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Too Blessed…To Be Stressed…

Walking the fur babies this morning led to a wonderful quote from a woman I greeted with, “How are you?”

“Too blessed to be stressed”, she replied and smiled a smile that competed with the brilliance of the sun’s rays on the sidewalk

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What a positive way to begin one’s day. A new day, without the anger and disappointment carried over from yesterday or the worries and fretfulness of tomorrows ‘what’s to come’.

 

Too blessed to be stressed.

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Those words remind me to heed and acknowledge the power of Gratitude.

Gratitude often ignored, often forgotten while one concentrates on the wants of what to have, and not  of what one already has.

It’s hard.

Life gets in the way and ruins all the good thoughts.

I don’t have a shower with cold water-at least I have a shower.

I don’t like the food I’m forced to buy due to finances-at least I have food.

I don’t like the apartment I live in as it’s overheated, too humid and needs new flooring and tiles-at least I have an apartment to call my own and it keeps me warm, with a floor to walk on.

I don’t have enough money-at least I have some money.

I don’t like having to make my own lotion and shampoo because I can’t afford to buy the ‘good stuff’-at least you have the ingredients and the stove and fridge to make the lotion and the shampoo.

I don’t like Fios or Time Warner service and can’t afford the full package deal-at least I got cable and a tv to watch it on.

I can bathe, cook, clean myself up, wake up from sleeping in a comfortable bed, have fur babies whom I love ( and where my salary goes to), a salary of some sort, food (okay it’s not all organic and vegan as I’d like it to be), once again FOOD, clothing (okay most of it’s from Sears)-so I need to shut up, get my butt back into volunteering and going to church to ease my mind and get the balance right in my head.

Yes.

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I am too blessed to be stressed.

 

**images from the Word Wide Web.

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At this moment…

January 30, 2013

At this moment, I find myself in the midst of transitions of the most unexpected and most gentle kind.

At this moment, I overheard mom talking to her half-sister over the phone. Another McCalla, Victor McCalla, my mother’s brother died. Death is usually the only reason a McCalla would contact another McCalla. The drama of he said, she said and there will be no burial, cremation, and the ashes will sit on the living room shelf until someone goes to Honduras mantra starts after the death announcement.

If I remained a Walsh, my reaction to this news, the mantra not the death, would be comic relief but since I became a McCalla my reaction to the mantra remains, trying not to react. I always cry at the news of death.

Mom’s side of the family is dysfunctional and I believe Webster honoured them with the definition. Mom’s family is also large. Out of ten children, only four are presently alive and only two communicate maybe once a year. Two are on the east coast, two on the west and east does not speak to west.

All the McCalla’s (except me…sigh) were born in Honduras, when Belize was British Honduras. Some were born in Tela, others in Roatan while La Ceiba claimed another. Some were born with Indian hair soft as silk, while others had coarse wavy hair that refused taming with VO5, while yet others had the kinky cotton kind of hair which only  a lye relaxer could control. The relaxer ruined the hair passed down from their ancestors. The hair from Africa by way of Akan, Bantu, Igbo, Fon or possibly Yoruba, way before Scotland via Jamaica than onto Honduras and mixed with a bit of India saturated the blood.

Mi Tío could not stand his African hair. He could not stand his last name either and changed it to Mangroo. It sounded more Indian, which he longed to look like but did not. Mom's brother045

His kidneys could not stand his body for they failed. His weekly battle with the dialysis machine was just that, man against machine and of course, the machine was in control. As the machine cleansed his blood of waste, it also cleansed his alma (soul) leaving it bitter and in disarray.

Was I close to my uncle?

No.

I did not like him. He favoured my light-skinned sisters with Spanish lessons and his version of Indian history. He was mean to me and spoke harshly to me and about me. He once accused my mom of jealousy towards her sister’s kids, for they were born with the wavy hair that refused taming with VO5. I was born with the kinky cotton kind of hair which mom coated with lye relaxer to control.

I hope my uncle, mi tío, is in a better place now. A place where there are no dialysis machines, where he does not have to endure living in his house with an ex-wife and her boyfriend because he refuses to sell and pay off the ex, where skin colour has no meaning and speaking Spanish is irrelevant. I hope the angels are soothing his soul or that karma will take pity on him when he returns.

Once, I could not stand my African hair and yearned to look Indian like my mother with her Indian features and Indian hair, soft as silk. But, God gave me what I was born with for a reason and I am grateful for his gentle everyday reminder of who I am and where I come from.

Damage

All humans have some form of damage.

Physical damage marks the body and usually has no bearing upon others except an occasional reaction if the damage is extreme. I doubt the scar on my foot left by the stitches received after stepping on a broken bottle could cause anguish to another, but you never know.

Spiritual and mental damage, are fractures lodged beneath the surface within the soul and brain. Both thrive incognito. While physical damage can be dealt with, ignored, surgically altered or covered up with clothing or make-up, the latter is not easily disguised. Counseling, acknowledgment, and professionally prescribed medication (once the trial and error stage is over) are some good treatments while denial, self -medication with drugs and/or alcohol are not. How one chooses to deal with the damage greatly affects those around them. Sometimes lack of health insurance plays a deciding factor.

Spiritual and mental damage.

Damage begets damage.

Imagine the damaged inflicted on the receiver of a person’s damaging words?

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