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You will soon get to know Amy Ferris if you don’t know her yet. I am her Goddess Sister, and she is Mine! She posted this on Facebook today and it is a reminder that life has detours, obstacles, and shit along the way but we can survive if we are compassionate, caring, and loving humans!
The Words of Amy Ferris – Please, bear with me.
Today is the anniversary of my dad’s death; 20 years today; November 2.
This is one of my very favorite pieces that I wrote about us, and in honor of him today, I share it again.
Every Saturday we took the Long Island Railroad from Bellmore to Manhattan. New York City. The train ride was about forty-eight minutes, station-to-station. At the candy store in Bellmore, he got a newspaper and a coffee with a little milk; and I would get chocolate milk. On the train, we would find seats – two together, side by side – and we would sip and he would read, and I would stare out the window watching the world swish by.
He had been arrested.
A bribery case – the United States vs… my Dad.
He didn’t expect to be caught. He didn’t expect to be arrested. We didn’t expect life to change. She didn’t expect to pawn all her jewelry. I didn’t expect to be bullied and harassed, and to have imaginary friends. We had never known that kind of fear and sad before, and now they had moved in with us, constant companions, tagging along where ever we went.
You don’t expect that kinda shit when you’re 8 years old.
He needed a job; to feed us, to pay the bills, the mortgage, the car, the clothes.
He got a job working at Melvin’s Frame Shop in the West 30’s. Or maybe it was the West 40’s. We would walk from Penn Station, the LIRR, to the shop. His friend, Murray, got him the job. Melvin was Murray’s cousin. Melvin made frames for Museums, and Art Gallery’s and was pretty well known in that world. Elaborate frames. Fancy frames – gold, and silver, huge frames. My dad was hired to sweep the floors, and clean the place. A janitor. He would sweep, and clean, and label frames, and organize things, and I would sit on the wooden table, my little-girl skinny legs dangling, and I’d watch – mesmerized – as my dad swept the wooden shavings from under the tables with a huge broom and dustpan. And Melvin would berate him, in an accent sprinkled with angry. “Sweep here. HERE. This. This. Here. THIS. This dust, and this sand, and these wood chips… and the mess… sweep, god-damn-it, sweep, you lazy man, can’t you see where you’re sweeping, Goddamnit?” And my dad would shrink right before me – right before my eyes. He would shrink, and disappear, and I was so scared he would disappear forever. He was a tall man – six foot one – but Melvin could make him disappear. Melvin had the same tattoos that Phyllis and Henry had. The same exact tattoos. I called them cartoons. I didn’t know what tattoos were. Numbers – like a telephone number – on their forearm. Melvin had the same tattoo as them. I knew about those numbers. I knew that Phyllis and Henry had lost both sets of parents. All four. They had burned to death in an oven. I knew that story. I had heard that story over family get-togethers, dinners. Incinerated, was the word used. I watched, witnessed, as Melvin spewed at my father. Goddamn you, you lazy man. And I would sit on the wooden worktable, my little skinny legs dangling, and watch my dad lose whatever faith he was clinging to while I was clinging to him. I wasn’t sure why he brought me with him on Saturday’s. Maybe he wanted me to know that he loved me. Maybe he was lonely. Maybe because it was a Saturday, and he never needed to work on Saturday’s, and that was our day. But our days were different before the arrest. They were filled with hope and possibility; museums and plays, and theater, and movies and Aunt Jemina pancakes. Maybe he needed to know that no matter what, no matter fucking what, I would love him. We would leave the Frame Shop right on the dot: Five O’clock, and we would walk down Broadway to Penn Station. Stopping at the automat. He would get a hot steaming cup of coffee, and I would get a milkshake. Chocolate. And we would sit at the counter, and I would watch my dad stare into his coffee, a million miles away. And I would make believe that I was a Princess from the Island of Long, and we were having a day out and no one – no one – could find us. I liked that game. And then, we would stand up, and almost on cue, we would both exhale, and then he would leave a tip, a few coins for the waitress behind the counter, and we would walk to the train station, a few blocks away, and climb down the stairs into the station, and find the track number, and go to the platform, and wait for our train, and the train would swish into the station, loud and steamy, and when the conductor said: all aboard – because back then they did – we stepped in, and found our seats, and I grabbed my dad’s hand and didn’t let go.
I didn’t let go.
And I could feel every bit of his sad and his unhappy and his burden and his disappointment and his humility and his anger and his disgrace and his embarrassment and his shame and his worry and his fear and his doubt entwined in my fingers. Our hands. I could feel it. And when I finally caught his eye – when he finally looked down at me – his little girl, his princess – my eyes were saying, you’re my hero, Daddy, you’re my hero. And I think maybe for a few seconds he believed me, and I think that maybe that gave him just a little more courage. A little more hope. At least enough courage and hope to get us home.
After months – day in, day out, day in – my dad was acquitted on a technicality. And our life came back, piece by broken chipped cracked piece. He stopped working at the frame shop and my mother stopped pawning her jewelry and I stopped having imaginary friends and we never, ever talked about that time.
It was taboo.
That huge, massive cluster of shame was hidden deep, tucked away, because that’s what you did back then – when something bad, awful, horrible happened – and it was swept under the wooden table along with all the wooden chips and all the dust and all the shavings; into corners and crevices and cracks and under rugs – hidden and buried deep.
Originally I was scheduled to work double shifts this weekend, but due to a migraine that came out of the woodwork, Rich was kind enough to step in so I could just work my single shift. The pain and blinding effects started to subside on Friday night but this morning I woke up to a dull feeling on the right side of my head which is a typical indicator of what is yet to come. The Amivig has been working but I am getting a breakthrough this month so I will need to monitor things.
As my friend and life coach shares in her bi-weekly podcast, it is all about being intentional in our thoughts and actions that will help us identify the fork in the road we travel. Candace Pollock has taught me a lot through the Intentionality GURUS! https://www.spreaker.com/show/the-intentionality-gurus-candace-2018-19 now heard on many platforms including Spotify, iHeart, iTunes, Google, and more.
Being Intentional has brought awareness of the beauty of life that surrounds us. I hear my voice when I speak and if I don’t think it sounds kind, in the manner in which I would like others to speak to me, I adjust my tone and take a deviation in the path I was traveling.
Today is the day I begin my dream. Dreams are not just for sleep or zoning out in the middle of the day. Although that form of dreaming can be inspirational if we focus on what we want and set goals to reach it. If we don’t, we can be stranded in the what if’s of life. I refuse to be trapped in my thoughts as I have spent a large portion of my life dreaming, wishing, and wanting. I have ventured out into the what appears to be the cold dark world with doubters. This time, I will not be stopped by those who chose to impact me negatively.
When I elected to take this venture into writing, I began with blogging. I believe the best blogs I have written are based on self-reflection that others may associate with. When I receive feedback, I experience an overwhelming sense of wellbeing that I am not the oddity I thought I was. Blogging, journaling, or writing a book can give me/you a clear picture of the meaning of life. (Don’t worry I am not going to get deep and dark here.)
So, have you guessed my dream? It is writing a book based on my blogging journals that may not only be my story but yours as well. I am beginning the climb up the mountain, and I will continue forging ahead.
I am looking forward to the feelings of achievement that only I am capable of producing for myself. I hope you will join me on my climb while I reach for the apex
To find all our shows in one place go to https://www.spreaker.com/user/newclevelandradio – SPREAKER
However, if you want a specific show go to https://newclevelandradio.net/podcast-replays/ Use the drop to select a specific show or episode on the format of your choice – Spotify, iHeart, iTunes, Google or Castbox.
If you want to podcast with us please email Karen at newclevelandradio@gmail.
Good Morning World! Although we all may feel safe in the cocoon of our own home, family, and friends, there are many outside forces producing unrest and fear. It is necessary for us, you, me, and all those we know to take a step out of our comfort zones and begin challenging the odds.
Whether you watched the ABC special last night of the “Flying Wallendas” crossing over Times Square, it was fearful as well as amazingly exciting. Although this is not a feat for most of us to attempt, the concept of facing one’s fears and taking one step at a time is something we all can and should do.
Despite our political beliefs, we must find a way to collaborate and communicate. The art of communication is listening and dissecting fact from fiction. If we do not confront our distress of the real news and listen only to the fake news, we will not be capable of moving forward and growing.
On this first Monday of Summer 2019, find the sunshine behind the clouds, and be the change you want to see in this overwhelming world. Take a deep breath and smell the roses, the rain, the freshness of life. If it feels musty and moldy, this is your opportunity to light the way and clean up the remnants.
Empower yourself while lending a hand to those who may need guidance.
2 June 2019
So you say life isn’t fair, it’s difficult to find a job, create a successful relationship, and find true happiness. However, if I have learned one thing in life, nothing comes easy that is worthwhile keeping. I too have felt these same pangs believing I was the only one struggling in a career, with family, friends, and most of all, self-acceptance. Acceptance does not mean not trying to improve or look for self-satisfaction, it means finding something about yourself to believe in.
This past week has been a rollercoaster of emotions. It began with not knowing if my husband had/has a job or not. Although the situation is not resolved after the initial shock that he may need to make some changes that will affect us both, we both had to grieve, take a deep breath, and keep taking steps in a forward and lateral direction, backward was not/is not a choice.
Change is not easy, even if it’s a choice we make. Any change can be scary and can make for a lot of discomforts. Before looking in the mirror and making any alterations, we must appreciate what we have on a daily basis — find one thing, and it will multiply to two, three, or more. “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” So when a curve ball is thrown, we either catch it or hit it out of the park. Catching it may throw us off balance or even sting a bit, hitting it out of the park, however, empowers us to make a choice to change!
Empowerment is a choice and prepares us for the rollercoaster of life. Preparation allows us to be more aware of our surroundings and the fork in the road that lays up ahead.
When you think of beauty you have a very specific ideal that often comes to mind whether it be of a newborn infant pure and innocent, a bride in white perfection, a flower with petals of velvet glistening from a ray of sunshine or new morning dew, or your leftover scraps that you will recycle and or compost to bring forth a new life cycle!
Terri-Lynn Pellegri has been a photographer for most of her adult life. She shoots photos of things that make her smile and as she brings life into her viewfinder. My friend and sister-in-law is not a PollyAnna but prefers to see the glass flowing over, as love and happiness will never empty the vessel. If needed, she will pour herself into it to keep it beautifully alive. You must view her collection of Love Compost, now seen at Uncommon Grounds, in Saratoga Springs, NY. This collection is just the beginning of her legacy for a global society coming together to save ourselves from destroying Mother Earth. This collection should be traveling from city to city for individuals like you and me to appreciate enough to make some trashy lifestyles we all have.
Most communities have recycling. However, if you don’t recycle or recycle per the rules the separation of those items like plastic, glass, aluminum, and paper will go into the trash piles creating bigger and unusable landfill areas. However, rinsing out containers, and establishing what is truly recyclable or not is our first commitment, and it is not difficult to do. Understanding how to compost is another stance we can take, and even for those of us living in a community, condo, apartment or urban area, it is possible to do ‘some’ composting. If you drink coffee or tea, those ground beans and tea leaves can be added to your plant dirt. I have seen a remarkable surge in the growth of my plants and I dump the grounds in and around my plants; I let it sit for a couple of days, and then I turn the compost over into the soil.
As I observed the photograph display at Uncommon Grounds, I was amazed and excited to see how a banana peel can look so beautiful, or how a cracked eggshell with the right light shining on it can bring happy tears to your eyes when you witness life, not death and not decay. Each photo is an act of love, and the compassion of saving the earth resonates loud and clear. Not only are the pictures a lesson to protect our future, but they are also works of art as presentations in our homes.
I hope to help Love Compost raise the awareness and funds to take this show worldwide. I welcome musicians and other artists to consider creating a new LOVE MOVEMENT as we compost our trash in more ways than one!
Back home and still on a roll from this past weekend. If you have never been to upstate New York and driven through the Finger Lakes Region or to the Capital area like Saratoga Springs you are missing some beautiful country. It is true that Rich and I attempted to see the many massive waterfalls in and around Watkins Glen, New York, https://parks.ny.gov/parks/142/ where we had planned to view and photograph one, two or more of the 19 Waterfalls. Sadly, the directions a local provided us were incorrect, and all we saw was a beautiful countryside with numerous Wineries. However, we did see ButterMilk Falls outside of Utica where we stayed and got some nice photos there! All in all, we laughed during our adventure and get away!
Saratoga Springs and Annie’s Washington Inn (Joe) did not disappoint us at all. It is always a lovely stay at this Bed and Breakfast that also hosts weddings and parties and receptions of all types. The setting is not only beautiful, but the Inn is immaculate. Joe is the treasure at the helm!
The musicians and talented individuals of this area are always friendly, welcoming, and exciting to spend time with. This very special area has few if any EGOS flying high. On Sunday, a diverse group of musicians participated, providing their talent to honor Charlie Eble, who had a heart of gold and provided for this region. In his memory, the city of Saratoga Springs, Mayor Meg Kelly, Café Lena, led by Sara Craig and her team (many volunteers), my brother Joel Moss producer and music engineer, joined newclevelandradio.net, to bring musicians together in song and harmony.
A special thanks to all:
Charlie Eble A/V Internship feel free to donate at http://www.caffelena.org/
Alex Hale, Garland Nelson, Vinnie Leddick, Patty Urell, Jonathan Greene, Sergei Nirenburg, Brian Melick, Bob Warren and Mark Griffin, Judy Wyle, Ralph Pascucci, Jeff Halstead, Michael Jerling, Will Severin, Joe Bruchac, Chris Baker. Ria Curley and Chuck Lamb, John Nazarenko, Tim Wechgaelar, and Chris Carey. Marcus Ruggiero, Peter Davis, Steve Candlen, Rick and Sharon Bolton, Jeff Brisbin & Joseph Deuel.
(I HOPE I DID NOT LEAVE ANYONE OUT!)
Now that we are home, it is time to start planning next year’s event for the Charlie Eble A/V Internship Concert Connection. Do not let the grass grow under your feet – spread the word as you continue to bring the language of music to all that hear you perform.
We would like to continue our podcasts with you and begin with sharing your thoughts, your memories, and your passion for all that you do! email@example.com
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!