Perhaps in the scheme of things, such as women being burned to death, militant leaders recruiting children and sometimes beheading them to further their religious insanity, and China deciding they have the moral authority to choose the next Dalai Lama, the following complaint would seem insignificant or as some would say “a first world problem”, nevertheless I feel compelled to write. WARNING! I you don’t like vent pieces, save yourself and stop reading now. Otherwise follow me over the fold.
Our beloved dog Perfect died yesterday, she was 10 years old, one hundred pounds and one of the most beautiful albeit crazy black Labradors you will ever have had the pleasure to meet. She was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, a bone cancer. It occurs mainly in the limbs of larger breeds of dogs. It is aggressive, local tumors grow rapidly and the cancer spreads quickly to other areas of the body, so it metastasizes. If the Osteosarcoma is caught early enough, options are to amputate the affected limb and to begin some type of radiation. It must be caught before it metastasizes. In Perfect it had started in her front right leg shoulder and had then spread to her lungs at the time of diagnosis, three months ago. The vet gave her two to six months to live. After the shock I experienced anger toward our vet. He had been her medical provider all her life and had a few months before removed a non-malignant tumor from her butt. Prior to that she had been limping slightly for months on her right leg, he had assured us that it was due to age; arthritis in the joints, he prescribed medication. We were the most conscientious of pet families, she received routine medical care, her meat was fresh and grilled, she slept on a comfortable bed with the two of her most favorite humans at night, she lived on a mountain hilltop which regularly advertised bear, coyote, deer, elk and fox in the doggy newspaper when she did her morning rounds and evening rounds. Her bear warning howls were something to behold. And she was cuddled and snuggled regularly. I was floored when she was given such a fatal irreversible diagnosis out of the blue. We spent the past few months trying to make them as comfortable as possible for her and trying to keep our hearts from breaking too much.
If you notice limping in your pet don’t settle for a diagnosis of arthritis or anything else be adamant in asking to have your pet screened for Osteosarcoma. Limping is a major symptom of this illness. And just as with cancer in humans if caught early enough there are treatment options that can help enhance the quality of remaining life and extend the time that they will have with you. Some reflections on Perfect over the fold.
I recently visited London, United Kingdom (UK) with my daughter, Casandra for a whistle-stop tour. We embarked on a last minute trip in order to see “SLAM THE TOUR” a Bollywood musical extravaganza with world famous actor Shah Rukh Khan at the O2 Arena. That show alone merits a separate article. The purpose of this article is to provide some insight into our experience as last minute travelers from Colorado, United States (US) to London in hopes of providing helpful for future travelers.
An act of war is not always necessary and it is not always necessarily evil. I was born into a family that was torn apart and traumatized by the realities of WWII. My father an American occupier married a member of the vanquished, my mother, a German. When I learned, as a teenager, about the Holocaust I realized two things, one that humans were capable of unimaginable evil against one another and two that there really were people who would be willing to fight that evil in order that others may have the chance to live a life free of evil.
I'm grateful that President Obama has finally taken the moral lead on addressing the racial dynamics at work behind Trayvon Martin's case. I was very disappointed when the president didn't take an immediate lead on this issue. I feel that the people of the United States, especially African Americans were waiting for some type of acknowledgement that what occurred in Trayvon's case mirrors the tragic deaths of many young African American teenagers and men throughout US history. It is time that this issue was addressed and it is time that it be permanently stopped. As a nation we must take the moral high ground on this issue.
The thing that has struck me the most in reading posts, blogs, discussions, responses etc. about the Trayvon Martin case is how defensive so many people are who are posting in support of his murderer. They will say any statement, deflect any discussion, go off topic with irrelevant examples, attack and blame everybody from Trayvon Martin, his family, his friends, our President anyone just so that they do not have to look at, or critically examine their own lack of humanity in the untimely death and murder of a kid just barely out of childhood at the hands of an adult who should have handled the situation with more restraint.
I don't know about the rest of you but I've been compelled to keep Trayvon Martin alive in my mind, in my writing, in my Facebook posts, in my twitter accounts, in my blog accounts, in my thoughts, and in my heart. I want his memory kept alive. I don't want his story to be lost, to be forgotten. I don't want him to be lost or forgotten.
Trayvon Martin didn't have a chance to live his life. He will never know what is like to fall madly in love, he will never understand what a gift it is to hold a newborn child. A teenager, he was only beginning to see glimmers of what adulthood would mean. He was probably more interested in spending time with his friends, his family, and doing the things that any number of teenagers do today, talking and texting on his cell phone, working on his computer, listening to music, eating everything in the fridge, staying up late and so on.
Nobody can know what his adult life would have looked like, but if the values and compassion shown by his parents through what has to be the most traumatic and heartbreaking experience of their lives is an indicator, he probably would have grown up to be a compassionate, faith filled and loving man. When I look at recent pictures of Trayvon Martin, especially in his hoodie I see the face of my grandson, a teenager caught between the young child he was and the man he will become. His eyes are filled with questions, bravely open to experience and challenge with a smidgen of bravado.
I wouldn't let them go out after dark alone anymore. Not in this country and definitely not in Florida. I am a parent and a grandparent now, I'm also White and I think I have lived long enough to feel that I know a little something about parenting teenagers and race relations in this country.
I'm absolutely stunned that Trayvon Martin's murderer has walked free! I don't for one minute believe that justice was served. I don't believe that the jurors were just doing their jobs, reasonable doubt and all that. I don't be believe for one second that race had nothing to do with the verdict. Trayvon a teenager walking in his father's neighborhood on a rainy evening chatting with a friend on his cell with a pocket full of newly purchased skittles was not looking to be stalked, chased, wrestled to the ground and then shot in the chest at point blank range.
I just saw a photo of 8 year old Martin Richard holding a colorful sign he had made that said "No More hurting people" "Peace". It had a peace sign and hearts drawn on it. Looking at that photo literally hurt. It moved me to write. I can't do justice to that little sign drawn by the hand of a little boy who I'm sure was smiling and laughing while standing waiting for his father to cross the finish line at a community and family event. He was murdered in an explosion that was packed in an improvised explosion device (IED) and detonated remotely. The monsters responsible for the device and its explosion knew with absolute certainty that innocent children would be at that event and it didn't matter to them. No one is sure who those monsters were but we will find out. But when we find out Martin Richard will still be gone, he will no longer be drawing and coloring signs that contain more love and wisdom than any book that has ever been written or by any god ever worshiped.
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