compassion, confession, faith

Month: April, 2017

No Regrets

Today was filled with many ups and downs. My friends got me through it.

I am a Facebook user or am used by Facebook. There is no privacy when using it. That is another topic to be covered one day.

My interests vary. Catholicism, non denominational Christian beliefs and always anything Irish. Two days before St. Patrick’s Day this year I was accepted into a closed group, an Irish one.

The rules as there is always in groups was simple. No offending or hateful posts of any nature, no nudity, the whole gamut of standards to not break. I asked once, what about religious post? Fine was the answer as long as it was within the confines of the rules.

Joking, humor, banter, cultural posts are expected according to the standards set forth in the group. Banter I did, jokes I did, laughing till I felt I would stroke out I did. For almost thirty days I learned much about Irish culture, it’s history and it’s past.

While there I made a handful of new friends. Some Christians, some not. I have an open mind and try to see others points of view. At times it seemed that it was getting out of hand with personalities clashing. The administrators of the group would stop it before it became utter chaos. Once there appeared a guy posting, who wanted to debate Islam. Before that went postal, the post vanished. Last night someone was doing a video blog on humanity. I watch it and commented.

Today before heading out to do my volunteer hours at Catholic Charities, I logged into the group to see who had posted what. Easter  is less than a week away, so there was occasionally Easter or Christian prayer posts. Always someone posting humorous subjects. As usual I comment here and there.

I come across a post where someone is complaining about all of the Easter posts, saying it had no place in the group. If you know me well enough I have an opinion and express it. So I tell the one complaining that no rules had been broken and to lighten up. I wait, no response given. Scrolling up the the page I see the same individual posting how Christianity had turned his pagan holiday into Easter. That got my attention to say the least. So, I comment on how in another post by him he is complaining about religious posts but, now he is doing it. Then people tell me to just keep scrolling by supporting his views. Of course I said, no, no way. A friend of mine in the group comes on with a sarcastic remark which is allowed and encouraged in the group. I have to log off and get to my volunteer duties.

Later on in the day I log in and the group page doesn’t exist in my account. I get with friends and tell what is happening on my end. They are in but, some had been blocked.  After some time it appears I too have been blocked. Those friends attempt to add me back. No luck, no explanation given out. I contact the creator of the group and inquirer about the matter. No response, a dead end.

At this point I lick my wounds and chalk it up as God’s will. As I am contemplating what to do a friend comes up telling me about a group page. The group is from others who at one point in time had been blocked too.

Some time passes and I get a notice that I am in this new group. Sarcasm, joking, some apparently frustrated by the changing standards of the group we were blocked in. In my book they have a point and are not afraid to voice it because those rules don’t apply anymore.

In the mean time I convince a few to join this new group and make friends with those existing members also. Nice people they are. Free to speak whatever they want without offending others.

At the end of today I lost and gained. No regrets.

On the dole

Colm Pierce

When I left school at 18 the first thing I did was to sign on.  To sign on was, in other words receive social benefit. That dole money was a lifeline to people who had nothing. For me it was another roll of film  I could buy. In Cumberland Street where you had to get your welfare was a depressing place. This – you can have any colour you like as long as it’s battleship grey – building was never empty. All sorts of working class life  walked through its doors… kids crying with young mothers, school leavers, smack heads, the odd punk or new romantic.

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Make your plan and work your plan

Last year was the pits. Losing my mother and mother-in-law in less than thirty days. Then in December the looming date for retirement in thirty days, approaching fast.

Well, it all worked out. Made the decision not to find employment again. For crying out loud, I needed a rest. Isn’t that what retirement is for? Wasn’t sure how long my wife would take to adjust to me being home everyday. Not like I planned on sitting out till death came knocking.

When there is no job to go to, people would say, ” Your going to go bat shit crazy” with nothing to occupy 24 hours a day. Huh, I found more to do then there was hours in a day.  Floors that needed attention, yard work that had been put off till hell froze over. It was January, so there was limited work that could be accomplished.

In the mean time my wife had purchased items desperately needed for around the house. My last payroll check was adequate to get us through till Social Security and my pension came on a steady schedule. It took a period of three months be steady.

I started thinking what else would I want to do, other then a to do list. I had heard people recently speak of a bucket list. What to see and do before you die kind of list. Number one was to follow through on my dream to visit Ireland once. I tell you, it is hard to know your of Irish descent, belong to an Irish-Catholic fraternal organization without dreaming of the land where a distant ancestor had come from. My wife isn’t to thrilled about it with a new granddaughter coming into the world this year.

My cousin down in Georgia, who I made contact with two years ago had shown interest in going to Ireland. I did ancestry searches for years and stopped when I got to a dead end. My cousin and I exchanged what we knew from what our parents had shared. Still nothing developed in further searches.

So my goal is to visit Ireland before 2017 comes to an end. Sure having a new granddaughter will fill up my time, as did the other two grandchildren. Nothing will keep me from reaching my destination.

So, cousin when you read this, get your ducks in a row and pack your bags. You can finish the ancestry search while I am out finding my roots.

Slainte, yall.