Tag Archives: death

In Loving Memory of Papaw

I found out this morning that my grandfather died a little over a month ago. I may write a separate post explaining why I wasn’t informed, but for now I would just like to pay tribute to my grandfather who I loved and thought of often despite what certain other “family” members may think.

My grandfather was a kind and gentle man, dedicated to his family and, yes, to his god. I watched him preach on numerous occasions, and his passion was evident to me even as a young child. I sat in the very front row of the tiny rural church where he was Pastor, watching in awe and singing my heart out when the time came to do so.

When visiting Papaw at his home in Mississippi, he was always the first one up in the morning. I’m sure he rose before the sun to pray while the grandchildren were still sleeping and the house was quiet. When I finally awoke, I would find him sitting in his favorite chair, Bible open on his lap. He would look up and smile, welcoming me with a cheerful (Mississippi-accented) greeting: “Mornin’, Glory!”

I went to stay with Mamaw and Papaw when I was thirteen. I’d been having trouble at home and in school, and my grandparents welcomed me into their home as a sort of safe haven. It wasn’t long before I had inadvertently started running with the wrong crowd and Papaw was none too pleased.

One afternoon, I was standing outside his house talking with a couple of boys, one of whom I knew from school. The other didn’t go to school anymore. My grandfather came out, grabbed me by the arm and marched me inside the house.

“You’re hurting me”, I protested.

“Not as much as those two will”, he calmly replied.

The next time I tried to speak to the boys, neither of them wanted anything to do with me. After sending me to my room that day, Papaw had gone back outside and caught up to the boys, who had wasted no time in getting out of there. He warned them both that if they ever came near his granddaughter again, he would kill them, and that no one in that town would believe the Baptist preacher had done such a thing.

It worked!

While I would never condone such threats, I later realized that Papaw was only trying to protect me. Oh, I was livid at the time, but what I didn’t know, and Papaw did, was that the two boys were heavily involved in drugs, including dealing, and had frequent run-ins with the law. He just didn’t want to see me go down the same path. That certainly doesn’t excuse what he did, but it explains it in a way that any parent or grandparent might understand.

Papaw was one of the few men in my life who I didn’t fear (I even feared my own father). I always felt safe when Papaw was around. He wasn’t going to hurt me, or let anyone else do so. He risked his own safety as well as his reputation when he confronted those boys, but none of that was as important to him as protecting me at the time.

Over the years, circumstances beyond my control lead to a distancing between my grandparents and me. Mamaw died more than twenty years ago, and there had been no contact for several years prior to her death.

I often greet my son in the mornings with, “Mornin’ Glory!” I think of Papaw every time I say it. This morning, as I came to Bonnie for my morning hug, I said it to her. I then explained where it had come from, and wondered aloud if my grandfather was still alive. She asked his name and looked it up on the internet where we discovered his obituary. Papaw died a little over a month ago, June 29, 2009.

He used to sit on his front porch and sing. I always enjoyed sitting with him, singing along if I knew the words, and listening if I didn’t. One of my favorite songs to sing with my grandfather was Church in the Wildwood. To this day, despite my views on religion, I sometimes find myself humming or singing it softly to myself. It still brings back warm and happy memories of the few short visits I had with Papaw.

So, I dedicate the following song to the loving memory of my grandfather, Reverend Charles Donald Fitzgibbon (March 10, 1923 – June 29, 2009)


The Haunting Duality of Michael Jackson

The tone of discussions regarding Michael Jackson’s death range from utterly grief-stricken to ecstatic and celebratory and everything in between. I cannot honestly say that Jackson was one of my favorite performers, but that is purely down to personal taste. Nevertheless, I can certainly recognize and appreciate how extremely talented the man was. Michael Jackson, King of Pop, made an everlasting impact on the music industry and the world.

Was Jackson a child molester, as some believe? I do not know, and at this point in time, there is only a small handful of people in this world who know the truth about the allegations against him.

I may share more of my thoughts on the subject at a later time, but the main purpose of this post is to share one that Bonnie wrote last night:

“I’ll Be There” was a beautiful song, and I love it to this day. […] I found this haunting video this evening of an older Michael Jackson singing a few strains of this song at the piano, the younger Michael Jackson looking on. It’s symbolic of there being two different Michael Jacksons: […] This haunting duality is what I perceive when I think of Michael Jackson.


A Haunting Rendition

Please click through and read the full post. Be sure to watch the short video too. I believe it contains layers of meaning, possibly more so than any of us will ever realize or understand.


Signs of Life

A couple in the town where I was raised had five children, all of whom were at school with my sister and me at one time or another. I will call them the Bradleys. I remember them all fondly to this day.

Sometime around the mid 1980’s, the Bradleys’ oldest child was killed in a plane crash when a couple of pilots from the local Air Force base took one of the planes out for an unauthorized joyride. She was only in her early twenties, and left behind a toddler son whom the Bradleys subsequently adopted.

In 1992, their second oldest daughter disappeared. She was twenty three-years old. She was last seen leaving work, and her car was found abandoned three miles away. Foul play was suspected, and the girl was never heard from again. No body was ever recovered, and she is presumed dead.

On December 4th of this year, just a few short weeks ago, the Bradleys were celebrating their 46th wedding anniversary. The gathering took place on their houseboat where the family stayed overnight. They awoke the following morning to find their oldest son not on the boat.

After an extensive search of the grounds, and finding his car still there, they contacted authorities. Their 43 year old son’s body was found in the lake. As far as I know, the cause of death has not yet been released.

This couple has buried two children and lost three. I can’t even begin to imagine what that must be like, and what they must feel living in the house where their children were and still should be, looking around and not seeing the people who ought to be there.

As I look around my house, I see Nerf gun darts all over the floor. The television is blaring in the next room and no one is in there. My son has left it on again! He gets excited and runs out, leaving the door wide open, he drops dirty clothes in the bathroom floor, and he plays his music too loud.

These things usually irritate the heck out of me. Tonight, though, I’m thankful for them because they’re signs that my son is alive, well, and safe at home.

The next time I find a peanut butter smudge on the counter top or step in a sticky patch because a spill wasn’t cleaned properly, perhaps I won’t scold, but will gently remind my son to clean up after himself.

Dirty footprints, crumbs on the carpet, scattered toys and books, the sound of Nerf guns firing in the house. These are all signs of life, evidence that my son is still here; that he’s happy, healthy and enjoying life. Sure, these things can be irritating, but the agony of not having my precious child around to make messes or noise would be absolutely unbearable.

I am so very thankful that my son is only shouting distance away right now. I will hear him singing in the shower later. I may have to tell him for the umpteenth time to pick up his dirty clothes, but when I do, I will remember the parents who would give anything to find a mess on the bathroom floor tonight.

Tonight, I will also hear my son laugh, see him smile, enjoy his company, hug him and kiss him goodnight; and in the morning I will have breakfast with him. Because my son is here, and he is fine.

My thoughts are with the Bradleys tonight, and with all the parents crying themselves to sleep again — if they sleep at all.

Posted by Lottie — Copyright © 2008 Rambling On


Idiosyncratica October Challenge

This month, Gessy challenged the group to write a short scene of about 100 to 300 words without using any adjectives. The following is my humble effort:

Do Not Disturb

Standing outside Russ’s door this morning, I knew. Today is Sunday, and the note inside his window had been there since Wednesday. It said, “Please do not disturb. I am resting today.”

I tried to convince myself that he just needed time. Or perhaps he had forgotten to take the note out of the window. But I knew.

I knocked on the door. No movement. Russ didn’t answer.

Walking back to my apartment, I saw the landlord coming toward our building. There were police officers with her. I watched as they climbed the stairs, and then as she let the officers inside Russ’s apartment.

They came back out within seconds. It was summer in Texas and the air conditioner wasn’t running. They spoke into their radios, using code I didn’t understand. I went inside my apartment and watched from the window.

Minutes later, people in uniforms were beginning to swarm. Men in suits drove a car that resembled a station wagon. Someone pulled a stretcher from the back of it.

How long had they been inside Russ’s apartment? I opened my door just in time to see them leaving again. There was something on the stretcher, but it wasn’t Russ. The bag was zipped from end to end.

The ground started moving toward my face. I collided with it.

Returning now from the hospital, I look up at Russ’s window. The note has gone.

Posted by Lottie — Copyright © 2008 Rambling On


The Atheist Experience: Best Caller Ever

What is The Atheist Experience?

The Atheist Experience is a weekly cable access television show in Austin, Texas geared at a non-atheist audience. Every week we field live calls from atheists and believers alike, and you never know what you’re going to get! Sometimes it can get quite feisty indeed! You don’t want to miss it.

I actually sat back in my chair and applauded for this caller! Check it out:

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Saturday Cartoons – Elvis Edition

In loving memory of Elvis Presely
January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977

Elvis
Elvis Presley, a cultural icon often referred to as The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, needs no introduction from me, I’m sure.

I remember the breaking news of Elvis’ death on August 16, 1977. Such profound, worldwide sadness is not easily forgotten.

Thirty-one years later, Elvis Presely’s music and legacy are still alive and well. Elvis’ music changed the industry as well as the entire world. Such classics as, Jailhouse Rock, Love Me Tender and Don’t Be Cruel will never die. I have a long list of personal favorites, but there’s not enough space here to name them all.

For today’s Saturday Cartoons, I have chosen a lovely animated tribute to Elvis, created by Imad Karam. It’s a wonderful medley of Elvis favorites that any Elvis fan is sure to enjoy.

Posted by Lottie — Copyright © 2008 Rambling On


The Elvis Medleyvideo clip by Imad Karam


Just Waiting To Die

Back in June, I commented under a post declaring that George Carlin is no longer an atheist, that he is now a believer because he’s burning in hell, or whatever.

I stopped commenting when a couple of folks decided that racism makes good entertainment. The discussion is still going (gah!) and it keeps showing up in My Comments. I usually glance through it and move on, but today this got my attention (I think D.J. is obsessed with me):

What is logic and rationale? How do you know what is logical or rational? Oh, and I believe Lottie got struck by God after that last post! Man, listen. You’ve got nothing because if you’re atheist, what is life but just waiting to die?

Is this guy serious? If anyone is “just waiting to die”, wouldn’t it be those who believe in an afterlife?

Before I go any further, this is not a Christian-bashing post. I’m not even claiming that Christians are waiting to die. I’m simply pointing out the flaws in D.J.’s reasoning here. That said, on with the show:

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