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Posts Tagged ‘father’

         Did you ever go to a wedding and just observe the Bride and the Groom closely?  Today, i did just that very thing.  Oh, to be sure…the Bride was beautiful and full of smiles; and she looked the picture of what a Bride should look like.  Youth, beauty, joy and excitement poured forth from her face as she, who is normally very shy, looked everyone in the eye and took her vows.  This was her testiment to her pledge of love and commitment.

          The Groom also looked young and full of love and pride in the bride of his choosing.  There were awkward moments in the ceremony…such as a very loud train rumbling by the church…just as the bride was speaking her vows. Then, they did some wonderfully, unique things in their ceremony.  They took communion during the ceremony which was lovely.  The poor bride got a larger piece of the bread put into her mouth by her groom; which took her several minutes to chew and swallow…which caused her to be somewhat embarassed and caused some good natured laughter in the crowd.

          Part of the unique ceremony took place when the bride was given in marriage by her father to her groom; at that point…the bride and groom took the elevated platform in the front of the church; and the minister then, came out into the congregation and stood with his back towards the back of the church…he faced the bride and groom; who stood facing the spectators.  This viewpoint gave the advantage of watching the bride and groom as they spoke their vows, lit the candles, and smiled into each other’s eyes as they whispered affectionetly to one another.  Then, the groom played the guitar while one of his groomsmen sang a tribute to their love for one another.

           All in all, it was a trusting, loving, innocent step into the future as husband and wife…not knowing what the future holds for them…just knowing that they were taking the beginning step forward, together!  Hopeful for a lifetime journey.

        

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       The infamous Hugh Hefner, publisher/owner of Playboy magazine, is lonely but not alone.  His longtime girlfriend Holly Madison has left him.  She is still residing in the Playboy mansion for the time being as she is also part of his business…however, their personal romantic relationship is over.  The reason being is that Holly wanted & hoped for marriage and babies. 

        Approximately six months ago, Holly found out that Hugh is no longer able to father children at the age of 82.  Marriage also was not in the cards; as he is still married to wife, Kimberly Conrad.  You would think that a woman who lived with, at least, two other women in their relationship…that not only would she understand that marriage was not part of the plan…but, that bringing children into such an arrangement would NOT be a good thing. 

        Still, other than the obvious perks of living with an extremely wealthy man who could offer many material things in life…one has to wonder what, if any, benefit there is for women who range from ages 18-28 would find from being one of several romantic partners with an 82 year old man who lives such a public life of a player. 

        For his part in this debacle, Hugh says that he has been down in the dumps since the split.  At the same time, Hugh makes it a plainly obvious that he is moving on.  He is already looking for new partners to add to his female menagerie.  He says that he will NOT live alone.

        If a person was to think on the psychological side of this equasion…you’d have to wonder why a man who is aging is so bent on surrounding himself with young beautiful women, in large numbers all at the same time, and who is so determined not to live alone.  It is not as if these young women can keep him from aging or knocking on death’s door when the time comes.  It seems such an empty pursuit; a steady avoidance of anything deeper than a temporary commitment.  Hugh was married twice; one marriage ended in divorce, and the other in a long term seperation that continues to this day. 

        Still, there has been a considerable amount of interest in the life of the man who founded Playboy magazine and the business behind it.  There seems to be no shortage of women who are willing to become a part of his lifestyle.  Many of those women have gone on to make a name for themselves in the entertainment industry themselves.  Morally, many people have taken issues with the man, his business, and the message that is implied of living an alternative lifestyle that is in direct opposition to traditional relationships regarding men and women. 

        The image of Hugh Hefner and his life are rolled into a neat little wrap of sexual freedom, financial indulgences, celebrity dalliances and carefree relationships.  However, beneath the surface of such fairytales are usually layers of pain, anger, dysfunction, fear and abandonment issues. 

         In the end, only Mr. Hefner has the answers to such ponderings.  If there are such issues in his life, we will probably never know it.  I am fairly sure, buried in a file cabinet in a lawyers office somewhere, is probably a stack of documents; attesting to the fact of an agreement of confidentiality between Mr. Hefner and the bevy of beauties who have come and gone out of his very public life. Otherwise, don’t you think we would have heard lurid tales of love em and leave em situations from those who have felt jilted by Hugh Hefner, in the past?

        

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        Have you ever known a couple that is going through a serious trial in their marriage?  What about when one partner wants a divorce and one does not?  Have you ever wondered how hard someone should fight for their marriage?

         I know someone who is going through the battle to save their marriage.  He says he didn’t know how to show love.  His marriage was jepardized because of it.  He grew up with a father that was only able to show his love by working hard for his family…he didn’t know how to express it in any other way.  His children grew up to repeat those patterns.

         Now another generation is struggling to find ways to communicate love and devotion…but it may be too late.  His wife is ready to move on.  And yet, he still hangs in there…sacrificing his own wants and needs to bend over backwards to give her control over what happens to their future.  Not knowing if she will stop the divorce before it happens…not knowing if she can even remember what drew them together in the first place.

            She admits that she wants Prince Charming.  When she wanted to work on the marriage…he didn’t realize the depth of the issues.  He was in denial.  She was tired of trying to fix things on her own.  Things never got fully resolved.

          The hurt goes deep.  The clock is ticking…the legal proceedings are moving along.  Can it be saved in time before the divorce takes place…maybe, but they both have to want it.  They both have to find news ways of communicating with each other without falling into old patterns of behavior.  No one is blameless in this…we all are products of our previous relationships in family and romance.  Is it possible to move on and be happy if you can’t resolve the problems from your present relationships?  I hope healing can take place.

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        While watching the 12th season of The Bachelor this year…one couldn’t help but notice how Shayne Lamas had Matt Grant wrapped around her little pinkie finger.  No matter what any of the other 24 contestants did or didn’t do…he was drawn to Shayne.  If I remember right, on one episode that had Shayne’s father, Lorenzo Lamas, on it…he made some kind of mysterious statement regarding the reason why she wanted to be the chosen one…she wanted to be on television.  That sort of came across to me as self serving…she didn’t appear to be authentic, in my opinion, in showing her feelings for him either. Yet Matt proposed to Shayne and gave her the engagement ring; he believed in the relationship enough to get publically engaged.  I can’t help but wonder…how the other young lady that was rejected feels now…does she feel vindicated…sorry for poor Matt…???  (more…)

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        It is with sadness that i tell you, that today is the day that it was announced that the Professor Randy Pausch has died.  He has made a huge impact on people all around the world with what was called “The Last Lecture”.  He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and made an effort to spread the legacy of living your life to the fullest…living out your dreams…living with integrity…living with truth.  (more…)

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      Once again the term an honor killing, has hit the news.  A  Pakistani father, Chaudhry Rashid living in Georgia, who had arranged a marriage for his 25 year old daughter Sandeela Kanwal, is being accused of killing her when she expressed that she no longer wished to be married to the man (who she had not seen in recent months as he lives in Chicago). 

      Sandeela Kanwal was unhappy with the arranged marriage and wished to divorce.  Her father allegedly strangled her to death out of a cultural sense of family honor that was in jeaparody in his mind.   He was so angry that he chose to end her life, rather than admit that a marriage he had helped to arrange was not working out well. 

       Did he put so little value in his daughter’s happiness that he put his own sense of embarassment, about the failure of the marriage, ahead of her life?  Obviously she respected her father’s wishes and married the man her father had picked out for her.  There must have been a compelling reason for her to wish to leave the marriage. What I want to know is…how is family honor preserved by killing one’s own daughter?  How is it more honorable to murder than it is to divorce; in any culture? 

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        For those of you who have been depressed, despondent, abused, neglected, suicidal, victimized or just oppressed; know this, the human spirit is subject to change at any moment…it is resilient.  The absolutely amazing thing about going through any of those difficulties in life, is that it has the potential of either destroying a person, or strengthening them, like steel that has gone through the heat of a fire. 

          What causes a person to either become submerged under the weight of negative influences; or, to spring up and bounce back even stronger ? 

           I believe it is a combination of things.  We are all products of our past; we have been taught many things throughout our childhoods and young adulthood that influences how we perceive things.  Most of those things are unconscious and basically invisible, but, still they are there; determining how we interpet the challenges in life; and, therefore, how we handle those same challenges.  We have to make a personal committment to ourselves to change the direction our lives are going if we wish to live a life that is full of the good things life has to offer.

          If we have been lucky enough to have a strong healthy foundation during those formative years we have a huge headstart.  If we were instead rooted in poor soil and unhealthy relationships during those years; we often have alot to overcome. 

          It is not impossible to overcome those things.  It is by strength of will and determination that we learn how to channel our inner self to go in the direction of love, health, and personal well-being.  It is a matter of retraining how we think about things and learning not to focus on the obstacles and the negativity that surrounds us on a daily basis.

          I was reminded of these things today, when i read about Elizabeth Fritzl, the young Austrian woman held captive by her father in a basement for 24 years.  She was forced to endure loneliness, sexual abuse, emotional damage and physical confinement.  She was raped repeatedly by her father and gave birth to seven children during this time.  They grew up without “normal” human interaction. 

        At this point they are receiving treatment in a  psychiatric facility.  The family is getting help learning how to bond together; how to communicate with others, how to function outside of their basement prison.  Elizabeth, the mother of the children grew up at home, with her mother and father…until she was 18 years old.  At that point, he forced her to live in the basement while explaining her “disappearance” to the rest of the world by saying that she had run off to join a cult.

          Elizabeth and her children are bouncing back in amazing ways.  One would think that they might never recover.  After all, some of them didn’t speak as we know speaking; they communicated with grunts and noises.  However, they survived against all odds.  Their healing and renewal will happen with good guidance and therapy.  It should be encouraging to us all that the human spirit is resilient; it is meant to sustain us in times of devastation.

            At some point in life we have to “choose” to overcome the negative forces that have gone before and “decide” to grow, heal, strengthen; and, claim victory over the things in life that hold us back from who we were created to be.   It is work, it isn’t easy and often professional help is necessary; but, it is so worth it to have the freedom to once again live life fearlessly, and fully, with joy!

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       By now, most of you have probably heard about the derranged daddy who destroyed the lives of at least 8 people.  They lived in Austria.  He locked his 18 year old daughter in his specially designed, tiny basement for 24 years.  He abused her;  impregnating her 7 times.  One of the babies died soon after birth; and, the father allegedly put the baby into the furnace.  What a psychological nightmare…something out of an almost unbelievable book of fiction; that noone wants to read.

        Over the years, he had the daughter write a letter saying she could not care for her 3 of her children…after she “disappeared”.  The mother raised three of the children.  How could she do this and not push for some answers?  Did she push for answers?  Or was she just as abused in her own way by this man?   Three more of the children were locked in this basement along side of their mother.  This is the only world they have ever known.  The trauma,fear and pain they must all be in seems almost too much to bear.

       Many people are saying…did the mother know> how could she NOT know?>why would she not push to know more>   There is so much that we do not understand at this time; i am afraid there will be even more horrors to come out in time.  For instance, who helped him build this basement with secretive rooms?  Why didn’t authorities search his home when the daughter went missing?  How did food and water…and other basic necessities keep them alive without SOMEONE KNOWING?  And if someone did know…how could they not do something to end this world of pain and suffering?  There are more questions than answers at this point in time.

       The father admits this horror is true.  His daughter and her three children, that were confined, are getting help; but it may take a lifetime.  But truly, is any amount of help ever going to allow these poor people to live a normal life?   They certainly deserve to live in peace and safety. 

        What about the three children who lived “upstairs” with their grandmother and for lack of a better term GRANDFATHER?  Were they abused?  How will they process the fact that they lived right above their mother and siblings?  How will they deal with the knowledge that their mother and siblings lived like caged animals while they did not?  There is going to be long term mental health treatment for all of these people. 

        They have never had education, normal human interaction, health care, or freedom.  It must be a bit like flying into space and finding an alien environment and being forced to land there and function. 

         And let’s talk about the father…how does someone become such a detached person to cause such damage to those you are “wired” to love and protect in a normal way?  What a contemptible situation for human beings to be in. 

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         Ok…i can’t do it.  I can’t read the news i just read and keep quiet.  I was made aware of a young 8 year old girl who was forced to wed in Yemen.  She was forced to become a bride to a 30 year old man, by her father.  

          The young girl’s name is Nojoud Nasser.  Her father told her that she must marry this man or she would be raped; and, no one would help her.  She refused and he beat her.  She was not able to stop the marriage.  This was not a joyous occasion; she did not wish this marriage. 

           After two months of marriage and being chased around the man’s home and abused…Nojoud escaped.  She was able to find her way to a courthouse, where by the grace of God, she was able to get a lawyer, named Shatha Nasser, to help her.  May God bless Shatha Nasser and the work she is doing to help young girls like Nojoud.

           Someone annoymously donated the money needed to pay her dowry, and her divorce fee, to end her marriage.  She is probably the youngest divorced person at the age of 8.  Nojoud is now living with her uncle.  She plans to return to school; however, will she be able to go back to being just a young innocent girl?  No…and that is the problem…she will have to spend a lifetime healing the emotional wounds. 

            I understand that different cultures have different customs…but, forcing a child into marriage is not right.  Here in America, we are going through a difficult time trying to figure out who was abused and coeorced into marriage in the recent raid on a Fundalmentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints sect who practice polygamy with women under the age of 18, allegedly.  Around the world these things happen, but when they do…it is our responsibility to stand up and say it is not only wrong…but, we will take measures to protect those who cannot protect themselves.

            It is inhuman to treat young girls as if they are adult women.  They should never be forced to get married and have adult relations with a man.  It is cruel.  Children should be allowed to have a childhood.  I can not understand a parent, who would not only condone this type of marriage; but, also force a young child to be married, knowing that the child would be forced into a sexual relationship.

            It is time that some human rights organizations get involved in protecting the rights of children when it is understood that some cultures allow this type of treatment. Organizations such as Human Rights Watch have goals in place to help children who are being mistreated.  http://www.hrw.org/children/about.htm

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      This past two weeks has been rough on a young widow.  Her husband was killed in Irag on March 31.  Kynesha Dhanoolal, the widow, wanted to save his sperm as she and her husband had talked often, of having children together.  She wants to be the mother of his children.

     It appears that a will was not on file anywhere and the military had papers designating Kynesha’s husband’s (Dayne) mother as the person to whom the right of handling his remains; should anything happen to him.  It would appear that Kynesha’s mother- in- law at first was not in agreement of harvesting her son’s sperm, initially.

      Days were spent in discussion before an agreement took place.  Experts say that the sperm may not be viable anymore.  It seems after a man’s death…the sperm loose their mobility and their viability to fertilize an egg within hours.  The harvesting didn’t take place until 4 days after his death and that means that the potential to create a baby has definately lessoned.  It would be a miracle it sounds like if a child was to be conceived.

       I can understand wanting a baby together.  I can understand having the choice to have the child of her husband…however, he was in the military.  He is unfortunately no longer alive to help her raise the child or support the child financially.  This whole situation will open a bunch of legal and moral questions.

        If she is blessed with a pregnancy from her husband’s sperm…will her pregnancy be covered under military benefits?  Since the father is no longer alive would the child be entitled to social security benefits?  Would tax payers be responsible for the support of this future child.  Since the potential conception can only take place by artificial insemination…will that be procedure be paid for by military benefits? With the father gone; who will be a positive male role model for the child?   

         Having lost her husband…i am sure all of those issues are not at the forefront of Mrs. Dhanoolal’s mind.  She is grieving the loss of her young husband.  She is grieving the loss of her dreams of having a child with the man she loves.  I am sure she is regretful of having to force such a request on the mother of her husband as she is grieving the loss of her son.  This, I am sure has added another aspect of grieving for both women.  If, after having to wait for those four days, a pregnancy does not occur will the daughter-in-law blame the mother-in-law for not agreeing sooner?   

         If the expert is correct and the sperm is no longer able to produce a pregnancy…the grieving will continue for both women.  There will be no child or grandchild from the man that they both loved.  The war in Iraq has stolen another generation from another family.  The whole thing is very sad.  This service man and his family has sacrificed what so many others have sacrificed before him…a future with their loved ones. 

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