With Fear comes Respect …..

With Fear comes Respect

Admiration, fear, conformity, and love. Many of you do not believe this and for the most part will not accept it either.

Let me explain before you bash me. When you were young, do you remember “The Look” from your Mother or Father when you were about to do something bad or had just done something wrong? The look of “Oh  – No You Don’t” on their faces and then the feelings that welled up inside of you, the feelings of excitement and anticipation of what was to come, the feeling of misguided accomplishment that you had just done something that you had been taught not to do, the fear that followed?

We were taught from an early age the importance of authority and the need to follow the rules and the consequences that came from defiance. Once these ground rules were set early on, we learned quickly that you respected your parents fully without question.  Anyways, that is the way that I was raised. Sure I have done many things along the way that I am not proud of and ashamed of but I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that my parents had my back. Good, bad or indifferent. Right is Right and Wrong is Wrong. I knew that when I got “the look” and then I disobeyed, there would be consequences and I did not always know what those consequences would be. Sometimes, it was very lenient but other times, if I continued, the punishment was much worse.

I remember as a small child I had this stool that my dad had built for me so that I could climb up on at the sink and wash my hands and brush my teeth like a big boy. I loved my stool but not for those reasons. That stool helped me get into things that I could not normally reach on my own. I took that stool everywhere and used it daily. It caused my Mother so much grief and headache – always having to watch me and to see what I was getting into. She would watch me take my stool over to the fish tank and climb up – I would always look over at her first to see if she was looking – then I would get the look. As I reached for the fish in the tank, I remember her taking my hands and slapping them and scolding me with a firm “No”. I would get mad; she would take my stool and put it away. Not five minutes later, I had that stool back at the fish tank. My hands and my rear end would get tore up daily but eventually – I learned.

Fast forward to 2017, something is very wrong with this picture. There is no more Respect, there is no loyalty or support, and there is no more faith in the fellow-man. Everyone is living on the Conspiracy theory that everyone has ulterior motives and are only out for themselves. This sheer level of paranoia has spiraled way out of control when in reality – we just all want to be left alone to live our lives in peace. We want to walk out of our front door and smell the fragrances of spring, to hear the songbirds chirping, to hold the ones we love and share our lives with the ones we choose.

I come from a family of Fourth Generation Law Enforcement Officers. I was raised in a strict environment and rightly so, I was hardheaded. I had to be taught what to do and what not to do. In being raised that way, in turn I tried to raise my children the same. To love one another, to always provide help to others, to get along with others even if we didn’t always like that person.  We don’t hate anyone, we don’t turn our backs on others in need. Like I said – I was raised.

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I understand that times have changed and we can no longer leave our doors unlocked and let our children play from dusk to dawn outside unsupervised while we take care of our day-to-day chores and duties.  I also understand that we have abandoned God and lost all faith in one another. I understand that this Nation has become so divided that we no longer trust, we no longer have faith, hope nor love and we all are so deprived of a Mothers’ touch, a Fathers’ content, a friends’ acceptance – it has become all about “me”.

So, what do we fear? We fear loneliness, we fear not being accepted, we fear not being loved. We fear the unknown. Whatever your fear (and trust me we all have them), it is what drives us to respect ourselves enough to conform to this world. It is what drives us to love and be loved, to admire and be admired and it drives us to hope.

More now than ever, we need to re-learn to think beyond ourselves and to start thinking of others. We all want the same things in life. We are all equal and we are all children of God.  We need to be taught over and over again until we get it right. Our hands and our rear ends need to be tore up until we learn. Just because we are considered an “Adult” doesn’t mean we always act like it.

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Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.   Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

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Scrambled Eggs

As we go about our day….. we need to take a moment to remember what once was…….

 

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As I sit here this morning eating my breakfast, two eggs over medium and one link sausage with coffee, I find myself thinking back of how Donna Hickerson used to like her eggs over medium. She would always smash up the runny with the firm whites to give the eggs a creamy texture.  (If you remember, I wrote an article on her Husband Jesse titled “My time with a Veteran”). Donna and Jesse were of the older generation and liked things their way – hard and fast they were not subject to change and fought it every step of the way (unless they come up with the idea).  I still sit with Jesse from time to time but he no longer eats his eggs over medium – he reverted back to his old ways of soft scrambled with light cheese.

It’s funny, in a way, how we carry a little bit of these people who have touched our lives in such a small way as we go about our day. Little things that remind us of them and things that they have exposed us to that we have adopted for our own.

As I get older, I find myself reminding me of my Dad in so many ways. Certain things he would do, his mannerisms, some of his actions – I understand that this is fundamentally inherited but many of the things from the people that meant the most to us, we carry on. By the same token, I carry a lot of my Mothers traits with me as well but she is still with me at 72 years old now and I am truly blessed to have her for another year.

Over the years, I have met so many people in my life – people who have guided me, influenced me, corrected me, befriended me, and loved me. These people are forever locked in my memory bank to be put away until the right time as to be remembered. To brighten my day and bring a smile or to remind me of a time when I was not so seasoned and honed into the person that I am today.

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My one true hope other than making it to the Promised land is to leave with my Children and my Wife the Love and honor that I had having them in my life. They are my real treasures.

Thank God you’ll never know who I used to be for I am no longer that person – It is but a faint memory that has now become a stranger in my own mind. Someone I look back on and think “was that really me”?

We are the ever living-Ghost of what was………….

A Little Girls Story….

A Little Girls Story……..

WARNING – First off I want to warn you that this post is very raw and may touch a nerve. Reader discretion is advised….. I really feel that this story needs to be told – if not for the child, then for other children or parents that may need to hear this – My heart breaks as I begin to write this – WARNING….

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As some of you may know, I have an older Brother and this story relates to him and his granddaughter. His youngest son was married to this girl and they had a daughter which is now 12 years old. In the beginning, this little girl was full of energy, beauty and pure innocence but at some point during their marriage, the son and the wife realized that they were very toxic for each other and decided that it would be in their best interest if they parted ways, They finally split up a few years ago and both have remarried now. The mother and the child moved in with her new husband and have lived in Henderson, NC for the past four or five years now- they even had a new baby together. During the course of the last few months, we (the family) have learned that the 12-year-old girl has been sexually molested and raped by her stepfather repeatedly for the past two years.

My brother had noticed that his granddaughter was acting out, the mother, who is less that anything fit to be called a mother, had been back and forth with the father of the child trying to pawn her off and get her to move in with him. The father, with a new baby himself and two other children said he had no room for the oldest daughter. After some time, my Brother and his wife took the 12-year-old child in to live with them and that’s when “Pawpaw Bill” found out what was really going on. The child complained of pain, sickness, was acting out and just plain disrespectful at times. My brother told me that the child asked him one day about keeping her safe from the nightmares and bad things which triggered him into further questioning the child. That’s when the child came out and told him of the horrors that had been going on. The child reported that the stepfather would come into her room and make her touch him, kiss him, and he forced her to let him touch her. The child described in detail of the stepfathers’ anatomy and distinctive marks. We also learned that the mother of the child was in the home when some of these things were going on.

Can you imagine the awful feelings that this child had knowing that something this terrible was happening to her and that her own mother was in the next room and not being able to say anything.  The psychological torment, torture and terror that she had to experience without someone to talk or to tell would be unbearable. Upon reflection, I feel the rage building up again for the pain that she has gone through but at the same time, I feel the joy that she must have had when she was moved out of that situation and put in a safe place. About three weeks ago, my brother brought her to my house for a quick visit and I have to say that she looked amazing. It had been quite some time since I had seen her last and she came up to me and said – “do I remember you?” I reassured her yes sweetie and gave her a big hug and she immediately felt at ease. She then turned to her Pawpaw Bill and said, “can I go play now?” which of course just thrilled her and you could see the happiness was starting to come back while she was playing with my daughter and some other kids that were over for the day.

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Fast forward to this past week, my Brother called and told me that Joe had been arrested this past Saturday in Henderson and that his wife was yelling at the police and was trying to get them to let him go. Apparently she is on his side and believes that he is innocent. Even after Physical Examination by a Doctor and verified that she had been assaulted and raped over an extended period of time. Even after Police Investigations and interviews with the child, this “mother” remains by his side while the child is left thinking that this is somehow her fault and that her mother doesn’t believe her or even love her.

During the investigations, it seems that Joe, the stepfather, was “having his way” with the child and performing sodomy, fellatio and even full penetration and rape of the child over the course of two years. Multiple times this child had to endure pain, anguish and terror inflicted by another human being that was supposed to be in charge of, taking care of and providing for her. A person who she should be able to feel safe with and depend on in a positive way – one to always keep her safe – yet he is the one that she had to fear the most. On top of it all, she felt that she could not tell anyone, especially her own mother who lived in the same house.

There are so many circumstances to this sad story and so many questions that cannot be answered like, why didn’t she tell her father or her Pawpaw?, why didn’t she just tell a teacher? Why didn’t her dad pick up on the fact that something was wrong? Why did it take so long for someone to realize that this child was not the same as before. I can tell you a factor or two in it all and that is that the child was used as a pawn between several people to get their way, there wasn’t enough parental involvement in the day-to-day activities with this child. There wasn’t enough love in the homes between her dad and her mother and there was never any home training for the child. She simply didn’t know what to do. She had no guidance in her life and was allowed to do whatever she wanted until it finally broke her in such a way that will affect the rest of her life.

She will forever be different now and in many ways changed for the worse. As far as trusting, loving, or enjoying another person or even becoming a mother herself one day (if that is even possible after what she has endured), will not be an easy task for her and may lead her to a life of depression, eating disorders, self-harm or even suicide…..the list goes on. Without the proper nurturing, guidance, love and support, she will have a very rough and troublesome life and I fully blame the parents. I blame the parents for allowing the innocence of this sweet young child to be taken away. I blame the parents for not “raising” up this child in a positive environment and keeping her safe at all costs over their own wants or needs.

So now, this creature has been arrested and is being held with no bond in the Vance County Jail awaiting court appearances and undoubtedly a bond reduction hearing. If I know the Court System like I used to, this scum will be out in a matter of days and surely they (the mother included) will try to strong-arm and influence the child in some way. Now I have talked with my brother about Lawyers, Domestic Violence Protection Orders and even a Guardian Ad Litem but apparently the District Attorney’s Office and or the Vance County Clerk of Court cannot agree on what steps to take next so I fear that this child may be on her own. My brother has vowed to be her guardian and protector and to do his very best to save her from what is to come. I truly hope that she finds some form of peace within and that her Perpetrator is adequately punished.

My take away on this whole ordeal is that……. I want parents and guardians to know that this type of crime happens every day to men, women, and children.  You never know what someone is going through but we always need to be vigilant and look for the signs – to always be there to lend an ear or a heart to someone who may be in need of help. I want the children to know that it is not their fault. They did not do anything wrong and it is not ok for people to do these things to them.

This type of crime happens in all classes of families from the richest to the poorest, from the south to the north – in the Country and in the City. Evil is in our nature but God gave us the choice and the Will to do the right thing.

What if it were your 12-year-old Daughter??

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Food for thought … and the people in our lives.

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Life Shouldn’t Be A Brick Wall……..

Food For Thought…. and the people in our lives.

Being brutally honest — Change sucks – especially at times when it comes to the people in our lives.  Just when you feel comfortable, safe and secure in your “atmosphere”, out of the blue it happens. You don’t even see it coming – poof – change – Some good, some bad but almost always totally unexpected. You’re not ready for what’s to come, it probably hadn’t even crossed your mind but you are totally blindsided and it sends you reeling in the opposite direction. Nothing is ever guaranteed in our life, except death.

It is inevitable – people come and go, in and out of our lives constantly. Most people you can count on to stick around for longer periods of time but there are several throughout our lifetime that just seem to disappear into the darkness. For whatever reason, be it life, love or circumstance. It happens, they don’t mean to cause hurt or hard feelings and in reality, most of the time, they do not even realize what has happened until it just hits them one day – “whatever happened to so and so” and then fades back into the memories of our mind.

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People come into our lives showering us with their presence, a new common bond or thread, a new feeling or experience. Some of these people last for years and years and in actuality by the time you reach your golden years, you can count on one hand how many true friends that you have had throughout the years. Sad – I know but true. People call us their friends and even at times they truly mean it but as time goes on, their friendship fades and diminishes over time.

Human nature dictates our future it seems and unless we have a firm grip on our convictions, we lose ourselves along the way. I have been family, I have been a friend, an enemy, a lover, a son, a brother, a husband, a Dad , laughing-smiley-face-emoticon-RcA6KpMRi but through it all I have been me. I have been real, I have been fake, I have loved and I have been loved. Just like the rest of us here on this great big rock that we live on. We all acclimate to our surrounding in some form or fashion and try to fit in the best that we can. We must always remember – that we are all human; we make mistakes and bad choices. We try to learn from the negative and correct it and strive to make us a better people.

Sometimes in a relationship, people leave us or choose to be with others instead and that most oftentimes hurts – a lot. Others – well not so much. The cause varies and people move away, they find other friends or choose activities that do not resonate with you and they move on. They get busy, they get different jobs, they develop other interests and sometimes relationships grow apart at times. People pull away for one reason or another. Sometimes you understand it and sometimes it remains a mystery. And then there are some times, distance, choices or some other situation simply ends a friendship. Cuts it right on the dotted line and removes it all together.

Whatever the reason, life does move on – new people and new friends will come along with some new and unexpected experiences. Sometimes it’s not them that outgrow you but you that outgrow them. Life has a way of teaching us and exposing us to other interests throughout each season and some of these things we tend to gravitate toward instead of away from and with that come even more people who share the same interests and objectives. Life ebbs and flows constantly just like the sea and with each new “tide” bring new treasures, new experiences and new memories. Life – Live it, Love it, and then leave it for others to enjoy.

candle out

I would like to try and live my life so that people would remember me not for all the mistakes that I made along the way but for all the good that I tried to do – Funny how life gets in the way of that. I have always been the type of person who looks for the good in people, for that silver lining. I almost always find the bad but there is still a lot of good in this world. And in this world, it’s just me and you. It is up to us to look past the hurt, the color, the negative and see the real person, see the real situation and try to make the best out of this real situation. We all need to quit making more out of certain conditions and finally become “the human race”. We all need to find that common bond that unites us all as children of God and stop all of this backstabbing, undermining and negative things in our lives – The circumstances that we have created and somehow choose to be in.

After having grown up a bit (it only took me about 30 years) I want people to know that they can count on me and even want to be around me. I want to show people that there is love in this world. I would like to always show people my best side and be there for them at all times whenever I can. I have many regrets from my youth for the way that I have treated people in my life and there have been times in my life where I wasn’t such a great person. I have never claimed to be perfect and I am sure that my actions may have even driven people away from me. Life’s experiences have taught me many things and I can finally be truthful with myself. You see – that is the key to true happiness. If nothing else – just be honest and true to yourself first, and you will quickly see just how life is not so bad after all. Just as a Junkie or an alcoholic, you must first admit your shortcomings, your mistakes and your bad choices. Then you must make a conscience effort to avoid making those same mistakes and try living your life a little more positive. One step at a time is all it takes and consistency is the key.

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Rebuilding my Dodge Truck

Rebuilding my Dodge Truck…..

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When I was a young kid, my Dad by trade, was a Trucker.  Now he wasn’t your ordinary truck driver, he was the ultimate truck driver – (or at least I thought he was). Dad worked his own loads, tarped, loaded, strapped, stabilized, drove and even at times unloaded his own trucks. He was also his own diesel mechanic.  His mind was like a living Road Atlas and I vividly remember him planning his routes (before GPS and Cell Phones), when he would call out landmarks in other states that he would need to turn by or remembering certain tunnels and overpasses that were too short for his loads.  Driving long haul he was fortunate to visit many new and interesting places and during the summer months I would ride along with him for a week or two before school started back. Learning to talk on the CB Radio and giving other passing truck drivers, a certain nod and wave that only Truckers knew how to do. It was definitively an experience that I will never forget.

Now what does all of this have to do with rebuilding my dodge truck you might ask? Well…….

I can remember days when Dad was home on the weekends cleaning his truck and doing routine preventative maintenance – he would always try to get me involved in working on something.  As a teenager, all I wanted to do on his Big Rig besides drive the darn thing was maybe install a new stereo and speakers in there for him. After all, if you’re going to listen to Bluegrass music, you might as well be playing it through quality equipment!

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When things would break, Dad would always rebuild or replace his own engines, exterior pieces, interior pieces and he was even an accomplished welder – a Jack-of-all-trades it seemed and at any given time, he would have me washing parts with gasoline and a wire brush.  Now don’t get me wrong, I loved my Dad and loved spending time with him but I hated getting greasy and doing mechanic work. I would often run and hide at the mention of the word. So needless to say I never really caught on to the whole working on engines and being a mechanic thing.  Dad retired in 2002 after a million miles and 35+ years on the road only to pass away in 2007 at the age of 70. He lived his passion and was a Trucker till the end.

Working Man's Hands

Now, 10 years later I find myself on the cusp of a new adventure. The same year that my Dad passed away, I had purchased a 2004 Dodge Ram 1500 Quad Cab with a 4.7L engine with 38,000 miles – I loved the new look of these Dodge Trucks and I planned on keeping this one forever. I have always been a huge Mopar fan and with the help of my Wife and her Father who had just passed away as well, we purchased this truck. I have had this truck for over 10 years now and have well over 215,000 miles on her. I can tell she is getting a little weak and I am noticing some wear and tear on the engine and drivetrain.  My Wife has tried to talk me into trading my truck in on something newer and more reliable since it is paid for but I just can’t seem to bring myself to let her go.

In High School I took Woodworking and Carpentry, all four years and became quit good at it, although as it turns out, I would never do this as a profession, it was definitely my hobby – I loved working with wood and building things.  But after all of my youth spent running from being any type of mechanic, something in me has clicked. I am now contemplating, and heck – even looking forward to, rebuilding my own engine.

My oldest brother owns a towing company and I was lucky enough to score a 2004 dodge ram from him that was wrecked in the front and needed some engine work. I bought the whole entire truck from him for $500.00 cash to pay off the tow bill. Thanks Brother! So now I will soon begin my adventure of rebuilding my entire engine from the ground up just like my Dad would have done. (except that I have a safety net – I have a Master Mechanic on standby when I have questions or problems). Thanks Dave!!!

Funny how things come full circle…….

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