“Once upon a time, a wish, a promise of eternal love. A smile, a lie, a last kiss, and a simple ‘wait for me’. ‘Till death do us part’, you said, and Death will part us for sure. But to hold from that day forward, my enslaved soul was left down. And I hear the
“But you knew it would bother me, so why tell me if you didn’t want me to ask questions?”
I admit I wasn’t really engaged in the conversation. My heart and mind were elsewhere and this seemed to be just one of the many normal several times a week phone talks I have with my Mom. She said that it was Grandparents Day and that she’d given a presentation at church. She’s done many presentations so I’m sure I replied with an mmhmm or something. But then she said she had honored my Great Great Grandmother. I probably said that was nice of you or again something along those lines. She said she felt like she had to do it, she felt she owed her that and it was time.
Now I’m listening, she has pulled me in.
My Mother has this ability to give you only part of something and then you have to dig and dig to try to get the rest of the story. Sometimes it works but if she doesn’t want to tell you there is nothing that will get her to do so. I know this is happening and I don’t want to play this game. I know one thing for certain at this point and that is that if this were nothing more than “I loved her so much and I miss her terribly” she would have just said it. I know this is going to hurt but I don’t care and at this point I need to know as well as want to know so .. We do the dance where she throws out out unrelated or vague answers and I persist until she gets angry at me. She tells me I’m relentless and that her reasons are her own and don’t have anything to do with me. But I know different and I am her daughter so by now she should know that I won’t back down either.
In a moment of pure frustration with me she throws it out there and it was like being kicked in the gut..
“All of my life I was ashamed of her”
I’ve heard many stories about my Great Great Grandmother but she died long before I was born so I never met her. All my life I’ve been told that I am just like her or when I was a child extended family members would say that I reminded them of her. She would have just loved you to death they would say, I always thought this was a good thing .. apparently I was wrong.
I want to know why but she tells me that I won’t and that I can’t understand. I ask her to make me understand but she has a call coming in and she needs or wants to take it so we leave it there. I’m angry and I’m hurt and I want answers. I want to know why I’ve been compared so often to someone that my Mother was ashamed of. I wasn’t going to get them that night but I think I was too angry to listen anyway.
We talked again last night and I brought it up. I wanted her to make me understand what both my Great Great Grandmother and I had done to make my Mother ashamed of us.
She said I had to take myself out of it until the time that I actually do enter the picture and to do that I needed to close my mouth and just let her talk. She said it was a long time ago and a small town. Things were different then and having a full blooded Cherokee Great grandmother wasn’t as romantic as I saw it. People talk and they ridicule and that she hated it as a child. She said your GG Grandmother was different, she made medicines that the people wanted and needed but it was all done in what passed for secrecy in a small town back then. Everyone knew you could go to her for help but it wasn’t something they openly admitted to doing. Other people did it, not them. So they mocked her and hers openly and often my Mother pretended not to know her at all or joined in the mocking when she was with her friends.
“Yes” she said “You are a great deal like her in so many ways and you always have been. Your love of nature, your need to always be doing something but more so in how you have a peace about being alone and how you separate yourself inward even when you are around other people and your willingness to give so much of yourself without requiring anything in return. You also have the same sort of quiet faith that she had.”
“But where you come in to this whole picture is that by watching you and who you have become I’m finally able to appreciate who your Great Great Grandmother was and now I am ashamed of myself for how I saw her when I was a child. This is why I had to do it and this is why I said it was time.”
This was a conversation that we needed to have but she pointed out to me that despite all of this most days she doesn’t feel like she really knows me at all. She brought up my little trip across the state last January and how upset I was with her for what I perceived as her lack of help. She told me she doesn’t know or understand what it is that I have been searching for so she doesn’t know how to help me find it. She tells me that I always seem to be running towards a place that she spent so long trying to run away from. She says that there was nothing there for her and for all her trying she can’t understand why I seem to think that there would be something there for me.
Sad part is I’m not entirely sure I know what I’m searching for either. It seems like I spend a lot of time looking for answers when I haven’t even figured out what the questions are.
I’m not angry anymore and not just because of her explanation. I’ve come to understand that we all have secrets and if not exactly secrets we all have hidden hurts and needs whether they are old or new that drive us and shape who we are, how we see things and how we react to situations. I suppose the biggest victory would come less in understanding and more in accepting that within ourselves that can’t and maybe shouldn’t be changed.
Well that’s not entirely true. I’m actually in danger of becoming a complete optimist in relation to this whole election thing. But I’m not going to get ahead of myself. First off, let me even tell you why I’m here, on my good friend’s blog when I’ve never blogged before in my life. A weird occurrence happened to me yesterday. I tweeted something that went viral (by my standards anyway). A mere count of the number of times Paul Ryan was interrupted by not only Smile’n Biden, but also by the completely predictable, mainstream media hack Martha Raddatz. Next thing I know that tweet is retweeted over 100 times and the libs start coming out crazy over it. I spent my Friday afternoon and evening attempting to educate the uneducable. The crazies come out of the wood work with canned and generic responses such as ” he needs to be interrupted because he’s a liar” or ” how many times did Romney interrupt Obama?!” and of course one classy gentleman was even original enough to call me a teabagger. Much like Paul Ryan did in the VP Debate Thursday night, I kept my cool and attempted to argue in the realm of ideas and keep things above board. As I began to debate the voice of Rush Limbaugh popped in to my head as if he was the Obi Wan Kanobi to my Luke Skywalker… (insert dramatic Obi Wan ghost voice here) “Tim… you can’t argue with these people, they don’t live in Realville… Stay in Realville, Tim.” They did succeed in accomplishing one thing, however. They succeeded in getting me fired up. Much like the Hulk when he’s angry, they won’t like me when I’m fired up. Which brings me back to the whole blogging thing. I have to get all this fired up energy off my chest.
During the debate Vice President Smiles Biden tried to defend the Obama administration’s foreign policy by bragging of the new relationship we have with our “allies.” Three times Biden touted Russia and China as if they were these two great allies. Just this morning I read an article where a Russian official told Pravda, their government media outlet, that “the world begins to unite against the colonizer – USA.” This was discussed at the recent Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vladivostok. This same official illustrated a recent snubbing of Secretary Clinton by China as further proof the world doesn’t take us serious any more. But Obama some how made the whole world love us again? What about the recent news of China hacking into our infrastructure and even the White House? And then, of course, there is the Middle East and their greatest demonstration of their love for us. News just broke that Ambassador Christopher Stevens was sodomized before he death. That sickens me to my core and just pisses me the hell off. It’s the most insulting slap in the face to America one can think of. But instead of rallying America against her transgressors we have an administration that would rather play politics with Benghazi rather bring these savages to justice. We have a sitting vice president chuckling his way through a debate while continuing to LIE and cover up the White House’s involvement in Benghazigate. Under the Obama administration there have been five, that’s right FIVE attacks on U.S. soil:
- June 2009 – Little Rock, Arkansas – Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, an American Muslim opened fire on a U.S. military recruiting office. Private William Long was killed and Private Quinton Ezeagwula was wounded.
- September 2009 – New York, New York – Attempt to detonate bombs in NYC subway system by member of al-Qaeda
- November 2009 – Fort Hood, Texas – Nadal Malik Hassan conducts mass shooting at Fort Hood killing 13 and wounding 30 others.
- December 2009 – Detroit, Michigan – Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab attempts to detonate an explosive on an aircraft enroute from Amsterdam to Detroit.
- May 2010 – New York City, New York – New York’s Times Square was evacuated after the discovery of a car bomb.
Then there is the attack in Libya. How does Smile’n Biden defend that? Lies, that’ how. So, “my friends” out there who think VP Chuckles was merely interrupting Ryan to some how infuse “truth” into the discussion, think again.
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He stands at the podium and smiles and waves. Hey Mr President we aren’t waving at you. We are drowning here!
“I always believed I could use my back and my hands to make a living and provide for my family, but the way things are now I’m not so sure anymore” These words were said to me by a friend the other night and they shook me more than I realized at the time. This friend is also in the construction business but on a much larger scale than our little family business. The reason they affected me so much is because this friend is whom I count on to keep my spirits up when they start to slip.
This was unexpected worry from the one that gives me encouragement and advice. Do whatever you have to keep the business open. Take any job no matter how small or perhaps demeaning. Just survive because if you can survive this unfriendly business environment you can survive anything. If you can survive then you will be in the position to grow and expand after the elections.
I believed this. This is how I saw things. If we get our guy in here we can counter their guy over there. I believed if we focus on the elections, winning the Presidency and taking the Senate we can start to fix this. I don’t kid myself about the massive amount of pain and work we will have to go through but I believed if we keep our eye on the prize it can be done. But I find myself wondering now if we haven’t missed a large part of the bigger picture.
There is a mindset of entitlement, victimization and nihilism that is spreading like a cancer. It makes me question what next? Even if we win every election how do we change this mindset?
Unemployment over 8% nationally. Over taxed, over regulated, burdened with the new Healthcare bill. Business is taking a huge hit.
However knowing all of this didn’t stop a sitting member of our Senate from calling for a boycott against an American company that employs 10’s of thousand of workers, for the unpardonable sin of having a different political view.
It didn’t stop two elected officials from openly speaking about banning a company from expanding into their cities because they didn’t like the religious views of the company’s founder.
I have another friend who has his own conservative Internet radio show. We spent some time on the phone the other night bouncing around ideas about a project and talking about the issues that we face as a country. He directed my attention to another media personality Tony Katz whose name but not work I was familiar with. I decided the next morning to go check out what this guy had to say. What I found on his site just increased my anxiety about what a mess lies before us
Mr Katz had attended the Americans For Prosperity “Unicorns and Freedom” rally in Reno, NV where he encountered several Occupy Reno protesters. The protestors seem to take issue with Businessman and former Presidential candidate Herman Cain. Please listen carefully to the damaged logic this young man is spewing.
If that’s not enough for you try this one that I found after I heard Mr Katz mentioned it on his show.
Did you catch that? The company is a dictatorship because they decide the menu, the pay and the hours you work. Oh no! if they think you aren’t doing the job you were hired to do they actually fire you.
The attitude towards business is only a small part of the problems we will be forced to confront regardless of who wins this upcoming election. When there is open contempt for the very things we used to hold sacred we have a serious problem. One that I’m not certain we have a clue how to fix.
One of the most consistent things in my life from childhood till now is just how much I love a good Western. Even today if I am down or not feeling well I’ll hide out and watch episodes of Bonanza or Gunsmoke.
Talking with a friend once we tried to analyze exactly why that was. Basically I think it’s the simplicity of it. There are clear lines drawn between the good guys and the bad guys and usually the good guys end up winning in the end. Even on those rare occasions when the good guy starts out as a bad guy when that crucial moment of choice comes along he makes the decision to do the right thing.
Most Westerns have a common theme. There is a sleepy little town and suddenly the bad guys come riding in guns a blazing. In a storm of sweat and dust they take over the town, abuse the people, extort them for money and steal their land.
Someone, maybe the Sheriff or more likely some uncommon hero like a farmer steps up and leads the towns folk to revolt and drive the monsters out. As viewers we can unabashedly cheer and not lament their demise. I like it because it makes sense to me and sometimes I wish life today were more like a good Western.
Today’s bad guys don’t ride in on horses and shoot up towns. Today they show up in government issued automobiles wearing Ray Bans with their shirtsleeves rolled up to make them seem less aggressive. Sometimes they have guns but usually they have their smart phones and clipboards close at hand. They are still the bad guys though. They still abuse the people, they still extort them for money and yes they still steal their land. Sadly today we don’t seem to have anyone who knows how to drive them out of our towns. Because before we can even see the damage they have planned for us they have slunk back off to their dens in DC, where with the click of a mouse and the stroke of a pen they seal our fates.
The EPA is today’s equivalent of Lee Van Cleef who in my opinion set the bar for the most epic of all Western genre movie bad guys. My state of West Virginia has become just one huge sleepy little town ripe for the new age bad guys to come in and try to take over. We are far from perfect. (click here)
We have a big drug problem and a spreading entitlement mentality that would cause the poorest of 3rd world nations to hang their heads in shame. But for the most part we are comprised of people who are trying to live our lives, raise our families, run our businesses and survive in the world as it is today.
The EPA has engaged in what often feels like a personal vendetta against us. They are destroying our coal industry and targeting our farmers with some of the most insane lawsuits imaginable.
Take for example this situation where a chicken farm in Hardy County WV is being hit with what could amount to $37, 500 per day in fines for not obtaining a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System discharge permit. This is a permit for something that has not happened but maybe, might or could happen.
It’s a little hard not to take this personally when the action called for does not seem to require this farmer to clean anything up. It just requires she pay an extortion fee for something that might happen one day.
So I long for a John Wayne, Clint Eastwood or Terrence Hill of days gone past to ride in, rally the people and send the bad guys exactly where they belong.
Ignored by our media . Never Forget
Bergdahl has been in militant hands since June 30, 2009, when he was captured in Afghanistan’s Paktika province.
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Several months ago through twitter I was blessed to meet and befriend Sgt. Ludwig. He is an incredibly funny and likeable person and upon learning that he was writing a book about his experiences in Iraq and in particular the Siege of Sadr City, I took it upon myself to try and be a motivating presence in his life. I would imagine he would describe me more as comic relief and a pain in the butt while he was undertaking those initial rewrites. I would often send him random messages such as ” Stop playing on the net! Get back to work!”. Not that he ever needed my motivation though, he was and is very focused on the task at hand.
Not all of this on my part was meant to be silly. As a strong supporter of our Military I am very curious to hear what actually happened to our soldiers in Sadr City. The media has told their side but we haven’t been given the facts by the Soldiers who actually fought there.
“Despite ongoing progress and a never ending fight to have our voice heard, there is very little about our story that makes it onto the nightly news without a filter or an agenda.” Sgt Ludwig
Now is that opportunity
I won’t try and speak for Sgt Ludwig you can find out who he is here and why telling this story is so very important to him. I implore you to click on that link and read his story. We ask so much from our Soldiers and in return they give us everything they have. They ask so little in return and that is EXACTLY what we give them. As little as we possibly can. This just needs to change.
It began as a confession, a letter to old friends, and an attempt to confront the things that I had experienced. My initial goal was to shed some light on what happened, the things I had to do, and why I’ll never be the same. As the project unfolded, however, it turned out that there was much more at stake than my own well-being…
Sixteen veterans commit suicide every day. Failed marriages among service members are more than 60% higher than they were in 2001. Pentagon studies now suggest that the average soldier who has spent ten years in the Army has spent more than five of those in combat. And even though we number in the millions, the veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan are still a relatively silent demographic. We are represented through faint caricatures of our true form, and surrounded by countless stigmas of assumption and stereotype. In reality, we are just like you: we are the same flesh and blood, with the same hopes and dreams – and yes, even the same political divisions and thoughts on the war.
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*Disclaimer – I am in no way affiliated with or receiving compensation for this project.
Today we lost one of greatest conservative warriors. People who know me, know how much I admired and respected this man. I looked up to him and will miss him terribly.
I pray that his family and friends will find peace in the grace of God.