Sometimes I Feel Like an Athiest

A FaceBook friend of mine posted the clip below. It’s from a public access TV show in Austin called Atheist Experience. This episode is hosted by Tracie Harris and Jen Peeples,both are calm, well-spoken,  and offer sound arguments for their position. The caller seems to be willfully ignorant. It wasn’t so much the subject of the exchange that struck me, but the tone, it all sounded much too familiar.

Te clip was like too many discussions many of us have had concerning adoptee rights. First, the caller assumed the host had had a bad experience, that they just hadn’t found the right church, because if they did, they would agree with him. Sound familiar? Ever been accused of having a bad experience with adoption? When Tracie Harris mentions that she actually had some good experiences in church and her atheism was the result of knowledge she had acquired, it was so much like an adoptee rights activist telling someone that they do love their adoptive parents.

Moving on to the “Why do you even have to have this show?” section, I got that one 100% too. How many times have we been asked the same thing. Just like the hosts, when we point out all the wealthy, well-established institutions (many of the same institutions the atheists are pointing out, in this case) who promote adoption, and justify our right to express our own differing position, it doesn’t matter. We still should just shut up and go with conventional wisdom, because they say so.

Then there’s the whole “it’s a miracle that Gabby Giffords is going to live and recover” thing. To my ear this sounds so much like the “if we can just save one child” argument. I agree with the hosts, it’s great Mrs. Giffords is going to be OK, but it’s no miracle, it’s a tragedy. Many people aren’t OK because of that act, they matter too. The caller just can’t see that. Much like many adopters can’t see that they participated in a system that hurts many, that their little miracle doesn’t make that OK.

Anyway, here’s the clip…

So, anybody else feeling like they’ve been there, done that?

 

 

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The Widow’s Debutante Ball

I made it through yesterday, through the last year. If on this day last year, you asked me if I be around in a year, I couldn’t have been sure.

Like so  many milestones, I don’t feel a bit different after its passing. Now I don’t feel the all encompassing, debilitating, agony of fresh grieving, I still grieve, and it still hurts. I can go to the store, club meetings, doctors appointments, without feeling like everybody is looking at me, feeling sorry for me, watching to see if I’ll lose it. I’m no longer the woman whose husband just died, I’m just a widow.

I still don’t know what being just a widow means. Since a year has passed, I know I’m supposed to rejoin society, whatever that means  I almost feel like I should have some kind of weird widow’s debutante ball.

At this ball people could gather and wait for the widows to enter. We’d all be veiled and covered in black, once entered we would remove our black garments to reveal colorful and stylish clothing beneath. We would be welcomed back with dances, gifts and good wishes. Everyone of us widows would be gracious and smile. But the smiles wouldn’t be because we were truly happy or ready to rejoin the world. We would smile because we all would have learned to take anything offered. We would know how little we have and to never turn down any act of kindness, they are few and far between. We would smile because, for one night, we would be distracted from the loneliness that is, and probably always will be, our constant companion. After the party we would go home and everything would be the same.

OK, the above is too bleak, too negative, too dark. I have moved on. I’m not alone. I do really smile and laugh. I’m blessed and loved. Loved more than I could ever imagine, and I can return that love.

But part of me will always be at that ball.

 

James Taylor Made Me Cry

True Story Magazine, pulpy, always a photo on the front of a young woman on the front with a blurb about what she had done for love? True Story had a monthly feature called “My Visit from Beyond”. My high school bestie and I used to love to read those out loud to each other, complete with weird sound effects. The sound effects were used to punctuate the lameness of the stories that consisted of lonely lovelorn women seeing shadows of lovers from past lives in doorways and dead aunts telling them where they had hidden their pearls.

Circa 1985, proving that interesting things only happened to people in soft focus in the ’80s.

I have no doubt my skepticism about all things paranormal spring from this experience. Not only did these experience with the ‘other world’ seem mundane, they were obviously wish fulfillment fantasies.

Now I wonder. This morning I turned on the radio, the first song I heard was James Taylor’s Fire and Rain. I’ve never paid much attention to the 1970’s singer/songwriter types, but being of a certain age, there is no way you don’t know that song. Heck, I had never realized it was about someone dying, it was just something that played in the background a lot when I was a kid.

That song had me in tears before the first chorus. The mixture of grief, realization, self disgust, and finally laughter through tears, at my silliness was intense. Seriously how could I, Addie Pray, be breaking down will listening to James Taylor? Then I figured it out, it was ‘my visit from beyond’, David was haunting me, sending me a message.

Nothing would make him laugh more than seeing me break down over a song like that. It’s so not me, and so David to play a paranormal practical joke on me. God, I loved that man.

I really hope it was him trying to make laugh today.

Celebrity Pig Adoption comes with Warnings-Celeb Child Adoption, Not So Much

Just mentally replace the words ‘pig’ and ‘swine’ with ‘child’…

Celebrity swine wars: Why experts are cautioning stars against rushing into pig adoption

“LeAnne Rimes wants to go hog wild in the worst way.The country cutie recently made a porcine plea directed towards her hubby on Twitter.”Quote of the day…. ‘pigs are not stupid’ Trying to convince Eddie to get a mini pig. I want one,” Rimes tweeted on May 7.

Fellow animal lover Tori Spelling chimed in with a very cute picture of her pig, Hank – and a pointed warning, “Heres R’s but didn’t stay mini”

“[A]dorable!!!!!” replied an undeterred Rimes. “How much does he/she weigh [?]”

Spelling never answered–at least not on Twitter — but Adria Johnson of Best Friends Animal Society’s Piggy Paradise in Kanab, Utah told FoxNews.com that “mini” pigs can grow as large as 200 lbs.

“People go to breeders and are told that the baby pigs will grow up to weigh about 20 lbs.,” explained Johnson. “Well, pigs don’t reach their full size until they’re close to four years old.”

FACT: Human children can eventually reach well over 200 lbs. too.
FACT: You also must also feed human children several times a day.
Now think about how differently the article would read if LeAnne Rimes was thinking of adopting a human baby.
Just sayin’.

I’m Fine. Considering….

I’m Fine, I really am…..considering.

I’m very close to the one year mark of the big bad. Sometimes it’s hard to believe so much time has passed, sometimes it seems like it was much longer ago that I lost David. In this last year I haven’t moved through time in the same way I did before. Some things have moved incredibly fast, others seem not to move at all. I think part of me will always be stuck in the horrifying time when I lost him.

But I’m fine. Considering. Life has gone on, the world has keep turning, and even if I haven’t been completely involved in that forward march at all times, I’ve kept my sense of the movement. As I move into the next year, one thing I fear is people will think I’m over it. I’m not, and I’m not going to be. The passage of time doesn’t change what happened. I’m changed. I may be moving forward, but I haven’t forgotten. It will always be a part of who I am.

Some folks understand I’ll not be the same. They’ve let me know they are still here for me and I can’t tell you how much that means to me. They are my true friends. They know, no matter how fine I seem, I’m still carrying this thing.

It’s been a bittersweet year, good things, wonderful things, have come my way along with the bad. They stand out starkly and beautifully, and they always will. I’ve been given gifts that opened the world back up to me, made me know living is worthwhile, let me know that my ability to love didn’t die.

I have no idea what I want to say here. Just that I’m fine. At least for now.

 

Being Generous with Character Flaws

Everybody says they never want to say anything bad about a family member. They say that, but I’m not sure it’s always true. I’m working on a novel written by an author who has based all of his characters on real family members. It’s reading flatter and every bit as boring as the the Kansas turnpike. He knows this, but still doesn’t want to attribute bad qualities to people he loves.

Yesterday evening we discussed solutions to the problem. I suggested he redraw his characters to make them less recognizable, and that’s what he probably end up doing. But in the discussion, he came up with an interesting suggestion. He had thought about asking the family members what less than flattering attribute they would like to display, dishonesty, greed, tendency to infidelity, etc.  I’m pretty sure this wouldn’t help the author out much in the end, he would still end up pissing everyone he wrote about off, but it would be fascinating to see what flaws folks might pick out for themselves.

Being allowed to pick out your own flaws, as your story is written, is a very generous concept. Controlling how we are perceived isn’t something we are ever allowed in real life. The most basic things about us come with preconceived notions about our flaws. Woman, adoptee, birth parent, adoptive parent, all have their own set of flaws, according to your perspective. It’s natural that we try to use our good points to neutralize the perception that we don’t like. I wonder if this makes us come off flat, set up to be given another set of attributes that are no more accurate than the others.

If you were asked to come up with a fictional character flaw, what would you choose?

I’m think I might like vanity. LOL.

Today is a Good Day

Today should be a good day. I’ve got plenty of work to do, good work, no one will probably die, and my Love is coming to see me tonight. It’s sunny too, that means a lot.

There are lots of things I should be doing today, mowing the lawn, organizing my cabinets, getting rid of all the junky stuff around the house, but I’m not going to get to that, and that’s OK. I’ll get to it when I’m ready. One thing I’ve learned in the last year is things happen when they happen. If I can find a place where there is a sort of flow with any kind of ambition, I’m in good shape. You don’t have to do all the hard things at once.

As an adoptee there is always the feeling you need to fix everything, right now.  All be damned if the fixes come with problems of their own, just do it. It’s a dangerous and wounding way to go, but very hard to let go of.  Adoptees tend to miss their own experiences taking care of everybody else.

Today I’m going to go with my own experiences. I’m going to play with words, create something, and most importantly let myself really feel the love that is in my life. Letting myself go to that love has been difficult, it’s not really a trust issue, it’s a being overwhelmed by own feelings issue. The sheer depth of feelings that I have is frightening, I have to will myself to let go. But it’s good, even if I have to do it one day at a time.