Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Learning to do what's right

"In a world full of people who couldn't care less, be someone who couldn't care more." ~ Author Unknown 

 Saw that quote posted on a friend’s Facebook page and knew it was time to type the blog post I’d been writing in my head all day!

 Yesterday I made my mama proud.

 That statement might read funny to you, but there’s lots of truth in those six words. Although Mama has been gone from this Earth for two decades this December, her influence in my life lives on and on. 

There have been times when I knew for certain that things I did wouldn’t make Mama proud of me. But I did them anyway. And there have been choices I’ve made that I knew were well below the way I was taught growing up. But I made them anyway.

 So when I state that I did something that I’m certain made Mama proud, it’s a big deal for me. Especially in a period of my life when I’ve seemed to make one wrong turn and one bad decision right after another.

 Maybe, though, I’m in another autumn of my life and I’m finally turning over a new leaf or two.

 I won’t share what I did that I’m so certain about. Although the action was crucially important at the time, the act was all I really need to share since it’s really not kosher to brag about every little thing you do correctly.

Walking away, the importance of the action hit me. No, actually, it was like I felt Mama softly put her arm around my shoulders and pat the top of my arm. That’s how I knew it was the right decision and that I was walking in what I had been taught as a child.

 From that moment, my steps felt a little lighter and a burden I’d been carrying myself seemed to shift away a bit.

 Life isn’t easy, but it can be less difficult when you take time to reach out and show you care. I have always believed it’s a lot easier to be kind than mean. Days like yesterday prove that theory to me over and over again.

Friday, December 30, 2011


I wrote this at Northeast for the girl who lived across the hall from me on Murphy Hall third floor. She taught me a lot about friendship during that semester. All these years later, she is still teaching me about friendship because she is still my friend!

Being a friend
Is not just the things you do
Nor the things you say
Being a friend
Is not counted in monetary terms
Nor taken for granted
Being a friend
Is not as beneficial as it is necessary
But being a friend
Is a wide variety of things
Packed together with love
And distributed when needed most.


Another college era angst poem. Funny, I'm still asking some of these same questions about different people

Do things really last forever
Or do they gradually fade away?
Can I count on you tomorrow
Or just long for you today?
Is our friendship just a mem'ry
Something old that once had meaning?
Or is it lying dormant
Just waiting for the gleaning?
Are the tears I shed for nothing?
Have you turned away, cold?
Or were the feelings we once shared
For something else you've sold?
Do I have to hurt forever?
Does my heart just have to break?
Bit if you;d only offer
A second chance I'd take.
I know this is sentimental
And it sounds like you don't care.
But if mem'ry serves me right
You said you'd always be there.
Though these words are only symbols
Of the way I really feel
And the pain inside seems endless
It's not impossible to heal.


This one definitely was written during high school

The artist
Takes his brush
And brings to life
A bare, white
The colors dance
Across the board
And form the
Images in the
Of the Painter.
And the deepest, most
Thoughts and feelings
Of his soul.
The artist smiles
His painting
The true person
Without saying one

I used to wish I was an artist
And could draw things exactly
As I see them.
But in a way I
Am an artist
For I write things
Exactly as I feel them.

For Carol

I wrote this sometime during my senior year at Mississippi University for Women.

If I could I'd paint a rainbow
Every day up in the sky
To help to make you happy
Or comfort you when you cray.
To remind you that you're not alone
And to let you know I care
On those rare and far-between times
When I just can't be there.
But I'm not much of an artist
And rainbows just don't last.
Bad times just have to come
Though we try and keep them in the past.
But true friends are friends forever
Whether near or far away.
And the times we share together.
Are like rainbows every day.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


I have looked for you all of my life.

In the faces of strangers

In the places I’ve wandered

In the things that brought me momentary joy.

In the people who snatched my trust, shattered my heart

And crushed my spirit.

Yet I continued to look.

In my thoughts and plans, silly schemes

Memories, current moments, future dreams

I saw you.

You were there

Somewhere just beyond my reach,

Yet already tucked away in my heart

Waiting to develop at the precise and intended moment.

Maybe all the pain and frustration

Loneliness and bad decisions

Were just a prelude to the current respite I feel.

In time, I will know if this is different

If this is real and permanent

Or just more of the same old mundane

Wishful thinking?

I know the answer.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Reflections on 9/11/01 on 9/11/11

This was the Impatience of Jobe that I wrote for the first anniversary of 9/11.

On September 11, 2001, I was asleep at the time the first plane hit the World Trade Center. I could hear my sister's voice on my answering machine in another room telling me to turn on the television. By the urgency in her voice, I could tell something awful had happened.

On TV, I saw a split screen view of smoke billowing out of one of the towers at the World Trade Center and smoke rising from the Pentagon. I recognized both structures immediately and, without knowing details, I knew that whatever happened was horrendous and affected us all.

Ten years later, I won't sit here and wax philosophically about the state of our country - and our world. We all know that. I'd like to think I am a better person today than I was on September 11, 2001. In a lot of ways, I truly believe I am. But sometimes I worry that I have become more jaded with time and have a lot less faith. And some days I'm not really certain how to rectify that.

So as I remember that horrendous day today - my generation's "date that will live in infamy" - my prayer is that peace on Earth will truly begin within me. It's not a solution by any means. But it's a start.


“It was a day when thousands of lives
were lost and thousands of heroes were born.’’ - CBS
anchor Dan Rather

Where do we go from here?

That’s the question many Americans were asking
themselves Wednesday while observing the first
anniversary of the terrorist attacks on American soil.

I asked that question and many others on Wednesday
and the days prior. I’ve been asking several questions
over and over since Sept. 11, 2001. Some I’ve found
answer for; others I’ve found may never be answered
because some things in life are meant to remain

In theory, I would have rather gone to bed before
midnight on Tuesday and slept until Thursday morning.
I didn’t want to relive the excruciating feelings I
had that awful Tuesday. I’d felt the pain that seared
my heart beginning to scab and heal a bit and I didn’t
want to reopen that wound.

In reality, though, I knew I would have to face the
day. Ignoring it, I understood, wouldn’t lessen the
pain nor would it erase the facts that evil had
attacked the very fiber of our beings and belief
systems as Americans.

I hadn’t planned to watch any of the TV coverage of
the anniversary. I bought three blank video tapes and
decided to record for posterity a sampling of each of
the three major networks’ coverage at varying times
during the day, ending with NBC’s “Concert for

My plans to sleep in and get out of bed in time to
go the memorial service at the Corinth Coliseum-Civic
Center were changed when an early-morning phone call
from a good friend who simply wanted to hear my voice
on a difficult day awoke me. Little did she know,
hearing her voice helped me face the day a bit easier
as well.

Not being able to go back to sleep, I did what I
did the year before - I turned on CNN. The network was
covering the reading of the victims’ names at Ground

I was able to keep the tears at bay until
17-year-old Marianne Keane, whose stepfather Franco
Lalama was killed in the World Trade Center, took the
podium. With a voice strong and unwavering, the teen
shared what she had read at his memorial service.
The portion of Keane’s speech that hit me hardest
was when she discussed loss. “Things, people, they
go away sooner or later,” the teen said. “You can’t
hold them any more than you can hold the moonlight.
But if they have touched you, if they are inside of
you, then they are still yours.”

Sage words from someone just embarking on

In preparation for this Sept. 11, our news staff
spent the prior month talking with Crossroads area
residents about their recollections of 9/11/01 and how
life had changed for them since.

My assignment was to talk with children and teens
about the anniversary. Rather than talk to them
individually, I chose to submit surveys to two groups
of students at two different schools. One simple,
common thread ran through every survey: hope.

Despite the fear, confusion, turmoil and
heartbrokenness these students have been feeling for a
year, they are hopeful about the future.

Few, if any of them, want to forget what happened
in New York City, in Washington, D.C. and in a grassy
field outside Shanksville, Penn. But they want to move
on in life with hope for a bright tomorrow even in a
world that sometimes looks bleak.

My goal for Wednesday was that as we remembered
those patriots who were sacrificed in the World Trade
Center, the Pentagon and aboard United Airlines Flight
93, I would look for the same hope that teens in
Corinth and Alcorn County Mississippi, as well as
their counterparts all over America, are looking for.

I’m ready for us to put aside our pettiness, our
selfishness and our differences, learn to love each
other for who we are and what we are going to become,
and truly become what we have given mostly lip service
to for the past year (and years prior to this one).

Let’s truly become united in honor of September 11,
2001, and in spite of those who tried to divide us. As
it’s been said by more than one person, they may have
torn down our buildings and killed our comrades, but
they certainly didn’t conquer our spirit.

I just have to believe they only increased it.