Ms. Charlene Bullard writes a blog called Faith to Raise Nate. We have been discussing inappropriate comments made by people in regards to our family members with special needs. Charlene’s son Nate is deaf/blind with Autism and of course most of you have met my brother Stephen. The catalyst for her posts was my comment to her about people asking me if my brother Stephen is like the character in the Rain Man movie. Please go to the above links for more information. The objective of Charlene’s posts is to educate people to not make assumptions about folks with special needs.
Disabled does not mean that person is living a half-life or needs or wants your pity.
Below is my comment to Charlene regarding Part Two of the Topic with some edits I made for this post.
This post is on point!! Excellent words of wisdom. As I read your advice I thought of Helen Keller who was deaf/blind and went on to live an extraordinary life.
In my experience I can understand when children ask questions because they are truly curious and want to understand. As for adults they are just plain rude and choose to be that way.
I recall an incident years ago in the museum galleries when a dwarf lady was viewing a painting and a little girl saw her. The little girl knew that the dwarf woman was not a child but obviously she was puzzled as to why and how an adult could be that short. So naturally she went over to the dwarf lady and just stared at her. You know when eyes are on you. So the dwarf woman turned around and at that point the little girl ran off. The Dwarf woman just smiled. She probably goes through this every day.
Seeing that reminded me of when I was 11 and my Dad and Aunt took us on a family vacation on Montreal, Canada back in 1970. During our vacation we met a dwarf woman who was giving tours of her parents house. Her parents were both dwarfs and the house was built to scale meaning everything was lowered to their level. Having never seen or met a dwarf before I desperately wanted to ask her why she was so short however my Dad gave me that look. The look that silently said “You’d better not say anything to embarrass me or be rude. I held my tongue. Just like back in those days dwarfs were called midgets which is a derogatory term. Later on as an adult I learned that most dwarfs or Little People have a condition called Hypochondroplasia a form of short-limbed dwarfism.
On the tour I did learn that the dwarf lady was married to a normal sized man. As for their children I never found out that information but I was taught as a child not to make fun of people and not to ask rude questions that are none of your business in the first place. After all growing up I did not like it when the other kids in the neighborhood made fun of my brother Stephen.
Several years ago the Little People of America had a convention in New York City. Museums were on their itinerary and I saw many Little People enjoying the artwork at my museum workplace.
Snapshots are pauses in times. Happier times. Better times. When I was younger, healthier and with less worries. The present is composed mostly of tears, stress and wishes to return to better times. Maybe the fluctuation in emotions is due to that other Pause in Women’s Lives MenoPause or it is the frustrations and struggles of daily life. The increase in responsibilities as you get older with the burden I’m carrying growing heavier with each year while my body grows weaker with age and disease.
Photos take you back down Memory Lane.
Family Photo Collage
Me and Dad
The King had found his Queen and for 40 years they reigned together.
If you want to share a literal image of the actual word, do that. But if you’d rather play with word association, post something that reminds you of the specific word, or something you use the word for, do so. It only has to make sense to you. Have fun and keep on photographing!
This week’s word is Family!
My Family Past and Present from the 19th Century to the 21st Century!
Grandfather William Palmer with 4 of his children 1923
My Grandmother Eva Sophronia Gordon Palmer
My Dad Edward Gordon Palmer
My Aunt Thelma Palmer Varner
Me and Dad
2002 MMC Graduate
Family Photo Collage
Family Photo Collage
Mom & Dad
My Dad Edward G. Palmer
My Dad Edward G. Palmer
Fredrick H. Halstead_Sept. 6, 1898_Little’s Brother
Their places at the Thanksgiving and Christmas tables have been empty in some cases for many years. Some say you have memories but you cannot speak with a memory and you cannot hug a memory. The tears last forever.
For the ones for which I have no photos I pour Libation and speak your name that your memory may never be forgotten. Wounds that will never heal. Tears that flow like a river into seas and oceans far from the distant shore. Ase.
Delbert Callahan, Gladys Young, Linda James, Clarence and Mamie Finney and the list goes on of family and friends most taken from this earth way too soon meaning except for two all died in their 50s and 60s. Every year that I get older the more people my age who pass away. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll be next and in what circumstances I will leave this earth.
Bernadine I still miss you so much. I carry your prayer card in my uniform every day. I still miss your smiling face and your laughter. However I know as much sorrow is in my heart your daughter and two sisters are hurting more than me and this year there will be no Christmas for your Loved ones.
Empty Chairs. Sorrow-filled hearts. Even though my parents have been gone close to twenty years I’ve never completely gotten over their loss and probably I never will. I still feel that ache Thanksgiving, Christmas and especially on Mother’s and Father’s Day which I don’t celebrate. When my parents passed away and I had to go through all their belongings and sort out things in their home one of the things I made sure went into the garbage was the Christmas tree and all the ornaments, even the ones dating back to the 50s and 60s because what sense would it make to have kept those things when the people who gave them meaning are gone? Of course now my space is the size of a postage stamp so I’m glad I tossed that Holiday junk. Since I never married nor had children it made no sense to carry on any type of holiday traditions. I make sure my brother Stephen has gifts and we go out on the town but I stopped decorating and sending Christmas cards long ago.
Fortunately this year I will be working on Christmas day and I am happy for the welcome distraction. My job will help me take my mind off what is a depressing holiday for me.
Stephen and I have been Stylin’ since we were babies. I grew up as a Girly Girl. A real Clotheshorse especially when I was younger. I had more shoes in my closet than Imelda Marcos and after I moved into my own apartment the clothes bar in my closet broke under the weight of all my outfits! LOL!! My Dad used to joke that I had to get dressed just to put out the garbage. I think that I took after my Aunt Thelma who had those same attributes and passed them along to me!! LOL!!
I was never much on make-up (except lip stick otherwise I look like a blank slate), fake eyelashes or fake nails but since my job requires me to be on my feet for long hours bi-monthly pedicures are a must. I do get manicures but neat, short, clean with clear polish because I still must cook, clean the house and do dishes. Of course hair care is a must!! As you can see from my photos I’ve had every hair style know to Black People from the 60s up to and including the present. Now I color my hair. I loathe gray hair. I do not look good in gray hair and let’s not advance my age more than it is already. Getting older should not include looking like a frump or a bag lady. Yes, Vanity Thy Name is Woman!! LOL!!
My Mom Mable Elizabeth Palmer who was born in the small town of Davy, WV and raised in Dayton, Ohio also Loved to dress well. Her beauty and style are what captured the heart of my Dad Edward G. Palmer.
My Mom Mable Elizabeth Palmer.
Mable Elizabeth Palmer ~~ My Mom
My Paternal Aunts Thelma Palmer Varner and Helen Palmer Garcia.
Aunt Thelma, yours truly, Aunt Helen HS Graduation 1977
When I was a child the other school kids used to make fun of me calling me the “Black Twiggy.” As you can see from my childhood and young adult photos I was as thin as a rail. It was not until my 40s that I began to gain some much needed weight. Recently since my brother Stephen needed a food supplement I started back drinking Ensure. Tastes good and helps us not only maintain but to gain weight. Like Twiggy I too wanted to be a model but unlike her my dream of being a model did not come true except for mugging for the camera on this blog!!
Some of my photos Past & Present
Me and an Army Friend
Me and the Borg
2002 MMC Grad
2002 MMC Graduate
Me and Dad
Funny 1970 Montreal, Canada Family Vacation Story
Funny story regarding the 1970 Summer Montreal Trip with my Dad, Aunt Helen and brother Stephen. We went visit a home designed for dwarfs. Now in those days they were called midgets but the correct term in dwarf. The Lady Dwarf in the photo was born to Dwarf Parents. Her parents had constructed a house where everything was scaled down to their size. For me I was about 11 at the time it was like being a in Doll house. Of course being curious I wanted to know why she was so small. I had never seen a dwarf up until that time and I could not understand why an adult would be so little!! My Dad sensed that I was about to ask an inappropriate question so he silenced me with a Look!! Back then you did not ask about why certain people looked different or what made them that way. It was considered bad manners.
Now A Days is different. One day years ago a dwarf lady was looking at one of the paintings in my gallery. There was a little girl about 3 or 4 years of age who spotted her and like me back then was surprised to see such a small adult. Believe me kids automatically know that dwarfs are not children. Any way kids being kids she hopped right over to stare at the dwarf lady who had her back to the child. The dwarf woman feeling eyes on her turned around and smiled. No words were exchanged. The little girl went back to her stroller and the dwarf woman went back to enjoying the paintings. I suppose the Dwarf Lady was used to kids staring at her and that’s why she smiled.
Being taught good manners and to keep my mouth shut has helped me in my current job as a museum security guard. I see all types of people with disabilities and even though I want to know what happened I do not ask. Actually we are not allowed to say anything evenly remotely rude or inappropriate. For example Monday a young woman with no arms or legs was in my gallery. Naturally seeing someone with such an extreme disability can catch you off guard but I treat them as I treat any other visitor with a smile and assistance if needed.
With your answers, please remember we are in the SYW world which may not always match our reality.
List 2 things you have to be happy about?
My brother Stephen
My Cat Sylvester
A measure of health and strength
My Blogging Family
As always I get carried away and can’t just list two!!
If you could take a photograph, paint a picture or write a story of any place in the world, what and where would it be?
Hawaii. It’s a place that I’ve yet to visit and is on my list of places to Travel when Retired.
Should children be seen and not heard?
Sounds like what my Dad used to say when we were kids, “That children should be seen and not heard!” Ha! Ha! LOL!! Well that did not work as I was always bugging him. I think he used to say that as a joke. Daddy would come home from work and even though he was tired he would get down on the floor and play with us if we were awake and he always took us places on the weekends to give my Mom a break.
I never had children but when my young cousins were little kids I took them many places and enjoyed their company. Child care can be challenging but I enjoyed babysitting them. I encouraged them to speak up to talk with me. In my opinion communication with kids is vital. Even if you disagree with the child or they say something completely off well that gives the adult the opportunity to explain to them about plants, animals, people and life in general. Always listen to children. They have wonderful unfettered imaginations!
List at least five of your favorite first names.
Yup!! These are all Family Names!! I know this list is more than five but once you get started!!
Rufus & Chaka Khan – Once You Get Started
Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?
A nice clean safe place to Love. I Love Brooklyn!!
My Cat Sylvester.
Wonderful co-workers with whom I laugh and joke with about the nuttiness on our job.