I Panicked, Then I Got Over Myself (Because We Have No Choice)

The Donna Reed Show

The Donna Reed Show (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At dinner, my nineteen year old son told me that he and his friends were going to see a movie later that night. I felt a chill course through my body. “Batman?” I asked in a somber tone. “Yeah” he said, just looking at my face, “Mom. don’t worry.” But, of course, I worried a bit and it is making me furious that once again there is another thing to feel fearful about when so much has already been taken away. We have lost the freedom to feel care-free, happy, because other people are killing each other senselessly.  Wait, that is incorrect, we have not “lost the freedom” it has been stripped from us, leaving open, bloody wounds and physical and emotional pain that will never go away.

I’m not saying that I won’t go to the movies again, certainly not, movies have always been my safe haven but now there’s another feeling about going into a movie theater other than just pure joy and excitement and playing the preview game, (thumbs up or thumbs down?)….there’s trepidation, at least for now.

Right after 9/11 people were scared to fly, many, many people. Others were even scared to take the trains or buses, I don’t like the world now. I liked it better when “Father Knows Best” was on television and “Mayberry RFD” and “The Donna Reed Show.” Any situation was always wrapped up neatly by the end of half an hour, and there was always a sweet, comforting ending. Sure, some mischief may have been made but the child learned a lesson, hugs were warmly given and they all sit down together for a really good dinner. ( Yes, it was always made by mom.)

Life seemed easier back then, sure we had fire drills at school and we had to scoot under our desks (maybe there were threats we knew nothing about) but there were no actual terrorist attacks or abductions or practice lock- downs that my children speak of as part of their day, as common as milk and cookies were to us in the fifties and sixties. Knowing it can never be the same stirs a gloomy sadness inside me.

What can I do to help?  Anything? I know, probably not. The world as I knew it has changed. I just wish there was some way that collectively we could think of a way to make things better. Instead, we stand on the sidelines and want to lift a hand. It may be a totally unrealistic and innocent idea but I just feel so helpless doing nothing. Sure, I can spare a few dollars to donate to the victims of Aurora, Colorado but that’s not what I am talking about. It’s not ENOUGH.

I have a longing for the past, an ache for a simpler life, the life of my childhood. I want to help make things better and don’t know how.

Can anyone else relate?

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Carry On Tuesday: “I Had A Dream”

Publicity photo of Ralph Waite (John Walton, S...

Publicity photo of Ralph Waite (John Walton, Sr.), Richard Thomas (John Boy), and Michael Learned (Olivia Walton) from the television program The Waltons. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I had a dream, when I was younger, that all families were like the ones I  watched on television: Leave It To Beaver, Father Knows Best and most importantly, The Waltons. Everyone always got along, the siblings were close, sure they bantered back and forth but I could just feel the love between them and the mutual admiration they had for one another. I grew up thinking that life was fair; good people got good things and bad people got what they deserved: punishment. Life was about giving and taking, things always worked out in the end, or so I thought.

I certainly don’t believe in that as much as I used to, hell, I’m not sure I believe in it at all.  There are too many bad people getting away with too much horrible crap and too many good people are given way too much stuff to handle that they don’t deserve. Think about it for a minute, I bet you can think of a few, truly good and kind people who don’t deserve what they have and a few unkind, bad and selfish people you wish had more of the same, negative karma that they give out,  if only to teach them a lesson or two. Does it happen often? No, it rarely happens if at all.

I know I started  my youthful fantasies, back when there was a Santa Claus, and an Easter Bunny and if you had a bad day, the next day was a promise with a kiss to be better. It was a world when moms and dads could tell you things and you believed them in your child-like innocence. Parents weren’t flawed people, they were just, well…parents. Apparently, life is not based out of old episodes of a television series. Reality hit me when I was an adolescent and those innocent years of childhood ended abruptly.

Families, like The Waltons all lived together in one big house; sure they were poor but they all got along and loved and trusted one another, three generations living under one roof. We can’t even have a dinner with the “adults” in my family before someone’s childish drama and selfishness rears its dysfunctional head, loudly and inappropriately, within a matter of minutes. At my mother’s  birthday celebration, one member of my family made it all about her. I wasn’t shocked or surprised it happens that way all the time. I just shook my head, looked at my poor husband who had just been delivered a stern lecture and saw his flushed cheeks and his bewildered, hurt brown eyes; he was very upset. After that, just looking at his body language he had checked out. There’s always one victim, usually it’s me, now it was both of us, but I don’t feel defeated anymore, I just felt disgusted.

Here is what I have learned:  people do not change. The most “enlightened” sounding people can be the most disturbed and do not know themselves at all; they need professional help. As much as we are all in this together with our friends, family, neighbors,  ultimately, we are alone. We are born alone and we will die alone. The most important thing to have is strength in yourself. We all need that wisdom and courage it takes to go to bed and wake up the next day knowing that even though it is hard to put one foot in front of the other, we have no choice but to continue. That even in uncharted territory we must force ourselves to go on and that family is not necessarily defined by blood lines but by goodwill, caring, kind, well-intentioned, love. Pure and simple. Love should not be that complicated, and if it always is, there is something very, very wrong.

The Person Whose Advice I Seek First When I Am In Doubt- Plinky Prompt

Cleaver family

Image via Wikipedia

I feel like growing up in the fifties and sixties with “Father Knows Best and “Leave It To Beaver” I do turn to my husband first. He knows me best, he will never side with me when I am wrong and he looks at all angles. I will also ask my sister and my friends, my mom, for certain things, but I turn to him first. Defining “doubt” though would be helpful because it really does depend on the situation.
Generally, the person who knows me best is me. I look inwards before I look anywhere else. I feel it in my gut if I am making the right decision or the wrong one. Now and then, I take a poll and I ask everyone, all my friends. It helps me to think things through out-loud but I usually end up with my first emotional gut reaction.

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