Day Twelve: Some People Should Kick Rocks

KIck RocksI first heard the saying “kick rocks” from my husband.  He had gotten upset on several occasions with one of his family members.  Later he would say, “They can go and kick rocks.”  Not wanting to appear ignorant I never asked what the expression meant.  Yet from time to time I would use the saying in similar situations.

The other day I posted something on Facebook about me learning of Jodi Arias and a friend commented “Thanks for keeping us updated! Would not wanna b out the loop on this, lol.”  I tried to play the comment off as a jokingly jester but truthfully I wanted to tell him to go “F” himself.  And had I known the truest meaning for ‘kick rocks’ I would have put the saying as my response.

According to the Urban Dictionary telling someone to go and “kick rocks” has several meanings.  And even though there were three meanings each contained basically the same connotations.  Apparently telling someone to go and kick rocks mean “fuck off.”

 

Day Ten: She Was Not A Good Looking Woman

Loving Yourself QuotesA couple of days ago I was in the grocery store.  And!  Yes!  I was couponing BIG FASHION!  When I saw this guy from when I was young.  I first met him through my step-brother.  During that time they belonged to a local dance group.  Well anywhohow, the man looked at me as if he was trying to place my face as his wife caught my mutual gaze.  Rudely, I kept staring with amazement!

I know I should have cared and turned my focus elsewhere.  But the ugliness of his wife would not let me stop gawking!  I truly could not help myself!  Thoughts of days gone by were flooding my mind as my eyes thought someone was playing a trick on me.

I was in shock!  Absolute shock!  And then my mind finally settled and whispered, “He ended up with that!”

Moral of this story:

I had such a crush on that guy but he didn’t like me [sad face]!  And as a young woman back then rejection made me feel extremely ugly.  So, to my dismay, I took the rejections of young men to heart.  Sadly and eventually, I told myself I was ugly and my wounded spirit believed me.  Regrettably, as a young woman I lived a life of not expecting good things; because, again, I thought I was ugly and unworthy of love.

When I saw the now older guy’s wife, and once the shock of what he married quickly wore off, I was reminded of an old cliché “beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder!”

Therefore, my message to young men and women is this :  Never take to heart another person’s rejection when seeking romance, love, friendship and lasting relationships.  There is someone for everyone.  There are friends to be made and friendships to end.  There is love and forever loved.  Be patient!  Live your life!  Enjoy your life!  You only come this way once!  It would be a waste of your life to walk with your spiritual head flopping all over the place because someone rejected you.  Rejection is a part of life and it is a very healthy part of growing.

His Daughter’s Response to: A Message of Hope to His Daughter

Photo credit:  Annette Harrison
Photo credit: Annette Harrison

Today I got a question asking if my husband’s daughter got the email we sent her nearly a week ago.  Yes, she got the email and with her dad’s permission I’m posting her response.

I am not upset at all. Every statement is the truth. I know that about myself. I put unrealistic expectations on Jake. A friend of mine (who likes to counsel me for free) helped me see through the crap that I believe should be true. She helped me realize that I was spoon fed to be totally  dependant on a man and he should take care of your every need. You shouldn’t  have to work and you should be in tons of debt to reach that ‘American dream.’ The exact line is..’you aren’t  a real member of society unless..’ And for so long I have believed that. I am 22 years old and have a monstrous amount of debt because I was told at a young age that that is how you are successful.  No, it makes you stressed arena sick. There are ways to have those great things, like a house or a new car, without being overcome with a great amount of debt. It is called saving. Something Jake and I were never taught and are trying to teach ourselves now. It is very difficult. Because we were taught you weren’t  anyone unless you have tons of material  items. His  step-dad is very materialistic. His mom isn’t  but his step-dad, just like my mother, make you feel terrible  about your accomplishments if they aren’t  to their standards. I am working on my attitude everyday. Every morning  I wake up and I think of something I am thankful for. I may not like my job but my coworke just gave me all of her Thursdays and my Fridays back. That means 30 hours a week instead of 10. And that means I will also quality  for insurance  through the union. I may hate getting up early but it keeps a roof over my head, it keeps food in my cabinets and so that I am able to buy Layla’s  meds. I am working on not being too hard on Jake. That one is really  hard because he isn’t great at staying on top of important  things. And when he doesn’t  stay on top of it it makes me feel like he has not been truthful with me. So many times in the past he has not been. We are working on it and d everyday is a new day.

I love you!

A Message of Hope to His Daughter

Photo credit:  Annette Harrison
Photo credit: Annette Harrison

A couple of days ago my husband and I emailed his daughter.  Unfortunately, she struggles with self-worth.  And the emails she sends her dad and I are often heart-wrenching.  They cast a big shadow of gloom with no expected date of sunshine.  Sometimes after reading her messages I want to just fly to her home state and gobble her up with the biggest hug.  But that is impossible!  So the next best thing is to write her emails of compassion with hope that my husband and I aren’t making things worse.

I’m sharing this email because I thought it was inspirational.  It deals with the feelings of young people who often tend to lose their way because they are given bad advice.   In all honesty, there is no guarantee that everyone that sets out on their life quest will finish first or finish last; all a person can do is their best.

Dearest,

After hearing about your struggles I can see how you arrived at your fleeting moments of feeling unsuccessful.  Personally, Annette and I think you and Jake have been victims of bad advice.  It doesn’t mean the person(s) that gave the advice meant you or Jake harm.  It only means their information wasn’t conducive to the life and lifestyle you and Jake are seeking.  Remember, sweetheart, success depends on how you view life and what you truly want out of life.  And it’s fulfilling your dreams and not the desires of others that give meaning to being successfully satisfied.

Sadly, sweetie, people now days like being sold pipe-dreams.  I hope you’re not one of them.  Because the number one problem for most young people and couples are unrealistic ambitions that become constant let downs.  And once a person or a relationship reaches their limits with life disappointment most often desperation sets in with other negative feelings.  And sadly when that happens most, if not all, find themselves and their relationships in positions of compromise.

Jake is young and he have made some mistakes.  He is paying for some of those mistakes.  Or would it be better for me to write he has adjusted his life to accommodate the consequence of many of his choices?

You are young.  You’ve made some mistakes.  And, like Jake, you are paying for some of those mistakes.  Or would it be better for me to write that even you are finding ways to tailor your life to live with the consequence from the choices you made?

I’m not sure who is telling you that you should expect Jake to take care of you.  And in all honesty something doesn’t set well with me about that expectation.  I guess part of the reason that mindset doesn’t set well with me is because, it clips your wings as an individual, as a professional, as a woman, and eventually as a mother and mentor.

Another reason I believe that egocentric thought is harmful is because it defines or sets the tone for controlling and abusive relationships.  And in most cases where one partner takes care of the other partner, qualified to pull their weight, the relationship always end bad.  And each usually walks away feeling bitter and disappointed for different reasons.  So with that said, again, I think you and Jake, more so you have been victims of bad advice; mainly, because their concept does not help you or Jake reach what you seek for your lives as a young couple and as young people.

Annette and I weren’t sure if we should say anything about your feelings of hopeless, especially Annette.  She felt we needed to keep our nose out of yours and Jake’s business.  But I cringed upon hearing her words, especially since she is such a good parent to her own children.  Surely she could understand I want and have always wanted the best for my kids.  And I know that last sentence comes as a shock to you!  Laughter!  But don’t be so shocked!  And, yes, I want the best for you and your sisters.  And, yes, I have cried over my decision but it was made in the best interest for all.

My dear sweet wife had a change of heart about writing the letter as you can see.  And I’m glad!  What started out as a short email, later a book, and now an email again has been carefully written to send a message of love and encouragement.

So, I echo the sentiments of my wife, “you and Jake are doing great!”  But I think there is room for improvement.  Speaking from experience and as a man who has been married several times, I have fallen out of love with my first wife and I thought I had fallen out of love and in love with the second wife.  I noticed what kept and keeps my relationship together with my second wife is her ambition to help me help us.  My second wife is not perfect but she has my back.  And for a temporary moment I had forgotten that!

I hope the content of this email didn’t upset you.

Love,
Dad

A Beautiful Woman’s Advice on Loving Life

Saturday Funnies: Grandma Still Drives

Grandma Still Drives 

Angry Drivers

Grandma is eighty-eight years old and still drives her own car. She
writes:

Dear Grand-daughter,

The other day I went up to our local Christian book store and saw a
‘Honk if you love Jesus’ bumper sticker ..

I was feeling particularly sassy that day because I had just come from
a thrilling choir performance, followed by a thunderous prayer
meeting..

So, I bought the sticker and put it on my bumper.

Boy, am I glad I did; what an uplifting experience that followed.

I was stopped at a red light at a busy intersection, just lost in
thought about the Lord and how good he is, and I didn’t notice that
the light had changed.

It is a good thing someone else loves Jesus because if he hadn’t
honked, I’d never have noticed.

I found that lots of people love Jesus!

While I was sitting there, the guy behind started honking like crazy,
and then he leaned out of his window and screamed, ‘For the love of
God!’

‘Go! Go! Go! Jesus Christ, GO!’

What an exuberant cheerleader he was for Jesus!

Everyone started honking!

I just leaned out my window and started waving and smiling at all
those loving people.

I even honked my horn a few times to share in the love!

There must have been a man from Florida back there because I heard him
yelling something about a sunny beach..

I saw another guy waving in a funny way with only his middle finger
stuck up in the air.

I asked my young teenage grandson in the back seat what that meant.

He said it was probably a Hawaiian good luck sign or something.

Well, I have never met anyone from Hawaii , so I leaned out the window
and gave him the good luck sign right back.

My grandson burst out laughing.

Why even he was enjoying this religious experience!!

A couple of the people were so caught up in the joy of the moment that
they got out of their cars and started walking towards me.

I bet they wanted to pray or ask what church I attended, but this is
when I noticed the light had changed.

So, grinning, I waved at all my brothers and sisters, and drove on
through the intersection.

I noticed that I was the only car that got through the intersection
before the light changed again and felt kind of sad that I had to
leave them after all the love we had shared.

So I slowed the car down, leaned out the window and gave them all the
Hawaiian good luck sign one last time as I drove away. Praise the Lord
for such wonderful folks!!

Will write again soon,

Love, Grandma

Inspirational Fridays: Keshia’s Choice

Keshia ThomasPicture of the Week:  Was featured on Interracial Dating with the below words:

When Keshia Thomas was 18 years old in 1996, the KKK held a rally in her home town of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Hundreds of protesters turned out to tell the white supremacist organization that they were not welcome in the progressive college town. At one point during the event, a man with a SS tattoo and wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with a Confederate flag ended up on the protesters’ side of the fence and a small group began to chase him. He was quickly knocked to the ground and kicked and hit with placard sticks.

As people began to shout, “Kill the Nazi,” the high school student, fearing that mob mentality had taken over, decided to act. Thomas threw herself on top of one of the men she had come to protest, protecting him from the blows. In discussing her motivation after the event, she stated, “Someone had to step out of the pack and say, ‘this isn’t right’… I knew what it was like to be hurt. The many times that that happened, I wish someone would have stood up for me… violence is violence – nobody deserves to be hurt, especially not for an idea.”

Thomas never heard from the man after that day but months later, a young man came up to her to say thanks, telling her that the man she had protected was his father. For Thomas, learning that he had a son brought even greater significance to her heroic act. As she observed, “For the most part, people who hurt… they come from hurt. It is a cycle. Let’s say they had killed him or hurt him really bad. How does the son feel? Does he carry on the violence?”

Mark Brunner, the student photographer who took this now famous photograph, added that what was so remarkable was who Thomas saved: “She put herself at physical risk to protect someone who, in my opinion, would not have done the same for her. Who does that in this world?”

Keshia’s choice was to affirm what some have lost.
Keshia’s choice was human.
Keshia’s choice was hope.”

Throwback Thursdays: Gurdon High School Alma Mater

Photo Taken From:  Gurdon High School Page
Photo Taken From: Gurdon High School Page

Coach Edna Cooper said, “The girls performed very well at both tournaments. They instituted team work by causing turnovers, blocking shots, and limited outside shooting. In the first tournament, Crossett defeated us but, in the second tournament the girls were very determined to take the victory home. They set a goal and achieved the goal by playing hard both offensively and defensively, on both sides of the court.The girls continue to practice hard because they know what they are capable of doing, right now. As a coach I am proud of the girls and I am proud to represent Gurdon.”

Every so often I find myself singing my high school alma mater (song).  It’s been nearly 36 years since I’ve graduated high school and I still have Gurdon pride.  What does that tell you?

It tells me that the staff and students set the standards in how I would push forwards to pursue my dreams; and how their comradery and friendship would continue to impact my life as an adult.  

Upon reflection:  Graduation was a sad day for me.  It meant I would be leaving the school I love.  I would no longer keep contact with the teachers that cared.  And I would lose many friends with memories I shared.  I didn’t want to graduate!  But I did!  And here I am learning a craft I never wanted to learn, writing.

I’m sure it’s many of the principles I learned at Gurdon that keeps me in the game of wanting to become a publish author.  It is those same principles that make me want to change at least one life.  For in changing one life I will have made a difference.

Photographer:  Sherry Kelley
Photographer: Sherry Kelley

Attending Gurdon High for three years became defining moments for me.  And, again, those years set the standards I wanted and want to meet.  And when I read Coach Edna Cooper’s comment about the determination of the Lady Go-Devils’ win, I was quickly taken back to times that changed the course of my life.

It’s wonderful to see that Gurdon is continuing teaching youth to press forwards despite obstacles.  Also it is great to see the message is taking roots in their lives.

I’m overjoyed that Edna is doing what she loves!  Coaching!  Also it’s wonderful to see an underclassman inspiring youth to meet their life goals!

Gurdon High School Alma Mater:

For ol” Gurdon’s Honor
We will fight on
We will keep fighting
Till the day, is done
And when the dawn comes
We will still be fighting onward
For the Purple and Gold
We’ll keep on fighting
For Gurdon High

Fight team fight!  Do your best!  Remember you’re fighting for GHS!

The Prayer’s of Black Women: The Rite of Passage

“He escorted his girls and changed their shoes from flats to heels. I think that is significant. That’s a huge step for daughters growing up and who better to head them into that stage of their life other than there dad.”  ~Sharon Leonard

Marvin and his daughter

The above photo is of my first cousin, Marvin Leonard and his daughter.  He is my hero!

When I look at this photo my mind quickly rushes back to happier times.  Times when family meant cousins were best friends.  Aunts and uncles were concerned with your welfare and grandparents loved you more than your parents.

When I look at this photo I just don’t see a season father, but I’m reminded of his giggles, and laughter and the responses of his tattling.  Also, as I looking upon this wonderful photo I’m reminded of the moment I felt family prided as he stood before me in his Army uniform.  I saw the boy and man roll into one.  It was wonderful to see his stature stating he was ready to defend America and the American people.  And, today, as his wife posted nothing but sentiments of love for the man she married, again I found myself filled with family prided.

It’s great to know my cousin got marriage and parenting responsibility right!  Love you, Pom!

Granny’s Wisdom: The Family Killed Their Cash-cow

Honour killing 01“I killed my daughter as she had insulted all of our family by marring a man without our consent, and I have no regret over it.” –Farzana Parveen’s Father

Yesterday, I entered into a social hornets nest.  The group topic I chose to comment on was about a young 25-year-old Pakistani woman.  She was several months pregnant and married a man 20 years older with five motherless children.  The price she paid for not seeking family approval on the man she married was death.

What makes this crime worse than horrible is she was stoned to death by those that should have loved her most, her family.

And what socially puts this on the Richter scale as being the most horrible crime done in the name of God are the religious head-hunters.

But this crime had nothing to do with religion.  Her father clearly stated, ‘she had insulted all of our family by marring a man without our consent.’  He said nothing about them persecuting her for religious reasons.  Yet, those that dislike any form of religion say’s differently; including one of the groups I belong to on Facebook.

Their viewpoints on the matter are why I’m writing this blog post.  Because according to the admin she first expresses the matter as “not directly religion based, but an honour killing.”  Then she turns around and writes, “However, religious laws which are rampant, which treat women as chattels and not as people, and which place their only value in marriage and breeding are responsible for the attitudes which make honour killiings so common.”  

It’s a sad state of affairs when a group of people have nothing better to do with their time outside of bashing religion and religious groups.  And it is even sadder when the group fail to accept reality that no one, no religious entity, or social group is perfect; not even theirs.

I feel the statements of the admin smacks of headhunting.  And after viewing the news clipping of an overseas television station that stated the crime was cultural and not linked to Islāmic faith practices my thoughts were confirmed that the group was out for religious blood.

Apart from pointing out the group’s efforts for blaming religion, I felt the administrator and those within the group straddle-the-fence when it came to addressing the real issues about what lead up to the untimely death of the young woman.  Blinded by religious prejudices each group member failed to see the true culprit(s).  Yet, they were hell-bent in their dogmatic practice in making sure I understood their cock-eyed viewpoints on the subject; which was by the way religious practice was behind the stoning.

As I saw things, their viewpoints held validity for those that hate religion and those that do not follow God.

One gentleman basically stated religious people were brainwashed.  And that those who choose to believed in God were delusional because they believed in “imaginary friends in the sky.”  Oh isn’t he cute!  Just a bit of sarcasm! He went on to tell me that he needed to teach me theology because I knew nothing of the word of God. I felt his tainted knowledge kept and keeps him prisoner of his self-absorb very flawed character.  I got his point!  But his arrogance stopped him from getting mine.  I knew he wanted me to understand that if I understood the word of God as he deduced it, I would not be so apt to follow Christ.  Hum . . . Whatever!

Honestly the real gem of his religious mockery was him babbling that I was trying to convert him!  Convert hell!  I was defending my faith and my rights as a follower of Christ to state what I felt was truth in this particular “honour killing.”

Then after Mr. I Have Courage Behind The Computer Screen tried to shame me for being a follower of Christ among his peers, his little goonies chimed in!  And the insult game was on!

Each person tried to tell me that I didn’t know what I was talking about.  They were spewing out their rehearsed anti-religion scrap quickly!  They wanted the key players to know they were on top of their positions as being group gophers.  And to make sure they got group acknowledgement for their efforts in setting this indoctrinated idiot straight, they would every so often ask for a pat on the head after their self-destructive comments.

I knew exactly what I was stating and why I made my comments.  I knew they were talking about honour killings.  I also knew they were straddling the fence by agreeing with ‘not directly religion based, but an honour killing’ misleading statement.

Honestly, as a logical person, I want to know what does that statement really mean?!!!  And how is their key-board courage helping these defeated women?

Farzana Parveen is just one of many women that will be killed this year in Pakistan.  Many of their deaths will be administered by family members.  And thinking for themselves will be their crimes.  These types of killings, (no! wait!) any type of killing is wrong!  For any reason!

As an American, as a woman, someone’s daughter, someone’s sister, someone’s niece, someone’s aunt, and someone’s mother, I feel the women in Pakistan should have the right to marry the man of their choice!  They should have the right to marry for love.  They should have the rights to decide if they want to continue cultural tradition in allowing their family to pick their husband.  But they should not be killed for any reason; and certainly not because they used their brain.

These women are not cash cows!  Yet, cultural practice deems them so!  And because Farzana Parveen used her brain to stand up for her dignity she was stoned to death.  The organ that made her Farzana Parveen was smashed out of her body.  And no one stepped up to the plate to help her.

The men in her family that brutally attacked her and the men on the streets of Pakistan that sat/stood by and watched this unthinkable crime publicly dishonored themselves.  There is no honor in a mob killing let alone killing a helpless pregnant woman!

And as for supporting my argument below:

“Call it what you may but this was not a religious honor killing. This senseless act was a killing of selfishness. It had nothing to do with religion but everything to do with monetary disappointments. And sadly religion of any kind, mainly Christians, are being blamed here for this horrific act. Only far left wing and far right wing groups would partake in an inhuman act; and, thus, called themselves justified. The ex-boy friend was upset because he had something to gain from the marriage of convenience and lost it when she married for love. The father was upset because the man she married didn’t have as much as the man he choose. So after she failed to leave the man she loved and professed her love in court the father was angered even more because of his monetary losses! Therefore, they killed her out of anger and the rest went along because they failed to use their small brains. So! No! This was not a religious act! This was a crime of economy! A crime that can be considered as a selfish monetarily motivated act and it didn’t happen in America! And all involved should be captured and tried for murder.” –Annette Harrison

Tune in next time!  But remember to prayer and or do something to help other’s.