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L’shanah Tova with Love

9/13/20
SUNDAY
We are preparing to celebrate using new virtual methods, Rosh Hashannah.  The other day I read a Facebook message and someone from my generation (growing up in the 50s and 60s,) asked how many of us remember getting new Fall Outfits for Yom Tov?  Often they were wool or something very warm despite the temperatures that may influence something less, but it was September/October and we must be dressed appropriately for the Jewish New Year.  I remember one year my mother sewed me a black & white hounds-tooth wools suit and I got this corduroy black corduroy hat that today has the 60s written all over it.

Rosh Hashannah and Yom Kippur were traditionally spent in shul, while my parents sat in the synagogue with all the other parents and grandparents, the three of us went to youth services and met up with our parents when their services ended.  It was a solemn day of reflection and it also was a time to show off your best and make your parents proud.

After services on Rosh Hashannah, we would either walk home with friends or pack into my dad’s car for the short 5-minute drive home.  Once home, the men in the family took off their jackets and loosened their ties, but we all remain in holiday finery.  I would help my mother serve the traditional foods like homemade chicken soup with noodle kugel, and course after course I would jump up to assist.  Momma made a tzimmis (a carrot, honey, prune sweet side-dish), sweet and sour meatballs, a sweet kugel with raisins, brisket, and or a roasted chicken (and sometimes we would go to the Shechitah days before to pick out our live chicken and watch the Rabbi, kill it, bless it, and make it kosher.)  Can You Say Tradition?

That was Rosh Hashannah and ten days later for Yom Kipur again we would have our traditional meal before attending Kol Nidre Services.  Much was the same as the week before, but in our home, my mother added Kreplach to the meal (a Jewish Ravioli.)  After filling ourselves up to the gills with food, we began our 24 hour fast for the Day of Atonement.  And just like Rosh Hashannah, my parents sat in the main chapel while my brothers and I went to youth services.

I miss those days – those were the days when my paternal grandparents attended our Shul and they were part of our inner circle, and years before my mother’s parents would join us for the break the fast 24 hours later.  Again, break the fast was centered around food, fresh bagels, and rolls with condiments including LOX, also my mother baked Mandel Bread, Chocolate Chip Cookies, a yeast coffee cake.  Food brought us together after a day of repenting.

Many of those traditions faded for me when I got married and moved away.  It took me over 36 years to find a Temple where I feel accepted.  However, this year I will not be able to sit in the sanctuary with my new family of Temple Friends I will be sharing in a zoom service like so many of us due to COVID.  However, I hope and pray next year we can feel safe in coming together as one, and as we say at the end of the Yom Kippur service, “Next Year in Jerusalem,” May we say next year in our Temple/Shul.

2020 or 5780 has not been the best year of my life, nor the worst.  However, I pray that 5781 will bring new peace to OUR LIVES so we may live in harmony.  Even those of us who sing off Key should be appreciated for the value we bring to this world.  We must make this year the first step to doing this and making it an everlasting journey for those that follow.

I ushered in 5780 last year with my Temple Israel Akron family.  Sadly, too soon after that COVID crept into our lives and turned things upside down.  However, if I have learned nothing else as I turned 70 in March, I am responsible for my feelings that can contribute to my happiness or sadness, and I have chosen Happiness!  I have spent the last year reaching out and making new friends and relationships.  I have continued to follow my dreams with newcleveleandradio.net.  I have been a support system for my family encouraging them to follow their dreams and not settle because someone has told them to.  I will go into the new yeat 5781 with new hopes and dreams and I will take the steps forward because that is what life is all about.

To all who may be reading this whether you observe the Jewish Holiday or not, know that I believe in you and all the good you too will put forth in the days to come.

L’Shanah Tova!

 

Love, Karen KIKI

A Must Read from Barbara Rose Brooker

You have 1 free story left this month. 

Nothing Works

Barbara Rose Brooker

Jul 25 · 5 min read

hate technology.

Nothing works. I’ve done nothing today. Not only do I have virus anxiety, but the only thing that works is my TV, which is on twenty four seven, reporting the rise of virus cases, and deaths. Even Alexa isn’t working. When I shout “Alexa!” there’s silence. She’s not working.

Anyway, it’s the middle of the night and I hear loud talking. My heart racing, sure that there’s a break in, I press the 911 panic button on my phone. In fifteen minutes, three burly police officers with keys clinking from their belts, arrive at my apartment. Shaking, I’m ranting someone is in the apartment, hiding. “I heard talking! Someone is hiding!” I repeat.

“Hey! Lady! It’s Alexa,” sighs a tired looking officer, looking at me as if I’m nuts. “You need to get Alexa fixed!”

As the weeks pass in mostly quarantine, I spend hours on Google, taking notes on technology, calling tech friends with questions, but they always say they’re in the middle of a Zoom meeting.

Still, nothing works.

If I scramble eggs on my fairly new stove, the fire alarm goes off, and then the tenants run down the stairs, yelling “Fire!” Now they give me dirty looks. Not to mention my pandemic anxiety. Obsessively, I worry if I get the virus and end up dying, my poor fifty something kids will have to face time me to say goodbye, and in the middle of our conversation, an 800 number will interrupt our call and my phone will go dead.

My tech anxiety is so bad that I’ve doubled my shrink zoom sessions. Even sending an attachment, I break into a cold sweat. My printer doesn’t work and sometimes my TV sticks on Netflix and the same movie stays frozen. No matter what I do, what buttons I press on the several remotes, nothing works.

You have to understand that I’m from the typewriter generation. I yearn for my little pink business cards printed with one telephone number on it. Now business cards have lists of links and Apps.

As the pandemic rages, and my anxiety grows, I have a recurrent nightmare: I’m lost. I’m driving. It’s dark, the road is thin, and as I drive, the road is thinner, and below, a vast dark green ocean is ready to swallow me and the car won’t stop. My cell phone is attached to the little hook on my belt but it only has ten percent battery juice left in it, so I call 911. A recording comes on, and my phone dies. I wake shaking. I look at the vase filled with yellow roses my daughter sent and I smell the fog floating from the open window and I’m glad I’m alive.

Never will the world be what it was. You never can go back. But I need to work, make money, need to develop social networking skills. Zooming has replaced the telephone, skype, and e-mailing. Recently, I was zooming on this hot national TV show and the host was promoting my latest novel, when my land phone rang, and the computer screen went dark. The producer called on my cell phone, shouting that I have to shut the phones off and that I “fucked up” their show.

Today, I have a pitch meeting with an LA network producer. He and his colleagues are interested in one of my books for a TV series. I’ve been in this game many times but I’m a fame whore and I won’t give up.

I wear a turtleneck and weave two black ostrich feathers into my long brown silver streaked hair. I glam up. I take a deep breath. It’s time. I click the zoom link. Wham! The little green camera is lit. A blast of music. Boom! Bubsy Jacobs about forty something, thin as a pipe, stands next to a huge rocket ship. “I’m virtual.” He laughs.

The head producer they call Ro Ro, short for Rothman, says with a yawn, that the network “loves,” my project. I’m sure he has never read my book. He has a large face and tiny distracted eyes.

Epic Glassman, about thirty and gorgeous, in a bored monotone, gushes how much she loves Should I Sleep In His Dead Wife’s Bed, and that she read it “head to toe.” She pauses, her round blue eyes behind huge chic round glasses, glaring. “However,” she continues in her voice soft as a gnat, “ I would like to see your protagonist Heather do something besides look for love. Also, she needs to be …younger?” She presses her full pale lips, disapprovingly.

I take a deep breath. “Well, first, her name is Lisa. And I want to keep her at sixty-five. She’s a Phd psychologist, researching the sex lives of men over sixty. She wants more than work. She wants love and fights ageism and sexism.”

“How do we know this?” she asks, impatiently.

“It’s on the first page,” I reply. “You’re in her office. She has a patient. It’s right there.”

“Who do you see playing the part?“ Ro Ro asks quickly.

“Diane Keaton,” I reply.

“Too old,” Epic says, with a bored sigh.

“I agree,” says Ro Ro. “The old actresses are in Rehab or in assisted living.” Just as I’m about to reply that his reason is ageist and sexist, and that I won’t let the networks change my work, I realize that my audio is off and I can’t hear them, nor can they hear me, and their faces are frozen on my computer screen. Frantically, I’m looking for the un-mute tiny red arrow, but when I click the arrow, the screen goes black.

The pandemic rages on. My anxiety continues.

“Mom. I put money in your Venmo app,” says my daughter on the phone. “It’s a gift. You didn’t get your unemployment.”

“Venmo?”

“My husband put the app on your phone! The money goes directly into your account. It’s a three-hundred dollar gift. No one smart goes into banks anymore.”

“Wow, thank you, “I say, thinking I’ll have extra money this month.

The weeks pass and I’m thinking I have three hundred dollars extra in my account. Whoopee! I buy shampoo, books, a New Yorker membership. Until I check my Citibank account and not only am I overdrawn but checks bounced.

“It can’t. You made a mistake!” I shout at the customer service man. He has a heavy accent and I keep saying, “What? What do you mean the money isn’t there? I have Venmo. Citi Bank has to make this good!”

“Venmo is not a bank. Venmo transfers your money into your Citibank account. I will talk you through.”

“So why do I need Venmo?” I shout. “I could walk to the bank.”

“Bank closed. Pandemic.Now go to your venmo App. I help you.”

Perspiring , I try to follow him as he instructs me step by step. But when I press my password’s tiny letters , a Reset Password bar pops up. I’m not breathing.

“Try again,” he says,patiently. I try again.

Again.

Again.

Finally a little bar says you are now transferred to Citi Bank. You will receive an e-mail.

“Success!” he says. “You see. You can do it.”

Every day, I’m zooming, apping, instagramming. I go on the singles sites. Some dudes have passwords to get on their zoom accounts, others sit in virtual atmospheres, their faces strangely young as they use Google Virtual for to erase lines, bags, wrinkles.

Nothing works.

To be continued.

BarbaraRoseBrooker/author of her latest novel Love, Sometimes, published Feb 2020, Post Hill Press/Simon Schuster

Brooker is working on The Corona Diaries and Other Things. Her national TV appearances, and podcasts The Rant are on You Tube and www.barbararosebrooker.com

Barbara Rose Brooker

WRITTEN BY

Barbara Rose Brooker, author/teacher/poet/MFA, published 13 novels. Her latest novel, Feb 2020, Love, Sometimes, published by Post Hill Press/Simon Schuster.

Welcome BACK BASEBALL 2020

June 23, 2020

THE DAY THE MLB OWNERS AND TEAMS AGREED TO PLAY!

“Major League Baseball’s owners have approved a restart plan for MLB and, in keeping with the acrimony and suspicion between management and the players we’ve seen for the past three months, sent it as more or less an ultimatum to the players association. But it does mean the sport is coming back.”

 

I have always enjoyed the game of baseball.  I grew up in Detroit and my introduction to baseball was the Detroit Tigers.  Although we didn’t go to many games back in the day my Father either listened to the game on his AM Radio or we watched in on our Black & White TV.  During my teens, we lived in Minneapolis and I felt like a trader rooting for the Minnesota Twins, but Harmon Killebrew played for them and my dad’s name was Harmon, so became loyal to them only to feel torn when in 1968 we moved back to the home of the Tigers.

During my lifetime, I have lived in cities with other teams such as the Phillies, the Reds, and the Indians!  My first introduction to the Indians was in the late eighties or early nineties when they were still playing at Municipal Stadium.  My husband and I were invited by one of his clients to attend a game and party in a Logue.  Well everyone else partied (assuming the Indians would lose which was their pattern at that time,) I sat and watched the game rooting for the home team.

In 1994 as I traveled for business one night when I called home, my youngest son Alex who as 4 years old at the time informed me he was watching the Oreos on TV and he couldn’t talk to me.  After he hung up on me very abruptly I called back and his father told me that Alex was mesmerized by the baseball game and was intently watching it.  That was the beginning of true love in our home!  Ever since the summer evening, Alex has gravitated and absorbed the game that it is difficult not to enjoy his love for the purity of the sport.

COVID19 has hit us all hard and baseball not starting on time in March has been difficult on many (but it is very apparent here in our home.)  You see Alex always wanted to play baseball and despite the lessons he took and his knowledge of the game past and present, some obstacles (COACHES) stood in his way.  However, his dream has always been to work for the Cleveland Indians.  Two years ago that dream came true and although he is working his way through the system for him it’s not just working because when he is at Progressive Field he feels complete!

However, this horrible virus has meant he is out of work along with many others working for Major League team, however, he plans on returning when the opportunity avails itself.  Now that an agreement has been met he is all smiling because he will at minimum be able to follow his team and the sport he loves.  I too am smiling again because despite being from Detroit, and once rooting for Twins, Phillies, and Reds, my love and devotion go out to the Cleveland Indians.

I don’t want to wish the summer away but I cannot wait till they take the field at the end of July so I can, “Root, Root, Root for MY HOME TEAM.  GO INDIANS!

 

Terri-Lynn Pellegri Writes 6/14/20

Believe
I have to believe that we are all connected and continue to be, even when our bodies are no longer here…when we cease to breathe and our flesh is no longer alive with blood pumping through our veins. I have to believe that we somehow still communicate, have interplay, that our energies relate to one another in ways that we are not aware of. I have to believe that we all matter and that it matters what we do and how we live, and that we live. I mostly have to believe that loving matters, and that the energy that love generates, that our caring for one another, and our support for each other is necessary. I have to believe that the space in between one human being and the next is not a void or a distance…but an invisible glue that is our human connection. #saratoga #saratogasprings #love #lovematters #brother #create #creativephotography

Dear Sue, Liz and all affected by COVI19

An open letter to my niece Sue (and to all of you too.)

Life is not fair you say, and at times I must agree with you but there are somethings we are responsible for in keeping the deck clean and cutting it fairly.  Sue, your zayde used to remind us when we complained of kvetched (no I am not insinuating you are,) that we have to choices in life to live or to die.  The luckier we are to live through the SHIT STORMS provides us with wisdom to make tomorrow (or today) a better day.

COVID19 is nondiscriminatory, although if you ask the male or Afro-American segments of this global pandemic they might disagree.  However, we have seen the very young as well as the geriatric community become infected, and most recover but millions are still dying.  All we can do to survive is to follow the #STAYATHOME rules, #WASH_OUR_HANDS, #WEAR_A_MASK, so we stay out of harm’s way.

You are one of the lucky ones.  I know MS is not a “walk in the park” immune disorder.  However, you have fought it with all your might and we are blessed you are still here to shout and scream about life not being fair.  As the mother of twins both born on the spectrum, you have given them life beyond birth.  You believe in their strengths and they have developed into young adults who we can all be proud of.  It has not been easy for you or them but nothing in life that comes easy reaps the rewards.  Your loving husband Joe also has medical ailments that put him at high risk for the virus.  Although we may not remind you of our concern and love is not to say we are unaware and non-caring.  However, as he follows the protocol we know that is all you and he can do at this time.

When I say you are lucky, you found a sister, best friend with Liz who is a second mom to your children.  Often when we get divorced like the two of us, it is not common to hear that both moms are friends.  But you with your heart of gold found the good in Liz and she in you.  I truly admire the two of you for the relationship you have.  Both you and Liz have made the lives of your children better for it.  I can’t thank her enough for helping both Wylie and Hayley transition through this as she did.  You are one blended family!

Another lucky star or stars in your life is finding your birth family and developing a relationship with them.  Not everyone is as blessed to find their birth parents and siblings but you have and you all embraced each other when often the opposite is the result.  The parents who raised you encouraged you to follow the path to seek your birthright and now you have a circle of life embracing you.  (I could go into what seems like Millions of Friends, but that for another time.)

However, yesterday, when Liz tested positive for COVID19, life felt unfair and you lashed out at those who don’t want to believe in the FACTS of this insidious disease.  I applaud you for telling people how sad, frustrated, and anxious you feel! When this hits close to home especially to a front line worker (Liz is a nurse,) it seems even more unfair.  However, we have no control and all we can do is feed Liz positive vibes, keep her family (her daughter, the twins, and her husband,) in our special prayers and thoughts.  As a cancer survivor, she is at a higher risk, but as a survivor, she has the will and stamina to get well again!

Isn’t it time for all of us to wisen up and realize if we do not prepare for the worst when it happens, and it will, we will be blown away in the wind.  The devastation from COVID19 could have been so much less if some in our government would have had the BALLS to get involved in stopping or slowing down the spread of this horrific disease.  However, DJT did not, he, in fact, called in “Fake News.”  Now we are living and struggling with the fallout.

To Sue and All, we cannot allow this to define us, we must define ourselves and become the best of our best.  That includes taking all the safety precautions to keep ourselves and others safe.  I ask you to keep Liz, and all the VICTIMS of this VIRUS close to your hearts and let our energies help to send healing powers.

I am adding Liz to my list of those I know who have recovered because, #IBelieve

Please Be Kind!

Sharing:  http://postcoffeeprewine.com/posts-2020/

Check out newclevelandradio.net GROWING in 2020

We have some news to report, and much we are excited to be offering here at newclevelandradio.net

*Beginning next week, we will be rolling out SHERAPY with Sherry Amatenstein, LCSW is an NYC-based psychotherapist and author of The Q&A Dating Book, Love Lessons From Bad Breakups, and The Complete Marriage Counselor (www.marriedfaq.com). She edited the anthology, How Does That Make You Feel: True Confessions From Both Sides of the Therapy Couch. Before becoming a therapist, she spent two years volunteering at a suicide hotline. She was also an interviewer for Steven Spielberg’s USC Shoah, a foundation dedicated to taking audio-visual testimony from Holocaust survivors. She is a former editor at Hearst and ivillage.com, and longtime journalist who has written for, among other publications, The Cut, Hemispheres, Brides, Good Housekeeping, The Week, vox.com, and Washington Post. She runs workshops on defanging your trauma and tapping into your inner strength and has offered advice on Today, CBS, and NPR. When pressed, she admits to having conducted a pre-marriage counseling session on an episode of CMT’s My Big Redneck Wedding.

 *In January, Amy Ferris will begin podcasting with us as well, and her first series will be on REDEMPTION with her co-host Teresa Stack. 

In getting to know Amy, she is more than an author, editor, screenwriter, and playwright. She is an amazing sister to many as she tells it like it is with words some may choose not to want to hear, but it is time to listen. Amy Ferris understands the human spirit; she has and continues to live it and share it. You will fall in love with this new podcast series as it exemplifies the mission of newclevelandradio.net.  Our mission is to encourage living in a manner that provides you with happiness while not infringing upon the life of another.
Additionally, Teresa was the President of The Nation and continues to write and advocate for what is right and just. This series should be a dynamic conversation and help enlighten and encourage pure awareness and forgiveness for us to heal emotionally and become a fair and robust community.

*Also in January, Michael Gershe, Speaker, author, comedian, advocate against impaired driving. Landscape photography is his passion, as well. As the Founder and Executive director at The Magic of Life Foundation, Michael will share his stories and bring on guests who will discuss what impaired driving means. As the new James Bond trailer states, “No Time to Die,” this should be our time to live!

 

*2020 is going to be our year as Melinda Smith will be expanding her Heart Mojo Series and adding, “Are You Ready for the Future?” This is not just about estate planning; it is so much more. Let’ s begin planning for where we want to be as we walk/run through this journey of life. Not everyone has a partner, children, or relatives that are part of their inner circle, and it will be up to us, the community to come together to lend a helping hand if needed. Senior life should be the next stage and experience everyone can cherish, but we must prepare for ourselves, our parents, and grandparents. Are you Ready?

*We are in negotiation with Comedy Mike Conley for a bi-weekly comedy show, including helpful hints, tricks and coaching of the trade. Mike and I will encourage other comics, and Open Mic Want to BE’s to join in on the discussion.

 

 

 

*Have you heard of Saul Paul? If not, you need to check him out – He is a musician with a message but more than that he has transformed himself to be the person he wants to be and the person you and I can admire. He has seen tough times and good times, and he is not afraid to speak of them and help guide us. Also, check out his book, “Be the Change: A Story of Transformation.” I admire this man so much. I need to know more, and so will you! We hope to have him join us this coming year.

*Sheila Weller is impressive, and if we are lucky, she will join us as well, bringing us information, discussions, and interviews with and about Iconic Women. Sheila Weller is the best-selling author of a ton of books, most recently: Carrie Fisher, Life On The Edge (a stunning book!), and her very exquisite book: Girls Like Us – which is the definitive book on women in rock n’ roll – Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon, Carole King. 

 

 

  • We will continue to bring you a new version of Care Notes – Doug Wilber and his staff at Cherished Companions have been winners in the Home Health Care Field. We are living in a time when this a vital need for many. Care Notes took a mini hiatus, but we look forward to their return in the new year.
  • What in the World with Paul Seaburn and John DiNallo will continue their weekly gig, this is the only show we currently record on location at Joe Maxx Coffee Company in Brecksville, Ohio. Joe Maxx is the current sponsor of this REAL and STRANGE COMEDY NEWS Show that also includes SPORTS, unlike the way you may have heard sports before.
  • Lyft Diaries with Morgan is a monthly series on the life of a Lyft and Uber Driver. Morgan shares her experiences as well as inviting other drivers to join in her humorous manner of retelling the incidents that may happen in a Lyft or Uber. Dental Works is now sponsoring this show.
  • Katie the CarLady with Coffee is a bi-weekly series on cars (and coffee). Katie has been in the car business for 20+ years, and she is not your average Car Salesperson. The Car Lady treats you like she would want to be treated. She ensures you are educated and engaged in the car purchase, Lease, or maintenance program you may need. If you want to understand how to buy or lease a car, this is the podcast for you. If you want to know how to find the best mechanic to care for your vehicle (remember this is an investment), she will lead you. If you’re going to become more versed in the process and language of car sales well, tune in.
  • The Intentionality Gurus with Candace Pollock continues, and we welcome you to join in. Candace is a personal coach. Each session, she walks me through an exercise, and I have the opportunity to explore what works for me, what doesn’t, and delve into the reason WHY. This podcast is gaining great success; it is not a therapy session; it is about becoming YOU as you understand the dynamics in life and how you choose to view them and respond.

We expand on many of our music interview shows as well, including:

  1. Café Lena Meet the Performers & More
  2. Conversations with Comics with NO COFFEE (Hilarities)
  3. Entertainment Talk with EMPKT
  4. JFTSOI with Gary Moss _ SCRABBLE more than a Game, a Way of life
  5. The Universal Language of Music
  6. Original Music with the Approval 2 Play

HIV – Is it Still REAL?

Amy Ferris, thank you for sharing your words.  In Memory of beloved cousin, Stuart Freedman Colby, you were loved by many and recognized for the kind and wonderful individual you were.  I think Stuart often and my heart hurts that he had to hide and live without the support of his parents. We all should live our lives to enrich the community we are all part of.

World AIDS Day- Amy Ferris

A day we remember those we loved & lost; friends and family, neighbors and co-workers, lovers and partners.
A day we stand up for and with – alongside – those we love & cherish who are living with HIV/AIDS.
A day we honor all the activists & all the warriors & all the human rights champions – all the extraordinary humans – all the men & women – who fight every single day of their lives against discrimination and the stigma; who showed us and taught us that silence is not golden – to be loud and noisy and to make a fucking ruckus.

Heroes and SHEroes all.

I raise my voice & my coffee cup in your honor.

#WorldAIDSDay #NeverForget #WarriorsWalkAmongUs

A Podcast Legacy_Share in the Memories


What is a podcast?  Why Should I list? Why would I want to create one?
A podcast is a digital recording. Here at newclevelandradio.net, we have several podcast hosts who record with us and place their recordings on our site that where it is distributed to various listening platforms such as iHeart, Spotify, Google, Spreaker, etc. Each podcast has a host, and I (Karen Hale) produce, engineer, and develop social media for each program.
Check out https://newclevelandradio.net/podcasting-line-up/
Gary Moss (https://newclevelandradio.net/jftsoi-taking-you-on-a-journey/) suggested to me that this would be an ideal platform for parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends to share their legacy/life journey.
When Gary began podcasting with us, he had just started his 77 Sunset Trip, driving cross-country to play Scrabble™, meeting up with friends and family from the past as well as finding new and exciting individuals along the way. One such individual was a mechanic who fixed Gary’s car during his travels for under $5 (who would have thunk?)
This is when our proverbial wheels started to turn. We all have so much to share (not the FAKE NEWS,) but the journeys we have taken in life and our experiences that have helped influence us and others. So with the assistance of Gary in Southern California, and specifically in his Senior Citizen community, we are offering this service to YOU!
What a great holiday gift this is for your family as well as for others.
Too often, we forget that our elders have the wisdom to share by leading us down the path they have traveled. The stories they will bestow will enlighten as they explore their past. The history recorded will allow them to leave behind their thoughts and wishes. A podcast will provide them the venue to remember and share their memories guiding us all through our tomorrows.
Contact newclevelandradio@gmail.com for more information or jftsoi.moss@gmail.com

Pro-choice Thanksgiving: Amy Ferris

Pro-choice Thanksgiving:

A lot of my friends – tons of friends – are alone this year, this Thanksgiving. Many folks are estranged from their families; from friends or from a life they once had & held.

I know this feeling. Estrangement.

And I will tell you that there were many days – many days – more than I care to count – where I’d rewind, replay, re-adjust, re-calibrate, recall, & review all the crazy ass-shit that went down, all the shit that went sideways & just blew up. Imploded. The pain was unbearable. And what I can tell you, what I know – most of the guilt & shame & regret we carry around – schlep around – is not our own. It’s not. We inherited it; a collection – a greatest hits album – an entire lifetime of family history: the anger, the shame, the guilt; years of he said, she said, they said. Fuck you, no, no fuck you. fuck you more. Years of crap. Years of garbage piled on top of more garbage.

Years of mistakes & wrong turns & rebellion that are treated like felonies instead of misdemeanors – without forgiveness, or acceptance. There is nothing worse than having the past thrown up in your face over & over & over again. To be reminded of all the crazy crap you did when you didn’t know better. When all you wanted was to be seen, to be heard, to be held – when all you wanted was to be loved.

And the truth is – the rub is – everyone has their own shit.

Everyone has their own guilt.
Everyone has their own crap that they have dealt out, that they spewed, that they tossed into the heap.
Everyone has stuff that they need/want to hide, keep secret. Everyone has stuff they want hidden deep – way deep – kept in the darkness.

Everyone.

We are all broken. We are all filled with shards and jagged edges and sharp pointy pieces that can hurt like a motherfucker. We are all imperfect creatures. Each & every one of us, and my heart breaks, cracks, for all my friends who will sit alone this year wishing for forgiveness over stuff they said or did when they were younger. Foolish. Over mistakes they made because all they wanted was to be loved or liked, over actions they took, words they said, because they wanted a piece of a memory, a token of a love from someone they once cherished, adored. A reminder to hold. Wishing to hear the words: I’m so sorry. To hear the words: I was wrong. To hear the words: I hurt you, abused you, mistreated you.

We treat our own so unkindly and we wonder why the world is so deeply chaotic, so deeply troubled, so deeply wounded, so deeply steeped in pain & suffering; so unforgiving, so horribly mean-spirited.

We wonder.

So for all my friends and all the folks out there who are deeply, deeply pained, who are sorrowful during the holidays because they have been discarded, dismissed, forgotten, left out – please know this – we get to choose who we wanna share our lives with. We get to choose who we want in our lives. We get to choose the folks who lift us, inspire us, make us feel like we swallowed the sun. We get to choose who we walk side by side with, and stand with. We get to choose who we love. Blood may be thicker than water, but water is so much easier to clean up.

So, please, love yourself.
Please, forgive yourself.
Believe in the greatness of your own life.
Believe in your beauty.
Believe in your own amazing, stunning, messy, complicated, gorgeous life.

And if anyone – one soul – makes you feel that you are not worthy, not enough; if anyone makes you feel small, insignificant, less than – they do not deserve the privilege of you.

I hold you tight.