Years ago, I was the PTA president for my kids' school. One of the items I worked hard to achieve was to bring back the Family Hour on TV.
Back then, with only 5 channels to choose from, there wasn't much available on TV for older kids to watch. Most TV programs were starting to show too much sex and violence (I know, laughable today) and as a mother, I wanted my kids to enjoy wholesome programming like I watched.
We did win that battle. All broadcast TV programs airing between 8:00 and 9:00 are to be rated G or PG. Please note that keyword broadcast.
Now with cable and hundreds of channels, I often wonder how parents today monitor what their kids watch.
More importantly, I am now wondering what the police officers in this country are watching.
I lost my mother about five years ago. But she did not die.
I still remember that phone call when I realized that the woman I always went to for anything and everything no longer existed. In her place was a very self-centered, crabby and needy child who wanted all her children to fix what was wrong with her life.
When the only thing that was wrong with her life was old age.
Welcome fellow travelers on the grief journey and a special welcome to anyone new to The Grieving Room. We meet every Monday evening. Whether your loss is recent, or many years ago; whether you lost a person or a pet; or even if the person you are "mourning" is still alive, (pre-grief can be a very lonely and confusing time) you can come to this diary and say whatever you need to say. We can't solve each other's problems but we can be a sounding board and a place of connection.
Unlike a private journal, here, you know: your words are read by people who have been through their own hell. There's no need to pretty it up or tone it down. It just is.
On July 2, 2009, I ventured into the world of internet blogging.
This was a huge milestone for me. I only had my computer for less than a year, and I was not familiar with all the ins and outs of posting (hey- I'm still not up to par on what can be done with this marvelous tool).
But that sense of community was felt right way. Here were all the like minds. People who shared my frustration, my anger and my desire to elect the right people who can make this country the great nation she was meant to be.
Five years ago, this little orange squiggly decorative separation device did not exist.
I have always prided myself on being a non prejudicial person. I have always held dear those words from the Declaration of Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among them are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
That last part- the pursuit of Happiness- is what I feel makes us all unique Americans.
It was put there for a reason. And it's why I love this country so much.
Life- yes, we all should be able to live. (and universal health care with low medical costs would help sustain that...but that's a different diary)
Liberty- yes, we are a free society (OK- stop laughing- we do try to be)
But that pursuit of Happiness, what exactly did our Founding Fathers mean when they put that phrase in the declaration?
I have never been involved in the pie fights that occur here occasionally. Most of the time, I have no idea what they are about- only gleaning some information from the titles of diaries that perpetuate the conflict.
I don't read the diaries. (Well, most of the time.)
The few I have taken a glance at leave me bemused and chuckling, shaking my head at the screen and wondering why all this silliness is so important to so many of you.
So important that diary after diary is written on the subject.
Well, this time, here is why it is important to me.
A special welcome to anyone who is new to The Grieving Room. We meet every Monday evening. Whether your loss is recent or many years ago, whether you have lost a person or a pet, or even if the person you are 'mourning' is still alive (pre-grief can be a very lonely and confusing time) you can come to this diary and process your grieving in whatever way works for you. Share whatever you need to share. We can't solve each others' problems, but we can be a sounding board and a place of connection.
At the end of January, both my husband and I lost dear friends. How we dealt with this loss both together and individually, plus the different ways the families handled these tragedies, is the topic of my diary.
The question popped into my head while I was sweeping. The TV was on for background noise. MSNBC's Tamera Hall was keeping me updated on the day's events.
But something in the tone of her voice caused me to stop my chores and sit.
I was absent from school that day. I forget the reason, but whatever it was, it was unique to me. All my siblings went to school. I was ten years old.
My mother had gone next door to visit with her friend, and the friend's four year old son had come over to watch TV with me. I remember being on the couch, and "Jimmy" was on the floor in front of the TV when the program we were watching was interrupted with a bulletin.
I reacted like any other ten year old would. I got up off the couch and went to change the channel, only to find that every station was airing the bulletin.
In that instant, I remember feeling annoyed, upset almost, because I wanted to watch TV and all the channels weren't working. But before I had a chance to process that information, I was pushed away from the TV. I looked up and saw my mother, her hands over her mouth as she stared at the TV.
It was November 22, 1963.
I went shopping yesterday, and as I walked through the parking lot of my neighborhood strip mall, I noticed bumper stickers on a car parked across from mine.
Proud mother of a marine.
My son is a marine.
My son is fighting for our freedom.
That last one stayed with me as I made my rounds in the store.
My son is fighting for our freedom.
I miss my sister.
Every day I find a reason for wanting to talk to her- needing to hear what she would say to any given circumstance. I miss her presence. I miss her being here.
Welcome fellow travelers on the grief journey and a special welcome to anyone new to The Grieving Room. We meet every Monday evening. Whether your loss is recent or many years ago; whether you lost a person or a pet; or even if the person you are mourning is still alive, (pre-grief can be a very lonely and confusing time) you can come to this diary and say whatever you need to say. We can't solve each other's problems, but we can be a sounding board and a place of connection.
Unlike a private journal, here, you know your words are read by people who have been through their own hell.
There's no need to pretty it up or tone it down. It just is.
I've been watching all the clips of the gun violence victims lobbying to get gun safety legislation passed.
I've watched almost all the interviews-from the Newtown parents to Chicago siblings to Aurora spouses. I applaud each time the strength and courage they all possess- to go out and tell the story over and over again- to relive the pain because what is at stake is far greater than any anguish they are experiencing.
And Gabrielle Giffords is their leader.
Somebody tries, unsuccessfully, to blow up a plane by putting a bomb in his shoe.
So now everyone that gets on a plane has to take off their shoes.
Somebody tries, unsuccessfully, to make a bomb on board a plane using liquid explosives.
So now all liquid holding containers are banned from planes.
We are subjected to intrusive searches before boarding a plane because, well, even that 80 year old woman could be a terrorist intent on doing us harm.
And you know what? I don't feel any safer now than I did after 9/11.