Sunday, January 22, 2012

Do you miss us yetta Etta?

As I sit listening to the best of Etta, rip, I'm thinking about her life. She was known just as much for her powerhouse voice as her struggles. She battled an extremely heavy drug addiction and numerous other drawbacks, pretty much all industry influenced. Despite the world against her some days, at last she indeed found a calm and it seems from news reports she did live out her last days in peace. Ailments did plague her of course but it seems she found her peace with just life. That is such a tremendous feat and something I wholeheartedly admire.

I think this is why I have always had an extreme admiration/love for the elderly. My high school job was at a retirement community. It was the kind of place more active senior citizens moved when they really wanted to have that Florida, beach town sunny weather with all the things you could want. The place had a hair salon, banquet halls ready for various game and card nights, a crystal dining room(which is where I worked- loved it!) and of course some pretty sweet theme nights held in that crystal dining room (Shout out for monthly Birthday Night parties. Birthday cake galore?? Hellssss yeaaaaaa). Every resident was better than the last and each was close to different ones of us. We all had our surrogates and adoration ran rampant.

I also was close to both my Nana and Poppy and still am with my Grandma and Grandpa. I find them amusing, more so than any other family members, and both sides of my family are funny folks. The grandparents just demonstrate where the rest of the humor generates from. They're also such a strong proof that while life is a trying experience and tough moments are bound to happen, you survive. Perseverance is key. Like we all hear the stories, "I hiked up a steep mountain..in the snow..backwards..not knowing where it would drop.." etc. We all have our versions. But really, without these stories where would we be? I'll tell you. Bored. At the table on Thanksgiving. At Sunday lunch. When you just call home to hear your Grandma say one of her trademark lines sure to have you chuckling. Stories of trial, of humor, of devotion, of chaos all make our worlds go round. Sure these stories come from other family members too. We can thank those wonderful elders for something else wonderful. For me personally though, there is nothing like the wisdom of someone spending their days thifting and reflective of the places they're been and all the while proving where they stand today and that is simply here..they made it past the tests and the struggles and even picked up some great tales along the way.

While my life is only as tough as all recent (semi-I'm pretty sure I'll need to stop calling myself 'a recent college grad' and accept I'm in the working world, long done with tanning daily, 2-4-1's, and contemplating noon or evening classes so I could sleep longer in the mornings) college grads working their first entry level position and chasing dreams when the work day has ended. You know, I fully believe all people chasing their true destiny work all day and night, for different yet equally important goals. The day goal is to work a job that does what it does-it pays your immediate bills, gifts you health insurance and pushes you to work even harder, aiming to meet your night goal. The night goal is the true key to your happiness, what you see your self doing once you get to the point of making it your only goal and perhaps even the job you've longed for. I deal with the traditional struggles such as student loans, the what-if's, the what now's and of course the inevitable what the hell's. Which despite what your parents did tell you, Momma said there would be days but not weeks like some of the ones that happen when you're setting up your life. This is exactly why I feel thankful for the survival of the truest and fittest.

Etta James, you deserve to take your peace. Well earned dear lady.

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