Not Goodbye…

Where do I even begin?  Life as of late has- to put it bluntly- sucked for me and my husband.  Last Thursday, my mother in law passed suddenly and unexpectedly, and it’s left us reeling.  While many would say that their mother in law was a crazy witch who made their life miserable, mine was the complete opposite.  I loved my mother in law more than I think she ever knew.  She drove us both crazy sometimes with her eccentricities, but she was the most loving and gracious person I ever knew.  She’s give you the shirt off her back and the last of the food in her house if it would make things easier for you.

I wrote a blog post just over 3 years ago about how nervous and unsure I was of meeting her because I’ve always wanted a great relationship with my mother in law, whoever she ended up being.  My nerves meeting her 3 years ago were completely ridiculous as the moment I walked through her door she showed me compassion, love, understanding, and above all, humor.  I’m the type of person who needs to be able to joke with those I love and she let me know I was welcome by picking on me for the way I grew up.  I’ll sincerely miss going to her house, being wrapped in a hug, and hearing her say “I can’t believe you grew up eating rabbits!  Who does that?!”  I loved hanging out with her and talking and I’d follow her around the house just to have a conversation.

Below all the grief I’m experiencing, is anger.  I’m angry beyond belief that my time with her was cut short.  I know that’s a selfish thought, especially when I’m sure her children feel the same way, but dammit, she and I were just getting started.  She had so much more to teach me in terms of family recipes, and stories of my husband growing up, that I feel cheated.  I feel robbed.  I finally got the relationship I always hoped for in my mother in law, actually felt like I had gained a mom out of the deal, and suddenly she’s gone.  My heart hurts and every time I think I have no more tears to cry, here comes a new wave of grief.  I’m going to miss her immensely and I can only hope that I can show her son even a fraction of the love she showed everyone around her.  She was the neighborhood mom, the perpetual cheerleader, the safe haven if you were ever in trouble, and the mama bear for those who needed protecting.  I’m so proud to say she was MY mother in law.

Ma, wherever you are, please know that I love you and miss you.  I’ll try my best to take care of your baby and continue your legacy of graciousness and love.  I can’t thank you enough for raising the man I call my husband, I know the best parts of him, he got from you.  I didn’t have you in my life nearly long enough, but I will forever cherish the time I did get with you for it was truly a blessing in my life.

“Those that we love never truly leave us, Harry. There are things that death cannot touch.”  I refuse to say goodbye but I will say that I’ll see you later, Ma.



A Community Coming Together

Firstly I’d like to start off by saying that I am not religious. I don’t attend church and I’ve never read the Bible. However, when I decided on a college to attend, I chose one that is Marianist. If you’ve never heard of them, they’re a Christian offshoot that was founded in the early 1800’s that prides themselves on inclusion and helping their communities.  While I didn’t have the most wonderful time my freshman year, I chose to return to the college to finish out my degree and I’m so happy I did.  The second time around was amazing and I time in my life I wouldn’t trade for the world.

With everything political going on right now my university sent this email out to students and staff and I find this extremely well thought out and makes me proud to be part of this community.

Faculty, staff and students:

Over the past week, there has been a flood of reaction including on our campus in response to the Executive Order concerning U.S. immigration policy. I’m writing to share my and the University’s leadership council’s position on this issue.

The University’s Catholic, Marianist and Native Hawaiian identity continually guide us. We hold ourselves to the commitment of the U.S. Catholic Bishops’ Conference and ask the same of all members of the campus community.

Their statement of January 30 is as follows:

From Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, vice president of the USCCB

Over the past several days, many brother bishops have spoken out in defense of God’s people. We are grateful for their witness. Now, we call upon all the Catholic faithful to join us as we unite our voices with all who speak in defense of human dignity.

The bond between Christians and Muslims is founded on the unbreakable strength of charity and justice. The Second Vatican Council in Nostra Aetate urged us to sincerely work toward a mutual understanding that would “promote together for the benefit of all mankind social justice and moral welfare, as well as peace and freedom.” The Church will not waver in her defense of our sisters and brothers of all faiths who suffer at the hands of merciless persecutors.

The refugees fleeing from ISIS and other extremists are sacrificing all they have in the name of peace and freedom. Often, they could be spared if only they surrendered to the violent vision of their tormentors. They stand firm in their faith. Many are families, no different from yours or mine, seeking safety and security for their children. Our nation should welcome them as allies in a common fight against evil. We must screen vigilantly for infiltrators who would do us harm, but we must always be equally vigilant in our welcome of friends.

The Lord Jesus fled the tyranny of Herod, was falsely accused and then deserted by his friends. He had nowhere to lay His head (Lk. 9:58). Welcoming the stranger and those in flight is not one option among many in the Christian life. It is the very form of Christianity itself. Our actions must remind people of Jesus. The actions of our government must remind people of basic humanity. Where our brothers and sisters suffer rejection and abandonment we will lift our voice on their behalf. We will welcome them and receive them. They are Jesus and the Church will not turn away from Him.

Our desire is not to enter the political arena, but rather to proclaim Christ alive in the world today. In the very moment a family abandons their home under threat of death, Jesus is present. And He says to each of us, “whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me” (MT 25:40).

 I encourage you to keep those affected in your prayers.

So in closing, just remember that everyone is someone’s brother, sister, son, father, daughter, or mother.  We are all allowed to live without fear of persecution or hate.  We must always strive to love others and bring light where there is darkness.

I Needed a Break

So I’ve done a horrible job with NaBloPoMo so far but honestly the last few days I needed a break. With all the political unrest going on I was not in the mood to talk about anything that was going on, so I needed a break. Now having had the weekend to reflect on what’s been going on I have to say these are times of change. I’ve heard some of the times when my parents were growing up, the civil rights movement, JFK’s assassination, Vietnam, the list goes on. A majority of my childhood has been a crazy time of school shootings, bomb threats, and terrorism. The past few days (besides a few extreme cases) feels different, more like the days my parents talk about. Now there’s really no comparison between the extremely tumultuous time of the 60’s and the current time but with the protests I’ve seen over the weekend gives me an overwhelming sense of pride in our country. Now I will openly admit I haven’t looked at all of them, or the entire length of all of them, but the ones I did see were done in a peaceful manner with thousands of people and it reminds me that this is what our country was founded on, the right to speak our minds and express our opinions. To watch people after this latest election decide as a collective to show the rest of their country and their government that they were opposed to an idea, was awe-inspiring. Granted, this is all coming from someone who has never protested a day in her life, but I’m proud to watch America voice her opinion in a dignified manner in the way Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton did, the way Martin Luther King Jr did. Even if the protesters don’t get the outcome they’re looking for, I feel like this is a time of change, the beginning of a new age in America where we finally have the courage to stand up and say “ENOUGH!” Today America, I am proud.

I am Ashamed Today

Sitting here at my computer, it’s hard to type.  I’ve had a multitude of thoughts running through my head this morning after a sleepless night last night, but the longer today has gone on, the more I feel like I need to say something.  I’m not here to get into a political discussion with anyone about who they voted for and why, or whether they were wrong or not, I’m here to admit to the fact that I am overwhelmingly ashamed of the American people today.

Let me clarify this.  I will honestly tell you all right now that I did not vote for Trump.  I won’t delve into why, that’s unimportant.  I am also not saying that I am ashamed today because the election is over and the candidate that I did vote for lost, I can certainly take a loss, after all there’s another election in 4 years.  I am ashamed today because hatred and exclusion has overtaken our country in all forms.  I am ashamed today because the country I hope to leave for my children is seemingly slipping between my fingers.  I was raised in a family that believed in unity, harmony, equality, and most importantly, in love.  I am scared to see where this man might take our country in the future, but furthermore, I am scared to see where the people of our country take us.  The sheer level of hate I have seen displayed today astounds me.  We live in a country that was founded on being able to voice our opinions, fight for what we believe is right and ours, and above all, for the right to be free of fear from oppression.  The fact that people who voted for Trump are telling the rest of America to shut up and stop whining, and those who didn’t vote for Trump are turning against their friends, family, and neighbors who did, makes me so ashamed.  I thought the ideals of this country were more important.

I am scared of where he may take our country and the laws that may be repealed or passed because they will affect me and those around me, but we seem to have forgotten that this is America!  We can fight back.  We do not have to take anything lying down.  I won’t lie, I am now seriously considering leaving this country, and not just because he has been elected as our leader but I’ll leave that for a different conversation.  This country has overnight plunged into a place I cannot believe I call home. America, today I am ashamed of you, I thought we were better than this.

A Day In History

Today, for me, is an important day. I grew up a 30 minute drive from Seneca Falls and Auburn, where the Women’s Rights Convention was held, where Elizabeth Cash Stanton lived, and where Susan B. Anthony lived. Whenever Election Day rolls around I feel like it’s my duty to vote because so many amazing women risked everything to get me the right to vote. So today I voted. This election has been a complete and utter circus, but I voted.

Now it’s off to watch some Netflix with my fluffy babies and wait for the results to roll in. Now before any of you think my next comment has anything to do with who I voted for or who I support, don’t make that assumption…I’m with her. #susanbanthony #elizabethcadystanton

Another Day, Another 50 Cents

So I sent my CV to the medical examiner’s office in Philadelphia yesterday (I promised the bestie I would do it this weekend and I was hell-bent on keeping that promise) and today I applied for another job in North Carolina. I’ll be surprised if I actually hear back from either, but I’ve started taking the first steps into official adulthood and out of the college mind-set. It still doesn’t feel completely real that I could have my degree in my hands by the end of this year but I am determined that I will accomplish my goal and finally have my bachelor’s. I’ve become so tired of working at dead-end jobs that can’t make ends meet and I’m hopeful for my future in forensics.

On another note, I tried baking an apple pie last night with a cinnamon bun crust and my final results were….lackluster to say the least. It didn’t cook evenly, the apples didn’t break down (even having been sliced wafer thin), and it was just all in all something I don’t think I’ll try again. I have fallen in love with doing an apple pie with a crumb topping and I think I’ll stick with that from here on out. One of these days I need to pick up the cranberries to make the cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving, it was a hit last year and I don’t think I’ll be able to get out of making it this year. And the peanut butter pie, I’ve already had requests for that. Oh the horrors of being a good canner/cook! I really need to start working on my crappy cooking so people expect less of me. 😂

The End is Nigh…

So the end of my college career is finally upon me.  I know I just wrote some about this the other day but it officially has started, I have sent out my CV today for a possible job once I graduate.  Granted, they don’t have an opening currently, but the fact is they will still have my CV on file for a position that I want, and they’ll notify me when they have an opening.  It’s scary and exciting but it needs to be done.  I need a big girl job.

Now that that subject has been discussed, I want to talk about something that I hope doesn’t lose me friends or start a huge argument.  Politics.  Before I really get started, I would like to state that I will not tell you who I am voting for, and neither do I care who anyone else is voting for, that’s a personal choice for all of us and I’m not here to try to convert anyone or be converted.  On that note, what I want to talk about is how insanely crazy this election has become.  I haven’t really paid attention to many elections growing up.  I remember the elections for George W. Bush were a bit on the anxious side for people, and the elections for Obama were also a bit on the anxious side, but this year has become a circus.  I am extremely disappointed in the way that people have behaved this election season.  The name-calling, the racism, the we vs them, or me vs you has become too much for me.  I have never in my life been ashamed to be American until now.  There were certainly things in our history that I don’t think any of us would be proud of, and things we would rather weren’t discussed, but this election has truly brought out the worst in some of us as Americans and makes me disappointed.  I have seriously considered looking for jobs overseas because of the actions I have seen developing in this country over the last few months.  And that isn’t saying that everywhere else in the world wouldn’t be just as bad, none of us are perfect, but the idea of living in a country that has devolved to the point this one has, makes me incredibly sad and angry.

I was always raised to be accepting of those of different colors, background, heritages, and lifestyles, but in 2016 people are trying to tell others what they should believe and for others that they are unwelcome and to get out.  I’m not going to apologize for feeling this way, and I know things could be a whole hell of a lot worse, but my idea of America has always been one of manifest destiny and acceptance, and to see a huge lack of respect and self-control this election has made me sad beyond belief.donkeyelephant-jpg-560x0_q80_crop-smart