Sunday, January 17, 2021

History Lessons: A Day With Dad

Yesterday I spent the day driving to Buffalo with my Dad to see the newest members of the family: Aspen, Everleigh and Everett. It was a long day of driving through Wyoming landscapes, canyons and mountain ranges (oh, darn! LOL), simmering with excitement to see the absolute darling, healthy triplets who had been through so very, very much since their births in November. Visiting family is a high priority on my 2021 “To Do” list, and though there were a few ice patches as we travelled through the Big Horns, it was a beautiful day to get that list off to a great start.
 
On the way there, Dad and I had quite a few great discussions generated from articles we've read online and in the newspapers on the “state of the union”. Sometimes we would trail off into conversations about Mom, childhood memories, work projects, our struggles and triumphs...some serious, some humorous. What made me laugh until my stomach hurt was...just as we were on the other side of the mountain approaching Buffalo, Dad randomly belted out “Sioux City Sue” and “Timberjack”. Laughter tears are the absolute best! The very best medicine. What really got me was when he sang: "...eyes of red, hair of blue..." (I held it in, but what I really wanted to say was: 'Okay, Dad, you're killin' me...pull over, I gotta pee.')
 
The visit was absolutely wonderful, but what I really enjoyed was the journey home as we started on the US Constitution--from the very beginning with the Preamble and quite well into Article I. I would read each section aloud, and then we’d discuss. By the time we reached home, we almost got to Article II. With our brains going 100 miles an hour (without getting stopped by the thought police, LOL...that’s an inside joke with sort of a double-meaning), I was taken back in time to where our whole family went through the US Constitutional study courses. I was surprised at how much I comprehended then versus now, and how my own story and history lessons have ultimately culminated into a true sense of “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”. I had to hold back the tears as Dad said that is all he ever wanted for his posterity. That was the ultimate takeaway from that day trip, and it will forever live in my heart, mind and soul.
 
For me, nothing is more satisfying than having conversations with family and friends about Life. On our trip, Dad would tell me stories about when he and Mom Thelma lived in Thermopolis back in ‘55 (something I didn’t know!) and was a crew worker on the highway through the canyon...how they’d pack the explosives, move the big boulders, clear the railroad tracks, etc. We talked about how amazing it was that those rocks in the canyon were billions of years old, and it triggered a thought about how our own lives on this planet are just micro-blips on the Universal screen. I thought about how it took just one asteroid to destroy Life, and so many millions of years to evolve...which led to the thought about how many thousands of years of wars, genocide and misery that destroys Life, and as many thousands of years it takes to rebuild.
 
The casualties and sacrifices made for Liberty number an unnervingly countless. I did a search and found List of wars and anthropogenic disasters by death toll(Wikipedia). I thought I wouldn’t be surprised, but my jaw literally dropped...so, of course, I also had to do a search on riots, massacres and murders. Wars are waged for two things: Power and control over "something". But after the war, how are the masses controlled? Through lawmaking and by force. So when the laws are unjust, the taxes unreasonable, slavery becomes unbearable (social, cultural, financial or otherwise), society corrupted and immoral...Liberty, or “the quality or state of being free”...can no longer exist. Criminals get off on a technicality. Victims are imprisoned (and not all prisons have bars). We both agreed that, in court, the only ones who win are the attorneys:
 
“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter.” (Isaiah 5:20)
 
As parents, we want to see our children go out and do well in the world...to “live long and prosper” (had to put that in, LOL...sorry, it’s the Trekkie in me). All the Founding Fathers (parents) of the US Constitution wanted for theirs and our posterity was the very same. If they were alive today, the words “disappointment” and “shame” would be putting it very lightly, but most of all, I would be willing to bet that our Founding Fathers would feel as if they had failed. The truth is, We the People are the ones who have failed them...we have failed our children and we failed our own selves. We failed with our extremism, our systematic beliefs, our programmable algorithms.
 
We have fed...and continue to feed...the wrong Wolves.
https://www.firstpeople.us/FP-Html-Legends/TwoWolves-Cherokee.html
 
I know, I don’t speak for everyone. Everyone has a story, and believe me, I’ve made plenty of mistakes and bad judgment calls along my own timeline. Nobody’s perfect, right? But those who have been raised without the love and care of just basic human decency and respect become casualties of an invisible war led by hurt people who hurt people. There is no freedom to be found in that. There is no justice, there is no mercy, there is no moral compass. There are no “rights”. No Liberty.
 
But there’s always that Pursuit of something good, because let’s face it, all anyone really wants is to be happy. To dream, create and thrive. To be loved, understood and accepted, even praised for what one brings to the world, to their community, to their neighborhoods, to their jobs, to their homes and to their families. Happiness is not achieved by selfishness and our own gratification(s), but I can tell you right now, the Pursuit...the Journey...to happiness leads to true peace. Doesn’t mean it’s always easy. Oh, HELLZ no! But it does make for a very interesting journey!
 
On so many levels, there will always be unrest. I look at my own DNA and see Native American, Hispanic and Welsh...my Three Wolves. Sure, I may have three, but none of them define me. No one Wolf rules my life. I decide who I truly am and want to be. No political party defines me. No religion defines me. No tribe defines me. No propaganda defines me. I am a human being first. Is it a struggle? YES! These Wolves are constantly bickering! But who is in control? Me. I may not have control of all of the collective, "sheeplistic" mindsets that are out there, but I don't have to control them: I need to control me. What I do know is that if I want peace on Earth, it begins with me.
 
“Hi, honey. How are you doing? How are you holding up? What are you doing these days? Need any help? What can I do?” Questions that Mom Marilyn would always ask me, listen to my answers with a gentle heart, and respond with such profound wisdom. How I miss her. How I wish I could have just one more day with her. What I wouldn’t give.
 
A Day with Dad was enough for me to get back on track and find my place with We the People of the United States...in order to form a more perfect Union...

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