Teach cursive? I answer a resounding, facetious “NO.”


No…no….no. I will teach it to MY grandchildren and they will teach their children and my boys’ children will become expert translators and highly sought for transcribing historical documents that are written in cursive and have not yet been transcribed into archived typewritten words floating in the digital cloud.

I dabble in the dark forces of genealogy. (I say “dark” because it’s as addictive to my kind as that smoky old dragon heroin is to all those Baltimore folks I’ve seen on The Wire.)  I am shocked to learn that young genealogist dabblers are frustrated to death because they cannot read the handwritten historical documents that ooze with clues about their ancestors. They often post death certificates and other ancient snippets of handwritten history in various social media hangouts. They need someone to help them translate into printed words what was written one hundred or more years ago in the Good Lord’s official version of Texas-English cursive writing! It’s true! I have translated a good many for these young genealogy enthusiasts.

So, NO. Let’s don’t teach cursive. Let’s allow all that fine hand of perfectly formed cursive writing to become deeply mysterious and cryptic so that my progeny will have more ways to shine…Granny will teach them an ancient secret…how to read the curly, scrawly words.

Seriously, though, before I realized how much of our history was curled up in beautiful penmanship (and the scrawling scratch of doctors), I didn’t have a good argument for keeping cursive alive. I am a typist; I write as little as possible because the keyboard is my preferred method of expressing myself.

But, this year, I have seen that if we let it go, we turn the beautiful, meaningful words written in cursive by our forefathers and mothers into a new brand of hieroglyphics, for lack of a better word. Perhaps we do not teach it as penmanship; we teach it as a required ancient art or language.

My Crazy Came Out

My crazy came out a little bit today at the College Station movie theater today, right before the matinee’.
I went to a nice *lady* movie…the One Hundred Foot Journey. This was not my usual movie choice, I am a lover of gritty stories about gangsters, mobsters, pirates, or war.

I was with a nice lady, a nurse–this personality should not be confused with nice lemon-meringue-pie-making church-lady-types…totally different, those healthcare professionals…wicked senses of humor, they save lives for a living…very stand up, and they know how to play a joke. (Be patient, I am staging the scene…)

Another healthcare professional and her friend were going to meet us there.

So, the nurse and I are walking through the parking lot and into the movie and a horn blares off at us like “GET OUT OF THE WAY. NO, SERIOUSLY, MOVE IT.” Obviously, since NICE LADIES would not do that, I assume….nay—I BELIEVE strongly in my heart that it is the other nice but fun-loving woman furloughed from the hospital for the day and her friend. I know they like a joke so I turn around and mouth off. It might have been a little bit of something pejorative if you weren’t on the inside of the joke.

Except…well, that’s right…it wasn’t our friends. It was a car load of genuinely NICE ladies who were honking at their friends…probably fresh out of church…and, there I was…gesturing and asking “dubya tee ef…do you want a piece of me?”

SO…yes, my crazy came out at the Cine-mark today…I don’t think I can get it back in.

Why did Robin do it??

The link at the bottom of this post will tell you exactly why; and, the author agrees with me, so it gives me a chance to sound off a little bit.

So…why did Robin do it? Now, that’s a heck of a question to pose to a widow or a family member. More than a few acquaintances asked me that when my husband, a handsome, successful, witty, and seemingly happy man, killed himself.

By the way, by “acquaintances,” I do NOT mean my family and friends who were as heartbroken as I. But, for the others, the folks who picked over the remains of my life looking for gossip, I had two stock responses. One was, “H3ll’s bells. If I had known the answer, I believe I would have stopped it and we would not be having this conversation, don’t you?” and the other was for me to deadpan stare at the one asking and say, “Because I am a witch and I cast a spell on him.”

I cannot take credit for the latter. The idea came from a superstitious young man at the car wash…a perfect stranger who told me “People come through here sayin’ you a witch because you ain’t afraid to stay in that haunted house where he done it.” I could not help myself. I laughed, which only perpetuated the legend, and thereafter, I felt entitled to use my witch-and-spell response as a defense mechanism when it felt appropriate. And, besides, I knew that there were those who just might genuinely think that to some degree I had some influence over that decision. You have to give ’em what they want to hear because people think what they want to…especially in small towns.

Then, there are the brilliant thinkers who, because they are scared to death to have a single thought that such a horrible situation could drop in on their lives and they must always know the answers and believe they are in control–they say, “Oh…wow…he took the coward’s way out!” To that, I say, “Well…hon, bless your heart and be careful out there.”

I talked to God about it constantly trying to come to terms with it all, and whether you believe that God spoke to me or not (or, if you think I am batsh!t crazy) doesn’t matter, but sitting in my first home in College Station at the kitchen table one very beautiful morning, I got the answer and was never bothered about the way Gary died again–grieved, yes, bothered and ruminating? Never again.. The expert in this article explains it. Suicidal depression tells the victim that those he loves will be better off without him. “Insurance is paid up. Affairs are in order. They will be better off without me.”

Unfortunately, when determined, strong people who love their families fall victim to suicidal depression, they don’t play around. They don’t threaten, whine, or hold loved ones hostage with suggestions that they might do it. They make plans and they get the job done the first time. The only hint I had looking back was that he was having trouble sleeping.

Sweet friends, events of suicide in the news don’t put me into a funk. It’s been 15 years and I made complete peace with it a long, long time ago. I could wax on not so eloquently about it for some time, but the dogs say it is bedtime. If you really want to know the answer about Robin Williams’s unfortunate and untimely death, here it is.

Read the article by wonderful Dr. Kay R. Jamison – To Know Suicide: Depression Can be Treated.