The Black Book

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My first job after graduating college was in the Admissions Office of a large hospital.

Talk about busy?

We were always busy.

Part of that busy-ness included keeping records on every patient that was admitted and discharged from the facility.

As you might imagine, there were a number of different routes and/or reasons that a patient might enter the hospital…

And there were a number of different routes and/or reasons that they could leave…

Now comes “The Black Book.”

You see, in general, most people, upon discharge, would either go home or be transferred to a different level of care–sometimes higher, sometimes lower.

Or…

They took what was often called a “celestial discharge.”

Need I say more?

Uh…I think you get my meaning.

Anyway, whenever a person passed away, the nurse from the floor where they had been would call a central office and report all of the relative vital information regarding that death.

Next, the central office would call the Admissions Office and convey said information to one of us to enter into the “Black Book.”

I can’t begin to count all of the times that I was responsible for adding a new entry into this unnerving ledger.

But it was part of the job, so I had to do it.

Well, in an effort to lift the air of melancholia associated with this task, Nancy, from the central office would always preface the call with “Gwin, get out the Black Book! We have another celestial discharge!”

Of course, we’d both laugh nervously but the fact remained that someone had died and most likely left grieving family and friends behind.

At any rate, the process always went thusly:

I’d follow Nancy’s request to “pull out the Black Book.”  I would then print off an admission sheet and record as Nancy dictated, “We have Fred Rogers, time of death 9:45pm, Dr. Seuss is the pronouncing physician and we’ve got Williams Mortuary coming to pick up the body.”

I’d then take that admission sheet and quietly add it to the front of the Black Book.

Even though I hated adding new entries, I somehow felt that in a minor way I was helping this person’s soul to close-out it’s Earthly busy-ness.

I guess that was my way of taking some of the sting out of the assignment.

In short, I had made my peace.

In fact, on quiet nights, I would thumb through this sobering book whenever I needed to get some gratitude.

Naturally, I had come to know some of the people in the book.

And, while I didn’t know them all personally, I often learned many of their stories.

From one page to the next I’d contemplate the ruddy-faced teen who took a full bottle of pills after concluding that the whole damn thing was way too much…

Or the middle-aged Sicilian woman who bid her newborn farewell while, simulatneously, taking her last breath…

Or the once bright-eyed 3-year-old whose father had not noticed that she was playing directly behind his truck as he hastily backed out of the driveway on his way to some important busy-ness…

And there was Marion, whom we called ‘Black Jesus,’ because his skin was smooth and dark as night.  His straight, long, flowing obsidian colored tresses were often neatly pulled back into a pony-tail that snaked down to his waist.

I really missed him because he was always determined to remain in good spirits despite having suffered from a lifelong painful chronic illness.

Yes.  That was them…

Each one an individual entry in the Black Book…all come and gone.

 

 

Even though I left that place over 20 years ago, I still thumb through those pages in my imagination.

Again, it’s my way of finding gratitude 💖

-LadyG

 

 

 

Get My Stuff

 

 

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Yeah, I know the title is short but the only other option was “Go getteth mine stuffeth!”

Of course, that would have been both improper and nonsensical 😉

And so…

Here goes…

I’ve been thinking about stuff lately.

No…I’m not talking about big stuff like houses and cars, I’m talking about little stuff like:

That figurine of a bearded alpine man in lederhosen leaning on a walking stick

The ceramic Raggedy Ann that holds a hodge-podge of unused cooking utensils

The glass genie lamp lighter that stopped lighting things some 35 years ago

The Aztec blanket from Cancun that really isn’t that comfortable

And the five hundred zillion other things that so many of us have bursting out of our closets, garages, rooms, shower stalls, storage houses, PODS…and so forth.

Uh, I’m sure by now that you’re wondering where I’m going with this crazy diatribe.

Well, all of this talk of stuff is the direct result of the fact that, lately, we’ve experienced and witnessed a great deal of loss including a Godfather and the beloved fiancé of one of my oldest and dearest friends.

And with that comes thoughts of stuff and the tasks associated with dealing with a person’s property after they die.

How does that all work?

Well, typically, a family member or a close friend has to decide how to appropriate or dispose of these things.

Trust me, it ain’t an easy job.

In fact, I very clearly remember sorting through all of my mother’s things after she passed away.

There I was, sitting on the closet floor, looking at my Mama’s winter coat thinking, “But I need to keep this, she’ll need it for the cold.”

No doubt, I’d temporarily forgotten to remember that Mama no longer needed anything anymore.

Ah, but when I did remember to remember, I immediately started to cry and my mind began to wander to the day when someone would have to go through my stuff and decide what to do with it.

Within an instant, oodles of clothes and shoes and books and what-nots flashed in my mind’s eye.

And then…

I “saw’ all of  my journals and diaries.

Who would be looking through that?

My hopes, dreams, and confessions!

And it hit me!

I need a plan…lest my sensitive, private and confidential thoughts come out of the dark 😉

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing diabolical in there but some things need to remain unread and unspoken—they’re just too personal.

Anyway, back to my story…

That day, after exiting Mama’s closet, I decided that I needed to hand-select someone to go get my stuff after I die.

Someone trustworthy.

Oh! But what happens if that person dies before I do?

What to do?

What to do?

What to do!?

LOL!

Ironically, I remember comedian-disc jockey, Tom Joyner rhetorically asking, “Who went to get Bob Hope’s private stuff?”

No, seriously…

Who?

Well, that got me thinking some more.

Maybe I should start paring down and destroying some of this stuff BEFORE I die.

I mean, do I really need all of this junk anyway?

Hey, God already knows about the other part.

LOL!

What do you think?

I know that it’s not necessarily a pleasant thing to ponder but, I ask, who’ll be sorting through your stuff once you’ve taken a “celestial discharge?”

Meet me in comments…Let’s discuss.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not Thinking About It

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Lady J’s Godfather died the other day.

Unfortunately, I was responsible for breaking the news.

After telling her what had happened, I wiped my eyes and braced myself for an impending breakdown–I just knew that my dear daughter was going to fall over into a puddle of tears.

I put my arm around her…

Ready to catch her fall.

And I waited…

And I waited…

And I waited.

But there was nothing.

No response.

Just silence.

Now, in an effort to be proactive, I decided that I should help her to get in touch with her feelings.

In my mind, she needed to process the seriousness of what had occurred.

So, I assured her that it was okay if she felt like crying.

Again, nothing.

Not wanting to force the issue, I simply decided to drop the subject and keep a close eye on her.

But, to my surprise, Lady J never said another word about the matter.

In fact, she proceeded as if nothing had happened.

I kept thinking to myself that this was strange.

Lady J was very close to her Godfather.

This just didn’t seem to make any sense.

So, again,  I broached the subject and asked, “How do you feel?”

“What do you think?”

To which she responded, “I’ve decided NOT to think about it.”

So I let it be.

Well, a couple of days before the funeral, Lady J’s Godmother requested that we come to her home in order to take pictures with the family.

So we went.

Naturally, after arriving, we greeted children, grandchildren, brothers, sisters and friends—Each one engaged in play, pleasantries and recollections of warm memories.

People were talking and becoming more acquainted.

Several conversations were occuring at once.

And all seemed well.

But there, on the sofa, apart from the chatter, sat Lady J, silently holding her Godmother’s hand…

NOT thinking about it.

 

 

Rest in Peace KRB (aka Godfather)

We love you and we will miss you always!

 

Real Good Food: The Way to a Man’s Heart?

Beef short Ribs
Braised Short Ribs with Yellow Rice, French Cut Green Beans and Sliced Tomatoes

 

The trademark orange bowl!

LadyG is cooking again!

YAAASSSS!

Anyway…

Today, let us consider the old adage:

“The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.”

Hmm….

Well… I don’t know if it’s true in every case, but it sure did work for me and Mama.

Just kidding!

But not really…

No, seriously folks, while the quote points to the way to a man’s heart, it doesn’t necessarily guarantee arrival–not to mention–a permanent stay.

Am I rambling?

Probably.

 

Maybe this whole thing is a non-issue…

An old wives tale…

Low level philosophical nonsense!

Pseudo-intellectual fodder…

But…maybe there’s some truth to it…

Or…maybe not.

Alas…

The debate continues 🙂

Have a wonderful week my friends!

Love and light to you all!

LadyG😘

What do you think ladies and gentlemen? Feel free to comment below!

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I Sing and Dance!

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My Son:  “Mom…please…please…please…you gotta stop…you’re embarrassing us!”

Me:  “I don’t care what these people think about me…I gotta get my happy however I can!”

I can’t tell you how many times my son and daughter have decidedly hidden from me in the midst of grocery shopping.

They simply CANNOT  with me and my impromptu performances!

That said, I must come clean and confess that I am that lady who dances and sings up and down every aisle at Publix…and sometimes Kroger.

Supermarket sound systems…I love ’em!

Yep! That was me you saw twirling past the tomatoes and rocking by the waffles.

And you know what?

I DON’T give a hoot!

I’m gonna sing and dance until I die!

Why?

You see, it all started long ago…

I always wanted to be a ballerina or perform modern dance.

Alas…there were no funds for such!

To put it bluntly, Mama and Daddy didn’t have the money for lessons.

Further, they lacked any appreciation for that realm of the arts.

And so…

I made believe and danced my little dance…

And I did it everywhere…

All the time!

Dancing and singing all the way through life.

Even into motherhood…much to the chagrin of my children!

Oh, but not to worry, they’ve grown accustomed.

They’ve learned to let me be.

Because if they try to shut me up I’ll only sing louder and dance harder!

And there…right there in the produce section… I find happiness with two of my favorite people!

🙂 🙂 🙂

I danced with both of my babies at home and all over the stores to this song!

 

Still dancing to this one!

 

I play this whenever I’m about to take a flight!  Go Rod!

 

For my son!  I wish him a safe flight into the sunset— headed to Seattle and Portland!

I love you man!  Have a blast! See ya when you get back home 💋

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Love and light to you all!

Enjoy your week!

LadyG

😘💋

Happy Birthday America!

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Pledge of Allegiance

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under GOD, indivisible, with LIBERTY and JUSTICE for ALL.

🇺🇸

Excerpt from The Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…”

 

 

Enjoy your holiday my American friends  🙂

Love and light to us, and to our friends all over the world!

Lady G 😘 💋

 

 

 

 

 

Real Good Food: Sunday Comfort!

July 2 Dinner
Homemade Meatloaf with Mashed Potatoes/gravy, English Peas and Vegetable medley

 

Yep! Lady G’s been up since 7:00am EST!

Cooking in the kitchen!

Oh yeah, Daddy is here to help Lady J and I with the garden project that I blogged about last week!

Meatloaf and mashed potatoes are his favorite…sooo…

Voilà!

But ya know what?

It’s raining cats and dogs here in Georgia and Lady J says it’s not supposed to stop until next Sunday!

Curses!

That’s not what I wanted to hear!

Let’s just pray that she’s giving me 11-year-old hyperbole!

LOL!

Stay tuned!

By the way, here’s a picture of Daddy during his days in the United States Air Force-circa 1965.

Daddy US AirForce

 

Daddy spent a whole bunch of time in Germany!

Hence the word “Germany” tacked up on his Military Police Beret.

If you’ve been following this blog, you probably already know that I’ve always wanted to go there.

My son says that when I’m about 90 years old he plans to sit me on his future back-porch, point to a bunch of trees and say, “Hey mama! Look at all that Germany back there! ”

He swears I won’t know the difference! LOL!!

Kids!

Anywhats….Have a great week my friends.  I promise to keep you posted about the garden:)

Love and light to you!

LadyG

😘💋

PS:  Ron Brown! I’m saving yet another plate for you Cuz! 💞