Happy Birthday Dear Friend

“You can go through life and make new friends every year – every month practically –

but there was never any substitute for those friendships of childhood that survive into adult years.

Those are the ones in which we are bound to one another with hoops of steel.”

Alexander McCall Smith

A little while ago I received a request from a relative of an old friend. They were putting together a memory book for her and wanted any old pictures,stories etc. that might be of interest. This friend is a special one, one that I’ve known from childhood. She moved into the house across the road from me when I was in middle school. Her mother was friendly, out going and gregarious, her father was calm and quiet with kind twinkling eyes. She had an older sister who was funny and sweet, and much older brothers whom I didn’t know. She herself was quiet, subdued, and according to my very astute ten year old self, a snob. I liked her family more than I did her, she didn’t want to play, she didn’t want to talk and I didn’t want to bother.

Sometime the universe knows better, and through various interactions we were practically forced to be friends. A shared classroom and friends helped facilitate a new friendship and a true bond formed. She was funny and sharp, witty and honest. I, non-confrontational in nature, admired her fearlessness, she would never back away from fight if she thought she was right. We would argue and fall out , and make up again. We would hang out after school and listen to records, eat dinner, walk up to the sweet shop,ride bikes, and even sneak into neighbors gardens and steal apples and pears off the trees . We fell out over something petty and didn’t speak for ages. Our final year at high school and our more rational 16 year old selves decided that it was silly and we made up. The friendship picked up where we had left it, easy and warm.

We went to different universities and lost touch for a while. When we met up again, it was a stronger friendship, we were both older and our lives were changing fast, we were now confidants and supporters. Our family backgrounds were so similar that we could understand the nuances of each others life without explaining. The universe gave us another sign, and we found out that both our prospective husbands were based in the same city in the US. She married and moved first , I moved six months after. The change for me was abrupt and disarming. I didn’t cope as well as I could have, and was probably not as open as I should have been. I couldn’t admit that I was having a hard time, and backed away. Just as I was getting acclimated to my new environment, she told me they were moving out of State.

We didn’t speak for a while, each busy with our lives, then my father suddenly passed away and I went back home. We spoke on the phone and it was immediately the same banter, full of warmth and comfort. We still keep in touch with the occasional email and telephone conversation that lasts for ages, and always ends on a promise that we won’t leave it so long next time. As I write this, I can’t remember the last time we spoke, our days consumed by children, family and work but I just wanted to say Happy Birthday H ~ lets speak soon. Love R XxX

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Connections amid the mundane

I am a creature of habit. When I go to the bookshop I always veer towards the same table. Today on approaching it, I saw a folded piece of paper.  After a little hesitation I opened it.  Inside :

“.. leave me not; yet, if thou wilt, be free;  

  Love me no more, but love my love of thee.”

The handwriting was  neat, leaning right , without  flourishes or decorations.  I folded it back up and left it on the table. Maybe who ever wrote it might come back for it or  maybe  it  was waiting to be collected.

The  romantic in me smiled, and hoped that the writer expressed it to their intended recipient, the cynic in me was curious of the reaction it may have received. It conjured up ideas for stories and themes of  old films about unrequited love,  I went to find a book of sonnets and a different table.

New Beginnings

Waiting for the bus

Up early this morning,  our three little monkeys were busy getting ready for school.  With bags packed and breakfast left half uneaten, we were done.  The apprehension from last night  was  replaced with excitement,  helped by the novelty of new bags, lunch boxes and water bottles.  Brother is starting 3rd grade and is full of wisdom about all things school related, the twins are starting kindergarten and are in awe of his knowledge.

They waited for the bus, messing around outside, catching up with friends. Once in view they walked up and followed Brother onto the bus. No qualms or hesitation. The bus driver was making general chit chat and I was trying to hold back tears.  I was so proud of all three of them.

The summer has been one of growth.  The children have blossomed into new beings, more confident in their abilities and I am thankful for the journey.  It’s the start of a new phase of our lives and I’m really looking forward to what is coming up next.

Questions for right wing America

http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/07/being-sikh-in-america/

Why?

Being racist and ignorant isn’t a right that supersedes the First  or Second amendment of the Constitution. Freedom does not mean that you can kill in cold blood and use stupidity for an excuse. The education system is not at fault because you don’t know the history of your own country and the blood  on her hands.

Maybe  you do know and continue to believe that you are exceptional, instead of facing the fact that you are feeble minded . Maybe this is why you choose to live in your bubble, listening to people that stoke your anger and spew the hate. Stop telling the rest of us to “get educated” and read a book written by someone other than the hawks and neo cons that you hold in such high esteem.

I want to know so I can understand how a person can go to a house of worship and kill people while they pray. Do you want notoriety?  which cause are you trying to further? whose respect to you hope to gain?  what do I tell my children?

Summer Vacation 2012

 

“Home is found not a on a map, but in the company of those you love the most”

We’ve just got back from family vacation. The first time in a year that both my sisters, my mum and I have been together.  Daily squabbles, and disagreements only strengthen our bond and remind us of how it used to be; before I  moved  away,  before my dad passed away. Twelve years on, and some moments are still hard.

When we are all together I feel complete. Mum trying to keep everyone happy and stress free, even when we protest and is successful most of the time. I am in awe of her stamina.  My sisters are fun and silly, and the glee on the children’s faces only encourages them more.  My youngest sister surprised us the most; assertive and energetic, she commandeered a boat , sat atop alligators and played with pythons.  This time she had a partner in crime – a nephew who could keep up.

This vacation we got soaked by the splash of a giant whale, fed a school of dolphins,  built  sandcastles on the beach, swam in the sea, zip lined  over crocodile infested waters, and  played in the rain.  Who knew  Florida could be so much fun?

We’ve no one to blame but ourselves

Is it any wonder that people think that Arizona is a backward,  ignorant,  corrupt  State?  We have a Governor who is a complete disgrace, a racist Sheriff who thinks he’s still in an old wild west outpost,  a corrupt County Attorney and a Congress that is shameful. We are in the middle of the worst budget crisis, have  horrendous cutbacks in public spending and education but  abortion and restricting Women’s rights is what our legislators concentrate their efforts  on. We’ve no one to blame but ourselves.  Who actually voted for  these idiots ??

Not ONE but THREE abortion bills. One that reduces the legal time limit for safe abortions.The second one  prohibits lawsuits against doctors who do not provide information about a fetus’ health if that information could lead to an abortion. In addition, parents cannot sue on the child’s behalf after birth. The third requires that schools teach students that adoption and birth are the most acceptable outcomes for an unwanted pregnancy

All three bills are now headed to Brewer’s desk for her review. The governor has not announced a position, but her spokesman indicated that she has a long commitment to pro-life issues. Its hard to argue that this is not a  result of the wave of anti women rhetoric coming from the Republicans who do not deem women fit to make their own choices. The pro-life lobby who are  not satisfied with denying women affordable contraception under insurance plans they take it one step further to drastically reduce access to medical care.

I can understand the moral argument of people who believe life begins at conception, but that does not entitle them to deny choice to women who don’t subscribe to that view.  Also the people who “care” so much for the unborn child, are the same ones who completely disregard that child once it’s born.  Arizona places no value on affordable child care,  preschool and early education. Many school districts, like the one my children are in, now charge tuition for full day kindergarten.  Leading Republican candidates sneer at the thought of more children going to college while doing nothing to fill the growing void of  highly qualified employees and then we complain when companies outsource work .

The hypocrisy is self-evident  and this branding  of women is unacceptable.  I don’t know any woman who would undertake a termination glibly and I  take offense at the implication  that we cannot be trusted to make our own choices .  I don’t need protection from myself,  I am fully capable of making  informed decisions, what  I need is affordable safe healthcare . Why are we still debating the inequality of women in 2012?

Republicans be warned, ignore and  disregard women at your own peril .

Jan Brewer and white woman’s rage

As mentioned in previous posts,I find the GOP nomination race and so called right wing republicans completely exasperating. I am still surprised by the hypocrisy of these people and their supporters. If it were not so tragic, it would be funny that they can’t see the irony in asking the rest of us to “see the truth”.

I find myself even more disappointed in women who partake in this.  I expect more from them and no one gets my blood boiling more than AZ Governor Jan Brewer.  I was so glad when I found this blog post by Brittney Cooper on why Jan Brewer should keep her fingers to herself . The author puts it so eloquently that I need not expand any further. Enjoy.