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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Sucked In

It was almost a year ago that at work we were uncertain as to our department’s future and unable to get a straight answer from anyone.  This created a “the sky is falling!” atmosphere which was stressful to say the least.  Although I was certain that my personal circumstances wouldn’t permit me to return after the summer break I went to “save our jobs” meetings.  I participated in a rather public way in trying to stop what was happening with a letter to the editor of several of our local papers. It was printed in our county paper and in the online version of a local free publication.  It was copied, printed, and posted around our work area by my coworkers.  It was an excellent letter, I was told by many.  That was quite gratifying for a writer such as me!  I went to meetings, I wrote a speech for a coworker.  I tried along with the rest of my department and some from other departments and the union to stop the inevitable. I was sucked into the panic and guess what?  The sky fell; well partially.  We all still had jobs with a new company if we chose to take them.  I took a job with them as they were willing to work with my personal situation and so far so good. 

In the past couple weeks I have been barraged with information about changes to the services my disabled daughter receives; and a call to arms.  “The sky is falling!” once again, this time at the state level.  I wasn’t going to join in, my plan was to stay informed; but guess what? I got sucked in and wrote a letter which I sent to the governor, our state’s department of health and human services, and posted on the Facebook page advocating against the proposal. ‘It’s a great letter!’  ‘Very clear and to the point!’  ‘Wonderful strong words!’  Those are some of the comments I received.  Once again gratifying for a writer; but very public and out of my comfort zone.  What’s worse for me personally though is that this letter made me confront the ways in which my child is lacking.  For over 22 years I’ve been by turns confronting and on some level ignoring those things while still dealing with them.  Yet here I am laying it out there for the entire world to see.  It’s heart wounding, it hurts, it stinks.  I prefer to focus on the positives about her; all the things that she is and not what she is not.  Will it do any good?  Will any of this stop the proposal as it is written from being adopted?  Let’s hope that there are a sufficient number of us willing to lay it all out there to make a difference and change the proposal so that it is fair to all.  If not, the sky may indeed fall; or at least part of it, and I’ll be picking up the pieces again.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

February Thoughts

February is spelled weird.

Every four years there is an extra day (thank goodness because it’s my birthday!)

My very good friend also has a birthday this month, Happy Birthday!

Love is celebrated this month as well as Presidents Washington and Lincoln.

It’s women’s heart awareness month.

It’s black history month.

This year it’s a very cold and snowy month.

There are noticeably more hours of sunlight this month.

A rodent started us off; I think we need a different animal to do that, like maybe a cute puppy or something.

I eat too many sweets during this month between Valentine’s Day and my birthday—but I like it!



Saturday, February 7, 2015

Three Friends

         Three friends went to dinner last evening after not seeing each other for a few months.  They fell easily into conversation, drove the waiter nuts (probably) because they were so caught up in discussion of their lives they forgot to look at the menu causing him to return several times to inquire if they were ready to order.  Even after their wine glasses and plates were emptied and cleared away they lingered over mugs of ice water until they were the only patrons left and the music was turned off; as is always the case when they meet.

         It’s been over 22 years since the three friends were brought together by their youngest children at early intervention therapies.  They have two children each, the first borns typical in development and the second borns with developmental challenges of varying degrees.  They have seen each other through the many emotions of parenting both special needs and typical children, sharing each one’s triumphs and setbacks.  When one of the children succumbed to her disorder at the tender age of 16 they walked hand in hand through the darkness of grief and keep the child’s memory alive still.  Although they come from three very different backgrounds, and would never have met if not for their children, they feel a kinship which supersedes dissimilarity.  Emotions can be a powerful bonding agent, and is a large part of what keeps these three together.

         When we feel an emotional connection with someone, it doesn’t matter what the details of their individual situations are.  The details give us something to discuss; differing viewpoints to consider as we all try to figure out this crazy life we are given. It’s all part of being human and if we find others who can be our companions on the road it’s beautiful.