Melly Was Here

wife, mother, teacher, runner, writer, lover, fighter

My thoughts on Fred Phelps.

I spoke to Fred Phelps of Westboro Baptist Church once.

It was back in 1998, after the funeral of Matthew Shepard, who he and his small congregation made up of mostly relatives, picketed.  They held up signs indicating that Mr. Shepard, a young man tortured, beaten, strung up on a fence and left to die, was going to hell because he was gay.

He was a guest on a talk show that I listened to.  I called and got through.

I put aside my disgust and horror that he would be so cruel to the family of a young man who died in such a horrific and painful manner.  That someone could actually relish the fact that other people could murder someone just for being different from them.  I put aside my anger and my disbelief, my sadness and my heartache for those that loved Mr. Shepard.  I wanted to talk to this man.  I wanted to ask him a question.

He called himself a Christian.  And, from what I understood – understand – about what Jesus wants us to do -what he TOLD us to do-  is that we should go out into the world and tell other people about His love.

So, I asked him, “How are your signs and your hate and all of your angry words bringing people closer to Christ?”

He had no answer for me.  He went into his loud, angry tirade about how, “God hates fags,”and how we will all burn in Hell because we don’t condemn homosexuality.  He didn’t hear a word I or anyone else on the Los Angeles based talk show said.  Not one word.

I haven’t thought about Fred Phelps or his church much since then.  I would hear the occasional news report about them protesting at our fallen soldiers’ funerals or the Academy Awards, I would shake my head and hope that the families of those lost defending our country would be able to mourn their heroes in peace.  That maybe Phelps and gang couldn’t get close enough to them to make their suffering any worse.

And then he died.  There isn’t going to be a funeral.

I think this is horribly sad.  What a miserable person he must have been, to have so much hate and anger inside of him.  I wonder what he was really angry at.   I wonder if he struggled with his own sexuality.

I wonder if stories will come out of abuse and/or misconduct.

Don’t get me wrong, I am still angry at him for spreading so much hate and hurt.

So, here’s what I will do to try to undo what he did to our  world:

I will love.  I will love WHOMEVER I CHOOSE.

I will be true to myself and answer only to my God, who is loving and beautiful.

I will appreciate the beauty in this world.

I will not tolerate evil.

I will forgive and I will have compassion.

I will leave this world better than I found it.

And, I will ask you to do the same.

Most people are good.  Let’s all try to be one of them.  OK?

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I Only Complained Twice Yesterday

And, one was meant as a joke.

It got me thinking about what I say and why I say it.  I used humor a lot.  I wonder if my humor comes across as too negative.  And, I wonder if I should reevaluate the way I joke around.

I’m going to table that and work on it later this month when I have less on my plate.  Anyhoo….

Today, I am going to work hard at not yelling at my children because they are driving me nuts right now.   Butch is in his room for an hour and a half and Sundance is probably going to be following him soon.

I love that they can do their own laundry now, but damn they have some attitude when they want to.

That’s not really a complaint, more of an observation.

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I Blew It By 6:15

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Last night, I committed to going 24 hours without complaining. This morning, I woke up complaining. About stupid stuff I have no control over. Then, I went to work and complained more about stuff that really wasn’t so bad.

I’m going to give it another try tomorrow.

Now, I do have a self deprecating humor sometimes. I don’t mind making people laugh at my expense. But, I’m going to count that. That’s a complaint. None of that tomorrow either.

You reap what you sow.

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Challenge Accepted

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I’ll report back tomorrow night.

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10 Things I Feel You Should Know About Me Before This Relationship Goes Any Further

1.  I always carry my Kindle or a paperback with me in my purse or car.  You never know when you might get stuck somewhere and have time to read.

2.  Museums make me cry.  The world is so big and there’s so much to learn.   You could study your whole life about one subject – fish, for example – and still never learn all there is to learn about that one subject.  There will always be more to learn about fish.  How beautiful is that? How beautiful is this big, crazy world?

3.  I love dogs.  And if you don’t, I will feel sorry for you and think there is something wrong with you.

4.  I like cats too, but they scare me.  They are untrustworthy.

5.  I am pretty confident and secure and I think people who know me don’t realize that I am also very sensitive.  And, I sometimes worry that people I like don’t like me back.

6. I am annoyed by many things.  Many, many things.

7.  I do an awesome job of hiding my anxiety from everyone but Lance.

8.  I have a zombie plan.

9.  I bite my nails.

10.  The word, “retard,” as a put down  infuriates me.  If you use it and I hear or read it, I will respectfully call you on it. I will explain that it is hurtful and offensive.  If you give me crap about it and/or continue to use it,  I cannot be your friend.

And, this concludes the first installment of “Things You Should Know About Me.”

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20 Movies From Back in the Day That I Will Force My Tween To Watch

Butch is growing up.  He’s trying new things.  He  went to his first dance yesterday.  He said he tried to ask a girl to dance, but chickened out.  So, he just danced.  And he had a wonderful time.

It got me thinking about when I was that age.  Movies were very important to me.  VCR’s were kind of new and going to the video store on a Friday night was my favorite thing to do.    My boys like movies too.  We love to snuggle up on the couch and watch a movie together.

And, I mean, come on, there was no decade like the 80’s for movies.  They were innocent and corny, funny and exciting.

They’ve watched Ghostbusters and Raiders of the Lost Arc.  Butch didn’t want to watch those, but then enjoyed them enough that he had to admit that I was right.  Oh, and last weekend, he watched Die Hard with me and loved it.

Here are 20 more I will require Butch, my dear tween son, to watch in these ever so important years.

1. Footloose

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2. The Goonies

3. The Princess Bride

4. Gremlins

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5. Sixteen Candles

6. The Breakfast Club

7. Uncle Buck

8. Weird Science

9.  Red Dawn

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10.  The Great Outdoors

11. War Games

12. Big

13. Back to the Future

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14. E.T.

15. La Bamba

16. Stand By Me

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17. Three Men and a Baby

18. Rain Man

19. Teen Wolf

20. Pee Wee’s Big Adventure

So, if you see me at Walmart, digging through the bargain movie bin know that  it’s for my boy.  My sweet, innocent boy who is growing up so so fast.   Maybe while we are watching these movies, I can keep him closer to me for a little longer.

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Have You Had Your Boobies Checked?

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Ok, here’s the thing: boobs are awesome.  But, they can also kill you.  Since it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I feel the urge to bring this up.  Again: Boobs are awesome.

Mammograms are not that bad.  I did it back when I turned 40.  I took a ride on the Boobie Bus.  Then, I even had to go back to get Lefty checked.

I’m ok.  No cancer.  And, what a relief to know that.  I’ll be getting The Girls checked again in April, when I turn 41.  It’s like a present to myself: taking care of The Girls.

If you are over 40, go.  Just go and get them checked. If you are over 20, you should be doing exams once a month, to make sure there are not any suspicious lumps.  And, if you find one.  Go get it checked out.  Be kind to your boobies!

Here is how to give yourself an exam:

Breast Exam Video  

Here is some info about mammograms, if you are afraid of the unknown (but really, it’s just your boobies getting squished between two pieces of plastic):

What to Expect On the Boobie Bus

So, what are you waiting for?  Go!

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10 Things I Plan to Do This Weekend.

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It’s Friday Eve!  Yay!

I love Thursday as much as I love peanut butter toast.  Fridays are awesome.  I get to wear jeans and my old running shoes.  It’s ice cream day in preschool as well as pizza day!

I’m really going to enjoy this weekend because next week is going to be rough.  I know I shouldn’t be so pessimistic, but it is.

Anyways, here are ten things I plan to do this weekend:

1. Run.

2. Sleep in.

3.  Watch a movie.

4. Miss my man because he is working all weekend.

5. Snuggle with my boys.

6. Be thankful my boys are not too old to snuggle with me.

7. Have a cocktail.

8.  Miss my mom because she is leaving me and going on a trip with her sisters.

9.  Catch up on paperwork.

10.  Sit out in the backyard and enjoy the cool weather.

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Setting My Goals by the Way I Define Myself – Lover

I am lucky.   I have the ability to love without shame or fear of rejection.   The words, “I love you,” come easy to me.  I say it often to those I love.  And I mean it.

I love my family and my friends.  I love my students.  I love words and music.  I love the rain.  I love the way it feels when you crawl in bed at night knowing that you did your best to better the world.  I love books and dogs.  I love how little kids don’t know how to judge or hate.  I love to run.  I love chocolate and beer.

I love survivors.  I love people who can laugh even when the shit is hitting the fan.  I love those who stand up for what they believe in.  I love those who have compassion for other living beings.  I love those who try their hardest to understand and seek knowledge and truth.

I love the smell of crayons and the feel of clean sheets.  I love a hot bath and a long talk on the phone with an old friend.  I love airplane rides and coming home again.

I love other teachers and nurses.  I love the way babies smell.  I love the sound of laughter and a baseball game on tv.

I love naps and soft socks.

My goal as a lover is to really try  to see the good in the world.  To really try to find the silver lining in every cloud.   I know that the world can be an ugly place.  I know that people sometimes suck.  I get so discouraged sometimes.  But, there is good in all of us.  There is beauty in the world.  There is hope.

I promise never to forget that.

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I Made My Bed Today! Day One of the Ultimate Blog Challenge

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Scout approves.

Wooohooo!  Go, me!

So, I need to make some changes.

I am disorganized.  Which leads to a horrible lack of time management.  Which makes me tired.  And frustrated.  That affects everyone around here.   And, I’m just too old to be living like this. I have goals and dreams.  So do my guys.

I want to go to graduate school soon.  I want to keep up with my running.  I want to create a beautiful and peaceful home for my family.  So, I have got to up my game.   All of us in the family need to.  I’m going to drag them all kicking and screaming to my goal of a beautiful and peaceful home!

But, I know myself (and these three guys I share my life with) well enough to know that it takes baby steps for changes to stick.  I need to keep it simple.  I am going to start with getting organized and managing my time better.

Today that baby step was getting up a little earlier and making my bed before I left for school.  Oh, and I also put some money on my account in the cafeteria so I didn’t have to eat out of the vending machine.   I ran four miles too.  Three baby steps.  Not a bad day, huh?

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