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Author Archives: etomczyk

About etomczyk

I am a storyteller who blogs about the absurdities of life, especially as seen through the eyes of a baby-boomer, African-American humorist (think Bridget Jones marries Chris Rock and they produce a baby called Whoopi Goldberg). www.howthehelldidienduphere.wordpress.com

WHAT’S PRAYER GOT TO DO WITH IT?

DEAR READERS:  These are desperate times, and because I increasingly wonder what or where God is in the mighty scheme of things (does he care, is he on vacation, or is he just late to the party?), I’ve decided to harangue God more than I usually do via persistent phone calls—so far my calls have gone straight to voicemail. What follows is the second installment of a “voicemail message to God” which is a very short essay on a universal question I wish God would answer about life: “What’s Prayer Got to Do with It?”

Praying for things Meme

GOD’S VOICEMAIL GREETING:  “You’ve reached the voicemail box of Jehovah at 1-800-PRA-TOME. I am experiencing a high call volume at this time—especially from the United States—but I will return your call as soon as is heavenly possible.  Please note that I operate on a triage system (‘the process of determining the priority of patients’ treatments based on the severity of their condition’). Leave your name, number, and your prayer request, and I will get back to you at some point.  May I bless you!”

***

HELLO, GOD.  IT’S ME, ELEANOR.  Looks like I’ve missed you again. Where are you, Jehovah-Jireh (my provider)?  I need to talk to you about something really, really important!   It’s about prayer and its efficacy—whose prayers you answer and why.  It’s about why conversational prayer always seems to be one way:  I talk, but you don’t say a word.  Oh, I know there are people who say you talk back to them (like you drop in for tea every Tuesday morning exactly at 10 o’clock), but have you noticed that they tend to be nuttier than a fruitcake?

I think most things I’ve been taught about prayer are all wrong.  I’ve had preachers tell me that you, God, are in control of all things, but I can change your mind by how specific my prayers are—the more specific I am, the more specific your answers will be to me.  (As if you are a divine waiter and I just need to bark: “Garçon! A raspberry LaCroix, straight up, with a splash of vodka and a twist of lime, mon dieu!”)   I used to know a preacher who prayed whether to put on shorts or long pants on any given day, whether to carry an umbrella that day, if he should part his hair on the left or the right, or if he should fast or gorge on the leftover pizza in the refrigerator.  (As if you hadn’t given us brains, weathermen, or the Keto Diet.)  I’ve known preachers who prayed for parishioners to win the lottery, just so long as they tithed 10% of their winnings, of course. (As if you were the Big Kahuna casino boss in the sky just waiting to “bless” your followers with ill-gotten gains.)

I can’t tell you how many fat-ass Christians I have known who prayed for a parking space up close to the front of the mall so that they wouldn’t have to engage in some much-needed exercise.  Can I say that if that is truly the level of prayers you’re answering these days, then I need a new God.  Just sayin’!

Jesus take the wheel prayer meme

Anyway, I know you answer my prayers (sometimes).  (Barack Obama didn’t get assassinated, served two terms, and had a scandal-free administration, didn’t he?  On the other hand, Hillary lost and Satan’s spawn became our President.  What happened there?  Wrong number?)  But recently, I’ve been hearing a lot of crazy people crowing about how great they are because you answered their prayers regarding Earth-shattering events that destroyed others.

Case in point:  Pat Robertson and Hurricane Florence.

In case you weren’t home at the time when Robertson did his warlock incantation in your name, he said:

“I don’t want that thing [Hurricane Florence] to come in,” Robertson said. “I don’t want it to hurt Regent [Robertson’s University], I don’t want it to hurt CBN [Robertson’s Television Network], I don’t want it to tear up the beautiful campus, I don’t want it to tear these trees down, I don’t want to see any damage, I don’t want a bunch of glass flowing, and I don’t want [damage] all over this area that is counting on us to pray for them.

“We declare in the name of the Lord that you shall go no farther, you shall do no damage in this area. We declare a shield of protection all over Tidewater and we declare a shield of protection over those innocent people in the path of this hurricane. In Jesus’ holy name, be out to sea!”

…and the next day, North Carolina and South Carolina said:  WTF, God—we prayed, too!?!

Florence Final Landing Dave Granlund PoliticalCartoons com

Cartoon used by permission: Dave Granlund, PoliticalCartoons.com

Then Pat Robertson said:

“We asked the Lord to take it [hurricane Florence] out of here [Virginia] and he did,” Robertson boasted. “It’s like a shield that God has put around us [the coastal region of Virginia].”

“God’s people prayed,” he opined. “This is a miracle, ladies and gentlemen.”

“We’ve had a hand of protection over this area, and when we pray, God does miracles.”

As a Christian I was horrified by Robertson’s claim to a prayer hotline to you, oh God, and that you would do what he had demanded at the expense of other human beings.   Then I thought I heard a faint word in the wind (“Bullshit!”) when I was walking yesterday, and wondered if that was a message from you, and I remembered a Mark Twain quote when thinking about eighty-eight-year-old Robertson that day:

“I’ve never wished a man dead,

But I’ve read some obituaries with great pleasure.”

Robertson sleep by God Meme

Of course, I remembered that you don’t like “ugly,” so I quickly asked forgiveness (did you get that text message?)  I turned my meditation from wishing an old man dead to how many so-called Christians don’t believe in science, climate change, global warming, and the fact that the sea level is rising along with a growing population along our coastlines which gave me a very unoriginal “aha” moment about the Earth:  We’re so screwed!

Extreme Weather Sites Paresh Nath The Khaleej Times UAE

Cartoon used by permission: Paresh Nath, The Khaleej Times, UAE

Anyway, I’ve got to run.  I’ve got a first-world problem that needs tending to:  The grass seed I put down several weeks ago is not germinating, and my lawn looks like a weed farm that is moonlighting as a swamp.  (I thought about praying and asking you to heal the soil in my yard and give me a putting-green lawn, but then I remembered prayer doesn’t work that way, and you’re not a divine Mexican gardener on my staff named “Jesús” who is at my beck and call.)

Please call me back about this prayer thing.  I know you know that you’re my G-O-D no matter what, and I’ll keep on praying even if you never answer me.  I tell anyone who will listen that “in you I live and breathe and have my being.”  However, it’s not me you have to worry about. It’s my atheist brothers and sisters.  They are really having a hard time with the concept of you, and this prayer thing is a huge stumbling block.  Especially when there are Neanderthals like Pat Robertson running around pretending to have a hotline to you and spewing all sorts of verbal chaos in your name.

Robertson on Do not call list Mike Keefe San Miguel de Allende Mexico

Cartoon used by permission: Mike Keefe, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

***

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR?  Check out her website at www.eleanortomczyk.com

THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOKS:  Monsters’ Throwdown, Fleeing Oz, The Fetus Chronicles on sale now at Amazon!

WANT TO HEAR THE AUTHOR’S LATEST PODCAST INTERVIEW? http://breadboxmedia.podbean.com/e/what-if-it-is-true-can-you-find-faith-in-darkness/

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on September 19, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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ARE YOU LISTENING GOD?

DEAR READERS: Guess what?  It has been seven years since I started my blog, and I’ve decided to change the format from the “Discovery Series (Do You Know What I Discovered Today)” to “Attempted Phone Calls to God from Down Below.”  These are desperate times, and because I increasingly wonder what or where God is in the mighty scheme of things (does he care, is he on vacation, or is he just late to the party?), I’ve decided to harangue God more than I usually do. My “voicemail messages” will be very short essays of universal questions I wish God would answer about life, and observations of evil and stupidity that I wish he would simply acknowledge and fix or summarily eradicate. The good news is, even though I’m changing the format, I plan to keep the cartoons which everybody seems to enjoy. 

Who knows, maybe I’ll start trending: #AREYOULISTENINGGOD

Woman Praying Silly Bunt Meme

VOICEMAIL MESSAGE #1: “IS THE END NEAR?”

VOICEMAIL GREETING:  “You’ve reached the voicemail box of Jehovah at 1-800-PRA-TOME. I am experiencing a high call volume at this time—especially from the United States—but I will return your call as soon as is heavenly possible.  Please note that I operate on a triage system (‘the process of determining the priority of patients’ treatments based on the severity of their condition’). Leave your name, number, prayer request, and I will get back to you at some point.  May I bless you!”

***

HELLO, GOD.  IT’S ME, ELEANOR.  Looks like you’re out again or something.  We seem to be playing phone tag as of late.  (I noticed that slight dig about a preponderance of calls from the United States on your voicemail message.  Were you talking about me?)  You’re the one who once said, “Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Then come to me.  I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis.”

Well, Oasis, no disrespect intended, but where are you?  In case you haven’t noticed, the United States is being led by a madman, and the rest of the world is getting its ass kicked by the Devil.

God asleep Angel Boligan El Universal Mexico City www caglecartoons com

Cartoon used by permission: Angel Boligan, El Universal Mexico City, http://www.caglecartoons.com

I don’t mean to be impertinent, but if I don’t call you—who am I going to call–Ghostbusters?  You’ve said that I should “pray without ceasing.”  Well, every day—every single freakin’ day—I pray that you will save us and deliver us from Donald J. Trump.

And yet, heeeee’s still heeeerrre!

Although these last couple of days have had a weird patina about them—as if the end might be near.  Which is why I’m calling you.  Is this the end of the Trump madness?  Is the anonymous op-ed piece in the NY Times the last stages of Trump’s undoing or, even better, will the scathing, meticulously researched book, Fear, by Bob Woodward be the final nail in his coffin?

I’m sure you have an advanced copy of Fear (mine doesn’t arrive until Sept. 12th), but did you see that quote by Woodward:

“The reality was that the United States in 2017 was tethered to the words and actions of an emotionally overwrought, mercurial and unpredictable leader. Members of his staff had joined to purposefully block some of what they believed were the president’s most dangerous impulses. It was a nervous breakdown of the executive power of the most powerful country in the world.”

The End is near Marian Kamensky Austria

Cartoon used by permission: Marian Kamensky, Austria

Oh, my God, God!  And a portion of the anonymous op-ed to the NY Times pretty much says the same thing:

“The root of the problem is the president’s amorality. Anyone who works with him knows he is not moored to any discernible first principles that guide his decision making.”

Right before “Anonymous” wrote that damning sentence, the NY Times quoted him/her as saying:

“…the president continues to act in a manner that is detrimental to the health of our republic.

That is why many Trump appointees have vowed to do what we can to preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting Mr. Trump’s more misguided impulses until he is out of office.”

Fear by Bob Woodward Stephane Peray Thailand

Cartoon used by permission: Stephane Peray, Thailand

So, I’m calling to ask two questions:  1) who is “Anonymous”—our 2018 “Deep Throat,” and 2) are you in the process of busting Trump’s balls and breaking his knee caps?  (Need I remind you that you don’t let me get away with anything?)  All I have to do is think something catty about another human being while sipping my morning coffee, and you give me heartburn for the rest of the day.   I’m just sayin’:  Donald J. Trump’s litany list for a passport into Hell is endless and worthy of your damnation.

Anyway, if you tell me who “anonymous” is, I won’t tell anybody.  I promise.  I personally think it is Melania.   She didn’t write it, of course—she can barely speak English.  But I can see her dictating it to her staff, can’t you?   I’d be willing to bet my angel’s wings that she is the one because I secretly think she hates The Donald’s guts and has been waiting for a way and time to tell him “You’re fired!” for years.

Deep State Throat John Darko, Columbia MO

Cartoon used by permission: John Darkow, Columbia MO

Before I hang up, I just want to let you know that your White Right-wing Evangelicals have drunk the Kool-Aid–again.  Please, please, please ignore their prayers.  They are pinning all of their Trump Devil worship on being “God’s will.”  In fact, it would be fabulous if you purged them, and started all over again when you bring down Trump.  They’ve sold their souls lock, stock, and barrel to the Cheese-ball in Chief’s racism, cruelty, and lying which pretty much makes Trump Satan’s spawn and his supportive Evangelicals his demonic minions.  I know I’m not supposed to judge, but when something walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and acts like a duck, well then…

Evangelicals and the Devil David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star Tucson AZ

Cartoon used by permission: David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star, Tucson, AZ

Anyway, God, stay tuned.  If I don’t hear from you by Thursday, I’ll be calling you again because Hurricane Florence is headed my way.  Lord, have mercy!

***

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR?  Check out her website at www.eleanortomczyk.com

THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOKS:  Monsters’ Throwdown, Fleeing Oz, The Fetus Chronicles on sale now at Amazon!

WANT TO HEAR THE AUTHOR’S LATEST PODCAST INTERVIEW? http://breadboxmedia.podbean.com/e/what-if-it-is-true-can-you-find-faith-in-darkness/

Traitor Friends Pat Bagley The Salt Lake Tribune UT

Cartoon used by permission: Pat Bagley, The Salt Lake, Tribune, UT

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
6 Comments

Posted by on September 9, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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WE’VE GOT TO GET AWAY FROM HERE

Do you know what I discovered since I’ve been gone?  First of all, I’ve been gone from blogging a very, very long time.  I really didn’t mean to step away that long, but Baby-girl got married and I decided that being fully present and involved in this wondrous event of my child’s life was my primary duty as a mother.  The sorrows and chaos of this world could wait a month or two while I got to revel in one of two major joys humans are afforded on this planet:  marriages and the birth of children (hopefully the second part of the equation will come soon for the newlyweds—“Your mother is not getting any younger, Baby-girl!”).

Author Toasting Bride and Groom

AUTHOR GIVING MOTHER-OF-THE-BRIDE SPEECH: “NAILED IT!”

It was such a glorious time.  Full of love and grace. Tons of laughter and warm camaraderie. People of different races, religions, and sexual orientations wishing another beautiful interracial couple a happy and fulfilling life.  Weather was a perfect 75 degrees, no rain, no bugs, and no Trump.  It felt as if Jesus were in our midst—so much loving, so much acceptance, so much tender caring.  For 72 hours at this destination wedding on a magnificent island in the U.S. of A, Trump’s name and destructive influence on our country and its people were never mentioned or thought about.  If there were some of his hardcore supporters among the wedding guests, they didn’t reveal themselves.

Roche Harbor

Roche Harbor| Photo Credit: Cynthia Richardson

So now I am home—back in the shit storm that is Trumplandia.  Since I’ve been gone, things seem to have gotten so much worse both nationally and locally.  I came out of my wedding bubble to the man in the White House dealing with more demons whispering in his ear than he had before I entered the wedding euphoria.   And the lying…oh, my God, his lying has increased exponentially.

Trump mentors Steve Sack The Minneapolis Star-Tribune MN

Cartoon used by permission: Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune MN

Yet, Trump’s supporters still cling to his every word—especially his Right Wing Evangelical supporters which still has me in a state of shock (Jesus, are you watching this?).  The more Trump lies (7 – 10 times a day at the last calculation), the more his supporters worship him. The more his racism shows, the more they cheer him on and wrap themselves in things like the Confederate flag, White Supremacy, conspiracy websites, and Fox News.  I saw a poll when I returned that said 91% turn to the President for accurate information rather than their families or legitimate news organizations.  A friend just told me the other day that in a couple of prayer groups she attended, some of the members who are Trump supporters refused to pray for the border children who are still separated from their parents, may never be returned to their parents, and who are reportedly some are being abused by their caretakers. (And you ask me why I left the Church?)  Then I learned about some rabid Trump supporters in the vicinity (many of them churchgoers) who were trying to run roughshod over the rest of their community by hoisting the Confederate flag and celebrating its “glory” no matter who their actions hurt or terrorized. All I could think was which came first?  Did Trump and his demon ways awaken these horrid people from the swamp or did these horrid people awaken Trump?

Christian adoration of Trump Pat Bagley The Salt Lake Tribune UT

Cartoon used by permission: Pat Bagley, The Salt Lake-Tribune, UT

In the meantime, while all these agonizing thoughts were running through my head, it came to my attention that it was time for my annual physical.  Oh shit!  How did this come upon me so soon?  I had planned to lose those 20 pounds from the last time I saw my doctor six months ago.  In fact, I told him—swore on my mother’s grave—he wouldn’t have to worry about me shedding them because I had the wedding as an incentive. I was not going to be a fat mother-of-the-bride—no siree!  But, instead, I had gained five more pounds!

Can I confess something?  I hate going to the doctor because I never get all A’s, and for a perfectionist, that is a real pain in the ass.  It’s like being called to the principal’s office, being stopped by a White policeman when you’re driving while Black, and your father catching you sneaking back into the house after curfew—all at once.  I got a chance to review the lab results before the appointment, and they didn’t make me feel any better.  I’ve just turned 70 and every number counts.  Everything was elevated: my weight, my cholesterol, my A1C, and my blood pressure.  I just knew my doctor was going to be pissed at me and fire me as his patient.  I’ve been fired as a patient before because I take no grief from doctors (that’s another blog, entirely).  Instead, what he did do, shocked me so much, you could have knocked me over with a feather…

Doctor office meme

DOC. H:   Morning, Mrs. Tomczyk.  How’s everything?

TRUCULANT ME:  Not great, as you can see.  First of all, why do you and every doctor I’ve ever been to make me weigh in before the nurse takes my blood pressure?  Of course it’s going to be 160/90.  Your lyin’ scale just gave me the shock of my life!  And why is the scale always out in a public space?  I took off so many clothes to get a more accurate read of my weight that some old man put his hands over his eyes, started to scream, and fled the building, leaving his cell phone and his cane behind because he was so horrified by my Stormy Daniels’ striptease.

DOC. H:   Now, Mrs. Tomczyk, we’ve been over this before.  Knowing what you weigh at the beginning of our session helps me figure out what you need as a patient.  Wouldn’t you prefer a little embarrassment in order to get a more accurate diagnosis?

PETULANT ME:  Hell to the no!

DOC. H:  [Sigh] Let’s see what we have here.  Hum, all your numbers are elevated.  You were doing so well six months ago.  What happened?

WHINING ME:  What happened?  WHAT HAPPENED?  Donald Trump happened!  His mania is spreading all across the land, or at least it is giving “permission” for the crazies to come out of the sewers.  The Governor of Virginia has declared a state of emergency in Charlottesville because it is the one year anniversary since the murder of Heather Heyer by Confederate sympathizers and Neo-Nazi White Supremacists, and he doesn’t want a repeat of last year.  Virginia also has a man running to become one of its senators (Corey Stewart) who is a “Lost Cause” trumpeter who adulates the likes of Nathan Bedford Forrest and calls himself a rebel sounding the clarion call for the keeping of Confederate statues in place and unfurling the Confederate flag here, there, and everywhere because…you guessed it:  He says, “it’s my heritage.”  What the hell?  This dude grew up in Minnesota, for Pete’s sake!

This isn’t the first time I’ve heard about Northerners goose-stepping behind Nathan Bedford Forrest (slave trader, creator of the KKK, mass murderer of surrendered Negro troops, and the grand wizard of the KKK) and worshiping his image.  They have all been Trump supporters, of course. Their bottom line can only be in the name of White Supremacy.  What if this happens where I live?  I’d have to fight to expose this lie, of course.  I would not let my community wake up awash in Confederate flags while the African-Americans started feeling like second-class citizens in their own homes.  The fear of this keeps me awake at night.

I know you won’t believe me, but I don’t break my diet (well, not often), and I exercise like crazy.  Admittedly, I don’t get much sleep with all that is going on and all that I worry about.  But I can’t stand by and let the lies of our current President seep into the local soil where I live.  I can feel the zombie racism creeping toward me and mine.  I WILL FIGHT THIS EVIL WHERE IT SPROUTS.  I WILL ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO FIGHT IT.  I WILL NOT SURRENDER TO TURNING THE CLOCK “BACK TO THE CONFEDERACY!”

Confederate Monuments in Context David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star Tucson AZ

Cartoon used by permission: David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star, Tucson, AZ

DOC. H:  All right, General Grant.  I hear you, and, believe it or not, as a White man, I get it.  I can’t tell you how many of my patients have come to me in tears because of what is happening in our country.  Grown White men sobbing because of the racism they see happening to people of color.  As one very lovely Italian man in his seventies told me, he thought we had won the war against racism long ago, and what he sees now is breaking his heart.  Not only do I understand what you’re saying, but I’m going to say something that will probably shock you.  Your numbers are elevated not because of how you eat or exercise but because of the inordinate stress you are suffering from events happening to you on a national and local level that seem beyond your control.  The stress is causing an increase of cortisol in your system, and it wouldn’t matter how little you ate or how much you exercised, you still wouldn’t lose weight.  And because you’re gaining weight as a result of the stress, all of your other numbers are increasing.

SUSPICIOUS ME:  Does that mean you’re going to up my meds?  You know those are fighting words to me, Doc. I refuse to become one of those old people on too many drugs who can’t remember their names or what day it is.  I have to take care of myself the natural way as long as I can through exercise and diet.

DOC. H:  No pills, I promise.  But here’s your new prescription:

#1.  You must fight this evil disguised in the Confederate flag! You must expose this evil! You must lead against this evil wherever it washes up on your shore of influence. You can’t fight everything everywhere, but you can fight what is within your jurisdiction, your writing arena, and your voting power.  It is for this day, this place, and this time that you were called to be.  Don’t shrink back from the fight. Write about it.  Protest it. Stand!  We need people like you, more than ever.

#2.  However, don’t let the fight kill you. You’ve got to get away from here—from the battlefield—if you hope to survive.

#3.  To keep you from having a heart attack or a stroke, I suggest the following:

  • Wage war where and when you can, and then pull back for a respite—on a daily basis
  • Watch or read the news, but only for an hour (bad news can wait); organize your battle plans, but only for a portion of the day, then…
  • Spend the rest of day in your garden, reading, engaging with your husband, spending time with good friends, enjoying your children, practicing your hobbies, thinking about all that is lovely in the world. Be fully present!  What’s that Bible verse I learned as a kid?  “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things and the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:8).
  • Get 7-8 hours of sleep
  • Walk 10,000 steps a day—everyday! Give that Fitbit a run for its money.  Keep that body moving, Lady!

Statism

 INCREDULOUS ME:  What?  I think you’re gonna make me cry, Doc. A doctor who understands his patient.  A medical person who gets my struggles. A physician who doesn’t think I’m lying about not eating fried chicken and chocolate bon-bons? Who knew there was such a creature?  I could just kiss you!

DOC. H:  [Smiles] See you in three months.  Oh, and Mrs. Tomczyk—one more thing.  Above all else—be civil. Among the many things the man in the White House has destroyed is civility.  You can’t win this war without civility.  What’s that Michelle Obama maxim:  “When they go low, we go high!”

Incivility Bob Englehart Middletown CT

Cartoon used by permission: Bob Englehart, Middletown, CT

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES ABOUT THE CONFEDERATE FLAG AND CIVILITY

“The Confederate Battle Flag was the emblem of Jim Crow defiance to the civil rights movement, of the Dixiecrat opposition to integration, and of the domestic terrorism of the Ku Klux Klan and the White Citizens’ Councils of our all too recent, all too awful history. White Christians ought to think about what that flag says to our African-American brothers and sisters in Christ, especially in the aftermath of yet another act of white supremacist terrorism against them.” Russell Moore, president of the SBC’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission who called for Christians in the South to forsake their affinity for the Confederate flag after the Charleston massacre of Black Christians

“I believe that our president has fostered a culture and climate that has allowed for what was there and has been there for years to bubble up. It has empowered people in a horrific way. Absolutely. I don’t think there’s any question about it.”—Rev. John Gray, pastor of Relentless Church in Greenville, S.C

“Civility is not not saying negative or harsh things. It is not the absence of critical analysis. It is the manner in which we are sharing this territorial freedom of political discussion. If our discourse is yelled and screamed and interrupted and patronized, that’s uncivil.”—Richard Dreyfuss

 “Our ultimate freedom is the right and power to decide how anybody or anything outside ourselves will affect us.”― Stephen R. Covey

Uncivil War John Darkow Columbia MO

Cartoon used by permission: John Darkow, Columbia, MO

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR?  Check out her website at www.eleanortomczyk.com

THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOKS:  Monsters’ Throwdown, Fleeing Oz, The Fetus Chronicles on sale now at Amazon!

WANT TO HEAR THE AUTHOR’S LATEST PODCAST INTERVIEW? http://breadboxmedia.podbean.com/e/what-if-it-is-true-can-you-find-faith-in-darkness/

REFERENCES

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/22/christian-confederate-slavery_n_7638676.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/corey-stewart-airbrushes-slavery-out-of-civil-war-history/2018/07/05/2ef44a06-7be5-11e8-80be-6d32e182a3bc_story.html?utm_term=.ee61505ad0c4

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2018/08/01/trumps-tampa-circus-proves-you-cant-reason-with-his-base/?utm_term=.98f368a79838

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on August 11, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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SUFFER THE LITTLE CHILDREN TO COME UNTO ME

Do you know what I discovered this past week?  A human being never gets over being taken from their mother, no matter how old they are, no matter what the circumstances, and no matter how it turns out in the end.  Even if it seems justifiable to the powers that be or it eventually saves the child’s life (as in my case), anybody with a viable soul must know that the hearts of children are much too vulnerable to be separated from their parents—especially after weeks of traveling as refugees.

Trump Family Reunification Plan Dave Granlund PoliticalCartoons com

Cartoon used by permission:  Dave Granlund, PoliticalCartoons.com

When this happened to me, my body snatchers and I spoke the same language and we never left the city of my birth, but that made little difference as to the scaring of my psyche.  In 1957 my baby sister and I were taken from my mother in the middle of the night by policemen with guns ablaze who had stormed through our apartment door.  Our mother was put in a strait jacket and thrown into an ambulance, and my sister and I were hustled into the back of a police car as I sobbed and screamed at the top of my lungs and my little sister collapsed into a catatonic state.  No one told us where we were going.  No one told us where they took our mother.  No one held us. No one comforted us. Everything was institutionalized and calculating—not mean, just matter-of-fact—just what is needed to crush an abandoned child’s heart.  My sobs and hysteria were so legendary the night our world finally fell apart after existing in years of mayhem and chaos that we still—to this day—cannot discuss that fateful night without tearing up.  My sister is 67 and I am 70 years old, and we never lived with my mother again.  Below is an excerpt of that night as seen through the eyes of a child just taken from her mother:

After the King of Night Court dubbed Pee-wee and me Wards of the State, we were taken to a temporary orphanage that the judge called “The Receiving Home.”  On the way to the orphanage I heard Miss Perkins [social worker] tell the policeman who accompanied us that even though it was past midnight, the matrons would have to open the kitchen because not to feed Pee-wee and me as soon as possible seemed like cruel and unusual punishment.  I remember wearily climbing a long flight of stone steps up to a brick building with large windows.  At the door, Pee-wee and I were met by a woman who was called the Night Matron.  After a brief whispered conversation between Miss Perkins and the Colored matron, we were led into the kitchen.  Pee-wee and I were so frightened and overwhelmed that we refused to let go of each other’s hand, so they picked us both up and set us down at a table without untangling our fingers.  My baby sister and I hadn’t eaten anything in days and nothing of any substance in months. Our clothes reeked of urine and excrement, and our bloated stomachs made us resemble children fresh off the boat from the remotest part of Africa.  At least that is what the Night Matron loudly whispered to the policeman…

“We’ll have to separate them eventually—might as well do it sooner than later.  The one in diapers will have to go to the nursery and sleep in a crib, even though she should be in the kindergarten dorm.”

“The nine year old needs to sleep in the teen ward in a bunk bed.”

“They both needs to be checked for lice and deloused befo’ they heads get near any beddin’.”

“First things first.  Feed these babies before they faints dead away from hunger.”

“Who been raisin’ these chilrin’—a pack of rats?”

Even though the adult consensus was that Pee-wee and I were absolutely filthy, a humane decision was quickly made that food was needed before a bath and delousing. The Night Matron had one of her helpers open up the cafeteria kitchen and heat up the leftovers from that night’s dinner. She gave Pee-wee and me a bowl of navy bean soup with globs of fat-back floating on the top, a cup of rice pudding with lumps the size of my toes, and two stale ginger snap cookies with a glass of buttermilk.  Pee-wee was too frightened to eat much of the food, but I gobbled up the meal as if it were my Last Supper. 

I can’t ever remember anything before or after the first meal in The Receiving Home tasting as great as that bean soup/ginger snap cookie combo.  Exactly at that black-hole moment, food became my drug of choice, and I would struggle with this addiction for the rest of my life.  After two servings of everything, I licked the soup bowl twice; and then I spoke for the first time since the invasion [of our home] by the police: “People, I gotta tell ya—you done outdid yo’selves!  This here is the best damn food I’ve ever eaten!”—EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK, “MONSTERS’ THROWDOWN” BY ELEANOR TOMCZYK

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Author and Baby Sister Few Months Before Taken Away from Their Mother

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Knowing what I know about being separated from one’s mother as a child, I still can’t understand how Trump could approve this border control evil, and Sessions and Sarah Huckabee Sanders could sanction it by quoting scripture to justify that action.  It’s as if Jesus DIDN’T say:  “Suffer the little children to come unto me…” but instead said: “Snatch the little children and use them as manipulative tools any time you need to gain control of a political situation, for that is the way of the Lord your God.”

I don’t know what upsets me more—crying, fearful, abandoned children or Christianity being used in such a lying abusive way to harm children.  Doesn’t Trump have children and grandchildren of his own?  Did he ever put himself in the place of those parents fleeing their horrific countries to save their children, only to have them taken away—some of which may never see their kids again?  When I heard Jeff Sessions and Sarah Huckabee Sanders justifying immoral governing choices by citing scriptural approval, I had a revelation:  Maybe this evil was not Trump’s fault.  Maybe he was led astray by people who claim to follow Jesus but wouldn’t know God if he came floating down on a cloud in front of them.   Maybe if I let him know what really was at stake (his soul and the soul of America), he’d see the light and straighten up and fly right.  After all, White Evangelical preachers have told us that he’s a “baby Christian”—new to all the rules and laws of Christianity.  Maybe he just needed to be schooled.  It was worth a try.  I had to do something—anything—so I wrote the President an open letter.

Jesus Approves FB Steve Sack The Minneapolis Star Tribune MN

Cartoon used by permission:  Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune, MN

DEAR PRESIDENT TRUMP:

I am an American citizen (you know, one of the people you’re supposed to represent), and I wish to render a spiritual intervention on your behalf (before it is too late for the redemption of your soul) regarding your treatment of the border children.  You see, I am both a survivor of a traumatized childhood as well as an Evangelical Christian—thus giving me some moral authority on the subject of abused children and knowing what Jesus would do. 

I know that you have begrudgingly put a stop to separating children from their parents who are seeking asylum, and you signed an executive order making yourself out to be the hero in a Hitleresque tragedy which you, and you alone, started.

border crisis Kevin Siers The Charlotte Observer, NC

Cartoon used by permission:  Kevin Siers The Charlotte Observer, NC

But I ask you Mr. President, you the professed born-again Christian as confirmed by your personal pastor, Evangelist Paula White:  Where are the 2,000 plus other children?  Some as young as three months old, nine months old, four years old who have been taken as far away as Michigan, New York, and Washington State. Don’t know?  Not telling?  Couldn’t care less as your wife’s jacket seemed to convey when she made her obligatory visit to one of the kids’ shelters.  Somehow it’s hard to believe that about you.  You have kids.  You have grand-kids.  If I were to give you the benefit of the doubt, I would say you’ve been duped.

The only reason I think you have been bamboozled is I think Miller, Sessions, Sanders, and your Evangelical supporters have sold you a bill of goods.  I know they’ve told you all that crap about how you’re a modern day King Cyrus, and that God has anointed you to be President to bring about his will in America and on the Earth, blah, blah, blah, blah.  Except that under your “reign,” America’s soul is rotting—God’s will is not being done.  You see, none of the shit the White Evangelical preachers you hang with have told you the truth:  You’re actually in deep do-do with the Lord, Donald.  God is not pleased with you!

Pardon for the kids John Darkow Columbia Missourian

Cartoon used by permission:  John Darkow, Columbia, Missourian

You poor schmuck.  I bet you were under the impression that God likes ugly ways and an ugly heart?  Oh dear!  Of course, the scripture the US Attorney General Jeff Sessions invoked to justify the evil of your child abusive immigration policies probably made you feel real sanctimonious and very pleased with yourself:

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong.”Romans 13:1-5

Mr. President, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III didn’t tell you that Romans 13 was used to justify obedience to all sorts of evil in the past, and God squished the ruling authorities like a giant’s foot stomping on a pile of maggots when they enforced this scripture on innocent people (Google, Sherman’s march to the sea, and Hitler’s bunker demise).  The Southerners used it against the Abolitionists to justify slavery and German theologians used it to support Hitler regardless if their policies seemed harsh and ruthless.  (I know you don’t read, but when you can catch a break between Fox News and Alex Jones, have Melania read you the bio of the German theologian Otto Dibelius.  I’m sure he’s still preaching Romans 13 in the town square of Hell.)

Zero Tolerance: June 19, 2018

Cartoon used by permission:  Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News, NY

I don’t know what drugs the Apostle Paul was taking the day he wrote that scripture, but something got lost in translation.  I do know it doesn’t apply to you, nor did it apply to Hitler or the American slave holders.  Mr. President, the scriptures that the false prophets who surround you should have impressed upon you are the ones about how God regards children, the poor, the wretched, the refugee, and the vulnerable.  Didn’t Sarah Huckabee Sanders (the daughter of a preacher-man) tell you about these scriptures that good leaders are charged to obey?

“Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.”—Matthew 18: 4-5

“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”—Matthew 18:6

“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”—Matthew 25:40

Sessions and Immigration Kids Bob Englehart Middletown CT

Cartoon used by permission:  Bob Englehart Middletown, CT

Ooops!  Mr. President, you’re in so much trouble with your Maker.

I hope you take this letter seriously because even if you don’t care about you own soul, I would encourage you to care about the soul of America.  Did your sycophantic Evangelical support ever tell you the story of Sodom and Gomorrah and why it was destroyed by God?  If they did, I bet they told you the lie that Sodom was destroyed because of all the homosexuals cavorting around.  Well, guess what?  They lied!   Sodom was destroyed because they turned their backs on the poor and the needy.  Check it out:

“‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.”—Ezekiel 16:49-50

Oh dear, oh my…Mr. President, you know how you said you’ve never asked for forgiveness from God?  Now might be a good time to start.

Sincerely,

Eleanor Tomczyk

Blog Begin David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star Tucson AZ

Cartoon used by permission:  David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star, Tucson, AZ

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INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE I’M HANGING ONTO DURING THESE TRYING TIMES

“When our days become dreary with low-hovering clouds of despair, and when our nights become darker than a thousand midnights, let us remember that there is a creative force in the universe, working to pull down the gigantic mountains of evil, a power that is able to make a way out of no way and transform dark yesterdays into bright tomorrows.  Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”—Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR?  Check out her website at www.eleanortomczyk.com

THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOKS:  Monsters’ Throwdown, Fleeing Oz, The Fetus Chronicles on sale now at Amazon!

WANT TO HEAR THE AUTHOR’S LATEST PODCAST INTERVIEW? http://breadboxmedia.podbean.com/e/what-if-it-is-true-can-you-find-faith-in-darkness/

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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WELCOME TO THE SEVENTIES!

Do you know what I discovered this weekend?  I TURNED 70 FREAKIN’ YEARS OLD!

How Old Begin of Blog

WTF?!  Who and what gobbled up my life, and how did it happen so quickly?  It feels as if I was 19 just yesterday.  What the hell happened?  I woke up on June 9th with a 19-year-old’s spirit in a 70-year-old’s body that said, “Let’s go, go, go, go, go, Girl” but my old-woman body instantly responded:  “Oh, hell to the no, no, no, no, no, Girl”!!  (I had done some extra cardio the day before and everything on my body—including my earlobes and my nipples—was writhing in pain.)  But no one knew how to comfort me.  Part of the problem is that I don’t look 70 (thank God!), therefore, absolutely no one has sympathy for me.  I look good—owing to the fact that “Black don’t crack,” expensive make-up, and an unlimited supply of fashionable wigs.  I can still see well, hear well, walk several miles a day, and lead a coup against racist assholes when they try to take over my community.

I’ve started working on my fourth book, and I’m thinking of going on tour as a storyteller (move over David Sedaris).  So what’s my problem?  Why do I feel like I want to break out into a drunken sloppy rendition of a Frank Sinatra song:   “And now, the end is near, and so I face the final curtain…?”

Facing Death Stephane Peray Thailand

Cartoon used by permission: Stephane Peray, Thailand

I called a nonagenarian (my mentor of 54 years), and I told her I didn’t want to turn 70 years old. In fact, I was truly in a funk about it.  She replied:  “What is your alternative?”  Then she continued with her kick in the ass:  “I’m 90 years old.  I can’t see, I can’t hear without hearing aids, I can’t walk without a walker or a cane, I can no longer eat salads because they give me gas—but praise God, my mind is sharp as a tack, and for that I give him glory.  Otherwise, I’d kill to be 70 again—I was still driving then!  

“If you had told me when I met you at 16 and I was 36 that I’d still be alive to smack you upside your head and tell you to get over yourself as I did when you were young, I would have laughed in your face.  But here I am, on the phone with you, having to pee for the 5th time in an hour because my bladder no longer functions at this age.  So before I rush off (more like waddle off) to the ladies room, here’s the 911 about old age:  Lord willing, you’ve still got another decade of get-up-and-get-to-it-ness (although, none of us are guaranteed another minute of life past this moment).  It’s between 80 – 85 years old when the body starts to really drag you toward the dust, and no amount of wishing and hoping will curtail it.  All most of us manage to do during that time is get up, eat, poop, nap, remember the old days (if we’re lucky), rinse, and repeat.  Today, I suggest you put one foot in the front of the other, take each day at a time, don’t moan over what you’ve lost, but celebrate what you have left with every ounce of your being because none of us are guaranteed any tomorrows.  It’s all about the attitude, Little Girl.  Now, I’ve got to go pee.  Love you, Doll!”

what the hell happened

Birthday Card for the Aging

My mentor was right, of course.  I couldn’t let my pity party continue. Even though I felt I hadn’t yet reached all the goals I had set in life, one conversation with my kids helped me see that I had done more than I thought, and they admired me for it.  I had conquered internal demons as well as external ones.  I was a survivor of abuse—more than a survivor—a conqueror!  I was a mentor to both women and men.  According to my kids, they still see me reaching for the stars as if I were 19, and it blows them away.  They see me as someone who refuses to put up with religious stupidity and is not afraid to say “no” when others try and steer me off my true course in life.  They see me as someone who is not afraid to speak her mind.  They still see me as a fighter—still a badass in their minds with a sweet touch of Jesus.

Throat Punch Someone

Most of all, my kids see me as the love of their father’s life, and they say that we are their life’s aspiration.

On my birthday, 39 years ago, I gave myself a fabulous b-day present:  my man. Six years after the Supreme Court passed Loving v. Virginia, which invalidated laws prohibiting interracial marriage, I saw my future husband at an audition for a play, and it was intrigue at first sight.  A month later we went on our third date, and he knew he wanted to marry me.  Twelve years after the passing of Loving v. Virginia, my man and I tied the knot in front of an audience of hundreds of well-wishers in a cow barn turned into a hippy church.  It was the best choice either of us have ever made—law or no law.  When you’re a baked potato and you find your stick of butter, you lock that shit down!  Happy Birthday to me, and Happy Anniversary to the Tomczyk us.

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The author and her husband (June 9, 1979): Photo credit—Bill Clarke

Anniversary pic

The author and her husband: 39TH ANNIVERSARY SELFIE

Est 1979

Best 39th wedding anniversary present ever

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES ABOUT GROWING OLD (ER)

“To keep the heart unwrinkled, to be hopeful, kindly, cheerful, reverent—that is to triumph over old age.”Thomas Bailey Aldrich

“While I am in this world, I am resolved that no vexation shall put me out of temper if I can possibly command myself. Even old age, which is making strides towards me, shall not prevail to make me peevish.”—Samuel Adams

“When marrying, ask yourself this question: Do you believe that you will be able to converse well with this person into your old age? Everything else in marriage is transitory.”—Friedrich Nietzsche

 “Old age is no place for sissies.”Bette Davis

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THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOK:  “The Fetus Chronicles:  Podcasts From my Miseducated Self” is on sale now at Amazon!

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR?  Check out her website at www.eleanortomczyk.com 

 WANT TO HEAR THE AUTHOR’S LATEST INTERVIEW?  Check out the podcast interview with Leo Brown: http://breadboxmedia.podbean.com/e/what-if-it-is-true-can-you-find-faith-in-darkness/ 

***

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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POWER OF LOVE

Do you know what I discovered last Saturday?  I got zapped by the Holy Ghost while watching the Royal Wedding.  In fact, when it happened, I got up and did the Holy Ghost jig.  (For the uninitiated, it’s what happens to you when the spirit of the Lord infuses your body with so much love and joy that you just can’t contain yourself and start dancing like nobody is watching.

Holy Ghost Meme hannahsong

From the Pinterest page of Jane Anne Marriott

Before you go all “judgy” on me, let me explain.  I am not an Anglophile, nor am I a celebrity watcher.  So it wasn’t Meghan and Harry, George and Amal, or Serena and Alexis, or Oprah “per se” who got my jig on.  (Although, had I received an invite to attend the wedding, I might have lost my mind and my cool right there in Windsor Castle—I’m not gonna lie.  I’d be all like:  “SERENA…OPRAH…OH MY GOD, THERE GOES IDRIS ELBA…I LOVE YOU IDRIS—I’M ALMOST 70 YEARS OLD, BUT I COULD STILL HAVE YOUR BABY!!!!”  Maybe that’s why I never got an invite—they couldn’t trust me not to act a fool.)

Royal Wedding 1 Jeff Koterb, Omaha World Herald NE

Cartoon used by permission: Jeff Koterba, Omaha World-Herald, NE

Before the wedding, I was feeling kind of in the dumps—really out of sorts.  There have been a rash of “living while Black” racial incidents throughout our country that made me want to crawl into my bed and never leave my house.  (As one of my Black friends said recently: “I thought we’d gotten past all this shit.”)   Cops are being called by White people on Black people who are simply trying to have a meeting in a coffee shop, take a nap in one’s own dorm common room at Yale, have a Sunday picnic in a park, check out of an Airbnb one had rented, and golf with one’s girlfriends.  In other words, instead of misguided White people just calling the cops on Black people who are merely “Walking while Black” or “Shopping while Black” (that was egregious enough in years past and has happened to me countless times), cops are being called on Black folks for “Living while Black.”  It seems the Confederate flag wavers, Confederate statue lovers, and Jim Crow crusaders will not stop until their sewer stench of racism permanently covers our beautiful country from coast to coast. That’s enough to make every self-respecting Black person and righteous White person want to stand up and holler, and holler, and holler:  “WHITE FOLKS—STOP CALLING THE POLICE ON BLACK FOLKS WHO ARE SIMPLY TRYING TO LIVE!”

White Privilege Christopher Weyant The Boston Globe MA

Cartoon used by permission: Christopher Weyant, The Boston Globe, MA

And then along came the Royal wedding.  Speaking of Black folks “living while Black,” wow!  No wonder I got the Holy Ghost jig.  In a country and a family where the deepest color on Royal display is the ginger color of Prince Harry’s beard, new blood marched triumphantly into the chapel in Windsor Castle and announced:  “Guess who’s coming to dinner, breakfast, Christmas, Easter, and every day in between all over this blessed kingdom!”

FIRST:  You had your Black princess.  True, she looks White, but as with Barack Obama, sometimes we have to give White folks “a spoon full of honey to make the medicine go down” when it comes to getting out of the way so that us Black folks can fulfill our destinies.

SECOND:  You had your Black Gospel Choir singing, “Stand by Me” and “This Little Light of Mine.”  There are more sophisticated gospel songs, but these were perfect for an interracial couple’s marriage.  As part of an interracial marriage for 39 years, I know that standing by each other is what the Royal couple will need most when racism constantly washes up on their shores.  (It doesn’t matter how “light skin” Meghan is, haters still gonna hate.)  I kept on dancing, but I started crying because there is no greater love than two people who step over the line of their individual cultures and pledge by their union to be an example of the all-encompassing inclusion of God’s love.  I know this because I’ve lived it.

THIRD: You had your Black 19-year-old cello player (Sheku Kanneh-Mason—a British prodigy) who played Maria Theresia von Paradis’s “Sicilienne,” Gabriel Faure’s “Apres un reve,” and Franz Schubert’s “Ave Maria.”  I have heard many a cello soloist (it is my favorite string instrument), but I have never, ever heard a soloist so magnificent who played with such passion.  I stopped dancing when he started to play.  I froze in place and I worshiped God.

FOURTH:  You had your Black Bishop from America (Rev. Michael Curry), the 27th and current presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church in the U.S.A.  That’s when my Holy Ghost jig turned into the “Whip” and the “Nae-Nae,” segued into the “Joe-Joe,” and then cooled down with an “Electric Slide for one” with a final dropping to my knees to embrace the word of the Lord.  That Black bishop took me to church and had me shouting “Hallelujah, Amen, Glory to God” over his message of love!

Rev Curry Meme

Suddenly, a mere Royal wedding became an “aha” moment for me—calling me toward something higher and greater than the cares of this world or the momentary titillation of celebrity watching.  The Black bishop was encouraging me (us) to discover the power of love to make of this ‘old world a new world.’  He said:

“There’s power in love. Don’t underestimate it. Don’t even over-sentimentalize it. There’s power, power in love.

“There’s power in love. There’s power in love to help and heal when nothing else can.

“There’s power in love to lift up and liberate when nothing else will.

“There’s power in love to show us the way to live.

“Set me as a seal on your heart… a seal on your arm, for love is as strong as death.”

Rev Curry 1 Stephane Peray Thailand

Cartoon used by permission: Stephane Peray, Thailand

When the wedding was over, my husband and I looked at each other with tears in our eyes, and we both realized that we had witnessed something far greater than two people getting married who had more money than God to pull off an occasion that was watched by hundreds of millions of viewers.  I discovered later that Harry and Meghan had picked the scriptures, the Bishop and approved his sermon text, the cellist, the choir and what the choir sang, and I knew then that they recognized the power that their love and union could have on the world, if they did it right.  If you ask me—judging by their wedding ceremony—they are off to an excellent start.

Royal Wedding Imgflip

Courtesy of imgflip.com

ELEANOR’S SELAH (“AHA”) MOMENT ABOUT THE ROYAL WEDDING

I am discovering two other awesome things since the wedding.  First, Rev. Michael Curry (who hardly anyone knew until the wedding) is leading an Evangelical march to the White House for a candlelight vigil tonight (Thursday, May 24th) titled: “Reclaiming Jesus: A Confession of Faith in a Time of Crisis.”  He will be joined by many magnificent Evangelical Protestants (Jim Wallis) and Evangelical Catholics (Fr. Richard Rohr).  They are the sane and good-hearted Evangelicals who you never hear about because the misguided Evangelicals who surround Trump make so much idiotic noise.  Rev. Curry’s group are protesting Trump, his lying ways and racist choices, as well as the compromised Evangelicals who put Trump in the Oval and keep him propped up in office no matter what he says or does. They are marching for the restoration of the love of Christ. How convenient of God to blow up Rev. Michael Curry’s profile in time enough for a vigil of truth in front of the White House.  I think I’m going to get the Holy Ghost jig all over again.  (Check out the marchers’ manifesto for reclaiming our government and country for inclusion, grace, and love:  http://www.reclaimingjesus.org/ )

Second, did you know that Megan is not England’s first Black royal?  The love bug hit another royal black woman by the name of Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz from the 18th Century (the queen that Charlottesville, VA is named after).  Charlotte was the wife of King George III, and was Queen from 1761 until her death in 1818.   And here’s a bit of info that will set your feet a dancing:  According to the reporter Lindsey Matthews (Town and Country Magazine) Queen Charlotte’s sixth son—ninth child (Prince Augustus Frederick)—was a progressive and a radical agent of love “who advocated for Catholic emancipation, the removal of civil restrictions on Jews and dissenters and parliamentary reform, and supported the abolition of the slave trade.”  Want to know something else?  The gift from the Queen of England to Meghan and Harry was the title of Duke and Duchess of Sussex—the title last held by Harry’s great-plus-plus uncle Prince Augustus Frederick.  I think the Queen was in on the joke with the kids. If they are going to be change agents of love, mercy, and grace, they might as well have the hereditary titles to go with it.  Good one, Queen Elizabeth.  I knew I liked you for some reason other than the fact you are reported to daily throw down a gin and Dubonnet before lunch, wine with lunch, and a dry Martini and a glass of champagne in the evening…and you’re 92 freakin’ years old.  You go girl!

Queen Charlotte Meghan Markle WP

Queen Charlotte and the Duchess of Sussex—both Black, both living large//Courtesy of Global News

 

(AND ALL THE BLACK FOLKS ARE SAYING:  “UH, HUH…I COULD HAVE TOLD YOU THAT QUEEN CHARLOTTE WAS BLACK THE MINUTE I LAID EYES ON HER.  THAT PAINTING SAYS IT ALL!”)

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INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES FOR OUR TIMES

“Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, passion fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it.”Song of Solomon

“This is also a moment when our public discourse is loud and harsh. My prayer is that, weary of such noise, we turn back to the source of all calmness. That source — that source is God. Everything we lack, God has in abundance, compassion, sensitivity, patience and a boundless love. So again, I want to thank all of you for this honor, and I thank God for giving me the precious energy that lets me live my life as an artist who every single day seeks to expand my capacity to love.”Janet Jackson (2018 Billboard Awards)

“We believe two things are at stake: the soul of the nation, and the integrity of faith. We believe the issues are more deeply theological than merely political or partisan. We believe it is a time for prayer and response, for contemplation and action.  

“In this moment of political, moral, and theological crisis in America we are deeply concerned about the resurgence of white nationalism, racism, and xenophobia; misogyny; attacks on immigrants, refugees, and the poor; the regular purveying of falsehoods and consistent lying by the nation’s highest leaders; and moves toward autocratic political leadership and authoritarian rule.”–“Reclaiming Jesus: A Confession of Faith in a Time of Crisis.”

***

THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOK:  “The Fetus Chronicles:  Podcasts From my Miseducated Self” is on sale now at Amazon!

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR?  Check out her website at www.eleanortomczyk.com

 WANT TO HEAR THE AUTHOR’S LATEST INTERVIEW?  Check out the podcast interview with Leo Brown: http://breadboxmedia.podbean.com/e/what-if-it-is-true-can-you-find-faith-in-darkness/

 REFERENCES

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/christian-leaders-call-out-the-heresy-of-trumpism/2018/05/23/00f026c2-5eb5-11e8-9ee3-49d6d4814c4c_story.html?utm_term=.415b321f36f1

http://www.reclaimingjesus.org/

https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/22/politics/bishop-curry-white-house/index.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/20/opinion/meghan-markle-royal-wedding-race.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-right-region&region=opinion-c-col-right-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-right-region

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5756521/Bishop-Michael-Curry-says-no-idea-sermon-hit-Royal-Wedding.html

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/05/20/612798691/bishop-michael-currys-royal-wedding-sermon-full-text-of-the-power-of-love

https://www.refinery29.com/2017/11/182878/black-queen-charlotte-meghan-markle-biracial-royal-family

https://www.townandcountrymag.com/society/tradition/a20751869/duke-of-sussex-anti-slavery-abolitionist-royal-wedding/

https://www.elle.com/culture/music/a20859445/meghan-markle-prince-harry-royal-wedding-kingdom-gospel-choir-members/

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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YOU KNOW YOU’RE A GOOD MOTHER WHEN…

Do you know what I discovered this week?  Mother’s Day is coming.  I hate this bogus holiday!  It’s that ONE DAY a year that mothers get celebrated for something we should be applauded for every freakin’ day of our children’s existence.  What we manage to get done in a lifetime of rearing kids boggles my mind. My kids are in their 30s, and I still can’t believe I never accidentally lost one of them along the way when they were little or strangled both of them when they were sassy-ass teenagers.  They survived—I survived—and they turned out okay in spite of me.

Mothers Hands Dave Granlund Minnesota

Cartoon used by permission: Dave Granlund, Minnesota

I’ve been thinking a lot about motherhood lately.  Wondering what my kids will say about me in their memoirs when I’m doing the “nae-nae” (for the uninitiated, this is a dance of exuberance) in heaven.  I wasn’t always calm. I scolded when I should have consoled, I prodded when I should have nurtured, I lectured when I should have listened, I confined them when I should have let them run free out of fear for their safety, and I thought too much about what others would think of my child-rearing when I should have let my kids just—be.  I did what I thought was right—I did the best I could.

As all these juxtapositions about my motherhood were rummaging through my head the other day, a repairman came to fix our garage door.  He was of the MAGA persuasion and immediately started in on a diatribe about the caravan of “illegal aliens storming our borders with their kids” and how “the gov’ment better do something to keep them out because we just can’t take everybody in who wants to come to our great land.”  Although his logic made sense, his morality did not.  He said this to me knowing that Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, our current Attorney General from Hell, had announced morally corrupt plans to immediately separate children from their mothers—placing the mothers in detention centers and the babies/children in foster care when they try to arrive in America. There is a strong case to be made that many of the children will not have proper identification or language skills to be able to be reconnected with their mothers before they are deported back to the countries from which they fled for their lives.  I think I told the idiot repairman that I would be right there in the midst of the caravan if I thought it was the only way to save my children from violence, rape, and starvation because that is what a good mother would do.

Sessions and the Mothers David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star Tucson AZ

Cartoon used by permission: David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star Tucson, AZ

I was miserable for the rest of the day.   It wasn’t just because I generally get depressed like this when I come in close proximity to a Trump supporter and their lack of humanity.  It was more than that. I was miserable because I could sense the pain of the mothers who were going to have their kids snatched from them in their attempt to flee hostile and violent lands as refugees and would end up losing their kids in the process.

I thought of all the American upper-middle class “Pinterest” moms who make motherhood sound so awesome and Martha Stewart cute—making pancakes in the shape of bunnies, and kids’ beds into rocket ships and princess thrones, when most women of the world are just trying to keep their kids alive.

Suddenly I had a revelation: Motherhood is not the fantasy that some mothers post on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.  For most women, motherhood is not easy.  Anyone who says it is easy and all sunshine and lollipops is lying. In fact, a woman doesn’t always get to define when she’s a good mother in the deepest sense—her responses to her children’s actions do, which is why I compiled a sampling of how one knows when one is a good mother or when one sees a good mother.  It’s called:  You Know You’re a Good Mother When…

Birth Announcement

Meme courtesy of jokedio.com

YOU KNOW YOU’RE A GOOD MOTHER WHEN…

You’ve been awake since the baby’s 2 a.m. feeding and your toddler’s subsequent blood-curdling screaming nightmare at 4 a.m. which caused her to crash into your bedroom, tap dance on your head while your husband never stirred an inch as she cried herself to sleep while clinging to your neck.  You haven’t peed in ten hours. You’re still in your pajamas and you smell like day-old soured milk and urine.  After finally getting your colicky baby down for her 2 p.m. nap at the same time as her three-year-old sister, you think you’ve finally struck gold.  So you drag your weary ass off to the bathroom for a much needed potty-break in the hopes that you’ll be able to take a quick shower, comb your hair, and put on some deodorant before you have to go back on duty, when you look down from the toilet seat and see a toddler’s hand poking underneath the door in search of her mommy.  You get up—mid-pee—and open the door….

Bathroom Break Not Meme

Meme courtesy of wheninmanila.com

YOU KNOW YOU’RE A GOOD MOTHER WHEN…

You’ve heard the ubiquitous word “Mommy” so often by the time your kids are five years old, that when some random kid yells “MOMMY, MOMMMMMY” at the mall, even though you’re a grandmother approaching 70 years old (your kids are in their thirties and live far away), you turn around and answer, “WHAT?!” along with twenty other mothers walking in the mall—none of whom have children in tow….

Mommy Mom Meme wheninmanila dot com

Meme courtesy of quickmeme.com

YOU KNOW YOU’RE A GOOD MOTHER WHEN…

A toddler does a throw-down in the middle of the grocery store—throwing herself into a backward limp noodle, and you rally in defiant solidarity with the mom because you’ve been there—done that.  You dare any of the non-childbearing haters to mess with your sister-mom in her time of need.  You know what the haters are thinking, because you thought the same when you were single and ignorant of how much strength and self-restraint it takes to be a mother.  You know the power of a toddler.  You know what only another mother can know:  Give her 200 toddlers and she could take over the world if she could harness their terrible-two’s ferociousness and willfulness….

SCREAMING TODDLER IN STORE HUNGER GAMES SALUTE

Meme courtesy of imgflip.com

YOU KNOW YOU’RE A GOOD MOTHER WHEN…

You’re watching the looting and riots in Baltimore a few years ago on TV after the killing of a young Black man by police, and as you’re watching, you see a Black mother smack her son upside his head before he does something stupid and life-altering and you’re cheering her on.  He was supposed to come home straight from school, but instead, he went in search of the riot and the looting and had picked up a brick and was attempting to throw it into a store window.  She saw him on TV, rushed to the scene, and caught him before he became another statistic.  The mother of six literally whupped his butt all the way home with the TV cameras following. There were those who objected to her “violence” against her child.  I didn’t.  He was her only son.  I understood as a good mother that when it comes to saving the lives of our children, desperate times call for desperate means.  Last time I checked on this kid, he was still walking the straight and narrow, although he had just accidentally burned down the kitchen when he was frying some chicken fingers and left the skillet unattended to go to the bathroom.  Upon discovering the fire, he poured water on it which made it worse.  He and his family became temporarily homeless in 2015 (no renter’s insurance).  I said his mother’s “rescue” slap upside the head saved his destiny and kept him off the streets—I didn’t say he had common sense….

Baltimore Mom John Darkow Columbia MO

Cartoon used by permission: John Darkow, Columbia, MO

YOU KNOW YOU’RE A GOOD MOTHER WHEN…

Some human that you’ve reared, or are rearing, whom you’ve wanted to throttle at least a dozen times for rolling their eyes at you and pouting when they couldn’t get their way, tells you that they hate you and that you’re the worst mother ever in the history of mothers, one day turns to you in an unscripted moment and gives you the biggest hug and whispers in your ear:  I love you, Mom!  The first time it happened to me, one of my kids was a toddler.  We were in an auditorium when the house lights went dark for the opening of a children’s play.  I picked my daughter up and held her close because she seemed afraid of the sudden darkness, and I heard her say over and over again as she kissed my cheek: “I lub ju…I lub ju…I lub ju.”  Right then and there, if she had asked me for the moon, I think I would have lassoed it down to Earth for her….

Child Hugs vs World Jeff Koterba Omaha World Herald NE

Cartoon used by permission:  Jeff Koterba, Omaha World, Herald, NE

 

ELEANOR’S SELAH (“AHA”) MOMENT ABOUT MOTHERHOOD

I am discovering that there are no perfect mothers. (Fortunately, there are no perfect children either, so the equation balances itself out.)  All I know is that motherhood is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and I will question my parenting skills until the day I die.  The best I can say is that they are alive and well and they love me as I love them.  I managed to get them to adulthood, and they turned out to be good, kind, and generous human beings.

God knows, I don’t know how I did it because I was less than perfect.

Perfect Mom Dave Granlund Minnesota

Cartoon used by permission: Dave Granlund, Minnesota

 

INSPIRATIONAL MOTHERHOOD QUOTES

“Motherhood is tough. If you just want a wonderful little creature to love, you can get a puppy.” Barbara Walters

“When your children are teenagers, it’s important to have a dog so that someone in the house is happy to see you.” — Nora Ephron

“Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials.—Meryl Streep

 “No Matter how old a mother is, she watches her middle-aged children for signs of improvement.” — Florida Scott Maxwell

 ***

WANT TO READ MORE ABOUT MOTHERHOOD? CHECK OUT THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOK: “The Fetus Chronicles” on sale at Amazon!

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR?  Check out her website at www.eleanortomczyk.com

 WANT TO HEAR THE AUTHOR’S LATEST INTERVIEW?  Check out the podcast interview with Leo Brown: http://breadboxmedia.podbean.com/e/what-if-it-is-true-can-you-find-faith-in-darkness/

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
9 Comments

Posted by on May 11, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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