Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My Two Cents on Bullying

I have been watching the news regarding all of the bullying and bad behavior going on these days. Sadly, it's not a new phenomenon.
Why does it have to come to someone committing suicide before people Stop????!

When I was a young girl there was an entire family that went to our school and was bullied unmercifully. 
There were 4 sisters. 
Betty was the oldest. She had long straight black hair and a hook-nose. The kids called her a witch.
Next was Ruth. This poor girl had a huge Port-Wine stain all over her face so you could imagine her pain and what was said to her. Daily.
Christine was the next youngest and she had been in a horrible home accident as a very young girl. Her Mom was cooking and Christine reached up, grabbed the hot pan and the scalding hot grease burnt her face, torso, and arms so bad that she looked like her skin had been pulled into knots and the scars were horrific.
Not only was this family poor but their luck was atrocious!
The youngest was Annie who was my age. 
Seeing these girls climb onto the bus each and everyday and be bullied, harassed, and ridiculed was heart wrenching. 
Back then, 1st Grade and up rode the bus with High School kids. 
Not a good recipe.
No one would sit with them. No one ate lunch with them. No one talked to them.
That was the easy part.
The bad part was watching these poor girls go thru hell and back every day of their school lives.
I remember the worst culprit was a Cheerleader named Butch. 
She had it all! 
Gorgeous looks, personality, perfect hair, perfect teeth, Perfect EVERYTHING! 
The football team loved her, the teachers loved her, the student body loved her. 
Sadly, Butch didn't love Butch and she took all of her life frustrations out on these girls and especially Annie. 
She would stack her locker. Load the books to the front so that when Annie opened the locker her books would all fall out and then Butch and her group of Busted-Up Mean Girls would giggle for hours until they thought up some other horror for the next day or the next hour. 
They put dog poop in her purse, tampons in her lunch bag, would steal her underwear during gym class showers,  
call their house all hours of the night, spread rumors that they were whores, and just plain tormented the living crap out of all of them but her main target was always Annie. 
Butch never did anything to warrant the authorities being called but was always on the edge of going way too far.
I know how difficult all of this was on these poor girls. 
You could see it in their faces.
High School is tough if you're not popular. As we got older, we were  able to influence many to just STOP it but not Butch. 
I swear she saw something in this family of very poor girls that SHE wanted to be and that was a Good Person. 
The bullying continued.

We had our High School Reunion a couple of years back.
Karma bit poor Butch right in her butt. 
She married the Football Captain. They divorced after he was caught molesting young boys and was sent to prison. 
Life had not been good to Butch. 
She gained a TON of weight. Her beautiful long hair was no longer beautiful and her skin looked gray, dull, and broken out. Sadly now her ugly exterior matches her even uglier insides. 
Not one person there felt badly for Butch. 
No one talked to her. 
No one sat with her. 
No one wanted to be around her.
Annie, on the other hand, moved to Chicago right after graduation, got a college degree and went on to Law School and is now a very successful attorney.  
The best part is.. She is absolutely Beautiful inside and out. Happy and successful with a Gorgeous family and loving husband. 
I didn't get to see the initial reaction to Butch seeing Annie again after all those years but I did see as we were leaving, Annie hug her and tell her that if she is ever in Chicago to look her up. 
No, I just think Annie knows the power of Good Karma vs Bad Karma.

PS. I thought of Annie and her sisters many times as my kids were growing up and tried to instill in them that ALL of us as humans are different. Some are rich, some poor, some  pretty, some thin, some fat, some unattractive,  some wise, some not so wise, etc. 
That's what makes the world go round. Personally, I love being different than anyone else.
What kind of cookie-cutter place would this world be if we were all ALIKE? Ugh. 
Different does not mean we should criticize, belittle, bully, or mock.
Remember... It's a LOT easier to be Nice to others than it is to be MEAN!
Love Yourself & Each Other ~  

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Go PINK! Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Ok, so usually my posts are full of fun and laughs but today I just felt the need to write about something so scary but so important. 

I'll never forget the day one of my very best friends in the world, Candy was diagnosed with Stage 3 Breast Cancer.  She had told me that she was going in for a routine Mammogram after finding a tiny lump. 
No big deal, right? 
She was 36. 
The doctor called her into his office 3 days later for a consult. We were all there with her. How could we not be? We have been friends since I was 14 years old.  
She is like a sister to me!
When he told her that she had a very aggressive type of breast cancer and a radical mastectomy was required, we were all in shock, that is except Candy.  She smiled thru it all and held our hands and we left in a cloud of shock and for me total despair. 
Cancer at 36? 
Why Candy? 
I know of women that are NOT sweet, NOT kind, NOT caring like she is, why not THEM?

The surgery was scheduled for the end of the following week. 
I went home and cried for days. She was so strong. I was not.

An entire bevy of us arrived with her at the hospital. She was told to gown and where to go. All of us girls were surrounding her hospital bed right before they were to wheel her in for the procedure.  
Someone, I'm not sure to this day who, suggested we all pray. 
We began..."Please God be with Candy......" 
That's as far as it got before we were all wailing and sobbing and broken down in tears.  All of us crying .... then Candy's sweet voice...
"Please God be with these wonderful friends of mine and keep them strong. 
You see, I need them. 
I borrow their clothes."
All was so quiet. No one was even breathing. Then, in a flash we all broke up into fits of laughter. 
No tears. No more crying.  Candy was going to be fine. 
Here she was the one lying so vulnerable and small in that hospital gurney and she was comforting US!
She had the procedure and went home that day. 
I took a covered dish to her house that evening and guess what? She was out on the back of a motorcycle! WHAT?
Three weeks later they scheduled the first of a six month round of Chemo.  This was the first I saw how hard this was going to be for my dear friend.  
She told me that losing her breast was no big deal. 
Her boob had Never hugged her kids. 
Her boob had Never drove her car.
Her boob had Never gazed up at the stars in the sky.
Losing her hair was going to be the hard part.  We would sit outside and just the lightest breeze would make her long beautiful hair blow away in a cloud.  I could see how much this hurt her.
She shaved her head and then just simply rocked headscarves and wigs. She was beautiful inside and out. Hair or no hair.
It's been over 20 years and Candy is Cancer Free.
Thanks to early detection and a willingness to follow her doctors orders, she survived.
Breast Cancer is survivable. 

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and I Thank God it has had a light shown on this disease.
I go on Friday for my annual Mammogram and screening.
I hope that all of you over 40 or with a history of Breast Cancer in your family,  schedule a Mammogram this month. It could save your life!
I could only hope to ever be as strong as my dear friend. She gives me hope everyday ~ in Every Thing. 
Besides, she borrows my clothes!
ℒℴѵℯ You All!