at those closest to the victim first.

Shaima’s murder did bring many things to light because it was a initially a suspected hate crime. Victimized because she was a Muslim. An immigrant.

It brought up the fears and bigotry that many immigrants and Muslims experience in this country. But it also fostered support, compassion and solidarity from people all over the world.

Also brought up the issue of continued violence against women.

Looks like Shaima was planning to divorce her husband and move to Texas. Also seems that the seventeen year old daughter (who found her) was not happy about an arranged marriage to a cousin. Appears that she was in a relationship with someone else.

So, in my view, you have two suspects in this case. Most likely three. The husband. The daughter. Daughter’s boyfriend.

It shows us that all families (Muslims or not) can be dysfunctional. Whether in San Diego or in Iraq.

Also brings to light some other issues that pertain to women.

Shaima was a thirty two year old woman. She had a seventeen year old daughter. If I do the math correctly (and there’s always the possibility that I won’t) that makes her fifteen when she was married or had her first child. WAY too young. I have no idea if the choice was hers but I will say this. Still WAY too young.

Her daughter was distraught about the upcoming arranged marriage. Doesn’t sound like she had any say at all in that decision. Sigh. That is all I can write. Sigh.

One way we can honor Shaima is to continue to openly discuss these issues. Maybe we can stamp out bigotry. Violence against women. Maybe we can promote education. Choices for ALL women.

Shaima’s husband and daughter are currently in Iraq. May never see them again. So, who will suffer for the murder of Shaima? Well, the answer to that one is easy.

Her children.

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