June’s Playground

The month of June started and ended with ups and downs. Prickly vines twisted and entwined our breaths gasping for air.

Overwhelming peaks and plummeting valleys warrant tremendous digesting of what each consequence means. The list, a never-ending story, trails its long opaque veil. The value and devastation of this country are politicized.

The Supreme Court has become not just a building on the Capitol’s guided tour, but more importantly—a party-majority of Supreme Court Judges, who are likened to absolute dictatorial rulers. They stand headstrong along their political lines and base decisions to feverishly change, rule, or strike down the rights of the now and future generations. It doesn’t matter what the mainstream says, feels, or rationalizes. The spaces between words are re-dissected by a higher court into what is perceived as a better way for this country to coexist.

Russia and Ukraine’s war has stretched beyond its borders. One example, Ukraine’s shipping of grain to Africa has been drastically cut. Looking at current stats (not all on Ukraine’s shoulders, but including severe drought conditions) more than 23 million are experiencing extreme hunger in Ethiopia, Somalia, and Kenya, according to Oxfam and Save the Children.

Adding the economy, inflation, record-high interest rates, and the January 6th Hearings—leaves me gasping for air.

Though June was full of much sadness and turmoil, there was a gathering of the doves for happier traditions as family reunions, weddings, graduations, and Father’s Day. I admit each of these touched me in a good way, because they are not everyday occurrences, and so, gave me much-needed comic relief.

Cheryl pictured with her fatherIt’s my father I miss. He was my everyday occurrence. I think about all the times I didn’t tell him thank you, and how many times his smile, wisdom, and kind voice lifted me. He is who I see in the mirror:  our facial features, thin stature, skin color, sense of humor, and deep caring of family and friendship bonding. I wonder what he would make of this world today. I’ll never know. He died from black lung cancer at 52 years old, some forty-plus years ago.

I do believe he’d be proud that I consistently vote since he insisted I watch many televised Civil Rights demonstrations, brutal beatings by police of African Americans when demanding their voter registration, and Dr. Martin Luther King giving that historical speech: I Had A Dream.

The talks Dad and I had instilled within me to stand up for what I believed. Dad wasn’t an educated man, leaving school in the 11th grade to work and help support a number of brothers and sisters.  Dad wasn’t a leader or a follower, but through all the grey areas, he was a fair man, who judged someone, not by money, status, or education—but by whether or not he could trust their moral compass. He had no problem using the word NO if his better judgment weighed heavier. He taught me not to be satisfied waking up each morning, but to make it a better day than yesterday. Tomorrow wasn’t promised, so make sure you leave the day on a good note.

I sure miss you Dad, especially when months like June. . . . are overwhelmingly filled with sadness.



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Phillip Lott
Phillip Lott
1 month ago

I Cherly, I this comment from your Dad.
Tomorrow wasn’t promised, so make sure you leave the day on a good note.

Zoë Robinson
Zoë Robinson
1 month ago

Thanks, Cheryl for sharing. From what you wrote your dad gave you a moral compass to hold on to, especially in difficult times. A wonderful gift.

Michael Conner
Michael Conner
1 month ago

Thank you, Cheryl. That was very beautiful and touching. Happy to know you had a special dad. My grandpa was cut from the same cloth and held the line of truth and integrity that marks a child’s expectation and love.

Donna Pizzi
1 month ago

We were on the road in idaho when I first saw your blog post, dear Cheryl, and I couldn’t reply. Lovely to reread a third time tonight. I know you’ll be off soon for saner shores, and I send you all best wishes. Love the photo of you & your Dad, and the kind words that you use to describe all that he gave you in stature, drive, and the ability to discern those who are true and those to whom you must refuse. I wish you could see the year-long project we are finally completing. I think of you & Tom often and the time(s) we spent together here… Bon Voyage. Take Care. Keep WRITING.

Edythe Chaney
Edythe Chaney
27 days ago

Sorry I’m reading this so late, but your father sounded like a great “DAD”…What a blessing! Not sure if you got your writing skills from him, but you’re doing a wonderful job!