There are moments when I should be quiet but don't. THIS is that moment.
If I learned anything from my mother, it was that I should listen to my mother. Sure, she was the devil's instrument, tearing apart my dreams and bursting every bubble, telling me that Bobby Sherman will never love me. She knew nothing. Absolutely nothing. She was old. Old people don't know anything about young people. Where does she get off?
And yet, in the end, she knew everything. Funny how that happened. Sadly, it took me 50 years to get it. I wish there could have been one more moment to tell her, "You were right."
So at the end of a week - that included disappointments and pure rage - there's a swarm of thoughts stored still inside my gut, I'm letting them out. Time to make Juette proud and avoid the heart attack.
If you were my daughter (or son), this is what I would tell you:
- Always say THANK YOU. From the kid who opens the door for you at the Waffle House to your family who takes care of your dog for four months, say "thank you." You might need those people again some day. No one should ever have to wait to hear those words.
- And let's not forget manners. You know, those things that make us civil, kind, thoughtful and not a dog. If someone calls you and asks for a response, do it. When someone takes the time, you should take the time. Convenient is not an excuse. It's just good manners.
- Along those same lines, don't burn bridges. Bridges are very hard to build from the ground up.
- Listen to your elders, especially those who have said they have been there before. More than likely, they aren't lying - why would they? - and they are trying to save you some grief.
- Do the right thing from the beginning. It's easier that way.
- Admit you were wrong, and fix it. Just fix it, and stop whining.
- Love can't fix everything. Some things must be left to the will and skill of others, and there's nothing that all the love in the world can do until they are ready.
- Be honest. If he's in jail, he's in jail. Things (truth) always have a way of returning and biting you in the ass (Juette would have never said ass, but I'm taking poetic license here!) It's always harder to tell the truth later.
- If you say you're an adult, then act like one. Being an adult is hard, making hard choices and then sticking with them. And, being an adult never means being rude. You can't fix rude. Rude runs deep, and people don't forget.
- You will grow up one day. The past is much clearer through the lens of your own experience.
- Love doesn't end, but nerves do. People will only take the shoveled shit so long. (Again, Juette - no shit.)
- Tell your parents - your in-laws - your family - that all those years of their struggling, denying, sacrificing, and believing - was not in vain. Those words of gratitude will mean more than you can know right now.
Call it your gut - I call it mama.