Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I had forgotten what that kind of fear felt like. Then I read this morning’s headlines and I was gripped with panic I had hoped to never experience again. Nine US troops were killed in a helicopter accident in Afghanistan today. Yesterday, a retired military man opened fire on two women at a convenience store at Ft. Bliss in Texas.

When my oldest son was deployed to Iraq and then Afghanistan I lived in a constant state of panic. Son-shine flew black hawks for many years and every accident and bombing and loss of life absolutely crippled my spirit. There was always that wave of panic until I heard his voice and knew he was well and then that sense of relief that it was not my child who wouldn’t be coming home. For sixteen years of his military career I tried to prepare myself for the absolute worst, praying for the very best. And with every ounce of bad news that came over the airwaves I experienced fear and panic.

My son loved the military. He was a career soldier, Uncle Sam his very best friend in the whole wide world. The last time he came home, on leave from his second deployment in Afghanistan, he was diagnosed with cancer, a very rare T-cell lymphoma. He died two months later.

I had mixed feelings when baby boy announced his intent to join the US Military. We are a country still at war and I could not pretend that everything would be well. But he is so much like his older brother that I could only accept and support the decision that he had made for his life.

Baby boy left for boot camp recently. The last time he was allowed to make a telephone call I could not deny or ignore the sheer joy that I heard in his voice. For him, boot camp is summer camp with guns. He is having the time of his life and his experience has served to reinforce his desire to be a Green Beret, one of the military’s elite Special Forces soldiers.

Baby boy is just beginning his military career. I imagine that every time I read or hear that something has happened on a US military base or to the soldiers who are serving so bravely, fear and panic will consume me.

Thursday, September 09, 2010


Once again, I'm changing hats and shifting my attention to one of my "other" jobs. Near and dear to my heart is the Hattie J. Woody Scholarship Foundation, which I am the executive director of, and so it is with great pleasure that I announce our fall fundraising event.


Please take a moment to visit the Foundation's blogspot and spread the word about what we are trying to accomplish.

Everyone associated with the Foundation is extremely appreciative of any and all support gifted to us. We know that without the generous support and endorsement of those who believe in our mission that none of this would be possible.

I, personally, am grateful for everyone's encouragement. From the depths of my heart, thank you in advance of the love.

Sunday, September 05, 2010


It is an incredibly beautiful Sunday afternoon. My favorite guy and I enjoyed a morning walk and breakfast then renewed our spirits and energy together in prayer and quiet reflection.

I am in awe of the many blessings that are continually bestowed upon me. I give thanks for a supportive partner whose wise wisdom and sage advice keep me grounded and assure me of his unconditional love. Together, we are a formidable team and as his hand held mine I knew that there is no challenge that he and I cannot transcend.

I am thankful for family and friends whose hearts and spirits move me to tears and laughter. They have come out in full force recently to offer support and advice and to remind me that I do not walk through any dark valley alone. They reminded me just how powerful love can be.

I am thankful for my children who are all well and happy. Extremely happy! Their accomplishments move me to tears and it warms my spirit to know that with all they entertain and strive for, the foundation I gave them has served them each well.

Life is good. I am blessed and highly favored. For every ounce of it, I am grateful.

Saturday, September 04, 2010


On occasion, something I write strikes a nerve with someone. One recent post in particular not only struck a reader’s nerve, but practically severed every vessel in her body. Apparently I’d held up a mirror and she saw her reflection gleaning back at her. She didn’t particularly like what she saw. When I consider the post I’m sure others don’t much like what they see in her either.

This reader isn’t someone I know well, but for whatever reasons she felt violated as if I’d secreted myself into her life and had somehow managed to unearth every one of her dirty little secrets. With her dirt exposed, she attacked. It was her expectation that I would fall for the okie doke and strike back. But such is not my nature...usually.

This person’s antics have put me in somewhat of a predicament. In considering my options I have to consider the impact my actions will have on those I love most. A trusted friend tells me I would be a fool to let her bad behavior go. I ponder whether or not it would be more foolish of me to entertain the madness.

And it is madness. It is anger and frustration coming from this deep, dark, ugly place of total unhappiness. It is jealous rage masked behind righteous indignation, determined to prove a point where none exists. It is bad behavior at its worst and although she pretends to do what she does to protect her family, it is her family that is hurt most, embarrassed by the sheer absurdity of it all.

But I harbor no ill-will toward this person. My heart actually breaks with sadness because her bad behavior will inevitably leave her all alone and much unloved and though, it seems, many have told her so, she still doesn’t seem to see it.

As a little girl, my grandmother frequently admonished me to take care of my looks. She was a woman whose beauty had served her well and she felt that such would benefit me as well. It was my mother who slapped that thought right out of my head, admonishing that one day my outer beauty would fade and all that I would have left to stand on was what was in my head and my heart. “God don’t like ugly” was her daily mantra.

God don’t like ugly. What has been said and done to me was beyond ugly. But that’s okay. I know that two wrongs will never make any of this nonsense right.

Friday, September 03, 2010


Brenda’s having some issues. She’s not happy and everyone else would seem to be her problem. It started back in grade school, Brenda never getting to be the hall monitor. Rude and nasty soon became Brenda’s natural demeanor.

Brenda was hell on wheels in high school. The boy’s by passed Brenda for the girl with the brighter eyes, longer hair, and prettier complexion. Brenda didn’t have a clue that her attitude was what actually turned the boys off. Brenda hasn’t been able to hold onto a man since and now she’s bitter.

Since Brenda’s not happy, she doesn’t want anyone else to be happy either and so she’s on a mission to see just how much torment she can bring to folks who really don’t give a damn about her and her issues. She’s rude, nasty, and obnoxious to sales clerks and restaurant staff. She tends to be loud and toxic to friends and family. And friends and family have had about all they’re willing to take.

Brenda doesn’t see the error of her ways. She doesn’t understand why people are always commenting on her constant negativity. Brenda can’t relate to ugly on the inside being even uglier on the outside. She can’t comprehend that nasty has never served her well and never will. Brenda doesn’t want to do better even though what she’s doing isn’t working for her.

A bitter woman is like a boil on one’s ass. Most folks are way past the point of being ready to lance old Brenda right out of their lives for good.