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February 19, 2015 / Patti Bryant

Unbelievable in the Land of the Free

Thoughts in the mind of a woman shocked and amazed in the USA, 21st Century

I have been a student all my life. I have learned about people from all over the world and points in time. What I have been through in this day-and-age reminds me of history stories from beyond curtains of iron, walls of stone and settlements of yore. I found what people have done to one another unbelievable. What’s more unbelievable is how similar things still happen today.

There have been so many moments I have missed. Hours and even days have gone by without me even noticing. Without noticing anything other than the thought that nothing ended today; tomorrow there may be nothing else; beyond tomorrow – who knows?

I can’t believe the parts of life I have not been able to pay attention to in the last eight months. I remember sitting with my husband, snuggled up on the loveseat watching one of our favourite mystery series. I can’t tell you when that last happened. I know there was a summer of 2014, but I can’t really say I recall anything in particular of it. Usually there would have been laughter and summer fun, last summer I couldn’t tell I had been on a roller coaster even though my daughter said I screamed each of the four times I rode with her. Football and Fall is one of my favourite combinations. I was so unsure of being alive I hardly remember the cold bleachers beneath me. When taste returned; food stuffed emotions.

When you are so busy going to work and running kids around to activities, you sometimes may catch yourself thinking something foolish like – I can’t wait ’til I retire – I can’t wait ’til the kids are out of the house. So foolish to think life will begin later. So foolish to think you will have any time after right now. I would give anything to step back to time when all the bases were covered and all the kids were home and all their friends were in and out our doors. Hanging Christmas stockings; Valentine heart bags; decorating for ever holiday I could think of to make sure my family knew a little bit about all the varied and wonderful things people hold dear and precious. I loved that.

Today, I am so frustrated that words from a stranger have changed absolutely everything in my life. I remember all the bully dialogues I used to share with my children. “Don’t be angry, that gives them power over you.” “Someone else may be going through something just like you.” “You need to tell someone.” I didn’t give anyone power in my life. All the power in my life to be who I believe, do what I am to do, live the way I am to live, has been taken from me.


I struggle every day to get up and keep moving forward. I do get up and move forward.
I am challenged to keep a hopeful thought in my mind. I know I always have hope.
I sometimes forget what the bright side is. I know so well, things could be horribly worse.
I question me more than I have ever have. My family and friends remind me I am loved and I am OK.
I doubt. I pray.


My victory may not come in the manner which I think. I am learning to accept that notion. The timing of everything is not my own. I have seen that many times. The things I’ve learned in life have multiplied with every step of my journey. The things I have been reminded of are so clear I won’t forget them any time soon. There is nothing men or this world can throw at me which I cannot manage through the love of and faith in my Heavenly Father. I claim victory through it all by the grace of God.


My friend went to sleep and didn’t wake up here anymore. My friend was faithfully driving to cancer treatment and God decided that was enough. My friend had just lost the love of her life in a car wreck and she didn’t have to be without him for more than a few hours. Everything in life could end in the blink of an eye but I mustn’t give in to worry. All the hard stuff I go through, just ain’t worth it. My eternity is brighter than anything I can dream of on earth. This is so fleeting a time we spend here.

I want to focus on what really matters. I am hopeful I will be able to again. Soon.


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