Tag Archives: Senior Citizens

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Do You Believe in Karma? Why or Why Not?

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Content warning: Brief references to physical and emotional abuse.

I believe in karma if the term is used to describe natural consequences for your behaviour and why it’s important to help others when you can and build warm, loving relationships with a core group of people.

A three-paneled comic strip that features three white figures carrying a log over a grey patch of land that has a gigantic hole on it. In the first panel, the first person nearly falls into the hole while carrying the log, but the two people behind them support them and keep walking. The second panel shows the second person in the same predicament, and likewise with the third person in the third panel. It is meant to illustrate the importance of community and we should all take care of each other during hard times because hard times happen to everyone. When I called the people white, I mean their entire bodies were white, they weren’t wearing clothes, and we only saw little back lines to represent their mouths, noses, and eyes. Let me give some examples.

My maternal grandmother has been kind, generous, and welcoming for her entire life. When she needed knee surgery years ago, she was surrounded by love and support. Some of her adult children travelled long distances and gave up scarce vacation time to look after her. Friends and local family members stopped by with food, to help with chores, and/or to give her some cheerful company during her convalescence. (She’s doing great now, by the way).

A different relative of mine has been emotionally and sometimes physically abusive since the 1970s. They talk about how lonely they are now, but they also refuse to stop being abusive or to take even the slightest bit of responsibility for the serious harm they’ve caused.

(I do not mean to say that relative #1 is perfect or that relative #2 has never done anything good, by the way, but their lifelong patterns of behaviour have greatly influenced their reputations and their relationships – or lack of relationships – with others now that they are senior citizens).

For the past decade, I have only seen relative #2 rarely, briefly, and when I can’t possibly avoid it.  Our conversations are only about the weather or similar topics because they have a long, ugly history of twisting even the most innocuous information into fodder for more abuse. This is one of those situations when small talk is a lifesaver!

I believe that both of these people are reaping and will continue to reap the consequences of their actions. How you treat those around you is important in and of itself even if the specific people you help are never personally in a position to return the favour. Others notice how we all behave, too, and this can affect what kinds of help you will (or won’t) receive when you need it.

So, yes, I do believe in karma to a limited extent.

With that being said, I do not assume that everyone who is going through a difficult time (or, for that matter, is wildly successful) is any worse or better than the rest of us. That’s too simplistic in my opinion. Both positive and negative things happen to all of us eventually no matter what sort of person you are.

Being kind and good will not automatically protect you from everything, and people who choose to harm others terribly are not doomed to face immediate consequences. Some of them prosper for many years.

Life is complicated, and you never know what’s really going on behind closed doors or what someone might be privately struggling with. Sometimes it takes karma a long time to kick in, and not everything has been accounted for yet by any means.

I have seen people suddenly reap the consequences of their actions in both positive and negative ways years or even decades after those deeds were done. You never know what the future holds, and I choose to believe that people who quietly help others will reap the rewards of their kindness someday.

Even if I’m wrong about that, I’d still rather do what I can to make the world a better place in the small ways I can than to twiddle my thumbs and do nothing at all.

But I’m still never going to be a caregiver or regular visitor for relative #2 if or when they live long enough to need assistance. That bridge was burned to the ground many years ago metaphorically speaking, and I’ve planted a peaceful, healing garden in the ashes of it that only safe people are welcomed to enter.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean you subject yourself to more abuse, friends. Ironclad boundaries are an excellent thing for unfortunate situations like these.


Filed under Blog Hops

Completing the Set: A Review of The Crown Derby Plate

Book cover for Marjorie Bowen's "The Crown Derby Plate- A Ghost Story for Christmas." Image on cover is of a ghost, tombstone, and house.The telling or reading of ghost stories during the Christmas season was once a tradition in Victorian England. This series of books seeks to revive this tradition. Beginning this year, I hope to review all of them during the month of December for as many years as it takes to finish this project. 

Title: The Crown Derby Plate – A Ghost Story for Christmas (Seth’s Christmas Ghost Stories)

Author: Marjorie Bowen

Publisher: Biblioasis

Publication Date: 1931 and 2016

Genres: Paranormal, Holiday, Historical

Length: 56 pages

Source: I borrowed it from the library

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Blurb: An antique collector hears of an ancient woman with a large collection of china. Hoping to complete a particular set, the collector pays a visit to the woman’s ramshackle house, where she makes a terrifying, ghostly discovery.


One of the first things that intrigued me about this short story was that was written about a single woman who was a senior citizen. The speculative fiction genre is sadly pretty short on protagonists who fit that demographic, so I’m always in the market for writers who buck that trend.

Martha, the antique collector, was the character who greedily went off in search of a Crown Derby Plate that was the only piece missing from her prized collection. She struck me as the sort of person who has memorized all of the etiquette rules and social niceties while also having a deep understanding of how to use them to quietly get exactly what she wants. While I’d never want to befriend her, I did find the combination of her impeccable manners and selfish motives to be fascinating.

The paranormal elements of the plot were ridiculously easy to figure out in advance. I’d suspect that anyone who has read more than one ghost story in their life would know where this piece was going as soon as Martha set off to visit her neighbour’s dilapidated estate.  It would have been nice to have fewer clues about what was happening there.

With that being said, I loved the spooky atmosphere of the Hartley’s house. This is one of those things that can quickly make or break a ghost story, and it was done well in this case. Miss Lefain, the frail old woman who lived there, was not well enough to do even simple tasks like dusting, so Martha was in for quite a surprise when she saw how run-down the property was.

While it wasn’t specifically written for these groups, this is something that could be a fun story to read to kids or people learning English as a second language who are in the market for something short, simple, and scary.


Filed under Science Fiction and Fantasy