Thursday, March 4, 2010

Thursdays on the Bench

Wow Cathy, this is a really good start how shall I contribute to this fascinating topic? Ha, Ha,Ha when I got the email saying Cathy had set up, "Thursdays on the Bench," I to went to have a look and see what she wrote so I would get a feel where we were going this week. I opened up the blog and like you Sunshine, saw a blank screen. So I did what any friend would do I closed the blog and decided to wait till another day.Alright, alright.... I've been sick in bed all week and only had enough energy to get it started. My head is mush and there's not a thought in it! (I guess I just left myself open here!)
Just kidding. Cathy, I really hope that you feel better soon and join the land of the living. You can't continue to make a living lying on your back forever,(hey!)remember, our post on Monday, you are getting older by the minute. I am just being silly. I am tired and things are just flying out of my mind. Sometimes, I wish that this could be like an open chat link on facebook and we could chat back and forth together. Sometimes typing here by myself feels kind of lonely. Just erase this when you are done reading it. No, I will not erase it. I happen to agree with you. I'm still glad we have this way of keeping in touch!
I would like to talk about a very serious subject today. In the past week or so there have been three suicides that I have been made aware of. The one that I am sure that everyone has heard of is the one that occurred in Vancouver. The second is a boy from one of the local high schools and the third is a person who works with my sister. My prayers go out to the individuals and their family and friends. (Carolin)Suicide is a very angry and sad situation for everyone. Just last week two ladies from my Wednesday bible study were discussing the funeral they were going to the next day for a 18 year old boy who had committed suicide. I can remember times when I was younger and thinking it might be better if I had never been born. Or in moments of deep despair thinking I'll get even with everyone and just kill myself. But to be truly honest with myself I knew I would never go through with it. I wish I could understand what makes these people feel so alone that death would be better than living. It is sad, very sad for everyone involved.
What happens to someone to make them feel that taking their own life is better than being here on earth. How is it that they feel so alone and so unloved when there are really people out there that care about them? How can we as a society help? There are places and phone numbers people can call who are in dire emotional straits. There's the,
1-800-668-6868. It must be an incredibly hard call to make. I too have had the same thought when I was a teenager. I guess with all of the rapid growth a teen goes through, the lack of a good support system makes it all seem too much to handle.
I am sad and frustrated every time I hear the word suicide. It is such a scary word and the individuals minds must be in such a scary place.
I know that it is a gloomy topic but I can't stop thinking of it after hearing it day after day in the last week. They say that suicide rates increase during the winter months. I have also heard that more often than not there are no warning signs. I think that our schools and TV networks should start to run campaigns on helping those individuals who are feeling so down that this seems to be their only answer. We have got to address this topic as aggressively as we address drinking and driving, alcoholism and bullying to name a few.
I have heard that our young generation is already suffering from mental health. It was even mentioned in church a few weeks ago. The priest talked about how our children complain of boredom at such a young age and how this is an expression of a boredom that they feel in their lives. He talked about how this boredom leads to depression and how our children are depressed about their lives. He talked about how we have given our children so much so early on in their lives that there is little for them to get excited about and look forward to and work towards achieving because everything that they desire is at their finger tips because we can and do provide it all. Wow, have we really got it all wrong. Cell phones, lap top computers, I pods, TVs and cars to name just a few. I am scared for our children and for their children's children. But we do need to move forward don't we? I agree with your Priest, we have raised a generation of very privileged people. I have a cousin who is in his third year of university and recently was laid off from his job. He was subsequently offered a job as a waiter in a restaurant and turned it down cause he felt it was beneath him! He would rather have no job and have to take out student loans for school than work as a waiter. To be truly honest with myself I don't think I could have worked as the 'lunch lady' at the little ones school if the teenager was still there. I was never (and neither was she) comfortable around them. And the few students that are still at the school from the teenagers class are just as I remember them. A bunch of spoiled snobs and thankfully I rarely see them. Sunshine, I too agree with you about our kids generation. Why is it that we as parents feel the need to give 'all' to our kids without them earning it? I am speaking in a general term. Is it out of guilt? There are so many kids being raised by someone other than a parent. We ladies made the decision to stay home and raise our kids. We probably sacrificed lots, however, we do not feel like we did. I don't feel our kids feel like they missed out on anything, either. Time will tell.
My parents came to this country with very little in their pockets. They had to work hard to be able to live in and eventually after a very long time, own their very own home. There was only one car in our home and I never remember my parents giving me pocket money to spend if I needed to buy something. I always brought a lunch from home and I played with the same toys day in and day out. Most of the time it was with five rocks and a jumpsee made of elastic bands and, oh yes, I remember the tennis ball that we would put in an old pair of my moms nylons and play with against the wall. I played the same games as a kid. I was darn good at five rocks bloody knuckles and all. (We should have a game someday) The kids don't seem to play these games anymore. Neither of my kids learned how to skip (I never could double dutch). (I could, I loved skipping and playing with the two balls against the brick wall with all of the songs!)I two loved playing ball on the wall.I have tried to play five rocks with them but they think I am just dumb. I was trying trying to teach the girls how to play five rocks just last week only it was with candy at the keg on the table. I was describing how we would go and pick out our rocks in the street and I would keep them for each game that we played. I remember that there was one flat rock that was my favourite. It was small but easy to pick up. I told them that once the weather gets better we will go and each of us can pick out our own rocks and we could play on the front porch.
I was very happy and I don't think that I ever wished for much more then what we had. I wonder when that all changed? Now it seems that I want and want all the time. This house for instance. It is already a great house but we will probably be renovating it for forever because there is so much to do. I once heard someone say that 50 years ago or so they use to spend money on clothes and things when now we spend the money on the bling bling for our homes instead of ourselves. I remember the funky wall paper and funny paint colours in our home. We had an unfinished basement and a small three bedroom semi with four girls and my father and only one bathroom. I also remember loving that home so much. I have tried to raise my kids to appreciate what they have, but it is very hard. I am not one to go buy them stuff for the sake of stuff. The little one is wearing her sister's old uniform for school and the only thing I have had to buy is socks and a cardigan. I do know once she starts junior highschool I will have to invest in a new uniform and her sister and her are very different body types and the hand-me-down will not fit. Also, most of the little one's clothes are hand-me-downs from her sister or her cousin. In the past two years I have only bought her a pair of jeans, two tops, bathing suit and a Christmas dress. She doesn't seem to care.
Something I noticed about myself a few years ago was, I found I would get upset, depressed, feel sorry for myself after I watched home decorating shows or read home decorating magazines. I found they didn't usually inspire me they just made me feel like what ever I had or did was not good enough. Also, I found I would look at my home and then feel discontent instead of thankful that I have a nice home. So I stopped watching the shows and canceled my subscriptions to the magazines and now I really don't care what the latest new decorating trends are. I would like new stuff but I am content to wait. And my home might not be magazine ready but it is comfortable, clean (don't look under or in anything!) and I hope all feel welcome when they are here. And that's good enough for me.
I hope all of the children of the world can be happy where ever they are. My home was filled with love and I hope that I provide the same love and security to my children. Keep in mind Sunshine that there was suicide then, and pain, and not everyone home was a happy one. We were kids and many of life's stuff did not enter our radar at the time. Nor was stuff openly talked about like it is now. I think it is important that my children know when things are good in our home and when things are not. But it can be hard at times to walk the fine line of what they can handle. I didn't experience my first death or funeral till I was 19 years old. And now with my kids the minute I say I need to talk to them they think something terrible has happened and someone has died. It is so hard to see them touched by such tragedies so early in life. My sister and I discuss this topic so often. We had been to funerals but our very own personal tragedies did not start until we were both in our thirties and we seemed to have so much difficulty in dealing with them. My dad, seemed to be able to get through things in a much more emotionally stable way. We wondered if that was because he had always known personal tragedy from when he was a little boy. He grew up in a different time. He had two younger siblings (twins) who died at a very early age, he lived through the war and he travelled to this country at age 14 with his older 16 year old brother. The two of them were alone and came across on a boat that took two weeks to get to Halifax. They had a piece of paper with a Montreal address on it. They had to find their way from Halifax to Montreal to meet up with their dad where they worked on the railroad and sent money back home for his mother and five other siblings. Amongst all of that was so much hardship and disappointment. He had no choice but the learn to deal with tragedy and sadness and still find peace and happiness in his heart. He is my inspiration every day of my life and I have begun to think that these survival skills cannot be taught but rather they are something that we learn to help us cope with life.

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