Christmas was a lovely day. We began with Holy Mass. We then loaded up the car and drove to my cousins' house to visit for an hour or so. Mom had her once-a-year Margarita, which made her giggly and then sleepy. I will never understand non-alcoholics.
My cousins, M and G, have two new babies: they are Porkie Puppies. Yes, you read it here first. Half Yorkshire Terrier, Half Pomeranian, they are little golden brown fluffs of fur with big eyes and teeth. They are too cute for words. I think they look like Tribbles.
We got to see Gjr and M - his new bride - for the first time since the wedding. There was some very sad news. M's little nephew, 2 years old, has been diagnosed with stage four cancer and is currently at St Jude's Hospital. We met the little tyke at the wedding in November and he was Mr. Normal Two Year Old - racing down the aisle, looking like a little nut in a tuexedo, having the time of his life. Please, please pray for this little boy and for his family, that St Jude intervene for them and help them to accept God's Will in all matters. I also petition Our Lord for a healing for this little guy....may he be restored to health, if it be God's Will.
We ended our sojurn at my brother's house. I played Wii tennis, baseball and bowling with Jillian Rose all day. I am sore and tired this morning. Well, that is to be expected because I am - afterall - 53 years old today.
We had an interesting discussion last night. I told my brother and B, his lovely partner, that it is becoming my experience that people in general are losing the humility to be able to say, "What I just did was wrong. I apologize. Please forgive me. What can I do to make it right?". We were discussing the manner in which the children on Tradition Way in Modesto have been treating my mother over the past two months. These are children she has watched for their parents, given special candy to at Halloween (the BIG bars, not the fun pack) and she has helped their parents. They have suddenly become mouthy, rude, nasty little creeps. This is not, btw, an attempt to excuse my losing my temper at one of them the other day. Rather, I am shocked that not one of those kids has been made, by their parents (one of whom is a former Sheriff Deputy and current MPD Officer) to come over to my 87 year old mother and say, "Mrs S., I'm sorry I was so rude. It was wrong of me.".
It is said by an ancient Stoic philosopher, an Roman emporer who had an ongoing dialogue with St Justin Martyr in the 2nd Century, that the behavior of children reflect the character of their parents. We like, today, to think that is not necessarily so because we have seen examples of parents who did 'everything right' having to sit in a courtroom while their adult child is sentenced for a heinous crime. The man who attacked his family and burned down their house, while dressed in a Santa suit, was a regular attendee at Mass. We know, in other words, that more that simply an upbringing goes into shaping someone's behavior and that people can snap at any time.
However, it is becoming my experience that people from the age of 55 down have completely lost the ability to turn to someone they have harmed and say, "That was out of line on my part. I don't care what YOU did, what I did was absolutely WRONG and I apologize. "
Instead, and I have seen it on The Hive, we justify the most vile and infantile behavior on the foundation that the OTHER person is a 'hater' or a 'facist' or a 'pig' or a 'conservative' or a 'liberal' or - worst of all - a "Catholic'!
When I went to that woman in my neighborhood and apologized for losing my temper and asked her for forgiveness, she said, "I am 38 years old. No one has ever apologized to me before in my life".
HOW SAD IS THAT????
Yet, the reality is she has probably never apologized to anyone herself. She has probably never made her child apologize to anyone. She is, like most people of her age group, selfish, self-centered, inordinately concerned with what she thinks are her RIGHTS rather than her WANTS and she wouldn't know humility if it bit her on the butt.
Having been that type of person, and now having to embrace humility when I don't want to because I really want to stay sober, I can assure you all that it is a good thing to do. It is not a bad thing to practice. It is, however, difficult to maintain because it is not valued in this world. Rather, it is attacked as weakness.....
SO, I guess my birthday present to myself is to be weak.
Now, to change gears a minute: We received crime statistics for 2005 last month. They are now posted on the DOJ website.
During 2005 --
About seven in ten female rape or sexual assault victims stated the offender was an intimate, other relative, a friend or an acquaintance.
Seventy-four percent of males and 48% of females stated the individual(s) who robbed them was a stranger.
Intimates were identified by the victims of workplace violence as the perpetrator in about 1% of all workplace violent crime. About 40% of the victims of nonfatal violence in the workplace reported that they knew their offender.
For murder victims, 43% were related to or acquainted with their assailants; 14% of victims were murdered by strangers, while 43% of victims had an unknown relationship to their murderer in 2002.
Two thirds of murders of children under the age of 5 were committed by a parent or other family member.
With this in mind, and considering how dangerous to the general population men seem to be, and just for the common good.....maybe we should no longer allow males to leave the house without GPS tracking devices and we should arm all women with weapons in order to protect themselves?
OK - I stole that from a comedian friend of mine.....
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!!!!!