Tuesday, April 28, 2015

How do we prepare for the death of someone?

Honestly, that is a very difficult question to ask. For many, no matter how much notice we get, there is no way we can truly prepare for something like that. Even if the person is 110 years old, no one can really say they actually prepared when that person dies.

I say this, because a friend of ours, Rose Maslauskas, died last week. She was 30 years old. She had been in and out of the hospital for over a year. She was in the hospital since the New Years--for over 4 months. She was having heart problems, she had dialysis, and so many things. She even had a feeding tube. And no matter how much we wanted it not to be so, many of us knew better that time was running out. Perhaps it is because we love the person so much that we truly cannot or will not actually prepare for that person to die because we cannot imagine our lives without that person.

For me, I've seen so much death that I often think that I am prepared to know that someone going to die-- even someone who is so young. I know this because I once had a front row seat for the death of a 2 month old. I actually held her warm corpse. She was my cousin, Jayana McGraw. She was hooked up to so many machines, and we were told that she would not survive the night, that she would die from a stroke or heart attack. Even with the best of care even, she still could not be saved. Seeing her like that, especially considering that some of my relatives died within the moment's notice, and my family buried two of my uncles in less than a year, I still find myself mourning even when I know someone is likely to die.

I can only hope that I would have the strength and knowledge to prepare all of my loved ones for my passing. Before you ask, I have good health, and I'm not planning to go anywhere anytime soon. However, even though they find it difficult to believe or simply do not want to believe, I know I will not die old. I know that I probably will not be fortunate enough to even see 50. This is because I too have had a lifetime of health problems. And that's why I tried to live as if I'm preparing myself. That's why I attend church regularly, pray regularly, read the Bible, try to accomplish lifelong dreams, and love and respect those around me. That way, not only will I be prepared to die, but it might help loved ones be a little bit more prepared. That is what I put my face in Christ, and I believe in him and believe that He died for my sin. This way, all of my loved ones who also believe as I do can see will have be assured that not only will I be with the Lord, but they will see me again as they are with the Lord. Therefore, friends, if you do not yet believe that Christ has died for you, it is not too late. As I'm sure you will learn from my friend Rose and my cousin, you never know when your time will come to leave this world. That's why, even if you can't be prepared for the death the other people, you can at least be prepared for your own.

Rest in peace, Rose!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Running out of cheeks...

If you like to gossip or look over the shoulders of others, 
do not read this post.

Yesterday, I had to adjust my Facebook security settings so that only certain people can see my posts. Over 30 people who could see everything I post no longer have that privilege. The sad fact is that about half of the people I blocked from seeing my posts do not even deserve it, but when you have been burned enough times, you become wary of the fire. I just don't know who I can trust anymore. There are those I am supposed to trust that have violated my trust too many times. I doubt whether it is safe to trust those I have not even blocked from seeing my comments. The issue is, I have had enough of people gossiping against me because they disagree with what I have to say. I am also tired of people writing nasty responses because they disagree with me. Some of these people are not even on my friend's lists, yet they think they have the right to offer their obnoxious opinions to a forum to which they have not even been invited. I do not know who is doing the gossiping and who next will look over a brother's shoulder, see something they do not like, and decide to be abusive towards me. Of those I know do not deserve to be blocked, I had to do so anyway because either a person in their household shares a computer and/or account with someone deliberately blocked, or not blocking them will place them in an uncomfortable situation.

I am told many times that whatever I put on Facebook is public. Well, I just made it less public. Even if my freedom of speech is taken away, I will write whatever I want that is not blasphemy, libel, or a direct threat. I never write anything that is meant to offend others, and I try to make amends when someone is genuinely offended. Still, it kills me that people use vulgar language, say things that are threatening to another person, and even talk about bodily functions, and people will laugh, agree, or offer support, yet when I take a stand on a moral issue, vent about something, or lament about hard times, like I did last weekend, someone has a problem with it.  What is with the double standard?

Well, this is the end of the line! I will express my opinions anytime I want--on Facebook, by email, and especially here in my sanctuary, The Silver Soapbox. If anyone has a problem with what I write, you can either be an adult and diplomatically talk to me about it in private, offer evidence of the contrary in comments sections, or hold your peace. Starting now, there will be consequences for those who call me names, insult me, or raise their voice at me and not apologize. I deserve respect, and I will have it. Because even if you think I am wrong, always remember that I am still human. Some of the people closest to me stand for things that I disapprove of and have done things to really hurt me, but I still love them and see them as a person trying their best. When you dehumanize someone you disagree with, you become beneath them, and you do not change their mind. In fact, you may actually prove their point even further. In summary, do onto others as you would have them do onto you because you will reap what you sow.