The Blogosphere…

As I laid in my bed last night, I was thinking about my entire blog history.  It has sort of morphed into a religious, right-wing, political commentary.  I am not sure that is where I want it to go; or intended it should go when I began this journey.  The current electoral cycle has been fascinating for me, a woman of deep faith, in an area of almost no faithful.  Less than 6% of the population of Washington State is “churched.”  What that means, as it was explained to me, is that 94% of the population has never attended Church – ever.  Which is an amazing thing, when you consider all the people a person runs into in our daily lives…and 96% of them have no faith life at all.  There is an immense amount of tributary discussion material about that one idea.  The evangelization territory up here is very fertile! It also puts a lot of pressure on those puny 6% of us who do attend Church.  We may be the only “Jesus” people ever experience.  That can be the checker at the grocery store, the guy who gives my son his “high and tights” at the barber shop, the kid who takes my order at McDonald’s on one of our rushed nights out of the house.  Then, there’s the guy cutting me off when the lanes switch from two to one…how do I react? As one of the 6% or the 94%?

So do I blog about all of this political stuff, or do I post recipes, and photos of the gorgeous fall colors in the Pacific Northwest?  What service do I perform for others by blogging?  Am I reaching a large audience?  That’s laughable! My largest readership was on October 26th. We get stats that tell us our readership and “pings” where people look in on the blog and it is all by date – that particularly large number (all 26 of them) was a blog  on Holy Silence…hmmmmm, is there a lesson here??  My thoughts are perhaps I should practice some Holy Silence myself, and contemplate where I want this blog to go. Blogging is sort of like chatting with you, without the benefits of a nice cup of tea and some time spent smiling at each other! It is almost like a completely electronic relationship; and is that a good thing? I am not sure….right now, it’s pretty one-sided (as in I am the one doing all the chatting and typing) and that can be fairly unhealthy! Ha-Ha!

I have so much to share on my experience moving up here. Adjusting to life without the greater faith community I had enjoyed for 20+ years has been particularly painful.  No family nearby. And being a Byzantine Catholic in a place of few Byzantines has also taken a toll on our family.  So I blog.  I guess I am struggling with the noise factor.  Is blogging just so much noise, or do I serve my community at large?  Am I preaching to the choir or am I giving others perspective they perhaps would not have?  Simple, humble is my goal. Theosis is a life-long process, and I am still very much a work in progress.

I found this quote and it made me stop and really think:

“You cannot be too gentle, too kind. Shun even to appear harsh in your treatment of each other. Joy, radiant joy, streams from the face of him who gives and kindles joy in the heart of him who receives. All condemnation is from the devil. Never condemn each other. We condemn others only because we shun knowing ourselves. When we gaze at our own failings, we see such a swamp that nothing in another can equal it. That is why we turn away, and make much of the faults of others. Instead of condemning others, strive to reach inner peace. Keep silent, refrain from judgement. This will raise you above the deadly arrows of slander, insult and outrage and will shield your glowing hearts against all evil.”

—St Seraphim of Sarov

So, blogosphere, where do you fit into my life?  Striving for inner peace is my goal.  Share with me your thoughts; give me feedback.  Share this blog with others and let them give me feedback.  Condemnation is from the devil…help, me, Lord, to raise myself above the fray and just radiate joy. And, Lord, help me find peace. Amen.

Perhaps more Holy Silence is the way to go; contemplation versus expression.  I will contemplate and get back to you.


Our legacy….

I was offered an opportunity for my son and I to attend an exhibit of KingTut at the Science Center downtown.  Apparently, with the new regime in Egypt, they are recalling all their artifacts, worldwide, home again and the King Tut exhibit was leaving US soil, possibly forever.  My husband remarked that they would probably melt it all down and destroy it because the Muslim Brotherhood does not believe in all that history, just the history since Mohammed.  And I was a little frightened by that, so I signed us up to go.  We were invited to attend with a local homeschooling group and there ended up being 22 of us, showing up that day, in the rain!  My son was not that excited and was not looking forward to going.  But when we got there, and were in line outside with the “bazillions” of local school kids, his interest was a little more piqued.  In addition, a neighborhood buddy had told him just the night before, that his school was also going at the end of the month. He was a little more invested than I originally thought. It was fun to see his excitement building as we stood in the anteroom, watching an introductory video.

I cannot express how truly exciting this was for me…and for my son – we are still talking about it.  My major in college was Forensic Anthropology/Physiology with a minor in Biblical Archeology, and for an anthropology major to see artifacts like this in person, well, I wasn’t drooling, but almost!  My son, as we progressed in, was enthralled.  Our ticket included an audio tour by none-other-than Indiana Jones himself, Harrison Ford!  It was so fun, walking up to an artifact, and having “Indie” tell us all about it.  There was also commentary from a renowned Archeologist in Egypt; Dr. Zahi Hawass and he is the Minister of State for Antiquities Affairs in Egypt.  When he was asked if Archeology was really as exciting as Indiana Jones, his response was, “To an archeologist, it certainly is!”

The entry contained some very large, and very tall, statues.  We were overwhelmed.  But what drew us, and what kept us enthralled, was this one, tiny, statue and as we walked all the way around it (which was so wonderful) I was remarking that it was created, by hand, in 2037 BCE.  I explained to my son about the new “calendar declarations” in that BC is now BCE (Before the Christian Era), so year “0” is the year Christ was born.  It is now 2012…that artifact was more than 4,000 years old.  He could not get over how it looked brand new.  And we both noted the extensive detail and how you could just imagine someone sitting in Egypt, under some papyrus shading, carving this little statue in his hands.  It seemed almost alive in that the detail was so incredible.

As we walked through this exhibit, we were more and more impressed by the culture and refinement of the Egyptians.  My son was impressed by a marble toilet seat and an elaborate coffin for King Thumtose’s cat! I explained that the Egyptians were very into hygiene and science, and were, in fact, a very advanced culture. They had showers and running water, and bathed regularly.  Another interesting thing that I shared with him was that most archeologists are nothing more than curious trash-diggers!  We look through the cast-offs of a culture and try to understand them, from what they tossed aside or left behind.  In the case of the Egyptian tombs and mummies, however, we were venturing into a completely different area of exploration; we were exploring a past culture’s view of eternity.  The early Egyptians cared deeply about the afterlife and prepared for it each day.  One of the Kings of Egypt even believed that each sunset was a sort of death.  He would review his day in light of dying that night, and hoped he had been as good a man as he could be, because his death would happen with certainty, one “night.” Hmmm….examination of conscience!

At a Halloween party this past weekend (which does not do it justice! It was, rather, a Sherlock Holmes Murder Mystery, with a Steampunk theme, wherein our friends’ entire house, every room, was decorated with clues.  It is an amazing thing they do each year), a friend dressed as a Princess (and whose husband was coincidentally Indiana Jones) was saying that she just couldn’t go see the King Tut exhibit because of all the curse lore, and the fact that she felt we had invaded a person’s personal belief and privacy about the afterlife.  More importantly than curse lore, she felt that it was wrong to dig up and invade these tombs.  As an anthropology major, I had never thought about it quite like that. I had always felt that we needed to dig to get to the truth, to the hidden facts that may lay in layers upon layers of “dirt” beneath our feet.  Because the things archeologists look through (mostly trash and other things “left behind”) I had not considered it an invasion of someone’s privacy, but more of an opportunity to learn.  And certainly, finding a tomb that was untouched, and the tomb of such an important ruler untouched, we learned so much about Egyptian culture we never would have known, had we not explored.  Dr. Carter was one of my heroes in college; I never thought of him as a tomb raider or someone who desecrated someone else’s tomb.  I tried to share with my friend about how meticulous and careful of the remains the archeologists were (the original team, however, did break some bones and relics, because the science was so new in the 1920s that they did not know what they were doing then) and that even now, King Tut’s remains were handled with respect and care.  In fact, he has never left his tomb, but rather, science has come to him.  In 2005, when they were able to CT-scan his remains, he was gently lifted out of his coffin and laid on a table, still in his tomb and then gently returned.  He was out of his tomb for mere minutes and 1000s of images were taken.  Only Egyptians are allowed in his tomb and only Egyptians are allowed to touch any of the artifacts.  His remains will never leave Egypt; it is out of respect.

And of course, I thought of all of this overnight, through endless football games on TV on Sunday, and into this morning.  Did you know the Statue of Liberty celebrated her birthday yesterday, with a remodel of her crown and stairway system to include handicapped accessibility?  The Statue of Liberty is 125 years old and for America, that is ancient.  We are such a new country, we have a hard time conceiving of the idea of national relics being 4,000 years old.  My son had a hard time wrapping his head around that concept.  And we treat our “National Treasures” with dignity and respect.  Arlington Cemetery, the former home of General Robert E. Lee, is treated with great respect as it is the resting place for 1000s of our soldiers, and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  And yet, Arlington has only been around since 1864, as a National Cemetery…that’s an embryo compared to King Tut’s remains, from a timeline perspective.

I was involved in a conversation regarding our system of electing our leaders online yesterday.  We discussed the “electoral college” system, the “two-party” system and the frustration many feel that their candidates did not have a chance in this race; “it is all big government” and “the two candidates are basically the same,” etc.  When I remarked that our country was founded on principles that celebrate our independent thinking and our creative minds, I thought back to that craftsman, sitting in Egypt, with that little statue in his hands, almost 4,000 years ago.  And I thought,  “how profound!”  I was able to walk around that, have a conversation with my son (and our particular situation would never have taken place a mere 200 years ago), and remark on its age.  And people in America think we are so stuck in our system, because it is so entrenched and so “old,” that there is no hope to make a difference.  That Egyptian craftsman, who was probably a slave, carved away knowing he was contributing to the “hereafter” of his ruler, one among literally 1000s of objects being place in King Tut’s tomb.  A small thing, but also representative of something much larger.  His efforts are being acknowledged 4,000+ years later.  Do we know his name?  Do we know anything about him?  No, we don’t.  We only see the results of his efforts.  Well, I personally think that we can effect change with some personal, small efforts, too.  I was told that four years is not enough time to get the system to change.  Perhaps it isn’t in time for the next Presidential cycle, but it is enough time to start, to engage, to get a groundswell of enthusiasm started.  If just one person says, “Yes, let’s get this thing going,” it can lead to great change.  And perhaps that person won’t be acknowledged; we won’t know the name or personal history, but perhaps our grandchildren will live in light, in a better country, because one craftsman held the electoral process in his (or her) hand and decided to work to make something out of it.  History is a great teacher, if we look to it for guidance.  It is invasive to look deeply into our past, to be sure, but it is also a great place to start to form our future.

That little statue, Thumtose III, so profoundly shows how personal effort can be celebrated far beyond anything imagined.

And a side note:  King Tut had a box in his tomb, a very simple box, and the archeologists assumed it would contain perhaps clothing or something along those lines.  When they opened it, they were astounded to find two small coffins within it. The coffins contained the remains of King Tut’s daughters – one was a miscarriage; the other was still born.  I find it remarkable that this young King (only 19 when he died) had such profound love for his daughters that he had them buried with him.  I can only imagine the emotions of his wife, Queen Ankhesenamun, when the tomb was sealed, containing her husband and her two daughters. Four thousand years ago, a young widow respected the life of her husband and babies so much, that she buried them with honor.  One of those babies, or perhaps both, would today be considered viable – for abortion.  Respecting life is not something new, or off in “right wing” thinking; it is as ancient as humanity, because deep down, we all know that murder is wrong.  Just look to King Tutankhamun and his wife, Queen Ankhesenamun, over 4,000 years ago; a legacy of respecting life.  What is our legacy?

A woman’s mind….

Yes, it is a fickle thing, a woman’s mind.  I am so many things – wife, mother, grandmother, mother-in-law, sister-in-law, sister, daughter, daughter-in-law, friend, aunt, godmother….on and on the roles go!  And for each one, when I am acting upon it, I give it 100%.  And sometimes it is just plain, old, tiring!  Realizing that I am 56 years old, a grandmother (Oh my Lord, how I love that little boy! Who knew ‘grandma’ would be my favorite role?) and going to be a grandmother again in the spring (I am so excited! I dreamed it was a girl!!) and that it has taken me this long to be comfortable with who I am!  Sometimes, like when I am blogging, I am just a woman…just me, no titles.  And it is freeing and sort of nice. I am on my own schedule and am writing for the pure joy of human expression.

But even when I leave all the titles and am just sitting here at my Mac, I am a woman.  And I want to share some of that with whoever reads this.  Not sure anyone but a couple do, or have, read them!  But it is more for me, than anyone else.  And if someone happens upon it and gleans something they can use in their life, wow!  What an amazing thing.

I recently learned how to flat iron my hair.  And I got this new flat iron that does it wet/dry.  I never thought ironing your hair wet would be a good idea (sizzling seems like it should accompany bacon or a nice steak, not my hair!) but I was wrong.  Apparently, with this new “ION” system, it actually helps your hair stay stronger and less frizzy; it keeps moisture within the hair shaft itself (supposedly).  Well, my hair feels like silk and has little frizz, except where there are all these new, white hairs along my hairline! But I am rid of the growing-out perm and back to what God gave me – straight hair! And I love it.  I was thinking, as I was flat-ironing, that 40 years ago I discovered “Kindness Curls,” a hot-roller system!  And now I am straightening my hair! LOL!

I also discovered new rouge; it is almost completely sheer and leaves you with a slight glow!  I really dislike make-up; always have.  When I would try new make-up as a teenager, my eyes would get all gloppy and I would get green gunk in them by the end of the day. It has taken me 40+ years to find mascara that does not infect my eyes and eye shadow – forget about it.  I wear hypo-allergenic liner if I do anything to my eyes.  And every day, I use “circle hider” or concealer; always have dark circles!  And a little blush, or rouge.  For those of you who know me, you know I am pretty simple when it comes to this routine!  I keep it very simple because I think you age less if you wear less.  Heavy make-up gets stuck in your wrinkles! LOL!

So, I was feeling a little avant-garde this morning and decided not to make the bed.  My husband always says, “Why make it when you just have to get back in it again?”  But my mother instilled made beds in me when I was young and it is like the “always wear clean underwear, in case you’re in an accident” sort of thing. Yes, I deviated severely from it during my teens and early college years (our sorority house members had bets on what color the carpeting was in our room! Clothes everywhere!!) but as I have become a mom, clean bedrooms make me happy.  So today, after flat-ironing and concealing, I came downstairs to organize my day. I couldn’t handle it. Had to march back up the stairs and make my bed and straighten the room. It is just a part of who I am…that woman I am finally comfortable with.

And the point of my blog is this – we need to all realize who we are and relax in our own skins.  Don’t wait 56 years to be comfortable with who you are. I have gray hair – and guess what? I earned every, single, one of them.  And I am so not into seeing my hairdresser every 3-4 weeks for touch-ups.  It’s economically insane, as well as sort of narcissistic, in my view. Now, I am so aware of the disdain some of my prematurely gray friends will show towards that comment.  They just are not ready to be gray. That is fine, because they are all wonderful persons in their own right and I think they have a handle on who they are.  For me, it complicates my life to keep my gray hidden.  I noticed last night how really gray it is becoming and I realized, hey, who am I fooling? I am a grandma! LOL!

I am also overweight.  Both my husband and I are.  It is in the “jeans” for me!  If I could get rid of that mound that keeps following me wherever I go, I would be happy! To that end, I am trying to be a paleo eater, because it makes the most sense to me and I feel better when I eat that way.  Cutting out carbs had a weird affect on me – my nails are stronger and longer than ever.  And I had a scone last night (I know, a real taboo item for paleo eaters) and as I chewed it, I sort of grossed out on the feel and mush of it. I am starting to prefer the taste and texture of meats and vegetables. So I think it is a wise health decision for both me and my husband.  Our son is also starting to see how much better he feels without pancakes for breakfast, but rather some meat (he loves spicy chorizo) and eggs in the mornings.  But I am also getting used to how I look and am not so ashamed of being seen, as an over-weight person.  That has taken 26+ years, since I was first pregnant with our oldest son, born in 1985!!

We women are pressured to look our best.  Have you noticed how many products there are to enhance our looks?  Why are there so many hair colors that cover gray and for men, there are maybe two types?  And it covers all their gray?  Why do women wear so many different types of lipstick?  What is with “foundation” and rouge? I was an anthropology major in college and when we studied some cultural anthro aspects of history, I was blown away by the whole make-up tradition.  A few centuries ago, when the plague and lots of illnesses were rampant, women started wearing rouge to look healthier.  White skin was considered the skin tone of those who did not have to toil outdoors for a living.  But they started looking a little sickly; the maids were appealing to more of the Lords in charge than the Ladies they were married to.  So they came up with this red wax they put on their faces.  In the Near East, women put a combo of flour and chalk on their faces to look pale. [It is weird to think that in the West, it is all about being tan and getting darker skin, whereas in the Near East, pure white complexions are still sought after.  Has anyone seen the new Chinese beach masks?] And lipstick! Ugh! Did you know the first lipsticks were very bright red and were meant to entice men into bed?  Have you ever seen those monkeys with the bright-red behinds?  Ponder on that for a moment. Once I learned this fact, I never wore red lipstick again! It grossed me out. Ever hear about the origins of perfumes?  About the same time period as the plagues in Europe.  Perfumes became popular with floured wigs for men and women (think the French and Marie Antoinette) and people DID NOT BATHE!  Once a year on their birthdays or some such thing.  Can you imagine the stench?  So the good, old, French came up with scents.  People used to carry scented hankies and put it up to their noses, to avoid the smells of humanity. Gradually it became easier to douse yourself with it, especially on your neck, so the nice scent was with you all the time.  Thanks be to God someone realized that cleanliness was a good thing.  In Europe, people think we Americans bathe far too often and it is very obvious when you are stuck in an elevator in Europe; trust me on that one. Deodorants are relatively new on the scene and I am so glad it happened in my lifetime!  And historically, when our economy is booming, skirts are shorter, hair is longer (and always straighter), and lips are redder.  Think about it.  Look to historical references for these phenomena.  It has been noted and studied by professionals, especially marketing professionals and those who monitor trends in clothing and make-up. “It’s the economy, stupid!”  Lately, there is a rash of long hair products and yes, flat-irons (but my hair is short! So I am still somewhat avant-garde) and the lips and eyes are getting very bold.  Bright blue eye shadows and strong, bright lip colors, too.  A couple of years ago, it was all nude tones.  Remember the nude lipsticks and pale blushes and very simple eye looks? And fuller, shorter hairstyles? When was that? Yes, 2009 – the great economic crash.  The year we lost income and housing.

We women do control the economy – I think Romney has a bumper sticker saying something along those lines.  And our fashion reflects the economy.  Bolder looks for confident times.   There are those who are in the limelight and reflect all the trends.  For me, 99% of them are looks I could, and would, never pull off.  I am past participating in some of the trends my daughters-in-law can pull off, and have subtly moved more into that “older woman” or more “mature” woman, category. And I am okay with that.  I am most comfortable in jeans, a t-shirt, concealer and blush, simple lipstick, my straight hair, and my tennis shoes. And because of where I live, I can wear sweaters, which I love wearing.

I think our economy is gaining momentum because the scent of change is in the air.  Also the sense that there are some strong, and well-grounded, young politicos coming on the scene that will back up this sense of change in the air.  Well educated young people who have paid attention to the past and gained knowledge from it, and do not want a repeat performance.  We are on the precipice of a great future for America. Women are reflecting not the confidence of where we are now and what we have, but what is coming.  And I am comfortable with my crazy way of thinking; making beds because it makes me happy, and remembering to wear clean underwear when I go out!  I am praying and living my faith in comfort with what I believe and who I am and I intend to vote my conscience this election.  I am prayerfully confident a lot of people who have come to realize there are people out there who do represent us and we are comfortable with that, will also vote their conscience. I just do not see how, with a modicum of serious thought, that the corporate mind of the people would not embrace a brighter, stronger future; comfortable in their skin and confidently looking forward.

A lifelong friendship….

I have a friend whom I have known since we were both 14 years old.  My family had relocated to a completely different area of the state – only counties changed, but it was a totally different world for me.  I was raised until 14 in the greater Los Angeles County area.  We moved to a northeastern section of Orange County.  It was total culture shock for me.  The population was much less diversified, and there was grass.  I mean lawns and grassy knolls and yards and plants and flowers…not just a lot of asphalt.  LA County tries, but so much of the surface there is either concrete or asphalt!  In the OC, much more was greenery.  And there was far less smog, too.  And space between houses.  In our other home, we literally hung out in the kitchen windows, talking to our neighbors.  We even had little step-stools so we could just walk over our fences to each other’s houses.  In the OC, we lived on a hill, with an acre of land.  And it was a very steep hill.  And our house was at the crest of it.  Down the block (literally) and around a corner lived this girl, who has become a life-long friend.  But I skipped the most amazing part!  When I lived in LA County, I was in the 9th grade…that is still Junior High School.  I was one of the top dogs in our class and hung out with the popular, but brainiac kids.  When we moved to the OC, I was a FRESHMAN in High School.  It was traumatic.  Here I was, dealing with green lawns and nice cars and so many people who looked just like me, not to mention no graffiti and all sorts of other cultural changes, but I also had to adjust to being a “scrub” or the bottom of the social heap. I parted my long, blonde hair down the middle, and trudged off to school.  Yes, I walked!  And then I saw that the other kids all wore jeans and looked a little like beach-going hippies.  Kids wore flip-flops to school!!! I was in total shock!  In LA, jeans were not allowed – the girls had to wear dresses and if there was a hint they were too short, you had to kneel and they would measure the length. If it was too short, out came the seam rippers!  And no make-up, either! The Girls’ VP could take you into a bathroom and scrub your face off, if she noticed make-up on you!  LA County, in the late 60s; I kid you not.  And that was public school, too.  So I am at school and I can see bell-bottoms and crop tops and VAN tennis shoes. I wanted to fit in.  My mom insisted on dresses. Ugh!  As the daughter of British immigrants, they did not get the fascination with jeans.  My mom called them dungarees and only farm workers wore them, and only when working! No daughter of hers would wear dungarees! LOL!  I was desperate.  And then there came something else totally new to me – P.E. classes where you actually played a sport.  LA County, where it was all asphalt, we marched.  Seriously.  “Column to the left, one, two, three, four.”  Our other option was physical exercise, even volleyball on occasion, in the upstairs gymnasium!  So I arrived at the new High School, in a dress, and then I get to put on a “gym uniform,” where I had to change in front of other girls.  Then I was told I was going to play field hockey!  What?  First of all, I am British.  What is hockey?  Football is what we Brits call Soccer! LOL!  And Field Hockey?  Girls with sticks and a ball. I was so lost. My first week was looking to be a total disaster.  In a dress. And, I had started after the Christmas break…not even in September, when everyone was new.  No, I had to start at a weird time of the year! Ugh! I remember siting in the locker room, on a bench, totally freaking out.  This woman yells, and uses a whistle, too: “Girls, roll call!!!”  I jumped up.  This kooky girl with pig tails and braces grabs my arm and says, “Aw, c’mon.  Mrs. B isn’t that bad once you get used to her.” And she drags me off to learn Field Hockey, roll call, and to becoming her life-long friend. She saved me from my misery, and I don’t think that even after 42 years of friendship, that she even realizes how grateful I am to this very day.
We no longer live near one another, but we talk about every 3 weeks or so…usually for hours on end.  We have shared life and death, marriage, divorce, and all sorts of other things in all these years.  And now we are sharing aging, and not so delicately at times.  Even “Depends” conversations!  There is a core group of friends I have from High School, and we still relate to one another, even though we live scattered around the Country and live vastly disparate lives. But this particular woman is very special to me and holds a very sacred part of my heart and soul.

She called me on Saturday and we talked for about 2 hours.  I hung up the phone and just cried. I felt so inept and helpless and ashamed that I cannot swoop in and fix things for her.  One of the saddest moments of our conversation was when she said to me, “I have had such a crappy life.”  She just doesn’t realize the joy she has brought into my life and the life of those around her.  She always makes me laugh.  And she is abrupt, and loud, and skinny, and funny, and absolutely a gift from God to my life. And I cannot cure or fix her life or her future and it is killing me.  It is just so unjust. My friend has a disease that has made her incapable of the simplest things in life, like driving.  We take for granted that we can hop in a car and just go where we need to go. She has to rely on family and friends to get her where she needs to be.  And she hates being dependent on anyone.  She divorced many years ago and has raised her child on her own.  And her only surviving child lives on the opposite side of the Country now, and is married with a child, too.  And she has no love life, so she feels alone.  So very alone.  And I cannot fix it.  I cannot cure her disease and I cannot ameliorate it, either. And I hate this feeling of helplessness.  My friend deserves so much more.

She told me that she, once again, has to be hospitalized.  The doctor is going to try and ease her symptoms, if she can.  But no one is holding out much hope.  Because of her disability, she lost her job.  She did not want to take her employer to court, although many of us thought she had a good case.  She just didn’t have the fight in her. She cannot hold down a job any longer, as her condition is worse than ever.  She lost her disability payments, which I totally do not understand.  And she lives completely on Medicare and Social Security.  This is not an 80-year-old woman.  This is a vibrant 56-year-old woman.  And the system is letting her down.  Because of being on Medicare, her specialist could no longer treat her.  So she was “referred” to another doctor. The new doctor took one look at her case and threw up his hands and said he was not “qualified” to treat her, because she was the most severe case he’d ever seen, and he did not feel competent enough to treat her.  At least he was honest with her.  Somehow, they were able to work the system so she could return to her previous specialist and still be covered.  So the specialist is getting everything pre-approved, and then is hospitalizing her to try and stop this horrible disease.

And she cried and cried. She is frightened. She does not know how long she will be hospitalized, who will feed her dog or take out the trash for her.  She will be alone in LA County (how ironic, considering the start of this post) and going through a very rough experience.  She had this process attempted at a hospital years ago, but because her symptoms are so much more severe, the specialist is hoping she can surgically help her. I am praying something can be done for her. My heart aches for her.

Her symptoms are much worse than they look and she hides most of them from people, but her daily life is uncertain and she is almost at the point where it is not safe that she is left alone.  And she is my friend and I live 1,000s of miles away and my heart is aching for her.

I began this post because I needed to vent. As I was typing it, I came to realize that this woman is the exception to the rule of those who are receiving aide from our system.  The system is broken.  So many who deserve care are denied care because too many are just taking, when there is no real need.  It is just easier. They have been raised with a hand out, expecting more from the system than from themselves. It’s easier to get Welfare and keep on having babies, than to try to work and pay for child care. It is easier to sit at home and not even try to work, than it is to afford a wardrobe to interview in and some counseling to make you worthy in an interview. It is easier to use Welfare money for new Tats and spinners on your Escalade than to try and get a job!!!!  Because of our entitlement philosophy in this country, those who truly need the help cannot get it. Our resources are stretched too tight, across too many Social Security numbers.  And people like my friend are left to try and juggle being disabled and not getting sufficient aide.

Mr. Obama did not help my friend.  Under his regime, her aide was cut.  And the strings attached to it have gotten more knotted and complicated as time has gone on.  My friend cannot afford another four years of the same. I am praying that she gets the care she needs and that she realizes what a gem she is to those around her.  I love her and my heart aches for her, and for the thousands like her, who truly need a helping hand.

We need to vote in November to return this country to a proud country, not a welfare state.  Not a country of individuals who soak the system for all its got, denying others who truly need our help.  We were once the world leaders in compassion, but somehow our focus has turned outward.  We are spending billions upon billions helping countries who hate us and do not even want us in their business, while our own suffer.  And we borrow money from China to aid other countries!!!!!  We need to re-evaluate how we help, and who we help.  No one can afford another four years like these past four years.

And for my dearest friend, I pray for you. I ask God to care for you, and to send Angels to be at your side to hold you up when you cannot hold yourself up. I love you, my friend.