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Last night I had the pleasure of being part of a great event, “Don’t Forget to Laugh” organized by Melinda Smith of Heart Mojo, https://www.spreaker.com/show/heart-mojo-with-melinda-smith. The entertainment consisted of four amazing comics all with heart and soul; Bill Benden, Tim Folger (no relation to the coffee), Mike Conley, and Michael Gershe. This talented group of individuals donated their time, energy and passion for an evening to support the Alzheimer’s Association.
Melinda Smith has a walk team to support the important message that only money for continued research will help eliminate, cure, or reduce the incidents of this mind altering disease. It is not just the individual that experiences the loss of memories that suffers but all that engage with them. Although this disease is not life-threatening, it destroys the nerves that connect in the brain that makes it difficult or impossible to do common every day things like, dressing, eating, and worst of all living in a fog of confusion. Like many of us, Linda had the experience of watching her grandmother live out her life with this disease. In fact, not only did her mother become a caregiver but Linda did as well, out of love and need for a family member.
Last night’s event is just one of several Melinda Smith will be coordinating to raise awareness and financial support for Alzheimer’s and Dementia which is kin to this disease. “Don’t forget to Laugh,” was held at the Funny Stop in Cuyahoga Falls. Owner Pete Barakat of the club graciously provided the space for this comedy event. Watch for more information on “Don’t forget to Laugh” coming to Cleveland, and other areas where we can come together to support ourselves and others to help in finding a cure.
On a side note, I want to share that studies show that laughter and music help heal parts of the brain. So keep laughing, do not lock it away.
Laugh to Keep From Crying Madonna
I can’t lock my door
Oh, I don’t have no privacy
The only thing that’s mine
Is what’s inside of me
When I’ve had enough
A little voice inside
It says you’ve got to be tough
You’ve got to take it in stride
Sometimes I am foolish
I let it get the best of me
At least I know that my mistakes
Are my responsibility
I just have to laugh to keep from crying
I just have to laugh to keep from crying
I don’t have a dime
Oh, to buy those pretty things
But I hear all the evidence
You know it all sounds the same
But I’m still waiting
I’ve got my hands open wide
You know my dream isn’t fading
I keep it hidden inside
I just have to laugh to keep from crying
I keep on trying
My friends don’t understand
Oh, they think I’ve lost my mind
And I’m choking back the tears
I’ve got to swallow my pride
I just have to laugh, ah
Songwriters: CICCONE MADONNA L / BRAY STEPHEN PATE
Laugh to Keep From Crying lyrics © WB Music Corp., Webo Girl Publishing Inc., Momma Hattie’S Muse, COPYRIGHT CONTROL (NON-HFA), WEBO GIRL PUBLISHING, INC., WB MUSIC CORP. O/B/O WEBO GIRL PUBLISHING, INC.
I am asking because I am confused! When is friendly too friendly? In the past, family, friends, neighbors, and newly acquainted individuals hugged, touched, and even kissed, without sexual intent or disrespect of invading space. Most of the baby boomers were brought up in an environment was touch appropriate; it was for comfort, appreciation, as well as a common form of communication. I am not disavowing that some of these connections may go array whether intentionally or with intent. However, when did we get so sensitive to expect that a kiss on the head, hand, the cheek is something more than a mere gesture of respect or showing appreciation. Why is it ‘OK’ for men to hug and tap each other on the shoulder but when a man treats a female equally it is considered too personal and display sexually desire?.
I do not want to live in a world where people are afraid to touch each other or share a conversation that may each work and innuendo is scrutinized. The “ME TOO MOVEMENT” has does a wonderful thing by bringing inappropriate behavior to the forefront; however, it has destroyed what is natural in the human species, connection. I am not defending or accusing anyone of poor behavior while we must begin to understand that not everything communicated is in “poor or inappropriate taste,” we should be cognizant of what is acceptable in a human connection.
I have shared this previously, I have been molested by a member of the medical community, the therapy taught me to how to get through the remnant of that encounter while learning to trust my instincts while still welcoming appropriate touch and speech when making a connection. Do we want to live in a world of “Hands Off?” If so, when will experience the warmth of another human soul?
The following is something I read on Facebook today, although I do not know this mother personally, I understand her story all to well. I believe her story, as I have seen this all too familiar scenario played out due to ignorance as well as unawareness to our special needs community. Our communities are not comprised of all perfectly “normal” human specimens. In fact, the quote that normal is only a setting on a washing machine or dryer is very true. As we are all snowflakes, not one of us is identical to another, we all have our quirks.
When will we learn to be tolerant, accepting, and encompass the diversities we encounter on a daily basis? When trusted medical doctors, nurses, and other healthcare officials cannot be trusted, it is time to change the system. Approximately 17 years ago a Psychiatrist at the Cuyahoga County Board of Mental Retardation, informed my son (who was 11 at the time), my husband and myself, that he (our son) should give up his dreams and passion for baseball. She told him his dreams were too lofty and that he was destined to living in a half-way house and performing menial jobs.
As parents, we refused to listen, and we argued with her that she was wrong despite a complete case study she provided us with to prove her point. Today, not only did my son graduate high school with a 3.0+ GPA, attend college and receive a BS in Business Management, he has also been an Autism Advocate, and for over a year he has worked with the Cleveland Indians and has accepted two advancements. He is living his passionate dream despite the ignorance of a “trusted” professional. If we had listened and given into her diagnosis (not the one of our son’s neurologist) we would have not only ruined our son’s life but destroyed much of ours as well.
Anyone who knows someone on the spectrum most likely has a similar story, and we must continue to bring the REAL SPECTRUM AWARE to light. April may be Autism Awareness Month, but for the one out of sixty-four and their families, Autism Awareness must be every day. #IGNORANCENOTACCEPTED! #webothhavesonsbythenameofAlex
APRIL IS AUTISM AWARENESS/ACCEPTANCE MONTH
Why this is so important to me and many of my very dear friends…
Our story that changed me forever…
June 2015 Alex had a horrible sinus infection. He was in terrible pain, but because his verbal skills are limited, he did not know how to express how he was feeling. All he knew is he needed relief from the pain. He ended up hitting himself which resulted in 2 black eyes. As my poor “Gentle Giant” baby was lying in bed that night, his eye started to bleed. Although I was very skeptical on how he would be treated there I knew (thought) he needed to go to the hospital where they would give him something to make him feel better. And that my friends is where Alex and my Horrific Nightmare Began…
Before this, I think we kind of lived in a bubble. Beachwood is kind of a small town where most people know each other. So most people knew Alex for the funny, smart, fun loving, Gentle Giant he is. On top of that, he attended an Autism School. So acceptance in the community was just part of our world. Never did I imagine he would go to a hospital 10 minutes away from our house where the minute he came through the doors, he was treated like a monster.
All these doctors saw was a 6’4” man with 2 black eyes not happy. They didn’t care that he was not happy because he was in pain. When I told them he had autism, they actually said to me “We have never had anyone here with autism before” I called Bullshit on them. “Really? 1 in 64 and he is your first?”
They put him in 4 point restraints and sedated him. They would not treat his sinus infection even though I insisted. I stayed with him 24/7. I slept in a metal folding chair and only left for a couple each night when someone I trusted at the time would come so I could shower. I heard and saw everything that went on. I would tell them he is in pain. I would beg them to give him something for his pain. They would say “He is sedated he doesn’t feel anything” I could see he was in pain. They didn’t care. To them, he wasn’t a person. He got pneumonia and ended up on a ventilator. This went on for 3 WEEKS! I fought with them, I yelled they DIDN’T CARE!! I tried telling them what a wonderful boy he is. THEY DIDN’T CARE!! To them he was a very large disabled “monster” The doctors would talk around me. Like I wasn’t there. They told me if he got out they wanted to send him to a mental hospital. They treated him like a crazy monster. They didn’t care; I was his mother and legal guardian. They acted like I knew nothing about him. They didn’t believe anything I told them. Me and others that saw him never said the words but knew he was going to die there. They were going to kill him. I begged for him to get transferred out of there. I thought of ways to sneak him out. Finally, after 3 weeks, they sent him by ambulance to the main Clinic where after 2 more weeks they were able to get him off the ventilator. He was left immobile. They wanted to send him to rehab, and I said “NO. NO MORE. I WILL DO ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING TO HAVE HIM REHAB AT HOME!”
Thank God Alex has the Fershtman determination and hard work ethic. It took a while but he had to learn to walk and feed himself again. And most importantly he had to learn to TRUST again.
He had nightmares from this experience. I slept with him every night for 1 year. I still have nightmares. And unlike Alex, I have not learned to trust again.
You know how they say “Once you are in Hell nothing else frightens you” It is true. I was there and I do not get intimidated by anything anymore. Alex and I are both fighters. We are survivors. If we made it through Hell we can make it through anything!
Even making this move. I knew it was the best thing for both of us but I thought the transition might be a little hard for him. However, I knew we would get through it. If we survived our horrific nightmare we would survive transition issues. Thankfully he has been so happy here since day one! I promise This will NEVER HAPPEN TO ALEX AGAIN! I WILL DO ANYTHING AND I REALLY MEAN ANYTHING TO MAKE SURE IT DOESN’T!! And I also promise I will make sure everybody will always treat him as the sweet, loving funny person he is!
AND WE AS A COMMUNITY NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT WHAT HAPPENED TO ALEX NEVER EVER HAPPENS TO ANYONE AGAIN!!!
REMEMBER, PEOPLE WITH DIFFERENT NEEDS ARE STILL PEOPLE AND DESERVE TO BE TREATED AS PEOPLE!!! NOBODY’S LIFE IS WORTHLESS BECAUSE THEY HAVE ANY KIND OF SPECIAL NEEDS!!!
And I don’t care who you are if I hear you say otherwise I will call you out on it every time!!!
THIS IS NOT A POLITICAL STATEMENT SO PLEASE DON’T MAKE IT ONE!
THIS IS A STATEMENT ABOUT PEOPLE PERIOD!!!
AND A STATEMENT ABOUT AUTISM AWARENESS AND ACCEPTANCE!!
ps. I cannot promise that this is my only Autism Post this month… so Buckle Your Seatbelts Kids!!
***Annette Scott & Sandi Fershtman – thank you for sharing and now let’s home we can touch the hearts of humanity (and medical professionals) to understand that Autism touches us all!
Good morning world, it is Saturday, March 30th, just two days before April 1st, also known as April Fools Day! Well, I don’t plan to fool you or anyone else, what I am planning to do is to fully continue living my life and appreciate each sunrise and sunset even if it is Cloudy & Grey. As I look at the various messages on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram I am reminded that we only have one life to live and that is now in the present. We can think of the could a’s, should a’s and would a’s but that would mean something else would have transpired and we cannot guarantee that is the result we would want. However today we can choose the path and take the journey of life and see where it leads. Remember every path as curves, turns, ups and downs, the obstacles are what gives us the strength to sort through these challenges.
It is Sunday, for many considered a day of rest that may consist of sleeping late into the late morning or early afternoon hours. Years ago, Sunday was my lazy day, waking up to a new week, brunching or lunching with my husband, running errands in joyous harmony to GOLD CIRCLE™, prior to the TARGET™, days. We always found a bargain or two while picking up the essentials like toilet paper, napkins, laundry soap as well other fine household items we didn’t need. As we sauntered through the aisles we knew at the end of this weekly journey we would take our stash home and realize we forgot the most important item of the week, but we never identified what that item was!
Remember Yesterday – Live for Today
Those were the days when we first bought the Sunday newspaper, The Plain Dealer™, and cut out the coupons and checked out what was on sale before we stepped inside the doors of our Sunday retreat. The newspaper was more golden than the GOLD CIRCLE™. The Sunday edition was packed full of fun stuff like the comics in living color, and Parade Magazine™ that was sure to have a story of fun-filled information for reading, not scanning. That paper went to breakfast with us, and we staled out our time as did many weeding through the paper from the front page headlines to the comics, magazines, ads, and flyers. Great articles appeared in The Plain Dealer™, Jane Scott, Michael Heaton, Connie Schultz, Terry Pluto, and my friend Chuck Yarborough, just to name a few.
“Sunday, Sunday here again in tidy attire
You read the color supplement, the TV guide”
Today, Sunday is just another day, working; as most of us have more than one job in today’s economic debacle. I feel blessed as I am about to reach the big 69 tomorrow that I am able and capable to be on my feet supporting sales and earning a few extra dollars. I do this because I have learned through my upbringing that we must continue to venture through life and not only adapt to changes but to change for the betterment without bitterness. I may have been raised in the 50s and 60s with the voice of encouragement telling me that if I worked hard, I too would have a suburban home, two cars in the garage and much more than just a chicken in the pot. However, to maintain all that I was encouraged to work hard for comes with a price.
Appreciating Yourself so Others will Too!
I could complain that as I reach this pinnacle in life that I am still scratching and clawing to build a better lifestyle (not necessarily all financial), that will allow me to live fully. That lifestyle includes working on Saturday and Sunday and meeting new people and supporting their wants and needs providing guidance. My weekend gig is much like my weekday life with newclevelandradio.net, I work with various individuals, and I am their guide and support in sharing their message, compassion, and life providing us all options on which fork in the road will lead us to Sunday, the first day of the week.
Treat Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday
As the Days to Love Yourself and Wish Yourself
A Happy Birthday
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME
Believe in happiness. Life is a gift and what we do with each second is our choice. We must remember that in order to live in a cohesive environment we must respect others as well as ourselves. There is no complete solitude in the cosmos; we are uniquely engaging with life forms of various geniuses that we must be aware of and accommodate for the differences that can only make us stronger in our achievement of happiness.
Happiness is not just a mood with a smiling face, emoji. It is a state of mind that we allow ourselves to experience and share. It cannot be described as perfect or not; it is more like a choice to achieve satisfaction even on a grey and gloomy day. It is important to understand that we cannot depend on anyone or anything to provide joyfulness. We are the bearers of our own choices, and the results are defined by the path we take.
There is no right or wrong when we choose to live and achieve the best for ourselves while lighting the way for others to observe and follow if they wish. However, our path is not the only one that will lead forward; there are many forks in the road.
Which one will you travel?
As I read American Stories, by K. Adrian Zonneville, aka Charlie Weiner, I now know that these books were written for a much deeper purpose than Charlie will ever understand, nor will I. You see, when I chose to really live my life, not just go through the motions, I became interested in helping others in a manner in which my future would be enriched. Enrichment is not in the form of financial gain, although a little extra in the pocket and bank might provide a little less of a burden, the love and friendships I am adding into my experiences here on earth are much more valuable.
As a young child, from the age of 9 or 10 years old, I struggled with making friends and being accepted. Just prior to puberty I became gawky and unsure of myself. I wanted so much to be part of the IN GROUP I literally pushed myself out of the inner circles. However, looking back with hindsight, I was not totally on the fringe, I was somewhere between the core and edge, and if I had known what empowerment was, I may be a different person today.
My desire to be part of the click ate at my soul and caused me many embittered thoughts that I carried on my back that weighed me down. I allowed my pre-pubescent years to hold me in a place that was not safe. I did creep out of that maze of feelings throughout my life, but I kept getting pulled back like I was tethered to that time. However, within the last five years I cut the teether and have begun running through the maze of life with hands up over my head, and every once in a while you may actually hear my shouts of ‘Glee.’
Reading American Stories, I understand that my mission in life is to experience and guide and be guided. I am no longer living with clouded eyes and heart, I am open to awareness, and that is what empowers me. I have no guarantees as to what tomorrow will bring, but I have the control to make each moment my best. I must continue to breathe in the life that guides me!
I have just begun reading, American Stories, by one of my newest favorite authors, Charlie Weiner, aka, K. Adrain Zonnerville. It always takes me a chapter plus to get mesmerized by his storytelling and descriptions of life as seen and approached by his characters. This morning, waking early, as usual, I picked up the book and began my day reading. I stopped at the point when the main character identifies that she is a collector of sorts. She collects stories! I realized at that moment in time why this book as well as the sequel that I read first, speak to me. I too am a collector, not of stories, but of people.
Don’t get nervous; I am not collecting people and keeping them bound up. I am collecting people, like you, and me and encouraging them to live free, sing, dance, and express themselves in the medium that provides them joy. I am not a Pollyanna and do not expect that happiness means never feeling sad, angry, unappreciated, or any negativity. What I do expect at least from myself is to face each obstacle with as much positive energy to move around it or through it when the Wonder Woman in me pushes onward.
I have spent the better part of my almost 69 years trying to be like you, and I now know, I want to be me. I once believed in the lyrics sung by Frank Sinatra, “All of me Come on get all of me Can’t you see I’m just a mess without you…” Spending one’s life trying to fit in when you feel like the square peg in the round hole, is not living. However, lessons can be learned, and one day you may wake up and become a collector of sorts. As I gather new friends and revive relationships with old friends, I appreciate how precious life is. It is a gift to follow our journey and share our experiences. We are all guides in this amazing universe.
Although Carrie, the main character in American Stories may be dying, in reality, she is alive. She teaches us that death does not have to destroy; it can be a lesson that teaches us how to fulfill dreams and appreciate each other. By taking one step in front of another, we can create a path that provides us joy as we journey forward.
Join me here at newclevelandradio.net as we continue to podcast and provide you with opportunities. Let us become empowered to appreciate our strengths!
If you leave in Cleveland, Ohio or any other Midwest or Northern state having a snowstorm is not unusual this time of year. It’s funny, growing up in Detroit, Michigan, we had a lot of snow in the winter. much more than what we have today, and yet we never stopped. But many of us here are hunkered down. My Beetle will not make it out of the garage the snow is so deep, and my condo sub-division has no idea when we will get plowed. Alex’s car is under siege by the snow, and there is a layer of ice under the snow. I guess back in the day we had warmer clothing, studs on our tires and a STUDDLY BURLY guy in our home or down the block who was always available and able to shovel someone out. I’m not complaining but sharing how soft so many of us have become, myself included.
Four years ago I fell on the ice during the winter and broke my femur requiring surgery and two weeks in rehab. I refuse to put myself in that same position. Therefore I am willing to be soft! But with softness comes empowerment and my theme for today is empowering myself to accept what is! When we empowered we give ourselves the opportunity to become stronger and more confident in our choices. For me, I am making choices that make me happy without contributing to someone else’s unhappiness.
A special thanks to Candace Pollock of the Intentionality Gurus, Candace has guided me through her bi-weekly podcast with newclevelandradio.net to listen to my overactive brain and allow my heart and soul to respond, if necessary. The words, “if necessary” is my personal mantra, not everything is necessary just because my thoughts dictate it at the moment.[i]
Katie the Carlady soon to be podcasting with newclevelandradio.net. Katie will be bringing coffee and cars to our venue. Katie’s backstory has been a journey that has led her to be an influential individual for many, and many of those individuals may never have met her. She is full of energy and brings out the best in others. I have only known Katie for a year, and yet I am mesmerized by her. For the first time in my life I am not wishing to be her, but to capture her dynamism and light my drive.
CANCER SUCKS, and I hope I will never have to experience the cobblestone path Melinda has traveled. However, she brightens my smile and my approach to health and wellness. Melinda posts Facebook Live moments regarding the “Heart Mojo,” the spirit and words she will share in her upcoming podcasts in February! Melinda as well as Katie, and Candace will be joining me in a new venture that kicks off this Wednesday night.
Please join us, Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019, at Vista Springs, Greenbriar, in Parma, Ohio. We will be hosting a Meet & Greet for women and men that have a story (personal journey) to share that will enlighten the lives of others. It’s time for each one of us to shed the angst from the fall out around us and seek a path that will allow us to live with heart. We must let our heart and soul fill our brain with the peace and lightness we all deserve. Please feel free to join us at 6 pm – 8:30 pm where Vista Springs will host the event, bringing us together for the “Empowerment Journey.”
The “Empowerment Journey,” this is your chance to share, learn, and be the person you want to be.
[i] (https://www.spreaker.com/show/the-intentionality-gurus-with-candace-2018) & (https://www.spreaker.com/show/the-intentionality-gurus-candace-2019)
2019 will be bringing you some new podcasts as well as a return of, Senior Moments with Bradley & Heather Greene. We are waiting with great anticipation to welcome them back after a hiatus.
Katie O’Toole Smith will be joining newclevelandradio.net, sharing the message that “all things are possible!” It’s more than a saying or a spiritual belief. “If you give up it means you never tried,” and with the support of others, there is no reason not to try! (First show is scheduled for Thursday, February 14, 2019, @ 6 pm EST)
Melinda Smith will share thoughts on positivity and not in a cheesy condescending way, but woman-to-woman, person-to-person. It’s not about right or wrong; it’s about facing challenging and creating new opportunities. As Helen Kellet stated, “Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.” (First show is scheduled for Monday, February 11, 2019, @ 6 pm EST) MY HEART MOJO
It is this poem by Edgar Guest that my pops repeatedly quoted that encourages me to face each challenge as an opportunity!