Monday, April 16, 2012
Sometimes Reality Bites
I've attended the funeral of a young neighbor my own oldest son's age who grew up at my house eating and tearing up everything in my house along with my own three kids and at least half a dozen other kids...I loved every minute of it. Our house has always been a kid magnet but at least I knew where they were all "sticking together."
The funeral was one of the saddest I have ever attended and being over fifty I have attended more than my share. This kid was shot in the chest, point blank at a local tavern after a shove during a dispute about the guy flirting with my neighbor's girlfriend after she had asked him to stop. He stopped flirting with her and immediately stopped another young man's life.
The funeral was held in his parent's home town about twenty minutes away at their church. It was packed ... with people standing in the back. It was filled with young people, all friends of Chris and the minister took the pulpit and not only had us all riveted but hanging on to her every word. It suddenly made me realize after going through my third tissue that when I die I want not only a black minister but a room full of black folks. (No disrespect intended calling them blacks. My high school was a 50/50 mix of whites and blacks..."Ebony and Ivory") When African Americans send off their loved ones they do it loud long and large. They don't preach to show off , they preach to teach and when the peeps sitting in the crowd agree they don't just sit there, They raise up their voices to be heard loud and clear rather than nod off or simply nod their head in agreement.
Three days later I was sitting outside a courtroom with my younger son, witnessing how pathetically slow our justice system works and even more pitiful how much of our society is. You couldn't even get into the court room so my husband and I sat on a six foot long bench outside the court room with our son waiting to be called in. Once again, standing room only.
When I was brought up you dressed up nice for church, picture day at school and court dates.
Obviously that rule has changed.
There were peeps in pajama pants and people wearing tank tops they had airbrushed on a trip to the beach. One couple was snuggled up asleep together on one of the benches like they were at home in bed together while an eighty five year old man stood hunched over his walker in his own pajamas. It was a sad statement of our current society but one I was unfortunately included in.
I made my son wear Khakis a starched shirt (Thank you me) and a tie. After two hours of waiting I went back downstairs to get my book from the car...obviously I was in for a LONG wait.
Being born in the early sixties I knew how to dress..."WEAR a dress!" I got into the elevator to go down and was accompanied by a lone man around the age of thirty. After ten seconds he simply said "You a lawyer ain't cha." I thought about saying "No but I play one on TV."
Hour number three later I left my husband and son and went to throw some money at the blood sucking Verizon network that unfortunately keeps us all connected 24/7 and in this world cannot live without.
By the time I got back the deal had been struck. Zach pays $17.50 a day for thirty days to live in prison. He paid a fifty dollar application fee (seems that background check is an oxymoron) and just another way to get money .
At least this seems to be the beginning of another end. I have learned in my decades of being a parent that it truly NEVER ends but ebbs and flows.
When I take a look at the BIG picture...my life's okay. When I start breaking it down, kid by kid, bill by bill and event by event it's pretty discouraging. On the upside, at least I am still around to be discouraged.
With God as my witness, I will hang in there til the Fat Lady sings (Glad I am skinny and not fat)
Til next time...COTTON