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Amy Ferris has the Words if only we would listen and live them!

There is so much I wanna say right now, but I’ll keep it short & sweet:

Do your life, do it up, do it big, do it fucking epic; do it with everything you fucking have – everything – it’s your life: love it, cherish it, treasure it, hold it dear and hold it tight, do not let it go.

Make art, create beauty, be messy – messy is so sexy.

Hold another human up, champion another human, support another human, ignite hope in another human; and do not give up on your dreams. Do not. Keep going.

Keep going.

None of us are gonna let you fall.

Have a grand day, people, live & wear your life to the nines.

A Very Special Post from AMY FERRIS

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.

A ritual.

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.

CAFE LENA lets do it AGAIN!

To my Saratoga and Capital Area Musicians;

It was just three months ago we honored the memory of Charlie Eble and raised money for the new internship program. Well, newclevelandradio.net would like to suggest we do it again and start planning it now. Since that spectacular event in May, I have heard from many of you sharing the comment, you would like to do this again (and again). Charlie has provided us the opportunity to put you all together and share the universal language that kept his toes tapping.

So, I begin by asking Patricia Eble Urell, Joel Moss, Sarah Craig, Jim Mastrianni, and Meg Kelly, are you all in? If so let’s select a date and start planning. It seems like we may have missed out on some musicians that were either out of town or had commitments for the day. The sooner we select a date the easier it will be for the performers to schedule the day.

Some of the comments I have received included starting the event later in the day into the evening. Midday for many is a difficult time to attend, and we could see if it brings more people in. Also if we get it on the Café Lena Calendar early enough we might draw more people including the Concert Window.

I look forward to hearing from all of you, you make me smile!

Originally

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.

Happy Birthday A L E X

17 August 1990 at 9:31 am Alex Edwin Hale was born!

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done, but Rich and I didn’t listen!

It took numerous visits to the infertility clinic and many disappointments, including a miscarriage and just days before the invitro, I was molested by a doctor!  I almost did not go through the procedure, but with Richard’s support and love and our desire to have a child together, I am so glad I did!  The sticky sperm separated enough to fertilize the egg that would develop into Alex, our son.

Today 29 years later, I could not be happier with the young man he is.  He too has had his battles from infancy to today, but he continues to get stronger with the adversity of life and is a joy to all who get to know him.  Alex continues to amaze me with the knowledge he possesses and the kind heart that is very vulnerable.  His talents are remarkable, and yet he does not boast or think he is above or beyond others.

Alex is always the first as well as the last one to care for another, and he lives his life-giving to others, that is his true happiness.

To say I love him to the Moon and Back is not enough to express my mother’s love and respect for him.  Join me in wishing Alex (the sports genius with the melodic voice) a H A P P Y B I R T H D A Y!

August 2 What it Means to Me!

August 2, 2016, I received a call from my brother Joel.  Just shortly before he called me, he learned that our mother had suffered a stroke.  That morning still stands out in my mind, as Rich left for work, I went out on our back patio and decided to dig up and transplant a spider plant.  The plant was barely growing between two well-thriving hostas.  As I freed this struggling plant and replaced it in front of my patio doors, I felt as if I had just completed a decisive action.  With a feeling of satisfaction, I smiled, knowing that it was going to be a good day until I received the phone call.  That plant today is growing and sprouting new baby shoots each year.

I remember feeling a sense of disbelief; my mom was a strong woman who was 96 ½ years young.  My brother had to have his information wrong.  However, after promising him, I would get myself together and drive to Michigan to be with mom, I followed up with the hospital to learn her condition was concerning.  (Now what does that mean?)

After getting my family situated, Rich, Alex, and I set out for Detroit.  All we knew at that time was she had suffered what appeared to be a stroke, was blind, and had no idea what happened, or if anything happened.  She had no concept of being blind; she saw what she wanted *in her mind.

Arriving hours later as I approached her hospital room, I feared the worst and hoped for the best.  Mom was sleeping, as I slowly approached her and woke her up.  She sounded like mom, although a bit confused as she began asking questions about why she was in the hospital.  She said she felt fine and wanted to go home.  I reassured she would be staying at the hospital for at least the night we had to identify what may have happened.  Again, she still had no idea she was blind.

August 2, 2016, took us all on a journey we never expected or planned.

From August 2, through October 11, 2019, I was blessed to spend my mother’s last weeks with her.  It was during this time I was able to talk to my mama in a manner I never thought I could.  We went from what I depicted as a love/hate mother-daughter relationship to a loving, trusting, mother-daughter experience.  I grew up during those weeks, even though I didn’t feel ready for the challenges I faced.

I have not felt the same since the transition from Summer to Fall in 2016.  I have held on to the good memories from those weeks, the stories my mama told, some over and over again, while others were in fragments that I may never know the full meaning.  During this period, I felt like I was in limbo just as much as my mom.  Although there was no hope for her recovery, we also had no time table of her fate.  Each day was a blessing and a miracle until she died.

I have been told by the rabbis and the scholarly Jewish community that my mother’s death on the Eve of Yom Kippur, October 11, 2016, was a mitzvah.  My mother was absolved of all her sins in 2076, written into the book of life, and with 2077 on the horizon, she would leave this earthly world in the presence and acceptance of G-D.  However, ever year, Yom Kippur rolls around as I pray for life,I now remember my mother’s life and the love she shared.

August the 2nd will always remind me of the opportunity I had to care for my mother and create a heartful of loving memories!

#WANT-2-B-Presidents

This is my opinion – Karen Moss Hale

Last night I had no intention of watching Part 1 of the Democrats Debate.  However, I did watch it, and I was amazed at the talent and mostly the compassion in many of these #WANT-2-B-Presidents.  I went into this not wanting to like Elizabeth Warren, thinking she had her chance in 2016, but I see a different person in her now.  She truly cares; she is the mom, teacher, nurse, doctor, and mentor that we need.  Yet I saw the spark in the eyes of others who I felt were also believable.  I have trusted Julian Castro since his introduction through Obama years ago.  I understood the use of Spanish and English in his remarks last night, however, when my grandparents and yours came here from far-away lands speaking in their tongue, part of becoming a U.S. citizen was learning English and be capable of communicating with all.  I am not against having a native language like Spanish, French, Yiddish, etc., but we all must learn to speak in the same language. We are a melting pot, and we must be able to blend together, bringing our strengths to the table and improving upon our weaknesses.

Personally, Cory Booker is another fine politician and human, and he reminds me of President Obama, and for my family and me although we had our own personal struggles during his period in office, we felt safe and optimistic.  The stats from last night say Booker and Castro were at odds with each other and this is something that we must overcome.  The Democratic System is about choice, freedom, and rights.  It is also about collaboration and not compromise.  Many of the #WANT-2-B-Presidents said it; it is not about starting a new project; it is about taking what we have and making it better.  Whether you agree or not, that is what the Affordable Care Act was about.  It was the starting point to help provide that all AMERICANS have affordable care despite their age and or income level!  Why should we throw the baby out with the bathwater when we can hold tight to the baby and reconstruct the bath temperature?

Tonight is yet another #WANT-2-B-Presidents debate, and I am sure there will be a lot more rhetoric being spewed, some real and like some else says, some fake!  However, we are still living in a free country where we can listen, observe, discuss, and make the right decision.

  • Healthcare is a given if we are going to grow and capable of living full lives.
  • Education must allow teachers to instruct, guide, and mentor, stop putting handcuffs on them, and education must be equalized for all no matter how economically rich or poor the community is!
  • The government must listen to the constituents, hear what they want, need, and require to be leaders in their families, communities, and beyond.
  • Stop creating wars, communication with our Ally’s and Enemies must be the focus and not threats that bring on retaliation.
  • We MUST face the fact we are killing mother earth, and we have the ability to stop it. New innovations are at our fingertips, and these skills can be taught and change both the political and natural resources climate.

Before my mother died in 2016, I promised her that Donald Trump would not be elected.  Sadly, I could not keep my promise.  Many people enjoyed his promises about “Making America Great Again,” the problem was, it was already Great, and now it is in pain!  We need a new doctor in the house.

New Day Monday

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.

Back Home Planning for 2020!

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!  newclevelandradio@gmail.com

Sharing is Caring especially when it comes to AUTISM

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!