A Choice? Really?

This is a re-post of a response that I published in July of 2015, after reading a post shared by a FB friend in which he did the old…”I don’t agree, but I love Cousin Johnny anyway”. I decided that it was my turn to speak up, speak out and speak long and loud!

Timing is everything — I believe this is a great time to re-share! Comments are welcomed, but please no hatred, bigotry or discrimination.

Each One Teach One

I love you as a fellow human, as my brother in blue and the fact that you regularly show and share your love of God is a plus, in my opinion, and another reason I love you, my friend! Let me get to my point…I think there are millions of people who are missing/avoiding/ignoring one of the most important issues of all here. Everyone – and I mean EVERYONE- walking God’s green earth deserves to be respected and have their rights to live, laugh and love respected! What gives anyone the right to say where the line is drawn? Is there any difference between two men being in a monogamous, loving, RESPECTFUL relationship and a man and woman who are married?… Let’s sweeten the pot…. that married man does all he can to get a woman, other than his wife, to accompany him to his hotel room and into his bed… Do you really think God is keeping score like that? Man, with man -negative 0; man with woman +10— oops wait— she’s not his wife… better subtract a few points for that…

From what I’ve been taught, we are all sinners and, although we all have burdens to bear, none of us have the burden (or the right) to decide who goes where after death! Yes, each one should teach one BUT yes, each one should sweep around his and her own front door first, last and always!

P.S. You mentioned that you love your friends and family members who are gay and just because being gay is the lifestyle they “chose” you love them no less… People CHOOSE to lie, steal, CHEAT, commit adultery, covet thy neighbor’s wives or husbands…etc. and when caught, there are various consequences.

Answer this: How many of these consequences, in any way, compare to being ridiculed, taunted, hated by millions, treated as an outcast, mocked, treated with contempt, scoffed at, despised, etc. on a daily basis – forever? Now answer this: which of your “friends or family members” (the ones who are gay) are you calling a stupid, dumb ass, mentally challenged, effing idiot-  because surely that’s what they’d have to be to “choose” to endure all of that! I’ve met so many people in my life, heterosexual and homosexual, that I’ve forgotten who some of them are, but I’ve never met anyone who “chose” to be gay.

“Love you my brother”

Abducted: He said he was our uncle (a true story)

When we were old enough to attend school, our parents sent us to what I can only describe as “the little schoolhouse on the hill”. Seriously, it was a big white building that sat on top of a hill. Thinking back, it truly looked like something from “Little House on the Prairie”. Lunch was the same thing every day… English peas, with an orange slice and a piece of cornbread. I can vividly recall the teacher constantly saying “Ro- Shellllll, don’t fork your bread”. As if spending your day in a hauntingly scary looking house wasn’t enough, we had to look at and listen to “Mrs. Congeniality” all day, too. Luckily, my brother and I were in the same classroom since she was the only teacher.

I’ve mentioned before that I followed my brother everywhere. One day, just before dismissal, the sky turned dark and a torrential rainstorm pummeled the area. My brother and I stood inside the building looking out for our parents. A fellow classmate, who just so happened to be Mrs. Congeniality’s kid, approached us, and for lack of a better term, baited us. The little demon dared us to walk home, in the rainstorm, all alone. Here’s where I have proof that my dear, sweet, older brother loved me from the start, he grabbed my hand, and led me out of the building into the storm. He told me that we would be okay and that he knew the way home.

I suspect, had I looked back, I would have seen that evil kid and her mother laughing at the poor little drenched idiots who were trudging along holding onto one another for dear life. The rain was coming down so hard I could hardly see what was going on in front of me. We made it down the hill and to the main street, which was generally a very busy two lane street. On this particular day, traffic was almost non-existent, probably because the entire area was under a tornado warning. Anyway, as we made our way in the direction that my big brother assured me would get us home, we approached a bridge that was completely unfamiliar to us. That’s when an older model blue car drove past us then pulled over on the shoulder of the road. We held on to one another and kept walking when suddenly the driver’s door opened and a very tall, thin man stepped out into the rain, basically blocking our way. When he bent down and spoke to us, we, being brought up to be polite and respectful, stopped and greeted the man. He smiled and told us that he was our “Uncle Jeff” and that we should get into his car so he could take us home. I was so happy that “Uncle Jeff”, whom I’d never met nor had I heard of before, happened to be in the neighborhood that I gladly let him pick me up and put me in his trunk., I guess my big brother was happy too because he allowed “Uncle Jeff” to pick him up and put him in there with me.

To our horror, he wasn’t really our uncle and he didn’t have a clue where we lived. He had lied… and so have I, but only about the trunk. He didn’t really put us in the trunk, and by the time my big brother remembered that we didn’t have an uncle named Jeff, the man was pulling into the driveway of that darn little white schoolhouse. He had taken us back to the scene of our escape. “Uncle Jeff” parked, opened the back door, picked both of us up and carried us to the front door of the school. Mrs. Congeniality stepped out and acted surprised to see us in the arms of that stranger. I heard her thank him for saving us as she closed and locked the door behind him. She immediately called our mom and dad, and I specifically recall sitting in a chair in front of the open oven door eating cookies when they arrived. Was the pilot lit in that stove? Was it set on 500 degrees? Was she trying to kill us with gas fumes or make chocolate chips out of our little drenched bodies?

Mom and dad arrived and mom cried when that crazy old lady told her what happened. They carried us out to the car and took us home.

To this day we don’t have any idea who that man was, where he came from or where he went. Needless to say, that was our last day at the little schoolhouse on the hill.

 

Was This A Trick Question?

 

True Story—

 

While in tenth grade, my religion teacher, Sister Francine, asked the class to take out 5 sheets of paper and make a list of the 5 most important things in our lives. We were told that we could talk among ourselves and that we had 10 minutes. Some of my classmates were still in that “I hate my parents” stage. I guess I’d either passed through it or never experienced it because my mom was at the top of my list. Next on my list were my brothers, my friends, Gidgette, my poodle, and my grandmother.

When the time was up, Sister Francine walked to the front of the class and put a record on the turntable. I don’t remember what the song was, but I do remember it being something slow and pretty. Our instructions were simple: as we listened to the music we were to go to the garbage can and place the pieces of paper in it –one at a time- throwing each piece away signified letting go of that person or thing forever in order to follow God. As I think back, that had to be the hardest day of my high school career. Most of my friends and I were basket cases.

Here’s how it went:

Letting go of Gidgette was truly gut wrenching. After all, I’d had her since I was eight years old and she was the guardian of my lunch. Every morning after I prepared and bagged lunches for my brothers and me, Gidgette would sit next to mine on the ottoman and stop my brothers from switching bags. I always put the best snacks in my bag. That, in and of itself, should explain why it was so hard to choose between letting go of Gidgette and letting go of grandma. I was the difficult teenager and she was the nosey grandmother who gossiped all day with her old lady friends and told my mom everything she “thought” I was doing.  So no brainer, right?!

I also had trouble deciding between my brothers and my friends because my brothers were … well they were my brothers… we aggravated one another and we told on one another and/but we loved one another. I couldn’t begin to imagine my life without “the boys” in it. They were my first friends. I think I trashed my other friends before my brothers, but nonetheless, the tears flowed freely as I stepped up to the garbage can.*Note to my brothers: Rick and Ray if you ever read this you should feel very good about yourselves because you made it through the first three cuts. (LOL). I would like to send out a sincere apology to my tenth grade friends. It’s a good thing your lives didn’t depend on the order of things that day!

Last, but obviously not least, was the piece of paper with those eight simple letters written on it…M-Y-M-O-T-H-E-R… my mother. What did I do? I held on and I cried. The bell rang and I was still holding on to that silly piece of paper that meant more than the world to me. Several of my friends, male and female, were in the same boat. We couldn’t let go. Truth be known, I probably still have that piece of paper tucked away in my old religion book.

Talk about a trick question for a kid!

**Dear Sister Francine, because of you, I never stray too far from the sidewalk, because of you I learned to play on the safe side… you know the rest!

 

Thank you God!

Saturday’s are really hard for me without my Lucca so I didn’t post anything in highlights–

—in a nutshell here’s how my day went…

My older daughter wasn’t home when we lost Lucca but the struggle has been almost as real for her as it’s been for me.

She lives and works 3,000 miles away and she’s just starting out so visiting home right now is kind of tough.

—Yesterday I walked outside and there she was- walking up the driveway… saying “does somebody need a hug?” I screamed, grabbed her and I held on/hung on for dear life!—

When I let go (I had to share her with her little sister) she said that each time she’d spoken with me since Luke’s death she knew I was still having a hard time. She said she thought I needed a hug and so she came home to hug me. I’m so glad she did! I think the healing can begin now!

Thank you God!

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A single mom, but not for real——

A single mom, but not for real——-

According to dictionary.com, basically the definition of the word single is as follows:

sole, lone, solitary, by itself/oneself, alone, unaccompanied, unsupported by others

I’ve come to realize quite a few things as a single mom. Among those things this one stands out…

I may be single, but I’m definitely not alone, unaccompanied or unsupported—-

My support system consists of…

(1)my 22 year old daughter (2)Runaway Nun #2 (3) my mom (4)my older brother (5)my younger brother and (6) my daughters’ godmother

Recently we celebrated my 98 pound chocolate Lab, Lucca’s, sixth birthday. I refer to him as my boy because he is such a big part of our family- he loves us and we love him. We had a full fledged birthday party for him, complete with party hats, decorations and a piñata. In a not- so- brilliant move, I gave him one of those foot long Wal Mart bones as a gift. We also have a Morkie and a Yorkie Poo so I put my big guy in his room and put the baby gate up so that they wouldn’t disturb him (or be eaten by him) while he enjoyed his gift.

My 10 year old daughter and Lucca are extremely close. He often sleeps with/on her and I believe he would protect her with his own life. Here’s where things go bad…and my next not- so- brilliant move… I neglected to remind my little girl NOT to disturb him either.  Well, she did and he snapped at her. Unfortunately, his snap was quicker than her jump back and he made contact with her face-with his teeth. Yes, he bit her in her face. He did one of those barking snaps, the kind that would normally serve as a warning (except she was too close and not fast enough to avoid his teeth). She let out a blood curdling scream and when I got to her she was in full panic/pain mode. Initially, I thought he’d merely frightened her, but the moment I saw the blood, I knew better. I immediately yelled at him and quarantined him to his kennel then I grabbed her and tried to console her and check her injuries. She was reluctant to let me get a good look at her face so I ushered her into the bathroom to get a better look and then decided to take her to the hospital to have it checked by a doctor. Before going to the hospital, Runaway Nun #2 vowed to join us as soon as she secured the house and the other dogs, and in my third and final not- so- brilliant move of the evening- I took my little girl to my mom’s house to get a second opinion. She took one look and told me to take her to the hospital.

I called my little girl’s godmother and she met us at the hospital. After checking in, I called my older daughter and told her what happened. She panicked, I calmed her down, then she asked if her little sister was ok (in about 15 different ways). When she was comfortable that she (her little sister) would survive, she asked if Lucca was ok. I assured her that the hospital visit was just a precautionary measure, that Lucca was home, kenneled and lucky to be alive- but alive, and I promised to call after we saw the doctor.

While waiting to see the doctor I received a call from my older brother. He had spoken with my mother and called to

1. ask if his niece was ok and

2. ask if I needed him to come home from the West coast and kill my dog

I calmly told him that

1. I was positive that she was fine and

2. I DID NOT need him to kill my dog

…things went downhill from there…..

Oh my little girl was, in fact, just fine. She suffered some superficial lacerations on her nose, upper lip and just under her eye. We waited over three hours in the ER to see a doctor and finally left without being seen; by then I’d had a chance to get a good look at her face and it was obvious that she didn’t need stitches (some warm soapy water to clean it and some antibiotic ointment, but no stitches).

The fact that we didn’t see a doctor went unchallenged but my unwillingness to either kill or get rid of Lucca became the hot (over heated) topic of the hour…day…and week! I received so many calls from my older brother that night that I stopped answering his calls. The next morning my younger brother called and gave me his advice – saying that obviously Lucca did not regard my little girl as an alpha figure in our house. He said that Lucca should see himself as #5 in the pecking order with the humans representing numbers one thru four. God knows I love that man and although I know Lucca’s a pretty smart fellow, I’ve never seen him count, so this piece of advice sort of fell on deaf ears.

Now on to my older brother-again…. he sent “nasty grams” to me and my older daughter over and over again throughout the next few days and he vowed to “hold us responsible” if Lucca ever injured my little girl again. He also said that “clearly” I wasn’t putting my little girl’s well-being ahead of my love for my dog. He told me (thru text message) to “get rid of the dog”—

God knows I love that man too and I know he’s brilliant and he loves my little girl but damn- NOBODY LOVES HER LIKE I DO-  so I refused to allow him to make this kind of decision for me or to bullyrag me into doing something I would regret.

My little girl cried when I suggested we make Lucca an outside dog and when I told her that my older brother said we should get rid of him she said “he never had a dog or a pet”—-

I took her to her pediatrician the day after the bite for a tetanus shot and Lucca was up to date on all of his shots before the bite.

My older daughter asked my little girl if she is afraid of Lucca now and she said “a little” (I think it’s a healthy fear- she gives him his space when he’s eating and she avoids leaning over in his face- at all). Also, I monitor the two of them (like a hawk) when they’re around one another.

As a single mom I am truly blessed to have such a strong supportive- support system. I love  each and every one of them with all my heart and I am so very grateful to God that they love me and my girls so much—-

P.S. these people are the reason that I am

                      A single mom, but not for real———

Renewal of Faith

Today is Monday of the Second Week in Lent and by now, like most failed New Year’s Resolutions, quite a few of us have already given in to what we “gave up”. Some of us are worried or ashamed, but the good news is that there is still time to make good on our commitments or even make new commitments. Each day is a new day and each Sunday is a mini Easter, as our priest preaches and teaches. He also teaches that it’s not so much about giving up, but giving – of ourselves – our time, our money and our talents. We should focus on almsgiving, fasting, praying and volunteering. Father’s homily inspired us to increase our tithes and our prayer times.

Whether we have been faithful to our Lenten commitments or not, let’s re-examine them and determine how much more of ourselves we can give. In Luke 6:36-38, Jesus tells the disciples:

“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Stop judging and you will not be judged.

Stop condemning and you will not be condemned.

Forgive and you will be forgiven.

Give and gifts and will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down and overflowing will be poured into your lap.

For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.”

These are simple instructions to live by, right? Yes, if we put our faith and trust in God.

Storms and Rainbows

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Disclaimer: We have no desire to alter the happy upbeat tempo of our blog but, we think it’s time we shed a bit of light on what makes Runaway Nuns and Leprechauns so beautiful~

                

-from the most horrible of storms come the most beautiful rainbows-

Mississippi is the birthplace and home state of Runaway Nuns and Leprechauns. Our town is located about 200 miles south of the state capitol on the beautiful gulf coast- where pine trees are plenty and beaches and seafood are abound. We have 100+ degree temperatures in the summer and if the winter weather brings ice or snow our schools close. We have no city transit service, no cab service and no bus service so getting around means either walking, biking, skateboarding or driving your own car, truck, SUV, etc.

Even though there are volumes of positive things that go on in Mississippi -discrimination is still alive and well… and it’s home to the Runaway Nuns and Leprechauns. We decided to chronicle a few of our own personal experiences right here right now—-

1. Picture this: a faded white only sign on a bathroom door in the basement of the local courthouse (year- sometime between 1989 and 1996)

2. Think about this: September 8, 1989 – graduation day at a POLICE ACADEMY-

an African American cadet is asked to raise the American flag up the pole and as the graduating cadets stand at attention, watching proudly, a non African American cadet makes this statement “what’s the world coming to when they let a nigger put up the American flag?” The academy commander’s reaction when told about the incident: “well you know there’s racism everywhere”.

3.  A devout Catholic parishioner is denied the right to read during mass by the mass coordinator- because she’d recently returned home from an 18 month prison sentence.

4.  2008: A group of “closeted” racists target an African American female who earned a coveted position in a major state scholastic competition.

5. Here’s another one: the year is 2009; the setting – a classroom; the incident – a Caucasian male brings a homemade noose to school; results -in school isolation- 

The African American female who reported the incident is taunted, teased and ridiculed by numerous members of the student body while the teachers and administrator basically look on. Incidentally, this occurred in a Catholic school where tuition was high, enrollment was and is generally low and (obviously) hate and racism are tolerated.

6. In 2014 during a meeting, the department director talks openly about how “nice queers are” and asks the group if ever any of them have met a “queer who wasn’t nice”. Several of the people present during the meeting are either gay, lesbian or transgender, but none of them dare speak out.    

     These are but a few incidents (the storms) that we, Runaway Nuns and Leprechauns, (the rainbows), two of the most phenomenal women you’ll ever get to know, come from.