Monday, July 26, 2010

Rosemary is for Remembrance

One of my favorite herbs to grow has always been Rosemary. The old saying is "Rosemary is for remembrance." I always thought of one of my very favorite clients, Rosemary, when I was taking care of my Rosemary plant in my garden. Rosemary passed away last night at the age of 99 1/2.

I got a call from one of Rosemary's sons this morning telling me she had died. Yes, she lived a full life. Yes, she raised a wonderful family of three sons and one daughter. She welcomed many grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, over the years. She lost her husband many years ago, and never remarried. "No one could ever live up to him," she used to say.

I had the privilege of knowing Rosemary for over six years. When I first met her she was 94 years old and still living in her own apartment. She moved into a nursing home a couple of years ago when she needed a little more care. Although part of our job in social services is to teach our clients, Rosemary was one of those clients who taught me more than I could ever teach her. I always left with some great kernel of wisdom, some great quote, some wonderful teaching on faith. Born in 1910, she saw so many changes in her lifetime. She had an infectious laugh that always left me smiling.

She became much more than a client a very long time ago. She was more like an adopted grandmother that I had the privilege of seeing on a regular basis. I hope I helped her over the years. I hope I made a difference. But mostly, I am thankful for knowing her and hope she is now at peace.

She will be missed by so many. Everyone that had the chance to know her. The kids she taught when she was a teacher, the family she left behind. Even when we know someone has gone on to be with God, we still miss them. Even if they did have a long and full life. So, my prayers, my thoughts are with her family now. Especially her son, Tom, and his wife. They were wonderful with his mother.

I am positive she is in Heaven now. Finally, once again, with her husband, her sisters, her parents. She spoke of them often. I will carry her teachings, her laugh, her smile with me. She was a genuine, caring, beautiful woman. Rosemary is for remembrance - and never has there been someone more worthwhile to remember.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Great Quote

A great quote I pulled out for someone the other day. A good reminder for all of us to see from time to time:

"How far you go in life depends on
your being tender with the young,
compassionate with the aged,
sympathetic with the striving, and
tolerant of the weak and strong.
Because someday in life you
will have been all of these."

- George Washington Carver

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

On Being an Herbivore Again

After some time, I'm finally back to a total vegetarian diet. I am just too much of an animal lover, have never liked the texture of meat...and it just wasn't me. Funny, during the time I did eat it, my weight went up, and I felt much more sluggish. Now I am not only feeling more like myself again, I feel better mentally, physically, and spiritually. On that note, I found some great quotes:
"Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances of survival on Earth as much as the evolution of a vegetarian diet." (Albert Einstein)

"Why do we call some animals "pets" and others "dinner?" (K.D. Lang)

"I have no doubt that it is part of the destiny of the human race, in its gradual improvement, to leave off eating animals, as surely as the savage tribes have left off eating each other." (Henry David Thoreau)

"I was a vegetarian until I started leaning toward the sunlight." (Rita Rudner)

Of course the last one is funny. And what's so wrong with leaning toward the sunlight a bit anyway...and being a bit more enlightened? Beats being in the dark for a little too long!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

What if the Tea Party was Black?

This video is just so well done. There should not be all this hate...if this was different, as shown in this video, one has to really wonder if this would be tolerated for even a moment.

Remember Katrina? The white folks breaking into stores to get food and water when no help was arriving were surviving. The people of color were "looting" when they were also just trying to survive.

America is a diverse nation of all backgrounds, colors, and languages. Why oh why can't we celebrate that diversity and respect each other even when we disagree? Women and people of color have dealt with this double standard for too long. He makes a good point in this video:

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Needed That Kick...

Life is funny...and sometimes not. How do we go from a week of such major highs to a week of such major lows? Is it a test, or just a joke? Guess it is just part of life.

Two weeks ago, things couldn't have looked more up. Then an engine blows up on one car, a battery on another dies. There is a serious case of identity theft, and a relapse of terrible pain for two people I love. Someone I thought I'd try to give yet another chance to betrays me AGAIN, most of my clients have some sort of crisis, and, oh yes, a funeral to attend tomorrow.

Live and learn. Kind of puts it all into perspective. And reminds me of that old saying: "Remember that some days you are the pigeon, and some days you are the statue."

The good thing through all of it: I decided to do a fast, get myself re-started, and re-read a great book, "Skinny Bitch." Chocked full of information - and funny to boot - and really kicked my butt back into being a total vegetarian again.

Tough week...but, as always, learned a few things. And thanks to the authors of this book, not only put a few things back into perspective mentally and intellectually, but physically as well.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Independence Day

Spending many years in New England, I actually lived there during the Bicentennial in 1976. Besides being fortunate to see so much history there (and having a grandfather who came from Norwich, England when he was 14), my parents took me to many historical reenactments. I didn't appreciate it then as much as I do now. But, I can sincerely say that, despite this additional education, I always knew that America's independence was indeed from England.

I was surprised to learn the other day that not everyone in this country seems to know this fact. According to Maris Poll, it states that:
"There's good news for American education. About three-quarters of residents — 74% — know the U.S. declared its independence from Great Britain in 1776. The bad news for the academic system — 26% do not. This 26% includes one-fifth who are unsure and 6% who thought the U.S. separated from another nation. That begs the question, “From where do the latter think the U.S. achieved its independence?” Among the countries mentioned are France, China, Japan, Mexico, and Spain."
Wow! Didn't they ever hear the famous phrase by Paul Revere warning the residents that "The British are coming?" Or ever open a history book? China? MEXICO? Mexico didn't even exist in 1776! Seriously, this level of stupidity is downright scary. Perhaps the fireworks are just pretty colors to this group.

Alas, Happy 4th of July to the American people anyway....the red, white, blue....and all the other colors and backgrounds that make this country so interesting and diverse. And, sadly, to the ignorant as well.

(Painting from "The Sons of Liberty")