Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Getting Real...

I'm getting real(ly) tired of the current mayor in our city.  She is vindictive, malicious, relentless, self-righteous, hateful, and I could go on for days with this list and my vocabulary.

We found out today (maybe yesterday?) that the city is definitely appealing the arbitrator's decision to  compensate the wrongly accused firefighters with all of their back-pay for the 6 months they were not allowed to work.  Despite agreeing to the appeal by an independent arbitrator, agreeing to the specific arbitrator used for the hearing, and conceding to some degree that this was the "due process," the city is now having a tantrum that the ruling was against them (and even though that was their own fault for shoddy investigating, and preemptive judgement of these men).

So all those goals from my last posts are on hold again.  It is looking like the back-pay will be included in their paychecks this Friday, but we've been advised not to "spend it all in one place" so-to-speak.

Now to REALLY GET REAL:  In the past weeks and months I've heard of so many people and families that need our prayers (or thoughts, or healing vibes, or whatever you want to call it).  I will warn you now that I have cried a lot about what I'm about to type, and that if you are not in the mood to hear about suffering, it is time to stop reading this post.

A blogger who I follow daily recently lost her baby; because her blog is about pregnancy/birth, I'd been following her through her pregnancy.  This has had me in tears regularly lately.

A mother of two young children (4 yrs and 1yr) found that she has a major tumor in her brain.  She was operated on today, if I recall correctly, and I've not heard any updates.

I found out via another blog that a mother and her 15-month-old son were killed in a car accident, along with the driver of another vehicle in Troy, Alabama, leaving the husband/father alone to grieve.

In the past few months I've heard of not one but THREE families whose homes burned to the ground.  One of those moms witnessed her older daughters leading her younger children down the stairs with their hands over their faces and out of the burning house.  That image will stick with me for the rest of my life.  While none of those families lost any loved ones, all of their worldly possessions were destroyed.

Another blogger whom I follow daily has spent the last few months preparing for the birth of her second son who she found out has a serious heart condition.  She's delivered and he's already had his first surgery in the first day of his life, but there is still a long road ahead for his recovery and the repair of his tiny body.

Four Houston families (maybe 5) are mourning the deaths of their babies (under 3-years-old) who were killed as the result of a negligent home-daycare owner who has now fled the country to escape punishment for her negligence.  Two or three other families have babies who nearly died in the same fire.  The City of Houston is now playing another blame game about whose fault it is that the woman was allowed to flee the country.

I've learned in recent months that several friends (or friends of friends or friends of bloggers) are struggling with infertility or difficulties in adopting.  This in combination with the current outcry that Planned Parenthood is being wronged by cuts to its federal financial support sickens me to my core.  (I am a proponent of healthcare for the poor and affordable women's healthcare.  I understand  that 2/3 of Planned Parenthood's services are exactly that kind of beneficial care, but the fact that 1/3 of its services are abortion and that my money to some degree has supported that sends my body into the "fight or flight response" and makes me ache for the families who are struggling to have a child of their own)

These things fill my heart with sorrow, and lead me to a place of meditation on suffering, family, joy, thanksgiving, and mortality.  I hope that this lenten season I will have the courage to offer up my sufferings for these families.  I pray for fortitude and the understanding that this too shall pass, and that my suffering is small compared to the suffering of others and the suffering of Christ.

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