Last evening, my wife and I, were visiting in the kitchen. She was telling me about her day, as I listened with ears of an 18 yr old school boy mesmerized “that this beauty is even talking to me… ” even still. Vinegar was on the counter… Did you know vinegar does not smell like it did 30 years ago? Go get you a smell. She and I laughed about it, smelled it again and continued our evening. Settling in for the evening, my mind went back to the vinegar. My mother kept vinegar around while I was growing up. I remember that jug. But, the smell. She canned a lot so I guess she kept it around for that. Oh, that smell. Wished I could go to her house today and smell the smells. I can’t. She is gone. The circle is broken.
Mom passed last year, bout this time. Been a lil over a year… never gets easier. It gets understandable as you get older. Heck, she lived her life for that moment. That moment she passed from this world to the next. She was confident that she was going to Heaven and I was too. I know she is happy, content and at peace. For those reasons alone, I find extreme peace, which is a very selfish statement. Mom’s birthday was this week. How I wish she were here.
Memories are immeasurable, no picture can match my memories. The pictures remind me but they do not take place of the memory. This is why it’s so important to connect with family and friends and share your stories. Facebook is brilliant for allowing us this opportunity to share and connect. You may say a thing that I need or vice-versa.
Right before mother passed, I took a new job. Loved that job. Loved the folk. Job turned sideways recently and I no longer work there… wish all them folks well. I took the new job and mother became ill. I had to take a couple days of on two different occasions because the inevitable was in our future. When all these events were over, I started listening to Mother by Pink Floyd, often. No, my Mother didn’t even know who Pink Floyd is. My mother loved Southern Gospel music like the McKameys, The Henson’s, Dottie Rambo, so forth and so on. The memories of music go way back. Way back to Runnelstown, Mississippi where they would perform gospel music concerts in the cow pasture, those memories. We would sit for hours in those lawn chairs that had the cloth sharp edged straps that would ‘eat’ your legs up. The funky smell of cow manure would gently fragrant your nostrils… those memories. I miss you mom. At that moment I first heard Mother, after my mother’s passing, I don’t know… I guess at that moment in time I connected it to these events that I was surrounded with. Nonetheless, this is my song, my memory of that time. I have listened to it everyday, well over a year now. I may have missed a day here or there, but not often. Cool tune.
I made a promise to my mom… And shortly after her passing I experienced the “pink cloud” of sort. Things were beautiful. Job was great. Life was good. My promise was going well. Then the “pink cloud” dissipated and the storms came. Life came, again. Took the breath out of me… again. I tried, what I thought was my best. Failed!! That’s how it goes. I write about it, how do you deal? Be honest with yourself and me. It’s ok, there are no wrong answers, it’s just taken me 45 years to start making sense of “it all”. I said start… man, how I wish she were here? My story is not finished, in fact I’m just getting started.
Memories are important. Stories are important. Sometimes, that’s all we need. Especially, when you start thinking about the ones you no longer have here. My mother was the very foundation of our family. As time rolls along, things change. Family moves away. The phones become silent. Text messages become few and far between. The two constants that remain are memories and your current situation. That means, I have my beautiful family also. We have become incredibly close. We have added a son in law, daughter in law and a grandson. Through all the loss, sadness and hurt, I have them, they have never ever been more perfect than they are right now. I have those memories, too.
NEW ORLEANS – The NOPD has arrested a 12-year-old boy they say has been robbing women as they leave a New Orleans East Family Dollar. The first robbery was reported on November 25, when the suspect pulled a knife on a woman leaving the Family Dollar in the 5500 block of Crowder Boulevard and made…
It lurks… out in the open, in the broad day light. Hiding, as you make your next move. Is he behind that tree, or that one. Will she be waiting, like a scorned lover, in the backseat as you get into your car. He waits, patiently. Will I wake up in the night and find him, standing over me or will I feel her breath on my neck, while in the still of the night. Will it subconsciously creep into my mind, without my even knowing…. Hear the kicking and the screaming and the pawing at the floor… listen, listen! It’s there when you wake up to paralyze you. Too debilitate me! To control my day. I know, I have the tools. I have an Arsenal. I know what he looks like. I know what she smells like and I know the cruel intent. Yet, I am paralyzed to my sadness… to my loss. To my jobs, that slip from me. To myself in that hopeless moment. I know how to square up and look into the eyes of my foe and engage in battle. I know! I am not afraid to lose and I know how to win. I know how to fight. I know that I fight against the darkness… I know. I know. Yet… again!
The holidays are a particularly rough spot for some and I feel you. I hear you. You are not alone. According to the World Health Organization, 800000 people die each year in depression related suicide. We are not Alone! I have heard it said to “Love Your Depression” or “Command it in the name of Jesus to BE GONE…”. Uhhh, you think it’s my will to be like this? Dumdum, I know!!! We try to avoid this at all cost. This not only makes us low… it creates shame, guilt, embarrassment, anger, hate, sadness… among other things. We Know. Nothing seems to work in these moments. Oh, tomorrow will be different… Heck, 10 minutes from now it could be different. Who knows??
Do not ignore mental health, please. It is life or death.
•The Superior Musings of a Scrupulous Under Achiever•
Facebook. The social media platform that birthed the way we communicate in todays current technological atmosphere. I’ve heard and read so many negative comments about FB. Oh, it’s this and it’s that… it’s the “gateway” to adultery! Hollywood even includes the societal affect it has had on us. It has been concluded that FB is addictive. Panhandlers… every where begging for money, From pastors, preachers, lawyers and salesman everywhere that are trying to sell you hope. If I became sick or couldn’t take care for my fam, we could do a “GoFundMe” to help me… I’m not asking for money, I’m reminding you of things we see here. Game sharing… send me all the game request you wish, I will ignore em. All good!! Politicks…. I’m not gonna say anything else bout that. The negativity here sometimes is a complete reflection of who and where we are. It’s overwhelming at times. Hey, I’m guilty. Here is a good one… FB, along with our Smart Phones are controlling us. Hmmm?? “Everybody has a cell phone in their hands…”. Yes. It’s true. We do. Most of the time we are on our phones and looking at FB. Double whammy. I get it, I dig it. There is complete truth to this.
How bout this…. currently, it seems I’m here a lot. I am. I enjoy reading posts. Posts that compel me to learn more about this or that. I find a load of music that I have missed along the way, both secular and spiritual tunes. But if you look and listen closely, there is some sort of spirituality in every peace of art. I don’t see these darker areas people have spoken of, I try to see things that bring me joy and peace. Like the pictures of incredible landscapes throughout the world. The pictures that my friends share of their families of which they are proud of. There is the occasional inspirational quote or the Bible verse that my dear friends share. What about those friends of mine that believe differently than I, oh, I enjoy those as well. People do not have to believe like me. It’s a choice. I have learned incredible amounts about people and their spiritual beliefs here. It’s a beautiful thing. Over the last couple of years, I’ve become “FB friends” with some incredible musicians. I don’t know these folk, but it’s a outstanding when a musician and/or fan shares an incredible memory or story. Imma Marine Corps veteran, the incredible brotherhood that is apart of Marine Corps history, is thriving here. We can immediately see pictures that could be from space, 250 miles above earth, blows my mind. FB has re-built friendships here with folks you’ve not seen in 20+ years.
I have my phone in my hand, a lot. Tis true, but I also have valuable information at my fingertips. Yes, if I need a recipe, learn how to fix a lawnmower or need to know how to freeze broccoli, it’s there. You didn’t pick up your Satanic Bible today, it’s right there. You need a pack of underwear… Order it, from your toilet… do it. It’s great. If you can’t get ahold of me thru text, message me on FB.
Unfortunately, this is where we are. Like it or not. This is it. Smart phones are not limited to any age, it’s all ages. To you dear friends, the ones that complain about smart phones, turn yours off and see how that works for you. Of course, you could always go to that cabin, and spend a year there… for free… with no technology available. Go!!! Enjoy. But imma sit here and play a game on #Facebook and listen to some gnarly tunes… Oh, is anybody hiring?
#ThoughtoftheDay : This happened and I know I am not the only one to think these things, you’ll not convince me otherwise… I have to go to the bank today and I am at the ATM. Keep in mind, this ATM is under the bank as the building sits higher than the parking area behind it. I pull under the building to go to the ATM. It’s dark under there. I am waiting and paying attention to my surroundings, as I do. I watch a young white man riding his bicycle under the awning and get off his bicycle. I’m paying attention …pretty close attention now, not alarmed or scared. It’s a good day… Gentleman walks up behind me as I’m the only car under there, and stands. Right behind me. Dude, I’m at the ATM here… kinda like being in the men’s room. Look strait. Stay away. Wash hands, exit. Simple right… 🤔
Now, imagine same scenario, only the cyclist was BLACK. Ending hate starts with me.
Yesterday, I had the awesome, yet heartbreaking opportunity to witness the funeral of a young man that was loved by many. He was and is a son, brother, a grandson, a father, a veteran, and a friend to many. This young man was also a police officer in the local police department and the Honor, Respect, and Loyalty paid to him from his local brothers in Blue was unlike anything I have ever seen. Police officers from Lamar county, Madison county, officers from Texas and Georgia and the whole police force showed up to pay their respects to a fallen brother, along with others that I am unable to recall. What an experience! My words can only shed a small amount of light onto an experience that was heartbreaking, yet so awesome at the same time. Literally, hundreds of Police Officers, paramedics and firefighters were in attendance. Police officers often times abuse their authority and/or labeled “BAD” cops, but what I witnessed yesterday changed the way that I view their career choice. As I thought about the negativity that is associated with the few bad ones, there are many many good ones that try and do the right things. Let us remember that these men and women are doing a job that comes with minimal pay, they do it out of love for service. It is often a thankless career choice and the lives that are touched or changed by an officer is often silenced by the loud roar of anger and hatred toward a small number of “Bad Ones”. You do not hear people cuss the bad “Doctors”, “Preachers” or “Teacher”, etc. We live in a society that requires men and women to enforce laws, without these laws we would be an uncivilized society, nobody wants that. So, today I salute you, Officer Zac Denny, Lt Mark Denny and the other men and women that serve their communities.
Zac’s parents, are two friends of mine that I have known for 30+ years. Zac’s uncles were very close friends while growing up and Zac’s Grandmother’s house was a second home to me as a kid growing up in Rawls Springs, so we have a history together. The neighborhood kids always met up at their house and we tore up the ‘hood’ out there in the 80’s. Great memories! As a kid you never think of something like this happening to a loved one or a dear friend, Its So Unfair!
However, as I watched with wide eyes and a tear throughout this event, I was struck with a some very obvious characteristics of a mother. A mother that was laying her son to rest in a grave, to never see again. To never hold again. To never listen to his heartache again. A mother that will never look into her baby boys eyes again. A mother that will never know what many opportunities and accomplishments he may gain. It is so final! A mother that, her last look at her son was in a casket wrapped in a flag with many articles surrounding him, like his sunglasses, dog tags, I think were in there. Finally, as soft music played the funeral directors carried them away for a final word, possibly a prayer and the casket was quietly shut. That was the last time she would ever see him again on this earth. I wondered if she realized that this was it. The time no mother or father should experience. The final call! I saw a proud father speak of his Boy. How they had their ups and down and had since made peace. How beautiful! I saw a proud, strong father stand and talk about his boy, his accomplishments, What a great soldier he was and what a great police officer he was. How, one night he had worked a long night of overtime, his son was involved in some police activities and the fear he experienced from hearing radio silence. Then, there it was, the squelch broke and his son replied with a 10-4, suspect apprehended and all is well! What relief his dad must have felt upon hearing that. I heard how over the last couple of days of his life, the family had spent some time together and how the bonds of family were built stronger. How this young man had made things right with other family members, that at one time may not have been so right. I wondered if maybe, God was preparing him, for that final call. To make everything right with himself, just in case something was to happen. Life is crazy at times and I can’t help but believe this was the case. I heard a Dad, proclaim to his son, that as his father and the grandfather of the young child(Zac’s son), on behalf of this child, “I’ll Take Over from Here!”
There were other family members experiencing very much pain. A sister, a young senior in high school. She didn’t say too much. A quiet young beautiful girl with much pain and feelings of not understanding, I am sure. That’s okay, because her mother and dad were the example of how to live life in times of adversity. They will walk with her closely these next few years and guide and protect her. I saw the grandparents grieving and supporting their children through all of this. I saw numerous aunts and uncles grieving, wiping tears, along with other extended family members and friends.
When all of this happened, Zac’s mother and my wife are dear friends, she told my wife this, as her son was battling serious injury and grave chances, she told my wife, “God is still Good, no matter what happens.” Now, my mind, thought well you are a better person than I because I’d be saying the opposite, knowing me. Throughout this terrible ordeal this woman has been an example of what Christian people should be in this life. She has showed unwavering faith, strength and peace, in what has been the most difficult time of their lives. She is a rock, a foundation, PETRA! We visited the funeral home on Tuesday night and while waiting in line with my 17 year old daughter, who recently lost a dear friend (a second mom really), This mother put aside her grief and and showed true concern and care and compassion to my daughter concerning this other issue. Even today, not even 24 hours after having laid her son to rest she texted my wife and other close friends in a group text and she said this, “God is so Good!” Wow! Today, I honor you, you are an inspiration with a quiet roar that God is proud of. I believe that he is going to provide you with much peace and love to you and your family the next couple of days especially. God Bless You!
Arriving at the graveside services, parking was not a planned event for this many people at the small cemetary in Rawls Springs, where he was laid to rest by his Grandfather. Police cars, Police motorcycles and ambulances were the vehicle of choice for a lot of folks there. We walked a 1/4 mile after parking on the side of the road. Zac’s police car was on a wrecker with the lights on, blue lights will never carry the same dread for me now. Following a 21 gun Salute and taps, a few words by the Minister, a Final Call was given on the police radio, loud enough for the whole community to hear. The dispatcher called out, “Standby to copy the final call to 306, Officer Zac Denny. Hattiesburg to 306…..Hattiesburg to 306…Hattiesburg to 306. All units, 306 is forever 10-7.” Strong! Heartbreaking! Honor! Respect! We never know when that Final Call is going to ring, May we always be ready and may we never forget 306, Officer Zac Denny!