On Heroes and Angels

December 18, 2012 at 7:31 am | Posted in Life and Living | Leave a comment
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The recent massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School has rocked this nation to its core.  Unlike past mass shootings that have occurred in our lifetime, this one claimed the lives of such young, innocent victims.  This fact alone has made for a serious emotional communal state of being, and as is typical of human nature, we all want answers.  We all want to know how this happened and why, and what can we do to stop this from ever happening again.

There are so many debates, so many fingers being pointed, so many are accused beyond the gun man himself. It’s the guns, it’s a lack of safety precautions, it’s mental health, it’s the mother of the shooter’s fault.  It’s the media’s fault for sensationalizing it.  Someone has to be to blame so we know what to change.

The blame game has played out all across social media, with everyone expressing their opinions, their anguish, making up quotes or believing stories before the evidence was able to come out.  We have no patience for answers, not when children’s lives have been lost.

I was one of these people searching for answers, jumping to conclusions.  The one thing I didn’t do was to jump to solutions.  I still need time to figure out how to cope with this emotionally and what I can do as an individual to honor those lost.  I did a lot of reading.  I turned off social media, turned it back on to see if anything anyone said resonated with me.  I found things I agreed with, and things I did not. I read comments from hysterical mothers and aggressive anti-gun advocates.  I read the thoughts of teachers, and the stories of the heroes.  I studied the faces and names of the fallen, the heroes and the angels, attempting to etch them in my memory and not let the villain win this round.  I researched elementary school massacres and learned about the 1927 massacre in Michigan and its villain — a school board member — trying to understand the motives, the profile of this kind of evil.

But I didn’t jump to solutions because this I know to be true.  I know that there will always be evil in the world.  I know that evil will always find a way. I know that whether evil comes in the form of mental illness or just plain bad to the bone, it is something regular people, most people, will never understand but will spend their lives trying to.

I know that for every evil soul there are many more good souls, many more who want to protect, who will without question become a hero in a heartbeat to do what’s right.  I know that we lose many good people, perhaps more good than bad it may seem.  I know that there are those who are unlucky and those who are lucky.

But right now, I’m feeling pretty darn lucky.  Lucky to have walked the same ground as these heroes and angels.  Lucky to still be here.

Cloning Your Pet — Another Thought on Letting Go

January 17, 2012 at 7:34 am | Posted in Life and Living | Leave a comment
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real Humphrey or Humphrey #2?

This past weekend I caught a glimpse of another disturbing “reality” show.  This one focused on people who were so attached to their pets that when the animals passed, the only way they could fill the void was by cloning their beloved pet.  For a pet owner and lover like me, I can understand the connection one has with their furry friend, but I have not lost touch with the reality that pets do pass and cannot ever be truly replaced.

To me, cloning is not the answer, and I’m pretty sure that the people who actually pay to have their pets cloned are easy targets for corrupted practices.  I mean, seriously, how the hell can you know for sure that this pet is the exact same animal as the one that passed?  It takes a serious believer (one may say a crazy or desperate person) to think that it is possible.

But really what the practice gets at is the mourning stage of a person who just cannot reach acceptance, cannot take the memory of their pet and maybe put that love toward another needy animal.  People who cannot move on.  People who cannot let go.

Last month I wrote a post about baggage that touched about this idea of letting go. That post focused on the things we carry with us through life and the things that hold us back.  The death of a loved one is certainly a huge piece of baggage, one that every single person will experience in their life.  No one can ever replace that person or animal that loved us and that we loved unconditionally.

But you have got to keep living and honoring their memory.  I know a lot of dog owners who can’t read books about dogs because they always end the same way — a life well lived that ends with loved ones seemingly forever in mourning.

The thought that my beloved dog won’t be with me forever is never far from my mind.  He is my first dog, my very best friend.  And when he goes, I will have so many memories and so much heartache, it may be unbearable.  But I will not replace him.  Yes, I will get another dog, but I will do so in honor of him and to give back to the species that has given me so much.

No one will ever replace him.  A clone just wouldn’t do. But there are so many other animals who need homes and I know I will fall in love all over again.

He’s with me today, and that’s all that counts, and I will enjoy every day that he is here on this side of the grass, and will carry his memory with me forever. And when his time comes, I will let him rest peacefully and not attempt to resurrect his soul.

This post is dedicated to Maggie Devon — a dog who created very many smiles and touched many lives. We miss you Maggie!

The Tipping Point

July 28, 2011 at 7:35 am | Posted in Life and Living | 3 Comments
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I would be remiss if I didn’t say anything about the white elephant in the room — the death of Amy Winehouse, a great rock talent who never got to reach her full potential, who died this past weekend possibly of a drug overdose, or maybe something else.  Most people were not surprised by her meeting her demise the way that she did, heck even her own mother saw it coming.  Sure there is an aspect of this that has to do with how she handled her rise to fame, but there is something in this that non-famous folk can also relate to.

Much of the media is talking about it — stars that die at age 27.  The majority of people who die at 27 in today’s age do not die natural causes, or even from terminal illnesses.  Most 27 year old’s who pass on do so through accidental death or suicide.  I’m not going to get into the numbers, but we’ve all seen them.

What I do want to talk about is this sort of tipping point that seems to happen at the age of 27.  What is it about this age that makes one act differently, or contemplate their life?  For me, I made two major life changing decisions at age 27.  For one, I started this blog.  That may not seem major to everyone, but it is to me, as I see it as a culmination of all that I love coming to life.  The other was choosing to live with my fiance.  I’d say I got off lucky.  Others did not and will not.  Others have major break ups at 27, or make difficult career changes.  Others make destructive decisions that mirror some kind of unhappiness in their life and their inability to do anything positive to change it.  There is this sudden sense of reality hitting you like a ton of bricks and everyone’s experience is different.  But it does seem all too often to happen or at least begin to happen at 27.

Of course, there are other times in our lives where we feel the need to make huge decisions, sometimes unpopular ones, and this particular age point that I’m talking about was likely different for past generations and will be different for further generations.  Perhaps this tipping point is the wake up call, a new light that goes on in our brains, who knows?  I’m sure some psychologists have studied this, and I’m no psychologist.  I’m just an observer of life.

So what about you?  Was 27 your tipping point? And if so, what major life decision did you make at 27?

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