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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

It's About Respect and Compassion

If this isn’t the post you’re expecting, and you don’t want to read it, feel free to pass it up. I just need to get this out of my head where it’s been rolling around for the last few days.

Please know this post is NOT meant to be about ME, although I will mention myself and my feelings. 

No, this post is about grieving families and what I see as disrespect on social media.

It's about 49 men and women who lost their lives. It's about 53 people who survived something SO horrible that most of us cannot even imagine it. It's about hundreds of people whose lives were forever altered on a fateful Saturday night in an Orlando nightclub. It's about all the loved ones and friends who got the Text, the Call or saw a news brief and felt their hearts drop into their stomachs.

It's about respect and it's about compassion.

I got the text late Sunday night, it was my youngest daughter informing me that her cousin Christopher Andrew “Drew” had been at the Club Pulse in Orlando the night before. Drew’s boyfriend (Juan) had been removed from the club earlier and had died of injuries from the shooting, but Drew had still not been found.

I rarely watch the news and try to stay off social media on the weekends but I quickly jumped online where I saw Drew’s mom tearfully begging for information about her son.

I didn’t KNOW Drew, although I had met him and his mom briefly many years ago when my husband and I dropped my youngest off for a family visit.  So yes, I had met Drew, but didn’t know him or his mom like my daughter did.

But I KNEW my daughter loved him and I knew of him from stories she had shared with me.

Needless to say, I slept very poorly Sunday night, as I prayed for Drew and other victims as well as their grieving families, including my daughter. The next morning we still knew very little, except that Drew was still missing. I saw, as many of you did, Christine all over the news, a mother, desperate for information regarding her son. Even though we aren’t friends and had only met briefly, my heart ached for her and every other person involved in the tragedy.

Eventually on Monday the word came that Drew had died in the club. Since it wasn’t my pain or grief to share, I waited for my daughter to post something. True to herself, she posted a photo of her and Drew when they were very young, with the caption, “My cousin Christopher Andrew was full of love, please don't use tragedy and grief to spread fear and hate.” I love my daughter, she is wise beyond her years that one.

And yet, all I saw being posted was fear and hate. The gun advocates not wanting their second amendment rights violated, anti-gun people calling for gun bans, it filled me with sadness and if I’m honest, also with anger.

Did they not get it? I asked myself.

People were dead, their fellow Americans grieving for children, sisters, brothers, cousins who they will never talk to again. Mothers and fathers who will NEVER hug their child. And yet all people were doing was shoving their agendas down people’s throats.

Is there NO RESPECT for what these families are going through? 49 people were slaughtered early in the morning on Sunday June 12, 2016 and hundreds (if not thousands more) will never be the same. Can you not put aside your personal fears for a few minutes to allow those left behind the opportunity to grieve the loss of their loved ones?

Do you not have the compassion to allow them to sign into Facebook to find a favorite photo of their loved one, to get comfort from friends and family at a distance, or to just for one fucking second take their mind off a deep and horrifying loss, without seeing their feed clogged up with Memes and posts sharing your point of view?

Am I saying we shouldn’t be having these conversations? Absolutely not; I believe we should. I think we should be having those hard conversations, with our children and families and loved ones. And I think we should be having these conversations with our senators and representatives. (Key point here people, you hold the cards, if you don't like how THEY'RE voting, VOTE THEM OUT.)

There are many, many things wrong with this country and we all have our own causes that are near and dear to us, so yes, for God’s sake, have the conversations, but please be respectful when having them, listen to the ones sharing their views, hear what they say. 

AND for the love of everything you hold dear, get off Facebook, hold your loved ones close, take a walk with your significant other, read a story to your child, call a friend you haven't talked to in a while. Above all, tell them you love them, because as recent events show, life is short and tomorrow is not promised.


While I try to have an open policy with comments on this blog, negative or mean comments will be deleted. There is a nice and respectful way to disagree with someone and if you can’t do that here, move along.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


As of this moment, I have been to three military graduations, all from basic training; two have been Naval graduations; while this last one has been from the Army. I wanted to comment on the basic procedure as well as the (in my opinion) lack of security on a military installation.

The two Naval ceremonies I attended were quite some time ago, and I would have to say, the Navy does security better than the Army. I will not at this time mention the names of the bases I have been on, but will tell you I needed to provide ID for all. For the Navy ceremony, you drive up to the gate, present your ID then follow the line of cars to the parking area. You are told where to park, then you get out of your car and follow the line of people to the graduation facility. There you get in a line (much like the lines at an amusement park) and wait until you are allowed to enter the facility. When the graduation is over, you go outside to meet your sailor; there are only certain places you are allowed to go. Once you leave the base (usually with your sailor) you are not allowed back on. When you return your sailor, you drop him/her at the gate, likewise if you go to pick them up again, you also pick them up at the gate.

The Army post is totally different. You present your ID at the gate, then you have free rein anywhere you want to go on that post. The day of graduation, we drove onto the post and there was no-one directing you where to go; in fact we stopped a couple of times for directions but no-one told us where to park etc. We stood outside the facility that was housing the graduation, waiting for our graduates to appear. There was a different battalion holding their graduation and as soon as the doors opened; people waiting to go inside starting entering the facility; while people from the current graduation were trying to exit the building. Two different times, someone came out and asked people to wait, but there was no-one enforcing the order.

The biggest difference between the Naval base and the Army post, was the return of our soldier. We drove right up to the barracks and stood outside while they were all called to attention; they were required to dumped out everything they had purchased (checking for contraband) and the drill sergeant walked around poking at the purchases with his foot.

I was really surprised by the fact that you could wander around the Army post with no instruction or guidance. I would have to say, I enjoyed the Army graduation because the graduating class was small and much more intimate, but I would have to say the Navy base has better security.

And can anyone tell me WHY there are no inspection of vehicles entering a military facility?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

My take on LOST

I figured it was time to put my thoughts about the LOST finale down. I want to begin by saying that I have been a LOST fan since episode 1, and yes I am on "Team Jack." I read a couple of columnists who review/summarize/recap the episodes. I like to hear everyone's opinions, then I make my own conclusions. I don't expect you to get an "ah ha" moment while reading this; 1) because I'm not sure I am at the level of intelligence to really dissect the show down to something totally profound, 2) I don't watch these shows to make my living, 3) I'm just not that deep of a thinker, 4) it sounds a lot better in my head than it does written! Be warned, that I will be disclosing specific information about the show, so if you haven't watched the finale (what planet have you been on?) or plan on watching the entire show from start to finish (like most of us "LOSTIE's" will be doing) then don't read any further.

On to the show! I LOVED the finale! And I have to say that as the two and a half hours progressed I was beginning to have my doubts, and as is typical with most episodes of LOST I didn't really understand the episode until it was over. When I look back and put some thought into it, then I get my "ah ha" moment. Which was what the characters in the "sideways" world were getting, but of course I did not know they were "ah ha" moments until the very end. For weeks now I was trying to figure out what that sideways world was. Was it an alternate time line, sort of like a wormhole from Sliders, or was it the world that would have happened had the plane not crashed? I was totally puzzled by the fact that Jack had a son in the sideways world and that Desmond worked for Widmore...WHAT?

Desmond was the first person to have this "ah ha" moment and it was triggered by Charlie holding up his hand underwater in the car. This sent Desmond on a frantic mission as he connected with a number of characters; assissting them in finding their "ah ha" moments; as each character/sets of characters had their "ah ha" moments and recalled their experiences on the island they seem to come to peace. Which still didn't clue me in to what was going on.

Meanwhile back on the island Jack and "Flocke" (fake lock for those of you who are not aware of this term) were having a difference of opinion. Both having their own theories of what would happen when they went to the cavern of the light. Jack thought that when the light was put out, he would be able to kill Flocke. Flocke thought when the light was extinguished the island would sink into the ocean (a vision of which we saw at the beginning of the season) and he would be able to leave the island. When Desmond "uncorked" the light, Flocke's theory seemed to be correct as the island began to shake violently and pieces of the island seemd to be breaking away. Flocke took that as his cue that he would now be allowed to leave the island and said to Jack it seems like you were wrong. Jack punched him in the mouth and Flocke spit out a tooth and Jack said, it seems you were wrong too. Flocke busted a move to get to the cliffs where he could access his boat, while Jack followed him with the intent of killing him. The two fought like lions in the wilderness. Flocke stabbed Jack in the side and had him pinned on the ground with a knife to his throat and it seemed like Flocke had won, until Kate showed up and popped a cap in his ass. Then Jack kicked him off the cliff and ironically Flocke ended up as physically broken as the real Locke was when they first crashed on the island. (In the sideways world, Jack kept bleeding from a cut on his throat and I think that was his island memories trying to seep through.)

Once Flocke was gone, Jack insisted that Kate and Sawyer take Flocke's boat and sail to the other side of the island where Lapidis, Richard and Miles were trying to get the Ajira jet off the ground. Kate and Jack shared a memorable goodbye kiss. Jack walked back to do what he knew needed to be done leaving Kate and Sawyer on the cliffs. With the island shaking and falling apart all around them, Kate said how will we get to the boat? Sawyer said looks like we jump and Kate took a running start and jumped off the cliff! Sawyer said "WTF?" (well he would have!) and jumped off the cliff too! On their way they found Claire and Kate convinced her to go with them. They made it to the plane just as Lapidis was getting ready to taxi away. This had to be fulfilling for Kate, who only agreed to go back to the island to get Claire and bring her back to be a mother to Aaron.

Meanwhile Jack had made it to the cave of the non-light and Hurley and Ben were there. Jack told Hurley that Jack was the one who had to go into the cave and Hurley needed to stay and be the protector of the island; something Hurley didn't want to do. Jack said it was always supposed to be you and I think Jack was right. Hurley was the only castaway that was open and honest enough to see Jacob. Even though Locke and Rose believed in the magic and healing power of the island, Hurley really was open for this. There was a touching scene between Jack and Hurley and then between Hurley and Ben, where Hurley asked Ben to help him. I think that was a big turning point for Ben. I really believe that the reason Ben was so manipulative, and controlling was because he just wanted to feel special and valued, something he never got from his dad.

It took everything Jack had to get down to the source of the non-light and get Desmond to the rope. Once Desmond was safe, Jack took the rock and "corked the light back." Slowly the area began to fill with the golden water; and Jack lay back smiling and laughing.

Meanwhile in the sideways world, Desmond, had somehow recruited Hurley who assisted (along with Boone), Sayid and Shannon with their moments. At the Widmore party, Desmond was with Kate and Claire (while Charlie stood on stage gaping at Claire) and trying to help them with their moments.

Over at the hospital Jin and Sun had had their "ah ha" moments and headed off somewhere. That there was a specific place was apparent when Sun told Sawyer (who had been sent to protect them from Sayid) that they didn't need protection and would "see you there." " Sawyer and Juliet then had their "ah ha" moment at a vending machine and that left only Locke and Jack.

Locke had his moment first, when he woke up from spinal surgery and could feel his legs. It was exactly the same way we first saw John Locke, opening his eyes and wiggling his toes. Jack couldn't believe it and said Locke should rest because he just had surgery. Jack said, I have to go meet my son; and Locke said, "you don't have a son Jack." Now some columists have said that was just plain mean of John, but I don't agree. I feel like he was just trying to be honest and help Jack have his "ah ha" moment.

They left separately but each arrived at the same destination. Locke arriving by taxi and using a wheel chair. Outside the church John encountered Ben. Ben basically told John he didn't need the wheel chair and while Ben never told John one truth on the island, for some reason John believed him and ditched the chair. John then asked if Ben was coming inside and Ben said he wasn't ready. John gave Ben the gift of his forgiveness which seemed to really mean a lot to Ben. After John went inside, Hurley came out and told Ben he had been a good "number two" and Ben said Hurley had been a good number one. This indicated to me that they had worked together on the island and that some time had passed since the whole, "cork the light" scene. I think Ben needed to come to terms with himself about the incidents in his past which he was not proud of. I also think, that Ben was not as dependent upon the castaways as they were with each other and therefore perhaps did not need the others to progress to the next stage.

Jack met Kate outside the Widmore affair and Jack knew Kate from somewhere but couldn't place it. Kate encouraged him to go around back, so somehow the church must have been near the Widmore estate. When Jack went inside he went to the coffin and opened it up and it was empty. I didn't see that one coming either. When he looked up he saw the back of his father. Jack said, "you died." Not a question, a statement. Christian said, "Yes I did." Jack said, "Then how can you be here?" and Christian said, "How can you be here Jack?" Jack said, "I died too." And he began to cry (so did I) and Christian hugged him and told him it was ok. Isn't it amazing that your parent can let you down so many times, but then there is that one moment they are there for you and your ok with everything?

Christian explained how this place was "made" by the castaways as a place to find each other so they could continue the next step of their journey together. When Jack went out, they were all there to greet him. This was so profound for me, because it signified that when the moment comes for you to pass from one plane of existence to another, the people who love you, who have meant the most to you, and helped you the most in your life, will be there to help you then too. People reunited, touched, hugged and then Christian opened the doors of the church and a bright light poured in. It was time for the castaways to begin that last journey together.

We then cut back to the island where Jack somehow had come out of the cavern of the light, struggled through the bamboo field and lay down. He was clearly weak and dying; and then Vincent came out and laid beside Jack, who got one glimpse of the plane carrying his friends to safety; and his eye closed and LOST ended exactly how it began.

Lynn and I were crying, and I was pissed. They said they weren't dead, I said to her. Honestly, I cried for about 1/2 an hour; I think I cried myself to sleep. I felt so let down and betrayed and I was so sad, that these people I had rooted for for six years were dead. But then I read some recaps and heard other people's points of view and I came to realize that yes, in that "sideways" world and in the church, those people were dead. But clearly some of them (Sawyer, Kate, Hurley and Ben) had lived beyond the island. They were all dead, but had died at different times. The island did exist and it was NOT purgatory.

Was I left with questions? Of course I was. Why wasn't Michael and Walt included in that sideways world? Was it because they had left the island early in the show and hadn't gone through as much as the others? Or was it because Walt had gotten so big they couldn't explain it? Was Miles in the church? I really can't remember. If he wasn't, why not? He had been through a lot with some of the castaways, some would argue quite a lot with Sawyer, Juliet and Jin; or was it because he was "wonky" around dead people, so he wasn't afraid of the afterlife and could make the journey alone? Why wasn't Ana Lucia at the church? She made it to the finale, but not the church, yet Libby made it.

I would really love to hear what you all have to say, so please post!! Did you like it or not? Can we have some conversations about this?