Tuesday, November 6, 2012

My Day of Infamy, Nov. 6th (Part II)

Election Day and My Lost Ring

I have a pix (figuring out how to download of new/used phone)
"the Voting chair in BFE"... Hilarious.

Today is Election Day... yea... right... how far I’ve (we’ve) come in four years!

Flashback: Nov. 6, 2008

I was living in Georgia with my mother and my step dad... recovering from my divorce.

My day started out as usual. Coffee and a smoke with mom at the kitchen table. A perfect view of the front yard and our quiet street. One neighbor to the far left and wooded lot straight out and to the left. I loved my view. All trees! I loved my mothers thoughtfulness of coffee! She made it out of love for me every morning. Knowing that a cup of coffee shared in silence before the hurried day began might be the difference of having a terrible day and a really great day. No matter how many people I had to bury that day, or how many crying mothers I had to console, I could always remember my mothers smile early that same day as we drank our coffee. That’s what got me through most days. Simple. So much love. 
Sometimes Papa would rise just before I would go to get dressed. This particular morning I noticed that my favorite ring had a split in it. The ring was a full band of daisy’s linked-together. White gold petals with yellow gold centers linked together with an outside ‘lacy’ edge of yellow gold strings. The ‘break’ had stared as a small crack that had now come completely through.

This was an original piece that my grandfather (on my dad’s side) had custom made for my grandmother. There is only one other in existence that I am aware of, and it belongs/belonged to the jewelers wife. There were other sentimental factors over the years that occurred surrounding this ring, but maybe I’ll write about those another time.

Papa J offered to take the ring to the jewelers, “I’ll be heading downtown to vote at the Baptist church, I could run this into the jewelers at the same time.”  I jokingly said: “Don’t loose it! I was Nanny G’s ring! and she ain’t around no more... this is all I have left from her.” He reassured me that he understood it’s sentimental value and added “...and it’s got Daisy’s on it too... I got it!”

Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: 
for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall. 2 Peter 1:10 KJV

I had never been much of a “political person in the past. I had always voted... {although I can’t remember actually voting in 2004. That was the “Fall from Hell”... husband with another woman while we lived in the same house and slept in the same bed... yea, I don’t remember much.}

By 2008 I began to pull my head out of the sand. The result of my devastating divorce four years earlier. I started to peek around at the politics of the upcoming election so that I could be better informed on whom to vote for. I had to at least peek around so that I knew who would be running the country.

After I finished work I headed straight over to the church to do my rightful duty as an American citizen and vote. For what good it would, I could never be sure. The electoral college thing has never made much sense to me... anyways. Our state didn’t seem to matter much in the larger scheme of deciding the presidency. They always want to know about Iowa, Ohio, and Florida. Any “WHY?” Virginia? Don’t those places ever tire of election season? Give someone else a turn to be so ‘important!’ As it seems to be the history of voting: the rural areas vote conservative while the big cities voted left or liberal. So I returned home to ponder my contribution to this great nation. 

I was excited to see if Papa J had successfully dropped my ring off for repairs. When I asked him about the ring he searched his pockets to no avail. {He had placed the ring, to his recollection, in his pant pocket. This seemed strange to me at the time because he always wore shirts with pockets... why not there? oh... but it might fall out when he pulled out his smokes.} The only thing he could figure happened to it was that it must have gotten tangled up in his keys and fell out when he went to get into his car in the parking lot at the church. {He felt sooo bad... and apologized to me often over the following year. “I’m really sorry I lost your Nanny G’s ring. Wish there was something I could do.” Today... he can’t recall the incident having occurred at all. I worry.} I quickly jumped back into my car and drove back over to the church and searched in the area where he said he had been parked. Nothing. I went inside the church and asked the election volunteers if anyone might have turned a ring into ‘lost & found’... nothing. I left my name & number & description of the ring for the church office and said a prayer. 

I returned home once again but with deeper thoughts than before. “What is this world coming to that someone wouldn’t try to find the rightful owner of a ring they found on the ground?”... It had to have been picked up somewhere. Someone, Somewhere... has that ring... but did not come across it my honest means.... they don’t know its history or significant value to it’s rightful owner. They are enjoying the fruits of someone else's labor for free... like a handout. “Where have all the honest people gone?” my heart sank and I wanted to cry.

But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, 
and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. 2 Peter 1:9 KJV

All the normal TV shows on national television stations weren’t being shown due to the election coverage, so we opted to surf the other cable channels and watched some brainless criminal investigation show. In between the shows Papa would bounce over to see what the “top of the hour” highlights were regarding the election. This was great because it gave us enough information without all the long-n-drawn-out explanations, conversations, and reporters opinions of why each state voted the way it did.  It was the senate and congress votes that worried me the most at the time. I’m not really sure why... it just did... although I haven’t looked at any of it since then, nor could I tell you any names, or whom I voted for... it’s just what I recall thinking at the time.

As it got really late Mom went to bed while Papa and I had stayed up get California’s two cents on the matter.  I remember sitting in the double rocking love-seat with the foot rests kicked out... comfy cozy with a few pillows and a blanket, laid back as if almost comatose.  Somewhere deep inside I felt that things were ‘not quite right’. I tried to be open minded that ‘all things said’ could somehow “all be true’.  But something inside of me wanted to scream “Don’t piss on my back and tell me it raining!” The acceptance speech was full of ‘promise & hope’.

Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: 
that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, 
having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 2 Peter 1:4 KJV

I sat in wonderment. I didn’t know what to think. “It would have to be an act of God for him to do all these things he’s talking about.” I said to Papa. “Yea It would have to be, but not likely seeing as how he doesn’t even believe in God.” “What?!” I exclaimed. “That can’t be... this country would never elect someone who doesn’t believe in God. This country was founded on God!”
 After a slight pause Papa replied, “I’m not so sure that God is a part of this one’s agenda. At least not the God that you and I know.”  
“But they said he was ‘Christian’.” 
“Yea, and they used to say the moon was made of cheese too.”  
This was my first indication that we, as a country, were in for some surprises over the coming years. The changes were swift and broad... more information than I cared to wrap my head around. My brain power was limited and I did not have the luxury to sacrifice any of it on politics then. I stuck my head back in the sand for awhile longer and prayed that God would be watching it for me. The following year brought a multitude of changes... a move back West.... reuniting with old friends... marriage... and the re-entry back to college after 22 years! {Yea... fun and exciting year!}

And besides this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; 
and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; 
and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;  2 Peter 1:5-6 KJV

Today: November 6, 2012

So today's new adventure will be going to vote. Not so strange as a lot of people will be doing the same across the country. {Maybe not New York or New Jersey... they may have some extra time allotted to them so that they can get their votes in. Hurricane Sandy has really taken it’s toll on that area. Not that those two states electoral votes will be the ‘swing’ that finalized the presidency... I could be wrong. Wouldn’t that be interesting... we could be sitting around for days as we lay-in-wait while the fate of our nation is in the hands of hurricane victims in the north east! Nah...  I can’t help but think that the presidency has already been decided by the power machine in DC, and that voting has become nothing more than a dog-and-pony show to keep the masses thinking they actually have a say in what has already been decided for them.}

But back here in BFE, my unique voting experience is different that anything I’ve ever seen before in all-my-live-long-years (southern accent). I really thought the days of horse and buggy were gone, but apparently not. WE GET TO GO VOTE AT THE THE NEIGHBORS HOUSE!!! I don’t know about YOU.... but this just seems strangely ODD to me. Maybe I’ve lived in the city too long. Growing up, even with a population of 15K... we always went to the local High School. When I lived in Georgia for a short while, the voting booths were either in local churches and even at the funeral home where I worked (for their district). But in the Neighbors Garage?

And to godliness brotherly kindness; 
and to brotherly kindness charity. 2 Peter 1:7 KJV

I went. I voted. I saw people I knew or that I'd met earlier in the year. We visited and chatted... there were no lines. It was stress free... and I felt as if I had been transported fifty years to the past. It was a grand experience.  AND I got to watch my eldest son vote for the very first time. "Proud Mom Moment".

This years election wasn’t much different than the election four years ago, but somehow I fear this one was much more important than the last. I sat at the computer {We choose not to have cable or satellite television... we have too many other things to do with our time.} and tried to keep up with the state-by-state reporting. MC went to bed early. I think it weighed on his heart and mind way more that he would like to give credit. “No sense worrying all evening about it... I’ll just wait til morning to find out.” Well..I couldn’t do that. I feel that this election year will be one long remembered by many. I want to remember this years election as I remembered the election in 2004.... where I was... what my thoughts were... and who I was with discussing the ‘fine matters’. 

For if these things be in you, and abound, they make (you that ye shall) neither (be) barren 
nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:8 KJV

This year...  I sat alone... with my ‘live stream’ computer downloading at snail speed... glitch-ing here and there... having to reload the entire program from time to time. Missing the tail end of Romney’s speech.... and texting on the phone to one of my BBF in Wa.  That was my ‘election memory’ for 2012. 

I bet you... if I lost my ring at the voting site in BFE... I am confident that it would have been returned to the election volunteers and someone would have been asking around the area: “Did you loose a ring on election day?” Otherwise, one might see the ring on a neighbors hand... and you know I’d have to investigate. So yea... I’m in the right place... finally... now! 

Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things,
though ye know (them), and be established in the present truth. 2 Peter 1:12 KJV

Yet another Adventure in BFE!

My Day of Infamy Nov. 6th (Part I)

Birthday & Death

"A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of death better than the day of birth." Ecc 7:1 NIV

Today is my fathers birthday. I believe that this is the year he will successfully come  (succumb) to the fact that he is ready for ‘old age’ and will accept medicaid/medicare... whatever they call it... I’m not old enough to at I would know, but however, unfortunately.... I doooo know... my mom was on both... I think... for awhile... before she died... ironically... two years ago today. Yes. My mother died on my fathers birthday, two years ago today. 

Flashback: November 6th 2010

It was a Friday night... we were watching the Rustle Crow version of the newly released Robin Hood movie on DVD inside of our little shop heated by an electric space heater. We were covered in blanket and sitting in the dark lit only from the television screen the dog started barking fearlessly. We stopped the movie and MC went outside to investigate. He exited the shop, walked out past the lighted carport and waited for his eyes to adjust back a bit as he peered out into the darkness. Beyond a small grouping to pine trees atop the grassy knoll.... just standing there...  looking at him... he saw a heard of 5-6 deer. Glassy eye balls staring back at him. 

He quickly came back inside the shop to get the rest of us for a look ourselves before they ran off. When we got out past the carport we were able to see a few of the remaining deer as they quietly meandered across the drive way and down into the ravine along the road far out of sight.  They didn’t bolt in fear as I would have thought. There were four of us standing well within plain view of them, crunching gravel under our feet... only 40-50 feet away. We were in the light from the pole lamp! I know they KNEW WE WERE THERE! But they continued to walk quietly and slowly... Peaceful and unafraid.  I thought to myself: “Maybe they were checking us out. After all, we’d only been in BFE for about a month.” or “Maybe the deer out here have been tamed by the locals?” I breathed in the clean crisp air, looked up at the vast amount of star-age.... and proceeded back to the shop in wonderment of our new home in BFE!

When the movie was finished about an hour later, we all gathered inside the house and conglomerated into the “living room/bedroom” (Yes, our bed... our bedroom... my husband and myself...in the living room....yea... tight! We gave each of our kids a bedroom.) We talked about the deer and questioned their strange behavior. We all took turns using the restroom and my son made it into his room as the phone rang. It was 12:30 a.m., now Saturday. “Who would be calling at this hour?”  My breath left my body as it always does with an unexpected late night phone call. 12:30 a.m. “This is either a wrong number or very bad news.” I was of course always my thinking: the worry-wart that something bad is always about to happen. Always “on-alert”. Always “false-alarms.” 

But not this time. This time my instincts were right on target as I answered the phone... I somehow already ‘knew”.  It was for real. I thought I was prepared. As prepared as anyone can ever be. Papa J asked me: “Is your hubby there with you?” I knew it then: Mom was gone. After a 44 year life with diabetes the ....effect of the disease had finally taken her home. My step dad “Papa J” as the kids call him, said he suspected it she had passed about an hour earlier. He had tucked her into bed as he always aided her and she told him “Thank you for taking such good care of me.” Those were her last words to him (just like my momma to be so thoughtful and sweet when she was in so much pain and about to die! Wow!) I rejoiced that she was no longer in pain and kept thought: “get the affairs-of-the-business-taken-care-of-first... you can break down later.... hold it together.... for Papa... he’s the one hurting more I am right now... he just saw mom... ‘not mom in her new form’...give the guy some sympathy... hold on...  just hold it together a little while longer.” I told Papa that I loved him very much, and that I appreciated everything he had done for my mother, and how I wish I could be there with him to help out with everything. (All of our extra funds had gone into our move to BFE... I had nothing in reserve.) I told him that I would call my dad (My biological dad. Papa had been my step-dad for 3-days-shy-of-14-years!.... Yea, mom died 3 days before their anniversary... poor Papa!) and that I would be praying for him. I told him I would call him the next day and I hurried off the phone before I ‘lost it.’

I didn’t know what to expect from myself... what was about to happen next?... how I was going to react... I couldn’t feel anything... my brain and body were ‘elsewhere’. By this time M.C. had already been at my side and knew what had happened. His eldest daughter had been there the whole time. My eldest had returned into the room and questioned “What’s up?” I remembered the look on MC’s daughters face: “It’s your grandma... I’m so sorry.” My tall boy leaned over & hugged me... I wanted so much for him to sit beside me and let me hold him. I knew this had to hurt. But he was a man now... not ‘my little baby’... I could tell he was hurting... he had a special connection with my mom... the three of us all had brown eyes... we were ‘full of it’... and I saw his big beautiful brown eye starting to fill with tears as he bent over and kissed me on my forehead “Hey wait a minute... THAT’S MY JOB! I’m supposed to be taking care of YOU! What are you doing kissing me?”, He replied “I’m taking care of you... just like you used to take care of grandma. I only learn from the best.” No more words were necessary... Mom had done her job... I had been doing mine.... and life was really good.  The tears poured. 

I was jealous that I couldn’t go with her. Envious that she was now “hang’in” with her own mom and my dad’s mom of whom I adored, ALL! Angry that I knew; for the rest of my life I would never be the same. I could never call on her again for advice, a shoulder to cry on, or to tell her of an exciting ‘something’ in the lives of her grandchildren. All these thoughts... all of them... swept through my mind... in the blink of an eye. So fast.. so overwhelming. My body went numb and I had no control over the muscles that controlled it.

I had to tell my Dad. But it was late.But I couldn’t wait. But his wife would be so mad at me for calling at this hour. She hated (still does) me. But then again.. she might be happy with the news (No, I was just saying that. Or...I don’t know anymore. Maybe?) I pulled myself together knowing that God would guide my words. The other woman answered. “I’m really sorry to wake you, but I need to talk to Dad.” Fearing she would be angry (I’ve never called past 9 pm if I ever called at all.)  “Yea, just a second.”  She didn’t seem upset at all... as if she already knew somehow. For a brief instant, I think I felt her heart crying out to me. I heard her carrying the phone through the house and assumed that dad hadn’t gone to bed yet, even though it was past 2:30 a.m. on the cost.  During this passage of time in what seemed to take forever, I thought to myself “OH NO!.... IT’S DADDY’S BIRTHDAY?” I froze. The rustling of the phone stopped and I heard my step mom say kindly and softly, “It’s your daughter.” 
“Yea?” It was if he was already bracing himself. (I’ve never heard the step-mom talk so kindly when passing the phone off when I had called in the past... dad must have sensed it too.) I could barely push the words from my lips. “Today’s your birthday? I’m so sorry daddy!” and the tears started falling again and I couldn’t breath. 
“Your momma?” he replied. 
“Yea, I’m so sorry dad.”
“Is your hubby there with you?”
“Yea, he’s right here. I’m so sorry daddy. I love you so much.” 
“Well at least she’s not in pain anymore.” 
“Is Papa J ok?” 
“Yea. As well as you would expect.”
“When was the last time you talked to her?” 
“I talked to her tonight... or last night... however you wanna look at it: 
Around 5:30 pm, 7:30 your time. She was up and Papa J was helping her drink some coffee and hold the phone. It was the best I had heard her on the phone in weeks! She was actually able to carry on a conversation without falling asleep or being in too much pain. I asked her how she was doing and she replied ‘I’m still kick’n, juz no us’hi asa use’ta!’  We laughed ‘cause of her only having ONE leg anyways! Yea, she was in great spirits. She asked me about my ‘sweetheart’ MC and if he was treating me well & that if not... she would be out here. I reassured her that I was still in newlywed mode and that I was the happiest I had ever been in my life. I told her my previous divorce had been a blessing and that my new hubby was a man of God who would always protect me. She said ‘Ya see I knew you would find somebody. Now I don’t have’ta worry bout’ch anymores.’ She asked about my graduating from college and I told her it would be next month in December. She seemed a lil setback thinking that I wasn’t graduating until Spring, but told her ‘No ma, It’s happening... it’s a done deal. December!’ She was pleasantly surprised I think, and said ‘well I think thats juz really great... ‘bout time after twenty plus years’... and how proud of me she was. Yea... she was back to her old self on the phone Dad. I told her about Tall Boy working as a mechanics apprentice and that seemed to upstage my graduation. You know, he was your first grandchild... I guess that made him something special... or som’pun! But I guess wit’ all that talk’n I must’a wore her plum out. She said she was gonna  go take a nap before bedtime... and that she loved me so much... and how much she missed me... but didn’t think she’d make it to my graduation.” I stopped rambling as I thought of all the things I had just said...

Dad replied slowly, “She fought a long hard battle.......................... We were only supposed to have her for twenty years..................... That's what the doctors told us at the time.......................we had her for more than twice that. I said nothing I my mind reeled over my the last 20 years or so. Dad continued, "How old are you?” (Mom was diagnosed with diabetes when she was pregnant with me... that's how we always gaged her ‘years as a diabetic’.)

I can’t remember much else after than “I love you and we’ll talk in the morning.” 
That night... I fell asleep that early morning in my husbands arms.

"Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and he married Rebekah. 
So she became his wife, and he loved her; and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death." Gen 24:67 NIV


Momma made sure, in her own mind, that MC was going to stand by me for the-long-haul in the years to come. She knew the long term pain of the loss of a mother. She knew I would need him. And so-far-so-good.... he comforts me when I’m missing her.

 Momma died with a very good name... One I will carry with me always. :)

And that is all I can remember for now. 
(I might add pix later... but this was all I could do for now...Nap Time!!! Always a positive side to everything and everyday... nap time is one of those wonderful things!)


PS: Oh yea.. the deer! The deer showed up around 11:30pm. I asked Papa J today about the evens surrounding mommas passing and he verified once again: “I went into the bedroom to check on her about 1:20am and she was still alive. When I came back in the room a few minutes later, she was gone. We figured it was about 1:30am when she actually passed.” Note: There’s a two hour time difference between here and there... so 1:30am for HIM is 11:30pm for US! We got the call at 12:30pm... one hour after we had stopped our movie and saw the deer in the yard. 

I guess you would’ve had to have been there.... and seen it... to believe it.... but the four of us in our family... have our own thoughts and conclusions.... as to the peculiar and somber behavior of the deer... who passed through our yard that night. I personally believe... that in some strange mystical way... yet defined by human comprehension... that it was momma’s spirit passing by was that night... she was checking on me before she went on to where she was going... the moment was too memorable and awe inspiring, the timing was too perfect to the actual time of her passing to be “mere coincidence.” 

In the two years we’ve been in BFE the deer have never ventured that close to the house again. Since then we’ve only seen deer way out over the other side of the yard, down over the hill. They’ve never ventured up to the grassy knoll where they were that night. 
No tracks, no trace.