At the time of my heart surgery last December, a gift came my way in the form of a 16-month Wall Calendar for 2019, titled simply “brave at heart”. Here are the monthly illustrations, which speak for themselves:
Here is the link to the publisher of the calendar. Calendars come and go. This one is a keeper for me.
Of course, Happy Mother’s Day! This year, my thoughts diverge.
Every single one of us has a Mother…and a Dad…and bound up in the two of them, regardless of their personal characteristics, we connect back thousands of generations. Families abound, beyond the human species, which is only one of millions. We are born, live, die, our time here temporary.
Beyond the single commonality of becoming a being, everyone’s individual circumstances differ, from childhood forward. We each have our story. My “favorite” for some odd reason is the song about an angry kid and his far less than perfect Dad. It’s the tune Johnny Cash made famous, “A Boy Named Sue”…. Johnny’s boy carried his baggage along…well, I just listened again to the song by Johnny on YouTube. Go for it. Best I recall, the first rendition I found on YouTube – the most famous – was performed by Cash at Folsom Prison, in front of an appreciative audience of inmates. What “boy named Sue” stories they could tell….
Friday, we went over to get the now-traditional flower gifts for Mother’s Day at the local lock-up a few miles from here. A program there is growing things, and from this flows the annual flower sale. The folks assisting are all inmates, and the program is run by a group called VIC (Volunteers in Corrections). It is a given that the folks assisting us in picking and moving the plants, and the ones who nurtured those plants in the first place, are there for a good reason. They are inmates.
Likely the volunteers and the customers as well, have their own stories from their own history, or from their own family, however large or small. Life happens and can be very messy sometimes – bumps in life’s road – and the best one can hope for is that one’s misdeeds or misfortunes can lead towards a better future. There is no assurance of ‘happily ever after’.
At the workhouse, the many stories quietly intersect among the pretty flowers.
We could go the traditional route with store-bought flowers, perhaps for a similar, perhaps even at a lower cost, but there is something that brings us back each year to this place once called the “workhouse”.
Which leads me back to this business called “family”.
Families are far more than just the most basic unit. We all know that.
Families are cousins, they are neighborhoods, towns, counties, states, nations…we are all part of many families, various communities. Most work reasonably well; some don’t….
Right now, we’re in a very dysfunctional country at the top. Too many trying to pretend that one tribe is better than another, and doesn’t deserve equal consideration: a few win, most lose.
Combat of any kind doesn’t work in the most ordinary of two person families. It certainly won’t work long term if our country is to have any chance of remaining a home to be proud of.
Happy Mother’s Day.