Saying Goodbye to Your Partner in Life

By Kim E. Morrison

In a lifetime a person will experience a lot of loss, see a lot of people they loved or have loved pass away, but none will be more stunning, numbing, soul crushing, or life altering as losing the person you have loved, had children with, and built a life around for decades. In a single instant you feel as though the weight of the world has dropped on your head because in that very same instant you suddenly realize that your life has changed immeasurably and will never be quite the same again. The person that loved you despite your imperfections, the person that was by your side through hardships, and helped you endure many other personal tragedies on life’s journey is gone and despite well meaning friends and relatives trying to cheer you up or being there to help you deal with the aftermath you will never in your life feel more alone and that generates a fear of the unknown and in turn that creates a number of questions: What do I do now?, How do I live without him or her?, Why did they have to go now?, and the list questions never ends. Unfortunately, many of those questions do not have answers and that only adds to the pain and sorrow that you are now enduring. Religion helps some folks at these difficult times and that is wonderful for them, but the phrases they toss out like “they are in a better place,” or “it is all God’s plan” really do not do the rest of us much good because God’s plan no matter how wonderful it may be is hurting us beyond words at this point in time and that so called better place better meet expectations because at this moment we can think of no better place than having our loved ones in our arms.

The painful reality is this is road we will all have to travel eventually, and the tears and pain will then be someone else’s burden to bear. However, it is all on our porch now and no matter how much time passes you will still miss your spouse, the passage of time will slowly ebb the tide of tears, but even years later your eyes will still well up with tears and your voice will crack when a memory of the person you lost engulfs your mind. You move forward or transition to the next stage of your life because you have no choice, but to do so. However, you will never not feel some sadness when the hand that held yours, your partner in life, the love of your life, or whatever comes to mind because your heart and soul is forever imbued with their memory and that is the way it should be.

My cousin Donna lost her husband yesterday after a long illness and I wrote this short piece for her. Even though I know from personal experience that no words help in the early stages of grief

Love Is A Strange Thing

By Kim Morrison

A lot of people, including my mother and father, could not understand what I saw in my wife. Most thought that she was not good enough for me or good enough to me or too old for me, but for all those years she stood by my side through all our ups and downs and despite my mother and father’s dislike of her at times. Whether people understand it or not she was not only a part of my life, but my soul. I love my wife Arleen and miss her more than anyone could imagine. I knew she was the one I would eventually marry after our first date or I should say breakfast at 3 AM in the morning at a diner in Catskill, New York. After a night of drinking neither of us had much money, so we pooled what we had and ate a little and talked until daybreak sometimes saying what the other was thinking before they said it. We both laughed about that and I said I think we have something here what do you think? With a grin she said yeah, I think so too, and it was not long after that I our life together began.

     Love is a strange thing because there is no script, no understanding of why you fall in love with this one or that one, and chances are you will not fall in love with someone that will meet with everyone’s expectations or approval and that certainly was the case with us. When people talk about what is important in a relationship, they always say love or trust, but what they rarely mention is one of the most important parts of relationship and that is conversation. Being able to communicate with your partner about anything and everything will be what preserves your relationship throughout the years because some important things will waver, but conversation can never waver because it answers the questions and is the cure for any doubt you may have in your partner. It is the difference between a relationship lasting a few years and one like ours that lasted thirty-five years, so when people ask me what I miss about my wife I say I miss talking to her every day, I miss the sound of her voice, and I miss knowing she is out there. Yes, I wish I could hug and kiss her once more, hold her hand and look into those enchanting big beautiful hazel brown almond shaped eyes that captured my heart oh so many years ago, but what causes my tears now is not being able to talk to my friend, my partner, the woman who often drove me crazy that I have loved for decades and still love to this day.  

This was written in memory of my late wife Arleen Lois Morrison     

The Constant Gardener

       I have often called my mother the constant gardener of our family because for three generations she not only selflessly tried to protect the cherished flowers that grew within her garden, but she did everything she could to keep the evil or dark clouds from threatening or tainting the garden they grew in. For my mother it was simply not enough just to protect her son, her grandson, and her great granddaughter from all sorts of evils or harm, but to ensure their childhood was not tainted by anything that might steal their childhood. My mother believed that a child’s childhood was as sacrosanct as the child’s life itself and she lived her life with the thought that this was her most important purpose and would often say in her later years I do not know what is going to happen to my girl, her great granddaughter Kitara, when I am gone. As if to say who is going to pick up the mantel and be that constant gardener. This mindset made her voraciously protective of all the children in her family even though she knew she could not protect us all from everything. Some would argue that she was overprotective, and she would respond to them by saying something like that is because those who should be playing a larger role in protecting are not doing enough. My mother always had an opinion and was never afraid use it, but she was also a perpetual worrier and these two things coupled with an often unflinching honesty is what often caused her to have short periods of conflict with different members of her family at different times, but at the same she never ever stop loving any member of her family and occasionally some family members would seek out that honesty because if they had a problem or needed an answer to something they knew my mother would deliver the truth no matter the cost.

       I remember my father saying to my mother once, “You need to get that Catholic horseshit out of your head about always telling the truth Theresa and learn when to shut up” and true to form my mother always had an answer for him when he said stuff like this. Most who knew my father would certainly have thought it would be wiser to utilize a different approach because dealing with my father once his anger was rising could be the equivalent of dancing with the devil in the pale moonlight, but my mother would do something that very few others would ever dream of doing with my father and that was to lean into him even more. My mother’s inner strength and will were qualities my father not only respected, but truly loved about her and that coupled with my mother’s unrelenting love for him even when he was not deserving of it is why their relationship survived a lifetime of trials and tribulation. I asked my mother long after my father passed why she fell in love with him and stuck with him all those years when I knew most women would not have and she said I fell in love with the broken little boy in him and I knew at some point that no matter how much or how strongly I loved him that I could never fix the broken little boy in him, but that still did not keep me from trying. Today I miss the broken little boy and the man so much that it feels as if there is a piece of me missing. My mother then said many, even those closest to us, will never understand mine and your father’s relationship, but that was because no one ever knew your father like I knew your father because I am the only one that ever got past his guard and actually saw the broken little boy.

         My mother was very special and unique in too many ways to mention and all of you sitting here know that already, but beyond those things mentioned above her capacity to love those close to her was without limitation and even those times when she did not talk to a family member for one reason or another she never stopped loving them or thinking about them. Those rare few times I remember when she was not communicating with a brother or sister for one reason or another were by far among the most painful times in her life because nobody valued the ties that bind more than my mother, the constant gardener. I remember her looking at the old picture of the four Bone children in a row during one of those times and saying the Bone children must find their way back to each other because whether we choose to recognize it or not all we ever had was each other. It is how we survived, it is how we endured, it was how we got on down the road in life, and it is how we were able to turn the page on some of the most painful chapters in our lives. My mother understood the value of family on a deeper level than many even realized and that is why even in her waning years she worked tirelessly to stay in touch with all of you while occasionally giving me hell for not doing so. My mother loved you all more than you could even imagine and whether you realize it or not you were all an important part of our constant gardeners most glorious garden.    

A celebration of life tribute piece for my loving mother, our family’s constant gardener, who passed away of COVID related illness at 8:30 PM on October 15, 2021.                               

The Ghosts Of Jim Crow Still Haunt Georgia

      I have never told this story to anyone, not even my mother until yesterday, because I did not think anybody would really care. However, the experience did change me, and I thought about it more than a few times over the years. When I was in my early twenties I lived in small town in southern Georgia for a time and I thought the state was beautiful, so I used to just drive around a lot up there. One Sunday, I think it was, when I was driving on this old country road I heard the most stunning beautiful choir music coming from a small church and I was just so taken in by the sound of it that I just could not help, but to pull up and stop the car to listen to it more. For a brief moment, I thought about going in the little church, but I had not been in a church since I was eight or ten years old and even though it was 1982 I worried how I might be received since I was certain that my face would be the palest face in there because after all it was a black church, so I just sat there in front of the church and listened to their amazing choir. Suddenly a black fellow came out followed by another and then a black woman and at first it looked as though they were glaring angrily at me, so I started my car and readied to leave. I then looked back at them and thought wait a minute they are looking beyond me at something behind me, so I immediately spun my head around and behind me coming out another small building across the road was a group Ku Klux Klansmen in full dress with some with the hoods off walking out that building and they were glaring at the people that came out of that church and by that time more had stepped outside the church. I was scared, but at that very same time I was never more ashamed to have white skin than I was that day. Not knowing what to do, I slowly pulled away from the church and headed down the road, but my fear and utter total embarrassment quickly turned into a tearful anger. I pulled off the road again and just hung my head and thought Jesus Christ brown people cannot even feel safe in their house or worship, their house of God. When is this vile hatred going to stop?  After getting underway again, I wondered if I would ever live long enough to see the end of this evil hateful nonsense.

     Well I am almost sixty-one now and I have lived long enough to see the whites only signs go down and the other vile visuals and symbols of the “Jim Crow” era disappear, but current events in this country tells me the same hatred stills imbues the soul of our nation and the deceptively racist laws being passed tells me the old ghosts of “Jim Crow” are alive and well and still haunting the beautiful and otherwise inviting state of Georgia.      


 I was nobody

I was never known by millions.

I was not of influence, wealth, or power

I was just another person in the crowd.

I was a body at many different jobs

I had a few relatives and friends all over

Some I only talked with on the phone or online.

I think some of them miss me, but I am not sure

I know what is left of my family misses me

The empty seat at the table still makes them all tear up.

I was nobody

The world did not know me

I was a face passing through the realm of time

My anonymity was both a curse and a blessing

 I did not matter to most people.

I was a just few numbers and a name

on cards and things in my wallet

I was of little to no value to most people

I was just one of many who died of a deadly virus

Now I am a number in a death count that still climbs

I was nobody

Yet a stranger held my hand knowing my light was extinguishing

A trembling hand that had clearly held too many hands like mine

with a pair of teary exhausted eyes ravaged by this unrelenting insanity

The stranger gave me hope because after all the pain and suffering they endured

they were able to find a few more tears within them for a nobody

The stranger understood that I was not just another face or number

They realized that this nobody was someone to somebody somewhere.

Guilty of Being Black in America

     Over the years I have witnessed many protests both violent and peaceful.  I have also seen many cities tore up and burning because of social unrest. I was in the middle of a riot once while working some years ago. I was scared, but I made it out of the city after my deliveries that night largely due to a black man I worked with that ran the same route in this predominantly black neighborhood who knew the area well and he instructed me in detail on how, as he put it, “I could get my white ass out of there if something ever did happen.” I am pretty sure my ass would have been in big trouble without some of those instructions that night because people did throw bottles and strike the vehicle I was in with bats and sticks and I was called a honky and other angry words more times that night than I had ever heard before in my life. The smell of tear gas that had been propelled into a building next to a group of people is something I will never forget or the chaos that ensued in that neighborhood because of a an incident that shined a light on racism, unfairness, or perhaps I should say the persistent inequity in treatment between people in this country often by the people who are supposed to protect and serve us all. Unfortunately, behind these incidents there is always dead body with dark skin that cause many of us to cry injustice and to get angry for a little while. For an instant, the people in this country who are in the majority are forced to come face to face with the reality of the hidden racism in this country and indifference shown to people in the minority and some in the majority hate to have their silent racism rubbed in their face. Nevertheless, every time something like this happens most people of all races and creeds hope that this time the death of a brown skinned man or woman because of callous indifference will be the last and some meaningful change occur. Often change in the way of social reforms to attempt to keep what happened from happening again does occur, but what doesn’t change is how we think or how perceive each other and as long as that doesn’t change being guilty of just simply being black in America will continue to occur.

      The question before us is what will make our racism, or our unfairness or indifference to others end? When will these senseless deaths from callous indifference that cause violence to erupt across our nation stop?  It will end the day a white person can look at black person and not see the color of their skin first and when a black person can look a white person and not see the color of their skin first. The day a guy looking at hot girls on the beach doesn’t lean over to his friend and say look at that hot girl over there without having to add the descriptive black or African American to distinguish her from the other hot girls. The day a person gets angry at someone that does not look like them or wear the same skin color and the first thing that pops in their mind is not a derogatory term connected to their skin color or race. The day we realize that there is no such thing as a black problem or white problem, but that it is a problem for all of us. The day when people stop talking about racism because as long as we are talking about racism, we have a race problem. The day people of all races, creeds, colors realize that we are in this thing called life together and that when one of us bleeds we all bleed. The day we as a people stop allowing the psychological chains of slavery to bind us to attitudes, thoughts, and feelings that imbue the very soul of our nation. The day we stop allowing the grotesque ghosts of “Jim Crow” to lynch the hearts and minds of generation after generation people. The day a special fear constructed from our ugly history no longer exists. A fear that forces brown moms and dads to have a special conversation with their children at a certain point in their lives about the white people that could hurt them, especially those who might wear a badge. When that day comes there will be no more senseless deaths from simply being guilty of being black in America. When that day comes, we will have arrived at that elusive but magical place some of us heard about many years ago from a wise man that died trying to get us there, a place called the “promised land.”                 

Can You Imagine?

     Can you imagine being chained in a ship and taken to a strange land against your will?

     Can you imagine you and yours being shackled and sold to farms to work the land?

     Can you imagine being whipped for just saying something or looking the wrong way?

     Can you imagine your wife or daughter being used as brood mares to create more workers?

     Can you imagine your loved ones being categorized just like any other livestock?

     Can you imagine finally acquiring your freedom after a lifetime of imposed servitude?

     Can you imagine a country founded on the ideal of freedom denying it to so many?

     Can you imagine being hated and treated unequally just because you looked different?

     Can you imagine being hunted by people in hoods with bibles and crosses in their hand?

     Can you imagine being in fear for your life just for walking someplace or talking to someone?

     Can you imagine seeing your father or son in a hangman’s noose swinging from a tree?

     Can you imagine not being able to use a bathroom just because you were the wrong color?

     Can you imagine having to scold your child for using one of those bathrooms?

     Can you imagine being told that you cannot ride in a seat in the front of the bus?

     Can you imagine being told there is no vacancy at a motel when you know there is vacancies?

     Can you imagine people not serving you at a restaurant because you were not the right color?

     Can you imagine people crossing the street because they feared walking by you?

     Can you imagine having feelings for someone but not acting on them because of others?  

     Can you imagine being gunned down by those who are supposed to protect and serve?

     Can you imagine being sprawled out on the ground with someone’s knee on your neck, struggling for every breath, asking for your mother, knowing the life is slowly draining from your body and wondering why?

     Can you imagine?

God Make It Stop!

The hearts of our once invisible heroes grow weary fighting a relentless demon.

God make it stop!

They sacrifice all with little to save souls from the consuming darkness surrounding them.

God make it stop!

How many faces of those gasping for life’s last breath will be burned into their memories?

God make it stop!

How many hands will go lifeless in theirs because of a viral monster that yet goes unanswered?

God make it stop!

How often must they gaze into already tear-soaked faces and be the bearers of even worse news?

God make it stop!

How many times will they totally collapse from exhaustion from working extra shifts and hours?

God make it stop!

How many more tears will fall behind their masks for those they could not pull back from death?

God make it stop!

They yearn for a whisper of hope to dull the ventilators symphony of despair and desperation.

God make it stop!

They search for the rainbow beyond a dark ominous cloud that now besieges all humanity.

God make it stop!


Written for all the medical professionals working tirelessly through this epidemic.

Who Are We?

Are we a shining beacon of possibility to people everywhere?

Or are we doomed to float endlessly in the sea of our own contempt?

Who are we?

Are we the welcoming light of hope held up on high for all to see?

Or have we succumbed to the darkness of hatred and indifference?

Who are we?

Are we the champion that seeks to set the best example for the rest of the world?

Or have we resigned ourselves to accept the requiem of our national conscience?

Who are we?

Are we capable of finding the greatness within ourselves once again?

Or will we endlessly tumble into the unquieted abyss of our past glory?

Who are we?

Are we doomed to sit in quiet desperation contemplating what once was for eternity?

Or will we once again strive to make our greatness more than an empty slogan on a cap?

Who are we?

The Time Has Come for Medicare For All

     People must wake up and stop being conned by the insurance and pharmaceutical industry and the people and congressmen or women they have bought to serve their interests. We must also realize that the insurance industry and the pharmaceutical industry are profit driven mechanisms that are not there to help you the average citizen. They do not care about you and your family and they never did. Any commercial for an insurance company whether it be Auto, life, health, or whatever kind of insurance that talks about being a family oriented company or anything of this nature is selling you a bunch of bullshit and they are trying to get you to buy into it and the famous spokesperson they might be using to do this more than likely has stock options or some vested interest above a paycheck in promoting their product. The pharmaceutical industry is just as crooked and as greedy as the insurance industry. They make medicines that can both make you sicker or treat your illness and get those medicines approved with the same speed because they control who tests those medications. Everyday you hear advertisements about lawsuits against a medicine or medical device and the reason why is because the pharmaceutical industry got the laboratories they own or that are in their pocket to say products they need approval for are safe and effective, so they can get it approved by the FDA and start making huge profits on it. Once a pharmaceutical product has been on the market six months or a year, the profits on it is so staggering that they can easily sustain a lawsuit against them for injuries or damages sustained by people who used the product, so all of it including spending millions on lobbyist to protect their interests is simply part of the cost of doing business in America for them. Just in 2018 alone the pharmaceutical industry spent 27.5 million dollars on lobbying to protect their interests. However, their increasing profits do not end there because even on older medicines that have been around that are used to treat certain diseases, like diabetes, asthma, and so on, they keep going up on the price because they know a certain number of people must have them to live and they also know the number people with diseases that require what they call maintenance drugs are growing, so to use the terms a business would use they are capitalizing on the emerging market and that is why something, like common insulin, that had been twenty dollars a prescription years ago when my grandmother took it is now four or five hundred dollars a prescription now. The reason for the increase is pure greed and nothing more. You need it they got it, so now you or your insurance company is going to have to pay for it and your insurance can get off the hook for some of the cost, by putting the burden back on you the average citizen in the form of a copayments, deductibles, and premiums.

     Whether you believe health care should be an individual right or not is irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. Whether Obama Care works for you or not is not relevant either because unless there is a move toward something like Medicare for all problems with our health care system will continue and the greed within it will run unabated.  The truth is Medicare for all can be done and should be done. The infrastructure is already there and we all pay a good amount into it from our paychecks for those on social security or social security disability, so why not pay a little more in taxes to get the rest of us covered by a plan that already exists and works. You will not find and elderly person in America anywhere willing to give up their Medicare card because they know it covers 80% of their medical costs right off the top and if I can pay for someone else to enjoy these benefits what is wrong with me paying a little more in taxes for myself and family. Right now, health care costs the average family of four about 28000.00 year. If you divide that by four, you come to 7000. dollars per year give or take as the number that each person pays in health costs per year, so even if they were to increase the Medicare deduction from your paycheck by another 40.00 per week to accomplish Medicare for all the cost to you the average citizen would only be an additional 2080.00 dollars per year which translates into savings to you of about 5000.00 dollars per year. Medicare for all would also control costs because they would no longer be able to gouge people and their insurance companies for services and prescription drugs like they are doing right now. The Koch brothers, the guys that support Republicans and their bullshit lie machines, had people do a study on this thinking that they could prove that Medicare for all would cost more, but what their study proved was that Medicare for all would save Americans two trillion dollars over a ten-year period. When they do not have the money argument against something that would be good for the average citizen, they then try to get you to believe that our quality of care would be diminished and other absolute bullshit along this plane. Grandma and Grandpa uses Medicare has the quality of their care diminished? Do they have to wait in long lines to receive care?  The answer is no, and neither would any of us. The want to scare you away from things like Medicare for all, with words like socialized medicine, because the insurance industry will not get away with screwing people on insurance premiums, deductibles, copayments and other things they do to increase their profit margin. The pharmaceutical industry will not be able to bilk obnoxious profits out of drugs people desperately need because if we are all paying into the same program and receiving the same benefits from it the government will have to constrain them.  

     The truth is if we want a congress that will work to do something like Medicare for all or any change that will make a significant difference to the average citizen, the first thing we must do is to elect people whether Democrat or Republican that are not in the pockets of the insurance or pharmaceutical industry. We do not have that now and that is why the political will to get things done, especially big things, and achieve real results for average citizens does not exist. What we have is a lot of congressmen and women on both sides of the aisle that are getting fat protecting the interests of big business and taking their money hand over fist and standing there telling us it cannot be done or conning us into believing that something that is in all our best interest is not in our best interest. Comedian George Carlin once stated in a show, “This is one big club and you ain’t in it.” Which is true the average citizen is not in the club, never has been, and never will be. However, we can vote intelligently and remove some of the greediest club members. All we must do is follow the money and not cast a vote for anyone running for congress that is taking money directly or indirectly from the insurance or pharmaceutical industry because they are nothing but paid for puppets for those industries and will do their bidding even when it is in total opposition to the greater good of the majority of the people in this country. The real reason nothing gets done in Washington for the average citizen in this country has nothing to do with the words Democrat or Republican because both political parties are dysfunctional in some sense, but because we the average citizen working more than one job to keep their heads above water, not unlike the homeless, do not have a lobby in Washington, so unlike the insurance and pharmaceutical industry or other corporations we do not have a big fat check to hand someone running for Congress to do our bidding.