"Man has his will - but woman has her way."

Oliver Wendell Holmes

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Adventures through my family....AGAIN

  Well, here I am once more and I am once more on the search for my family.  I started a long time ago trying to create my family tree and I was so excited and I just knew that it wouldn't be that difficult, especially since my great-grandmother, Ora Corrine Smith, was still living and would be a wealth of information for me.

  I was right in one aspect and woefully wrong in every other one!  Mom Smith, as we called her, was able to give me a lot of information.  Of course, her parents but also their parents and a lot of stories and histories to chase down.  Some of it was painful for her to tell, a lot of deaths and financial losses along with episodes dealing with racism.  As a white woman in the deep south (Alabama, Georgia and finally Florida), she saw her share of hatefulness and injustice and relaying it to me was difficult for her. 

  This brings me to the reason I stopped my research that time, put all of names and dates in a drawer and walked away after wiping away some tears.  I am biracial, which I have already stated here.  My maternal side is Caucasian and my paternal side is African American.  There were other reasons why my mother's father disowned her and her siblings, but I was either one of them or just an easy excuse.  I got caught in the crossfire either way.

  I knew this already and was not surprised to hear that I was a mistake in his opinion and not a cherished grandchild of his heart.  I never met the man.  I was raised in Mom Smith's house for the majority of my childhood and on one occasion before he passed away he came by the house to pick up some papers that he needed apparently.  I was asleep on the couch and he saw me.  He asked my great-grandmother, "Is that my granddaughter?", to which she answered, "Yes, do you want me to wake her?" and of course he said no. 

  I was very angry at Mom Smith about that for years.  Why did HE get to make the decision?  Didn't he forfeit that right?  Shouldn't he be forced to face me?  I can say truly that was the only thing that I really ever got angry at Mom for.  My mother said to me when I was venting about this one day that didn't I see that Mom was trying to protect me from any ugliness that might come from him?  I stopped being angry that day.  I grew up then and understood.

  So, it came time to research him and his side of the family and you know what I found?  I found that I felt like an intruder.  If he didn't care to know me in life, to look me in my face or even to say hello and pretend he was a stranger, he must be spinning in his grave to know how I was trying to investigate him and learn about him!  More importantly, I also was amazed to find that I cared what he would think of me.  Would he be proud of me?  I mean, I ran through the list of things that were good about me.  A single mom of a high school student at that time (now a college student), working full time, a homeowner, never been arrested, etc., but would the only thing that mattered be that I was black and I was tip-toeing through his past, cutting the space between us that he had built up? 

  I sat there and cried, and was mad, and felt rejected all over again. 

  Am I ready now to open that drawer and start again?  I think so.  I have tried to start on my father's side of the family and that is a whole other story for another post.  All I can say is I am back, I am researching and I am going to face this man, this ghost, and I am going to face myself.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Remember when...?

Okay, I'll say it - I HATE technology! Yep, I said it, so what? Now, before people start getting their panties in a bunch, let me clarify that statement. There are many aspects of technology that are very beneficial. I like the fact that I have a place to store milk that is not a cow. I like that I can push a button on a remote and have stuff happen, as long as I have batteries that is. Wait, guess the manufacturing of the battery is a form of technology, too, huh? Yeah, technology is great in the world of medicine also. Thus ends the love aspect in my love/hate relationship with technology.

Want to know what I hate? I hate that years ago, I could remember phone numbers without hoping I had enough juice in my cell phone to pull up saved numbers! Boy am I screwed if I ever need to call someone while stuck on a yak's back somewhere in Kathmandu and I can't get any bars!

I hate that I walk into a McDonald's to apply for a part-time job, nothing fancy, and I am told to apply on-line - WHAT! ON-LINE! Now, no offense meant, but I have seen some of the people at my local Mickie D's and it seems that if you said on-line to them, they would turn around and look for one!

Same thing with the local craft store, only on-line applications. When you do apply, they give you quantum physics to perform with a time limit - get out of here!! I am applying to stock do-dads, not create them from their most base form.

I made the mistake of picking up a simple employment guide the other day. You know the one I am talking about? I figured, "Here is something normal, a blast from the past. I am sure that I can find something here." I did find something there, a migraine and 20 extra points for my blood pressure! They have even taken the employment guide (free, so that even the homeless could find a job) and instead of addresses and phone numbers, they have given the jobs ID numbers so you can go ON-LINE!

Boy, what about the older people who don't have or know how to use a computer? They must be broke because they don't bank on-line. They must not have many government benefits, they have to apply on-line. No wonder older people like to talk, with e-mail, texting and IM, who talks anymore? Pretty soon we are going to be large-thumbed, non-speaking idiots.

That's it! I'm done. I'm going to boycott. From now on, my posts will be chiseled in stone!!! (Not really, but you get my drift...)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Day 19 without a cigarette...

Well, like the title states, today is day #19 without a cigarette. I still want to smoke, but at least I am not physically ill like I thought that I would be. Still grateful that I work at home. If I worked out of the home environment, I know that by now I would be smoking. Still trying to not substitute one habit for another by eating everything in sight. Hey, I'm working on it. I'll keep ya posted.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

"You are not the father." Maury Povich

I saw something the other day that at first made me laugh and then just made me sad (and no, I wasn't in the middle of a mood swing). While watching a mind-numbing "baby daddy" episode of the Maury Povich show, it aired a quick tidbit about "Maury merchandise". This advertisement had baby onesies; you know, those cute little one-piece jumpers, with the following statement printed on them: "I met my daddy on Maury".

For a hot minute, it was funny and then I thought the whole thing through. What does that say for society? Okay, lets say that the guests on that show and others like it only make up a small segment of the population, but still, come on! Some of the girls, and I say girls because it seems that most of them are in their teens to early 20s, come back repeatedly in their search for their "baby's daddy". And the men (or boys, really) love to denounce them as whores (pronounced hos apparently), tramps, etc., yet they were more than willing to sleep with them and usually unprotected. EWWW.

Far be it from me to beat someone over the head with morals (glass house and all that) but what is going on?!? What about loving yourself? Who is guiding these kids, teaching them self-respect? When did "free love" become the mantra for middle school?

Peeps, we have got to do better...

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Graduation 2010

Like a lot of families across America, we are preparing for high school graduation. I am sure my son would not agree with me, but it seems like this year has just flown by. He brought home his announcements the other day and I nearly cried! Silly me, right?

I am sure this would be an emotional time anyway, but the fact that we faced a whole lot of difficulties through his public school career makes it even more so. My son was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, a form of autism, before too many people seemed to know what it was, even the teachers. There were plenty times when I would go to pick him up at school not knowing what I would hear about his day.

Now on the verge of graduation, I am so proud! He proved so many people wrong. He is already taking AP courses and making great grades. Do I sound like a bragging mom? Good, because for this minute, that is just what I am!!

To all the 2010 grads, I say congratulations and to my son I say -

"YOU GO, BOY!!!!"

Friday, April 30, 2010

Eight days without a cigarette - Now what?

I guess it is only fitting that the beginning of my blog starts with an ending - I quit smoking eight days ago after 22 years. I HATE IT, but so far I haven't hurt anyone! This has got to be one of the benefits to working at home. If I had to be out in the world amongst decent folk, I would probably be facing assault charges and I know I wouldn't look good in an orange jumpsuit.

It was time to quit, sure, but actually doing it isn't fun. If I can just stop reaching for cigarettes that aren't there anymore, I'll be okay.

Honestly, it has not all been bad. Being able to take a deep breath is kind of nice and - wait, that's the only positive I can think of right now. I know that there are more, but damned if I can come up with any.

My family and friends are being very supportive and I am using nicotine patches and lozenges as well so I am not going cold turkey. Wonder how many patches you can put on your body without accidentally flatlining?

I'll keep posting on my progress. Wish me luck.