Blog 2265 – 01.02.2022
Never Met A Stranger
For the first ten years or so of what I recall of this adventure, I was a shy, reserved, and quite “backward” boy mimicking my mother who was all three of those things. But even then I admired my gregarious, outspoken, and “forward” dad of whom most people said, “he never met a stranger.” My dad, a true son of the south, had sadly many of the remnants of prejudices passed on from father to son in this part of America since the beginning if it’s colonization by the Spanish, French, and English settlers. Dad had strong political opinions and as I said prejudices, but I believe a nevertheless overriding love of people. He never met a stranger because he considered everyone he met family.
I loved that about my daddy and as soon as I was able I began to be more like him in that regard. My dad was a big talker and it was difficult often to “get a word in edgewise” with him, but he could after he had entertained you with several of his long-winded stories be a quite attentive listener too. I was never really sure if he was listening because he was really interested in what you had to say so much as hoping to hear a good story that he could tell in first person to others making it his own. Dad was a great story teller and when called out for obvious plagiarism would say that to him a story just sounded better in first person.
I met a lady, named Betty yesterday who is a long time friend of my brother and sister who live in South Carolina that I had not seen for years. I got to speak with her and to learn a lot about her in a short time by asking questions. Betty’s father was a career soldier of Irish/Native American decent who met her mother in Japan while he was stationed there. She was Japanese of Mongolian descent. She loved to dance and would go to the USO club and wait for soldiers to ask her to dance.
Betty’s dad love to dance too and they “shagged” both in the musical group Alabama’s song sense of “we went dancing, shagging on the boulevard” and later after they were married also in the comedian/actor Mike Myers a.k.a. Austin Powers’ “wanna shag, Baby” sense of the word. Betty’s mom and dad had six children one after another and when traveling through airports, after being transferred from base to base as her father got different assignments over his long military career, her mom would tie her little ones together to keep them in line behind her and so that they would not get separated. Hearing Betty tell that part of her story, I visualized a mother duck with her little ducklings in tow making their way through large airports around the world.
Betty’s dad died at age 56, after years of being an Army Mess Sergeant and retiring as an E-7. Betty said her mother, who is still living at 94 years of age, while her husband was still alive, never cooked Thanksgiving dinner, but that her dad did because he loved to cook and bake. The soldiers loved his cooking as did his son, and five daughters.
I am so glad that I got to meet my long lost sister Betty and told her so before we parted yesterday saying that it was “terrific” to meet her. I have a sneaking suspicion that we have met before, perhaps many times, in previous lives. No, I do not recall any specific incidents, but Betty believes as I do that we are all children of the Universe reflecting the image of our divine parent or parents and that we therefore have probably played many previous roles in our journeys through space and time.
The reason we never meet a stranger is there is really no such thing, just family that we have yet to meet. Jesus was once entertaining the crowds that gathered around him with parables (stories) and his mother, brothers, and sisters were trying to get to him through the crowd and one member of his posse of twelve, probably a Matt, John, or James interrupted him to let him know that his immediate family was waiting to see him. Jesus waved at the crowd and said, “These are my mother, my brothers, and my sisters, they that do the will of our heavenly parent.” I do not think that Jesus meant to slight his natural mother and siblings, nor that he was setting some high bar of “acceptable ” behavior as the criterion for being considered a child of God. We are not family because we act a certain way or because we look or think a certain way, nor do we have to be “born again” to be family, being born once is enough, though as I said I believe that this is not our first rodeo nor our last.
I posted a link a few days ago to Disney’s animated Pocahontas singing “Colors of the Wind.” In the song she sings to her white boy friend, John Smith:
Jesus never met a stranger, only family and friends for that is all there is in this life or any other, past, present, or future.
Your friend and fellow traveler through time and space,
Thank You For Being A Friend
P.S. To my other sister Betty White, we will be miss you so much, for the smart, sexy, and funny lady you were to us all in this life.