Thanks to all of you who have visited Book Readers Heaven this year... Both writers and readers have made my life complete and emotionally full...through books and sharing... Thanks to Charles Anderson, Lee Harmon and others who have been willing to stand up to my sometimes deep questions on their books and respond honestly and openly... There have been so many who have shared their issues and goals through their wonderful books. But, I think this book was probably the one most deeply felt...in a strange, but, for me, quite reasonable response since I had experienced job burnout, humiliation and anger during my last years of employment...
When I read this man's story, I wrote my review. If you haven't read it, please click over and do so...
Since I haven't been able to get over my anger for how I was treated by officials at the place where I worked, I reacted on behalf of this writer. Why wasn't there anger in his book?!
Wow, Wow, Wow, Your review left me speechless with tears running down my cheeks. You brought back memories that vacated my brain years ago. To answer your question of where is the hate, I have to say the “no response” it is a learned response. I observed my father’s face each time Mr. Sampson brought him moonshine. Dad “Smiled” and vacated the premise. Any show of emotions would have cost him his life. When approached by Mr. Lust, he expected me to smile and respond, “How can I please you today. Any other response could have cost me my life. This was early in my pre-teen and teenage years before I became a Catholic.
The only one I could fight back was other young blacks who bullied me. I could with them express my anger and frustration with immunity. This was a daily practice until Sister Bird intervened. When I dug, the three-foot ditch around the football field, it was the first time I felt punished for expressing my anger. Sister Wisdom put the dressing on the cake when she told me that if I ever lost my two front teeth, I would never play the trumpet again. Then my Catholic faith taught me that the act of holding on to anger, hurts and frustration was a self-inflicted wound. It would destroy me from within. My fight with Fred in the ninth grade was my last physical fight until I encountered Herodias in 1964.
I became so angry with her that I ran to catch her. I thank God that she was able to get into her apartment before I caught her. I was so angry that I temporary lost my sanity. Had I caught her, you would not be reading this blog. She would be wearing a halo or fanning red-hot flames and I would probably still be in Fort Leavenworth or dead. Remember, she was eight month pregnant. Had I caught her, she and her baby would have been seriously hurt or dead. I was so angry that I had lost touch with reality and had to learn from eight strange women who observed the incident to tell me what occurred. Remember, I am a school-trained infantryman trained to take the enemy out. By the time, I had an encounter with Bathsheba; my faith had matured to the point that I put the incident in the hand of God. Satan’s influence was so strong that is subverted justice.
Again, at a tender age, I promised mom that I would never hurt a woman. My sense of righteousness became my Achilles hill. I am still angry at many things in life but I try to emulate Mother Theresa practice to turn my anger into “something beautiful for God”.
Daily I pray St. Ignatius Loyola’s’ prayer: “Lord Jesus Christ, take all my freedom, my understanding, and my will. All that I have and cherish you have given me. I surrender it all to be guided by your will. Your love and your grace are wealth enough for me. Give me these Lord Jesus, and I ask for nothing more. Amen.”
I believe that if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. I hope my book will begin a national conversation about race and self-determination and independence. My life is proof that adversity can be overcome and you can achieve any dream you dare to dream.
Recently, I got a new email from James and asked if I could share:
I visit Jolande daily, talk, and sing to her. This is like waking up from a bad dream but I know that I am not dreaming. I never dreamed that our marriage so perfect in my eyes, would end like this but I am sure that God has another purpose of which I am not yet privileged to know. I need to be patient and wait.
Author "Black Dad-White Dad"
James, you have opened your heart to those who've read your book...Now we open our hearts to you and Jolande... My Mom died peacefully in her sleep, but she always feared that something would happen and she would be a burden to me since she'd been living with me. We never know how to face what comes in and to our lives. More importantly there is always the hidden question of Why... We never know the answer... But I know this Jolande and you are:
Know that you have allowed us to walk in your shoes...now we can share your heart as the love of your life faces the unknown...
I thank you for sharing your burden with me and allowing me to share with others. My Readers, stop just a minute this Thanksgiving and whisper and send your thoughts to Jolande and James and know that we've walked in their shoes and into their hearts this day...
May we all say thanks to those around us and those far away - Thanks to James from me for allowing me to bear his anger and then showing me to let it gooooo...
May your Thanksgiving and upcoming holidays be filled with their meaning...to love one another, as we are able... to walk...