My wife’s grandmother has recently been placed in a nursing facility. She will not be returning home. The family has begun the often painful process of sorting the things in her home. There’s a finality to this that no one wants to talk about openly, but everyone understands.  Things are coming to an end much faster than had been anticipated.  Everything has a deeper personal meaning to it.  We are experiencing “The lasts”.  For instance, today was the last time we walked through Granny’s house.

The house sold much more quickly than anyone expected. That limited the amount of time we had to reminisce. It also cut short the time for closure. My wife walked through her grandmother’s house for the very last time to see all of the items that had been cherished for so long scattered on a table for public display. The ceramic ashtray that one of the kids made, complete with a handprint and “I Love You Granny” scrawled into it sits there with a price tag. How do you even begin to price an item like that. No one really remembers who made it. But it was precious to Granny. What do you do with a closet full of sweatshirts that say “World’s Greatest Grandmother”? You can’t sell them to someone else, for they surely do not have a granny as wonderful as yours. How about the refridgerator magnets from around the world? Do you remember the extra amount of time you spent picking out the one that was the perfect shade of Granny’s favorite color? Who cares if it was a 50¢ trinket from the world’s biggest ball of yarn.  It was a treasure that she proudly displayed for over thirty years.  Every time we passed through a room, we found one more item we couldn’t possibly put out in a common “Yard Sale”. 

So we brought home a pick-up load of stuff.  Mother’s Day cards made of construction paper and crayon, Barbie Dolls with the toes chewed off and hand made clothes to fit the Barbie Dolls are just a small sample of the riches.  We also kept a collection of children’s books and dresses for Girl2.

I have often teased my wife over the stuff that she hoards.  It seems as though every time the baby scribbles on a piece of paper, it’s a masterpiece to be hung in the Louvre.  The kid is about to turn three and as of this writing she is on her fourth “memory box”.  I tell her that this is all stuff the kids will have to throw away when we die.  These words haunt us now as we unpack and find a place for all of the memories we have brought home with us today.  Every box brings another wave of emotion.

I won’t tease her about this stuff anymore.  Well, I’ll try not to tease her as much.  Aside from all the psychological preperation this stuff puts us through, there is a certain amount… no, there is a great amount of peace that comes with the knowledge that these memories are still cherished.  The memories will last another generation. 

Comming Along Nicely

With the upgrade to Word Press 2.5.1, I found that a lot of my plugins no longer worked. For the uninitiated, that translates into a loss of my gallery, my archives, my printing link, etc. After quite a bit of searching and tweaking, I have most of them working again. YAY!

Soon I should have the forum up and running again, and I *WILL* find time to start podcasting again.

Are Ya'll Ready For This?

Obama Girl

Are ya’ll ready for this?  There is another hip-hop campaign that just made the big time.  Remember when Bill Clinton was the candidate for change?  He was young and energetic.  He was cool with the MTV crowd.  Hillary should have been taking notes.  Tonight she just lost out to Barack Obama for the Democrat Party nomination.  He just out slicked the slickest campaign machine ever to grease a palm.  That is, IF Hillary concedes.  There’s always the chance that she will drag this out counting on the super delegates to intercede for her.

I firmly believe that Bush has done a lousy job as President.  Not because of the decisions he made regarding policy, though I disagree with many.  No, he failed in public opinion.  He let the spin get out of control.  When he needed to look sharp and be at the top of his game, he would commit a “Bushism“.  From reading story books to elementary school children, to golf, to fishing, it seems he was never fully at the helm when some major disaster struck America.  And, oh did the press go wild with that.  By the time he would get his act together, it was almost always too little too late.

Now, the voice of change is supposed to be Barack Obama.  Four years ago, he was a state level senator.  Today, he’s the Democrat nominee.  That’s exactly what John Kennedy did, right?  And I’ll tell you, I have a lot of respect for Mr. Obama.  In his short political life, he has managed to vote directly in line with his promises.  Unfortunately, he has almost always voted exactly opposite of what I would have like for him to do.  But it does say a lot for the man that he honors his word.  You don’t find many politicians these days like that.

He has been catching a lot of flack lately, though, because of his affiliation with a black church.  A church made up predominantly of African-Americans.  A church whose recently retired preacher has made several racist comments.  Obama has been asked point blank if he agrees with these comments.  His first response was that he hadn’t really noticed them.  Then he began to distance himself from them.  Finally, he disavowed that church.  His association there, however, is the talk of the town.  The once poster boy of the media is now firmly in its cross hairs.  Let me be one of the first to point out that Barack Obama is black.  ;) I would challenge you to find a church going black man that hasn’t sat through a similar sermon.  That, to me, makes this a non-issue.  You are not going to find a candidate that belongs to a church that hasn’t been accused of espousing racial doctrine.  You are not going to elect a candidate that doesn’t go to church.

The biggest question I have, as I’m sure many others are asking as well, is America ready for a black president?  Are we mature enough?  I live in a part of this country where “nigger” is commonly heard in jokes and slurs.  I look around and I see in almost every city, a predominantly black side and a white side (there are other ethnicities, of course:  Chinatown, Little Italy, etc.).  The racial divide in this country is slimming, but still great.  We live in a country where Mayor Nagin can desire and campaign for a Chocolate City.  It’s not that shocking that he said it.  What’s shocking is that he thought it was the right thing to say.  That has no bearing whatsoever on Obama, but it demonstrates the racial divide that still exists within this country.

Glenn Beck once said that people don’t vote against something, they vote for something.  I wish that were true.  My hope is that from September to November, we can at least try to see past the race issues.