7/14/2009

A Post from the Past

I've been blogging for just over 15 months now. I've had quite a few posts during that time. I've had some that I'm proud of and some not so proud. There were some posts that, ironically, got little in the way of comments. But, caused a lot of emails to be sent to me for reasons I don't understand. Conversely, there have been some controversial posts like "This is a Black World" of just last week. It generated some comments and some emails that were not suitable for family viewing. That's ok. It comes with the territory.

The post down below was one of my earlier posts from May 7, 2008. It was to be an ongoing topic which I have neglected, I am sorry to say. But, everyone seemed to like it, both in public comments and private email. I hope you will enjoy it also.

------------------------

Mr. Mullane: His Story



"Everyone has a story to tell. Regardless if it’s some CEO of a Fortune 500 company or a homeless man in the street. Everyone has the story of his or her life to share with the world...if only the world would listen.”

That was a common refrain from my mother. I didn’t pay much attention to her when she said it or even try to figure out what it meant. As I grow older, I realize just how profound that statement truly is to me. It’s true. There are stories to be told by everyone in every facet of life. Some are not so pleasant. Others are profiles in courage. I’m going to share one of those stories that I have gained knowledge of over the years. I became enriched with the knowledge of this man upon hearing the story of his life. I’ll share others in the future.

In 2002, when I was still attending church, every Wednesday morning a group of us would get together to go to nursing homes and try to bring some joy in residents lives. It was not an easy task. It was something I did not look forward to for a number of reasons. The main reason is just the sheer magnitude of sadness that you saw in nursing homes. People left to wait on death because their children can no longer care for them. In some cases, they just want to be rid of them. To those people, I say, your day is coming.

There was one man in a wheelchair, at this one particular nursing home we visited quite often, who would not join in with the singing and games. He kept pretty much to himself. After we celebrated the 87th birthday of one particular resident, I brought some cake over to this gentleman in the wheelchair. I introduced myself and offered him the slice of cake. You would have thought I had offered him all the gold at Ft. Knox by his reaction. I was dumbfounded as to why he was parked away from everyone and stuck to himself. He told me “this place is for old people. I don’t know why my son put me here.” I was momentarily taken aback. But, his big grin told me this man was a quick study. Mr. Mullane, as he had introduced himself, said he just didn’t find much in common with any of the residents at the home. He just preferred staying to himself and collecting his thoughts. He carried on a little small talk and eventually Mr. Mullane got to telling me about himself.

Mr. Mullane was a WWII vet who was among the first troops to arrive at the Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany. He said what he witnessed there gave him nightmares even to the present day of his life in the nursing home. Mr. Mullane said the scarecrows that actually walked that day, still walked in his nightmares decades later. The gas ovens, the stench of an unholy death throughout the camp brought him to the point of madness. In fact, the three years he fought in Europe and the horrors he witnessed, put him in a VA hospital for two years after the war was over. He had a good, patient and loving family that saw him through the tough times after the war was finally over.

After leaving the VA hospital, Mr. Mullane got a job with the U.S. Post Office in Carollton, MO where he worked from 1947 to his retirement party celebrating 50 years of employment with the post office in 1997. Mr. Mullane endured great hardships along the way in his life. He lost his oldest son to polio back in 1953. A house that he and his best friend had built with their own blood, sweat and tears burned to the ground seven years later in 1960. He and his family lost everything they had in the fire. His wife suffered from “forgetfulness” (a pause here…I’m just assuming Mrs. Mullane had Alzheimer's based on all that he told me). She eventually died from her “forgetfulness” in 1974. Mr. Mullane never remarried, although his surviving son and daughter encouraged him to. But, he said the love of his life was gone forever. There could never be anyone else for him.

He spent the remainder of his active years making sure his son and daughter got a college education. Both wanted him to live with one or the other. But, he would not hear of it. Mr. Mullane felt like he would be intruding on his children’s lives. He had insisted on living the remainder of his life in the home, far away from his daughter in Los Angeles, CA. His son still lived in Alabama. But, his son’s job had relocated him to Birmingham. He refused to leave to go up there. He said he liked it here on the gulf, even the hurricanes (I was hoping he was joking about that).

Mr. Mullane passed away at the ripe old age of 88 the day after Christmas last year. I went back every week after he related this story to me to see him and just talk (once a month in 2004), even after I stopped attending that particular church. He was a wonderful man and lived a life of hardships and sacrifice. Somehow, he persevered through it all. He was just one story in this journey we call life.







3 comments:

First, allow me to apologize for offending you...but I reserve the right to call you out on what you say anytime I see fit, just as you did with me in your response to my comment.

Second, I was merely pointing out that to use what happened to the Marshall's as the vehicle for you to go off on your pet peeve makes you little better than either one of those sanctimonious, overbearing, race-baiting uncle tom's who choose to make a living off other peoples misery. Yeah, I don't like them either, a point made in my comment you missed in your reply.

If you want to go off on Jackson and Sharpton, then go for it because you'll get no argument from this black man, but you need not use the Marshalls or anyone else to get your point across. We get enough of that type of behavior from Sharpton and Jackson.
And that, sir, is indeed something you should consider in relationship to how others view your credibility, whether you agree with them or not.

Have a great day.

Michael, to begin, you didn't offend me. It seemed you were making assumptions about me without knowing anything about me. I did resent that. I'm sure you know full well what assumptions can do.

The Marshall story was just that; a story. I made my commentary (inflamed and outraged though it be) about what I perceived as a "hate crime" and nothing was being said about it in the press. If you would be honest, you would acknowledge if this happened to a black family by white teens...it would be plastered all across the news media. The main reason for that is due to the two race baiters who we apparently are in agreement about. I just felt it hypocritical for Jesse Jackson to have a "rainbow coalition" and not condemn an obvious hate crime against this family.

I agree I could have come across a bit less verbose. I'm not usually that belligerent. This is not a pet peeve of mine. I rarely, if ever, discuss racial conflict of any type here. I appreciate your advice. I hope you take mine about making assumptions about people you know nothing about.

Hope you have a great week. And, I really meant it, I thank you for coming by.

Thank you for sharing Mr Mullane's story. And yes, we all have one. Just some are meaningful and some, less so. Thanks again.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger... Please help the costs of this blog. Please visit our Sponsors on right side of the blog. Thank you!