The Ungrateful Wretch

snobThis time of year people everywhere are counting their blessings and are encouraged to have gratitude.  But what is gratitude?  Merriam Webster’s Dictionary describes it as thankfulness.  Why do we need to discuss being thankful or grateful?  First of all, think about it, you ever run into a thankless person?  How did that make you feel?  Right.  This is the person that cuts in line, doesn’t say anything when you hold the door open, steps across your path with pursed lips, and sends out her wedding invitations and so happens to forget to send a stinking note for that pricey whatcha-mabobbit that you bought.  These are simple things but yet they tell something about a person if such actions are done repeatedly.  This person is selfish.  And on top of that they may be miserable.

Consider, a person that is thankless is called an ingrate.  The listed synonyms for ingrate are ungrateful wretch and persona non grata.  Most have a general view of what these two words mean, but let’s dig deeper.  An ungrateful wretch is defined as ‘a miserable person who is profoundly unhappy or in great misfortune.’  Another definition goes further and says ‘a base, despicable or vile person!’  Persona non grata is defined as ‘a person who for some reason is not wanted or welcomed.’  Wow.  That’s deep.

An ingrate is a miserable unwanted person.  This is the person that rains on the parade by not showing his or her truest and deepest of feelings.  They might have a house – so what?  Or she might have a loving husband and kids – does she care?  Or I might have a reasonable measure of health – am I glad?

Cultivation of gratefulness starts with appreciating the so-called small things like the ones mentioned previously.  One can do this by meditating on the good things in their lives.  I’ve heard some busy people say that they rise early (before anyone else gets up) and take at least five or ten minutes to meditate everyday.  Is it still dark and stars are out?  Then a grateful person would give thanks for this gift.  Did your baby girl kiss you and tell you that she loved you the night before?  Then smile and warmly reflect on that.

Many people tend toward the negative.  We need to break out of bad habits and break into new ones.  Keep meditating on a daily basis.  The natural progression from gratitude is peace and deep joy.

Let’s not forget to actively express thankfulness either.  This can be done by simply saying thank you or writing a handwritten note of appreciation.  Life is not about grand displays, but many small ones.  Because we are living in a not so perfect world, we will continue to interact with ingrates.  This should not make us adopt their attitude.  Remember what an ingrate is?  We really don’t want to get stuck in that miserable place.

Everyone has felt that they have been that ‘persona non grata’ (unwanted person) at one time or another.  In this disordered life we have, negative influences can get the best of us at times.  When that happens, be careful.  That’s your gratitude slipping away.  Stop.  Meditate once again on the good in life.  It can be done.  We can all feel more grateful with practice, practice and more practice.  Write it down, say it to strangers, say a prayer, express it to loved ones, but continue on.

Remember – we owe it to ourselves to be better than we are.

Diabetes, My Father, and Me

little girl with dadIt wouldn’t take me long to isolate the period of my life when I truly felt like a grown up.  It had to be during the last few years of my father’s life.  He died of complications due to diabetes – kidney failure, a double amputee, multiple strokes and seizures.

No one ever tells you how to manage your life in a healthy way while taking care of a sick relative.  You just try to do your best.  I had one brother who would drive dad to doctor appointments sometimes.  Dad needed a lot of physical assistance and my brother would help with that.  I had another brother that assisted mom with car and house repairs.  My role?  I lived at home during this time and helped out with practical things like chores, cooking, sharing household bills, and part-time chauffeuring.  I also administered my dad’s medicines, which happened to be many and scheduled down to the hour.  This did not faze me; I expected this.  Hey, it’s my dad so it’s the least I could do.

What unnerved me was to see my father cry.  He cried a lot during the last years of his life and I never got used to it.  I guess I still had that childlike view of him, thinking that this is the man who could save the world and then some.  But even more than that is when my mother finally broke down emotionally.  This lady not only married the man who could save the world – she was his rock.  My rock.  And now my rock was crumbling… and on my shoulder.  I listened to her.  I cried with her.  I even advised her.  Me, advise her?  That was a first.

But there are two moments that stand out more than all others, however.  One was when mom was helping my dad with his bath.  She was obviously tired and it was late.  She was trying to get him out of the tub but was having difficulty.  The door was cracked and as I walked by she looked up in sheer desperation and almost begged, “Help me.”  I don’t know whether I was just too shocked or embarrassed to stop and help, but I didn’t stop.  I kept on by and went to my room.  I thought dumbfoundedly, No, you see, that’s not my role.  My brothers and I had specific roles.  Helping him in this area was not it.  This, however, would soon change.

One day, mom took an evening off while I sat with dad.  By this time, he wore diapers.  On mom’s evening off, she really didn’t stay away a long time – just maybe long enough to get her hair done and browse in some boutique or something.  This day was different as I would soon learn.  Dad was feeling sick and didn’t quite make it to the bathroom in time.  In fact, he was too weak to get up at all.  Now, I’m easily shamefaced, but I get it honest – from my father.  He was so embarrassed.  I don’t really know by what most though – that he made a mistake on himself or that his daughter would be the one to help him clean up.  We even tried to wait for mom.  I once heard the expression that when a child falls and the father bends to pick the child up, they laugh, but when the father falls and the child bends to pick the father up, they cry.  This is certainly true on more levels than one.

So, as I mentioned before, mom decides (and deservedly so) to whoop it up.  After a while, I gingerly enter the bedroom and tell him that I’m going to have to change him.  Without looking up, he simply says okay.  I get the necessary cleaning items and begin my work.  It was very important to me to leave him with his respect.  Afterwards, to my relief, his attitude was one of gratitude and humility.  I kissed him on his forehead and sat down in the chair beside his bed.  We talked quietly until mom came back.

I had resolved not to tell mom until later on.  However, he beat me to the punch and blurted out as she entered the room, “Well, your daughter treated me better than any nurse I’ve ever had.  I made a mistake and she helped me.”  At that point, I knew I had changed in his eyes.  It seemed that I had been so careful to give him his dignity and respect, but with those few words, he gave me mine.

October – Domestic Violence Month


Domestic violence, for the most part, is about control. Abusers can control their victims using many different tactics, such as:

  • Isolation from family or friends
  • Emotional abuse (mind games, name-calling or put-downs)
  • Economic abuse (withholding money or preventing the victims from having money)
  • Intimidation
  • Sexual assault
  • Actual or threatened physical harm

Domestic violence is never okay, yet it is an epidemic that impacts individuals in every community regardless of age, race, gender, religion, economic status or educational background.

Know the Warning Signs

Someone who is a potential victim of domestic violence may exhibit the following signs:

  • Constant complaints about aches and pains
  • Unexplained cuts or bruises
  • Not allowed to use the phone
  • Forbidden from seeing friends unless partner is present
  • Little or no control over household finances
  • Not allowed to make decisions or get a job
  • Absenteeism from work
  • Withdrawal from social situations

What to Do If You Are a Victim of Domestic Violence

Many domestic violence victims don’t know what to do or where to turn when their loved one has hurt them. If you are a victim of domestic violence, remember that it’s not your fault. You can protect yourself if you:

  • Call the police. Assault, even by a family member, is a crime. Law enforcement representatives oftenhave information about shelters and organizations that can help you.
  • Get medical attention. Visit your doctor or a hospital emergency room. Keep detailed records and photograph your injuries. You may need evidence if you take legal action.
  • Leave your home or have someone come and stay with you. You can go to a shelter or call a crisis hotline. If you believe that you and your children are in danger, leave immediately.




Did ya’ll know that Don Cheadle had quit Hollywood and is now working at a funeral home in town??? LOL! Nah, you know that’s not true!  But take a look at this guy – who does work at a funeral home in town – doesn’t he look so much like Don Cheadle??!!?  I went to a wake this past Friday and had to do a double-take as I was going out of the door, then a walk-backwards, and finally I just asked the man could I take his picture.  It was just uncanny.  Anywho…what do you think?



The Real Don Cheadle


Funeral Home Guy

This Ain’t Sexy


Yesterday, I drove passed a young guy with droopy pants.  Well, way more than droopy.  You know, hanging passed the butt so far that the guy is walking gapped-legged so his pants won’t fall completely.  Anyway, I saw him.  Walking ahead.  As I drove passed I pushed the down button on the window, leaned over to give him a piece of my mind and…nothing.  I couldn’t do it.  Nasty butt.

So THIS Happened


A few months ago I had a fender-bender.  I really think this lady did a stop-and-squat on me.  Meaning, she purposely stopped so I could run into her.

There were a few scuff marks on my car and mere paint chippings on hers so no-harm-no-foul, right?  To the contrary, I was amazed when I asked her how she was doing she weakly sated,” My neck.”  People, I wanted to hit her in her neck, but good judgement prevailed.  Oh, and when the police came and we both got out of our cars, she suddenly developed a limp!  Really?!?  I tapped your car lady!  Ol’ stupid head!  But at this point I just thought the whole thing was just a bad (and played out) joke more than anything.

When the officer asked for my proof of insurance, I gladly handed him my card.  You see, I know I pay my insurance.  Humph!  Don’t mess with me!  Say what, officer?  Expired?  No, it’s not – oh, it is.  Well, let me check my purse.  It’s got to be in my purse somewhere.  No, it’s not in there, officer.  What’s that, officer?  (Notice my tone is a little humbler now.) You say I must have my new insurance card with me at all times?  And if I don’t I am fined and a court date is automatically scheduled for me?


And just as he handed me my ticket, all three pieces of my flip phone (Shut up! Yeah, flip!) slipped from my hand and spread across the street.  I looked at the ground and laughed.  Needless to say by the time I made it to work I was biting nails; and it didn’t help that by now everything on my to-do list was now deemed an emergency by the work gods.  You can imagine at this point I wanted to stand on my desk and scream, “Attica!  Attica!  Attica!”

Instead, I called my mom…good ol’ momma.  She would know what to do.  She listened and consoled me; I sniffed and hung up the phone.   After what seemed like a long while, 4:30pm finally came.  I drove home without incident, went into the bathroom and looked into the mirror.  My mouth was downcast and the gleam in my eyes was gone.  I turned to leave my reflection when I remembered I had two chocolate bars in the fridge.  I yanked them out, slipped into my pajamas, and dove into bed.

I cut on the TV and lo and behold the Disney movie, Frozen, was playing.  Just what I needed…let it go, girl, yes, yes, let it go.

So I closed my eyes and I did.

Dem Babies

Close-up of Boy

Where does time go? I remember when my niece and nephew were mere babes. Now they’re acne-faced teenagers. They used to keep me in stitches all the time when they were small. Like the time I was playing the kiddie version of the dozens with them – yeah, I did that – and was beat by a 4-year-old. I called him peanut butter toes and he called me booger face. Hi-lar-ious! Maybe another type of aunt would not have played this game.  But hey, that aunt ain’t me. I live to laugh at this crazy stuff!

And like another time my brother told me about recently. He said one day, while he was in his son’s room, his son (toddler age then and not talking so well yet) walked up to him eating a corn dog. My brother looked puzzled because he knew they didn’t have corn dogs that day. Corn dogs were definitely on the menu the day before. He asked his son where he got the corn dog. My nephew obediently pointed to the toy box in the corner! His own little refrigerator! He had obviously stuck it there for safe keeping. People…you can’t make this stuff up!

Or like the time my friend’s baby sister (2 years old then) decided to play make-up with her sleeping father. She put toilet paper between every crevice of his that she could – between his toes, fingers, behind his ears, and in his nostrils. He finally woke up when she was about to stuff the last nostril!

Dem babies…