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Postcards from the Prairies: Life’s secrets, according to you…

I don’t have a tattoo, but at the ripe old age of 38, pardon me, 27, I’d like to get the following quote inked on my body. (My mother will faint. But not before issuing an oral dissertation on how silly a tattoo will look when I’m 80. P.S. Mom, if I make it to 80, I’m going to get a tattoo AND start smoking again. P.P.S. I love Jesus.)

“Men are haunted by the vastness of eternity. And so we ask ourselves, will our actions echo across the centuries? Will strangers hear our names long after we’re gone and wonder who we were? How bravely we fought… how fiercely we loved…”

— from Homer’s Odyssey

As for my children, I won’t be here to witness their entire journey, or see how their story ends. This is as it should be — I can only pray I’ll be gone long before them. But I hope they never forget how deeply they were loved. Because in the end, all ego-related issues will be laid to waste; our pride, our quest to be perfect, our shame, our attempts to hide our weaknesses, our fears, our sadness, our pain. In the end, we’ll come to realize that if only we had shared more openly along the way, then we could’ve helped ourselves, and in doing so, we would have helped others. As the saying goes, he who saves the life of one man, saves the world. This is what will matter. How bravely we fought, how fiercely we loved.

Here forthwith, are the remaining topics you think we should talk about more often. Part 3

Marriage, and how hard it is. Why do marriages fall apart? Why do some stay together? And not just stay together, but truly want to stay together. Let’s face it, “till death do us part” is a really long time.

How we really feel. I’m not talking so much at work, but at home. I know I’m not open (not sure why) with my husband about my insecurities, self-esteem, how some things he may do, or not do, make me feel, and that’s really a shame. I do encourage my children to talk to me about things even though I can’t. I don’t want them to not open up. So far, it’s working. People are often shocked at the honest conversations my daughter has with us. We encourage it and always have. If we didn’t encourage her from a very young age, there is no way she’d be talking to us now as a teenager!

Equality. I used to bring it up all the time, however, a lot of my family is very closed minded (slightly racist and definitely homophobic) and they change the subject as quickly as humanly possible. I think the more we talk about equal rights for all, regardless of face, social status and sexual orientation, it eventually won’t be that big of a deal.

Right now in public schools they’re talking about sexual differences, and how everyone should fit in a public school. Ever try to be different in a small town? No fun. Ever try to be different in a small Catholic town? Impossible! Although I have my own personal (religious) views on this, I think that it’s critical to teach kids (and adults) that we need to be respectful and tolerant and considerate of others, even if their choice is different than ours. I want that for my kids. Getting the guts up to address this in my small Catholic community is something else altogether.

I want to talk about having family night more often.

Sharing how we really feel. The good and the bad.

Health and society’s lack of, should be talked about more openly! People need to be accountable and take responsibility for their actions. It’s just too easy for people to be dependent on government, doctors and health care for their wellness.

My husband and I pretty well discuss everything.

I feel like society should be more willing to talk about the fact that whether we like it or not, the children that we’re raising today are our future.

Integrity, accountability, hubris, materialism and constant labelling that create division in society. For example, the increase in obesity and inability to differentiate between needs and wants in increasing public debt loads.

God.

What we really want out of life.

Inequalities in the world.

What it means to move off the farm and down the road a bit… we’re doing this at the age of 77 and 79.

Openly talk to children about sex and their bodies, and how their health problems are sometimes due to their eating and drinking habits. As a grandmother, it can be quite delicate talking of sex matters to teenagers.

Depression.

Personal finances.

Never feeling good enough, or adequate.

Everyone getting a fair share — how do you make that happen for your kids?

Drug use.

Dissatisfaction in my current job.

I think parents should discuss more money, budgeting and financial things with their kids.

Feelings. Real feelings. Not what we think others want to hear. It’s hard to be assertive about this and not have it backfire.

As a community, we should talk more about alcoholism.

I wish we’d talk more about the silliness of trying to fit in, and really, how stupid it is. We were made different for a damn good reason, and we should pay attention to that.

That’s it for me, friends! I’ll be back in October… I’ll miss your scandalous adoration and the never-ending fan mail (that I dream you send me). Until then, you can follow me on my blog at www.postcardsneverwritten.blogspot.com. I promise to keep you entertained. †

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