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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

LIFES TWISTS AND TURNS

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Many years ago, Mom would make a dish that I did not particularly like. It was beef stew, and the thought of eating stew was like staying in the apartment on a Saturday morning while my friends were outside having a good time.

Ma. What’s for dinner?
Stew.
Awww, why stew?
You don’t have to eat it you know, but don’t go looking for something to eat when you are hungry later. You eat what I give you or too bad.

Under great protest and strain, and the fear of having to wait for breakfast in the morning, my least favorite meal, I sat and ate the stew. What I disliked about the stew was Mom made it in a red sauce with green peas. It was the peas more than anything that I disliked. Once I started to eat, everything tasted good, including the bread and butter that went with it. To lessen the disappointment of the dish, Dad would pour me a little wine, and if he poured me one more, I would have really looked forward to stew.
the Sauce of my troubles
I had to drive #1 Son to the airport so he could fly home to California after having spent the day in NYC, many years ago. It meant driving from the south shore through some unknown neighborhoods on the way to LaGuardia. The thought of going through these neighborhoods did not thrill me, and I made sure my windows were up and the doors locked. A funny thing started to happen as we passed through the neighborhood, a certain excitement was present, an atmosphere of happiness and joy, infectious and inviting. Music was playing, people were out shopping and enjoying the beautiful day and I rolled down my windows and enjoyed the celebration of life. It was a special moment: it killed my sense of prejudice toward a wonderful group of people. It made me realize, my prejudice was keeping me from love and enjoyment.

I see where the gay rights issues are coming to a head. People are realizing that people are people, that hate has no place in this world. Many years ago a wonderful man by the name of Jim worked for me in my job in NYC. He was gay and I knew it, but never brought up the subject, because it just didn’t matter to me. He did his job, worked harder than the rest of the crew and was morally and good person. He was honest, likeable and funny at times, always sharp and positive. But his best trait was his loyalty: he was very loyal to me and sometimes would go out of his way to make my job easier. Finally one day I took him out to lunch for his birthday and he revealed his ‘secret’ to me. I was confused and was waiting for him to tell me something I didn’t know. He said that he never admitted it because he was afraid that I wouldn’t hire him let alone let him keep his job. When I told him I always suspected it, that it had no place in the mix of things I saw a grown man cry! He like so many others, died from aids, and there sits a question, would he have if society was more understanding of the human spirit and need for love, any kind of love, that gay people had to be driven underground to find it? Maybe, maybe not, but I don’t sit upon a throne in heaven or am known as God or Abba.

Like Mom’s stew, and the green peas, the Confederate flag has always made me wonder how it could still fly. This is the symbol of rebellion that tore this nation apart, although it represented a way of life, also represented oppression and the subjugation of human beings, no better or worse than me or you for that matter. To me it was on a par with the swastika, a symbol of oppression and dominance of humanity by a corrupted sense of superiority to our fellow man.

Today in my humble abode, TLW (The Little Woman) makes stew, in a brown sauce and no green peas, with bread and butter, and life is good although I would pay anything to taste Mom’s stew one more time.

Say a prayer for a beautiful young lady who is in the midst of health crises, and for her husband and parents that they may bare up to this difficult challenge.

Thank you.


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