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The Price of American Lives in March of 2020

Apparently valuing human life more than money is now a political view. Read that again: the sanctity of human life as driven by our biology and as literally directed by God is up for debate in 2020.

Our President has changed his mind about COVID-19 and not for the health and safety of American citizens. First, it was a terrible disease that required people to sacrifice and stay home, but now the country should be back open for business by Easter for the economy’s sake. This about-face occurred after reports that some of his business locations closed and his company was now facing financial hardship. Suddenly, our economy became more important than American lives, including our cherished elderly, healthcare workers, civil servants, and many others. The re-branding of this callous message is that the ‘inevitable’ collapse of the US and world economies will cause more death and suffering than following in China’s or Italy’s footsteps with COVID-19. I call bullshit.

As a nurse, I will go to work to provide care for others and consider it not only an honor, but a calling. I am also acutely aware of reports of American medical professionals, young and old, who have died or are in critical condition after caring for COVID-19 positive patients. Nurses are trained to understand disease pathology and epidemiology, giving us the discernment to understand that COVID-19 is most definitely not the flu and is a true emergency of drastic proportions. This medical training is helpful to make an educated judgement, but anyone with internet access can see the media coming out of other countries affected by this virus. This virus turns hospitals into apparent war zones rather than places of healing, which will worsen and intensify if the President pushes through policy based on egocentric desires for economic self-preservation.

Never more than today have I missed President Obama and the security I felt having a rational, progressive leader in the White House. Never more than today have I been concerned for the moral compass of our great country. Never more than today have I looked upon my daughter’s face and hoped that this current trial will not be the one that separates us.

For those who doubt that God commanded us to value human life, open the Good Book and see for yourself, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35

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Practice

Struggle, Hurt, and Choice

I am struggling and I am hurting. I am struggling to be what I ought to be and hurting when I think it will never be enough. I am struggling to build relationships and community and hurting when those efforts leave me feeling unloved and unwanted. I am struggling to raise my daughter in a way that keeps that light inside her shining strong and hurting when I see shame or self-criticism flash across her face after harsh words pass through my lips.

Part of living a good life is owning our choices and today I take this hurt and choose my struggle. When I think I will never be good enough, I choose to be kind to myself regardless. When I feel unloved and unwanted, I choose to accept the unconditional love and acceptance of God above. When I see my daughter hurting, I choose to put aside my own discomfort and stand by her always.

This hurt and this struggle will not be for nothing, I choose to view them as growing pains.

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Abstract

Love Poem

I do not wish to write poetry for you with words of black and white, rather with little moments slowly etched into the sands of time.

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Abstract

Dad

Yesterday I told my daughter that I had never written a poem about you and it is easy to see why – what justice could a poem do for the countless hours you have showed up and loved me.

My words fall short of the days you have stood by me, the days you guided me before I could walk on my own, and the days my legs failed me despite the lessons you taught me so diligently.

Despite my poor prognosis, I will still try because that is yet another thing you have taught me – that I can do what I put my mind, heart, and soul to because it is just a matter of effort and overcoming obstacles.

One generation

At a time growing stronger

Your wish brought to life

Haiku’s are hard and this is me, Amanda Marie, writing a corny post with love for my father.

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Practice

Comfortable

Recently someone came to my home for the first time and she asked, “Are you comfortable here?”

I answered, “Yes,” because I am lucky enough to have superficial comfort in a home that I am grateful to have and share with little Goose.

Am I really comfortable though? No, I am not. I am far from it.

I am not comfortable because there is no comfort to be had while children are being ripped from their families’ arms in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

I am not comfortable because many of my fellow citizens claim to be Christian, yet are aligned with a political party which has never walked so far from the path of Jesus than they do today.

I am not comfortable because our beautiful planet is about as comfortable as a menopausal woman having a hot flash in an Alabama swamp and those in power would deny her relief.

I am not comfortable when it is considered radical for a government to provide for its citizens’ basic healthcare needs when it was designed to be for the people and by the people.

I am not comfortable because so many refuse to treat our neighbors to the South with any amount of neighborly respect, kindness, or love when the Good Book is pretty clear about this.

I am not comfortable because those in power treat corporations with more humanity than they do real humans because somehow corporations meet the requisites for personhood. I never saw a corporation bleed or breathe, but the message I hear is that they don’t need to as long as dollar is king.

I am not comfortable because the Earth we are gifting our children does not have the same stability that we ourselves were given.

I am not comfortable because the leader of the free world is a bigot, racist, and pathological liar and my fellow citizens care less about that than what I do inside my own uterus.

I am not comfortable because we forget that the only race that exists is the human one and the only skin color that matters is flesh.

So, the next time you ask me if I am comfortable here, do not expect a socially acceptable white lie. The first step to true comfort and a fulfilled life on Earth is knowledge of the problem and I will no longer hide my discomfort for you to be able to keep yours at bay.

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Me and You

In a world full of fake, you are real

In my heart of darkness, you shine your light

In the moments before sleep, you cross my mind

In what little time remains, you are my desire

In the depths of my soul, you have a home

In despite of all this, you seem not to know

How hard it is knowing you’ll never call me your own

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I don’t stop

Today is the day, now is the time. Open your heart, open your mind. World around us, beautiful and vast. Don’t waste yourself, time won’t last. Go on get up, face devilish foe. This is your fight, only you know. No matter the day, the key remains. I don’t stop.

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Nurse

As a nurse, I have the privilege and honor of caring for people, often at their most vulnerable times. During my years on the job, I have been many things to many people; I have been a caregiver, an honest voice, a protector, a teammate, a friend, a sounding board, a teacher, a student, a recorder, and a witness. I have witnessed joy, sorrow, strength, fatigue, gains, losses, the best, the absolute worst, and whatever was going on for you that day. This is being a nurse and I, for one, wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Practice

Someone Said it Better

As a writer, I often get the gist of something and am compelled to re-explain it from my perspective. A few times in my life and again recently, I had the joy of reading the work of another writer and all I wanted to do is either read more or share what they wrote. The book I am introducing has my wholehearted recommendation. I will not go on because Cheryl Strayed said it better when she wrote Brave Enough. Here is the book on Amazon and also on GoodReads; check it out, enjoy, and feel free to comment below.

This is Amanda Marie and reading this book is an idea for a good time on earth.

If you buy the book after clicking on the Amazon link, I receive funding. This is my otherwise unpaid, unadulterated, and unsolicited opinion. 

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Philosophy for Instant Perspective

Memento Mori – remember death or remember that you, too, shall die

Our time on Earth is the only thing we know for certain that we have.  Remember that you will die and you do not have to waste a second on anything less than the good life or opportunities which move you closer to it.  You are an unique creature on this beautiful planet first, human being with to-do lists, errands, and bills second.

Often finding myself sleep-deprived and cranky after work, little Goose will do or say (demand) something that elicits a much more severe response than I would like.  On the brink of action that I may regret, I try to remember the two words, Memento Mori.  When I am lucky and the practice pays off, I have a split second for my mind to reconsider my imminent behavior and I remember that my sweet, loving little daughter will die someday, albeit hopefully long after I do.  With this healthy dose of perspective I am able to think more logically and choose my actions instead of being subject to reaction.

Taking a moment to truly stop and fully consider that it is only a matter of time before your children, parents, spouse, etc will no longer be here is challenging.  The more seriously one considers it, the easier it is to be swallowed up by it.  The goal is to just consider it long enough for it to touch your heart and move you to the place you prefer to act from.  It does not serve us to become upset about this universal fact of life, so use it to be a better version of yourself.

I do not spend a lot of time thinking about the specific, morbid details of death and understand how doing so could make this philosophy inaccessible.  It is less gore than remembering our impermanence.  Whether or not a person believes in an after-life, it would not be the same as the life we have now.  Whether our consciousness lives on for eternity or our self ends with our last breath, this life is precious.  Reflecting on the fact that our breaths, heartbeats, and moments with our loved ones are limited ensures that we know what we have before it’s gone.

We can all use a healthy dose of Memento Mori because enjoying our lives and being the people we want to be is simply a matter of perspective.

This is Amanda Marie and an idea for a fulfilled time on Earth.

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