Posts Tagged ‘memories’

In the last several decades I have seen an extreme change in the culture of America. Thirty years ago the majority of Americans were still somewhat shocked to see open nudity, overt sexual acts and debauchery in the visual, audio and print media. Americans still expected their elected officials to be morally upstanding and they expected the newspapers and news media to be fair, unbiased and correct.

Don’t get me wrong, the eighties were raunchy and decadent enough, but it seems after that decade drew its last breath, it became open season on respect and morality as open nudity, sexual acts and debasing subjects became more and more frequent. The media accelerated its campaign to make people feel personally responsible and guilty for “judging others” that were different from themselves, while movies and television shows depicting perverted church leaders and religious extremists nutjobs seemed to explode onto the scene with the protagonists emerging as a kind, non-judgmental hero that seems to protect us from these wacko extremists. It has continued to worsen to the point where Christians are no longer considered members of the mainstream and the current generation of ideologues and leaders are emerging from the indoctrination centers we used to call public schools and universities with the attitude that there is no right and wrong, there is no moral compass we need to follow, biology is simply a fading fad and anyone that doesn’t readily accept and embrace the new “civil rights” issue called the LBGHQXYZ movement should be either jailed, expelled or cursed and spat upon.

To see our current society treat Christians as bullies, thugs, weirdos or criminals causes a certain amount of anxiety for me. However, I refuse to play ball with them, so to speak, and I cope with this pervasive insanity in this way: I have stopped watching the news and I have stopped listening to the daily rants of the left. Instead I concentrate on the things in life that make me happy and serene. I also have begun to read or listen (read with my ears) to the bible more frequently so to arm myself against the times I will need to confront the antagonists that look on me as a bully, thug or weirdo. Many of the people that rant and rave and wave their fists about cannot be reasoned with for they seem to believe anyone with an opposing idea to their government supported agenda is already committing a “hate” crime by simply not agreeing with them…but there are some that can be reasoned with. I feel the only way we can effectively communicate with those who do not share our views or values is to make sure we do not attack them, but to communicate love and kindness toward them for we are to love them, even though we hate their sin.

Jim Bussell

10-28-19

Throughout my life, I have read striking novels and seen dramatic movies where a character is placed in an impossible situation and asked the question, “would you die for him?”. About the only people I can think of that would unhesitatingly answer “Yes!” to that question are parents. Of course, I hope none of us will ever be faced with such a horrific and odious decision as long as we exist upon this fair earth. However, several decades ago, my mother came close to forfeiting her life for me as I was entering the world for the first time and even that was just a portion of the love she exhibited toward her children as she ceaselessly dedicated her life to my sisters and I as we grew, and continues to do so to this day.

The earliest memories I have of life are predominately ill-defined images, but the early memories I have of my mother are crisp, clear and precise. The birthing process that allowed me to start the mystical journey we call life was only the precursory step I took with my mother. Whenever I was ill, frightened, in anguish, sad, joyous or proud, my mother was there by my side. She was there to give me succor, relief, a kind word or perhaps, simply silent encouragement. She seemed to always be there to share in my accomplishments as well as my tears. I still recall the words to the first songs I remember hearing. Those songs came from my mother’s lips as she would sing to me as I sat in her lap as she rocked me or at bedtime as she soothingly bathed me with her sweet, melodious voice while stroking my hair as my eyes grew heavy from the sandman’s visit after a busy day at play.

She also read to me as a child, opening up countless vistas of exploration of the world, the the universe and life as she would bless me with her words from children’s books, classic literature, stories from the scriptures and more as she attempted to instill in me the lessons learned from all those fantastic pages. She taught me practical lessons also. For instance she taught me to read, write and to count before I was old enough to go to school. She directed and educated me to be functional as I learned how to cook, sew garden and to fix things around the home. My mother did all this and more while suffering from ill health…for the first ten years of my life, she was in and out of the hospital while battling several anomalies including anemia and severe, lingering complications from a difficult, almost deadly, childbirth…yet, I never heard her moan, complain or cry and at no time did she mention her problems, instead she chose to concentrate on the positive aspects of life. Critical and essential lessons such as kindness, honesty, giving, sharing and personal responsibility were not only taught to me by mouth, but more importantly, she drove home all these lessons daily by her life and actions.

Growing up I considered myself a model child, but the factual reality is I caused my mother an endless assortment of agonies and woes, probably on a daily basis, but she continually opened her heart and poured out her love upon as if I actually were a model child, instead of the hellion I most likely was. Even though I can’t at the moment recall any specific instances, I’m sure I was the source of a joy or two to my mother growing up, but even if I weren’t, I could never tell overall by her words or actions toward me.

Today my mother is in her seventies and she has had the pleasure of watching my sisters grow and develop, becoming loving mothers and wives themselves. She has also watched me grow into adulthood with children of my own and I can only hope and strive to be able to teach and instill at least a portion of the lessons the she taught me so well all those many years ago. Though I have not been as successful as an adult on the home front as my sisters, you could never tell, for my mother still demonstrates to me daily that she loves just as much as the day I was born…I love you Momma.

1998 written under the pseudonym, Richard Corey

Addendum…

Both of my parents passed away peacefully in their home in the autumn of 2013, three months apart at the ages of ninety years for my mother while my father enjoyed ninety-two fruitful years. My father had been a successful business man, neighbor and WWII veteran and was well known and respected in the community, while my mother dedicated her life to her children and husband. Really, for her, the only thing that could be considered work outside of her home, was as a Sunday school teacher in their church, a role that she enjoyed for over fifty years, only stepping down and passing the mantle of responsibility for the children’s religious education to others while in the eighth decade of her absolved life, when she reluctantly acknowledged she was becoming too old to continue effectively.

During my parents funerals, I earnestly anticipated many people would come to pay their respects to my father, as he had been very well known in our community, and I was not disappointed, as a generous number of folks came to pay their respect to my father and his memory that he had shared with so many. However, what stunned me and caused me to revisit and re-evaluate my thought process on roles in life, was the enormous turnout for my mother’s visitation and funeral. Hundreds of people from several states came to pay their respects to “Miss Mable”, a person that they remembered as a role model and leader and teacher during the formative years of their young lives…memories that stuck with them for decades following as they grew into adults themselves.

As I had mentioned earlier, my sisters and I were unexpectedly surprised when we saw that there were almost double the amount of condolers and well-wishers that came forward to eulogize my mother, as well as to console and provide empathy to us, than attended my father’s funeral, and as I reflect and look rearward, I fully understand that this in no way, demeans the impact my father had on those he touched in his long life, rather it celebrates the gigantic impact my mother had on the all the children she loving educated and nourished, giving each one of them a small portion of the love she gave to my sisters and I every day until she passed. In retrospect, I feel my parents celebrated life as fully as they could and the most paramount and significant legacy they have left everyone was the life lessons they taught us just simply by the way they lived.

2018 Jim Bussell

“and the days dwindle down to a precious few…”

Frank Sinatra

It seems to become more apparent every time I open a statement from an insurance company, that they are blatantly becoming more fearless about raising their consumer rates, often from one statement to the next. In the not too distant past insurance companies would employ surreptitious and covert techniques in raising their rates, to the point we almost had to compare statements to even detect their ploy. They are still fluidly sleek and shark-like in their approach, but now they are completely and overtly informing us of the fact they are, once again, going to be dipping their hands into our wallets (or at least my insurance carrier is).

For example, I received a birthday card from my insurer a few days before my last birthday, which I thought was a nice touch. Their card had a nice, genteel look to it as had all the others I had received over the years…only this card was a little different. Inside was a poem instead of the expected generic greeting that I had come to envisage from my insurance carrier.

It goes as follows:

Happy birthday to you, Happy birthday to you.

    I hope it’s great one, you that we do.

   Now that I have that out of the way, I’m raising your rates, effective today.

I’ve done you a service, (I’m sure you won’t mind)

By installing a syphon from your bank to mine.

Hard monthly payments and nasty old cash.

Won’t worry you now, there’s no time for that.

You’re no longer young, life’s passing you by.

So stop by and thank me, before you die.

At first I was sunned, mortified and flabbergasted all at once, by their audacity and boldness, then I sat back and slowly started to realize that they are no different than most any other company that I deal with today. I suppose, what really bothers me about this whole episode, is that they are forcing me to acknowledge the reality that I am getting older. If they hadn’t been so bloody audacious about it all, I possibly could have gone on several more years pretending that death’s winged chariot is not breezing past my front window on a slowly increasing schedule, and that I am still a young, virile, strong twenty-something year old, instead of the old geezer I am swiftly becoming.

It was a nice card though, I have to say.

1998, article written under the pseudonym Richard Corey

Half The Man

Posted: November 9, 2018 in Life and Memories
Tags: , ,

“…I’m going to be like you Dad,

You know I’m going top be just like you”

Cat Stevens

He was born beneath a shimmering winter moon in the old south during the infancy of the roaring twenties. He entered the world as the fourth of five children to his loving, hard-working parents who scratched a living from the rural Middle Tennessee soil. They named him Hubert after a close family friend and for the first seven years of his life he learned the ways of the county as he ran, romped and climbed after finishing his daily chores at his home that his God-fearing father had built by his own hands as a wedding present to his doting wife. At the dawn of his eighth year Hubert’s parent made the decision to move the family to the larger town in the area, to give them a chance for a better education than that which was available to them in the small one-room school house in the community. The family moved to town three years before the crucible of strife and hunger created by the great depression descended upon everyone in America like crashing wave, changing almost everyone’s life, virtually overnight. Hubert’s father was a carpenter and home builder by trade and with several homes owned by him, as well as a garden and a few chickens, their family fared better than others as Hubert learned to hunt and forage to assist in providing sustenance for the family. While growing up in this difficult time he quickly learned to survive by using his wits and his fists and was largely self-educated after quitting school in the eighth grade, he grew up street smart, tough and mean.

When he turned nineteen at the beginning of 1941, his love for animals and nature caused him to turn to the only institution where he could be outdoors and ride horses and get paid for it…he enlisting for a year with the local Nation Guard post, subsequently becoming a member of the US Army National Guard Horse Calvary. Ten months into his tour while relaxing at home on a ten day furlough, he was listening to the family’s Silvertone radio on a chilly Sunday morning in December when the broadcast was interrupted by the announcement the Japanese had just bombed Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. He was immediately inducted into the Army and for almost four years following additional training designed to hone his skills as a soldier, he lived in the heat, stink and slime of innumerable South Pacific Islands, dodging bullet, bayonets and bombs. One bomb got too close and he spent the rest of the war traveling from hospital to hospital, finally receiving his discharge papers on November 19, 1945 from Walter Reed Army hospital in Washington, DC.

He finally arrived home to Cookeville, Tennessee to an almost non-existent job market, a young wife and a coping disease called alcoholism. He drifted from job to menial job until the arrival of a beautiful daughter forced him to start fighting the bottle and looking for meaningful work and sobriety, turning his attention and concentration toward providing for his growing family. Not long after the birth of his third and final child, a boy, he opened his own business while struggling to seek ways to balance his time between work and family.

With the birth of his children he became he became a loving father who taught his children independence, responsibility., self worth, strength and kindness. The lessons of life he passed to his children was readily absorbed by the two girls as they grew to become successful and responsible adults and parent. The boy, on the other hand…maybe no so much.

I am the boy and this man is my father. I have watched, respected and attempted to emulate him all my life without too much success, though I still try as I attempt to apply the I moral and social values he taught me. More importantly though, I have learned to fight for myself, fish, hunt, hike, write my name in the snow, (I’ll give you a minute to think about the last one) and how to laugh from him.

He is the foremost of my heroes and I love him. Watching my children grow and develop makes me realize just how daunting the path of being a father really is to follow. I try to view them through his eyes as I attempt to draw upon the lessons that he taught me growing up. If I can learn to be half the man he is, I will be grateful and happy, and I will also consider myself lucky, for I still have a tortuously long way to go.

Written under the pseudonym Richard Corey 1998

Dedicated to my father, Hubert Bussell

Jan 27, 1921 – November 9, 2013