Me in the Middle of an Ordinary Day

** Note:  This is my story.  My memory of where I was when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated is something I wanted to write about.  This is my attempt at telling it in third person POV and I’ve since written it in first person POV.  **

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John Kennedy Family, Jacqueline

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~ An Ordinary Day ~

It was November and an ordinary week day with not much planned except for household chores and getting ready for the upcoming holidays.  Nora’s husband had left for work leaving her with a pile of ironing to do.  She liked to set up the ironing board in the living room, facing the large bay window, so she could look out on the neighborhood.  It had been a quiet morning where she took things easy considering her pregnancy was drawing to an end and she was slowed down quite a bit.

Waiting wasn’t easy!  Over the past year she had had two miscarriages and this was her 3rd pregnancy.  All seemed to be progressing well and 22-year-old Nora could feel the lively kicks and bumps in this last stage before birth.  Her doctor wasn’t sure of an exact delivery date.  He told her to have her bag packed and ready for a trip to the hospital sometime during the holidays.

Her mind was preoccupied with these thoughts when her attention was abruptly drawn to the TV in the corner of the room.  The monotonous conversations of the scheduled show were suddenly interrupted by a brief, alarming announcement. 

“Here is a bulletin from CBS News.  In Dallas, Texas three shots were fired at President Kennedy’s motorcade in downtown Dallas.  The first reports say that President Kennedy has been seriously wounded by this shooting.”

The announcement came and went so quickly that it almost seemed inconceivable that what Nora heard really happened.  She continued with the ironing and reflected on the memories she had of JFK over the past three years.  Her first stirrings of political awareness showed up when she went to a campaign rally at the Teaneck Armory in NJ for John F. Kennedy, who was running for President against Richard M. Nixon.  Standing outside in the massive crowd waiting for him to arrive, she and her sister came up with a chant; “Jack be nimble. Jack be quick.  Jack’s the one who’s gonna beat Dick.”  Her family was proud of the Democratic Party that was working towards electing the first Catholic President.

Both JFK and his wife, Jackie, were an inspiration for her and both gave her hope.  She felt like she knew Jackie Kennedy personally when they each went through the heartaches of miscarriages and loss.   Jackie gave her hope that one day she too would become a mother, just as her husband gave her hope that we as a country could overcome our divisions and adversities, and become greater still.

Did she really hear what she thought she heard?  The report said ‘seriously wounded’.  A feeling of dread washed over her as she thought of the possibility that the president would die.  And then it came up on the screen:

“From Dallas, Texas ~ The flash apparently official ~ President Kennedy died at 1 pm Central Standard Time (2 o’clock Eastern Standard Time), some 28 minutes ago.”

There it was!  There was no denying the finality of those words.  She felt a bolt of shock pulse through her as the seriousness of what it meant sunk in.  Suddenly she felt very fearful and very much alone.  She needed to reach out to someone and dropped everything she was doing.  Nora hurried down the stairs of their 2nd floor apartment to the landlady’s apartment below.  She was relieved that she found her at home and, as soon as the door opened, she began to tremble and cry.  For the first time she said the words that she couldn’t believe:

“President Kennedy’s dead!  He was shot!”

Her landlady, who was expecting her third child, was an experienced mom who always had everything under control.  She tried to calm Nora down.  “You’ve got to think of your baby right now.  It’s important that you stay calm.”  She counseled her.  They both stood there silently and continued to watch the startling news reports as more information trickled in.

It was two days later that she watched a live report of the Dallas Police bringing Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged assassin of President John F. Kennedy, through the garage of the police station on the way to a more secure county facility.  There was a lot of confusion and shouting as they walked through the crowd of reporters.  She saw a man quickly approach Oswald and immediately saw a pained expression appear on Oswald’s face.  It happened so quickly there was no way to prevent it.  Nora was watching real life unfold, realizing that it was the first time she was witnessing a man being murdered.   Another urgent announcement followed that Oswald had been shot and killed by a local business man in Texas, Jack Ruby. 

Life changed for America on November 22nd, 1963 and when she stood in stunned silence watching more news unfold over the following days, Nora saw images of Jackie Kennedy, her daughter Caroline and her small son, John-John, standing by the roadside as the fallen president’s casket passed by.  An ordinary day became a tragedy and the whole world mourned the death of our president.

The weeks passed by and the country began to take steps to bring order and safety as more information was released.  The grieving and healing would begin across the country and the world. 

So too, the weeks passed by for Nora with no sign of the beginnings of labor indicating the arrival of their first born.  Christmas 1963 and New Year’s Day 1964 came and went.  The doctor reassured her that all was well and not to worry.  The previous miscarriage had made it impossible to pinpoint a due date, and the baby’s weight and progress were on target for an imminent birth.  They continued to wait ~ one day at a time ~ and then on January 22nd, 1964, exactly two months to the day of JFK’s assassination, a baby boy arrived healthy and welcomed into the family.  An ordinary day in the lives of so many others yet a cherished one for Nora.

And now, years have passed by filled with historic moments that have impacted the people of America in so many ways.  That one ordinary day, 54 years ago, continues to haunt Nora  as a reminder of  vulnerability that always lies beneath the surface.  Just as 9/11 sliced into the heart and soul of the country, so to 11/22/63 will remain a reminder that the perfect idealism of ‘Camelot’ can be shattered within one ordinary day.

11-22-63 

Sketch and writing © Mary Lou

Photo image from Pixabay.com

 

 

 

Me in the Middle of an Ordinary Day (Critiqued and Revised)

This Fall I’ve been taking another OLLI  (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UVA) class ~ Creative Writing for Dabblers.  There are twelve of us and we read our work to each other and offer critique.  This is the first time I’ve done this and I’m getting a lot of value out of it.

On November 10th I posted what I wrote for reading to the class and this week I’m posting the changes I’ve made based on what the other writers in the group suggested.  This is the link to the original post ~ An Ordinary Day ~ JFK

John Kennedy Family, Jacqueline

The new post, with the changes I made since last Friday, is below:

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~ An Ordinary Day ~

It was November and an ordinary week day with not much planned except for household chores and getting ready for the upcoming holidays.  Nora’s husband had left for work leaving her with a pile of ironing to do.  She liked to set up the ironing board in the living room, facing the large bay window, so she could look out on the neighborhood.  It had been a quiet morning where she took things easy considering her pregnancy was drawing to an end and she was slowed down quite a bit.

Waiting wasn’t easy!  Over the past year she had had two miscarriages and this was her 3rd pregnancy.  All seemed to be progressing well and 22-year-old Nora could feel the lively kicks and bumps in this last stage before birth.  Her doctor wasn’t sure of an exact delivery date.  He told her to have her bag packed and ready for a trip to the hospital sometime during the holidays.

Her mind was preoccupied with these thoughts when her attention was abruptly drawn to the TV in the corner of the room.  The monotonous conversations of the scheduled show were suddenly interrupted by a brief, alarming announcement. 

“Here is a bulletin from CBS News.  In Dallas, Texas three shots were fired at President Kennedy’s motorcade in downtown Dallas.  The first reports say that President Kennedy has been seriously wounded by this shooting.”

The announcement came and went so quickly that it almost seemed inconceivable that what Nora heard really happened.  She continued with the ironing and reflected on the memories she had of JFK over the past three years.  Her first stirrings of political awareness showed up when she went to a campaign rally at the Teaneck Armory in NJ for John F. Kennedy, who was running for President against Richard M. Nixon.  Standing outside in the massive crowd waiting for him to arrive, she and her sister came up with a chant; “Jack be nimble. Jack be quick.  Jack’s the one who’s gonna beat Dick.”  Her family was proud of the Democratic Party that was working towards electing the first Catholic President.

Both JFK and his wife, Jackie, were an inspiration for her and both gave her hope.  She felt like she knew Jackie Kennedy personally when they each went through the heartaches of miscarriages and loss.   Jackie gave her hope that one day she too would become a mother, just as her husband gave her hope that we as a country could overcome our divisions and adversities, and become greater still.

Did she really hear what she thought she heard?  The report said ‘seriously wounded’.  A feeling of dread washed over her as she thought of the possibility that the president would die.  And then it came up on the screen:

“From Dallas, Texas ~ The flash apparently official ~ President Kennedy died at 1 pm Central Standard Time (2 o’clock Eastern Standard Time), some 28 minutes ago.”

There it was!  There was no denying the finality of those words.  She felt a bolt of shock pulse through her as the seriousness of what it meant sunk in.  Suddenly she felt very fearful and very much alone.  She needed to reach out to someone and dropped everything she was doing.  Nora hurried down the stairs of their 2nd floor apartment to the landlady’s apartment below.  She was relieved that she found her at home and, as soon as the door opened, she began to tremble and cry.  For the first time she said the words that she couldn’t believe:

“President Kennedy’s dead!  He was shot!”

Her landlady, who was expecting her third child, was a veteran mom who always had everything under control.  She tried to calm Nora down.  “You’ve got to think of your baby right now.  It’s important that you stay calm.”  She counseled her.  They both stood there silently and continued to watch the startling news reports as more information trickled in.

It was two days later that she watched a live report of the Dallas Police bringing Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged assassin of President John F. Kennedy, through the garage of the police station on the way to a more secure county facility.  There was a lot of confusion and shouting as they walked through the crowd of reporters.  She saw a man quickly approach Oswald and immediately saw a pained expression appear on Oswald’s face.  It happened so quickly there was no way to prevent it.  Nora was watching real life unfold, realizing that it was the first time she was witnessing a man being murdered.   Another urgent announcement followed that Oswald had been shot and killed by a local business man in Texas, Jack Ruby. 

Life changed for America on November 22nd, 1963 and when she stood in stunned silence watching more news unfold over the following days, Nora saw images of Jackie Kennedy, her daughter Caroline and her small son, John-John, standing by the roadside as the fallen president’s casket passed by.  An ordinary day became a tragedy and the whole world mourned the death of our president.

The weeks passed by and the country began to take steps to bring order and safety as more information was released.  The grieving and healing would begin across the country and the world. 

So too, the weeks passed by for Nora with no sign of the beginnings of labor indicating the arrival of their first born.  Christmas 1963 and New Year’s Day 1964 came and went.  The doctor reassured her that all was well and not to worry.  The previous miscarriage had made it impossible to pinpoint a due date, and the baby’s weight and progress were on target for an imminent birth.  They continued to wait ~ one day at a time ~ and then on January 22nd, 1964, exactly two months to the day of JFK’s assassination, a baby boy arrived healthy and welcomed into the family.  An ordinary day in the lives of so many others yet a cherished one for Nora.

And now, years have passed by filled with historic moments that have impacted the people of America in so many ways.  That one ordinary day, 54 years ago, continues to haunt Nora  as a reminder of  vulnerability that always lies beneath the surface.  Just as 9/11 sliced into the heart and soul of the country, so to 11/22/63 will remain a reminder that the perfect idealism of ‘Camelot’ can be shattered within one ordinary day.

11-22-63 

Sketch and writing © Mary Lou

Photo image from Pixabay.com

 

 

 

Me in the Middle of An Ordinary Day ~ JFK

An Ordinary Day ~ JFK

~ Creative Writing 3rd Person ~

It was November and an ordinary week day with not much planned except for household chores and planning for the upcoming holidays.  Nora’s husband had left for work leaving her with a pile of ironing to do.  She liked to set up the ironing board in the living room, facing the large bay window, so she could look out on the neighborhood.  It had been a quiet morning where she took things easy considering her pregnancy was drawing to an end and she was slowed down quite a bit.

Waiting wasn’t easy!  Over the past year she had had two miscarriages and this was her 3rd pregnancy.  All seemed to be progressing well and 22-year-old Nora could feel the lively kicks and bumps in this last stage before birth.  Her doctor wasn’t sure of an exact delivery date.  He told her to have her bag packed and ready for a trip to the hospital sometime during the holidays.

Her mind was preoccupied with these thoughts when her attention was abruptly drawn to the TV in the corner of the room.  The monotonous conversations of the scheduled show were suddenly interrupted by a brief, alarming announcement. 

“Here is a bulletin from CBS News.  In Dallas, Texas three shots were fired at President Kennedy’s motorcade in downtown Dallas.  The first reports say that President Kennedy has been seriously wounded by this shooting.”

The announcement came and went so quickly that it almost seemed inconceivable that what Nora heard really happened.  She continued with the ironing and reflected on the memories she had of JFK over the past three years.  Her first stirrings of political awareness showed up when she went to a campaign rally at the Teaneck Armory in NJ for John F. Kennedy, who was running for President against Richard M. Nixon.  Standing outside in the massive crowd waiting for him to arrive, she and her sister came up with a chant:   “Jack be nimble. Jack be quick.  Jack’s the one who’s gonna beat Dick.”  Her family was proud of the Democratic Party that was going to work towards electing the first Catholic President.

She felt like she knew Jackie Kennedy personally when they both went through the heartaches of miscarriages and loss.  Jackie was her inspiration and JFK gave her hope.  Jackie gave her hope that one day she too would become a mother, just as her husband gave her hope that we as a country could overcome our divisions and adversities, and become greater still.

Did she really hear what she thought she heard?  The report said seriously wounded’ A feeling of dread washed over her as she thought of the possibility that the president would die.  And then it came up on the screen:

“From Dallas, Texas ~ The flash apparently official ~ President Kennedy died at 1 pm Central Standard Time (2 o’clock Eastern Standard Time), some 28 minutes ago.”

Suddenly she felt very much alone and needed to reach out to someone.  Nora hurried down the stairs of their 2nd floor apartment to the landlady’s apartment below.  Relieved that she found her at home, she began to cry and, for the first time, said the words she couldn’t believe. ~

“President Kennedy’s dead!  He was shot!”

Her landlady, who was expecting her third child, tried to calm her down.  “You’ve got to think of your baby right now.  It’s important that you stay calm.”  She counseled her.  This brought Nora’s thoughts back to where she was in this moment and what she had to do next.

Two days later, she watched a live report of the Dallas Police bringing Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged assassin of President John F. Kennedy, through the garage of the police station on the way to a more secure county facility.  There was a lot of confusion and shouting as they walked through the crowd of reporters.  Suddenly she saw a man quickly approach Oswald and immediately saw a pained expression appear on Oswald’s face.  It happened so quickly there was no way to prevent it.  Nora was watching real life unfold realizing that she was watching the murder of a man for the first time.  Another urgent announcement followed that Oswald had been shot and killed by a local business man in Texas, Jack Ruby. 

Life changed for many in America on November 22nd, 1963 and when she stood in stunned silence watching the news unfold over the following days, Nora saw images of Jackie Kennedy, her daughter Caroline and her small son, John-John, standing by the roadside as the fallen president’s casket passed by.  An ordinary day became a tragedy.  The whole world mourned the death of our president.

The weeks passed by and the country began to take steps to bring order and safety as more information was released.  The grieving and healing would begin across the country and the world. 

So too, the weeks passed by with no sign of the beginnings of labor indicating the arrival of their first born.  Christmas 1963 and New Year’s Day 1964 came and went.  The doctor reassured her that all was well and not to worry.  The previous miscarriage had made it impossible to pinpoint a due date, and the baby’s weight and progress were on target for an eminent birth.  They continued to wait ~ one day at a time ~.  And then on January 22nd, 1964, exactly two months to the day of JFK’s assassination, a baby boy arrived healthy and welcomed into the family.  An ordinary day in the lives of so many others yet a cherished one for Nora.

And now, years have passed by filled with historic moments that have impacted the people of America in many ways.  That one ordinary day, 54 years ago, continues to haunt us as a reminder of our vulnerability.  Just as 9/11 sliced into the heart and soul of the country, so to 11/22/63 will remain a reminder that the perfect idealism of ‘Camelot’ can be shattered within one ordinary day.  

11-22-63 (4)

Creative writing and art image © Mary Lou

Me in the Middle of a JFK Revisit

One-Inch Picture Frame (1)

JFK Revisit

While looking for a new inspiration in my posts, I picked up Anne Lamott’s book ~ Bird by Bird ~ “Some Instructions on Writing and Life”.  One idea she had was to write short assignments ~ about as much as you can see through a One-Inch Picture Frame

My second short assignment was writing for five minutes about as much as I can see looking through a one-inch picture frame of revisiting  John F. Kennedy’s Assassination.

On November 22, 1963, two months to the day before our first child was born, I was standing in the living room ironing my husband’s shirts while watching television.  The screen suddenly was filled with the news that President Kennedy had been shot in Texas.  Life changed from that point on for all of us in America.  As I stood in stunned silence watching the news unfold over the following days, I saw images of Jackie Kennedy and her small son, John, standing by the roadside as the fallen president’s casket passed by.  I felt like I knew Jackie personally, as we had both experienced miscarriages and heartaches in our lost pregnancies.  She gave me hope that I too would be a mother one day, just as her husband gave us hope that we, as a country, could overcome our adversities and become greater still.

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And now, over fifty  years later, “The documents—441 files that had previously been withheld entirely, along with 3,369 other documents that had been previously released only in part—were made public under terms of a 1992 law that requires the unsealing of all JFK assassination-related documents by October, the law’s 25-year deadline.”  And the interesting part of all this is that our current president has the power to block the unsealing of some controversial documents regarding the CIA and the FBI.  It’s possible that he will be asked to block some that are being released by the October deadline. “It does not reflect well on the legacy of either the CIA or the commission that, half a century after those gunshots rang out in Dealey Plaza, the newly released documents suggest that at least some of those conspiracy theories might be true.”

~ Stay tuned for the unfolding of the Real Camelot ~

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How the CIA Came to Doubt the Official Story of JFK’s Murder

What we know about the newly released JFK assassination records—and those yet to come

11-22-63 #3

Sketch by Mary Lou

Me In The Middle Sharing Life Stories

014 - The Ocean

On May  12th I posted This Invitation to Guest Bloggers welcoming anyone who feels inspired to share a story about their life that gives inspiration and hope to the rest of us along this journey of life.  Some have already shown interest and I’m looking forward to reading and sharing what they write.  You can add your interest and desire to join us by adding your comment at the bottom of the Invitations post (HERE)

Here’s one of my sharing-of-life-stories.  It’s about 1,900 words.  Anything under 2,000 words is a good length for the Guest Blogger post.  Hope to hear from you!  🙂  

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When I was growing up, family meant to me a strong sense of belonging.  We were secured tightly in the certainty and pride of our town, our church and our country.  That was during the forties and fifties when families could find comfort in the knowledge that they were surrounded by the shared values of the wider community.

I was the middle child and the first daughter among five children, and I felt safe going about my life, navigating around my town.  When I returned home, our mother was always there for us and our father traveled to and from NYC working at the New York Herald Tribune.  Our routines rarely changed: Mass on Sundays; three meals a day at the same time each day when we were all home; and holidays celebrated in the same way each year.  There was very little lively debate on the current events of our country, and mealtime was usually spent listening to Mom who tried to keep the tone of the conversation positive and upbeat.  She was also the one who took the time to point out to her children the wonderful gift that the natural world provided us.  She stopped to point out and pass on knowledge about nature.  Our own backyard provided plenty of lessons about the miracles in nature.   There were many trips to the county parks, and nearby lakes and beaches.  I’d enjoyed exploring the waters, woods and beaches searching for shells, crayfish, frogs, fish and turtles with my brother.  There were lots of books in our home for learning about the natural world.

My first stirrings of political awareness showed up when we went to a campaign rally at the Teaneck Armory in NJ for John F. Kennedy who was running for President against Richard M. Nixon.  Standing outside in the massive crowd waiting for him to arrive, my sister and I came up with a chant:  “Jack be nimble. Jack be quick.  Jack’s the one whose gonna beat Dick.”  Our family was proud of the Democratic Party that was going to work towards electing the first Catholic President.

Family togetherness was a lot more challenging when I was in my 20’s and 30’s.    Although I did strive to maintain the routines of holidays and the continuity of tradition within my own family, our lives were affected by the outside social fabric that was unraveling.  The certainty and safety that was the theme of the fifties shifted through the unknowns and the upheavals of the sixties.  The swift changes within church and community, along with the questions raised by the horrors of the Vietnam War and the assassinations of JFK, Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy shook the foundations of our belief in an unshakable country.  The sexual revolution swirled around the family unit and there was open debate on long-held beliefs about family, church and country.  These were the headwinds that blew through my own life and that of my family.

I continued, in the true spirit of the middle child, to seek the middle ground as these outside forces played against the economic realities of the 70’s and the challenges of raising a large family.  A sense of belonging was created by my creating a flexible team spirit and planning family events that brought us together.  I was able to pass on the lessons my mother taught me to my own children, especially the wonder of our natural environment as a source of comfort and refreshment.

During those uncertain times many marriages ended in divorce.  That trend has continued and increased.  When my marriage joined the statistics, I (a homemaker with no college education) became the sole provider and nurturer of my five sons, ages 16 down to 5 years old.  It was a time of hardship and heartache when we lost our home and a steady income, as well as the spouse and father we had thought was there for us.  Though I didn’t actually feel it at the time, I promised my sons that we were going to make it through O.K.  In reality, our life was becoming a classic case for crisis intervention with no clear answers in sight.

My birth family lived a distance away from my home in Upstate New York and, as the political scene continued to unfold through those turbulent years, what was once our family’s political party of the Democrats shifted to the “certainty” of the conservative Republican Party ….. These shifters being dubbed “Reagan Democrats”.

My reality, and immediate focus, was on the urgency of meeting the basic needs of me and my family.  What was happening in the political scene was not even on the fringes of my awareness or interest other than fleeting images on the news.   In a new area for only a year, without any friends and family, I continued to plod through the trenches of what was real for us.  While I was seeking a means to house, feed and clothe my family, the political and social climate continued to wrestle with the opposing extremes of how family, church and country fit into the changing scheme of things.

This was a very lonely and isolating time for my sons and me.  I found it very difficult to share the severity of my own situation with my family.  When I would try I felt it was too disturbing for them to hear and that I was expected to deal with things on my own with strength and faith.  When your burdens grow heavy, ask God for strength…. And I did.  Each had their own hardships and realities, and I found it less conflicting to not talk much about it with them and just do what I had to do.   I was emotionally drained and overwhelmed with the upheaval that had become our lives.

At the time, I hadn’t even considered the political ideology playing out within my own family during the Reagan years, pitting welfare assistance and social issues against the re-building of America into the Shining City upon the Hill.  I felt that our life had become an altered state of existence residing invisibly alongside the lives of people going about the normal daily routines.

Family has always meant to me the realization that people care about you and are there for you through good and bad times.  It’s a complex mix of people and experiences that join us together in a strong circle of respect and love.  Family is, for me, not limited to having identical beliefs about family, church and country.  It’s more about sharing a belief and faith that somehow we’ll all make it through together.

And yes, my sons and I did make it through to a safer place, a stronger place.  I can embrace each one of them and truly say, “I respect you for the man you’ve become.”  They are each living lives that have evolved from their own convictions.  One son chose a career in law enforcement and lives with his family in Arizona.  Another son, a cardiologist, lives here in Virginia with his family  Two of my sons are teachers, one lives with his family in Brooklyn teaching art to elementary and middle school students and one who moved to the Middle East with his family to teach English to Arab-speaking students.  And another son has pursued his grandfather’s and uncle’s love for journalism while enjoying the physical labor of carpentry and landscaping.

Given the history of my experiences I’m no longer able to adhere to any absolute position on family, church or country.  I want to meet people where they are in life and accept that this is where their life has brought them.  My love of family, church and country has brought me to a place where I can recognize the flaws as well as the strengths within these very human institutions.  I hope for unity, but no longer expect it.  True to my middle child, common ground nature, I remain an undeclared moderate voter, who has seen conservatives, liberals, republicans and democrats all do very stupid things.  Today some say that John F. Kennedy would be a conservative republican.  I say, considering the lives and views of his wife, daughter and son who built their views on his legacy, he would most likely be a moderate like me.  My birth family is divided into conservative republicans, a green republican, me in the middle, and my oldest brother, a self-described “tree-hugging liberal” who speaks from life-long environmental experience.  Each of us seeks a better world for our children and grandchildren though we passionately disagree on how to achieve it and what that world will look like.  All of us share a deep, abiding love of nature and the wonderful world God has given us.  Though the levels of our role in preserving these gifts may differ, hopefully, we can escape the polarizing and hostile political climate of today and learn from each other’s experiences, hopes and visions.   In families, as well as political systems, there’s always room for compromise.

Family means sticking together while listening to and respecting each other’s hopes and fears.  It works best when everyone comes together.  It means shared sacrifice, shared struggle, as well as shared plenty and shared joys.  It’s not always easy to respect another’s personal boundaries and their own knowledge of what’s best for them while, at the same time, standing ready to advise and guide them when the need is there.

Family is where you arrive at the end of the road, literally and figuratively.  It can be one person or many people.  It can be physical or spiritual.  Sometimes family means putting aside what we want, and taking hold of what needs to be done in order to survive.  Sometimes it means asking others to share in the burdens of a common family need.  Family provides the best cushion an individual can have as he or she travels through life’s complexities.  All this needs nurturing, it needs educating, and it needs the support and guidance of church and country.

While I have had doubts and questions along the way, I’ve continued to believe in a God at the core of it all who is nudging me forward with the messages “This too shall pass” and “I am always with you”, along with the hope that we’ll all make it through.

Are we, as individuals and families, at the effect of what is going on in the greater world?  Yes and no!  We always have a choice.  Yet social and political movements can, and do, move us along and pull us into the mainstream of what’s going on in the greater world.  There’s no doubt that choices and decisions made can set us off down a new path, inspired by the times, and without clear outcomes in sight.  Salient risks?   What’s taking place in the public realm at a given period in time can effect and transform the private worlds of those living during that time.  The trick is to know when to hold firm to a foundation and when to move forward and take that risk, weighing how the possible effects of that risk could affect those around you.

The changes I’ve seen through my life, the bad times and the good times, have convinced me that God is not a conservative nor a liberal, not a republican or a democrat.  God is family, who loves us all and is always with us.

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Wells State Park

On May 12th I posted An Invitation to Guest Bloggers.  This is my sharing of an ‘Arrival’ story where I’ve reached a point in my life of acceptance, peace and contentment.  It’s a bit longer than I usually post (around 1,900 words).  

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