While Cheetah was off having one helluva vacation with his grandparents, Tarzan and I were enjoying a great 13 ‘kid-free’ days. I had planned on writing a post on revitalized relationships and the importance of couple time in sustaining a marriage, then tragedy struck. There was a terrible house fire in our neighborhood, it was horrifying. Hearing the muffled booms and sizzles was terrible but not nearly as disturbing as watching the excitement on the faces of some of our neighbors.
It was sickening seeing people load up their wagons with pajama donned children, snacks, and smiles. I was appalled when a neighbor smiled and exclaimed, “And y’all haven’t even been here a year and you are getting to see all this excitement!” Really, excitement?!?! At this point she doesn’t even know if the people are OUT of the house let alone the fact that presently someone’s WHOLE world is crashing down in front of their faces. They have lost EVERYTHING and there she goes barreling down the road with a smile on her face and her 3 year old in her arms. If there had been an explosion or God forbid a body, would she have wanted her child so close to the action then? Where is our respect and civility for our neighbors? If it was happening TO you would you want the whole neighborhood gathered to watch your life slowly unravel?
Being bombarded with reality shows on every television channel has produced a society of ‘rubber neckers’. We creep by accidents on roadways and chase ambulances hoping for just a glimpse into someone’s tragedy. It’s disgusting. We are so removed from life and empathy that we are unable to relate real life experiences to actual people. Instead of believing that what we see on television is real we have forgotten that these experiences that we witness are indeed REAL and are happening to REAL people.
If there is a fire or accident the last place I want to be is in the middle of it all; you risk the safety of yourself and your family and you may impede the swiftness of a rescue. I was glad to see that there were a few people who (like Tarzan and I) who stood in their driveways teary eyed, sending up prayers of protection and love to the family. We knew the best thing we could do was to stay out of the way and be there in support hoping that like a phoenix this family would be able to rise up from the ashes renewed, together, and alive.
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Monday, July 11, 2011
As I have stated in the past holidays were always important in my childhood home, and my mother would always pull out all the stops to ensure that they were memorable and that we took time to celebrate the importance of family and love. On the ‘federal’ holidays my dad always tried to convey the importance of every life that was lived or lost for our country’s benefit.
My parents always drove home the importance of being aware of the rest of the world. Education was key, they wanted me to know that there was more in the world then what was just outside my door. I was taught that as a citizen it was my responsibility to stay informed of current events for our state, country, and the world; the news was used as a teaching tool to develop empathy for others and of how life may be for them. By far this is the best thing that I learned from my parents, it is a lesson that I use daily.We are all reminded to live life to the fullest because you never know when it will be your last but how do you live in a constant state of fear? When I hear fireworks, gun shots, or screaming I am reminded that there are countries that are currently war torn and families that are being caught up in the crossfire. I try to imagine how stressful it must be to try to raise a family during these terrifying times; how do you keep things routine when every minute you have together is potentially fatal? I am so thankful that I can give my child a ‘care free’ childhood similar to the one my parents worked so hard to maintain.
When going to the grocery, I prefer to go alone, not only to save me from the constant ‘can I have’s’ and ‘I never get’s’ but to truly use this time to be appreciative. As I walk down countless aisles of food and supplies I am reminded that there are villages of people that do not even have a corner store for miles; and the stores they have don’t have an aisle just for shampoo. Occasionally walking the aisles of stores can bring my mood down, it’s a bit daunting when you see all the things that you cannot buy for your family. Then I will see a cart that is barely filled and over hear parents discuss skipping lunch for the week so they can buy the 2 gallons of milk their children need for breakfast. I realize while I may not be able to buy my family everything they want; I CAN feed them, put clothes on their backs, and buy their medicine.
We have a way of life that most people don’t get to enjoy and it is hard to imagine a life unlike your own. I implore you though to stop and think every time you fill your cart or watch fireworks that somewhere not so far from here, someone lives a much more stressful existence.