Our street is fairly secluded, with just three houses constituting our neighborhood. Our neighbor across the street lives in his other house during the weekends, and returns here during the week. He works long hours but we occasionally see him lounging on his porch petting our cat (who thinks he belongs to the neighbors - but that's another story).
Our nearby neighbor lived alone and was rarely seen. He was very kind and friendly when we would pass him on the street, but we often joked that Lamar could die and no one would know. He had no living family and we never saw anyone visiting at his house.
This past Monday our prediction came true. Lamar died on March 24 but wasn't discovered for four days. His obituary did not list names of any relatives or friends, and made a passing comment to a car club to which he belonged.
I don't know Lamar's situation and do not know if his loneliness was by choice or by situation. But I know it is sad to think of someone going days without connecting with another human being, and even worse to think someone could die and not be missed for several days.
My daughter loves a good tantrum, and really, who doesn't? Sometimes she indulges in a good head-wack, heel-thump just for the heck of it. Once in a blue moon I discover the source of her malcontent. Often, though, I'm left confounded. Was it the grapes? Did she want the blue shirt instead of the red? What does "uhhh" mean?
It's very easy for me to get frustrated and whisper, "What is wrong with you?" After 3 tantrums within the first hour of her waking, I sometimes wonder if she enjoys slamming her head on the floor.
So I take a breath and force myself to think of the positive side of tantrums.
1. My daughter is very passionate. I honestly think part of her frustration is that she has more energy and emotion than she knows how to express.
2. My daughter has conviction. She knows what she wants and is not easily swayed. This will be a great characteristic when she's older and is faced with temptation to do what she knows to be wrong.
3. My daughter is tenacious. She won't be one to quickly relinquish her goals or desires. She will be the one who runs full out toward her destination even if everyone else stops and tries to rein her in.
4. My daughter is tough. She bounds back from superficial wounds as though they were mere flesh wounds. She does not worry over scratches, bumps, bruises or scuffs. She's a fighter, and she's tough.
5. My daughter is uniquely gifted and crafted by God. He will have His hands full trying to teach her submission. I have a feeling, though, that once she falls passionately in love with her Creator there will be nothing holding her back. We are in for an exciting journey!
Two sinus infections in a month. This, after going nearly a year without neither sniffle nor sneeze. And the topper is that typically, my daughter inherits whatever infection I catch. Sometimes she's kind enough to stagger her cold with mine, but occasionally she thinks misery loves company and she times her sickness to coincide with mine.
After much investigative thinking (conducted while curled up in bed watching "Pride and Prejudice" - the one with Keira Knightly), I have found the problem.
I blame the vitamins.
Seems all this sickness began about the time I started taking vitamins on a regular basis. Silly me listened to my doctor and husband who insisted that I take vitamins.
Ha, I say, ha! Maybe even a "fie!" just to round it out.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go drink some Hillbilly Cough Medicine and snuggle with a pillow.
I love checklists. There's a sense of purpose and accomplishment to look at a list of tasks and be able to cross off achievements:
Pay bill ✓
Drink coffee ✓
Schedule doctor appointment ✓
Write to friend ✓
Feed baby ✓
Clean bathrooms ✓
Drink more coffee ✓
I confess I tend to peek over my husband's shoulder to compare his list to mine. Aha! My list is longer! Or, if it's shorter, then it's because my tasks took longer to do. So in a very sick sense, I compare our lists and then slip on my judge's robe to determine who has more value to the family.
Why do I do this?
Because I'm insecure. I feel like I have to justify my existence by what I accomplish, and hope it's enough to warrant my being here.
If I were on Survivor, I'd be the one hauling fire wood, gathering berries and building a fire. And at the end of the day I'd point out all my accomplishments as if to tell my tribe mates, "See! I have worth. You can't vote me out."
Unfortunately, that's not how life works. Those who we view as worthy often are not, and those who work behind the scenes often get overlooked. Also, accomplishments do not = worth.
So my desire is to get to a point where I'm not trying to throw everyone else out of the boat in an effort to be crowned Most Valuable. Life is not a drawn out game of King of the Mountain, and I don't have to prove my worth by what I do. But, more importantly, neither does anyone else.
My husband insists that Cassiopeia isn't a real constellation. Instead, he calls it Onamonapia and creates legends about how the constellation commemorates some shrew of a woman who was banished to the skies.
A few years ago, my father and I found some sea shells in Pensacola Beach and concocted tales about how the shells were relics from spaceships that had crashed on the planet eons ago.
When my youngest brother was in elementary school, he set a mouse trap to catch a leprechaun. While he slept, my father and I tripped the trap and laid at the base a peeled potato that we had carved into the shape of a finger and dyed green. We also put a spurt of ketchup on the end for good effect. I was awaken the next morning to Ashton's sobs as he reported that his trap had maimed some poor leprechaun.
I can't wait for Addison to discover the wonders of a well-used imagination.
It saddens me to think that you preferred death by falling to death by mauling. I know you and your chicken friends probably clucked cheerfully as you were loaded onto the Tyson truck, believing you were going for a scenic drive. When the road turned into a highway, though, I imagine your little chicken brains began to question your assumptions. And then Chatty Chicken, the one who prides herself on knowing everything, began clucking that the end was near and you should all repent for the sins you committed during your short lives. And that's when you made your choice. You would rather risk road rash or death by flinging your feathered body from your gilded cage rather than face whatever horror awaited you at the end of your journey.
So you jumped.
I am sad, little beaked friend. You would have been tasty.