Thursday, November 27, 2008

Giving Thanks

Sometimes life throws a bunch of curveballs at you at an accelerated rate.
This year I've lost my job, moved to a new state, camped out with my Mother for several months, and now, faced the end of a relationship - one where Mason admits that I didn't do anything wrong, he's just not feeling it. How's that for rejection at the most basic level.

This combination of things makes it difficult to be thankful. I'm not self-supporting at the moment, I have to return to sharing living space with my mother, the car needs about $1000 worth of work, and I will, for the 4th year running, be spending the holidays without a partner. (and I really thought this relationship was going to work, goes to show what the hell I know.)

But I'm suspending the pity party for a later date.

This year I am thankful for:

My beautiful daughter, and the relationship we have developed as she reaches adulthood.
My mother, that she's healthy and that she's willing to put up with me in a time of need (the first time in my adult life I have ever had to ask her to do something like this, so maybe I've been more successful than some of my generational contemporaries) and that on most days, we get along like friends, instead of relatives.
My health - it's more or less back to where it needs to be. (at least those pesky Navy docs have said I'm "good to go")
My friends, they are just a few, and they are far away - but they have tolerated my complete flakiness over the last year, and still apparently love me anyway.
My best buddy - His royal pussness is still with me, after 10 years, three moves, and the loss of all of his feline companions.

And I am thankful for this relationship, I'm not sure what lesson I will take from this one, it hasn't become clear... but I am thankful to have had someone come into my life, another person I love, and who will always have a space in my heart. I know that I will find the person who wants me, for who I am. The person who fires on all cylinders for me.

But I am thankful to have had him in my life, even if it turned out to be for a shorter time than I expected.

So, today, I am thankful. Because it could be worse.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Jones View

I found this post while procrastinating a project...

It just resonated. And reminds me that I should dust myself off and go have some fun at Six Flags in the Spring, because life is short!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

From a Woman Older and Wiser than Myself, apparently

Everyone needs someone to love and be loved by in this world. There are times when we focus on one particular individual as the only one who can fulfill that love. I know the feeling too.

The reality is that love is a fluid emotion that travels between people. People we once loved become people we can't wait to get away from and vice versa. It ebbs and flows. If you could look at love as something that is eternal and around us in many different forms, it may help you to pull your focus away from a person who, for whatever reason, isn't able to be there for you in the way that you want.

I remember many times in my life when I thought I would die if I didn't have the love of that one person. Yet, here I am, still breathing in those oxygen molecules.

I had to endure a lot of emotional pain between loves. The ones that got away. The ones that didn't want me like I wanted them. That is why we are survivors. Hope will get you through this time. The certainty that you will survive this and go on to find your meaning. We are all worthy of love. We just need to find the love that is worthy of us.

For my Girls

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

We Can Do Better than THIS

The Virginia House of Delegates and the Virginia War Memorial Commission are embarrassing me. Embarrassing enough that I actually got off my comfortable arse and did something about it. (see my previous post if you can't figure out why I'm less slug-like on issues these days)

Now, I'm asking for your help.

read the article

If you have the time, or even if you don't... whichever side of the politics you are on with the war, this is about our service members, not about politics...

On the heels of the Marine Corps Birthday, and Veteran's Day... I can't believe we could be so short sighted and wrapped up in bureaucracy. Ok, maybe I can.

~loud irish sigh~

Please speak out about this.

Our service members deserve better from the Commonwealth of Virginia.

To save you having to look up all the names on the War Memorial Commission... (it took me a few hours to find them), you can get them straight from the email below. Some of the members were not re-elected this year, but the ones I could locate got the email.

Governor Kaine was sent in separately, via the website form.

The Governor's Website

You'll want to add your delegates and state senator to the list, and your local paper, if you have the inclination.

House of Delegates
State Senators

Please join me in an effort to fix this. Only WE can stop the insanity (or stupidity, as the case may be)

Virginia War Memorial Foundation Members

The Honorable William K. Barlow
The Honorable J. Brandon Bell, II
Mr. Dale D. Chapman, Adjutant
The Honorable John S. Edwards
The Honorable Frank D. Hargrove, Sr.
Mr. John Harper, Jr.
RDML John Hekman, USN (Ret.)
BG Bert Wellington Holmes, Jr., M.D.
The Honorable William R. Janis
The Honorable L. Scott Lingamfelter
RADM John L. Marocchi, USN (Ret.)
BG John W. “Jack” Nicholson, USA (Ret.)
Mr. Roger L. Overstreet
The Honorable Melanie L. Rapp
The Honorable D. Nick Rerras
COL E. Phillip Russell
Mr. S. Judson Stanley
BG Wilma L. Vaught, USAF (Ret.)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, Nov 12, 2008 at 12:25 PM
Subject: Lance Corporal Darrell Schumann, USMC, deceased

I am writing to you today because a great disservice has been done to an honorable member of our Armed Services.

This Marine died in Iraq, serving our country in this war. He was killed when the helicopter he was traveling in was downed during a sandstorm. This was the Marine Corps largest single loss of life in theater thus far.

According to the "guidelines" for the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond, based on statements from Delegate Frank Hargrove, to the Virginian-Pilot and reported on today, this Marine's name will not be added, because he was not killed in action or as a hostile casualty.

I have to ask this question. Why are we limiting the honor we bestow on the men and women who die in service to their country? What logical reason is there to exclude any service member killed on active duty?

It is very simple to exclude any member who died under circumstances deemed unbecoming by their branch of service (or where the military life insurance wouldn't pay out, therefore making them ineligible for the honor)

But this young man died in theater, he is buried at Arlington. He should be honored on that wall. I am ashamed that Delegate Hargrove would suggest to Lcpl. Schumann's father that he get his son's death reclassified in order to have his name put on the wall. This is a bad guideline which can be easily changed, no family member should have to navigate a DOD landmine like Mr. Hargrove suggests in order to get this rightfully deserved honor from Virginia. We should be falling all over ourselves to honor this young man's sacrifice.

My service during the first Gulf War was no less important to the mission than the supply clerk in the reserve battalion in New York. This Marine survived Fallujah, and his service was no less than the Marines killed in Fallujah.

If the memorial wall is designed to honor those Virginian's who gave their lives in service of their country during the course of the war, who are we, as Virginians, to decide that a location, or a mission is any more or less important? My fellow Marines killed in helicopter crashes at Camp Pendleton, or Camp Lejeune, or Fallujah didn't give their lives any less honorably.

I call on the House of Delegates, the State Senate, the War Memorial Commission and the governor to make the changes necessary in our guidelines so as not to exclude Marines, Airmen, Sailors and Soldiers from being honored by the state of Virginia when they have given their lives for our freedom in a time of war. As a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, Gulf War, as a woman who has served this nation honorably, as a Daughter of the American Revolution, I believe that this needs to be fixed, today.

Our proud tradition of military service and sacrifice in Virginia deserves more.

(edited for anonymity on this blog)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Post Election Hangover

Mason and I sat last night, flipping through the talking heads, watching the election like the rest of the planet. (and for the first time ever, I think that the euphemism wasn't a euphemism, it was actually true)

We were partaking of some good wine, after an amazing dinner, prepared by Mason (omg, the man can cook - in a "why aren't you a chef?" sort of way) and as the returns came in, I started thinking.

This act, in and of itself, while drinking wine, always lands me in an awkward philosophical place that I probably shouldn't be in.

But I watched with amazement as we elected our 44th President. An educated, articulate man, unlike any man we've elected before. A man that was not WASP. The closest we ever came before was JFK, and the only reason many didn't like him was (GASP) he was Catholic.

This man was elected by a clear majority of this country, a clear majority that is going to expect a LOT from him. (ie. fix everything, now....) I think Obama was smart to begin this journey with the caveat that it is going to take work, much work, and not just from him, to take our country to the next level. We have a vested interest in what the eventual outcome will be. We need to step up, as a nation, and fix the problems we are facing. This is a republic, by the people - which means, if you really think about it, that we have noone to blame for the bullshit we are dealing with, except ourselves. This is the message I have taken from President-Elect Obama... I have to get off my comfortable arse and get involved.

So, what are you going to do for your country?

On another note....

In the same breath that announced President-Elect Barack Obama (the skinny kid with the funny name), 3 states decided that their constitutions should ban marriage between same-sex couples. We elected a black President in what many pundits are saying was a "race blind" election (based on the fact that pick a demographic, any demographic, and they voted for him, with the obvious exception of the white evangelical anything) and yet, in the SAME DAMNED ELECTION we were okay with taking rights away from US citizens.

I don't care what your opinion of the homosexual community is - why do you care what they do? How does it affect your life? We, as a nation, have said the same crap about women, blacks, Irish, Jews, latinos.... why are they less than? I can guarantee that at least 10% of the men that signed the Constitution were gay.

I defended a constitution in which it says "all men (cough) are created equal" - what friggin part of equal did someone miss?

US citizens are US citizens - we are all equal. There is no "except".