The Rest Is Just Sand (Reblogged)

myguiltypleasures

I posted this in Sept. 2013 … but I think it’s about time to re-post. Personal I just love this story.

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle when 24 hours are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and two cups of coffee:

Mayonnaise jar - funny-pictures.feedio net

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. Again he asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

golf bolls - allday2 com

The professor next picked…

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The Flip Side of the Coin

So last week I had to let a few things off my chest regarding my mother. Once I got them out, I found that I really didn’t feel quite as angry anymore, so I think my objective side just may be returning. As a result, I’ve decided to look at the postive sides, especially considering the fact that Adurna– my longest bestie- said that I made the woman appear like a fire-breathing dragon. Being a teenager, we tend to view our parents in such a way based on many factors, in some cases simple miscontrued perspectives,cases where there really are issues, pressure from school clashing wtih home life, etc. So here goes.

Based on what I’ve been told, my mother decided to keep me against the wishes of my father. He wanted her to abort me. According to one of my mom’s sisters, this turned my mother into something of a joke among her peers, since most people her age usually just went ahead and had abortions performed. While I can’t say for sure whether this was on the basis of religion or a genuine interest in seeing what this little life growing inside her would be like to have around, here I am writing this today.

As the years went along, our family quickly forgot the muddle my mother had gotten herself into, and they all proceeded to spoil me rotten. Mother was still in college at the time, she’d been twenty-one the year she had me, and as such, granny was the one who cared for me during mother’s class days, well until we got some form of a sitter. I’m not sure if mother worked while at college, but for as long as I can remember, she’s been a teacher.

She began working at a primary (elementary level) school in our village,( and eventually moved to become a well respected figure at a major secondary school in our country). There at the primary school, I was a regular little visitor, writing on the chalkboards, playing with the other children, snacking on yummy school biscuits (cookies to the Americans) and eating powdered milk– the really good, rich kind. I was a pet among the teachers, and the students alike.

Since my mother and the rest of the family didn’t want me to waste the brains they’d spent time cultivating to sharp edge, they decided to send me to a private school. Mother worked for quite a while at the primary school, and most of her salary went toward my school fees and the bills that everyday existence racks up. Since my father definitely wasn’t contributing at the time, the brunt of my existence fell upon her. The school fees gradually increased with each academic year, and those costs didn’t include the seperate expenses of the uniform or the textbooks. Luckily for her, I was quite the skimpy child, so my uniforms were spread out quite well throughout the nine and half years I spent at the private school. Since she couldn’t balance the load of my finances alone, gran and the aunts and uncles ( biological and in laws) chipped in to help her out, like I said, I was the baby of the family. Aunty KC- mother’s eldest sister- carried quite a bit of the load regarding my school fees. She and her husband would also take turns dropping me to and from school. When Uncle SLF got back on his feet after a few personal problems, he too contributed to transporting me, and eventually financing me as well.

I cannot deny that the amount of time I spent at the private school greatly influenced the manner in which I grew academically, but my mother also did her part. When I had assignments and homework, she would stay up with me to help me get them completed neatly, and in time; in fact, in our household, no one ever went t0 bed before ten p.m unless they’re sick or completely exhausted. Even when I left the private school and entered the second best (THE best to me) public secondary school in the system, she still helped me with my schoolwork and homework. Not to mention, in all my years of schooling, I’ve always been provided by her, with a home cooked lunch or money to buy what I needed to eat. Even when the SD joined the family, he chipped in as well to our finances, long before they were actually married. As you can see, my mother and family have never been awful to me, compared to some of my peers, I had an amazing life growing up. Things only began to change when all the resentment began building up, and as it built I lashed out without meaning to, and my mother was caught up in a situation she couldn’t quite handle.

Of the two of us, I am probably the more manipulative one. No, I don’t sit around creating evil master plans to bring about my mother’s downfall -___-. What I mean to say/ write, is that I have always been more capable of removing my emotions from a situation and seeing the manner in which it could best be used, thus I am capable of manipulating my environment and the actions of those around me. Now that I’ve shown you the better side of my mother, let’s examine my lashing out.

While I have never been the sneak out of the house and go clubbing sort of person, I do have my rebellious ways. I prefer to lie in bed and read until my book is finished, and this has been my way since I learned to enjoy a good novel or other reading material. As a result, my ability to obey commands has always been slow in the execution, and it’s usually worse because once I’m otherwise occupied, the command goes into one ear, and sails out the other. Frankly, I forget. Along with this, has been the manner in which I speak; sometimes I can come off as sounding condescending or arrogant, and when one is conversing with a parent, that certainly doesn’t cut it. Also, the older I’ve grown, the less patient and tolerant I’ve become, which can of itself create a problem when it extends into relations with those who have authority over me. Not to mention, when it comes to certain aspects of my life, like my spirituality and my friends, having my mother attempt to control those areas via confiscating my technology when I refuse to acknowledge who I’ve been speaking to or whether I remembered to read my Bible before I hop onto the laptop, have constantly been nuisances to me. The fact that she did have the right to do so then does not escape me, however it irks me that at this stage, she still desires to exert that much control in matters that are no longer hers to handle, and as such, I find simple ways to rebel where they are concerned. Since my mother usually tells my aunts about every little thing that I do, and don’t do, my aunts and my now deceased grandmother, were convinced and are convinced that I am a selfish spawn of the devil himself

 \_(‘/)_/ , thus throwing my rebellious nature into the current power struggle be tween I and the mother. I guess the fact that I detest socialising and prefer to stay in my room, most definitely does not help the situation. I am pushing back against the force and authority that my mother exerts over my life, and as such, I am equally responsible for the current state of affairs.

So no, my mother isn’t the proverbial firebreathing dragon, she is simply a frustrated parent.

 

Kadeen Nichelle Oksana Waldron

July 9,2012

Perplexed Youth

In a world where everyone is striving to be politically correct, where the abnormal is now viewed as normal and normal is viewed as abnormal; in a world where having morals can make one a social pariah, or being from another culture  may make you an outsider, how does any youth learn moral good and/or break away from the pressures? Not just those pressures from peers, but the very covert ones, (and sometimes overt pressures) that come from “well-meaning adults”. It is no longer simple  for any individual to mention the name of any god, proclaim his/her beliefs, or simply mention their point of view about the very natural aspects of the human family life, without that poor individual being labelled as an uncaring, intolerant, or fanatical, moralistic human. It is not always safe anymore to proudly proclaim your homeland or heritage. Though, the question should be, ” Was there ever a time when these aspects of life co-habited lovingly? Will there ever be such a time?” Let me slow down, it seems I’m getting ahead of myself.

It was just a few days ago that I ran across an article that forced me to stop and think. A 17 year old student had painted a mural showing the progression,the growth of a male, from babe to adulthood. Her perspective of  the traditional male’s life included the male maturing into a centered individual with a wife and child. Does that sound very controversial to you? Well apparently to some, it was. This young lady, Liz Bierenday, was sharing her perspective of the traditional family, unfortunately its meaning was misconstrued. There were some who saw it as an offence to the LGBT community. A community that was once a minority, is now just as strongly in the forefront as the heterosexual community. With this increased presence, the world seems to be moving from one extreme to the other. Maddeningly searching for any little detail that can be seen as offensive because they fear that the rights of these individuals will once again be trampled upon. In their zeal for impartiality, tolerance, and understanding, they are quickly forcing the once traditional aspects of society to quiver in fear.  How you ask? By becoming the very forces they are trying to correct, hypocritical, intolerant, biased individuals. Unfortunately, this is not the only area of life in which over-zealous, well-meaning individuals are doing more harm than good. Even religion is quickly becoming taboo.

If one even slips out with a warm “Salaam alaikum“, “Namaste“, “May God be with you”, or “Shalom“, eyes glance accusingly in the direction of that daring religious fanatic. How dare that individual mention the name of any god? Can you believe that news anchor just used religious phrasing? Can’t he/she see that I am an atheist? Doesn’t that idiot know that I’m an agnostic? The “universe” forbid that any god’s name be mentioned in the public forum, after all, this must mean that the Crusades are returning, or that Islamic extremists are once more planning a historic attack against some unsuspecting nation.

Unfortunately, this is now a regular occurrence in most societies that we interact with. Suspicion is strong against anyone who is a little too vocal about any opinion, persons who barely understand the culture of various nations proclaim themselves experts of their every move. No one has the right to belittle an individual for being different, or for willingly accepting that they are part of a particular religion. As a Christian, independent-minded individual, I expect that my rights to believe in God and talk about him are respected just as well as my bestfriend’s right to be an agnostic and ignore my ramblings. As a heterosexual, I would hope that my children (the ones I’ll have when I’m old enough) won’t have to be afraid to mention that they’re from a family with opposite sex parents.

Along with these current issues, is the fact that many persons are still fearful of cultures that they do not belong to. Ignorance, fear of the unknown, and in some cases, a stubborn desire to not co-habit with “outsiders” or interact with them has created many misunderstandings. The awful thing, is that all societies seem to embrace one common excuse, “Humans are supposed to fear anything that is different, we are biologically wired to do so, just like any other species of animal.” How can that be a valid excuse? As it stands, while all other species have some form of brain or instinct, there are none that can function as intelligently as humans. We have the ability to create remarkable innovations, discover or create cures for illnesses that have long plagued humanity. Other species, while similar to us homo sapiens (hope I spelt it correctly), viz. our monkey and chimpanzee friends, and man’s beloved bestfriend–dogs, don’t have those mental capacities; yet they are still capable of integrating into our human world. They have proven themselves capable of adaptation, tolerance, and unconditional love for creatures which are obviously different from them. If these animals are capable of such actions, what excuse does humanity have for ostracising, stigmatising, and/or discriminating against people who are all part of the human race? They all have the same biological make-up, with a few minor obvious tweaks here and there. True, they have different cultures, religions, practices, heritages, but they are as normal as the person you sit next to on the train, or that co-worker you talk with at work, or the friend you grew up with from the cradle.

As a youth in my teenage years, I shouldn’t have to fear whether my discourses on Facebook, or my vocal discussions with my friends will leave me attached with any form of stigma. There should be a limit to how far an individual can express his/ her perspective, I agree. After all, having one’s own perspective does not give you the right to force others to see it, neither should one express an opinion in such a way that it is considered overly offensive. However, the right to an opinion, to a differing point of view is universal, and no one has the right to refuse that. The opinion can be questioned or refuted respectfully, but not beaten down, trodden, or thrown into the proverbial gutter because it suits an individual in authority. Not every Christian wants to start a new Dark Age, not every Muslim wants to become a terrorist, not every teen drinks or has sex, and no person has the same opinion on everything.

Each individual is different. We sing different songs, enjoy different genres of  music, I may say football, you may say soccer, I may like roti or pepper-pot, you might love pumpkin pie. These  differences give us a “cook-up pot” full of flavour. They help us to create societies that are not  monotonous, not one-dimensional, but filled with colours, emotions, everything that makes life great.

**DISCLAIMER:- This was not meant to offend any particular individual or group of persons. It is simply my perspective.**

Kadeen Nichelle Oksana Waldron

April 15-18, 2012.

Death of My Grandmother (Part 1)

Such a normal Sunday afternoon for me it had been. As usual, I had woken up extremely late on my Sunday “morning” flow. It was probably about 12: 30 in the afternoon. I had this massively pounding headache. It hurt so badly to open my eyes. It was like something was in my head just yanking on my eyes, while hammering the poor walls of my skull as I unwittingly rattled my brain. Exaggeration to you, agony to me. My mother had woken me up with her pleasant tirade about my uncaring, lazy nature. What can I say? Weekends are the “drop-where-you-are” kind of days to me. With my usual, stubborn, “teen -angst” face I opened the door and faced her. How much of it did I really hear? Umm, definitely not the amount that an objective individual such as myself  should have paid attention to.

Frustrations in our household had been pulling and tugging from all sides. My grandmother’s illness had put everyone more on edge than we normally were. With an acknowledging nod, I returned to the room, grabbed the laundry basket and lifted it into the living room. Before I could escape into the refuge of our room (mine and gran’s), I was once again harangued with wonderful words of…peace. -_- The command came forth to put the laundry detergents in order since my uncle(in-law) had been kind enough to let us use their washer/dryer. With my task complete, I practically sprinted back to our room, shut the door and zoned into one of my favourite shows (Charmed) ignoring the murderous migraine.

Somehow between getting comfortable and completely blanking out the world, it had become 6 p.m. I think it might have been 6:30. I don’t read time quite well on a Sunday afternoon. Rushing out, I noticed that my mother had already disappeared with her basket. Grabbing mine, I inched along the stairs, feeling slightly embarrassed about facing my family after being such a bum. I smiled unabashedly at my aunt, and uncles, hovering between mild disgrace, and amused disinterest. Hauling my basket away from the light chatter of the room, I descended to the basement. I won’t bore you with further details of my laundry habits. Task semi-completed, I ascended and entered into the room that had become my gran’s room upon her return from the hospital.

 It troubled me to see her so different. There was no longer that teasing smile on her face. Or a wink at one of the secret jokes we shared. Instead, there she lay, barely moving. Struggling to breathe on her own. The drone of the oxygen machine, adding somber background music to a day filled with unforeseen circumstances. Not wanting to dwell on the issue, I quickly disappeared to our upper chambers, submerging myself in the world of the Charmed sisters. Of course, mother dearest had another detailed rant to add to my poor ears. Sprinting downstairs again, I barely noticed how dark it had become, thinking only of the angry words that wanted to pour out of my mouth. Another glance at my sleeping grandmother pulled me into the room. Her sister sat in a chair, silently observing from a world of her own. How could I not notice that change? Was I avoiding it? Me? The realist? The born cynic? I leaned over, placing my hand on gran’s chest. Her laboured breathing could be heard above the drone of the oxygen machine. My other hand caressed her head gently.

“Gran? Granny? Granny?” The most she could utter in response was a choked off moan. Somehow, this time around seemed worse than other days. No mumbling, no struggling, no drifting between sleep and wake, just struggling breaths. Edging away from the bed, I went into the hall. Everyone just looked so defeated. With my usual nonchalant manner, I asked, ” Isn’t there any way that we can wake her? Can’t we take her to the hospital? She sounds like she can barely breathe.” My aunt and uncle were trying to contact the hospice service so that they could transfer her to the hospital. With one last glance in gran’s direction, I returned to our room. Once again, the darling Charmed ones possessed my attention. My opium against the present reality I assume. This time, I was the one who pulled myself away, not the grating voice of my mother’s call. It was time to get the last of the laundry. I rushed down the stairs. This time, I stopped in the room first. There she lay, machine silent. Chest still. My mother had crossed gran’s arms in the position she loved when she sat in her chair. I watched uncertainly, assimilating the scene. Once the words, “Elese, you fought well.” fell from my mother’s lips, I could feel my heart sink. It literally felt like it just sank into my stomach. I didn’t know what to think, how to feel, what to do. The sight of my granny lying so still, her lips parted open in that expression of death just sat in my mind. Not an image of the strong woman I knew, but the still body of a tired, old woman.

I went to check the dryer. My cousins looked so normal. I didn’t know what I should tell them. Gathering my laundry, I glanced at the television. Such carefree jokes and pranks flew across the sets of So Random. I laughed with them, took my laundry and left. All that I could think of was going up with the last of the laundry, taking a shower, and calling my best friend on Skype. Everything that I could think of doing was complete. Freshly bathed, and comfortably dressed, I could now think clearly. I texted the news to my friends, then ran back downstairs. I stuffed the laundry haphazardly into my basket. Another example of my careless nature. Then hurried up the stairs, trying to keep my cousins from coming up and seeing the sight of our lost matriarch. I don’t think I mentioned that this time before going for the laundry I didn’t go into the room. I hesitated. I was afraid that I might have pronounced her dead prematurely, or that maybe she really was dead. Sigh, stupid laundry. Yet it played such a pivotal role. I ran up the stairs, making it to the second floor, but my pounding heart couldn’t be stilled. I dropped the basket and ran back down. The room called me. I had to be sure. I entered. I could hear the machine running. I could see her looking so peaceful. Gran looked asleep again. Mouth closed neatly, eyes tightly shut. I had to be sure. I glided closer. Standing beside my mother, I looked at gran. I laid my hand across her chest. Searching. Searching. Searching for the rise and fall. Listening for those laboured breaths. There was nothing. I don’t know how to describe the feeling for you. Certain of the facts. I once again sprinted up the stairs. This time the laundry made it all the way into the upstairs apartment. I looked at our bedroom (gran and mine) feeling disoriented. Did I turn off the light before I went downstairs? Did I leave the door open like that? I don’t know why I suddenly felt afraid. Alone. There was no one else there. I struggled with my fear. I was embarrassingly close to running for my mother and asking her to come up with me. Then I took a breath, silently berating myself for all the nights I had spent watching Charmed in the dark. I walked toward the room, turning the lights on as I moved along. There I stood in front of the open door. The laptop gave off an eery light in the darkened room. Not much light came in from the street. I tried the switch, no light appeared. For a split second, my heart dropped for the second time that night. Then I realised…I was using the wrong switch. That was the closet’s switch. I quickly tried the other switch. My unconscious call to God slowly died down. I sat on my bed, looking at my phone. The responses from my friends had been so quick. I replied, feeling slightly amused. Now they were in my usual position, struggling to find the right words to convey their sympathies for my loss. It was then I realised that like I once secretly thought to myself, there are no real words that can truly meet the needs of such a situation. The closest thing that can ever work, is “I’m there for you.” I think seeing those words, really did almost make me cry.

Part Two