Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Is It Wise For You To Read This Unfortunate Series?

If you are reading this post you are probably considering whether or not you should read A Series of Unfortunate Events. I am here to tell you that you will hear two different answers for your question.

Lemony Snicket: Absolutely not. Unless you just enjoy being completely depressed, soaked in the puddles of your own tears.
Me: Absolutely, yes. I'm not sure what is the matter with the author. But you won't shed tears… at least not many. Only one who is very dimwitted wouldn't laugh over these warm hearted children's books.
Lemony Snicket: Warm hearted! The only thing that is ever warm is the blood spilled by vicious villains! No, do not listen to Keturah. These books of mine are full of miserable accounts concerning the lives of the Baudelaire orphans. Many of which consist of very cold, sleepless, frightening nights.
Me: I'm sorry, dear readers. We will say goodbye to Mr Snicket, as he isn't in the most postitive mood today.
Lemony Snicket: Wh – no! You can't let this go on any lon-
Me: Goodbye.

There. I do apologize for those unnecessary words of Mr Snicket.

Now we can get on to the review of the series, A Series of Unfortunate Events.

I'm not sure what you call this genre, but I call it horror comedy. It's so horrible it's funny. But not at all stupid.

Isn't horror stupid,” you may ask. That's if you are like me and detest horror…

And I would agree and add, “Yes. But not when the it is stupid horror.”

Comedy – a word which here means, “a terribly funny series that you must read” – is mixed perfectly with cleverness, a trait that many stupid adults can't seem to grasp and apply to their lives.






Go here to read my review of the series on Goodreads. Be warned that it contains minor spoilers.


Here are 13 reasons why you should read A Series of Unfortunate Events. By the way, I am not secretly endorsing the Netflix series (or book, for that matter) 13 Reasons Why. I just happened to use a phrase that has been long in existence before that show ever became unduly popular. I am not putting that show down – I have never seen it. But I just want to make certain you all understand I was not hinting in secret code (a practice used all too commonly in A Series of Unfortunate Events). I was simply using words in their correct usage according to our English language.



1. If you enjoy simple stories, full of complex situations this series may be for you. Yes, this is a children's story – but as all good children's stories it is very appropriate for all audiences.

2. If you would like to stretch your mind and question your belief that you know a lot, this series is most certainly for you. Because you will learn something, I guarantee. And if you don't, you may in fact be a villain incapable of storing key information in your mind.

3. Do you want to be considered well-read by people that are in fact well-read? Read this series. A little peer pressure never hurt one's mind – unless the peer pressure was issued by idiots, of course. Remember, well-read persons often read books that are worth a well of information. Be well-read.

4. If you want to find out the truth about what happened to the Baudelaire children. Remember, the author has made a solemn oath to reveal all the truths he knows.

5. Mysteries abound aplenty in this series. The word aplenty means, “more than needed” which here means “so many mysteries your mind will not be able to handle the amount, and you may very well die of brain injury before your reading is completed if your brain is not sturdy”.

6. Who is Beatrice, the beautiful love of Lemony Snicket? The woman that will be forever dead.

7. Superstitions – real or not? That depends on how you look at it… or read it ;)

8. Are adults all doomed to be inefficient – a word here that means “Completely incapable of keeping three orphans safe and happy from the clutches of their own or others' greed?”. Read to know.

9. Do you like to learn new words? Well, I'm afraid that these three children, Klaus particularly, will be able to teach you quite a few words.


10. Do you often feel depressed? I've heard reading about others misfortunes has a way of making your own feel petty. This series shall be perfect for you.


11. If you like happy endings – this series isn't for you. Oh, wait. I forgot I must be positive. In good light of the series, even though the lighting in the series is rarely good. If you like clever cliches, this book is for you.

12. If you like to have your hope {I mean fear} dashed to pieces this is perfect for you!


13. If you would like to know more about Lemony Snicket, but know as I do that his autobiography contains no real information concerning his mysterious person, I am happy to say that he has hidden many details of his own life in these books.



To give an honest review I should include 13 reasons why you should not read this series. Especially as the author would like me, too. But he and I both know that is very much impossible, as 13 reasons is not near enough for all the tragedies that refuse to limit themselves to such a small number.

But laughter will overrun all your tears, I guarantee.

Read.These.Books.

Lemony Snicket: Be honest.
Me: I am being honest. And I told you your time was over.

Sorry, again. He has a way of always wanting to get in an extra warning, I mean, word in.

These books will be exactly what you need if you are looking to add much knowledge to your sadly empty brain. They will make your glassy eyes laugh. And your stone heart beat {in fear}.

One of the most enjoyable {terrifying} reads of my life!!!!!

Do read! And let me know what you think!!!  

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

More Than Modest: Respect



This is loosely related to my post More Than Modest.

This post was originally published at the blog A Pinch Of Classy, where I do monthly fashion posts. 


I have come to a huge realization: most of the world is selfish. Past the way we act and speak, on to the way we dress. To each individual life and the world revolves 100% around “me” and the way they do things.

And I am no exception to this.

(Do you ever like to watch people and think, 'to them I am the stranger. To them something drastic is happening. Their life is all that matters – my problems would be petty to them.' It's a humbling thought.)

I am going to try and keep this post clothing focused...but as in many areas, my thoughts are directly and indirectly weaved around so many others.

Life never unravels in one place – but the whole garment of
existence has a way of catching flame suddenly all at once. Not only
is it hard to put out the fire – but the damage isn't just a little
bit of mending.



More like a complete remake – but there are still pieces worth salvaging???

Anyways...fashion...modesty...respect...clothes...clothes
and how we wear them.

Man, this isn't just some light issue...even amidst deeper, harder things. It still
matters.

I've always believed
that the way a girl dresses should express her femininity with
humbleness, appropriateness, and respectfulness. I've always believed
and still believe that those are the key elements of what make up
modesty.

But...what do those
qualities really mean? What do they look like? So many disagree...so
many have good points...some are just plain wrong - or are they?

What is perspective,
what is truth?

And what is simply
hypocrisy?

I look at so many
women that dress like me (and way more conservative). Even though I
understand their background I also can see deeper, past those
clothes.

It seems so much of
conservative modesty is really just a mask to hide a vulgar,
feministic, selfish woman. No joy (or smiling). No beauty.

Shouldn't women be
beautiful – aren't we after all the epitome of beauty, of God's
creation?

And then I've seen
that so much of conservative dress is completely a man-made belief –
and we judge each other on our own self-made rules!

Where in the Bible
does it say a dress must be full and ankle length? Or that we must
dress against the modern culture?



Where in the Bible
does it say, “Seek weirdness, flee fashion”?
It doesn't.

I still hold to my
core beliefs in how to dress...but I am unsure how those ideas must
be expressed through my clothing in ways that both honor God and man.
In ways that show respect yet I can still express my personality.

I'm not saying
modesty is bad...but it most certainly is being abused.

Dress appropriately,
yes – but we don't need to hide the fact we are women and have a
shape.

Women are not
offensive.

We are beautiful.

Conservatism modesty
(hide under layers and layers of polyester – sweat out your faith)
doesn't help women be true women.



And neither does the
porn industry or Holly Wood
(starve yourself to get your bones to
pop, then give away your skin for free in clothing that is very
worthy of being labeled poverty rags. Show all men what you have –
and hide next to nothing) inspire feeling in women of being something
more than an object for men.

These two extremes
scream at all of us young girls.

How are we supposed
to know what to do? Feel good about ourselves?

Balance is a foreign
concept – we only know the two wrongs.

Be holy and “save”
our entirety for a potential husband (who may not notice us because
he's enthralled in the cheap alternative that is too accessible).

In frustrations so
many of us throw away the layers...to embrace almost nothing. Trying
to say, “I am just as beautiful...”

Of course there is
still the chance he will only see what you are showing instead of who
you are...and even then what you have may not be enough...


Starvation...fashionable
clothes...it doesn't work.

Wow…

But why not???

The problem is way
bigger than the way we dress, first off…but that is another matter
entirely.



Dressing to please
anyone but God will lead you only to darkness – there will always
be someone to find fault.

We must recognize
the hypocrisy. But we don't run away from it toward sin.

We embrace the truth
of what was said – and “fix it up” instead of covering the
truth in lies.

We are women, and
must dress accordingly despite what the two extremes tell us.

I am wanting to
learn how to respect God and man and myself by not becoming an object
– whether an object that hides behind layers or an object that
exposes her skin for men to lust after. Who is with me???

I'm still not sure
what this looks like. I'm still not sure on a lot of things.

But it is starting
to fit together...slowly.

I do not need to be
ashamed or hide my body. And I do not need to prove this by embracing
the opposite end of the stick – I can still be me, be free in the
fact that I am me with out being ashamed of not conforming to one or
the other.

True femininity
starts with those modesty qualities being instilled in our hearts
through Jesus (Yeshua). And once it is we should be able to better
express that true modesty in the way we dress.

Many will still judge and hate.

But modesty
(fashion) isn't about receiving approval. It's about so much more –
such as what is right.

This is an old picture - but I love it because it was a time from my life when I was happy for no reason. When I had every right to be depressed - I was content. The feelings in this picture - this should be our fashion statement. 


Tell me, girls –
what does your journey toward respectful dress look like?



We are all in this
together, after all. Every movie, every magazine, every garment that
is made – it honors or offends each of us personally. And affects
all of us together.







Monday, November 13, 2017

The Lawrence Children: Chapter 2

No More Good-nights




When spring came Frederic never took the Lawrence children treasure hunting. Life had other plans instead, drastically opposing those of what the children desired.
It all started in the dead of an October winter, just a couple weeks after Frederic told his story.
Snow covered the Montana valley so that it was impossible for Frederic to traverse to the mines, much less for the children to attend school. For days all were stranded in their small cabin.
But life continued for the few days the whole family was trapped in their home.
Julia made sure that all the children kept up their studies. There wasn't much pressuring to do with Lucy or Noah. Even Fred-O did well. But Ann and Vern were another matter – especially Vern as he thought he didn't need to do much studying as he didn't attend school anymore.
“I do not see why I have to study so much when it doesn't even matter.”
“Vern Lawrence,” Julia sighed. “You don't learn because you have to go to school. You go to school so that you can learn. And you continue learning even after school is over. That is life.”
Vern was not persuaded.
“Besides,” Julia said, letting her exhaustion show in her voice. “What else is there for you to do with all this snow?”
Vern shrugged. He would much rather help Father. But he knew he wouldn't be able to make the snow melt soon enough.
Julia nodded as if her point were proven.
Frederic spoke as he sent Vern a sympathizing look, “If you finish all your studies, why don't you go trapping with me tomorrow? I think the weather will be good enough to do so.”
Vern's eyes lighted, “Yeah!” He looked sideways at his mother, waiting for Julia to tell him no.
Instead she said, “It will be good for him to get out of the house, and away from me.”
Vern grinned.
“Good!” Frederic said, “It will be a little hard to check them with all the snow – but at least we will have furs to keep us occupied.” Vern looked to his father and smiled – taking care of meat and furs was his preferred kind of work.
Julia smiled, “It will be good for both of you. I don't enjoy keeping my boys cooped up inside, forcing them into scholars.”
“I like learning,” Noah exclaimed. “You don't force me.”
Julia laughed, “No, you are a special one, aren't you?”
Noah returned the laugh, “But I wouldn't mind going with Father.” His eyes hinted at a wanted invitation.
Frederic laughed, “I should take you, too. But it shall be so cold out. Next time, deal?”
Noah smiled, not seeming bothered by having to stay, “Sounds good to me.”

Frederic woke Vern early.
Why? He didn't have to take the children to school – snow! There was no school today. And he was going trapping! Vern moved from his shared bed with Noah as quietly and quickly as he could manage. And then he buried himself in warm clothes.
Climbing down from the loft, the warm smell of coffee saluted his nostrils.
“Good morning,” Julia smiled, directing him toward a place at the table. Bacon, coffee, and cooked grain. It was all hot, steam overflowing with delicious scents.
Vern already felt so hungry, as if he had already worked a full hard day without food.
Frederic was already seated at the table, eating.
“Eat quickly,” Julia directed. “Your father wants to be out before light.”
Frederic's mouth was full. Vern sat down and made his own mouth likewise. His father kept eating, neither confirming nor contradicting Julia's words.
Once they were finished Julia handed Frederic a large tin lunch bucket, and a canister full of hot coffee to each of them, wrapped in cloth. Frederic grabbed his rifle, and Vern took another. They were bundled up warm, prepared to meet cold and wildlife.
“Take care,” Julia kissed Frederic and Vern, Vern receiving his kiss on the cheek. “And have fun.”
Frederic nodded, returning his wife's kiss.
Vern grinned. Of course he would have fun – not being cooped inside was the first guarantee of that.

Stepping in the snow turned out to be more work than his books would have caused.
But Vern did not mind.
He enjoyed having this time with his father, and learning more about the traps and even the animals.
“Have you been finding many animals in the traps lately?” Vern asked. It had been awhile since they had trapped together, as Frederic normally checked the traps while Vern would take care of other chores.
Frederic nodded amidst his many layers, “Yes. Though not as many as I'd like.”
They had already checked a good five traps, having to dig them out of drifts to only find them empty. Half the day was over. They would be stopping to eat soon and not one animal – dead or alive.
“It seems quiet out here, doesn't it?” Frederic said, breaking into Vern's thoughts.
“Yeah,” Vern said. “Is that bad?”
Frederic grunted, “Naw, it's neither. Just an observation.”
“I like it. Feels peaceful.”
“That it does.”
“I remember Richard telling me once that trapping was dangerous work,” Vern said as if the idea were preposterous.
“Anything is dangerous. But I think it's ten times safer than the mine work. Plus, as you say it's more peaceful. But yeah – anything involving wild animals can lead to an accident.
“Oh.” Danger would add some excitement to the quiet. Not that Vern wanted it to be loud. But excitement was never bad.
Silence settled between the two men as they continued to shove their feet over and through the snow.
“One more trap, then we'll eat?” Frederic announced, though as a question.
“Sounds good.” Vern replied, breathing hard from the exertion of pulling his boots through the snow.
Before they even reached the trap Vern could tell this one was going to be different than the others.
He heard movements and groans. Something was caught, and the poor creature was still alive.
Frederic smiled to Vern.
“Finally!” Vern exclaimed.
Frederic nodded, “Hopefully it isn't just something small.”
But Frederic wasn't hoping to see what he saw.
Both of their smiles disappeared when they saw what was caught – a small bear cub. Frederic let out a frustrated gasp. “Stay back, Vern.”
“What are you going to do?” It was just a baby. They usually went for smaller animals, though not babies. Especially not bears. Not with foot traps.
“I'm going to try and let it loose. Hopefully it isn't so hurt we have to shoot it.”
Vern heard positivity in his father's voice. Most likely it would be alright once they freed the cub.
“Just keep an eye out for the mother bear. Keep the gun ready. And be careful”
Vern nodded, pulling his rifle off of his shoulder, and making sure it was cocked.
Frederic stepped toward the baby bear, and immediately it let out a groan, mixed with tortured pain and fear. “It's OK, little fellow. I'm just going to get your foot out of that there trap. OK?”
The bear growled – no, wait.
That growl was too loud for a baby…
The mother bear was on Frederic before Vern even saw her.
Frederic yelled.
Vern's brain froze even as his arms moved into action. Where was he supposed to shoot? He had to shoot, his hands knew this. But his mind said, “You'll miss!”
Rifle set against his shoulder, he aimed.
What if he shot his father?
He couldn't think.
Vern pulled the trigger.
One shot resounded.
The bear looked up, wounded. It roared, obviously hurt, but not fatally.
Vern reloaded quickly and aimed once more, taking advantage of the open face.
A second shot exploded right into the bear's face.
It stood up on its hind feet, angry. The mother bear raised her claws toward where the gunshots had come from. But the two shots had done their work. The bear toppled backward, falling beside Frederic.
Frederic. “Father,” Vern ran over to his father's side.
There was too much blood. Vern ignored the blood and pulled his father over, not looking at his face. Just his chest. It… it was moving.
A moan.
What was he going to do? His father needed help.
Vern took handfuls of snow and wiped blood off of his father, cleaning his face and neck and skin as much as he could. But the blood was just coming back. The snow wasn't helping. Frederic's warm clothing was torn into shreds. And the snow Vern had just piled onto him would make his father even colder.
“Father?”
Frederic didn't answer.
He was in too much pain. He was moaning – Vern felt sick. The bear hadn't been on his father long, but there was so much blood and his father sounded too weak.
Vern would have to carry Frederic home.
The baby bear grunted, causing Vern to remember the cub. He left his father and released the baby bear quickly, dodging its small claws. The cub ran off not giving Vern a chance to examine its wounds.
He didn't have time anyways.
Vern quickly dumped out all excess things from him and his father. With only a rifle over his shoulder, he picked up his father and started walking slowly home.
His mother would have herbs. She would know what to do.
She had to know what to do.
“Please, God. Don't let him be hurt too bad.” Vern whispered. He felt so numb with horror he didn't even notice the weight of his father.

Vern never forgot his mother's face. Horribly white. He knew when he saw it that there was no hope for his father.
“I brought him as fast as I could,” it was too warm inside. The cold had kept him numb – unable to feel pain. Now he could feel, and he was crying. All his brothers and sisters were staring at him. But oddly enough Vern did not care.
Julia broke out of her state of shock and started pulling the frozen, bloody clothes off of Frederic. “Girls! I need hot water. And my herbs.”
Lucy was already heating pans of snow.
Ann ran into her mother's room for the satchel of herbs.
Julia looked up into Vern's face, “You did good, Vern. We'll save him.” Seeing the little ones, she added, “Do you think you can take them away? I don't want them seeing Father like this.”
Vern walked away in response, grabbing Julie's and Fred-O's hands. He took them to the loft ignoring their questions.
Not ignoring. He couldn't hear them.
Vern tried to be strong. He tried to not cry.
But deep down it was too hard.
He knew his family would never be the same.
Julie and Fred-O stopped talking and hugged Vern as he cried. He wrapped his arms around his two littlest siblings, feeling a little stronger as they hugged him.
“Sing to us,” Fred-O asked Vern.
He didn't want to sing.
But there were so many things he didn't want.
“I don't know any songs right now,” he answered his little brother.
“The one Father always sings to me.”
Vern hugged Fred-O and Julie tighter. “OK.”
And he quietly sang the chorus of the sad folk song their family all loved so well.


Oh, Fred-O,
Don't Go!
That fateful day away.
Oh, Fred-O,
Come home!
Back to loved ones to stay.


After the little ones were put to sleep, Vern crawled down out of the loft. All night he and Julia with the girls and Noah stayed by Frederic's side.
But nothing they could do would save him.
A fever grew over Frederic. All the next day Frederic became weaker and weaker. He never opened his eyes. He never said a word.
Frederic was dead by the next night, and they were still stranded at their cabin, isolated from town and neighbors. The night he died another storm erupted, making it impossible to alert neighbors or bury their father.
Vern and Noah wrapped their father's body in blankets and put him outside the barn, surrounding Frederic with snow. In a few days when it was a bit warmer they would be able to put him in the ground with neighbors' help.
Vern didn't shed another tear after the first night. He knew he needed to be strong for everyone else. There wasn't time for him to feel sadness. But as they buried his father he was glad for the numbing cold once more. It felt so good to not feel.
Noah couldn't stop crying. As they finished covering Frederic with snow, Vern doing most of the work. Noah asked, “What are we going to do?”
“What do you mean?” Vern asked, struggling to speak through the cold air.
Noah shrugged.
“It's not the end of the world.” Vern felt as if he were lying. “We own our land. You and I know how to dig the ore and weigh it in for the gold. We can trap. We both are capable of making sure the rest of this family lives.”
Noah still cried, “Mother doesn't look well.”
“She won't for awhile.” Vern didn't want to be the strong one. But who else would?
“Do you think… th – that...”
“No. Don't even think that way. We'll all be fine.”
Noah nodded. Vern had convinced him for the moment.
Vern gave him a quick hug and whispered, just as much for his own sake as Noah's. Noah needed confirmation that they would be OK. “We are all going to be just fine. You'll see. God is still with us.”
But Vern felt as if God must be someplace else. It was all too quick, too sudden. Yesterday was supposed to be a good day – a day with a break from school to be with his father.
Not the final day of his childhood.

Make sure to return the second Monday of next month for the next installment of the Lawrence Children! 

Father Tells a Story posted 10/9/17
No More Good-nights posted 11/13/17
Lucy Learns to Live posted 12/11/17
Never Know, Noah posted 1/8/18
Grandpa's Mystery  posted 2/12/18
Ann Finds Answers posted 3/12/18
Vern Lead's An Adventure posted 4/9/18
A Friendly Visit posted 5/14/18
A Real Clue? posted 6/11/18
Fred-O is Frightened  posted 7/9/18
Good Job, Julie! posted 8/13/18
Hello, Life posted 9/10/18

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

My Uncle Amoz

Uncle Amoz and me when I was first born.



This spring one of my uncles died. It was very sad, and the circumstances of his death were crazy. 
He was too young - it shouldn't have happened.

All of us were shocked. Many were angry.

Many still are.

It's crazy how death makes life appear so differently. Especially when death happens to someone you know.

What's even sadder... I wasn't able to go to his funeral because I was traveling and too far away to catch a ride with anyone that was going.

This post, though, is not going to dwell on the circumstances of his death. 

It's going to be more about him.

I never liked to do favorites. I always told people it was wrong to have favorites... at the same time I had them ;) But to be fair I would try to make sure my siblings would have different favorites than I did.

Such as...

Me to my sisters: My favorite color  is pink. What are yours?
Sisters: I don't know.
Me to Jerushah: You can like orange and yellow.
Me to Beckah Jo: You can like purple.
Me: And my color is pink.

The crazy thing? Those were our favorite colors for years after... ;p

I did the same things with our aunts and uncles... to makes things fair ;) 


I guess this was back in the days when it was "cool" for guys to bleach their hair ;) 


   
Uncle Amoz was always a favorite uncle of mine (on Dad's side). 

He was handsome (one time I thought I'd marry him when I grew up). He had an awesome motorcycle. His hair was always crazy. He was fun - and nice.

My favorite memory involves him.

I was about 7 or 8. At the time there were only three of us siblings, and my mom was expecting my brother Jesse.

Uncle Amoz was living with us, and he'd turned our playhouse into his storage shed.

I have always been very organized and all about getting things done. 

One day I said to Jonny and Ruie (Jerushah), "We should take our play house back!"

"I don't know if that's a good idea," they said cautiously. 

"Of course it is! We'll never get it back unless we take it back. It's ours anyways."

It wasn't hard to persuade them. 

The three of us went to the blue shed Dad had given us. And we cleaned house. Boxes, bags, crates. All were overturned and sorted through. Almost everything flew out the windows - clothes, papers, tools, and other junk.

I let my brother, my sister, and me keep a few things that looked nice - things our uncle surely wouldn't miss.

We spent most of our afternoon reclaiming our place. And when we finished we had an amazing feeling of accomplishment - a clean playhouse surrounded by piles of unwanted things.

But, oh my! Wasn't Uncle Amoz mad when he got home!

"What did you kids do?"

We were all a bit timid... but not enough so to let him put the things back inside our play house.

He saw the things we kept... I had a small tool kit and a picture of myself.

"These are my things. You can't have them," he told me.

"Can't I have the picture?" I argued.

"Fine." That's all he'd let me keep... a picture of me.

He gathered up his things... we never saw them again. And we were fine with that... and as we got older we loved to tell the story as an example of what we kids were capable of ;) 

Of how we kept our play house.

Oh... people sometimes wonder where Mom was.... she was inside laughing on the phone to Grandma, too pregnant and tired to stop us as she watched from a window.



As I've grown older and we've moved a lot I didn't see much of my uncle when I was older. But I've always considered him a favorite. I really do wish sometimes I'd known him better... but I am happy for the memories I do have.

And I hope that he is in Heaven with Yahweh - what we all call God. 

Life is a crazy thing. But memories are beautiful, even in death. 

And I'm glad I have those :) 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

BIG HERO 6: You Can't Just Smile the Grief Away



Who would think that something could make you laugh so much before tearing you to pieces, making you want to do nothing but cry?


You relate. 

Grief and laughter are something most can understand - but I don't know if I've ever seen any other movie capture both of these human emotions so simply perfectly.


Image result for big hero six grief




(This is not a review, but my thoughts. This entire post contains spoilers and references that may not make sense if you have not seen the movie.)

Life is full of confusion – and often time it feels that it shouldn't be so – that the confusion is caused by mere stupidity.


Grief is strange.


It is wrong. It can never get better - you may learn to become numb. But that is all.

 It holds a power over us. One who grieves can not just decided to be happy. They can want it so bad – but how do you smile when the world feels like a dark hole sinking into nothingness while not even letting you have the peace to just be done?


I loved this animation movie for so many reasons.


A young genius boy (Hiro) – who really has so much to learn from people who could teach him nothing.

His kind older brother, Tadashi.
 
Shocking death.
Why did Tadashi die? 

Hiro's life was ruined on the night when everything should have been great. His brother had helped him pursue meaning, showing him a better way to use his brain and gifts above the momentarily thrill of dangerous and illegal pursuits.


The grief. It never could be better.


But Hiro learned how to live through once more as friends surrounded him, pulling him out of the clutches of darkness. He learned that his still had something to do...

His brother died. But life could go on.

Tadashi had so much to give – his life was about saving others. He died to save another… who turned out to have evil intentions of his own.


And Hiro's grief was rekindled in anger.


Not only did Tadashi die – he died in vain.

And this is when the story becomes beautiful. Hiro is no longer a young boy seeking justice or peace,  but revenge. He takes his brother's lovely invention designed to heal and save and reprograms the robot to “Destroy!”

Destruction – it's all you feel in the time of grief. You soul is dying. Your smile is lightened only by the shadows of darkness. Everything that should be is not. Life is evil

Destruction is the direct result of what is not right – and thus you must exterminate the one that has caused your nightmare.

But it's not quite so simple, Hiro discovers.

Not only is he grieving for his brother… the one responsible is grieving loss, too.

Life.

It's a cycle of tumbling consequences, pulling us all further and further into the dark hole of grief. No one can escape as each one keeps lashing out in anger, "I was wronged! Some one must pay - all is stupid. Who will die to heal my pain?"


Loss and destruction are the masters of grief.


No one can comfort you. No one can change the path of these horrid atrocities. Nothing can ever get better – only you can kill the evil.

Where is the healing?

Hiro discovers the way to heal is to help those hurting, not demand more pain.

The way to kill pain isn't to ignore it or to inflict more of it, but to heal. While you can not change the past, you can change the future. You can stop this nightmarish cycle - be the one to let anger die as you give healing.


Healing is possible.


No, Tadashi never would live again. Hiro would never see his big brother again. Sure, he died trying to save a villain he thought was good.


But his life was not lived in vain. Life is never stupid, no matter the death.


Because Tadashi's ideas and dreams were able to continue on and live through Hiro and his friends. 

Healing is not about forgetting, but embracing the difference.



"I am satisfied with your care."


It's quite hard to learn to be satisfied in the presence of grief, whatever your grief may be. But it is possible. You may find healing – just remember the path isn't revenge, but love.

Remember, we are all humans in pain. Let's stop the cycle - don't keep pressing into pain, but let love loose. 

These are my thoughts from Big Hero 6 - what are yours? 




Monday, October 30, 2017

My Soul's Thoughts



Hello... here's a surprise post!!!!

I have been having fun playing around on the piano, just making up things. Well, honestly I'm not sure I'm making them up? I think my fingers have just been doing an OK job of capturing my wordless emotions ;)

Anyways, enjoy :D



Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Henri Wetselaar, WWII Survivor and Family Doctor: Oldest Man Sentenced To Prison

My Speech August 1 2017Henri Wetselaar

Good morning, Your Honor.

Thank you very much for giving me a chance to speak.

I was born in The Netherlands in 1924. My parents were both dentists.

On May 10 1940 our country was invaded and occupied by the German Army. We were angry and formed the “Dutch Underground Army” (also called “The Resistance”). We wore no uniforms we tried to carry out acts of sabotage against the Germans. – I was 16 and I tried to remove a German flag. – I was caught by the Germans and I was to be executed by a firing squad in 12 hours. – Miraculously I got out of that – I was active in the Underground for 4 years and 4 times I was to {be} within an inch of being killed. – We saved the lives of several Jewish people and I was involved in the situation of Ann Frank, the girl of the famous war story (the book and movie) of “The Diary of Ann Frank”.

In October of 1944 we were liberated by the Allied Forces under General Montgomery. I was badly wounded in the front line. – I recovered and joined the British Army as a Sergeant Interpreter. – We were slowly defeating the Germans as we moved Eastward into Germany. We liberated thousands of Jews and others out of concentration camps. Going East we met the Soviet Army in the middle of Germany and I was stationed at the demarcation line running from North to South dividing the country into East and West Germany. – The war ended in May '45 and I went home to Holland and started to study medicine in Amsterdam. – After graduation as a physician I emigrated to Canada. There I interned and specialized as a Family Doctor and Anesthesiologist in Victoria and Vancouver British Columbia. – W worked as a private Physician in Canada for 20 years and then moved to the United States.

I received a total of 10 licenses to practice medicine from 10 different Licensing Boards form different countries, States and Provinces (Europe, Canada, The U.S. and Australia).

I practiced family medicine and anesthesiology for a total of 64 years. – in 2010 I studied and completed the examination for the Addictive Psychiatry and I paid the DEA for the special redistretion to apply treating addiction to my patients. I wanted to practice this because a Harvard study showed that this is the most effective way to treat substance abuse with Naloxone and Suboxone. The DEA did no issue me the certificate with no explanation. The Center for Disease Control is urging doctors to prescribe Noxone and Suboxone alongside High Risk Opioids.

On August 30 2010, the day before the Government searched our office we attended a special course in pain medicine of the University of Utah with purpose of increasing our knowledge to treat addiction and overdosing.

All in all I thought I was doing quite well. However God showed me otherwise and that I all I did was no necessarily all OK. – Things got out of hand and errors were made for which I profusely apologize, Your Honor.

All this was very humbling.

Since being imprisoned I have considerably deteriorated and lost a lot of weight. My heart is enlarged and from time to time beats irregularly. I am considerably weakened and am short of breath – sleeping is very difficult and I feel that I am not going to last much longer. Prolonged incarceration may be a death sentence for me.

I accept full responsibility for my actions in my office Taking a patients history, doing an examination and coming to a diagnosis, plus writing a prescription were my decisions alone. To think that I had to consult another person before deciding what to do is absolutely wrong, and I practiced for 64 years. – I will not practice any more.

I am heart broken about what happened. If possible please let me go home, Your Honor, for the remaining short period of my life. – Thank you, Your Honor.





Hello, Readers.

When I was in Las Vegas my dad heard about a 93 year old doctor's sentencing. The court case we had been attending was going very slow, plus there were many people able to go to that one and keep an eye on things. So, we decided to go to the sentencing.

If you remember this post, I talked about the pre-sentencing a little – the two Mexicans in blue shirts and one of their wives who was told very rudely by a court martial to not sit in the front row, two younger individuals in yellow jumpsuits, and then two lawyers defending people not able to be there. And of course the way Judge Kent Dawson saw them all and treated them each very harshly.

Finally after all those small things happened the sentencing began. There were a few of us watching and waiting - Dr. Wetselaar's wife, daughter, son-in-law, some friends, and even some previous patients.

Henri Wetselaar was rolled into the room in a wheel chair. He looked so thin and old, hunched over and connected to oxygen tanks.

His family was crying, but when they saw him their tears ran faster. His daughter waved to her father, but court martial came over to her and told her to restrain herself or she'd be sent out. There was to be no contact, not even through eyes between the people and the defendant.

Henri Wetselaar looked like he belonged in a hospital, not prison.

The prosecution gave their reasons for why he needed to be in prison… they said he signed too many prescriptions. The charges were: Conspiracy to distribute controlled substances (oxycodone); distribution of controlled substances; money laundering; and structuring of money transactions. "Someone could go to his office and receive a prescription quicker than the time it takes to order a hamburger," was one of the ridiculous things they said.

Even after they heard Henri's speech they said, “We understand all this – but justice must be served. We feel that 240 months is already much too fair. We feel this is significantly better than life.”

I kinda wanted to laugh at the idiocy. Sending a 93 year old man to prison for even 5 years is sending him to prison for life…. 20 years is definitely life.

The prosecution talked about the forfeiture… He owned old gold and silver (from Nazi Germany) and many properties both in and out of the states. They talked about how this should be applied to his outrageous fines…

His family gave speeches. They talked about the good person he was. How so many people loved him - especially his patients. He would spend more time than he had to helping his patients. He loved his patients - he loved helping and healing. 


Later his family told me many stories of how Henri Wetselaar would work even after hours. One time they were all going out to eat and he wanted to stop first to check in on someone. One patient, a man named Toni Bennett, had a hurt foot, so Henri went to that man's hotel room and wrapped the foot. 

They told me that when the doctor and his assistant was arrested that the authorities went into the clinic and trashed it as they tore it apart. 

The doctor had been in and out of prison since he was 87 years old, and that he was put into solitary confinement for three days. Something that was not good on his health at all.

One of his prison mates would help Henri a lot. But one day he was accused by a guard of having stolen a bottle of shampoo from Henri, so that man was moved even when Henri insisted he had not been stolen from and begged for the guards to let them remain together.



I heard he also wrote a book about his
 experiences in the war.
You can buy it here.

Henri was told he could sit as he gave his speech, but he feebly rose anyways. It looked like it was hard for him to stand as he spoke.

It was a moving speech – this man obviously did so much. Gave so much. Wouldn't the prosecution and judge feel sympathy? Couldn't they see that he didn't have much life left? Would they not let him return home to his family for his remaining short years?

After such a life it only seemed right.

But no. Judge Kent Dawson spoke as if his heart were completely missing.

“None of that matters. You will be given 120 months, and a $2,000,500 fine.”

And then the judge talked about parole once Henri was released. Such stupid words – everyone knew that the doctor wouldn't be living to see parole after the 120 months were finished. And the judge spoke a long time on the forfeiture.

It was obvious. The prosecution and judge felt nothing for this man – only their greed for his money.

They took the doctor away – he wasn't even allowed to say goodbye to his family.

Later I heard they roughed him up as they loaded his wheelchair to be taken away, causing his glasses to be broken. And that they would not pay to have them fixed… Henri Wetselaar or his family were responsible for buying him new glasses.

Last I heard they are sending the doctor to a prison in New York. His family won't be able to see him often. He has no friends there.

This man needs comfort and help. If his story could spread enough maybe someone could even help have him released? And maybe even more... someone will look into the prosecution and the judge. 

May they be shown as much justice and mercy as they showed...

It is sad. Dr. Henri Wetselaar is the oldest person to be sentenced. He gave so much to the world, saved so many lives, and has no criminal record. And this is how society repays him??? 

It's wrong and outrageous!

If you'd like to write a letter to the doctor email me. Or if you'd like to call and write your senator and mayor about this - do so! Maybe spreading the word enough will produce positive results.