Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

Decoration Day.  That's what my great grandma, Lena Mae Ketchum Slocter called today.  She decorated graves on Memorial Day.  Meaning she took flowers and placed them around the tombstones of loved ones she'd lost.

My mind goes to thoughts of her today.  No, she wasn't a veteran.  She did send a son to war.  Thankfully, he returned.  She lived through the Vietnam era and I'm certain prayed prayers to keep my National Guard enlisted father (her first born grandchild) in the US.  Thankfully, he never was deployed overseas.  She was one half Delaware Indian.  Her paternal great grandpa's name was Ta We Lah Len.  She was a descendant on her mother's side of Abraham Pitsenbarger.  He was a German immigrant who served in the Revolutionary Army.  She married Ernie, the son of German immigrant, Raymond Slocter, who actually returned to Germany after his wife died.  So I guess my great grandma was a true American, as in she had both the native and immigrant covered.

Why do I dwell on her today and not my mother's father who received a Purple Heart in WWII?  Well, thoughts of Lena Mae are much more pleasant.  Though my maternal grandfather returned whole physically after being shot in combat in Europe, he wasn't exactly a hero to my mom and grandma.  But that's a story for another day. . . . . .

Today I choose to remember one of my favorite people.  I'm too far away to visit her grave.  So I'll remember her with a song I know she liked.  Hopefully you can hear it.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Thinking on Their Own

Yesterday my soon to be 12 daughter asked me this:  "Was Joseph a virgin?"  She was referring to Joseph, earthly father of Jesus, husband of Mary.  She went on to state that we know Mary was virgin, but what about Joseph. . . .

Well, to be honest, I'd never contemplated that thought before.  I guess I've always assumed, since the bible mentions Joseph was a righteous (just, good, etc., depending on your version) man, he wasn't the Casanova of Nazareth.  

How'd I answer her question?  Well, I kind of mumbled through something like the bible really doesn't say for sure, but I'm pretty certain he was.  Interesting question.  And really, why didn't Matthew and Luke mention if Joseph had been with a woman?   And beyond that, why is my Protestant daughter reflecting on the Virgin Mary outside of the Christmas season?  
I suppose she's thinking on her own.

My son and I have had some recent interaction regarding political persuasion.  I don't think he completely agrees with me on every issue.  He's 15 and I realize he'll probably change his mind about lots of things throughout his lifetime.  

I know some folks who would be troubled with that.  They want their kids to be smaller, younger copies of them.  Politically, theologically, etc.  Honestly, I'm glad my kids are thinking for themselves.  I'm glad they have questions. 
Don't take that to mean I encourage ideals that would harm them.  I simply want them to care, to think, to be something besides a ME born in the 1990s. 

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mothers and Daughters

I had a revelation a couple nights ago while getting ready for bed:  There are 10 years left.

Let me explain. . . . At lunch on Saturday our family sat in a downtown Lexington restaurant celebrating Mother's Day.  It was the University of Kentucky's graduation day.  A young man in cap and gown walked down the street.  Back to the revelation - if she stays on track, and I completely expect she will, my youngest child, my sweet Allie, will graduate college in ten years.  Thirty years after I graduated.  Ten years and she'll walk the line, shake a hand, and soon after turn 22.

While ten years is a long time, a decade actually, I know it will go by quick.  Allie recently pulled a dress out of my closet that I purchased ten years ago to wear on a cruise celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary.  The time since then has sped by.  It's hard to believe.

So I have ten years left with Allie in our household.  Considering four of those she'll most likely spend in a college dorm or apartment means six years.  Six years to make sure she understands all the important bits and pieces of life. . . . how to do laundry, how to balance a checkbook, how to drive, that her self worth is not dependent on others opinions, that shopping at Goodwill is a better choice than Macy's and/or Ann Taylor, that one can lead a successful, well adjusted life without a Coach handbag, that "life is what you make it" (a quote from my mom) and when all else fails, singing "My Favorite Things" and half a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips can get you through most bad days.

Most importantly, I hope she grasps that God loves her.  Not because she never did drugs, was kind to animals, made excellent grades, never dated a felon, and kept gossip to a minimum.  I hope she comprehends that God loves her - period.  No performance needed.  No grades, no beauty, no job, no accomplishment necessary.  No prerequisites. 

Gosh, I still struggle to believe it for me.  So many females don't accept this.  So many of us DO, but can't just BE.  Be still, be grateful, be peaceful, be content.  But I wish her an acceptance, a whole-hearted understanding that nothing, zero, nada, separates her from the love of God.  The purity of a love that requires nothing.  The perfection of a love that, even though we're undeserving, is lavished on us, is lavished on her.  I hope in 2020 she believes that and lives that.