The joy of living in the Bible Belt is sometimes tempered by some of the issues you have to put up with
Got people who don’t want to fight Covid19 with the full support of the resources we have because they think if they die it is messing with God’s will.
Some have said I made them uncomfortable by taking positions they consider to be blasphemy and I ask them if their faith provides them with the ability act like a selfish jackass.
That doesn’t go over very well and so some conversations are uncomfortable for those who dislike confrontation.
In the middle of conversation about current events and things they can’t remember my kids start talking about how I am not one of those people.
“Abba, you made the guy at the dealership back up against the wall. You kept hammering him about the ridiculous offer he made. You probably sounded the same with the school.”
I smile at my baby girl, and ask her if I ever raised my voice.
“No, you never did but you had that edge.”
“That is because they lied to us. They knew exactly what I was willing to do and tried to change it up. And the school, well I can’t fix everything but I am not good about not trying. You deserve it. Sometimes you have to take a stand.”
There is a message on my phone about some health issues and the bedside manner isn’t what it ought to be. It sets me off and I write a response that fits my mood.
“God says you love me. I think you’d be pretty damn sad if I dropped dead. If you really want to motivate me you know what would do it and this isn’t it. All hail the great pasta god in the sky.”
Instead of hitting send I hit delete, better to take a breath and consider my words and why I was aggravated. It typically doesn’t happen like this.
I steamroll through most of Friday without issue, there is a moment of fatigue but not much else.
Saturday morning is different.
My body feels like we have gone several rounds with a baseball bat but I roll out of bed determined to power through.
Step out of bed, stretch and slowly begin to feel human. I planned ahead and set aside time to sit on the couch to read or watch some shows.
My reverie is interrupted by a shooting pain in my upper gut, feels a bit like a charlie horse.
Takes a moment before I can pull myself to my feet. Once I am upright I take a moment to slowly stretch and try to figure out what was about.
Walk to the bathroom, take two Ibuprofen and rub some sports cream on the belly.
“Do you think you need to go in?”
“Not if this goes away. Just how I moved.”
The muscles are a little sore some hours later but it feels like I have been doing crunches. Unless it comes back it is just one of those odd moments.
Read about a few more people who died and see more comments about god calling them home.
If people really think they can ignore science and medical advice because they think this is god’s plan we have bigger issues.
Check in with my middle sister as we do every 9/11 and remember how they were in the city, brother-in-law helped treat some victims at his hospital.
We talk for a moment about how big a roll 9/11 has played in the lives of her family.
The kids are very aware of neighbors and kids in school who have grown up without fathers, mothers, aunts and uncles.
It is impossible not to be aware of it or to ignore.
Those of who lived farther away had an easier time of forgetting. Not because it wasn’t important but it happened over there.
Over there is easy for people to forget. Several of the guys I used to play basketball with did tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. I am not in touch with them, but I wonder how they are doing now.
I saw some of the damage they suffered because they fought for us. Freedom isn’t free and twenty years later I have questions.
Somewhere in the memory banks I hear Dad talking to me about whether we’re going to drive to New York.
“Seems a little extreme Dad.”
“If we need to get your sister and your brother-in-law out of there driving makes the most sense. Think about what you are willing to do for your so and he is only ten months.”
We never had to go but the memory reminds me of all of the uncertainty. We didn’t know what was going to happen.
The guys and I talked about hoping the police and intelligence services were good.
“They only have to get lucky once and they did.”
Dad turned 58 two days after 9/11. I thought he was old, but now I see how very young he really was.
I rarely know what I am going to write about before I start and even then I can’t tell you where the words will take me.
This isn’t my professional work so I don’t need to stick by rules of beginning, middle and end.
If you like it you’ll read it and if you don’t you’ll stop.
Hell, I could pull your pigtails and tell you that god says you still love me or I could make up all sorts of crap and ask how you like being asked to live by the rules of a mythology you don’t subscribe too.
My middle sister and I exchanged a few stories about Dad and it brought back one that might be responsible for that Charlie horse.
“Dad, we are short on time here. I have to catch a flight back. Tell me again if there is anything in particular you want me to do.”
“Look after your mom and sisters. Go have a good life.”