Oftentimes you run across something in your reading that touches you on mnany levels. The following is something from one of those times. I take no credit for this, but I had to share it with others. We often think we know what we need, but God knows best.
An unknown civil war soldier wrote this eloquent testimony:
I asked for strength that I might achieve; I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health that I might do greater things; I was given infirmity that I might do better things.
I asked for riches that I might be happy; I was given poverty that I might be wise.
I asked for power that I might have the praise of men; I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life; I was given life that I might enjoy all things. I got nothing that I had asked for, but everything that I had hoped for.
Almost despite myself my unspoken prayers were answered; I am, among all men, most richly blessed.
Well, it seems we have some sick individuals in America. Of course, I don’t have to tell you that. Wait a minute, I’m not talking about covid patients, or the one-third of the American population that suffers from mild to severe chronic illnesses. I’m referring to the unseemly large number of people who hate someone of another race, gender identification or some other distinctive identifier so much that they can’t help but say or do harmful things to them. Their levels of insecurity and lack of self-worth are so pronounced that they’re driven to look toward other groups of people in some warped attempt to lay blame for all things wrong.
I just read an article in my local newspaper, reporting that hate crimes in the Unites States are at a 12-year high. The year 2020 saw an historic rise in hate crimes against Black and Asian victims. Hate crime data is kept by the FBI. Of course, the environment over the last four and a half years has been ripe for a healthy harvest of hate crimes. Short of the 2016 – 2020 White House openly endorsing the practice of hate crimes, language demonizing the alleged actions of certain ethnic groups was a regular seeding function from those hallowed walls of the people’s house. Some people in our republic sit and wait for guidance about what to think about others. Referring to the coronavirus as the Kung virus, attaching criminal status to people who seek a better life north of our Southern border and seeing no need for police reform certainly didn’t help reduce instances of hate crime.
I heard a commentary from a news reporter recently about how 911 resulted in Americans coming together. Evidently, this reporter hadn’t spoken to the thousands of Muslims-Americans who underwent attacks and humiliation of all kinds after 911. Though they might have made every attempt to be a part of the group who came together, the sick ones in our country attacked first and didn’t bother to ask questions later. I find it interesting when people, with limited capacity for appreciating other cultures, attack Sikhs. Evidently, a turbine on the head is reason enough to attack, notwithstanding the fact that the turbine worn by Sikhs look nothing like the one worn by some Middle Easterners. Sheer unadulterated ignorance is something I can’t say enough about; therefore, I won’t try to give it just reward in the amount of space I normally give all my blogs.
I fear hate crimes will be with us long into the future. Some folks just can’t get their brains around the notion that America is a part of the global village, and is now beginning to look as if it belongs
Today is September 11. I sat at my keyboard early this morning, wanting to write something about September 11, 2001. Of course, that was the date of the tragedy involving the destruction of the twin towers in New York. There were many ideas circulating through my mind, but I couldn’t settle on just one. As I watched the national evening news, there were some images that cinched it for me.
Images often tell a story in a much more powerful way than words can ever do. It’s at that time when we see a certain image, the adage about “a picture is worth 1000 words” is arrestingly real. All the television news programs, local and national, devoted time to commemorating 911. The national news program I watched showed images of people standing at a podium, at the sight of 911, making comments about the loved ones they lost in the…
I posted a blog on August 16, 2019, about my momma titled Momma’s Influence ( Momma’s influence – oldblessedwordpresscom). She died on July 5 of 2018 due to complications related to Alzheimer’s. This is a follow-up (kind of) to that piece.
A few days ago, a beloved cousin of mine, Linda Rhea, died from lung cancer. As did my momma, she chose to live her life in my hometown of Wynne, Arkansas, a tiny hamlet of 7, 749. I’ve written about Wynne before in a series I called From What I Can Remember. I promised myself that would write more in the series, but I haven’t done so yet. I think I need to sit down and try to remember more of my experiences growing up in Wynne. Linda Rhea was only seventy-two years old, just one year older than I.
Funerals, family reunions and the occasional visit with relatives are the primary reasons folks who’ve moved away from Wynne make return visits. Regardless of the pandemic, my cousin’s funeral was my reason for returning to Wynne yesterday. If I might be allowed to say so, a fine funeral it was. A large crowd of people, mostly locals and former locals came out to the Union Valley Missionary Baptist Church to show their respect. I’m not one to attend a lot of funerals and believe me at my age there are ample opportunities to be present at a lot of them. This was one I felt I needed to attend. Although I hadn’t seen a lot of my cousin over the last two decades or so, she occupied a large part of every compartment of my life growing up in Wynne.
I find the reflective part of a funeral particularly interesting and even entertaining. Of course, this is where individuals are allowed an opportunity recollect heartwarming and often poignant events in the life of the deceased. There was quite a bit of humor shared by each person who spoke. Obviously, my cousin was a person beloved by all in the community. I didn’t get a sense that those who spoke were hard pressed to find good thing to say. They spoke from the heart and the sincerity was genuine. One thing that I was pleasingly surprised by were several comments made about my momma. Yes. You heard me correctly.
One speaker commented that my cousin had said, “Now that Essie Mae is gone my life won’t be the same.” Essie Mae is my momma’s name. A couple of other speakers commented that a community is never the same when people like my cousin and Essie Mae leave us. I found it a bit odd, yet endearing that my momma, who died three years ago was being mentioned at my cousin’s funeral. Her legacy, undoubtedly, lives on in Wynne, Arkansas. My momma, known as momma to many in Wynne is still revered by the community.
Funerals are often excruciatingly sad events; however, this one wasn’t. I’m glad I attended. I’m sure Linda Rhea and Essie Mae are enjoying each other’s company again.
I’m finding myself thinking a lot these days about days of old or is it days when I was younger. In case you’re thinking that I’m longing for days gone by, no that’s not it. Lately, I’ve been thinking about something the old folks used to say about not being able to sleep much at night. What happened to those old folks? Wait a minute, I think any mirror makes it very clear who they are now. I can’t remember the last time I’ve been able to rest my head on my pillow, dose off quickly and rise rested and charged up seven eight hours later, without any interruptions during the night.
Uninterrupted sleep during the night would be a much welcome gift. If you’re reading this and you have reached an age of vintage, you probably know of which speak. I’m not going to get into the stuff about visits to that room adjacent to your bedroom or just across the hall. No. I don’t want to be that personal. But I do want to talk about my uncanny ability to catnap during the night. I usually miss the ten o’clock news each night. My bed waits to greet me every night at 10:00. I think it knows I’m coming. Usually, my proverbial rubber band has become completely unwound by this time and I must address the sheets whether I’m sleepy or not. Soon as my head hits the pillows, I’m wide awake.
Let’s get back to catnapping. For some reason, I sleep, without failing, in two-hour increments every night. At the end of each two-hour nap, I’m challenged to get back to sleep. Of course, the amount of sleep I get overall depends on when I take the first nap. A while back, I decided to take the advice of Google and stop gazing into the blue screen when I first get into bed. You know all the sage advice you get about shifting into rest mode the minute you get into bed, not over stimulating yourself with digital devices. If it’s on the internet, it must be good advice, right? Well, that didn’t work. Without reading downloaded books, watching some streamed movie, or playing a video game, I found myself simply gazing onto the dark for what seemed like hours.
I’ve concluded that sleeping all night without interruption is a blessing old folks don’t enjoy, at least not this old person. Maybe the old folks I used to hear saying this had it right. Maybe my circadian rhythms have lost their rhythm. Until and if they ever get back on track, I’ll continue to use those intervals of being awake at night solving all the problems of the world and thinking about what I might blog about the next morning. In the meantime, I think the sheep are tired of me counting them. They would like to go to go to sleep.