Soccer, Tears and Wedding Bells

It has been years since I’ve written a blog post. It’s a blessing to be able to make money doing something you enjoy, but when the joy disappears, it’s time to take a break. I’ve done that and now it’s time to start again.

As you can imagine, much has happened since my last post. My son started playing soccer and then stopped playing soccer when he broke the longest and strongest bone in his body…his femur! That happened in January and we still have doctor’s appointments and X-rays. God was good and my son is fine. He isn’t cleared to play sports yet and for now that’s fine with me.

My daughter got married in February of this year, about a month after my son’s injury. He still took part in the wedding, walking down the aisle with swag and a pair of crutches.

With so much going on, my husband and I found ourselves emotionally drained. We were not expecting the effect these two events would have on us. My husband would catch me crying in one room and a few minutes later I’d catch him crying in another. We have talked to close friends about this and it seems to be the norm when the fledglings leave the nest. Transition isn’t an easy thing. Thank God for God.

I guess I have a lot more to say than I thought I would in this post. Honestly, I planned on writing about something else entirely; but that’s okay. If you are going through an emotional time right now, whether it be an injured child, an empty nest or something else, God is there to help.

I had a crazy dream last night. I am getting older and many women say menopause causes your dreams to be more bizarre and vivid. I have to say, I agree with them. Last night I dreamed I was driving my friends’ truck with a Winnebago attached to it. I backed up the truck and Winneabego, (which I would NEVER do in reality) and lost control of the vehicle which resulted in the destruction of everything behind me and around me. When the vehicle finally came to a stop, I just sat there stunned. I was not looking forward to explaining what happened to my friends. When I woke up, I was beyond relieved! Then I had this thought, “How can you help someone when their devastation is REAL? When you can’t do anything to make it go away?” Then I heard that still small voice… “Give them hope that is eternal and be there when they need you.”

You see, we can’t always change the circumstances, whether it be our own or of the ones we love. We CAN, however encourage ourselves and others with the eternal hope that God’s Word speaks of- Jesus. We CAN lend a hand or give a hug. We CAN listen. We CAN wipe a tear, or send a card. Life can be so daily sometimes. Then other times it’s unpredictable, hard and sad; but with God’s help and with each other we can make it.

1Peter 1:1-25

 

“Luke, I am your father.” Darth Vader

MechelleRitchieFoster.com

1-darth-vadar-skullWhen I think about the word father, the first thing that comes to my mind is this quote, “Luke, I am your father.” I know. Weird, huh? You say, “father” and I think of Darth Vader. You may think about the day your dad taught you to ride a bike or the time he took you camping. You may remember fishing with your dad or the gaudy tie you gave him for Father’s Day that he wore proudly because it was from you, his child. I’ve never met my dad, so I don’t have any warm, fuzzy feelings about him or memories to draw upon while writing this entry.

I can, however, write about my father, God. I recognized Him as my father when I was 11 years old. From that point on, He put men in my life who would step up and be the paternal example that I…

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Mothers

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My mother and me. 1972

Mothers will always be mothers.
Remembering how proud they were when you learned to crawl.
Surprised to see you running.

Always looking at you like you were still a fresh infant.
Head tilted, half-smiling, eyes full of almost-tears. Calling you “Baby” and “Sugar” in front of people… you know… and don’t know.

Mothers will always be mothers they will.
And they will sacrifice so much.
But you will never know it, if they are the good kind.
And you will never understand it until you become one.

Mechelle Ritchie Foster

Dedicated to my mother. She raised two girls on her own, always putting us first.

She is the good kind.

Color Blind

20130818-175110.jpgI just saw the movie, The Butler. It was an eye-opening film and I’m glad I saw it. Almost immediately, we, the audience were presented with disturbing images. I actually looked away from the scene of two black men who had been hanged from the same noose. Soon after that image, we see a black man shot in the head at point-blank range because he defended the honor of his wife.

Shocking? Provocative? Yes. I think it was smart for the director to show us these things. Why would he want to soften the blow or candy-coat these images? For the sake of appropriateness? To avoid upsetting movie-goers? The sheer truth of the matter is, there was a time in history when black people saw these horrible acts and even worse EVERY DAY! I was crying before my popcorn had a chance to get cold. Even the fact that I was eating popcorn during the movie felt disrespectful to the people who lived through these turbulent times. Turbulent times… the exact description I want to use; and for a little over 2 hours I felt like I was part of those times.

I can honestly say, even though, as a child, my family was affected by domestic violence, I have NEVER experienced such hatred as was depicted in this film and as was lived by the people who were there when our country chose to allow slavery and racial prejudice. The hatred I experienced was a symptom. A symptom of jealousy. A symptom of insecurity. A by-product of physical or sexual abuse. But it never ran so deep as to be provoked by the color of one’s skin.

I will try to keep this post short. I don’t want to spoil the movie for you. I will just say, the acting was superb and the director was brilliant. He chose to introduce us to The Gaines Family. We got to know them as people. For 120+ minutes, racism wasn’t just something that happened to somebody, sometime. No. Racism was affecting the lives of our friends. We saw what they saw, felt what they felt, dreamed what they dreamed and lived what they lived.

I did not vote for Barack Obama because I do not agree with his political platform. I do understand better now, why his election was such a victorious day for black people. There was a time in this country’s history when electing a black man to the office of president would have been considered by most people the equivalent of blasphemy. I am glad that this is no longer the consensus of our nation.

After, the movie, I went to the ladies’ room. As I was washing my hands, I took notice of a black woman who was also at the sink washing her hands. Before that moment, I would have never given this a second thought or even a first; but this time it really touched me. I’m glad I didn’t grow up during the time when my black brothers and sisters had to use a separate bathroom or ride in the back of the bus or sit at a different lunch counter. I am also glad that my children have never experienced segregation. We are ALL created in the image of God. He loves us ALL. We need to follow His example and love one another. We all need to be color blind.

The Day I Met George Clooney

IPOL/GLOBE PHOTOS INC

IPOL/GLOBE PHOTOS INC

I met George Clooney a long time ago. His hair was longer, darker and wavy; not short and tinged with gray like it is now. He was a handyman working to rebuild Edna Garrett’s business. He had a great smile and was a fun, friendly guy. I knew from the moment I saw him we would be life-long friends.

You’re probably thinking that I am delusional about now. Or if not, you are most likely a 40-something like me, and are following me so closely that you are stepping on the back of my flip-flops.

George Clooney joined the cast of The Facts of Life in 1985- that’s where I met him. You too? Small world. The Facts of Life was my favorite show when I was umpam years old. (No, Spell-checker, I am not trying to spells “mumps.” Umpam” is the sound I make when I cover my mouth as I say the exact age I was when I watched The Facts of Life. You “like, totally” missed that!) Something I was thinking about early this morning knocked over a trail of my thought dominos and started a chain reaction that led me here… to the Eastland Academy. I don’t have any earth-shattering revelations to share; just a nostalgic post.
I loved The Facts of Life. It lasted for nine seasons, so apparently a lot of other people loved it too. The show covered many issues that we all encounter when we’re growing up and provided a close-up look at what it’s like to deal with relationships with our parents, friends, teachers and the opposite sex.

Before I start rambling on about Blair, Jo, Natalie or Tootie, I’ll leave you with this… What T.V. household did you enjoy going to as a kid? Did you go there every week? Every day? Maybe you should pay them a visit. You might have left a few things over there, like…smiles, laughs, memories… Why don’t you go back and pick those up? And hey! Take your kids with you. I plan to.