Tuesday, June 19, 2018

I Still Hold the Bandages

A couple of moms I care about have recently seen their man/child sons go through some difficult times.  As much as we want to make it better for them, the time comes when they need and want to start taking control.

I remember this struggle with my own sons.  Fortunately I had a favorite poem that helped me through some tough "letting go"times.  It still does.  When each of my sons left the nest I sent him a copy of the poem.  I doubt either of them read it but then they weren't the ones who needed it.  I did.  

If you're having trouble dealing with your "About to be a Man" son flying the coop, this might help.

I HOLD THE BANDAGES AND OINTMENTS READY  by Alan Paton

I see my son is wearing long trousers, I tremble at this;
I see he goes forward confidently, he does not know so fully his own gentleness.
Go forward eager and reverent child, see here I begin to take my hands away from you,
I shall see you walk careless on the edges of the precipice, but if you wish you shall hear no word come out of me;
My whole soul will be sick with apprehension, but I shall not disobey you.
Life sees you coming, she sees you come with assurance towards her,
She lies in wait for you, she cannot but hurt you;

Got forward, go forward, I hold the bandages and ointments ready,
And if you would go elsewhere and lie alone with your wounds, why I shall not intrude upon you,
If you would seek the help of some other person, I shall not come forcing myself upon you.
If you should fall into sin, innocent one, that is the way of this pilgrimage;
Struggle against it, not for one fraction of a moment concede its dominion. 
It will occasion you grief and sorrow, it will torment you, 
But hate not God, nor turn from him in shame or self-reproach;
He has seen many such, his compassion is as great as his creation. 
Be temped and fall and return, return and be tempted and fall
A thousand times and a thousand, even to a thousand thousand,
For out of this tribulation there comes a peace, deep in the soul and surer than any dream...


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Monday, June 18, 2018

Belief or Theory?

I believe that God created the universe.  But, as you know, I am greatly disturbed by pockets of our Florida education system that continue to want to teach the "Theory of Creationism" along side the "Theory of Evolution."

Don't you love it when somebody comes along and explains how you feel in a much more eloquent way than you can?  It happened to me this morning when I read the featured Letter to the Editor in today's Orlando Sentinel.  Writer Marty Sullivan, by the way, has one of those unisex names I like. You can't tell if Marty is male or female therefore you can't prejudge Marty's words.  Marty wrote a letter explaining why "Creationism can't be called a theory."

Marty says, Creationism cannot be put forward as a scientific hypothesis, much less a theory, since it cannot be empirically tested.  Words used by educators should conform to their precise scientific meaning, such as gravitational theory, energy conservation theory, mass-energy equivalence theory (E=mc2).  These are supported by extensive, empirically tested scientific evidence, as is the evolution theory. 

OK then.  My belief that God created everything doesn't have to be debated or even explained.  It's a belief.  Marty goes on to say:

Creationism, as a religious belief, should be so respected.  Subjecting it to scientific inquiry disrespects creationism as a theological belief.  Educators should make this distinction.  Our students deserve to learn the difference between the very different disciplines of theology and science.

Thank you Marty Sullivan.  I couldn't have said it better myself.


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Saturday, June 16, 2018

Gotti/Travolta

Gotti      Travolta
So, yesterday we decided to go to the movies.  We looked over everything out there and decided the only films that interested us were "Gotti" staring John Travolta and "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" staring Fred Rogers.

For some reason we chose "Gotti."  I went to Fandango to buy our tickets before looking at the reviews.  This film, out for 24 hours, has the worst ratings I've ever seen.  Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer rates it ZERO.

The reviews are very funny.  All horrendous.  After sitting in the theater for half an hour Dave leaned over and said, "I'm ready to leave anytime you are."

"No. I'm enjoying this!"

It was as if John Travolta was on Saturday Night Live doing the most over the top John Gotti impersonation you could possibly imagine.  Only, instead of lasting five minutes he goes on for an hour and a half.

None of the shooting people in the head every couple of minutes bothered me.  (The brief torture scene did.)  I didn't bother to try to stay with the plot.  Travolta had me mesmerized.  The very first scene was supposed to scare me.  It made me laugh.  I read that there were 44 producers on "Gotti"  It looks like they each got their input opportunity.   Most reviewers use the term "mess" to describe "Gotti."  One reviewer said of this film about one of the worst mobster/killers ever in the history of our country...."John Gotti deserves better."

If you accidentally find yourself in the theater where "Gotti" is showing, just relax.  Have fun. Enjoy Travolta chewing up the scenery.

Next weekend we plan to see "Won't You Be My Neighbor."


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Tuesday, June 5, 2018

He's Describing Me

Last week my friend, Penny, asked me if I was still seeing Facebook postings from my old friend, Jim McWhinnie.  While I haven't seen Jim in a few decades, Penny knows that his postings the last few years documenting his slide into Alzheimer's disease have been deeply meaningful to me, as well as so many others who've known this brilliant, deeply spiritual, minister over the years.

I told her that he did post occasionally but that his days of sharing real time wisdom about his journey with The Grey Lady (his name for this disease) are probably over.

And then that very day Jim posted what, to me, was an astounding report on his condition.  Here is a small portion of it.

One on one I am more comfortable than I am with two or three or four.  In a crowd, when I sometimes get a bit frantic, simply give me a reassuring look.  That usually calms me down. I do better these days in  low sensory experiences.  The music seems louder than once it did:  flashing lights and loud noises startle me, and jumbled conversations of many voices unnerve me and I feel like fleeing to a quieter place.  

The main reason the above is so special to me is selfish.  It accurately states the way I often feel with this weird Meniere's Disease.  I'm on a website with other sufferers world wide and Jim's descriptions  here of the world from his Alzheimer's view express the same symptoms as our collective Meniere's view.

Of course, it's not the same.  Meniere's is manageable and not life threatening.  But Jim's words remind all of us that our perceptions of the world change dramatically as we deal with the various changes in our aging heads.


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Saturday, June 2, 2018

The Notorious RBG

Dave and I finally got around to seeing the hugely successful documentary, "RBG" yesterday at our favorite theater, the Enzian. This film, about one of the most famous people on the planet, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, is totally entertaining from start to finish - no matter how you feel about her being an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court for the last 25 years.

The film begins with tiny, 85 year old RBG working out at the gym.  It's inspiring and hilarious.

Ruth and Marty.  A 56 year long
love affair. 
I used to tell folks that, unlike Ruth Bader Ginsburg, I pretty easily got a job in the late 1950s.  Why?  Because I was right out of high school and could type.  RBG was right out of Columbia Law School and could not. 

Watching the film yesterday reminded me of why I was so drawn to the Women's Movement in the early 1960s.   It made me feel proud again, not only of RBG, but of myself and others as well in all that we did to tilt cultural windmills.

RBG and her polar opposite Justice
Anthony Scalia, not only attending
the opera together, but actually in
the opera together. 
What else do I have in common with this notorious feminist icon?  Well, we have about a five year difference in age.  We're both short.  I'm 5 foot 3 inches tall.  She's 5 foot nothing.  We were both married to men who thought we could do anything.  In the film, the love story between RBG and her husband, Marty, is magnificent. 

Likewise the story of her famous relationship with Justice Anthony Scalia is amazing and touching.  Proving once again that people can love and respect each other and still have very differing opinions. 

When my daughter was in law school she had a friend who described herself as an anti-feminist.  I found it hard to believe that this smart young woman didn't know, or didn't appreciate,  what kind of trail blazing the women before them did. 

RBG went to both Harvard and then Columbia law schools, excelling at both.  She was in a class of nine women and 500 men.  The dean asked each one of these women how they could justify denying nine men a spot.  Today these, and other law schools, are pretty much 50-50 male and female. 

RBG, this tiny, quiet woman, changed the legal landscape for the better - for all of us.


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Friday, May 25, 2018

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines

I am not a car person but I'm aware that, this Sunday, the 107th Indianapolis 500 will take place.  I'm a hoosier so, when I was a girl I attended the Indianapolis 500 every year.  Not to see the race, mind you, but to spend the day in the infield with my friends having fun.

Carl Fisher was the guy who started it all.  He was passionate about cars.  He was a promotional genius and a flamboyant guy who made millions and lost millions.  I have always associated Carl Fisher with Indianapolis and the 500...

1919 Dixie
Highway
...until this week.  My son gave me a book for Mother's Day about the 25 most important men and women (yes women too) who shaped the state of Florida.  Carl Fisher is one of them.  I had no idea.

Early on Florida was a decidedly inhospitable place.  Getting here (like the exact place I am right now) was almost impossible,  The original settlers had to literally hack their way through the jungle.  Then, when Henry Flagler and Henry Plant built the railroad, things changed.  After that, along came Carl Fisher.  He set up a network of highways, most popular being the Dixie Highway that's still going strong today.

Carl Fisher was an eccentric guy who had his ups and downs but it took entrepreneurial spirits and visionaries like him to tame Florida.  I'm grateful.

The book I'm reading is called "Florida Made - The 25 Most Important Figures Who Shaped the State."


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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Face Down

Many years ago my friend, Nancy, had some terrible eye problem.  It required surgery - and then she had to lie face-down for three weeks.  I remembered being horrified by this prospect.

Then, a few weeks ago I noticed that, if I closed my left eye,I had a black hole in the vision in my right eye.  For instance, I'd be at a stop light, close my left eye, and the stop light would disappear.  My friend, Nancy, told me that she discovered her problem when she closed her good eye in church and the minister's head disappeared.

I finally got myself to the ophthalmologist.  He announced I had a retina hole in the back of my eye (same as Nancy) and I was sent immediately to the Florida Retina Institute.  Who knew that such a place existed?  Not me.

Yesterday I had surgery at the hospital that is five minutes from my house.  The excellent news in all of this is that I have to lie face-down only four to five days.

Actually I sit on the couch with my head down or lie on my bed.  I rented the contraption in the photo from a place called "Comfortable Recovery."  I'm lying on it now while I'm typing this.

Those of you who know Dave will not be surprised that he's an excellent caregiver.  Since I can't sleep on my back, he filled a nylon backpack with wadded up newspapers for me to wear to bed.  It's comfortable but lets me know when I try to turn over.  My daughter had a world of ideas for staying comfortable as well.

My bandages came off this afternoon.  Dave just finished making me this chart.  I just set my iPhone to remind me when to take the meds.

I am a person who needs constant stimulation.  I truly would have gone bonkers if I had to lie face-down for three weeks with nothing to do.

But I'm thinking this will be a piece of cake.


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