Monday, February 2, 2015

And with this post, I'll say "Farewell"

204 posts, if you count this short one.
It makes a small book. Just right for reading in a few sittings.
The Forever Mother proved to me that I was indeed a writer, and for that, I am immensely happy, because that is truly who I am. A few years back, when I started writing this blog, I wanted to make sure that my children would see this side of their mama. A little glimpse of me in my early 40s... a time they are likely not to remember, but will one day be themselves. I would like them to see my perspective on certain things, my beliefs, a few of my struggles and how I've grown in courage. And, if I'm honest, there is a vain little part of me that wants to be "immortal" in the sense of not soon forgotten: I think that years from now, even my great-great grandchildren will enjoy reading this version of a "journal", so yes, it'll be printed in some form of "self-publishing" for my family's sake, in case Google/Blogger ever decide that it needs to be "deleted" from the ever expansive universe that is call "the internet".
But, like all good things, it is time to say, "Farewell."
Thank you for being on this journey with me.
Don't forget:
1. Be you
2. Be brave
3. God is love
4. You are loved

Ever yours,
The Forever Mother

PS: and a great Ted Talk would be Brene Brown's lecture on Vulnerability:

And a quote that I found, yet never got around to writing a post about...
"I travel not to go anywhere, but to go.
I travel for travel's sake.
The great affair is to move."
~Robert Louis Stevenson

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Human Rights: Choosing Love Over Hate

Hate reared its ugly head this past week in my hometown of Jackson, Mississippi.
Scrawled in ugly graffitti, a slur against gays and the suggestion to "kill them".
Here in 2015?
Kill them? Excuse me?
This is wrong and never acceptable, and I want to make sure that everyone I know understands that this kind of behavior is deplorable and that I, Erica Robinson, will speak out and actively move against this kind of hate-mongering to prevent it from happening, or spreading, in my town. Count me as one of them, for I will not be treated, nor treat anyone differently than I should want to be treated. No one should ever have to fear for their life, or their safety, based on their race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. No one. Threatening, or treating as an inferior, another human being because they are different than you -- or because you disagree with their choices-- is wrong behavior on your/our part. It is unacceptable. We all get to make choices: that is a part of being free.  No kid (or adult) should be kicked out of their home or humiliated/bullied at school or elsewhere.
Everyone deserves equal respect as a basic human right. Ignoring or "pretending it isn't happening" when you/we see or bear witness to bigoted actions, such a bullying or shaming, makes you/me complicit in those actions, whether we agree with the person or not. For me, as of today, I will be a person brave enough to say, "No" when an insult or joke or hate-filled slur is made. It is someone's life. Someone's dignity. They matter, just like you matter. Like I matter.
This week, we see the world reacting in horror to the case of Raif Badawi, who has been sentenced to 1,000 lashes (and has had the first portion of his punishment already meted out in public). Amnesty International has taken up his cause, and the U.N. commissioner for human rights, Prince Zeid Al-Hussein calls the sentence "cruel and inhuman punishment". ISIS and other terrorists routinely use "KILL THEM" as a way to control and breed fear. Bullying, beatings, discrimination, murders, intolerance: those things get there start from hateful words.
Those hateful words must stop.
We are Mississippians. Americans.
I choose love over hate in all my thoughts and actions. Love conquers hate.
Be brave enough to stand up, like me, against hateful behavior.
Today, I signed the "Equality is our Business Pledge" on the Human Rights Campaign's website. I may not have been here in Jackson for the Civil Rights Movement back in the 1960s, but baby, I am here now: this is my town and hate is unwelcome here. Let's get some buckets of paint and head down to Lemon Street.
As ever,

Sunday, January 18, 2015

To Make a Friend

Bear and "that boy"
Bear and I stared at each other.
It was Sunday afternoon and here we were, just the two of us. Again.
I smiled softly at him and said, "We need to find you a friend."
He jumped excitedly, like a puppy, and said, "Yes! Who?"
"Who" was a good question.
Who wanted to be friends with my shy little bear? His older brother and sister seemed wildly popular by comparison. Perhaps it was age: they moved about in their world easily and seemed to make friends instantly. Bear was always the "tag-along", the "slow-poke" and the "third wheel"... literally.
I thought of the one other shy boy that was just a little older than Bear and scrolled through my phone to see if I had his mother's number in my contact list.
I didn't. But I did have his 11 year old sister's phone number.
So I sent a text... I do not like communicating with 11 year old's unannounced.
Then I called and asked for her mother.
Play date arranged.
As Bear and I walked the few blocks to N's home, in the warm winter sunshine, I remembered being a new wife in a new city and having no friends. Luckily, the gal across the hall in the apartment building stopped by one day and, along with a plate of baked goods, kindly said, "I've learned that if I want to make friends, I have to go out and find them and introduce myself to them." I don't remember that woman's name, but she became my friend. She taught me how to cross stitch, but more than that, she gave me one of the best lessons of my life: to have a friend, be a friend.
One hour later, in the last of the fading daylight, N, Bear and I headed back towards his house. The boys had fun together and we talked about playing together again soon.
To have a friend, be a friend.
Be willing to have the courage to extend yourself first: to invite friendship in and not wait for someone else to do the initiating in kindness.