My response to a beloved cousin who recently appeared on my doorstep.

As you are well aware, I express my thoughts and feelings as honestly as I can, and it gets me into more problems than need to occur. In my 78 years of living, I gained nothing by remaining silent in face of what confronts me. I paid a terrible price for remaining silent when I should have screamed at the top of my lungs, and sadly, my kids paid the price for my cowardice. 

I don’t mean to imply that remaining silent is cowardice in all occasions, however, I took it far too long and I should have shouted and kept shouting when Laura was six months old and got her first beating. I did scream to the doctors and nurses who tended her and they took no effective action nor did they do their jobs. Even the chaplains remained silent and quieted me down. That is a disgrace! Simply outrageous. It wouldn’t happen today. but it did happen to us. 

You should have cried out so that someone heard you when you were a little child cringing under the desk and someone should have heard you and protected you. In those long ago years, no one would have responded to your cries, but that is not a mark against you, it is a mark against the culture into which we were born. I am outraged that you were not heard and protected. Of course, you have scars that came out of that environment. 

If I had been heard by the police who responded to my desperate calls for help when I was ten years old, perhaps you would have been spared what you experienced. We were just kids living in violent homes. Mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles all were deaf to the cries of the children. That means we must speak out now, me as a 78 year old woman. I know what happened and you and I are not to blame. We can be the voice for those who have no voice now. 

Your kind words of glad to be in touch moves me deeply, and I do not want to lose touch with you. Especially now, as we are facing our Golden Years. They are golden, you know! We have the best of all possible worlds. We lived to see the heights to which human beings can achieve and we witness the depths to which humans can fall. We see what is coming because of the greed and psychosis of current events. Once again, we have a voice and we need to stop being silent about the threats that confront future generations. 

First, silence will not serve the next generation, nor will it serve the Earth and all its vulnerabilities. 

Second, we have to name the economic, political and energy elements that threaten life as we know it. 

The good news is, there are some wonderful things coming up over the horizon that we can point to as possible options, i.e. your ground glass beads, potential of solar energy, transformation from a war economy to an environmental, renewable, sustainable economy. That turns me into a full blown optimist. No room for pessimism here, or now. 

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