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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!”)

***

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.”

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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/

 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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A Mother’s Revenge

Do you know what I’ve discovered?   The commercials about Vegas are a lie:  What happens in Vegas DOES NOT STAY in Vegas!  Did you hear about Prince Harry getting caught with his twig and berries flapping in the breeze in Vegas and, consequently, pictures of his cute little vanilla behind, while playing strip poker, were seen around the world via the Internet?  (Did I hear one of you say, “Where the fuck was Buckingham Palace security”?)

Do you know what else I’ve discovered?  Hell hath no fury like a Queen’s rebuke of her grandson’s foolish and dangerous behavior.  Guess who is being shipped off to Afghanistan for four months to fly Black Hawk helicopters in combat where no “Hos” (whores to the uninitiated) and paparazzi can follow him?  Oh yeah, Queen Elizabeth, you rock, Sister-Queen!

Cartoon by Andy Davey from The Sun||image posted on theenglishblog.com

My children are older than Prince Harry now and at the ages when I’m beginning to look like a miniature little chubby saint to them as they look back at all they put me through.  I survived them—but barely.  The child that turned me gray overnight from all her “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas crazies” is now a very strict, church-going, uber-Christian, WWJD bracelet-dispensing mama who has summarily announced that she is going to rear my grandson in such a way that he will skip right over the rebellion phase of his life and march straight into sainthood.  To which her father and I always respond with gales of thigh-slapping FOTF laughter and commentary:  “Let us know how that works out for you, Babe.”  To illustrate the case in point, the other day this particular daughter called in total frustration over a stalemate that she and my grandson had gotten into.

“Mom, you’ve got to help me,” my daughter said.  “Your grandson is driving me crazy.  He knows his birthday is just around the corner and he is refusing to turn four years old!   What child refuses to go from age three to four?  I couldn’t wait to grow up.  I’ve planned a huge birthday party in the park for him tomorrow, and that little booger announced that, not only didn’t he plan to attend, but he didn’t plan on ever leaving three years old, and there was nothing I could do about it.”

Well now there must be a reason,” I said.  “Did my angel say why he didn’t want to turn four years old?”

“Yeah—he says he wants to stay a baby, and if he goes into four-year-old land, he’ll no longer be a baby.  Right now, he’s sitting in a corner on the floor with his arms crossed, pouting and whimpering, and giving me classic baby evil-eye, death-ray stares—as if I were the dreaded peas and carrots that he hates so much.”

Example of “baby evil-eye” |Google Image/evilstaring.com

Later that afternoon, my conversation with my older daughter swirled in my head as I settled down for a much-needed nap.  As I thought about my kid’s complaint against her kid, a delicious sense of irony and revenge began to swell in my heart as I gave a shout-out to God:  “Thank you Jesus for giving my child a child whose temperament is just like hers.  Please, please, please, God, if you have any love for me, please give my daughter a generous taste of the crap she put me through!”  And then I dozed off fantasizing about a three-year-old terrorist sent into the field as an agent to wreak “payback” for his beloved MeMa as the words of Hamlet danced in my head:  “To sleep, perchance to dream—ay, there’s the rub.”

Actual picture of Agent Boo-Boo at Command Central||E Tomczyk © 2012

A picture comes into focus on a computer and shows the darling face of a bi-racial three-year-old boy drinking juice from a Sippy-cup with two pairs of “big-boy underwear” on his head which is part of his signature field outfit.  In my dream the little boy in the picture speaks like an adult and his name is “Agent Boo-Boo.”

AGENT BOO-BOO:  Hey MeMa—reporting in for our Skype update.  How yu doin’?

THE GRANDMOTHER:  Hey Baby—I’m doin’ just fine now that you’re on the line.  I notice that you’re still wearing your underwear as a double-layered helmet in protest of not wanting to be potty trained.  I thought you had acquiesced to stop wearing diapers in exchange for the roller blade bribe by your mother.

AGENT BOO-BOO:  I did.  I’m rockin’ this potty training stuff now.  I just like to mess with Mommy’s mind every once and awhile and make her think I may revert back to the big-boy panty protest days of yesteryear. Those were good times!  Just for grins and giggles the other day, I peed and pooped all over myself, just to see what would happen—I had poop in my hair, poop on my shoes, poop on my fingers, poop down my legs—I had poop everywhere!   Mommy went INSANE!  And just as other people were coming into earshot, I really almost made her lose her shit when I screamed really loudly:  “ARE YOU GOING TO BEAT ME—NO, NO, DON’T BEAT ME!”  You should have been there, MeMa—it was sweet!

THE GRANDMOTHER:  (laughing hysterically) Oh, no you de-ent, Boo-Boo?  Child, you are too much!  You know your Mama doesn’t beat you.  But that sure was a good payback on MeMa’s behalf, Baby; because it reminds me of the time your Mama fell out in a full-blown tantrum in a restaurant when she was three.  As I removed her from the table so that she wouldn’t disturb the other diners (thinking we’d go outside and I’d have a stern talk with her), she screamed at the top of her lungs while being carried like a sack of potatoes as she made her bones turn to wet noodles and tried to slither to the floor:  “DON’T SPANK ME, DON’T SPANK ME, PLEASE, I’LL BE GOOD. . .SOMEONE HELP THE CHILD—SHE’S GOING TO KILL ME!”  When your Mama settled down and we returned to our table, all the diners waved and blew kisses to your mother as if she had escaped the guillotine while giving me the ol’ evil eye.   Well, I want you to know, your MeMa doesn’t put up with any shit.  I gave the other diners the evil-eye right back and summarily announced to the entire room:  “I did not spank this child, but if one of you says one thing to me, I swear to God, I’ll wipe the floor with you, because your judgmental asses have no idea what this pint-sized terrorist puts me through on any given day!”

AGENT BOO-BOO:   I’ve got one better for you.  If you liked the poop story, you’ll love what I did in FAO Schwartz the other day.  You know that giant toy elephant by the escalator?  I suctioned-cupped myself to one of his legs and demanded Mommy buy it for me.  I refused to leave the store without him.  Two security guys had to untangle my fingers from the elephant and Mommy had to carry me kicking and screaming out of the store.  Everybody in the place was in a state of shock except for the other babies who started crying and screaming in solidarity because Mommy refused to give in to my demands.

FAO Schwarz|image from gonyc.about.com

THE GRANDMOTHER:  Oh Lord, have mercy, baby boy.  I shouldn’t be laughing at this story.  And I’m glad she didn’t buy you the elephant for a whole host of reasons.  Your poor mother . . . but wait a minute; I refuse to feel sorry for her.  For every FAO Schwarz story you have, I can tell you at least five more that your mother did to me from here to the Middle East and back, and what she didn’t do, her sister (your Aunt) did.  My worst times with your Aunt was over her picky eating habits as a toddler.  Which reminds me, are you still on strike against vegetables, ’cause I know you inherited that from your Aunt?

AGENT BOO-BOO:  You know it, MeMa.   No vegetable of any color will ever cross these lips—as God is my witness.  Mommy and I had a four-hour showdown the other night over peas and carrots.  Finally, she was so exasperated with me that she laid down an ultimatum:  “If you eat your vegetables, Boo-Boo, you can watch your favorite movie tonight, but if you don’t eat your vegetables, you’re going to bed immediately.”

THE GRANDMOTHER:  Yikes!  What did you do?

AGENT BOO-BOO:  While Mommy was washing dishes, I slipped away from the dinner table ever so stealthily when she wasn’t looking; put on my Madagascar PJ’s, and put myself to bed.  It was my way of saying, “IN YOUR FACE, WOMAN—DEATH TO PEAS AND CARROTS!”  By the time Mommy came looking for me, I was asleep and not one pea or carrot entered my tummy.  My enemy was defeated—yet again.

THE GRANDMOTHER:  But Honey, you missed your favorite movie.  Would it have killed you to eat a couple of peas and carrots?

AGENT BOO-BOO:  Never, I tell you—never!  When one is dealing in warfare, one has to use desperate means, even if it requires great sacrifice.

THE GRANDMOTHERYep, you are your mother’s child, all right.  Anyway, your mother called and asked me to coerce you into turning four years old.  Your Mommy is trying really, really hard to be a good mother.  So why don’t you cut her a little slack on this issue, march bravely into year four, and when you come down on the train at Christmas time, Grandpa will take you to see the Shrek Ice Show.  We hear you’re really into Shrek these days, and three year olds can’t go down the Shrek ice slide—only four year olds can.

AGENT BOO-BOO:  Really?  Hum . . . Okay, MeMa.  It’s a deal.   But there may be a slight problem coming to visit you by train this time.  The last time we were on the Acela, while Mommy was using the potty, I found a funny looking red button next to the toilet and I pulled it.  Just like magic, a bunch of men in uniforms came and banged on the bathroom door asking Mommy if she was okay.  Mommy was really embarrassed and yelled through the door that she had a “rambunctious toddler who had gotten a little out of hand.”

THE GRANDMOTHER:  Oh Darling, you weren’t supposed to pull that button.  It is an emergency button to summon the conductors if you’re in trouble.  Don’t touch that again, Sweetie.

AGENT BOO-BOO:  Too late, MeMa.  Apparently, there are two red buttons in the Acela bathrooms, and on the way back from visiting you and Grandpa, I found the other red button before Mommy saw it.   This time lots and lots of men in uniform came to watch me poop and they gave Mommy the evil eye and shook their fingers at her.

THE GRANDMOTHER:  Oh, Lord Jesus!  Well, we’ll blame it on your allergy medicine and book you under an assumed name for your Christmas travel when you come to see Grandpa and me.  Amtrak only checks the IDs of adults—not the toddlers.  Although, I’m beginning to think that trains and planes should require baby picture IDs, because with what you’ve just told me and remembering your mother’s antics when we traveled with her, an evil genius with a couple thousand toddlers could probably take over the world.

Announcement of forthcoming toddler travel tantrum|image from hahasforhoohas.com

AGENT BOO-BOO:  Okay MeMa.  Chat with you later. MUAH!

THE GRANDMOTHER:  Love you too, my sweet boy!  Oh, and don’t tell your mother I used swear words while talking to you—she’ll read me the riot act!

These Boo-Boo stories are all true but are a compilation of my grandson’s antics and a couple stories borrowed from my younger daughter’s (Baby-girl) experience as a nanny. Today’s toddlers rule the day and are wreaking revenge for their grandmothers throughout the Earth. Every Baby-boomer mother went through the same terror with their toddler mothers and fathers and prayed that one day—someday—we would live to see our children tormented by the same toddler terrorist plots they put us through.  Viva la toddlerhood!

Happy 4th Birthday “Agent Boo-Boo”—our darling boy who, in real life, is an angel! ||Photo by J Tomczyk ©2012

******

 “I love it when mothers get so mad they can’t remember your name. ‘Come here, Roy, er, Rupert, er, Rutabaga… what is your name, boy? And don’t lie to me, because you live here, and I’ll find out who you are.’”― Bill Cosby, Fatherhood

 “In spite of the six thousand manuals on child raising in the bookstores, child raising is still a dark continent and no one really knows anything. You just need a lot of love and luck – and, of course, courage.”― Bill Cosby, Fatherhood

Agent Boo-Boo in B-day party hat|K Tomczyk photo © 2012

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.

 
27 Comments

Posted by on September 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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