family

My Dad

This was originally published over at Medium.com, but I wanted to share it here too. 

My dad is the cool dad.

The one that all my friends tell me they wish they had.

My dad is the brave dad.

The one that baits the hook and handles all the scary jobs, like catching spiders.

My dad is the protector dad.

The one I can always call, no matter the time of day or where he may be.

My dad is the strong dad.

He stands up to the bullies, even when they try to knock him down.

My dad is the example of who I want to be when I grow up.

My dad is weakening,

the strength he once had no longer what it used to be.

My dad is a body being ravaged by an invader,

being overtaken, cell by cell.

Now it’s my turn to be the cool one, put on the brave face, be his protector, and his strength.

Now it’s my turn to be there whenever and wherever he needs me.

Because this is the example he has set for me, and I am, after all, my father’s daughter.

What Will You Do?

I’m sitting here this morning, my heart pounding in my chest, my brain spinning uncontrollably, trying to find words, having a difficult time putting it all in an order that makes sense to my brain and my soul.

I am trying to find a way to calm my daughter’s anxiety. I am trying to answer her questions.

How do I explain to her that people now feel they have been given permission to judge her based on the color of her skin?

That they can openly harass and deny services to her family members because of who they chose to love?

How do I try to calm her fears that old white men are going to tell her what she can and can’t do with her body?

Please, someone, offer me the words to explain this to her, because right now, I have none.

 

The Melting Pot

No, not the restaurant, although that’s pretty tasty, especially the dark chocolate fondue for dessert. No, this title refers to our country, the United States of America. These days it seems it’s more the divided states of America, but that’s for another post.

Our country is made up of immigrants. Whether they arrived here as recently as yesterday or as long ago as the Mayflower, any way you look at it, there is an immigrant somewhere in our family history. For me, the most recent was my grandparents and my mother, along with her siblings, in 1958. So technically that makes me first generation “American-born” in my family lineage. Of course my daughter is adopted from China, so technically she would be considered an immigrant as well. See where I’m going with this. This country is a beautiful mix of all sorts of people – Native American (the only ones who can claim to have always been here), European, Middle Eastern, Indian, Asian, Russian, Pacific Islanders, I could go on but you are intelligent, I think you get the idea. So what gives anyone the right to claim that their race, their identity, or who they identify with is the absolute right one and all others are wrong.  Just because someone’s skin is a different color than yours doesn’t mean they are inferior or anything less than you.

This also applies to religion. We supposedly have the freedom of religion, in fact the first amendment clearly states “…Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” It goes on to prohibit impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. So again, who is to tell me that their religion is the absolute right and all others are wrong. Just because you disagree with something or someone does not make them wrong. You are allowed to believe what you want, you are allowed to share that message, you can even disagree with me here. But please, be respectful. That’s really what it all boils down to. Respect one another, respect that we all come from different backgrounds, respect that we all have different views and beliefs that shape us. Let’s embrace each other as human beings who are sharing this planet, and try to live in peace and harmony, especially now, and for the future generations to come.