pawspauseprose

Life as it arrives and dreams as they happen


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Just Because We Look Doesn’t Mean We See

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It’s amazing what goes unnoticed each day as we choose to see life.  Some people say the best way is to see through the innocent eyes of a child, or the experienced ones in an old soul, but truly the best way is to drop our defenses,  judgments and agenda’s and just open our own.

Instagram recently took over social media, allowing us to post photos of life that change, challenge and intrigue us in sepia and blurred focus.  I find it ironic how we rush to make these new memories appear rustic and old, while walking past the real ones on a daily basis.  I guess we’re so busy looking at life, that we don’t realize it is developing around us in the blink of an eye.

Before my mother passed away, she commented how she had seen the invention of the ball point pen, used carbon and liquid paper and a delete key on both  computer and camera. She found it amazing how we could correct both mistakes and moments in time and think nothing of it.  Personally, the amazing part is how we want to correct everything but our behavior towards one another.

Today Mom would have been 96, she loved birthdays and good food, baseball games,  her garden and above it all family and friends.  I can’t remember a time when she was in my life when there wasn’t a pot of coffee, a plate of cookies and  springs of nature rooting in the kitchen window.  There were magazines in the bathroom, chairs on the porch and either soft music or a television in the background,  usually fighting for air space against noise from the garage.  Life was a gift then, one none of us saw as clearly as we should have; only now seeing it as what made us who we are.

Each moment we have is what we choose to make it, and depending how we see it, will in turn define how others view us.  Thank you Mom  for the gifts of your lifetime, which continually remind me to open my eyes, heart and soul and see what is present around me and not just what exists.


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The 8th Deadly Sin is RUDE!

LEAN-MEANLife needs a rewrite, a mulligan or heck just a verbal what were you thinking once in a while, and the time has  come  biblically speaking for a big one. Yes, those original seven deadly sins were chart toppers, however in this day and age the addition of Rude for self-serving attitudes needs to be added to the list.

Growing up  in our home there was  no need for paddles, belts or social services – we had respect.  One look from my father was enough to know I crossed a line, crossed his brow and crossed my heart it would never happen again. Love and respect went hand in hand in those days, which was also why your hands didn’t have time to create something in the devil’s workshop. Therefore,  it should make sense with all the advancements in our world, that  we’d be even more respectful of people and accomplishments.  However, that’s not the case.

During the time I cared for my elderly parents, I was horrified at some of the condescending behavior from business and medical professionals, as well as a general lack of compassion and understanding. This dark circle of interaction the world has settled for needs to be put out of action before everyone forgets common decency! Don’t get me wrong though, we did have some excellent care along the way I’ll never forget.  However instead of being a sea of faces, there were only a few shipwrecked ones mercifully floating to see if they could help.  Insert note –  it isn’t just those providing care with issues, there is an evolution of nasty in those needing and receiving care, which has brought us all to the infected side of human nature.

Professionals who are primarily  geared to help, offering service and aid are there by choice. No one is born with a law journal, blood pressure cuff or badge in their hand. They recognize in themselves a need to serve, no different than a religious calling.  They put those they encounter first, ahead of their own needs, opinions or beliefs. So why is it that the average person feels they have the right to denigrate, humiliate, harass or just under appreciate these people? Have they not realized  the circle eventually will become unbroken, and as my father used to say it will come back and bite them?

It is said a dog can only be beaten so long before finally turning on the hand that feeds it, and the same can be said for those who willing offer us compassion or aid. How can we expect to be taken seriously and given the best someone has to offer,  if we continue to see them as  mere recipients of our impatience and hostility because they can’t do enough to make us happy?

Thank you and a warm smile cost nothing to give, and understanding and compassion don’t need a coupon. However, they are becoming harder and harder to find, making them priceless in their value. When my daughters went into the working world, I told them  work as a cashier or a telephone receptionist at least once. Jobs at the bottom of the salary food chain that interact anonymously everyday with an uncaring public will give the insight of a lifetime.

When we don’t see the face we are talking to it’s to make them the brunt of our rage – now it is cyber attacks and troll behavior, worse than just raising a voice in anger. Simply said, it’s easy to blame the cashier for a wrong price or defective item, especially when you can’t yell at the company president. Likewise, there is no Miss Manners when our credit card is declined and of course we have to blame someone. Obviously no one has realized why harassment cases and assault charges were almost non-existent years ago. Maybe it was because we were patient, understanding and appreciative.

The next time you take a call, accept a receipt or leave behind your used paper gown in an exam room, smile and thank the person who was there for you. Maybe the news you got or the price you paid wasn’t what you wanted, but it wasn’t because of something they personally did, they were only there for YOU and the process. Think how they will leave you, moving on to another face, another place, another space and how the seed of your gratitude and understanding might just bloom for someone else.

Yes, there is a golden rule, which those deadly sins measure up to eventually, and the funny part is if we just took a few minutes and followed it so much could be straightened out, and there wouldn’t be an edge for anyone to stand on.


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Stick that baloney in your sandwich and smoke it!

Sandwich-v2If I read one more stuffed shirt magazine article commending people my age for caring for their family I’ll need a barf bag! Yes, the world has changed a lot since Wally and Beaver snuck cookies, and got lost in the sarcastic soft soap Eddie cleaned up with, but seriously? What is with all this you’re a good woman Charlene Brown crap? If you’ve been blessed with a family, that means you care and when they age you are there.   After they are gone you realize what the word really meant, and why it rhymes with share.

I raised three beautiful daughters who took their own paths of success. Two  even sent me souvenir grandchildren from their journey, that have “visited” with me since they were born. I delight in teaching them projects and recipes; hunting for bugs, playing with cars and applying makeup in grand Disney style, while my daughters  go into the world making life better for their own little people. I savor the moments that better my life in the process. It reminds me why I became a mother, who I am as a person and how making a difference is only a touch or hug away.

My parents aged almost to 100, which says a lot for who they were. We never had much materialistically, but there was food on the table, clothes on our backs, love in their hearts and  a smile on the lips, which incidentally was every time we walked in or out of the house. Those are blessings, and they were sandwiched between the same stress, life and happiness we still experience ow. The only difference is back then was we called it a family, everyone had one and no one thought it was special.

After being a professional in business, married, divorced and raising children into their teens, I also began to care for aging parents that were frustrated more at what they viewed as an inconvenience in my life, than a failing in their own. That’s what family does, they care for each other first, only later discovering they are the ones missing buttons with worn places no longer Velveteen. I wouldn’t trade the laughter and tears in those years for anything. Misspoken words, jokes at the wrong time, hugs at all the right times and memories, necessary need  to feel them near my broken heart. That is after all what love is about.

Years ago when I was in my office, my father needed to go to the hospital. The person I worked for had no concept of a family, and would have been first in line at the overused Sandwich Deli Commentary. He told me to call Dad a cab. I’ll never forget that day, the fact dad came home okay, told a dirty joke to the nurses I’m sure they still laugh over, and how he amazed people with what eighty plus years old could be if taken seriously, loved and wanted.

Likewise, one of the last batches of cookies mom made before passing at 92 were small clay miniatures made into ornaments.  She wanted to insure her family  always had her for  holidays. She also designed her memorial card years before passing with that same thought. She wanted not an overused prayer, but a very worn sugar cookie recipe, praying her warm love would continue being held in an empty hand in years to come.

Life is a journey and a gift, nothing you stick in a bag with chips. So many we know never had a chance to have one, or left way before the party finished. Our duty is to allow the soul to grow and experience life, which isn’t done behind the counter of life’s fast food me track. Those of us who have had the chance to emotionally remember smiles and stories are better for it, and there never will be a category or generation demographic for it.  Although according to a recent commercial there is an entire industry called “A Place For Mom,” which will help you stick her somewhere.  I know that place – I called it my  family, and whoever came up with that horrid marketing tagline deserves a time out of epic proportions! Maybe that also explains the need for overly prescribed antidepressants and anxiety drugs for people unsure of their own  place in life, something that got lost along with dinner at a kitchen table.

I think about my parents a lot since passing fifty, ache in all the right places and have gray hairs in all the wrong ones. I miss them, especially at meals thinking how mom was always proud and dad  satisfied.  Our conversation would keep time with a small black and white television watching Walter Cronkite. Oh Walter, that really was the way it was, they way it should be and at my house the way it still is. I’m sure my daughters will read this and  who knows,  maybe we will also reminisce and laugh, and maybe when we do  it will  be over a BLT,  because after all that was Mom’s favorite sandwich.