Handle It

There is a quote I found by Elizabeth Gilbert:

"The women whom I love and admire for their strength and grace did not get that way because shit worked out. They got that way because shit went wrong, and they handled it. They handled it in a thousand different ways on a thousand different days, but they handled it. 

Those women are my superheroes."

I read this and said "Yup!". 

You probably read this too and go "Yup!".

And why?

Because it rings true. Duh.

I don't think many people look up to others who had everything handed to them.

If you do... I mean, stop reading. Cause this ain't for you.... or maybe it is.

What I do wish, about this quote, if I could say it myself.... is that it would say People instead of just Women.

But then again it's her quote and she can say whatever the fuck she wants.

Ok so I'm gonna change it up for me.... 

"The People whom I love and admire for their strength and grace did not get that way because shit worked out. They got that way because shit went wrong, and they handled it. They handled it in a thousand different ways on a thousand different days, but they handled it. Those people are my superheroes."

After my Uncle passed away over the weekend... my heart and mind does this trippy thing.

I begin to think about the looooonnnnngg line of People that I come from. 

Their legacy.

Happens every time someone close to me dies. Actually happens all the time, not just in death... but I feel like death intensifies it.

The immigrants, the hard workers, the 12 Italians coming from Bari, Italy living under one roof. That new start. The men in my family who have gone to war, the men who didn't come back from war... the Grandparents that both had their father's either die or walk out on them in the 1920's. The women who raised their kids alone. 

They were all beyond brave. But I know for a fact they didn't see it that way.

(Look at all those people who lived under one roof... and each one has a story... mind blowing.)

Let's take my Grandma for example.

Born into wealth in 1924,  Brooklyn, NY. By the time 1934 rolled around, her father was beaten to death on a train. (Yeah I just typed that)...  because this Restauranteur (aka my Great Grandfather) loved the horse tracks and owed money to the wrong guys.

So its some Broadwalk Empire kind of shit.

Well Audrey (that's my Grandma) and her twin brother (ya know Al who just passed away) they were taken out of school (at 10 YEARS OLD... that's right...10) to help support the family. Honestly, because MOM (aka Great Grandma) didn't wanna work.

Crazy right.

After doing every job under the sun... Audrey finally started to have some fun during World War II (her early 20's), when there was a lot of USO parties.

Needless to say, she had a good time. (Or so the countless Military photos with love notes and men's numbers on the back of them that I found after her passing would suggest so).

She even knocked her two front teeth out swing dancing. 

So... you know she was having fun. Not mad. (That's my blood yo 😉)

Also not mad that she met a man on July 4th, 1949 named Kenneth, who a few short months later (December 3rd to be exact) she would marry.

Ya see, Kenneth (aka Ken aka Grandpa) had his father walk out on him when he was 2. No cell phone's at all. So its not like you can track his ass down. 

"Hey Flora I'm going out for a pack of cigs."

"Ok when will you be back?"

"Later."

Apparently... later meant... NEVER.

So here's Ken. Raised by his Mother and his Grandmother.

After he's done with school, he goes into the military and serves as Sea Bee in the Navy against Japan during World War II. (If he ever knew I owned a Prius.... oh GOD!). Cause that's what men did. 

While on a boat, in the middle of the Pacific, he gets a letter from his FATHER!!!!

(Like are you fucking kidding me. Really dude, now?!) 

We all know how we feel when we get a text out of the blue... so this shit is.... no words. 

The boat they're on needs to be abandon... so everyone jumps ship and note stays on boat.

Note gone... forever.

Insane right.

Here these two (Ken and Audrey) met later, and have a wonderful life together. 

That's not a joke.

They do.

Ken would work 7 days a week to save up to take his kids on a cross country trip. 

Audrey was a seamstress for Ballet Companies, and later made all her Granddaughter's holiday clothes. (I still have them.)

The beauty of having those two people is that they ALWAYS had a GOOD time. Even if they were during NOTHING!!!!

My Grandmother would make comments on how beautiful the day was, and my Grandfather towards the end of his life decked out his walker and called it his "Rolls-Royce".

Grandma would slow dance in the kitchen with me.

Grandpa would fix things in the garage with his Grandson.

Like that kind of simple shit.

What was also amazing... they always HANDLED what they needed to DO.

No whining, no complaining.

No baggage.

Yeah I said it.

Ken and Audrey never saw a single thing (after you know War, Abandonment, Child Labor, even Cancer) as something to whine about or complain.

They did what they had to do in order to get back to the peace that they created called "Their life together."

Why do I tell this story?

I remember as a young girl, and the whole we-fight-people-over-seas-sometimes thing was being brought to my attention. Desert Storm I believe was happening. I had some questions.

What the hell is War?

Now Ken had this little blonde hair blue eyed girl looking up at him asking this question.

He had no choice but to give me a speech.... oh yes... this was the speech of all speech's.

Ya see this man wasn't about to talk War and Death with his little Princess... He was about to tell her his attitude about it all.

"Lulu... I didn't always do what I wanted to do... I did what I had to do. I wasn't a hero. No one in War is a hero. Ever. But I will say that I was a Rebel."

"A Rebel?"

"Yeah. I did the things I had to do that most people didn't have the balls to do."

As an adult I read that now and think... "Did Grandpa kill a bunch of guys?". But this post isn't about War and it isn't about death. (But I think now Grandpa killed a Guy 😧)

This post... and the stories I've told in it... is that YOU are that REBEL.

Yes you.

YOU are the person who HANDLES IT!!!!

Not the slacker, or the whiner, or the life-is-so-unfairer... YOU are the REBEL who HANDLES what is at hand, to get back to the life you want to live.

Listen... Shit happens! Your dad walks out, or dies, or you have to go to war... or you're taken out of school... or you find out a lot later that your Dad left you and your family and started a whole new one (yeah that happened to Ken).

You need to figure something out and you don't know how its gonna go... Handle it.

You got a bill you didn't expect and you don't know how you're gonna pay it... Handle it.

You have a question that needs to be ask but you're too afraid to ask... Handle it.

You don't like the way someone is treating you and you don't want them around... Handle it.

You see where I'm going here.

Shitty things happen, so you can learn and then know you can handle anything that comes your way.

When life is lived in Gratitude and Appreciation of what you DO have, not what you DON'T... your skies are bluer, your day is Gorgeous (that's a word Audrey used) and you too one day could have the "Rolls-Royce" of walkers.

And this isn't a shit-happened-to-me-that's-worse-then-your-shit competition.

Someone SHIT is always gonna STINK more then your SHIT in any SHITTY situation.

And why do you want to win that one anyways?

"Hey Lauren... quick question... Why is your ass in the photo for this nice family story?"

That ass is the one that gets up! And handles it! That I don't sit on!

It's the one that gets it kicked and shoved and beaten down that gets back up!!!!! 

That's my ass that I'm damn proud of....

WHY?

Cause I'm a Rebel raised by them who gets that shit done. That's why!!!!

Get out there people... don't carry around that weight (emotionally guys come on), clean up that mess, don't carry your shit around.

It's that old school thing that's missing today. When you all had to step up, support, uplift and appreciate that I so feel is missing these days. 

You want a life of integrity... you want peace of mind... you want the answers... you need to stop asking "why me" and...

HANDLE IT!!!!

That's the legacy I'm so very proud I come from.

Bad Ass Handling Rebels

All my love to all you little Rebels out there, 

LP

P.s. No one ever looks up to the guy/gal who puts it off, gets behind, or even leaves it to someone else. Superheroes... that's what we need to be and raise!