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Saturday, August 18, 2018

Knew You Were Waiting For an Advocate

Aretha Franklin died this week and the music world and society is a bit poorer for it. When you think of old school R&B and Gospel, who do you think of?
I remember back in high school hearing George Michael and her on "I knew you were waiting (for me)" and I thought this was probably the highlight of his career (IMHO) doing a duo with a living legend.
In any case, hearing that song attuned me to her music.
While her passing was sad, it kind of hit home a bit for me more. My mom was born 6 days before her and that was music of my mom's era. I felt like calling my mom and relating to her, but as many of you know, she passed in 2014. Aretha's passing brought that fact home again painfully.
RIP Aretha. Perhaps, "She knew He (the Father) was waiting for her. May her music resonate in Heaven.
RIP Mom I still think about you and miss you.

If we are lucky, we have a few people in our lives who "are waiting for us".  By that I mean really advocate for us no matter what.  I mean those who will stick by us through thick or thin.  Wherever she was, she proudly announced that I was her son.  At times, I thought, "oh mom" or felt a little embarrassed, on balance I liked it.  My mom, in her last couple of years was in a nursing home and still did that.  I jokingly said to a few people that I could go on a rampage and she'd say, "I'm sure you are just having a bad day." She was my biggest advocate.

An advocate for us
  • Wants the best for us, period.  Not what they think is best for us, but what makes us happy or fulfilled.
  • Willing to overlook our imperfections.  Doesn't mean they will never say anything to us about them, but they won't define us by them.  Fixing our 'imperfections' will not be the price of admission to being in a small 'r' continued relationship with them.
  • Look for the good in us rather than focusing on our flaws.  That doesn't mean they won't every saying anything negative to us, but they don't live in the negative with us.
  • They will tend to take our side, even if it isn't always justified or even if they don't necessarily agree.  
    • They realize that sometimes it is more important for us to feel stood up for and accepted than to be 'corrected'. 
    • There is a time for revisiting a circumstance/situation later, but they are attuned to our needs now.  
I went through a divorce and someone close to me, whom I confided in, harshly criticized me in the throes of my hurt about it.  That changed my relationship to the person.  While they had some valid points, the time wasn't right.  An advocate would better handle differences of opinion.  But, I digress.

Advocates are a rare breed. When you grow up with them or you find them in life, don't take them for granted or try to 'trade up'.  Yes, there will be other people that will situation-ally or for a time take your side.  But, a true advocate will be there for you, through the good times, the bad times and the times in between.  Just my thoughts.