nurturing thursdays: powerful words…

A few things in historical documentarian Ken Burns’ speech to Stanford University’s 2016 graduating class, continues to resonate with me. He said…to educate all of our parts…to make babies…and that the arts make our country worth defending. 

To educate all of our parts.

I always tell my daughter “Being fully informed makes your decision, whatever it is, an educated guess. Whatever the outcome, you know you did all you could to make the best choice you possibly could in the moment.” Because she was a blessing, my only child after 16 years of hoping I would one day become a mother, I live with the thought that she could be gone in the blink of an eye. With the hateful rhetoric inciting Trump supporters to take America back to a darker time when the world was white and black, I worry as I see other mothers lose their children to gun violence.

An adult and wife at 30, I can no longer stand between my daughter and the world. And yet I know I have armed her with a clear vision of the real world ever since she was a youngster. Unlike a friend who felt her son at age 5 was too young for the truth, I felt my daughter was not too young to learn the facts of life. In doing so, however, I always followed the truth with positive words reinforcing hope, not negative resignation.

To make babies.

Not until you have a child, can you understand what it is to lose a child. Not until you lose a child, can you understand a mother’s desire not to go on living afterwards. I hope, as parents the world over do, that my daughter outlives me by decades.

The arts make our country worth defending.

Supporting my daughter in her desire to dance professionally will always be something of which I am proudest. It was not an easy path; neither was it a lucrative one. My daughter said, when featured in Discount Dance Supply Magazine at age 16…

Dancing is a gift that I would like to share with the world.

The greatest satisfaction is knowing when my performance has touched or moved someone.

She may not have secured millions as a professional athlete, but my daughter garnered millions in spiritual wealth. If she were taken by an act of violence tomorrow, my daughter can return to Our Father having lived a Christ-like life. And if I were to die first, I would do so knowing that I have been…

…a mother in Mary’s footsteps.

………hugmamma.

(Note: Click on the following link for more inspirational posts…
https://beccagivens.wordpress.com/2016/07/28/nurt-thurs-my-prayer/

 

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…new “normal”…???

Politicians and the media are now calling gun massacres…the new “normal.” Unfortunately once our self-appointed mouthpieces put it out there, it sticks. Their favorite catch-all being…”the majority of Americans think.” I hate when they say that. None of them ever asked me for my opinion.

What’s scary is the fact that the new “normal” will become fodder for statistical data…namely racking up deaths of innocent folks in the wrong place at the wrong time. It’s like a death lottery with names appearing on a draft list of the unlucky ones.

I don’t mean to sound morbid, but those who poison the atmosphere with sensational rhetoric make light of a horrific anomaly.

Personally I think President Obama has the right attitude. His focus is upon solving problems as they occur. He’s done it time and again, beginning with the financial crisis at the start of his presidency almost 8 years ago. The President is a deliberate problem solver which unnerves those wanting instant gratification which, in our current society, is just about everyone.

Since it first exploded on U.S. soil in 2011, terrorism has metamorphosed into what we are now witnessing…”mom and pop” type store fronts popping up willy-nilly all over the place. What Trump and others like him seem to overlook is that these types of terrorists have proliferated among us in the guise of white men, mostly young. Lee Harvey Oswald killed President Kennedy. James Earl Ray killed Martin Luther King. Sirhan Sirhan killed Robert Kennedy. Mark David Chapman killed John Lennon. John Hinckley tried to assassinate President Reagan.

Then, of course there was Columbine, Sandy Hook, the Arizona Safeway attack…which almost took the life of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords…and the Umqua, Oregon shooting. In these mass shootings James Eagan Holmes, Adam Lanza, Jared Lee Loughner and Christopher Harper-Mercer were considered societal misfits. Their cases propelled mental illness to the forefront of America’s collective consciousness. Eventually however they, along with their victims, disappeared from view, resurfacing only annually on the anniversaries of those events.

By comparison with these forerunners of terrorist attacks upon American society, the recent San Bernardino massacre was the first carried out by a man and a woman…who HAPPENED to be Muslims. First and foremost as with the others mentioned above, this husband and wife were obviously societal misfits…even within their own Islamic community. Many of that faith, including those born in America, have decried the killers as abhorrent. Why then should the entire Muslim population world-wide be denigrated because of those pledging allegiance to Isis, a group as deranged as Hitler?

Consider that not even the brothers Tsarnaevs who carried out the attack during the Boston Marathon were railed against as Muslims, which they were. It’s clearly the timing in that the San Bernardino massacre occurred shortly after the Paris attacks…and in the midst of a contentious presidential campaign. It might also be Trump’s presence on the national stage…namely his big mouth…which has pointed the finger at Muslims in general. It served his purpose of keeping media attention, and free publicity, on him.

Mental illness and gun control are not high on Trumps agenda…getting elected to the White House is…and he’ll do ANYTHING, including lambasting an entire population…to serve his interests.

We shouldn’t be the dummies…

…in trump’s ventriloquist act.

………hugmamma.

 

 

 

parents matter…

The role we play in the lives of our children really does have a lifelong impact. Whether we are good at it or not so good, will affect the adults our children grow up to become. It follows the rule of…cause and effect.

For most of us the path is unpredictable. It’s not like hitting a bull’s eye with a bow and arrow. Or is it?

I’ve never shot an arrow, but I imagine that when you pull the arrow back there’s a quiver in the movement which you must control so as to hit the target. That momentary quiver might be compared to the push and pull parents and children engage in as they strive to become independent. Not all “hit the mark” set by society.

Special needs children are doubly challenging for parents ill-equipped to manage their youngster’s early years, not to mention when they become teenagers and young adults. Their journey towards independence requires a lot more strength…to keep the bow from quivering so much that the arrow misses its mark altogether. More patience is required to keep a steady hand, no matter the repetitive practice involved.

Introducing guns into the mix is likely to upset the fine balance necessary in youngsters’ lives already compromised. Once they begin to think for themselves, they begin to make their own judgement calls.

A gun in the hand of a youngster beset by his own trials and tribulations can be a tool to end it all…as in the cases of the Newtown, Connecticut and Umpqua,Oregon shooters.

California just adopted the “right to die” law allowing assisted suicide for terminally ill patients. It is only the 5th state to enact this law. A testament to the fact that lawmakers, all right-thinking adults politically appointed to make decisions for their constituency, have pondered long and hard whether or not to allow suicide under any circumstance.

Why then would a parent put a gun in the hands of a youngster who, at times, struggles with life? The responsibility if he takes his own life and the lives of others must be shared by those making guns accessible to him…

…including those who love him.

………hugmamma.

the top one percent…

…are the ones in control of the U.S. economy and therefore what happens, or doesn’t happen, in our country. The country’s purse strings are essentially managed by these few. If they consider something that’s good for the country is also advantageous to their bottom line, these mostly white men will put all their weight behind the cause. However if there’s even the smallest doubt that they will benefit from the outcome, these few will either step aside and let the cause die a natural death, or use whatever it takes to ensure that it dies.

Lack of gun control.

Global warming.

Two issues that are killing people. Unless the top one percent are personally affected by either problem, they will continue to fan the flames of our destruction. It might be that they’re hedging their bets.

Until the earth self-destructs, the uber-wealthy will continue to line their pockets with gold. Meanwhile, it doesn’t hurt to have a backup plan…they’ve booked a flight into outer space on Virgin Airlines. Such a likelihood was depicted in the movie Elysium.

Of course some of the wealthiest, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet among them, are notable philanthropists. I’m not sure where they stand on gun control and global warming. Whatever their stance, however, I don’t see them or any of the other wealthiest one percent in America taking on those lobbying against gun control, namely the NRA, and global warming.

Charles and David Koch, and Donald Trump for that matter, are arch defenders of capitalism at any price. They put their substantive pocket books where their mouths are. They walk the talk.

No gun control.

No global warming.

As long as the wealthiest one percent in America can defend themselves against guns and global warming, they won’t take action against either. It would require too much effort…

…and too much of their amassed fortunes.

………hugmamma.

rare breed of men…

Governor Cuomo of New York and Governor Hickenlooper of Colorado deserve thunderous applause.  They have stood up to gun rights activists who refuse to reign in the ability of individuals to massacre others in seconds.

Welcome to America

Welcome to America (Photo credit: Alan Cleaver)

Pitting their Second Amendment rights to bear arms against innocent lives lost, extremists have dug in their heels refusing to do anything about the bloodshed.

So while the rest of us hope and pray we and our loved ones don’t get caught in the cross-fire, those set on only protecting their rights as written on a piece of paper inadvertently assist the lunatics in our society who are hell-bent on doing harm.

Thank God two brave politicians have stepped forward to take up the cause of the victims.

…like newtown’s 5 and 6 year olds…and those who tried to shield them from 151 bullets…

Republicrat Pundit Offers Proposals In Respons...

Republicrat Pundit Offers Proposals In Response To The Newtown Massacre (Photo credit: tomblanton1957)

………hugmamma.

i was there…newtown

I’ve been away from my laptop and Word Press for some time now. There’ve been issues to deal with, some health, some holiday preparedness.

Sitting for hours at a time is not heart-healthy. Nor is it wise for me to overwork my arthritic right thumb…now in a customized brace which I wear daily.

Readership is down considerably. But I’ve learned to accept the ebb and flow of visitors to hugmamma’s mind, body, and soul. The wisdom of age is understanding that life is comprised of many, wonderful moments…and learning to love them…as they occur.

Rigidly living life…is not really living at all.

These last few days, however, life has slowed down for all of us, almost coming to a total halt.

The killing of 6 and 7-year-olds…an incomprehensible tragedy. I am reminded of that other Connecticut tragedy…the doctor whose wife and 2 daughters were slaughtered, after the girls were savagely raped.

I knew I’d want to write about the devastation in Newtown, but decided to take some time to collect my thoughts. Especially since the area was home to my husband, daughter and me for 13 years before we moved west.

Everything the media says about the idyllic life in the small community of Newtown is true. It’s also true of nearby Easton, Weston, and Redding…our home town for 11 years.

Picture postcards do not do justice to the pastoral settings of these towns. One can only glimpse small slices as an outsider.

Living there is…

…awaking to explosions of fall colors in our own backyard…

…traversing 2-lane country roads on the way to everywhere…

…walking our daughter to the nearby Boys and Girls Club for birthday parties…

…celebrating our faith in a tiny, 100-year-old church…

…marching alongside our daughter and the other Brownies in the town’s Memorial Day Parade…

…selling handmade crafts in the annual fair held on the Town Green

trick-or-treating with friends throughout a nearby cul-de-sac, led by a horse who loved a carrot or two.

I made regular trips to Newtown, 10 or 15 minutes from my home. I patronized its antique shops, reveling in my discoveries. Hollandia Nursery was my favorite destination, where I bought most of the plants that graced the gardens surrounding our 110-year-old, Victorian farmhouse. If you visit http://www.ctgrown.com/html/photos.cfm  you’ll get a feel for the wonder that is the New England countryside.

Until she was 11-years-old, our daughter called Redding and the surrounding communities…home. My husband commuted the 2 hours to his job in Queens, New York, just so our child could grow up in the serenity of a small town. He afforded her the same experience we knew as children growing up in Maui and Oahu in the 1950s.

A dear friend who still lives in Redding, and has been a long-time administrator for a couple of schools, commiserated with me that our daughters would find the world beyond their small-town very different. However I think we’d both agree that our girls learned good-old-fashioned values, the kind espoused in Norman Rockwell paintings.

My daughter, a career ballerina, and my friend’s daughter, a veterinarian, grew up fulfilling dreams held long ago… in a small town in Connecticut. Something no longer possible for…

…james…olivia…ana…grace…emilie…jesse…noah…avielle…caroline…catherine…charlotte…chase…daniel…dylan…jessica…josephine…jack…madeleine.

There but for the grace of God.

Let us love our children with our entire beings, so that they grow up to be healthy adults able to cope with life’s ups and downs.

Death awaits all of us. The date and time are unknown. But how we live all the minutes until then…are totally ours to determine.

…let’s choose to live them…with the joy and simplicity of those wise beyond their years…our children…

Chess Club at Sandy Hook School in Newtown, CT...

Chess Club at Sandy Hook School in Newtown, CT, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

………hugmamma.

 

focusing on forgiveness

Leo Buscaglia, my favorite author, and now my daughter’s, had amazing insight into “the better angels of human nature” that Lincoln spoke of in his first inaugural address in 1861. In his book “Loving Each Other,” Buscaglia writes

There is no more personally rewarding moment than when we can truly forgive and are forgiven. At that instant we become really free, free to move forward as fully functioning human beings. Illusions of perfection, ours and the others, are shattered and we accept and are accepted as the vulnerable, imperfect human beings that we are.

As we honor those who have fallen in Tucson, and pray for the speedy recovery of those injured, let us ask forgiveness for Jared Loughner, the 22-year-old, tragic, lone gunman. He was a child of the same society that created Christina Taylor Green, the 9-year-old, budding civil servant. It’s my sincere feeling that both were victims.

“Sins of the fathers are visited upon the children.”

All of us are responsible for all children. What we think, what we say, how we behave, and what we do, is of consequence to those who come after. So perhaps we should 

Forgive those who trespass against us as we would have them forgive our trespasses.

maybe then we can be at peace with one another…hugmamma.