"We do not see things as they are. We see things as we are.* ~Annais Nin
When I was around 11 or 12 years old, my family lived in Post Texas. On the weekends, it was perfectly normal for me to spend the night at one or the other sets of grandparents. One Friday night found me at my maternal grandparents.
We called them Mama and Dad. Later, after my parents became grandparents, they took on the name Mama and Dad and the originals became Big Mama and Big Dad. Big Mama was not amused in the least.
I don't blame her.
That night we had eaten coke floats. The coke came out of those little glass bottles. I was sitting on her orange nagauhyde couch. The one that you stuck to in the summer time. I am sure that we were watching something totally inappropriate and not allowed by my mom. Plus, it was past my bedtime. This is the grandmother that would have let me get away with murder. She introduced to those *true* crime magazines, harlequin romances and the twilight zone.
Big mama was also the one that *secretly* smoked cigarettes and thought that my grandfather did not know. She kept a jar of her butts under the couch in the living room. She would smoke outside and then run and put the butt in the jar so that big dad would not see them. We went to town on Wednesday's because she had a standing hair appointment and then we would go get groceries at the Piggly Wiggly because it was double stamp day. One the way home, she would light up. She would smoke all of the way home until we got to the cattle guard at their place. She would then stop, while still smoking, and spray me, the car and herself down with a big can of Aqua Net. Sometimes, I wonder how I survived childhood.....are how much smarter I might have been if brain cells had not been killed off at such an early age.
That Friday night we were watching the first part of the news when the reporter stated that a State Trooper had been beaten to death that night while on patrol in Post Texas. That was the first time I can remember feeling my blood run cold. My daddy was the only one working that night.
I ran to the phone to call my mom. Her first words were *Why are you not in bed?*. She had not called to tell us anything because she thought that we were asleep. My daddy was not dead but had been injured. She had spoken to him and he was still out working a road block.
He had stopped a car out in the country while out on patrol that night. There were two juveniles in the car. Turns out, the car was stolen. The two young men jumped my daddy and beat him with a club. He bore a score over his nose for the rest of his life. It also caused him to lose most of his hearing in one ear. The older of the two tried to get his gun. Daddy told me that the older teen told the other kid that they had to kill him. They wrestled for awhile. The younger man finally talked the other out of it. They left my daddy laying there. My daddy knew the younger man had saved his life. They were eventually caught.
It doesn't matter what color they were.
Many people in my family and extended family are in law enforcement or some part of the judicial system. Many of my friends are officers. I have a son that is about to become an officer. I myself have been in a branch of the judicial system for almost 20 years. I have had the privilege of knowing many good people who want the best for all people. I have seen bad people in my line of work. That happens in all lines of work. I still believe that the good outweighs the bad.
Maybe I am not smart enough to understand all that is going on in the world right now. I know that there are layers upon layers that need to be sorted out and worked on. I do not know if we start with those layers or if we just go straight to the core. I have noticed that you get into trouble if you voice something contrary to popular opinion. I also understand that we have a ways to re-learn how we should be and to make everyone equal.
Last week I was told that *I live in a fantasy world.* I agreed that I do and it works well for me. I still believe that good is going to win. That the light will always shine. That people can change. That love can be bigger than hate. I believe in black, blue, brown, yellow, white. I believe in hearts. I believe the world is bat shit crazy but, we can survive it. And, by me believing in all of that, it does not diminish ANY OTHER CAUSE.
One of my favorite quotes is at the top of this blog. When I first read it, it changed so much for me. All of what we know is what and where we have come from. We look at every experience colored with our own histories and backgrounds. That is alright as long as we know that is what we are doing and try to step outside of ourselves and see things though another lens. We can only do that by listening. Truly listening. The violence and the killings make us deaf.
I am up to friendly discussion because I do want to learn and make things better. Feel free to leave a comment. No negativity please. We can talk and discuss freely. I want to try to see through your eyes.
It has to get better.....I have too much left to do.
.......Any views expressed in this blog are mine and mine alone.