These are fearsome times, there is just no getting away from it. The world scene changes minute to minute, second to second. Political upheaval, assassinations, earthquakes in one place after another, deadly plagues and so much death and suffering. It could seem hopeless if a person did not know that there is a God who will soon end the anguish.
I was that person. I knew he was there, I just did not acknowledge him. I did my level best to do everything he condemns, and I was succeeding. That is real fear, knowing you are disobeying the Supreme Ruler, and that soon you will have to make an accounting. But if I did enough cocaine, drank enough Budweiser chased by some Jack with a few pills thrown in (for good measure) I could blow God off for one more day. One more miserable, painful, agonized day. Because, for me, the dope wore off way too quickly. Then in the crushing weight of dawn my pitiable condition was visible even to me, let alone the world.
I saw the fear in these eyes, the self-loathing, the hate. I lashed out at every single person I came in contact with, and I was violent. How violent can a biker chick be? You might ask the dude I beat so bad he crawled under a car to escape. I can still see his face, and it makes me sick, to know how venomous I was. My husband was worse than me, and the two of us joined with groups who were just like us.
Come to think of it, when I watch the news I often see rage and hate filled faces just like mine used to look. But were we meant to look so ugly? Sound so angry? Feel so much hate?
I wonder what the faces of the people who nailed Jesus to a stake looked like. Do you think they looked filled with rage and anger when they yelled at the top of their lungs to Pontius Pilate to execute him?
“To the stake with him!”
The life I was living, the way I felt, the hatred for my fellow man, would I have been in that murderous crowd? Would Jesus have looked on me as I called for him to be killed, the spotless Son of God? The Messiah who God sent to give his life blood as a ransom to pay for all my sins?
I don’t have to wonder. I know God and his only-begotten Son saw my hateful face, every single day I have been on this earth. All 58 years. But the face they see today holds love in her eyes, a light that only began to shine when I turned around, repented, took in accurate knowledge of God’s will and made public declaration that I will serve Him forever.
Oh, what great relief. What a lifting off of weight from my shoulders, stooped shoulders that had carried the burden of hatred and sin for many sad years. Was it hard to change? Yes, in a physical way, it hurt to quit using and drinking-but that pain was brief, and the reward is the best high ever. I thought I would crave the coke, the cigarettes, the drink, forever. But that is not the case. Thru prayer and study of the Bible my compulsions have been lifted, and while I still sin every day I know God will forgive me when I ask and stop whatever I am doing.
The amazing thing is that now that I have learned to love, I have such great love for my heavenly Father that I don’t want to hurt him, ever. I didn’t know my actions actually hurt him, but then I never bothered to learn about the Sovereign of the Universe before. He is Love. He is love.
So, now I am still funny looking, but God’s love makes me beautiful. And this love makes you beautiful to me! I hope some small word of this touches your heart. I hope to see you when this earth is a beautiful place full of humans who love God.
What do I say to a black mother whose son was murdered at the hands, or knee, of a white man?
. I saw George dying, in front of all the world, murdered. Every fiber of my being cried out for action to save him, knock that cop off of him, hurt those who were hurting him, scream “STOP!!!!!” at the loudest volume my wind and stretching vocal cords could scream. I saw him die. I could see the actual moment the life left him, we all could. His killer’s arrogance galled me, I cried as if George was my own. Those awful, endless minutes are now emblazoned on my conscience, and the world’s. But George’s suffering was finally over, the pain had ended for him. His family’s pain goes on.
. My daddy died unjustly, and it took years for my anger and pain to subside. But, then, I am white. And it wasn’t a police organization, or even a police man who killed him. For me it was a hospital, who killed him just as surely as if they kneeled on his neck. And he was a Sicilian man, very dark complected, 1st generation borne of immigrants to this country, but I suppose he will be considered a “white” man by history.
. But the pain I felt is the same pain George’s loved one’s feel in this sense: there was death, it was not natural, there was injustice, and there is anger. I feel it now, these years later. I was righteously indignant, I loved my daddy more than any girl ever loved her daddy, ever in the whole world. Whole universe I thought. I never saw his flaws, he was a hero to me, and they murdered him, and someone had to pay. I had to make it right , for him. For his memory.
. They hated me at that hospital, I believed. They had been out to get him, because we were poor, and because everyone knows doctors and hospitals only want one thing, right? Money. And we all know that there are very baaaad people in the medical field, there is a long, very, very long history of distrust in the Sicilian immigrant community against the “establishment”. It carried down from tyranny and mafioso, in the “home” country, where my ancestors were murdered and enslaved and oppressed by terrible injustice. Not only was the regime murderous and corrupt, even the local officials were, requiring payoffs and inflicting gross injustice and physical pain on the poor people who were supposed to be under their care. They had no choice, starve, be murdered, or board ships of misery with their last pennies to try living in a beckoning land across the great sea.
. My granparents had experienced the ghettos in New York when they arrived, cramped, dirty, unlit, no facilities, living in dark, dank, freezing, stinking tenant housing in their new country. Now, instead of their tropical isle, where they knew the enemy, there were new enemies to contend with. Such hatred, such predjudice, such injustice, such poverty. All these conditions shaped the mentality of generations, the distrust of the “system”, the lack of eqaulity, the oppression…
. My father was an angry man. For as far back as I have memory, he was mad at what he perceived as injustice in government. In another age pehaps he would have been a radical, I dont know. But he worked so hard, all his life, had access to more education than his parents ever had, served in the military and was able to move to Florida in his early 50’s. which had been his lifelong dream. He never stopped working, even then, and I had everything I needed as his kid, except love. But I adored and idolized him, to my mother’s dismay. When I became his sole caregiver, he was my child, and I determined to never let anything bad happen to him. For all the grief I had put him through in my life as an addict, now that I was sober I would appease his every whim, and ease his Dementia and Alzheimer’s. He was my reason for being, for except for my dear shih-tzu’s I had lost everyone in my family, and had no children.
. I was a she-bear when it came to his care. Endless research, talking to pro’s and others on caring for the elderly. But no matter what I promised him, no matter how good I cared for him, and no matter how totally committed I was in my devotion, I was not able to save him from being killed.
. So, then. What can I say to the millions of traumatized, oppressed, angry people who are fighting right now? They will do what they believe they must, to find relief for their anger. But to the loved ones of a man who died unjustly, there is something I can say, even in my proverbial “whiteness”: I am so, so sad for you. I can relate. I can relate to the sickening feeling in your gut, that horrendous hot ball of lead where your heart used to be. I remember the anger, the absolute bursting feeling of helplessness, the burning knowledge that this should never have happened to your child, your son, your daddy, your husband, your brother, your uncle, your nephew, your cousin, your dear, dear friend. Your Beloved.
. My pain was real… Your’s is all too real right now. I will never question your pain, or think I know what you should feel, or do. I never want to exaccerbate your suffering. everyone grieves in a different way, for different lengths of time, for different reasons. there is never a right or wrong way to grieve. I wish you peace, someday…healing…a lessening of this great burden you carry.
. My anger was only relieved by my learning the true reason for death, suffering and in justice. Knowing and believing in the the knowledge that God will soon do away with the true source of the evils we experience as humans. the tormenter of us down thru the ages, all the way back to the garden of Eden. The father of the lie, Satan.
God had an answer to Satan’s lie right there on the spot: Jesus Christ, God’s Only-Begotten Son and The King of God’s Kingdom would crush Satan and throw him and all his cohorts into the Abyss!! It will happen very soon, when God says it is time! Then the words of Revelation will come true!
Revelation 21:3-5 reads:
. ” With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them , and they will be his people. And God himself will be with them.(4)And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”
(5) And the One seated on the throne said:”Look! I am making all things new.” Also he says:”Write, for these words are faithful and true.”
. Such beautiful words…a beautiful dream, perhaps? No. A promised reality from our God who cannot lie, whose purposes always succeed, and whose prophecies always come true. I have a favorite scripture about the surety of all God’s promises coming true, maybe because I am a farmer at heart, who has always loved the rain.
. This is in the Bible book of Isaiah, in Chapter 55, beginning in verse 8: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not my ways,” declares Jehovah. (9) “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (10) For just as the rain and snow pour down from heaven And do not return there until they saturate the earth, making it produce and sprout, Giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,(11) So my word that goes out of my mouth will prove to be. It will not return to me without results, But it will certainly accomplish whatever is my delight, and it will have sure success in what I send it to do.”
. Yes, The Creator of the entire Universe has everything taken care of, he has told us that he will be the only Judge, and His Son will carry out his Judgement. The Ride of the Four Horsemen is already well underway. One day soon our dead loved ones will be resurrected and what joy there will be, when this earth is finally free of evil and we will live forever in peace.
. Please take the time to learn what the Bible says, I want you to have the peace of mind and heart that I finally found. It is not too late, my friend.
Is anyone out there as old as I am? I grew up to the Mary Tyler Moore show, on every week as I recall. When I was 10 or so, she was beautiful to me, not just as a pretty woman (which she was and is, if she is still alive, is she?…)but as a woman in “the workplace”. I was too young to understand the dynamics of discrimination against women, I was buying into the whole “be a good girl, speak when you are spoken to” misogynist mantra.
Flamingo Billiards Tour at Amy’s Billiards (pictured) The Year Before Fall
Day Old Cleopatra
Mommy and Izzy, in Alabama
my sweet, one eyed pup
That is where the slogan “We’re going to make it after all” first made me feel warm and fuzzy. My folks both worked long, hard hours to feed my brother and I. We saw them briefly each morning. Mom on her way to bed after all night at a local “old folks” hospital, and Dad on his way to the Speciality Steel Mill. The only thing “special” about the steel mill that I could see was the fact that Dad was “‘specially”angry when he got home.
aren’t i the cutest thing you’ve ever seen?
KODAK Digital Still Camera
Dad and his Fan Club!
In God’s Memory
Baby Cleo, who had to learn to live with one eye!
inside the circle of my heart
baby cleo, in her new dress!
. We didn’t want for anything that I ever knew, except that I never got designer jeans like my best friend, with the rich dad. No, my belly was full, and I was as happy as a chubby pre-teen with thick glasses and a mouth full of braces could be in the late 70’s. The only thing lacking was joy, any kind of joy, at home. Even “The Holidays”, when I still celebrated them, were joyless, because there was always disappointment lurking under the tree. Family gatherings were nice before I got old enough to feel the undercurrents of dislike and tension that flowed thru the affairs, like the lambrusco in the fancy glasses.
. We are going to make it. After all.
He Love Us!
sunset in paradise
African Lily, one of my favorites!
“i’m not sure how my feet work yet…”
. I’m in the ” after all” phase of life now. And I have made it, thus far . All the family drama is distant history, now that my parents are dead they don’t fight as much.(chuckle). I have learned to live without them here, and I have gleefully learned to live without my abusive ex and now deceased husband. (No, I’m not gleeful at his being deceased.)
. I have lived on my own for 4 years now, Dad died on 3/7/16, and Mom on 3/21/10. The grief did not stab me like a bayonet to the stomach this year, no, it was a dull, ongoing ache that I thought I didn’t feel, until this very moment. A heaviness inside my heart, a gray, damp blanket on my view. But I have made it, after all…
My Izzy, 2005-2017
This is me now, the pain has mellowed, I see love ahead!
“The Sentinel’s Prayer”, acrylic on canvas, Susan T. Martin2017
. I want to share happy tidings, tho’, not the fear mongering that is flying all around the internet and all the airwaves. Yes, this Pandemic is a very, very bad thing. Many of our loved ones, friends and neighbors will get very sick, and many will die. More people will die than usually do in a “regular” time period. It will be very difficult to work, to shop, to meet with friends and family. However, we must endure these difficulties with a hopeful demeanor, and share our hope with Everyone we can!!! We All need to support our fellow humans, and we CAN!!!!!
You may ask why, and I understand how hard it is not to have a pity party when one has no access to TP or Oreos. I am not immune to this situation, especially the Oreo thing. But as a person who has lived with chronic intractable pain all over my body for the last 20years, I do have experience with the power of positivity shared. This will be a HUGE HELP TO ALL OF US: BE UPBEAT AND POSITIVE WHEN SPEAKING TO OTHERS! DO NOT BOG OTHERS DOWN BY SHARING NEGATIVITY SUCH AS WHAT WE CAN’T DO, BUT FOCUS ON STEPS WE CAN TAKE.
One thing we must do to help is STAY POSITIVE when we talk to others. Just as you would not talk to a Child about negative outcomes of a storm, we all, ALL need comfort from our fellow humans right now. Just as we would not want our Mom to be overly anxious about a situation, think of your friends and neighbors who are anxious also!
. We want to help the people we love, and hopefully we want to help our fellow man who we don’t even know. I am going to work on this, and I already know it helps, because people who cared for me when I was incapacitated did it for me. And I made it thru to better days.
. I hope you are doing well, that you can see the sky today, wherever you are. One thing that helps me so much is prayer because I know God is close to me when I pray to him in his Son, Jesus name. Reading the Bible books of Psalms and brings me peace, and talking on the phone to others about God’s promises soon to be fulfilled. If I can just smile at someone, it lifts my mood and hopefully theirs as well. I send out my warm hugs and smiles to all of you.
I am feeling a bit more positive than I was in this morning’s post, Dad got up for a while around 2pm, I laid on the couch dozing on and off, keeping my eyes and ears on alert. He fell on Wednesday, big gash on his head, poor Pops.
It happened while his caregiver was here, she called me saying there has been an accident. I believe the first thing you should tell a loved one is that the patient is OK before you dump the accident stuff on them. It keeps from shaving a couple years off their lifespan, because, as a family member, your heart just falls out of your chest when you hear,
” Hello, Ms. Kiko? There has been a terrible accident…”
What is the first thing you think of? Yup, I thought so: That he is dead or maimed or otherwise terribly injured.
So, I had been dropping off a painting at the Art Gallery, so I raced the 10 miles to the hospital in rush hour traffic, all the while telling myself that, as a law abiding Christian, I should be setting a good example and pleasing God by obeying the speed limit. I really tried, and I do always try, but that is a difficult task when your Dad is lying helpless and afraid in an Emergency Room.
I hit the Hospital doors at a trot, had my ID already in hand to be checked in, and rushed down the hall to his bedside, ready to find him at death’s door.
Of course, the scene that greeted me was quite different!
“Hiya there! Where have you been?”, he laughs with a big smile.
He smiles his most charming at the cute little nurse who is taking his blood pressure.
“Are you Ok, Dad? I heard you had a bad fall!”
He looks at me quizically, “Did I?”
I could just pinch him, but he looks so little and frail in the big hospital bed, so I kiss him on the cheek instead. Now I can see the big gash on his scalp, and blood all over the pillow. Oh, my, I think, here we go again. I just cannot bear him spending any time in this hospital, this is the place where he fell twice in May, the place that caused him so much anguish mentally, the hospital that hastened his Alzheimer’s Disease and broke his spirit, and the place where I had to face the reality of my losing him. Imminent. On the Horizon.
I hate that hospital. I told Dad’s doctor that I am trying to sue them for what they had done to him, and the doctor brings me back to reality: I am going to do whatever is necessary to get your Dad better from this fall…
Now I feel like a real heel, like that wasn’t what I wanted too?
I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs:
I DO NOT WANT TO FEEL THIS!!!!
I DO NOT WANT TO WATCH MY FATHER DIE!!!
WHY DOES THIS ALWAYS FALL TO ME? TO SEE MY PARENTS, TO SEE THE PEOPLE I NEED, THE PEOPLE I LOVE, TO SEE THEM ALL LEAVING?
TO SEE THEM ALL DYING.
TO BE LEFT HERE all alone.
But, I did not say anything except , Ok. Thank You.
Now you understand a little more why I am so tired today, this month, this year.
Each day that goes by I feel a little more dead myself,
all tied up in my solitary cell, watching my life pass by.
I know deep inside that I want to do this, and I want to be with Daddy till the end. I just get so lonely at times. But I don’t mean to sound bitter. I am grateful for everyday I have. Just feeling a bit sorry for myself tonight. It will get better- I promise!
I will place my burdens on Jehovah tonight, He will hear my cries for help. I will pray in Jesus dear name, and Jehovah will breath new endurance into me.
This is the part that hurts. Feeling a vague feeling of guilt, knowing that this ebbing manic period has left devastation in my life again, not sure yet what it is. I feel like I’m coming down from a drinking/drugging binge, coming out of a blackout. Sick and hurting, depressed and angry at myself.
I had a sneaking suspicion, the last few days, that my bank account was in crisis, but in my addict’s brain I refused to check the balance, forging ahead with my spending. My head has cleared enough today to check the balance, and of course I am overdrawn. I knew I needed to have enough left to pay for framing for my new paintings, that is impossible now. Oh my….sigh…
Bipolar Disorder is a terrible illness, and I long for the day when all humankind will be relieved of the suffering we now endure. My faith is strong, my hope is sure, because I know that Jehovah can not lie, all His promises come true. I must hang of tightly to this knowledge so that I do not become immobilized with fear and guilt, falling into Satan’s trap of discouragement, and of the hopelessness he wants us all to feel. Hopelessness and despair can snuff me out like a windswept candle flame. ” Poof, she was gone! “, like the line in an old Hee-Haw song.
When I was still in active addiction, I would have to look at the clothes in my hamper to figure out what I had done the night, or weekend before. Seeing the outfit, picturing myself in it, and perhaps finding a pack of matches with a bar logo in the pant’s pocket, helped me figure out where I had crashed and burned. The memories were like glimpses in a shattered mirror.
Now days that tactic doesn’t work too well, so I have to get up looking for food wrappers to see if I binged on chocolate, or paint on my clothing if I was up at 4 am creating a masterpiece. Oh, and I find crumpled up receipts and refuse to unfurl them, in the likely event they harbor some bad, bad spending. Ooohhh. Sends chills up my spine. I think I have come out of this manic phase relatively unscathed, I was able to straighten out the mess at the bank and I finally slept a real sleep of 4 hours last night. And I finally stopped repainting my latest oil painting, and put it under a fan to dry for the next show.
I have been beseeching my God to help me calm my burning mind, soothe the racing thoughts and awful images, and He does, Jehovah is the Great Therapist, and He leads me into quiet, safe places in my mind where I can heal. When I pray for His Holy Spirit he gives it freely to help me worship and serve Him, helping me to endure through these difficult times. And Jehovah welcomes everyone to take advantage of His assistance, He does not wish for anyone to die, that is why he gave the greatest sacrifice ever given: His perfect, only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ.
I just found out that one of my JW friends has lost a daughter in death, I am so grateful that God already has a ressurection planned for all of us, He promises that we will see our dead loved ones again. I will pray for the family tonight.
Thank you for listening tonight. Keep looking to the Bible for answers in your life! In it you will find peace and love.
I listened to my meeting for worship this afternoon, and it felt so good to hear Jehovah’s word’s spoken and discussed. The Public Speaker, who is a brother from another congregation (usually), gives us an upbuilding talk each week, based on the Bible. And it is really nice, because the public is always welcome at our Kingdom Hall, to be encouraged by God’s word in these troubled times. There is no collection basket, which I found very refreshing when I began attending the meetings, having been embarrassed by the basket passing at a church before.
I miss being physically present at my meetings, it did my heart so much good to be surrounded by my happy brothers and sisters. You know, that is something so different about going into a Kingdom Hall, compared to a church. All of the people are so happy, calm and peaceful. Even if you are new, you are greeted and made so welcome. I remember when I attended a different place for worship, and I felt so out of place because my clothes weren’t as fine, or my car as nice as the other people’s. I have never felt that way in Jehovah’s house.
Anyway, I miss my meetings. I can’t go because Dad never feels up to going anymore, he can’t get ready by himself, and by the time I bathe and get him ready then I’ve already missed half of it. I keep asking the caregiver about working on Sunday but she is unwilling, or unable. She did work for me 2 Sunday’s ago, I will ask her to do it again this week. Either that or I will have to pay cash for someone to come, because I must keep my spirituality intact. It is so easy to fall backwards, fall back into bad ways. My bad mouth, foul language, and rotten speech come back so fast, and so does my anger. But when I study the Bible and pray and listen to the meetings, I want to make God happy!
Forgetting where I have come from is a double edged sword. Those who forget the past are doomed to relive it, I have heard. Most of mine I would rather not relive, but I want to keep all the lessons I have learned. I have some trouble in that area, because I keep getting the same type of unfavorable reaction from others. I hate rejection and discord, so I must look inside again. Because that must be where the problem lies: character flaws.
I had thought I was a pleasant person, funny, clever, and interesting. During Dad’s recent hospitalization I made many videos to document the whole ordeal. I have him home now, and I was looking over my tablet, watching the videos. I see how obnoxious I am. It is no wonder I have trouble interacting with professional medical people. I come off as a stuck-up, angry know-it-all, and not a bit charming and likeable like I want to be. What a slap in the face, and tho’ it stings, I believe this rude awakening will help me immensely in the larger picture. That being my interactions with everyone else in the world from here on in!!!
I fancied that I had changed much since becoming a baptised Christian ten years ago. Even though I have heard Biblical warnings about our work never being done, always striving to keep putting on the “new personality”, I guess I thought that counsel only applies to people with obvious, blatant flaws. Not mild, loving, modest, kind people such as myself.
Oh, baloney. There I was, captured in the camera, loud, overly made-up, trying to look thirty something, ranting on and on about how inept everyone else is. I have been blaming my lack of friends on the fact that people are so busy nowadays, now I realize they have most likely been avoiding me like the plague. Because everything I talk about is negative, just like the way I write my blog! I am really embarassed, but not so much that I will give up and go away.
I always do better when I have a “mission”, a “cause”, and my mission is to lose this “hard butt, know -it-all facade. To let the love, the light back into m weary soul. To become that quiet and mild person who I know still waits for me, deep inside. She wants me to find my way back again, to stand by that gently gurgling brook where I go to in my inner world. To sit calmly under my giant oak tree and glory in the wonders of Creation. To praise my God, and to be His daughter, to let all these awful worries and fears leave me.
To just be Susan again, not angry at the whole world, but rather a gentle, loving part of the healing that this heart needs. I am still in here somewhere, a frightened little girl, looking for acceptance, love, and a friend.
I am so tired, and I don’t want to write. I just want the pain to go away. Fifteen minutes, or even ten. Let me please feel nothing. But nothingness is death, and it is wrong to want death.
Jehovah knows my pain, and He did not cause it. It is unthinkable that the God of Love would torment me. The people who say there is a place of fiery torment are ignorant of the true meaning of the words used in the Bible. The word translated to Hell just means the common grave of mankind. Not a place for Jehovah to torture people. That is a lie used by the Devil to keep people afraid of God, and to miss out on Jehovah’s love!
I hope someone out there in this amazing world realizes that the God they have feared and dreaded is, in reality, the total embodiment of Love. God is Love. He IS love.
It has never been His idea to torment humans in a punishing Hell. That was just a fantasy made up to keep the little people ignorant and afraid. After all, you had to give the Church all your gold to keep your family out of Hell. To pay for the clergies prayers!
What?!!! what kind of loving God would do that?
Not the One I worship. No, my God sent His perfect Son, Jesus, as the redeemer for mankind. To give his life in exchange for all. Oh, Jehovah, Thank You!
Thank You for Your beautiful light that helps me find my way through this maze each day. Your light that helps me endure the pain, and press on another day. To help someone, somewhere in this mad, mad world.
Jesus died for our sins, and the Memorial of his death is coming up on April 3rd, at sundown. Anywhere you are in the world, you can go to a Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and commemorate the Last Supper, just Like Jesus commanded his followers to do. You can find this command in your copy of the Bible at Luke 22:19 and 20. There is so much more I would like to tell you, but I have to try to rest now.