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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Parenting Fail!

I saw the meme above today and I laughed. I laughed until I sat up in my chair and stopped, and then said, "Oh!"

My reaction was due to realizing after the initial funny HA HA moment, was that those "parents" hadn't parented, they'd been the buddy, the pal, of their child. That is possibly the most wrong thing you can do to your child. Ever. On any level.

Children need love, they need boundaries, they need rules. In short, they need parents, not friends. They've got plenty of those at school.

I've told my children no, spanked them, put them in corners, sent them to their rooms until I could cool down, so they could cool down. I've removed every enjoyable object from their rooms. I've listened to my daughter sing her litany of hate to me from the corner, the only punishment that ever worked for her. I have four children, and discipline was geared towards what worked for them, not a one-size-fits-all mindset. My youngest daughter died every time we took her social life away. My boys absolutely hated being sent to their rooms that were devoid of toys, video games, comic books, but full of Mark Twain and other stories, I felt it was healthy for their souls to read.

I have four millennials, and yet, none of them act like the Precious Snowflakes running our college campi in this nation and in Europe. I think, I'm not sure, but one of them voted for Trump. So he says. I wrote in a name. The other voted Libertarian I think. (I'm more proud of that than anyone could know.)

They are all ashamed of their contemporaries. They are aghast and frankly. befuddled by their friends. Only two of them have gotten any college educating, the others worked their asses off at their respective jobs and are highly successful at what they do. But they look at people their age and they shake their heads. Most of their friends, frankly shake theirs as well. It's as if they witness these people, recognize that they are in that age group, but realize that is where any and all comparisons end. They are part of the millennial generation, but they are not of it. They simply don't have the bubble wrap, impenetrable barrier that these kids have wrapped around them, so sure they're right, and yet so wholly ignorant of just exactly how stupid they really are.

Last year when Safe Spaces were first thrown out there, my boys, who have both been to college groaned and said they wouldn't be going back anytime soon because of that BS. They hadn't fought for these little idiots to deny reality, they had fought for the Free Speech Zone known as the United States of America.

My daughters unmercifully mocked their peers. My sons rolled their eyes and asked my why I had to birth them during the Millennial phase. Like I had anything to do with that. None of my kids act like these brats do. Personally, if I looked at the TV and saw my kid, at college on my dime, acting like that? I'd go to the campus, find him, beat him in front of God and everybody, then drag him home and refuse to pay for anything more. He'd have to get a job and dig ditches until he's earned or learned enough to move on.

Perhaps many parents should be considering that option for their precious snowflakes.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Miscellaneous Bitchery

I've been in a mood for a couple of months now, since I lost the keys to my bike and have jumped through so many hoops to try to avoid having a locksmith come to my house and re-key me. So today, I finally broke down and did it, because I am to the point of committing murders of the Y Chromosomes that live within arms length. I am now the happiest of campers except...

I had planned on going and doing grocery shopping early this morning but things went so long in bill paying, correspondence and home visits that I must now wait for others who demand my times today, to get that shopping done. I will just go do it later tonight before the store closes. I would be happy, but once dinner is done, I like to settle in and read or go over the day's writing. I'll be okay I'll get by, except...

I have to wait tomorrow morning as well for the key guy, because he might not make it until tomorrow. Yeah, I'm still happy except...

I have to babysit my grandkids tomorrow, which is my happy zone. Nothing messes with my happy zone. I live for my time with them because it's such a happy time. Except...

The kids go for their shots tomorrow morning, so take two shirts because Little Auggie tends to spit up a lot when he's having a bad day.

Well, that's why they invented Infant Tylenol.

Thanksgiving is in a week and we've decided to have just a small, family at the house thing. We'll do one turkey and take dinner to my in-laws across the street. I'd love for all of us to eat together but there is no room here and I absolutely refuse to have my in-laws clean up after a family dinner. I still have to make pies and all of that, so really, just a smaller dinner does not make a bit of difference to me. Will I receive any help from the Y Chromosomes this year? Hell no. "You're not frying a turkey, so it's TV and YouTube for me!"

So, now I'm looking at Christmas presents and thinking, yeah, no help guys.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

On Tolerance

This is my love letter to Leftists after Donald Trump's victory last Tuesday. Beware, salty language follows.

Dear Leftists,

Hi, Take a break from your eternal butt-hurt, tantrum throwing, and just overall immaturity. Take a deep breath. Momma's gonna lay some truth down on you.

You suck. You really do. And nobody outside your bubbles likes or agrees with you. I think the election results clearly show that if we could legally shoot you into space without benefit of life support on a trajectory for the sun, we would. Like yesterday.

You have spent the past eight years calling me racist, homophobic, misogynistic (that one may well be true, but it's feminism's fault), Islamophobic (which isn't even a real thing), bigoted, Nazi, climate denier, hateful, violent and a whole bunch of other terms that you most likely failed to identify on your SAT.

In the past year I've seen you tell Black they are too stupid to figure out how to get an ID, refuse to defend gays that were shot by a maniac, self-hating Islamofascist at a nightclub, turn your back on women raped and groped by a former president, pour more hate and ire on to white males than any other demographic on this planet, and call yourselves Tolerant.

Tolerate this, Snowflake. When you tell anyone that they can't do anything without your largess, you are disenfranchising them and removing from them all moral agency. Tolerate the fact that each time you were given a trophy for showing up, a Kindergarten graduation party, you made your own hell that told you just being you was enough and you would never have to work for anything. And, I certainly hope that you can tolerate all the disapprobation and hate coming down the pike at you is your own fault. You caused this, not anyone else. All by yourself, too.

The backlash has already started at some colleges. They're removing free speech zones, seeing that, thanks to the pesky First Amendment you all hate so much, puts the whole of America as a Free Speech zone. The fact that you don't recognize your desire to shut down speech you don't like as fascist is amazing to me. Totalitarian much? Freakin' babies.

And please, recognize that your desire not to hear or see anything you disagree with played out within the mainstream media. New media wiped their butts all over the place election night because people are sick and tired of being lied to so that no one can harsh your sensibilities.

Your protests, demanding they put Hillary in office just because you don't like who won are possibly the most idiotic things I've ever seen. Your threats, your violence, your abject refusal to accept reality show that you clearly should not be allowed to vote until you can prove you have read and understand the Constitution, especially the section that explains the Electoral College and the Federalist Papers that explain why we do it that way. You stupid cunts. And, I mean that in the best possible way.

I watched my two year old granddaughter have a meltdown when she was told no by her mother. She cried, she screamed, she pitched a fit. My daughter ignored her, continued to deny her what she wanted, and in a few minutes she figured out she wasn't getting what she wanted and went on to what she could have. She settled.

Yes, a two year old can accept reality. A Twenty-two year old cannot. Your parents must be so proud. I can only imagine how proudly they display all of your participation trophies from your years of trying and failing at everything you ever attempted, because you really didn't need to try, you just needed to show up and stand around. Oh, wait, I get the protest thing now. You think you'll get a participation trophy for having voted even though your candidate lost. Well, bless your little hearts. Aren't you just a special kind of stupid.

Quit college, get a job picking up trash, digging ditches, scraping up dead animals off the road. Honestly, I still don't think you're qualified for those jobs and besides, you'd break a nail or get your hands dirty.

You are nothing more than spoiled, entitled brats whose parents should be ashamed for supporting you in any way whatsoever. Personally, if one of my kids acted like you I'd slap the crap out of them. But, none of them are like you. Why? Because we protested the participation trophy, we made them work hard for things they wanted and showed them practice will get you the real trophies. None of my kids has a college degree and yet they are light years more intelligent than any of your Precious Little Snowflakes. They understand how the process works and why this election was so important. You don't get it. You just want the assurance that someone will still be there to change your diaper and make sure you're tucked in at night.

You should be ashamed of yourselves. I know it's an unfamiliar word, and you really should look it up, then apply that emotion to yourself. You're a waste of resources as you are.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Dancing Through the Aftermath

I am a political animal, but even I am relieved to have this electoral season over with. Hillary didn't win, and that;s all I was really asking for this year. I celebrate, I gloat a little and then I realize there is still so much more to be done before I can rest.

My son spent yesterday bathing in Liberal Tears. I spent the day feasting on Media broken dreams. I've worked too damned long to not enjoy the hell out of that. Watching their faces as they realized Trump had clinched it, while on camera... Well, it was priceless and worth everything I've worked for since the Bork nomination to the Supreme Court.

The one thing that I find hilarious is that the same people who were hating on Trump for refusing to concede the race in the third debate, are the same ones who are now mad at him for winning and thwarting all of their plans to gloat to all the right-wingers. The funniest response I read to all of this suddenly patriotic dissent was a joke headline about calming protestors by handing out participation trophies.

But it hit at a nerve. These millennials are all products of the participation trophy system where you get a parade just for showing up. They have never had to deal with loss, so being on the losing side of a presidential election throws them into tizzy territory where they just melt down like a four year old child being told no at the checkout. I seriously want to slap them. As a parent of grown children who are looking at their peers in horror, I want to strangle their parents.

They are tweeting death threats to Trump and most will be very horrified when the Secret Service shows up on their doorstep, or rather their parent's doorstep to have a serious talk to them about threatening a President or President Elect. No, they won't think it's a joke. However, I recommend chocolate chip cookies with the coffee you offer them. It worked well for the guys who showed up when I threatened to show up to W's ranch and aggressively negotiate with Cindy Sheehan, and the other guys who came when I suggested Eric Holder suck start a shotgun from Fast and Furious preferred snickerdoodles, but loved my chickory coffee.

My children are millennials and I can honestly say that if any of them were acting like the kids I'm seeing in news stories, I would hunt them down, then hurt them badly for acting like spoiled brats in full public view. I don't care how grown you are, I will kick your ass for not representing that you were raised better. None of my four children are acting like this and are, in fact, making fun of their peers who are acting like this. None of them have finished college. They all work, they are starting families and have something called responsibilities. I think my eldest was the only one to vote Trump, though. Like many, he voted for the lesser of two evils. I wrote in a candidate, then totally lied to the exit poller. I wanted to make sure the 2% margin was kept in our precinct so we wouldn't require a recount in the event the race was contested.

I'm enjoying my few days of dancing and then I'll get back to doing what I do to bring down the political media complex. I've spent today watching the reactions and things I didn't get to see Wednesday because I was concentrating on enjoying my grandchildren. I will enjoy them again tomorrow and get back to work writing. I'll keep busy and not have time to gloat too much. Mainly because I don't wan to.

I spent days moping over the first time Obama was elected and his re-election had me shell shocked. But I did not despair. I never give up hope. I do know I could not have borne more years of the same or worse than Obama. The country would not have survived, nor would Western Civilization. That's why there is so much work to do. We need to take back education. We MUST drain the swamp that is DC, term limits, repeal Obamacare, and set firm term limits, repeal the progressive amendments... the list is long because they've had over 100 years to ruin it while most of us turned a blind eye.

So, whichever side you're one, suck it up and get back to work. We've got 100 years of damage to try to clear up in four years.

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Crossing The Rubicon

I've always liked the phrase, "crossing the Rubicon". Until a few years ago, I didn't fully understand what it meant other than in the context of what I heard or read. You can look it up here.

When Julius Caesar was returning from his wars in Gaul and Briton the Senate, fearing an overthrow of their power told him that he could not cross into Rome proper (South of the Rubicon) but must bide his time in Cisalpine (North of the Rubicon). Julius Caesar, knowing what he was about, crossed anyway and said, "alea iacta est" or "The die is cast". Indicating that this was no accident, no misunderstanding of orders, this was a conscious move on his part to take over Rome.

We've all had to read Julius Caesar in school, we all know what happened because of this decision, and how it set up the Empire for centuries to come. It took a long while for it to fully bloom, but bloom it did. And we must keep this in mind with our election just two days away.

We sit on our own sides of the Rubicon, waiting to see what happens, and then going with whatever side wins. That is most people. Be honest, most people are spineless. They go with the flow, live and let live, and all that moderate panty-waist crap they use to justify their actions.

I would rather effect change rather than sit around and let it happen around me. I've worked very hard to get us to today. Much of that stems from the fact that panty-waists are horrified by what's been going on in politics and media, but they can't be horrified enough to actually do anything about it.

It's a well known fact that most think I am a misanthrope and they would not be wrong. I despise most of the other humans on the planet with me, and see no reason for your continued existence. You all like to think that you would step up to do the right thing, yet, when presented with that choice, you mewl, whine and slink back under your rocks crying about how it's not up to you, that you can't decide these things. You want all the glory of living with none of the responsibility.

So we sit with a woman, on one side who is shown to be more horrific, more corrupt, more terrible than anyone since Pol Pot. Godwin's Law forgive me, but honestly, the last person this horrible was really Hitler, but I get the feeling that Hillary would make him look like a piker. She would eliminate her political enemies with the ruthlessness of Stalin. She is so foul that it looks like her Foundation was part of a ring that gathered up children in Haiti and sold them into slavery. No, there is actual proof of that, and her husband went to Haiti to defend them.

Sexual slavery or labor slavery, it's all the same despicable practice. The woman is a horror show of depravity and malice.

And yet, she has people defending her. People in politics and the media. I blame the media the worst. We would all like to think that all reporters are as brave as Woodward and Bernstein were in reporting the Watergate crap. But we forget that even Woodward and Bernstein are no longer as brave as Woodward and Bernstein were. They go to their elite cocktail, beltway parties, and dinners and forget they are supposed to report what they see. Yes, everyone has their own biases, their own prejudices, but reporters, as part of the 4th estate are sworn to report exactly what they see. Their ideology left at the door, their feels completely disregarded.  And yet, twits like Maggie Haberman, who should have known better, sold her soul to be part of the inner circle so she could get access to things we now know she should have never approached.

The thing that shocks me most about all of this is the total lack of self-awareness by everyone involved. They all have their hands out in their elitist circle jerk thinking that they've got the other guy rubbing one out for them, without ever thinking they're doing it for someone else.

Dear Fourth Estate, I hate all of you, without exception. You are what is wrong with us now because you refused to report what you saw and what was true. This all goes back to Reagan, and then your bias showed very clearly during the Bork and Clarence Thomas Senate hearings. Remember when you guys said you'd Bork him as well? So intellectually dishonest. Parasitic morons, that's all you are.

So, I sit on the side of the Rubicon I've been told not to be on. And I will be fighting as I always have. I will sit in the dark places I've had to dwell to find out what's truly going on because journalists were too busy trying to keep their dinner party invitations. I have had to view and describe the things I've seen. Hey, guess what? I managed to box away my feels while I did it, too. So I know it can be done.

I hate our press and the people who defend them for making me see things I cannot unsee, yet could not ignore, because it was freakin important to see it and report on what I saw, like it or not. I now have parts of my soul permanently rotted because I had to read some of the most boring shit ever just to glean one clue so I could move on to the next. With that said, there is nothing more boring than a committee meeting or the emails stemming from them. But, I did this because you wouldn't. I was reporting back to family in Europe about the mohammedan rapes all over because European journalists wouldn't or weren't allowed. I had to dig into places I never wanted to know existed. ALL BECAUSE YOU WOULDN'T. I hope all of you rot in hell for this.

I'm sitting here, waiting for others to catch up to me so we can continue our fight to keep honesty flowing to the people of the world, not just the elites who use it to protect their seats of power and backroom dealings.

We'll see, Wednesday morning whether I continue fighting on, almost alone, with few allies, and fewer that I truly trust, or people join us in this war we've waged for decades because no one wanted to see or know what was right in front of them.

So, go vote, if you feel you should. If you can only spout party ideology or just want a vagina sitting in the oval office, it might be a better choice to stay home with your drool cup. Because this is our last chance. The last available opportunity we have at turning this shit show around before we go over the cliff and America is gone forever and we have no where free to go.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

On Motherhood

My oldest daughter is expecting her first child. Her younger sister already has two, so you think I we would be sanguine, even bored, with the thought of another grandchild. You would be so far from the truth as to be kissing the other end of the universe. We love our kids so much that the thought of them reproducing makes us very happy, and not for the parental curse of having one just like them, either.

My husband fairly danced across the house when we learned she was pregnant. I was overjoyed. Each new life in our family is a celebration to all of us and loved from the moment we are aware of its existence. Our granddaughter and grandson are the lights of our lives. I miss them the moment I leave them and cannot wait until I can go see them again. I am so proud of my daughters.

I like to text with my daughter as often as she'll let me. I'm not your typical mom. My children were raised by me, however, they are adults with their own lives to live and I leave them to it. I've never been what you could call a Blackhawk or Tiger Mom. Why? Because my job is to raise them, not befriend them until they reach an age of reason, and then I'll decide whether or not I did my job correctly. If no one is actively seeking out one of my children because I raised the biggest asshole on the planet, Mission Accomplished. Right?

I have always approached parenting from a different perspective than most people, I think. It wasn't a path I consciously or willingly tread, it was forced on me and I tried to make the best of a bad situation. My ex, the genetic donor to my four children wanted to be Uncle Daddy. He would teach them sports and tae kwon do and working out, but he didn't want to help raise of discipline them. That was ALWAYS left to me. So I decided, in the wish to retain my sanity as an individual, that I needed a degree of separation so that I could survive raising them.

Here is the best illustration of that point. My two boys had played sports, baseball, football and basketball and were taking tae kwon do when my oldest daughter wanted to play T-Ball, like her brothers had done. The team she was put on had a lot of mothers who were in the league for the first time. This was hardly my first rodeo and apparently, it showed. I didn't order a team t-shirt with "Marie's Mom!" on it. In fact, I did not order a t-shirt at all. I already had other from years past. My kids were never on the same team two years in a row and I didn't need any more team T-shirts. The team mom (I was on the Little League Board and felt no compulsion to be any further involved) was very upset that I wasn't getting a t-shirt then tried to shame me because I did not want to announce to the world that I was Marie's mom. I told her that I was more than someone's mom, wife, sister, daughter, whatever. She just stared at me. The stupid bitch could not imagine defining a personality outside the carefully constructed walls she'd build to enclose her world.

Not many people understand this story. Not even mothers who refuse to suborn their lives to their children's.  Women who subsume their entire identity to their children and who drawn themselves in being someone's mommy is nowhere more evident than Freshman Orientation at colleges. Recently, a friend took her daughter for her Orientation and to sign up for classes at the college she'd chosen. My friend is a psychologist, so observing people is sort of her thing. When they took the kids to go sign up for classes and parents were not allowed to accompany them, several women were outraged. One student had a break with reality because they could not make any decision without their mother right next to them telling them what to do.

Oh, yes, I so want to cripple my child like that.

My daughter told me last night that she was being told so many things by so many different women. She had just come back from a trip to Trinidad to visit her fiance's family and they told her she should just kill her baby now because it would be born retarded. WT actual F??? Who the fuck believes bullshit like that much less tells another person?

She told me she doesn't want her life to become her kid. She is a person besides being a mother. She doesn't want her kids wholly dependent on her once she's raised them.

These are words I've been saying for three decades now. Since 1986 when I had my first.

It is important to raise people who will be useful in this world. It is important to raise people you like being around or family dinners are awkward.

Mother your children. Love them, teach them, discipline them as you will. Raise them to be people you're proud of, fledglings who can leave the nest. Raise children you are happy to see every day. Raise beings who bring you and others joy with there mere existence. But also, learn from them and when they leave you, have your own life. If you don't you will be like so many women I've witnessed in my life, who break down, do incredibly stupid things, once that child they hinged their entire personality on is gone and frankly, doesn't want clingy mommy around at all.

I know my daughter will love her child fiercely, because that is how she loves. Her child will probably never know the nights their mother paces the floor, worried about this or that, but making it her problem, not her child's problem. I worried about them doing well in school, in life. I worried about their friends, their health and the whole myriad problems that motherhood throws at you, but I also had to take a step back and realize, some things they had to figure out for themselves.

When my eldest was 14 he said he wanted to enlist in the service. He wasn't exact, but we had assumed the Army since his grandfather and uncle had served in that branch. On his 18th birthday he came home and woke us up and said he'd signed with The Marines, the branch in which his step-father had served.  This was in 2004 when we were well involved in the second Gulf War. We all knew that regardless of his MOS, he would be sent to the war zone. He chose to go infantry, and although we were disappointed as he'd tested in other areas that wouldn't require him on the front lines and offered more opportunities after his enlistment, we had to let him roll with his decision. He spent most of his enlistment on two tours of Iraq.

His brother followed him two years later. He, too, chose the infantry. He only had one tour in Iraq, but, as with his brother, I worried. I walked the floors some nights because I was terrified for them both. I have one picture of both of them together in uniform. A friend took it while they were in Kuwait. My eldest on his way out of his second tour and his brother on his way in for his first. I treasure that picture, because when they sent it to me, it gave me hope that they would both come home whole. I've kept it on my desk, my mantle, and I keep copies on every electronic device I have and store it on several clouds. It is proof to me that I accomplished my goal of raising two individuals who have seen hell and made it back, on their own. On. Their. Own.

I wasn't there to hold their hand and tell them everything would be alright. I raised children who grew up to know they could do it on their own, who were not afraid to try new things, all by themselves. they constantly disagree with me, get mad, but they also bring me such joy with such actions because I know that they feel secure in their own opinions that they have made based on their own experiences that they have the confidence to disagree with me. I don't dance with joy, especially when I know they are dead wrong, but I realize it's another truth they have to discover on their own. I love them and I am proud of them individually for things they have done and personality traits they each have that they do not share with a sibling.

In a way I feel like my generation has groundswelled this whole overparenting crap. When we were 18 we were unceremoniously dumped out of the house and into life or college or the military. And, in typical human fashion, we wanted better for our kids and decided to make home a comfy spot where our kids could feel safe. That's all well and good, but it's gotten too comfy. Why would kids ever leave the sheltering safety of parental care if they didn't have to? It's a lesson my two oldest children are about to learn. BTW, Boomerangs are nearly impossible to relaunch.

We all have our failures as parents. Good Lord, if I wrote down all of mine it would outstrip War & Peace as the longest, most boring read ever. But, for most of it, when we fail it's from an overabundance of care and love of our children. But, they are their own people, and we have to let them be that while we remain our own people. Be yourself, not an adjunct of someone else.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

No Woman Is Quite An Island

I just got off the phone with a friend of mine. She and another dear friend make up our little triumvirate of insanity that is friendship as mature women. We've been friends since we were in Junior High, as they called it back then. They are both the dearest people outside my family, and I would easily drop anything, no matter the importance to go to them in a time of need.

They are people I think of daily, and yet we actually touch base a few times a year, but it's always as if we'd never been apart. The memories of some of the things we've managed to get up to since we were girls are legion. Not a word until the statute of limitations is up on some of them.

Today, one of them called me to let me know that her breast cancer had returned and that she would be undergoing a mastectomy after her last round of chemo was finished. Nuking it from orbit, just to make sure. I'll be honest, the minute she told me, everything stopped and solutions began running through my mind, but first and foremost was, once more, she's waited until AFTER to tell me. But, this is so HER that I'm not truly hurt by it. She's so stoic, so determined to handle things on her own that I have to stand in awe of her strength.

I'm so afraid of losing my friend that my brain does not want to work rationally, logically. Which, right there, should tell you the depth of my love for her. I want to fix it for her, make it all better, so we can get on with our friendship without worry. My two friends are my touchstones, and I don't know if they realize the degree to which I lean heavily on their friendship to get me through some days.

Our other friend, has recently lost a long-time significant other with whom she'd had an on and off relationship for the past twenty some odd years. I've only met him a few times, but I liked him, even if I wasn't entirely sure that he was right for her. I liked that the relationship brought her happiness and his death has hit her hard. This hurt that this was the first I was hearing about it, but again, that is just so... HER.

I know that my friend called me because she was feeling bad, due to chemo and needed to hear something good happening somewhere to someone she loved. I am happy to have been of service. My life is honestly and truly blessed. I have a new grandchild due any day now, and the future looks happy for me and mine. Don't get me wrong, I don't feel bad or guilty because my life is looking good, right now, and hopefully, my friends, who are hurting right now, can gain some comfort from at least one of us doing well right now.  Who knows what tomorrow will bring? Tomorrow I may need good news from them to help me make it through the next day.

And I just realized that is a trait shared between the three of us, aside from a deep desire to buy a cul-de-sac and ride around on giant big wheels, we are strong women, who prefer to do our suffering in silence, of soldiering through, of being the one that is there for others. I love them all the more for being strong, but I wish they would lean on me when they need to. I will always be there for them, even to the point of having to bring my neurotic rescue mutt along if I need to be away for a long time. (Big joke, we all bring our animals with us when we visit each other).

As I think about this I think that John Donne got it a little right when her said:
Any man’s death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind;

Any hurt my friends experiences me diminishes me because I hurt for them when they hurt. I have an overwhelming desire to make it better because I know that by the time they are talking to me about it, it's hurting pretty damned bad and they can no longer carry that weight by themselves.  I am only happy in the sense that I can help them carry that weight when they can't do it alone. So my fear of the loss of my friend is real, for I know it will diminish me in a way that can never, ever be fixed, healed or repaired.

They are that dear to me.

Please God, let them continue to do so for a very, very long time. Lord, hear our prayer.