Time is always moving…
This past week, time stood still for the City of Boston, and surrounding towns. Suburbia watched, glued to televisions, as police, SWAT, FBI, and heaven knows what other law enforcement teams, executed a manhunt not seen, ever. The sheer cost involved is a mind bender. While this went on, the populace of Eastern Mass was still. We went about our day, but if there was a radio playing, or a television on, we were, for the most part, just going through the motions. Our interest lay with the sound waves, and the video broadcasts. We learned about the hunted; their interests, their hobbies; who they went to school with, their citizenship status, where they were from. For most of us, this has been at the forefront of our minds. Catch the criminals.
For others, life moved forward. For one such family, life moved forward way too fast. Admittedly, I do not know the family personally, and perhaps that takes away my right to speak of them, but I will do so, without naming names, to protect their privacy and maintain their anonymity.
Imagine, if you will, a young boy, full of life. And imagine how, at the age of 6, he could be diagnosed with a horrible form of cancer. Now, a year later, he is home on hospice care, with his family and closest friends surrounding him. Sure, I’ve just summed up the mother’s worst nightmare in two sentences. But, I cannot even imagine what the family must be going through. I cannot even begin to describe the pain and emotion the family has felt during this experience. The decision to spend his final days in the comfort of his own home were made during the manhunt taking place in Boston.
So the real question is…for whom did time stand still? Was it for this family, who, while I’m sure will someday look back and think that they vaguely remember being around for the manhunt? Or was it speeding forward for them, far more quickly than they could want? Or was it still for the rest of us, who focused on whether it was martial law to shut down the city and surrounding towns (in an unprecedented move) to flush out the young man in question?
I don’t really have an answer to this question. But I think, I will pray for the family mentioned above, with all my heart. I will pray for peace to settle in the little boy’s soul, and for the parents and sibling(s) to find peace with the idea that God has decided to call this little boy home – a sentiment that can never, ever ease the pain of loss they are about to experience. And then, I will thank God the other young man has been caught – and pray he can be redeemed; that he can feel remorse.
If a seven year old boy doesn’t really get to choose when he goes, why should someone else get to choose when others go?
To school or not to school…
The other day, I went to lunch at a little market with the best salad bar. I’m not usually a healthy eater, but I’m trying to eat healthier. So when I’m in the mood to be healthy, this is one of the places I have a tendency to go.
As I was leaving, I was approached by a guy holding a video camera and a microphone from Fox 25. I was asked to comment on the value of a college degree in today’s economy. I was told I might be on the news that night between 6 and 7. I was not. (How thankful are all of you? I looked like my normal every day run-down self, and in my attempts to be witty, I really was not!)
But the entire experience got me thinking. I received a very-expensive-for-its-time degree in music. I don’t do anything with it – although I’d love to be able to say I do. If you asked me what my dream job would be, I wouldn’t have an answer for you. I don’t claim to be so old that “I know better from life,” but I do think I’ve lived just long enough to know that my dream job wouldn’t be a job at all, but a means to an end. That end would be spending time with my family; making memories for my children that they in turn will want to do for their children.
The point is, I’m of a mixed mind about the value of a college degree. My husband does not have a college degree. He is successful, and knowledgeable. What he does required no degree, but a strong technical aptitude. Certainly, what I do does not require a degree, but a strong grasp of soft skills, and speaking with people. And yet, I think a college degree leaves a great experience to pull from. There is, of course, the value of life skills. If you go away to college, you learn to balance a budget (although, I’m still working on honing this skill almost 20 years post-grad), do your own laundry (if your parents never had you do that at home), eating right by your own choices, how to use a credit card responsibly – and the consequences that come with irresponsibility. Some of these skills you could learn by not going away to school. And ideally, you *should* be learning them even if you don’t go to college at all.
But let’s face it. Young people today are just not learning these skills without a bail-out. Yes, I said bail-out. They have parents who help them out of credit card messes, mom’s who are still willing to do their laundry and cook their dinner. And even if the parents are trying to teach them the value of money by charging rent, it’s usually unrealistically low, and doesn’t include the cost of food – which the parents are also providing. So I think the question is not today’s economy that might make the difference in the value of that education, but today’s society in general.
Do I want my kids to go to college? Of course I do. And, knowing what I do of their aspirations and ambitions, there is an education to be earned. Culinary, veterinary, trade or otherwise. I don’t think it matters.
There is something about sisterhood.
And I’m not talking about…’we have the same parents’ kind of sisterhood. I’m talking about the ‘sex in the city’ or ‘traveling pants’ or ‘ya-ya’ kind of sisterhood. The kind of sisterhood that comes from sharing a common interest, or goal. Sororities. Girl Scouts. Women’s professional organizations. Dance moms. Soccer moms. Stage moms. Even when you’re competing, you share a bond. You see it everywhere. And sometimes, even the familial bonds you share with an actual sister. There is just something about sisterhood.
I’ve been in the middle of it. I’ve been on the edge of it. I’ve Both desired and detested it. But it always comes back to the same thing. And never in my life have I felt like I truly belonged.
I don’t even know where to begin. But I can tell you what prompted this rambling about sisterhood.
I just finished reason a book called ‘Sisterhood Everlasting’ by Amy Brashaers. I don’t need to go into the details of the story because I have too much respect for the author to repro her story. And really, I wouldn’t do it justice. But the friendship it described. That is telling.
I finished the book with hopes for my daughters, that they would find that type of friendship in life. And wondering why on earth I never did.
Happy New Year
Once again, I find myself at the start of a new year, with a fresh blog. This time, it was my own stupidity, and as I’ve said several times in the past couple of months, back your shit up because it won’t be there one day if you don’t.
Fortunately, thanks to good friends, who like to spend some of their time helping out a friend such as myself, I have been able to recoup most, if not all of my old posts. And, over time, I will be recycling them to this incarnation of the blog.
For now, it will live as just “Notes” but as time goes on, I hope to find a more fitting title to my blog.
Let’s start the year off with resolutions. These are not something I usually hold. I don’t like setting them, and I don’t like being accountable to keep them. As my husband says about a good many things, “low expectations yields high rewards.” But setting goals, and then having low expectations is one thing. Not setting goals at all is another. People choose this time of year to set new goals and very often, they aren’t new at all. At least not in my case.
I hope for good health, good fitness. I hope for happiness. All things that are entirely within my control. But, in thinking back over the last year, and thinking about my father (as I do from time to time), I would like to be more like him. Generous spirit, good heart, helpful, and honest-to-goodness good man. There were a lot of things he frowned upon. A lot of things he tolerated. I know what they were. I want to be like him.