Monday, May 27, 2013

Just Doing Their Job

Happy Memorial Day!  

This blog post is actually about a different kind of service people, though it also fits veterans.  I wanted to say I appreciate everyone who goes out of their way to be friendly and helpful when it doesn't affect their paycheck.  

You all know from past posts that my dad is fighting cancer.  Well this past week was a bit up and down, but there were several people who gave me a lot of encouragement just by doing their jobs.  

Two of them were local Food Lion employees.  

My dad's been having trouble keeping food down, and mom sent me off to pick up something that he'd been having a little easier time eating.  She wrote down the brand and everything -problem was, once I was in the store I couldn't find it.  I had to call on a floor worker, who had to call on another employee while he was in the middle of doing his job.  They found it for me and the whole time they were very helpful and cheerful and didn't seem to mind being interrupted by a slightly lost customer puzzled by labeling.  

I don't often think about it when a store employee helps me out but that day my errand was so important that I really noticed -and really appreciated- not just the help, but the fact that they didn't seem to find me a bother, even though I was interrupting their work.  They didn't know my dad was sick.  They were just doing their job.  But it made a huge difference to me that they did it cheerfully.

The other incident was a lot more serious: a mess up in paperwork that we were afraid might prevent dad from getting proper treatment.  We all started praying, and mom started phoning, and one of the people she called got the matter straitened out so fast that it was handled the evening of the same day she called!  If you've ever dealt with paperwork, you can appreciate that this was a miracle.  We were very much rejoicing.  We were also thankful that the people involved cared enough to get right on the matter.  

People don't always see how their lives affect others, but to those who do your work well, who are willing to help the people you serve, Thank You.  And a special thanks to those out protecting our country.     

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Some thoughts on Once Upon a Time

I haven't been around much lately.  As I mentioned in the comments, Dad's been going through yet another skirmish in his battle with cancer.  Also, I've been trying to do more story writing.  So my Internet presence will be a bit spotty, like that's something new.

This morning I was catching up on Once Upon A Time (keeping current with the TV shows I follow is another one of those things that has kind of gone by the wayside these past few weeks).  The show has these big themes going about parent/child relationships and abandonment and lost love and all that, but another theme that really keeps the tension going is the question of fatalism.

See, the basic premises is that all these storybook characters got sent to our world because of a curse.  There's this cool back-and-forth between the past in the story world and the present in the real world.  But since these are story characters, there is a constant question of how much control they have over their own lives.  Is it really the evil queen's fault that she's evil when every time she tries to change, something comes along to push her back into her old role?  What happens if someone's true love dies?  Is that it?  Are they destined to be lonely forever?  

It's the old Oedipus question, really.  (Not to be confused with an Oedipus complex.)  If the gods of the Greek Pantheon for-ordained that Oedipus would kill his father and marry his mother, was it fair of them to punish him for it?  Did they force him to commit those acts and then destroy him, or did they just know what was going to happen?  And why couldn't the Star Wars prequel trilogy have grappled with these questions? 

Well, all that's for philosophers to settle (or not.  I had Philosophy in collage, and discovered that the old philosophers mostly just make cryptic remarks so you won't notice that they're getting paid not to tell you anything).  But you have to admit, it makes for an interesting TV show.