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Today I get to read about my mom here at Writers Conference – thank you so much Victoria Zackheim – and I want to share with you how I came to know that I had become the woman she always wanted to be.
It was the last time I saw her. She was in an Assisted Living facility; I now refer to our last visit: Assisted Loving.
I went to spend 10 days with her. I stayed at a hotel nearby, walking distance. Our visit was hard. Some days she was feisty and difficult and irritable, and on others she was tender and frail and gentle. Some days she had no idea who I was, one others I was her Amy; some days she was filled with rage and howling noises, other days she was silent and watching cartoons – her favorite. She wore a soiled nightgown and her hair, once coiffed weekly and curled, was now full on gray and stick straight.
She had once been a beauty – a beauty queen – she was now small and shrinking into her own skin; disappearing physically and emotionally.
I spent time down at the bar at the hotel I was staying at, and went back to my room. Undressed, washed up, got into bed, called Ken and chit-chatted for a while. In the middle of the night I got up to pee. I stopped at the full length mirror, and I looked at myself – full on – naked; and I saw myself: a woman who never had kids, a woman who followed her heart even when her heart was cracked & chipped & yes, broken; a woman who was feisty and crazy-ass and yes, often testy and impatient; a woman who went for her dreams and never gave up even when it felt wholly fucking impossible, a woman who chose a creative path – writing; a woman who chose unconventional and rebellious and shaky as her foundation; and as I stood there looking at my body – a body that was slender but not tight, a body that was strong but not muscular, a body that had so many hidden scars that had turned into stardust, and I knew in that moment, in that hotel, in front of that mirror that I had become the woman my mother always wanted to be.
And in that moment, in that hotel, in front of that mirror I let go of much of the anger & much of the disappointment & much of the bitterness I held onto for so very long and replaced that with a profound appreciation that she – a woman who gave up all of her dreams of being an artist and all of her hopes of living a creative life and her desire to be unconventional – that she brought me into this world.
***Thank you Amy for these beautiful words. They reflect so much that is in my heart about my own momma!”
Hello Rand Paul… my name is Alex Bevan… you don’t know me… but I see what you have done…and are doing… I wish you lived next door to me… there’s a lot I would like to say to you… not in public though…. no… certainly not in public… trust me… i would not call you a piece of shit or threaten you… but… I would talk to you about the trail of political dreck you have left… certainly for your own gain.. maybe a little for your party… but not for us… the Americans who pay for your fucking mis-steps with our taxes, diminished freedoms and injured trust in the our system of government…. yeah… I wish I lived next door to you…. ….. ….
I am so proud and excited to be introducing you to a new podcaster who will begin with us in January 2020. Her name is Sherry Amatenstein, LCSW, who is an NYC-based psychotherapist and author. Sherry will be creating SHERAPY, and you can read all about this right here on the website.
In keeping with the theme of awareness and finding the path to travel or detour in life, this nationally known psychotherapist will be sharing your stories with our listeners. Sometimes it is easier to be anonymous (faceless, nameless) when you begin to open up. I agree with Sherry; we must not be afraid of what we think our frailties are; instead, we must strengthen our inner selves to love life to the fullest.
If you have a story or want to share issues, please contact us here at newclevelandradio.net, and your information will be sent on to Sherry Amatenstein. You need not reveal any information to us other than a name and email so Sherry may connect with you.
2020 is going to be a big year for all of us at newclevelandradio.net, and you don’t need to be in Cleveland, Ohio, to become part of the big picture, your PORTRAIT!
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.
None of us are gonna let you fall.
Have a grand day, people, live & wear your life to the nines.
Every day is labor day and yet four days from today, Monday, September 2, 2019, is officially Labor Day. Since 1894 we have honored the first Monday in September dedicated to the social and economic achievements of Americans. For some, it will be just another day to work, well for others an excuse to party, picnic, drink, and grill out. However, there will be many who will be all alone, and that person may be a relative, a friend or a neighbor. Do not take for granted that someone you know is not alone and lonely. When was the last time you invited someone to join you at your table? In Yiddish, we say it is a “mitzvah” for observing and caring for another. Maybe this weekend would be an excellent time to think of someone other than ourselves.
I used to be the one who welcomed others to our home, and yet no reciprocal invitations came back. I didn’t expect or need one in return. Over the years, it would have been nice to be on someone else’s guest list. Even when you have a spouse, significant other, or child in your home, sometimes it is just nice when someone else does the asking.
Take a moment and ask yourself how you would feel if you were not included in on the celebrations, whether for Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah, or even Ground Hogs Day. It doesn’t take much to reach out and become the bigger person. Do it you might like it!
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!
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, 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!
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
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.