Happy Labor Day to all Americans!
Today Monday, September 3rd is Labor Day here in America. It’s a day to honor working people. Some are fortunate to have the day off to spend time with family and friends while many like my former colleagues at the museum must work. I salute all museum security officers and custodial staff who are the face, heart and soul of the museum.
Hats off to Firefighters, police, nurses, hospital staff, retail, restaurant workers and special recognition goes out to the Direct Care Workers who care for my brother Stephen and other adults with Autism and developmental disabilities.
For those of you who live in the United States please contact your elected officials at all government levels to get raises for staff working in Group Home residences. People working at McDonald’s earn more money than the direct care workers who care for my brother Stephen and other adults with Autism. This means that their is often a lack of skilled workers, huge turnover and other situations which you can only imagine.
How and why do we live in a country, the richest country in the world that doesn’t take care of those who need the most help. I suppose since with special needs are unable to vote our government pretty much ignores them.
The two below photos were taken back when Queens had a Special Olympics at St. John’s University. Of course just like the art program that too has gone by the wayside.
Government has no money to fund proper programs and services for developmently disabled people.
Remember as the young man says in the below video, “Normal is a setting on a dryer. “
For those who expect or think that I have the means or resources to take care of Stephen well you are wrong. Part of the reason why I took Early retirement was for health and medical reasons which I will not go into. I refuse to discuss my health problems at all, suffice to say I have my hands full trying to take care of me. Thus my digital diet on discussing personal private aspects of my life. No pity parties. It’s enough to say I barely have resources for myself.
Another reason that I no longer discuss health even with friends I’ve known for over 25years is that such discussions break up friendships or start arguments.
It’s best to keep your problems to yourself if you expect to have any friends. Some people want and expect a Disneyfication of life and that’s what I give them in order to keep the peace. Little do they know or care that the friendship turned around and left out the back door. All they are getting is the facade on the front.
A Lesson I sadly recently learned the hard way. It’s heartbreaking to get into disagreements with those people that you’ve known for years. Losing a friend is losing part of your shared history. Looking back on the fun you once had together is now bittersweet. It hurts to know that I’m a project that needs fixing or repair.
No joy in that.
By the way I am Not a role model. Don’t look up to me as I’m nobody’s inspiration and I don’t want to be.
Always remember that Man proposes. God disposes.
If you live in America you need, you must put pressure on those in political offices to do right by disabled people.
If you’re really on the side of the Working class tomorrow morning get on the phones, send emails, go to their offices. Make some noise.
Anyone who has followed this blog for the past several years already know that I have marched, protested, gone to political rallies and made hundreds of phone calls to help not only my brother Stephen but all in similar circumstances.
Disabled people are a forgotten population until you become disabled.
Programs and services that existed twenty years ago for my brother Stephen and others like him are now gone due to budget cuts.
Speak up now.
The Struggle continues.
I last saw my brother Stephen in May for his birthday. Hopefully September will turn out to be a better month.
I’m believing God for a Better day and a Brighter Future.