Dear ones with a disability & their loved ones, (a letter)

Dear ones with a disability and their loved ones,

As one who had taught children with an IEP for years I owe you all an apology. I understood some of what you needed me to but other parts I HAD NO CLUE. I thought I did. But, now I know that I did not. Allow me to expound.

If I could go back in time prior to my accident I would have understood that you were trying. I always knew that you were, in manner of speaking, but I did not know how long and frustrating the paperwork trail was and the doctors search can take. I apologize for thinking that it must be easier than it seemed and for thinking that you were just making excuses.  So often I heard people state that you did not seem to care and that you were not even trying. Who was I to judge you? Who were we to judge you? You, the ones who were in the middle of the battle. The battle to get the best care for your loved one or for yourself. You must have gone to doctor after doctor to just find one willing to fill out the paperwork. You must have seen doctors that looked at your records and told you that they could do nothing and did not even examine you. I know because I have. I have had those who we are supposed to be able to trust, lie to my face and tell me that the paperwork will be filled out in a manner in which I agree to. Then find the paperwork in my mailbox a few days later with statements that we had not agreed to and no attached paperwork.  The one that came yesterday had never been sealed. Did the needed papers fall out? Who has my information? The list goes on and on.

Attorneys, the fees are exorbitant and what you get back in return is people who go to court with you and then quit the next day. (Mine did) Or how about the ones that tell you that they will get to your case when they can and that they are already  missing their child’s game trying to just keep up with the caseloads that they have taken on. That is not our fault. That is  not an adequate excuse when we are without an income for months, or years at a time to be able to afford the meds that we will be questioned about by those who sit on committees etc. I understand now why some of you had to cut meds in half or even choose to pay for only one med of the prescribed three. You needed to keep a roof over your heads and have food in the pantry. Free lunches and food handouts can only help so much.

I want to apologize to you for a system that seems to not care. One wherein you can ask them to dim the lights during a meeting for your loved ones eyes and then hear them complain that they are half brain dead from not being able to see.  This comment alone stays with you for quite some time as you hear it in the light of one who has a loved one with dead brain cells who cannot see as they used to and never will again. Or how about the person in the hearing who you divulge your deepest concerns to that at the end of the meeting when time is almost up that asks, “What does any of that have to do with why we are meeting today?” Then they announce that it is time to wrap things up. In your mind you know even before the papers come that you lost again. You feel crushed. No more funds to live on for months to come and the paperwork will start all over again. Back to the doctors, calls to the lawyers and more. All costing money that you do not have.

I am so sorry that I treated you as I did. I am so sorry that the local schools I offered to go into to speak now did not even call me back. I cannot speak for you in their meetings but I can BLOG. I can fight and call the representatives and tell them that enough is enough. It is so hard to live with a disability but the feeling of being one nobody cares about is the worst to me. Know that I care. Know that God cares. I am here for you if you need a disabled retired teacher to talk to. I now get it. I now understand things that I never knew. Dear ones, you are loved. I am sorry. Keep on fighting for your rights.  HUGZ

 

PS Thanks for letting me get that out. 🙂

 

 

 

 

Hidden in the Pattern

via Daily Prompt: Pattern

Years ago pictures like the one above were quite popular. Most folks could look at the image, the pattern, and a new picture would emerge from amongst the lines. At that moment you would hear the viewer announce to the world what they saw. But, I never could figure those things out. I would stare, follow tips of those who could master the task, and do all I could think of but I could never see anything more than the pattern in front of my face. I never could see the essence of the picture, its soul.  But for all who could see the essence of the picture they always announced the same found item. It was never argued, never debated, there was one answer. Each pattern held one hidden image. Some could see it. Some could not.

There are other things like those patterns on our world. We look at them and one can see the soul of the meaning hidden in the image or the words but others cannot. But the difference is that with most other things we do not ever agree on what is hidden in the pattern if we can see it. Take for instance, this BLOG. Not one person will totally agree with another person who reads this why I wrote it or what the essence of the article is. This is because we have varied backgrounds that help us filter things we find in our lives. It is not as simple as those magic pictures.

Take a look at this image. What do you see? Is there anything hidden that pops out at you? Are there things that remind you of patterns in the world or in your life?

 

hobo

Looking at people can be dissected in the same way as looking at those magic images. When we look at a person some people see the brilliance in them pop out like it is magic before their eyes. Others see the good, or the bad, or judge them by how they look or dress. What did you surmise about this young person from the times of the depression? How would you react to them if you saw someone like them on the streets of today? Would you see the same as everyone else who saw the same image?

My challenge to you today is to see in all you experience the magic. Look for the good in all that God has created. Find the good in people you meet. It is there. I pray that the good in all may pop out at you and may you see all through the eyes of God. Patterns in our world and in our lives can shift. Shift your daily patterns toward seeing magic in all.

God bless. HUGZ

 

 

The Road Taken

Photo prompt: The Road Taken

Prior to the days of the technological tools that we now depend upon, cell phones and GPS systems,  I had decided to sing at a Christian event far from home.  I went even though it was in the middle of farm country away from the main roads and highways. Finding my way there in the daylight was even more challenging than I thought it might be as there were closed roads along the way that I had to reroute for. Even then I wondered how I would get out of there that night in the dark. Upon arriving at the venue I checked in and gave them my cassettes to back me up when I praised the Lord with my voice. I had gotten there late and thus was placed in the lineup toward the end of the evening. I admit that I was quite nervous about getting back home at  a decent hour. I wanted to be there when the kids got up in the morning and not upset my spouse by his not knowing where I was.  Praising God from the crowd I lost myself in the glory of his presence and soon got up to sing on the stage. It felt good to lead the gathered in song. For a time my concern of driving home and to not worry my family was lost in the moment. Praising God with song among those with same intent was inspiring. But, as in all times of worship the sermons ended and the songs drew to a close. It was time to go home. As I walked to the car I noticed the stillness of the night. There was not much moonlight to light my way and the lack of street lights did not help. I had my Google map information with me but it seemed to be of not much help as seeing the road signs was nearly impossible and the reroutes had been plentiful.  I began wondering why I had not just gone home in the light of day and not even gone to perform. But, I knew why. I wanted to praise with God’s people. Driving on into the night I became disoriented and the roads were confusing. I grew tired and had no place to stop for directions. I pulled over to the side of the road and took out my paper map of the state. I had no idea where to look on it. I began to cry as it grew late and by now I was tired and needed sleep. With no other recourse I bowed my head and began to pray. I asked God to help me get home safely. Just then a dark colored car pulled by me. It was the first car I had seen in a while so I pulled out and began to follow it. I couldn’t see anything but the fact that there were two people in that car. I watched as we approached the next intersection. It appeared that the one in the passenger seat seemed to be motioning for me to turn to the right. I blinked and looked again. Again I saw the arm motions to go right. I questioned what I was seeing but trusted that this was the answer to my prayer. I turned right and drove on for quite some time before coming to a main road leading to a highway. It was here that I knew what to do with the aid of my Ohio map. I turned onto the highway and began to weep. In that moment of being lost God had reached out to ME. He had seen that I was one of his lost sheep and he found me and helped me to get back home. I will never forget that night. Not because I got to sing so much but more so for the lesson that I learned. Faith is so much more than prayer and praising. It is knowing that God is always with us. He knows our every move, our every thought. I look back on that day and know that God is always with me. I just need to have that faith, the size of a mustard seed. to realize it. Trust that he is with you. Choose the path toward him. He is there waiting for you with open arms. You are loved. HUGZ

 

 

 

Hesitation Is Risky

via Daily Prompt: Hesitate

 

“Miss, you have been in an accident. Your vehicle rolled over and we had to cut the roof off to get you out.”

Being turned to the side on the board she was strapped to she threw up again. The pain in her head was immense. If only she had not hesitated to put on her seatbelt correctly before they had pulled out of the parking lot. It was not comfortable and so she had taken the shoulder belt over her head and was attempting to fix it so it did not rub her bare skin. Doing so while in motion on the road was not a good idea. She thought it would be okay as they were in town and she was in the back seat. But when she saw the car in the intersection coming at her she knew she had no time to fix the situation. Before she could say anything the oncoming car had struck the rear wheel well just behind her and set the car tumbling over and over again. All she could do was try to hold on. Thank God she had kept the lap belt on. If she hadn’t she would have been be a free agent inside the tumbling car.

The male voice continued, “Miss, can you tell me your name?”

Trying to think all the while vomiting up phlegm she tried to state what she knew. “My name is Pam. Are my friends okay?”

“They have been transported already. You were the last one taken out of the vehicle. We had a heck of a time getting to as you were buried in tools and stuff from the back end of the car. These new vehicles without trunks are horrible in rollovers. Everything back there becomes air born. Let me take a look at that head of yours while we wait on your transport.”

“My head hurts so bad. There and my back.”

“You must have lost consciousness for a while. We need to place this horse collar onto your neck. You do not want to cause any more damage. When you feel sick we will continue to tip the flat board you are on to the side so you can vomit. You will be transported as soon as the vehicle that took one of your friends gets back. We are a small town and we have only so much help here. So, get comfortable as it may take a while.”

Laying there waiting Pam could hear the voices of the site seers around her. A policeman walked over and began to question her.  “Miss, I need to ask you some questions. First of all, when they found you in the vehicle you were in a weird position. Did you not have your seat belt on?”

“I had my lap belt on but I was in the process of fixing my shoulder strap because it was rubbing my skin. I did not have it on properly. I had hesitated to adjust it when we pulled out of the lot near the ball game.”

“Well Miss that was not a great idea.  That hesitation was quite risky as you can see. You could have been killed.”

In that moment Pam knew that her hesitation was unwise. She had injuries because of it. Her life was possibly going to be altered because of that moment she risked all. But, she was alive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Quickens Your Heart?

via Daily Prompt: Quicken

 

To quicken one’s heart, to set it aflutter, is to most an uncommon thing unless you are newly in love with the person of your dreams or a new parent gazing into the eyes of your child.  Yet, I dare to challenge that which makes your heart flutter.  In life there are many things that we take for granted. Living in Ohio we have the fall foliage every year, some of us look at the glory of the changing of the leaves and others only see the work ahead; having to rake and dispose of the leaves. Fall is in fact a natural tapestry of colors as is the twinkle of a ice storm mid winter. So many day to day things we have do not stir our hearts as they should. Think about a time when you traveled to an area and witnessed something commonplace there. How did you react to it? Did it quicken your soul as you admired the common place view for those who live there? Would it quicken your heart if you moved there and saw it daily for a year or more? How about a decade or more? Why is it that something new quickens our hearts so and then in time becomes the mundane, common place? Today I challenge you with this word prompt to see something through those rose colored glasses that you tossed aside years back. Look at your loved ones with the eyes of love you had so long ago. Look at things as God would see them. All things are made from the hand of God. Even a simple breeze that touches your cheek can quicken your heart. Look for those things so simple and yet so pure. Allow them to bask in all of their glory and touch you again in a new way.  God bless.  HUGZ

Seed: Weekly Photo Challenge

Have you ever wondered how one small seed can produce enough zucchini to feed your family? Or maybe, how one acorn can turn into a mighty oak tree? Well, having been blessed with the privilege of having land to dedicate to the wildlife we decided to do both. On our property we have planted so many seeds. Some have grown into trees that are now over our heads. Others have been planted into a small garden to be harvested and later canned for our dinner table. But of all of the seeds we have planted the milkweed seeds have brought me the most joy. These small seeds that I gotten from friends with adjacent fields have flourished and brought in the Monarch butterflies. From what I have heard, it is this plant that the Monarchs lay their eggs in. The beauty of this plant never fails me. To be able to watch it go through its life stages is quite a small miracle. But even more than that is the glory to see a Monarch flit about nearby in search of the milkweed. There are days that I walk and photograph the butterflies but I have found that the photos I have taken of the pods bursting out into seed are among my favorites. The light seems to capture the essence of a seed. It is life springing forth and then attempting to find that fertile soil in which to place itself. Drifting aloft these seeds often land on harsh soil or in a mown yard but overall they still flourish. Over time, these wee seeds have brought in birds and butterflies galore. I cherish the call of the bird and the gentleness of the butterfly. Some days I can almost touch one as they dance amongst the field.
Seeds are an amazing part of the life cycle. They bring us such joy and yet we never really take the time to relish in their wonder. Thank God for seeds. Without them we would not be able to live. In fact, without a small seed having been planted in the womb of your mother you would not be reading this now. God bless. HUGZ

Baby – My Green Cheek Conure

via Daily Prompt: Baby

Baby is a green cheek conure that I have had now for about six months. As one with a TBI it is difficult for me to bend over and stand up much (dizziness)so the decision to get a bird for a companion rather than a dog was one of health issues. I could not care for the dog to lift it and hook it onto the lead to go outside, thus I got a bird.
Getting a bird that I could hold and teach to talk was a decision based upon the fact that I missed having a student in the classroom and the fact that I could hold her when lonely at home. A green cheek seemed to be the best fit because of the size of the bird and the noise level. Loud noises from a larger bird would be too much for me. My little baby was only a few months old when I got her. It took her a few days to acclimatize to her new home but in a matter of no time she could say her name and play peek-a-boo. Now that she is nearly a year old she has bonded with my family and travels with me when I go out. Yesterday, for the first time in a long time she got to go for a ride in the car and was singing all of the way to the Olivesburg General Store about five miles from our home. People are amazed how she rides around on my shoulder and how she will set on their finger. She is an amazing little bird. I am so glad she is a part of my life. Perhaps one day you will meet her if you come to the Farmer’s Markets near Mansfield, Ohio. She would love to say Hello.