Friday, March 30, 2007

Ready. Aim. Fire.

I. am. not. politically. correct. PERIOD.

I have little to no tolerance for those who will not help themselves. PERIOD.

Do not confuse this statement for "those who can not help themselves."

There is a difference. A HUGE difference.

This morning a woman (fifty something), her daughter (thirty something) and granddaughter, came into my office. The smell was.....well....not good. As my grandmother always said....."soap is cheap", definately alot cheaper than the cigarettes they were smoking to help attain the nice aroma.

The woman was in front of me complaining about how nobody would pay for their bill, which was over a year old and we have NEVER hassled her about paying. She was irate that no one else, not the father-in-law, not the government, not a life insurance company that they had failed to pay their premiums to.....nobody would pay it.

My insides were tightening, the hair on the back of my neck began to stand up, and my heart began to race.

Attitude is everything. EVERYTHING. And hers sucked!

We have written off more than our share of bills. There isn't one person that works here that doesn't realize that death is unpredictable, and most people aren't prepared. For people already essentially living paycheck to paycheck, there generally isn't any left at the end of the month for a funeral bill. I mean, afterall, what are we going to do? Dig the person up? Not hardly.

Some people just do not have it to give, others send in $5-10 a month. But is the awareness. The acknowledgement. And the TRY!

There is a level of respect reserved for those who want to do the right thing, but are not able. There is an honor in trying.....

For me, however, there is NO honor in sitting back on a well-able backside bitching because NO ONE else will step up to the plate. PERIOD. And it was obvious that she certainly wasn't going to.

When the thirty-something daughter, marched her three year old angel faced daughter up to me pushed her towards my desk and says...llike a parent bragging on their child....."She is three. She has had seziures. We had DFS declare her disabled. (AND I QUOTE) She gets a check every month!"

I wanted to grab that little girl and run. What type of life do you have being introduced to the world as ".........disabled.....she gets a check every month now!." As if the pride comes not from the person she is and will grow to be, but yet from the fact that, at 3, "she gets a check now."

My voice and my words barely stayed in check as I continued to offer our help and services to these people.

"These people" are the people who make me question the system. "These people" are the people who make me support (go ahead and throw stones) some Republican policies. There is something to be said about being accountable for yourself, whether willingly, or forcefully. I am not unaware of the flaws in the system or the party. I do not support/or not support someone because of the political party they are affiliated with.....but their standpoints. And many times, I find that I, *gasp* agree with the elephants.

I feel thesystem is in place to help those who really trully need it, and yet those who need it, often times the elderly, do not get it because of capable individuals who refuse to do for themselves. These are the *people* I refer to. I have worked in the medical field, in banking and now in the funeral home industry and have seen "these people", in all of these occupations. My experiences have shown me that often times the people who need the help the worst are the last to ask for it....... It has also made me skeptical of the people who walk throught the door with their hand already out.

I have worked for, as my husband has, everything we have. Nothing has been given to us. We are no strangers to hard work. As cheesy as it sounds, it is our heritage. It is how we were raised and it is how we will raise our children. If you are able to work...... you do.

I do know that my world is a little different than the city life I read about in other blogs. I have a deep respect for Jen at "droolstreet", although I am generally a silent lurker there, I am inspired by her stories and I silently cheer her on with her quest to eradicate homelessness and the entrapments of poverty.

So where do I fit in? Am I somewhere in the middle. Can you straddle the fence, so to speak? It is rural here......am I so far removed from reality that I can't see the hand in front of my face? Maybe I am just a country girl that is too naive to "get it".

Enlighten me. (and let the stone throwing begin)

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Something you have never done before.....

This past weekend taught me a lesson of sorts. How long the lesson will last.....well, that is another story, but.... I'm trying.

I am very prone with getting caught in the daily grind....same thing, day in and day out, to the point that I lose sight of what life is about. I know I am not alone.

I have to consciously tell myself to "slow down", listen to my kids (I mean REALLY listen to them), play with them like there isn't anything else I need to be doing, and to be present in each moment.


What is the saying......"Life isn't measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away." In my 30 years, I have found myself winded by the constant running through life, rather than from experiencing life.


But, hey, you are never too old to turn it around.


CASE IN POINT.

This past weekend the circus was in town. Of course, my children were on board, ready to go, excited about the opportunity. I however, was somewhat dreading it. OK, not somewhat dreading it. Completely dreading it. Nothing against the circus, but trying to keep two children sitting still and facing forward...... It made me tired just thinking about it. But I put on my excited face paired with my excited voice and proclaimed to my children, "We are going to the circus!"

My mom and I took the kids. Hubby refuses to go to the circus and give his hard earned money to people "profiting from the exploitation of animals..." I however was like, "exploit away!" if it entertains my children.

We asked my grandpa M (my mothers father) and my grandma S (my fathers mother) if they too, would like to come along.

My grandpa is always game for coming along for the ride.

My grandma stays home more and doesn't really enjoy large crowds, but had never been to a circus.

Both are 88 years old. EIGHTY-EIGHT YEARS OLD! 88!

I was excited about sharing this experience with my grandparents. But truthfully I worried a little about essentially having four children to look after, but I figured it would be worth it.

AND IT MOST DEFINATELY WAS!

In my grandparents eyes I witnessed pure joy at the sight of happy children, unabashed awe at the sights of the circus, and a childlike happiness that comes from the very nature of the circus itself. During many of the acts I found myself watching my grandparents instead of the performers, and was thrilled to see their mouths dropped open with the corners turned up in half smiles.


My grandpa told me that while his children were growing up he was too busy running his business to ever do anything like this with his children and now that they are grown he is finding himself at a circus with his great-grandchildren, something he never had time to do....or rather MADE time to do with his own.

Miss L decided that she wanted to ride the elephant.

Why not? I thought. It is something that she has never done before and something that she will always remember. I remember riding the elephant myself when I was younger. And do you know what? My grandpa M, decided that he too, had never ridden an elephant, and why not? "Might as well try it!" he said. "It is something I have never done before." And so we rode. Miss L, grandpa M and myself.

And in my grandparents first, I too, experienced a first. I got to see the circus through the eyes of someone who had stepped out of the daily rat race of life and let the moment take their breath away.