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.

Tip my hat

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…….

 

over medium

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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Almost Famous Quotes …..

Almost Famous Quotes:

Sheeple

I went searching the other day and found some very interesting and almost Famous Quotes to live by and, as life would have it – they still ring true today.  Whether you call it Food for Thought, Famous Quotes, Wisdom of the Wise or some other adjective – you will be sure to take away something just for you and your life.

Enjoy…..

Provide for yourself first and then share what you have.

Not on our soil, Not on our lands, Not in our homes and Not to our families!

I’m not saying don’t give refuge, but I am saying that you have to take care of yourself first before you can take care of anybody else!

Don’t let someone else’s opinion of you become your reality

If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.

Life is not measured by the amount of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away

NOBODY can hurt ME without MY Permission!!!

Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war.

Attitude is a little thing that makes a Big Difference!

As you think – so shall you become!

Don’t waste time because time is what Life is made of……

The Stiffest Tree is easily cracked but the Bamboo survives by bending with the wind!

Learn to Hold instead of to be held.

When your Mom asks “Do I look stupid” – it’s best not to answer!

When you complain about doing the dishes – you usually get stuck doing them more often!

It’s funny how God uses simple people to do great things!

When people say that Life is Hard – I always want to ask – Compared to what??

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It’s never too late to say you’re sorry!

IF you want to change the World – Start in your own Backyard! – Tug

You’ll always get a Zit on important days.

You never know how loud you are until you have to be quiet

Being a good friend is like peeing on yourself – everyone can see it but only you get the warm feeling it brings!

Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit – Wisdom is not putting it into a fruit salad!

larry

Going to Church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car!

One match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box of matches to start a campfire.

 

And finally for my Wife – IF I could choose between loving you and breathing,  I would use my last breath to say I LOVE YOU

indian love

No Charge…….

No Charge

No Charge …….

Originally penned in 1974 by Harlan Howard and recorded by Melba Montgomery, for me, “No Charge” was really made famous by Gospel Singer Shirley Caesar in 1975. Keep in mind that I was born in 1968 so I was 7 when she recorded it – it wasn’t until the year 2000 when it truly hit home for me. My Mother had some issues that she was forced to deal with and in an attempt to maintain my faith, I began listening to more Gospel, worship and praise songs and music.  That’s when I discovered that wonderful song and gifted singer.

I have always loved what is typically known as Southern Black Gospel.  Songs and Hymns that, for the most part were performed by the African American Culture in the South. Jubilee songs and sorrow songs were two types of spirituals that emerged during the 18th and 19th centuries and were adapted throughout the decades. This type of Gospel has always grabbed my heart and made me feel closer and stronger to my faith than any other music. Now please don’t get me wrong, I truly love Bluegrass Gospel just as much but there is something about the Black Southern Gospel.

Now for those of you, who have never heard the song “No Charge”, please let me give you a synopsis of what it is about:

A young boy hands his mother an itemized list of charges he says he’s owed for performing various chores and comes to collect. The mother responds by reminding her son about all the things she’s done for him, that she never asked him to pay for services rendered and that, all things considered, “the cost of real love is no charge.” Enlightened, the young boy realizes that his mother is right and changes the amount due to “paid in full”. “No Charge” was one of the few songs that talked about motherhood during this time of the Christian movement, which might be one of the reasons why it was so popular.

As a young boy, I was very tender hearted and Mom used to always say that I got my heart from her. Mom is now 72 years old and to this day – my Mother and I often refer back to this song to remind us just what our love has endured over the years. The love between a Mother and a Child is something very special and that it is often times taken for granted by so many. There are also so many people that, for whatever reason; are abandoned physically or emotionally by their parents and loved ones and who have not experienced this blessing. I am very thankful for my Mother and I thank God every day for what I have.

If you have never heard this song before – I urge you to check it out. Like I said, I prefer Shirley Caesar’s rendition but any musician / Singer will surely do it justice.

Now go Hug your Mother – and tell her you Love her!

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Update on Mom…..

Update on Mom…….

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As you may have read, my Mom has recently been diagnosed with Colon Cancer. In this last week, she has just undergone a Goiter Surgery on her neck. Now again, my Mother is 72 years old so you can imagine how worried we were about her and the surgery. Not the procedure itself, but the anesthesia and recovery part. I have to say that the Nurses and Doctors at Rex Hospital in Raleigh were great. The Anesthesiologist was awesome and even explained that they were going to do an arterial main line in order to monitor her level of consciousness more closely during the procedure. On the day of the procedure, we met with the Doctor and several of the nurses who explained everything in detail and then asked if we had any questions and they actually gave us time to ask them. Wow – we are not used to that level of care and service around here.

So, the procedure took just a little bit longer than expected mainly due to the amount of time required in recovery. I guess she had one of the best sleeps that she has had in a long time. Either way, the surgery was a success and she is now back at home recovering. We are waiting on pathology to let us know for sure if there was anything that the doctor had missed in his diagnosis and to make sure that there is no cancer involved with the Goiter – fingers crossed and praying.

Colon-Cancer-Ribbon

Now onto the Colon Cancer part – Mom had a full CT Scan done of her chest and stomach area and they indicated that they did not see anything unusual in the scan. All of her blood work came back just fine so they are pretty confident that they have caught this thing early enough to prevent it from becoming something more terrible and devastating. With that news, they have given Mom a surgery date of May 3rd to go in and remove about a foot or so of her colon.It seems that there were 3 polyps in her colon – two on the ascending and one in the transverse. The Doctor explained that they had to remove a section below and a section above the Polyps to potentially get all of the cancer out. Now this means they have to take out the entire Ascending and about half of the Transverse sections of the colon.

It’s a pretty big surgery and we are on high alert as to her wellbeing. As before, we are not so much worried about the procedure itself because Mom is and has always been one tough lady but this is a 4 to 5 hour surgery and the risks are much greater due to the fact that she has COPD from previous years of smoking. (Mom hasn’t smoked for over 20 years now).  I guess it really hit home at the severity of this when Mom asked me to fill out her Advance Directive and appoint me and my Sister Brenda as her Care Providers in her Healthcare Power of Attorney.

So now it’s just a waiting game – that and putting all of our trust and faith in God that she will come out of this in good health – keep her in your prayers if you feel inclined as all prayers and good thoughts are coveted as blessings.

Praying