Strange viewpoint from a 50something

Posts tagged ‘respect’

It takes only a second…

He was on the bench, just inside the grocery store. Sitting there in slacks and dress shoes, wearing a freshly ironed plaid shirt, with his Retired Air Force cap straight on his balding head, he was just some old man waiting for his wife to finish shopping. The vacant look on his face makes most people think he isn’t all there… maybe alzheimers, maybe dementia, but he watched as each person passed him. I, too, watched as each person passed him, not giving him a thought.

I walked up to him, “Excuse me Sir”. I reached out my right hand and finished, “I’d like to Thank You for your service to our country”. He looked up at me, I saw as the tears began to well in his old eyes, he struggled to get up, once on his feet he squared himself, and reached out and took my hand in his. His grip was light but purposeful, gently squeezing my hand, his gratitude was like electricity running up my arm. “It was my honor to serve.” It was then that I saw the fire in his eyes… I took him back to another time, another place. Somewhere only he knows. I asked if I could sit with him a minute, I wanted to hear about his service. After a few minutes of hearing his personal story I realize all of his military history was lived before I was even born. But that matters not, to me. He served in one of the bloodiest wars of our time… and he returned. Many did not, and it’s for them that he represents.

A frail woman pushing a grocery cart, walks up to us. She eyed me with some suspicion, I stood up and reached my hand out to him one more time. “Again, let me thank you, Sir” I began, but this time he interrupted. “I’d like you to meet my wife, Mrs. Johnson, she is also retired.” I swing my open hand towards Mrs. Johnson, I say “Thank You, Mrs. Johnson, for your service to our country.”  She reached out, I cupped her tiny hand in both of mine and looked her right in the eye. “I am so proud of you both” I say. The frightened look gave way and this little woman grew a smile that warmed my soul.

I don’t know how I affected their day… but I am forever changed. And forever grateful for the freedoms that they were willing to give their lives for.

 

Thank You to all who currently serve, for those who have served, and for each soul whose fate was the ultimate sacrifice. You are not forgotten in my world.

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Open letter to my baby.

Dear Son of mine,

To say I am angry would be an understatement. To be honest I really don’t know who I am more angry with.. you or me. You see I am the one who raised you. I am the one who taught you respect and values. Today it seems I have failed. But the blame is not all mine, is it?

How dare you talk to me the way you did. How dare you make such hurtful remarks to me because you didn’t get the help you were calling for. If your life is a mess, why am I at fault? You are a 26 year old man who’s been making his own decisions for a long time now. But you call and cry to me about how things are so bad, you are hungry and you’ve been in bed for a week, and you even talk about taking your own life! (What Mother wants to hear her child say that???) Today you told me that I don’t help you but I help your sister. Today you told me that you didn’t care if you were hurting my feelings, because you are my son I should drop everything and rescue you… “if Bry called and needed something I would….” When I reminded you of a time where I helped you out (just recently, in fact!) and I still haven’t received all payback, you said… “really Mom? I am the kid… I am in trouble, you are suppose to help me….” You played the guilt card?? On ME?? Right now you are so full of your own self loathing shit that you forgot who I am. I was where you are many times, for many different reasons. But I did it with 2 kids in tow. I wasn’t the greatest parent.. but you kids didn’t go without anything.. food, clothes, roof over your head. We didn’t have alot because I didn’t know how to budget or save or be smart. I made alot of bad choices and we just didn’t have much. I had so much debt, I had so little money. I did alot of crying. I did alot of whining about the place I was at. But I didn’t lay around… I worked harder. Got an extra job. Did what was needed.

I know I made many mistakes raising you, but the basics were there. That all went out the window when you didn’t stand up for me to that nightmare wife of yours and tell her “don’t talk to my Momma like that”. And since you didn’t, 8 years later now you talk to me like that. Learned behavior. Begging for help and then using any means to get what you need… that is a Felicia move.. and you have it down pat. As you know I don’t take it from her… and I will not take it from you either. You want to blame all your problems on me… go ahead. You want to lash out and be ugly to me… go ahead. You want to go around being pissed off at me… go ahead. Will I forgive you? Yes… at some point. Not without this written reminder.

I have taught both you and your sister that you can do, or be, or acquire anything in this life that you want. The choice is yours. I love you dearly my son… but grow the fuck up.