Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I don't think I've ever mentioned my mother before. She is what one would term a live wire. She is in her seventies, but you would not know that by looking at her. At present, I believe she is working three part time jobs. She is a nurse, actually went to school to become one in her 50's and graduated top in her class. She gives me a lot to aspire to, and according to her, some of her traits have passed to me, without my even knowing it.

She and my dad recently moved to a senior apartment. She insists most of those people are way older and she really believes that. Not so much! But then they say age is just a state of mind.

Getting back to my story - somehow in that move, between climbing up on ladders and pushing relentless shopping carts full of stuff (they don't throw much away) she hurt her back and legs. She was in pretty tough shape. At one point I watched her slowly rising out of her miniature little recliner chair and having to literally force herself to take a step forward. I couldn't help but worry about her, and suggested that she take it very easy for a couple of days to let things heal. I knew she wouldn't do that, but I thought I would suggest it. The next day she called to say she was up on a ladder - much to my sisters' and my dismay. We always feel we have to watch her to make sure she doesn't do way too much, way too fast.

The back didn't heal quickly enough, so Mom decided to go to a chiropractor - another thing that worried me, because she didn't really get a firm diagnosis about her pain problem. Nonetheless, after a few treatments, her chiro declared her improvement to be phenomenal (of course), and told her she would need several more treatments.

She is now completely sold on this guy and his methods of treatment. She was almost gleeful on the phone, as she suggested that I too should consider going to this guy. "You have that same crooked back and one higher hip like I do," she declared. "This guy says he can really help you!"

What? I didn't know I had a crooked back and higher hip! I went to the mirror and studied my body - front, side, back. I couldn't see it, but maybe there was a problem I wasn't aware of. I dug out pictures from my youth. When I was in high school, I was a trim little thing. No one ever mentioned that I was crooked or deformed. My pictures didn't show that either. Some in those days actually thought I was Uh-Huh, not bad looking at all, and maybe even a little good looking.

I looked at my last drivers license photo, and also the one I just had taken (no more full body shots for this girl). I did notice that my jacket in both photos seemed to droop on the same shoulder, just the same amount on each one. Can it be? Am I really deformed? Or is it just that both times I probably had a 20 lb. purse on my shoulder, dragging me downward, ever downward. Could that be it? Is it the presence of my always heavy purse that makes my mother think I am deformed, or has the purse finally twisted my body in this horrible way?

She's got me thinking now...I guess I am going to have to make an appointment with someone to find out for sure. Until then, I'll just keep limping along.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Okay, I'll be the first to say I am no Pollyanna. Those of a "certain age" will get that reference. I am a bit of a grump sometimes, and I can get pretty cynical. All of that is a cover for a hot chocolate melty center - kinda like a Tootsie Roll Pop! Knowing that about myself, I am absolutely taken by the happy, optimism I am feeling these days. I can't help but think all of this is related to the fact that we now have a President-Elect we can believe in. He is a guy of moral and principle, and I really think he means what he says. I no longer feel like an adult child of an alcoholic who lives life being promised one thing, and getting another. Out of that comes a basic distrust of your fellow man. I do believe we have been living under the cloud of that for the past eight years.

Perhaps the U.S. is being washed clean, and we can emerge sparkly and clean, and maybe, just maybe we can feel proud again to say, "I am an American". It has been too long. I have hesitated to travel out of the country in the past few years, because in my heart I know other countries don't think much of the U.S. these days. I found it heartening that when Obama was announced as winner in the Presidential race, people in France drank champagne, and there were holidays and celebrations all over the world.

There are some that believe we have a new generation of youth who are enlightened and will be carrying forth in peace and beauty. Without becoming too metaphysical about all of that, I do believe I see a spark of something special in our youth, and I predict they will someday put down the distractions of youth and shine very brightly. I have five grandchildren who emanate a lot of that already. In the meantime, it makes my soul sing to know we as a country have evolved to a point where we have elected our first African American president. How cool is that? We definitely are better than we thought we were, aren't we?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I like many things about our new president-elect, but the one thing that stood out for me when I heard his victory speech last night was the fact that when he mentioned the groups of disenfranchised people in this country he named the Native Americans. I have found over the years many people, even those who have been discriminated against, have a tendency to forget the original minority. He didn't do that, and I thank God he is the kind of man who is inclusive and considerate of others

True, Native Americans weren't made slaves per se, but they were in many cases forced to work for nothing and they had all they owned and loved taken from them piece by piece while they were placed on reservations which became smaller and smaller. Those atrocities have all but been forgotten, because to make them right would involve paying massive sums of money, or giving back ill-gotten land, and it would literally change the landscape of the United States as we know it today.

Relatively speaking the numbers of Native Americans are small, and it is much easier to forget about the problem and the missing money being held in trust for them at the Department of the Interior. They just can't seem to figure out what happened to that money, isn't that strange? How can you lose millions of dollars like that and not know what happened to it? It is just another example of the injustices that have been visited on Native people.

Thank God for Barack Obama. I believe he is going to change the world in a very good way.