As an airline employee, I see many departures and comings by everyday people every day. This past Holiday Season I witnessed something that broke my heart and brought tears to my eyes.
I was taking a ‘smoke break’ just outside Terminal 3 when it happened that an elderly woman and her 2 children sat near me. As those that know me KNOW … I’m more of an Observer than anything else, so I couldn’t help ‘staying in my Lane’ by nature.
Sitting next to me was an Elderly woman that grew quite agitated and worried. She argued with her 2 children (I assumed they were her Children) over what seemed to me to be trivial and of no consequence. This fuss between the woman and her children lasted quite some time (at least during my entire ‘smoke break’), and yet with each passing moment her agitation grew larger and larger. At one point the son (I’m assuming he was her son, but he could have been her son-in-law), lit a cig and walked away from both women (I again assumed he didn’t want to add to the intensity of the Elderly woman). Then it happened :
The Elderly woman sat down next to me and buried her face in her hands …. and quietly wept.
Broke my HEART into tiny pieces. : (
It bought back dark memories to me of when my Mother, too, was in the early stages of Dementia and Alzheimers. The “Long Goodbye” they call it now. And while my 2 sisters faced the true blunt of this horrid disease, the impact on me was just as heart wrenching and horrid miles and miles away!
You see. Dementia and its various ghosts not only are insidious, but it also steals a person’s Identity, Independence, and Pride! As a child of a victim of this pestilence (my Mother), you want to take your parent’s shoulders and shout, “WAKE UP! Snap out of it!”, just as I witnessed the children (I assume they were her Children) of this elderly woman who was now crying near me. But suddenly I drew another epiphany to the VICTIMS of this cruel disease:
At some point, and as a VICTIM of Alzheimers, at some point you have to believe that your brain is not acting “Normally”! That NOW simple things confuse you; that now YOU KNOW that simple things are harder to Remember; that now you realize that your INDEPENDENCE is slipping away …. and its frightening!
To me, these fears and apprehensions suffered by both VICTIM and LOVED ONES of same ~ are worse than Death Itself!
My Mother before she died … didn’t even know who I was or my Name. THINK ABOUT THAT! The woman that brought me into this world and loved me more than life itself …. didn’t even know her only son’s NAME in the end.
My Mother could’t even live in her own HOME or be trusted to find her way back home from a store a mere block away.
There are things worse than Death in this Life, baby! And having lived through “THAT THING” that can reduce you & your Loved Ones to a zombi and /or stuffed doll that causes your own Family to root for God to take them to Heaven in Peace …. then see the effects of Alzheimer’s on those you LOVE!
Love your Parents and enjoy their LIFE while they’re still Healthy, Vibrant, and CLEAR HEADED.
Death is beautiful: Dying is NOT!!
Friday, November 22, 1963. A Date I’ll NEVER forget.
Some events in our lives, are so shocking … so traumatic, that the event will freeze in Human Memory; for it stuns the Human Memory to such a degree, that mere TIME will never erase the event as long as Mankind roams the earth. I can recall precisely the events of November 22, 1963, as clearly as it was yesterday.
I was sitting in Mr. Pratt’s 10th Grade History Class (I even remember my Teacher’s Name ~ that’s how frozen in time that singular day became). We had just taken our seats when the Principal came over the PA System:
“Its been announced that President Kennedy has been shot in Dallas Texas. We Pray that his wounds are not fatal … and he will survive this tragic event.”
We all were stunned by that Announcement. After all, JFK was my HERO! He was young, highly intelligent, and had a great wit at his Press Conferences. JFK and the White House was Camelot. His wife was very pretty …. they had 2 young children …. and it was JFK that took on the South and allowed Martin Luther King to “March on Washington”! But the event that made me closely observe John Kennedy was a statement my Jr. High teacher made to her entire class back in 1960:
“Well, you know. If Kennedy is Elected President …. you do know the Pope will really be the President.”
WTF! Hell, even just a little kid in Jr. High, still wet behind the ear, even then I KNEW that her statement was Bull Sh**!
So I religiously followed Kennedy’s Presidential Campaign! It was exciting as well as highly Inspirational for People that wanted a President that stood for Issues like ending discrimination, intelligently dealing with the Russian Threat, and traveling to the Moon! John F. Kennedy was “My Guy”; now his LIFE hung in the balance.
About 20 minutes after the Principal’s first Announcement, he came over the PA again:
“It has been Announced just now …. that President Kennedy is dead. ”
I immediately looked at Mr. Pratt. He hung his head, took off his glasses, and then silently wept. Some of my fellow students took on a ‘frozen fear ‘ look. Some kids, who were too immature to handle the news, giggled under their breath. While cats, like me, had our Dreams shattered by Lee Harvey Oswald.
“We are dismissing school for the rest of the day,” it was a Friday after all “So go to your lockers or call your parents. School buses will be here shortly.”
Thus began 3 of the LONGEST DAYS OF MY LIFE! It’s just NOW, that I am able to think back at those dreadful and shocking days. Mainly because the 1960s were such a VIOLENT period … so much so that it forced the Death of Jon F. Kennedy to be merely a door to senseless MURDER, VIOLENCE, and DEATH on a massive scale.
I’ll morn the Death of President John F. Kennedy … till the day of my own.
Continue in Peaceful Sleep, my Hero … my President … my Champion
Best photos of Venus and Saturn after sunset
By Enes Keriqi C of the Republic of Kosova.
|Venus and Saturn are in the same field of view of your binoculars from September 15 to 21. Look west after sunset. Plus … check out these photos.
While all eyes were turned toward the east after sunset this week, to watch the beautiful fullHarvest Moon rise over that horizon, some people remembered to turn around and watch the equally awesome sight of the brightest planet Venus near the golden planet Saturn in the west after sunset. Many thanks to EarthSky friends on Facebook and Google+ who posted photos!
EarthSky Facebook friend Marco Mereu of Turin, Italy captured this beautiful image of Venus and Saturn on September 18, 2013. The two are poised above Monviso, aka Monte Viso, the highest mountain of the Cottian Alps. Thank you, Marco!
Venus and Saturn are presently occupying the same binocular field of view and will continue to do so through September 21. Although Saturn shines as brilliantly as the brightest stars, Venus outshines Saturn by about 80 times.
Venus and Saturn as seen by EarthSky Facebook friend Michael Daugherty on September 18. Thank you, Michael!
If you haven’t noticed lately, Westward in the Heavens floats a Beautiful, Majestic, and Inspiring Planet : Venus.
Venus is HUGE this time of year. No telescope or binoculars necessary to view this magnificent “Goddess of Love”, and it’s fitting that Venus shines at night. A time when you can take your Favorite Woman up into the Hills and away from the City Lights ~ just you and your woman enjoying yourselves and what God has given us to behold.
But you don’t need a “Special Other” to enjoy this celestial show. Under the influence of this ‘Mighty Queen’, one can simply drive a short distance from the city lights and enjoy Venus just by yourself. There, the concerns and worries of the day quickly evaporate from your Soul. Blind personal ambition and hubris melt beneath her gaze, as just the two of you ~ You and Venus ~ connect like no other earthly woman ever can. But I think what has drawn me to Venus is this : when I look up at Her (Venus), my mind reflects back on all the WOMEN I have known … and all the WOMEN currently in my LIFE. And, too, obviously my mind thinks back on what Jesus must have thought when he glanced up AT THIS SAME Planet!
God, I LOVE this TIME of year, when God has Gifted Mankind with such glories as these. TIME when a Magnificent Planet glows brilliantly above my sight-line. When a Beautiful Queen (Venus), humbles me to my knees in Reverence and imbeds in me a deeper appreciation of LIFE!
God, I love it. I do love it so.
More than my own LIFE!!
I recall my Buds and I played “WAR” as kids. We’d trampled into the woods of our Elementary School, or climb Mt. Pleasant, or conduct ‘urban operations’ in our neighborhood to kill the Enemy (either you were Americans or Germans <G>) … but to us, these Games were the REAL THING!
I recently saw a Masterpiece (and Mastercard ) TV Spot that brought back all those Childhood Fantasy days of old! Why: because the TV Spot was so PURE and Honest concerning the Mind of a small boy and his engrossed focus on his Fantasy of being a REAL PIRATE! Hell, in the Spot the kid slashes everybody and everything within his reach! He slashes bedding, turtles, sings Pirate Songs etc. until “THAT DAY” comes when he encounters “The Real Thing”! : )
And God Bless that ‘Old Man’ when he encounters at the market this cute little kid dressed as a pirate. : )
Notice the expression on the kid’s face when he recognizes the eyepatch and sword (the man’s cane) of the Enemy! : )
And look at the ‘Old Man’s Face’ change from smile to CONCERN when he sees the child hold back his Mother ( “Don’t worry mom: I got this” ) and reaches for his sword!
PRICELESS!! : )
This TV Spot hits all the buttons, Baby! It not only depicts a cute as hell kid ‘LIVING THE LIFE’ of Captain Hook as a child , but it also touches a REMEMBRANCE of our Own Fantasy Days as a kid. Here’s the Spot:
I’m well along in my BOOK. Here’s a taste of some of “Chapter ONE”. Hope you find it interesting enough to READ & BUY! : )
Remember: it’s only a ROUGH DRAFT!!
Jesse Chapter One
Within the limits of Galilee the town of Nazareth was located in the bowl of a valley. Throughout the centuries bitter and protracted wars were fought on the Plain of Esdraelon. Here were the scenes of Barak and Gideon’s victories, of Saul and Josiah’s defeats, and of the struggles for freedom in the glorious days of the Maccabees.
The old man slowly lowered his seemingly weary body down onto a wooden chair situated at a corner table. The table afforded the man a wide, third-story view of Nazareth that stretched out below; narrow ally ways composed of burnt mud- colored homes, bustling markets, and synagogues. The man took a napkin and wiped several beads of sweat from his brow and as he did he asked the waiter, “Do tell, Sir. Where may I locate the carpenter’s son I’ve heard so much about?”
The waiter poured the man a glass of water and replied, “Sir? Which carpenter’s son are you referring? Nazar is populated by many sons’ of carpenters.”
The ancient-looking man stared at the waiter with a look of incredulity. His eyes pierced the waiter to the degree of causing the waiter’s hands to shake. The man’s thin lips parted slightly revealing teeth that seemed to the waiter as being slightly unnaturally sharp and reddish looking, as if a wolf that had recently dined on carrion. “Which carpenter!” shouted the man. “Nazareth is as stupid as is widely rumored! The young boy reported to be this religious genius … this Child Rabbi!”
The badly shaken waiter replied in a quivering voice, “Perhaps you’re mistaken, Sir. Nazar is just a simple little town with simple people. Surely this person you seek resides elsewhere.”
The man quickly stood and casually walked over to the outdoor balcony. He looked down at Nazareth that lied beneath him, as if he were a vulture looking for possible dead prey. After what seemed to the waiter an hour’s time had passed, the man shouted, “There!” The waiter rushed over to the balcony and looked in the direction the man was pointing with a bony finger. “There, you fool! There! He’s in the group gathered near that house about 5 alleys from that synagogue!”
The waiter strained his eyes. ‘Sir. That is quite a distance far from here. How can your eyes see that far? Are you certain that at this distance … this person you seek is actually the person you seek? My eyesight is not as good as yours.”
“Precisely!” answered the man. “And neither are your wits! That’s him, I tell you! The young man I’ve been looking for!”
The man tossed several coins on the table and fled the premises. Immediately the owner of the small eatery emerged from a backroom, both men straining to see the person the ‘ancient one’ had seemingly located. “What was that about?” asked the Owner.
The waiter shook his head. “I don’t know. Sir.” All I know is … that man was very strange; very strange indeed.” He then looked up to the heavens and whispered, “Filled with so much hate. Hate.” Then he closed his eyes and bowed his head. “Yes… hate. As if this person he seeks had committed some unspeakable crime against him.”
The crowd of mostly young people wound its way up and down the street, and even around parts of the house. They had just left the Temple and now together awaited a meal from the guest. Many in the crowd whispered, “Wasn’t that a wonderful sermon today?” or “He’s going to be a wonderful Rabbi!” or even: “Do you think Jesus will lead the Zealots?”
Jesus could be seen mingling and warmly smiling among the crowd. His tall, sturdy frame and bronze skin with wooly hair easily stood out from the gathered followers. “Jesus!” shouted a child. “After we eat, can you visit my home and pray for my mother!” his eyes now downcast. “She hasn’t been well this week and …”
Jesus put a finger gently against the lips of the child to interrupt him.
Jesus smiled at the child and gave him a hug. “Of course I’ll pray for your mother. I’m sure she’ll be quite healthy when you return home because of your faith.” He kissed the child’s forehead and continued to greet the excited and growing crowd.
Twelve young girls distributed unleavened bread throughout the crowd. Shortly thereafter, an ominous voice echoed throughout most of Nazareth: “Jesus of Nazareth! Do you now casually eat before washing your hands?” It was the ‘ Ancient Man’ again; only now he was atop a deep black-coated horse. He rode slowly right up to Jesus. The crowd grew quiet and bearing a somewhat surprised expression on their collective faces. The man ~ now this horseman dressed in Black ~ rode his horse right up to Jesus. He leaned down in the saddle and whispered to Jesus, “Are you Jesus of Nazareth?”
“I am” came Jesus reply.
A somewhat wicked smirk spread across the man’s face. He then continued, “Then do you not know the Law, Jesus?” hesitation.”of course you do! You’re a Theological Genius, are you not.”
The crowd looked at each other in somewhat surprise mixed with embarrassment.
Jesus looked deeply into the man’s eyes and said, “God does not judge whether or not we wash our hands before eating. He is concerned with what we eat, and how much Faith we have in our hearts.” A hush grew over the crowd.
“Are you telling me, son. That what the Law states is not the Law in and of itself? As a Pharisee, I find you in contempt of the Law, and must take you back to Jerusalem to stand trial!”
Now the crowd grew restless at this proclamation from this Pharisee. Soon members of the crown swelled and encircled Jesus, making it impossible for the man to get near him. Suddenly the ‘Dark Rider’ turned around to the East where he saw a grey horse racing toward the crowd and over a small rise. Suddenly a group of 12 horsemen dressed in black cloaks and helmets rushed toward their Leader. “Arrest this boy!” the order was issued.
The crowd let go screams of impending danger, as the phalanx of horsemen grew closer with their spears and swords at the ready. Jesus stood his ground, as too the group of men that stood between him and the Pharisee Leader. As the horsemen readied themselves to wade into the crowd of innocent people, a voice boomed across Nazareth: “Galog! Leave this place and return back from where you came!”
Galog issued a vicious “hiss”.
The mysterious Black Rider swiftly rode past the surprised and fearful horsemen of his making, and into the late afternoon sunlight. And to the amazement and confusion of the moment, nobody there ever again remembered ever seeing any of those evil horsemen of Galog leave.
“Come with me, son,” ordered the man on the huge grey steed as he reached down to pull Jesus up and then behind him on top of the mighty horse. “My name is Gabriel,” shouted the man as they fled with great haste out of Nazareth. “And I certainly hope you are the boy named Jesus!”
The first few weeks of FOOTBALL has not given me any comfort that THIS SEASON will be one to fondly remember. I’ve expressed my feelings about the ‘Slaughter In Seattle’ last Sunday on Facebook. So for those that see me only on my Blog, you may wish to visit my FACEBOOK TIMELINE. But anyway, just as my shock & awe subsided somewhat this week, I learn today at work my First Love ~ my Beloved Cleveland Browns ~ SHOCKS the ‘Dog Pound’ in Cleveland by dumping this Player:
That’s like me dumping Rhianna in the possible HOPE of finding something better!
Next year! : )
My Cleveland Browns have not been to a single ‘Super Bowl’ ~ not a one! This from a Football Franchise that once OWNED Professional Football. In the NFL Infancy (the then “American Football League” as it was called) was ruled year-after-year by the Cleveland Browns. Hell. I saw the GREAT FULLBACK, Jim Brown, dominate the Position EVERY WEEK! Go visit the NFL ‘Hall of Fame’ in Canton, Ohio to see the Hall jammed packed with CLEVELAND BROWN ‘Hall of Famers’. Then in the late 1990s, the Browns were removed from Cleveland to reside in Baltimore … where they became the Baltimore Ravens.
The New Browns shortly thereafter was resurrected in Cleveland again, but these ‘New Browns’ have given the Fans in Cleveland nothing but PAIN, DISAPPOINTMENT, FRUSTRATION, and a pattern of LOSING YEAR IN AND YEAR OUT. SMH
Those that are TRUE Brown Fans (including myself) had High Hopes that this would be the year the Browns would finally emerge from their cocoon of LOSING : WRONG. Cleveland presently is 0-2 after just two weeks … and Management decides to start ‘all over again’ by canning the stud TRENT RICHARDSON!
SHOCKED AS HELL!
The suffering continues, Cleveland Fans. This news today has to be as devastating as the night ‘King James’ told the world: “I’m going to take my TALENTS to South Beach.”
Oh, and to show you this Season is going to be I’ll long to forget: Mr. Richardon’s NEW TEAM is the Indianapolis Colts. Yep, the same team my Second Love (San Francisco 49ers) play this Sunday! Double WTF!! Richardon is a true BEAST!!!!
Is it Basketball Season yet! : )