(this is an old post, re-inserted due to deletion) “Everything happens for a reason?” Personally, I really do not believe this. (did you just GASP?!!!) I think it is one of those things people say to you when you tell them something about your life that undeniably sucks. I think those platitudes are just our mind’s way of trying to contextualize experiences that don’t fall inside our usual frameworks for making sense of the world. I believe that sometimes we all make pointless, useless choices…..and these are the times you make “lemonade out of lemons”. There are just too many really bad things out there for me to rationalize “everything happens for a reason”. I guess a lot of it comes down to situations like this: The mother of a severely handicapped child who has to listen to the well-meaning chirping’s of her friends who say “everything happens for a reason…(or) God only gives special children to special mothers who are strong” Yes, these people do not know what else to say…they are well-meaning. But this mother is thinking…. “there’s NO reason good enough that I should have to deal with this severe disability….and I don’t think it is part of a LARGER plan!”. Here is what I DO believe: We ALL have life experiences that make us STRONGER. We learn from these experiences. These experiences are what mold us. They help us better our choices for the future. I have no real problem believing in the randomness of life. Or, that maybe SOME things happen for a reason. BUT….. This is only MY take, albeit a very unpopular view…..but it is what it is And I am what I am:-) I’m definitely not trying to change anyone’s thought process. Just give insight on another view.
Recently, I participated in a ministry to a sampling of homeless in the little five points district of Atlanta. I was a guest of my good friend, (also ex sister-in law) Tami Warman and her Husband, Craig. As we approached our destination, I was unsure of how I would fit in . But after unloading the car and walking over to the crowd, I felt a sense of calm set in. This was going to be alright! I met so many people I do not remember all the names. I do remember their smiling faces. Humbling, as we got out the Homeless approched asking for underwear and simple necessities. Tami was ready for this and was able to give out what they needed. They were extremely grateful. I met the gentleman who speaks to the group on occasion, he asked if I had come ready to say anything. I was caught off guard. I had not planned anything at all. But his warmth convinced me I should say something from the heart. I gathered all my courage and did so. I started to speak and it was as if I was on autopilot. The words came out smoothly and I was not nervous.
A woman named Kaye was our speaker that morning. The audience of mostly homeless listened intently. I enjoyed her sermon and learned from it! After she finished the homeless man next to me said he had something to say. What he said was very poignant. He made the point that others come there to pray for them every week and they have grown to expect it. But he said they need to be strong. They have to learn to pray for themselves. They need to learn to bring God into their lives themselves to lift themselves out of their homeless state and their addictions. Several asked for prayers. Some too choked up to even say the reason for the prayers. But when that fellow beside me finished talking I was thinking about how cocky I was coming there. I figured I would come up there, pray for them and help them out. I would be doing these homeless people a good deed. But they are the ones who taught me! I learned from THEM! It was a humbling experience. I brought food. It was a very fulfilling experience to feed the hungry. There were no leftovers. Everyone was satisfied….and appreciative.
I was able to give a woman a used Nike outfit I could no longer wear. I brought it in a party bag. She was so excited about that suit. It was as if I gave her a wad of money. She had someone guard that bag when she got up to get food or leave her spot on the bench. She was truly grateful.
A few weeks before my visit, Tami had asked for donations of coats and blankets for the homeless. I went through my things and got up a donation. Those who know me know I am a blanket fanatic. I LOVE soft blankets and have a few. I was able to give some of them away. There were a few I had out to give away, but put back as I just could not cut ties with them. I was sentimentally attached. One blanket was a cheetah print that was so soft it was ridiculous! Here’s my Karma story. D and I went out on the Boat last weekend Fishing. it was early morning when we went out and a little cool. So I took the beloved cheetah blanket. As the sun came out I forgot about cheetah. One time as D was moving from one fishing spot to another Cheetah, left abandoned on the boat deck, caught a gust of wind and was off into West Point Lake with the fishes. Never will be seen or enjoyed again. Karma? I don’t know, but all I could think of at that moment was Dang, I should have given that blanket to the homeless!
Today at Kroger one of my regular customers came up to a robot with three super soft blankets and wanted a price check. She said one of them was on sale and didn’t know which one. When we figured out which one was on sale. We were chatting about our mutual love of blankets. So I told her how my blanket had blown away and I should buy one of those after I get off. We laughed about the Karma of it all. But do you know what she did? She bought me a blanket. That sweet lady bought me a blanket! So I have to pay it forward. I’m going into my gargantuan blanket bin and pick one of my favorite blankets out to give to the homeless. It’s gonna hurt so good! Read the rest of this entry »
We made a pic with our dogs a few years back and I used it for our Christmas card. It has since been one of my favorite pics. I have asked everyone if we could try this again but it never works out. So as a joke I decided to do a little photo-shopping. The pics actually turned out pretty good. I LOVE our Dog LOVING Family!!!!
Really, if we were to retake this pic. Jackson could probably sit on Kane. He is bigger now, so is Henry. Katie and Stephen would be holding or sitting near Henry. Adam and Erin would have Jackson and a dog apiece. I would have Pinky. Dennis, the Boston duo. But six dogs, a baby, and six adults all sitting still even for a second???? Maybe we should wait for the new little guy to arrive. That would really update the pic:)
Postnote: When I posted this I never thought of it as dishonest. LOL. It started out as just fun with pictures. I don’t have a sinister plan to alter all our family pictures. However, I could insert myself in a few vacation photos here and there. Since I am the one taking the pics I don’t get in a lot of them….JK But seriously, this was all in fun.
Working at a Grocery Store I have seen a lot of energy drinks being purchased by a wide variety of customers. The most common is the young male, between 16 and 30. Yesterday, I witnessed a lady buying one for her son who appeared to be around 6 or 7. I knew it was for him because he kept taking it out of the bagging area, causing an alert to the attendant, ME. His mom purchased two packs of cigarettes and the energy drink, which was in a super large can. Then as they left the boy opened the drink and began to chug it. I was saddened that she would make the parental decision to allow a child to have this kind of drink. I once read an article where a teen had drank two of these and it caused a heart attack. Surely one might harm a skinny child like that! Next parents will be putting that crap in baby bottles! They already put Kool-aid, Tea, and Cola in there! Aw, I see it all, though. The carts of soda, frozen pizza, and ramen noodles., huge bags of sugary cereals. Bought by the same people week after week. Seems like they would get tired of the same thing. But that is what the kids eat. There is no nutrition police. And I guess people get a kick out of Honey Boo Boo killing a bladder busting size can of mountain dew. Eating crap has become the norm. It is out of the norm for someone to eat in a healthy way. But seriously, I feel the mom I mentioned earlier should be investigated for child abuse. That is dangerous to give a child that type of drink. Especially a drink that large in proportion to the child’s size. Sure, she might have shared the drink with him. I sure hope so. In any case. The child should have enough energy without the aid of this product. There are other sources of tasty hydration. C’mon lady. REALLY!!!!
I couldn’t get my pants to zip last Friday. I had lost a little weight and was trying a smaller size to see if I could fit them. I could have probably zipped them. But it would have taken a lot of sucking in and I would have to lie down on the bed to do it. So I decided to wear another pair. Frustrated I told myself I needed to get rid of that Honky Tonk Badonkadonk. Just saying it placed it on my brain.
I had set myself up for a three-day EARWORM! An EARWORM is a catchy tune/song that continually repeats through a person’s mind after it is no longer playing. Of all songs to have on repeat. I get Honky Tonk Badonkadonk! I have a four-hour shift monitoring those pesky robots. Every person who shops at U-Scan at one point has their back toward me. So when the song would start to fade out. It never failed, there would always be a giant rump at u-scan to send that tune right back. I couldn’t shake it. The song was fairly constant during the first part of my shift. But became intermittent in the latter part. I kept this crazy Earworm for the weekend. It was not consistent. Otherwise I would have gone nuts. I admire Trace Adkins. He does a lot of work for The Wounded Warrior Project. He seems like a very kind and caring person. I have grown to like a lot of his music as well. He has a very beautiful voice. The lyrics to Honky Tonk Badonkadonk are humorous. In my opinion. However, it is not a song I want on repeat in my head. I have had more annoying songs as earworms in the past. One being “The Hokey pokey” Haha. That is really bad. I found myself actually moving my arms around. etc. Embarrassing! Huge music fan. Don’t mind an earworm, if it is a good one that doesn’t stay too long. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNVguvNE7qc
What exactly does that mean? I think it means an internal search for what is important in our lives. It makes us think about the purpose of life and what is most important to us. Life events sometimes motivate us to search our souls.
July 18, 2014, was a dark day for the Hammond/Parker families. My daughter Erin was carrying triplets. It was a risky pregnancy and I was fearful of this outcome. She had a set of MoMo twins and has a Fraternal. MoMo twins are rare. They share a sac, and have a high risk of damaging the cord with movement or tangling. However, upon a visit to the doctor for ultrasound they found the twin’s hearts had stopped. The Fraternal, known as Baby A, was doing fine. I am praying, and asking for prayers, that he/she continues to thrive. It is so hard for a mother to endure something like this. I can also tell you it is not easy at all for the mother of that mother either. It pierced my heart. Her dad was heartbroken as well.
So, why was I talking about Soul searching? Well, I have had to dig deep into my soul for strength to get through this. Sorting out my grief. Grieving is a process. There will be advice from so many people. Well meaning. People trying to help. I will have to take it in that spirit.
We will hear “Everything happens for a reason”. Although we feel in our heart there could be no reason. Right now none of that makes sense. I personally, do not like that line. (See my blog, http://bhplayon.wordpress.com/2013/12/06/everything-happens-for-a-reason/) I’m sure some will say it’s better this way. Are you serious? They have no idea how special those babies were to us. From the moment you learn of their existence, and then actually see them on the ultrasound pictures. It is so very real. Embedded in your heart. These babies were our family. We had hopes and dreams for them! It is not better! The best thing anyone can do is just be there and listen. If you have not been in this situation you wouldn’t know.
Yes, I do believe we should soul search and realize our blessings. What I am so grateful for at this time is little Baby A is still thriving. This is something for which my heart is so overflowing with thankfulness. In my soul-searching I realize the people in our lives are what is important. In a flash they could be gone. Being thankful for blessings and realizing what I have….more often than crying over what I have not. YES, Praise GOD, A baby has survived. And that in itself is a miracle. How thankful I am for this! Beyond words! I am going to really love the people in my life. Think positively and pray. Love never fails.