Think before you speak


 

https://faithtoraisenate.com/12-things-not-to-say-to-a-parent-of-a-child-with-special-needs-part-1/

https://faithtoraisenate.com/12-things-not-say-parent-child-special-needs-part-2

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.

 

http://www.lpaonline.org/

Below is a photo taken by my Dad after our tour. You can see me, Stephen, our Aunt Helen and our gracious host.

1970MontCanada

 

 

Holiday Empty Chairs


 

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.

bernadine-fitzgerald

 

 

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.

Stylin’ Sibs and Family!!


 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/stylish/#like-249669

Stylish

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.

My Paternal Aunts Thelma Palmer Varner and Helen Palmer Garcia.

 

Stylin’ Sibs plus Dad!!

 

 

 

 

Black HerStory Month


In the USA March is Women’s History Month. Borrowing a phrase I heard used I Declare and Decree this Black HerStory Month. Twenty-Eight or in the case of this year 29 days is not enough to celebrate the achievements of African Americans nor do we often hear about the accomplishments or even acknowledge Black Women so I Proclaim March Black HerStory Month.

First Honors and Praises to the Our Black Family Matriarchs. Our Queens!  From what I’ve been told I am very Blessed and Fortunate to have family photos from my Dad’s side dating back to the 19th century.  My Paternal Grandmother Eva Sophronia Gordon Palmer kept meticulous records recording the name of each ancestor on the back of the photos. The one Woman ancestor photo that does not have a name is a tintype and at some point the name either fell off or became detached.

I have only a few photos of my Maternal Women ancestors as my mother’s family did not have the money to either purchase cameras or pay to have their photos professionally taken. All have now gone onto to Glory and passed into eternity but even the 19th Century Queens who I did not get a chance to meet in person I carry not only their DNA but their strength, faith and fortitude to preserve in and over all circumstances.  Ancestral Memories flow through my veins.

 

 

 

Aunt Carrie_George Gordon's sister
Aunt Carrie_George Gordon’s sister
Aunt Susan
Aunt Susan
Aunt Carrie
Aunt Carrie
Eva Sophronia Gordon Palmer --  Paternal Grandmother
Eva Sophronia Gordon Palmer — Paternal Grandmother
Mable Elizabeth Palmer circa 1950s
Mable Elizabeth Palmer circa 1950s
Grandmother Hattie Banks 12251974_Dayton Ohio
Maternal Grandmother Hattie Banks 12251974_Dayton Ohio
Rosalie Palmer_William Palmer's Sister
Rosalie Palmer_William Palmer’s Sister
MablePalmer
My Mom Mable Elizabeth Palmer around 1956
Aunt_ThelmaMeAunt_Helen1977
Aunt Thelma, me, & Aunt Helen at my High School graduation in 1977
Aunt Helen_Obit(1)
Helen Louise Palmer Garcia ~~ My Dad’s Oldest Sister
Aunt Hannah
Aunt Hannah
Ancestor_Dad_Side
Unknown Woman Ancestor on my Dad’s side. This is a tintype and her name must have fallen off at some point.
Mable Elizabeth Palmer ~~ My Mom
Mable Elizabeth Palmer ~~ My Mom
African/Native American Queen
MMC 2002 Graduation
Two of the Sisters. My Mom Mable Elizabeth Palmer and Helen James.
Two of the Sisters. My Mom Mable Elizabeth Palmer and Helen James.
Aunt Thelma circa 1940s or 50s
Aunt Thelma circa 1940s or 50s

 

 

 

 

 

 

France


This is a very long two part post.

French National Anthem – “La Marseillaise” (FR/EN)

My blogging buddy K.B. who lives in Paris is safe, alive and well. He is grateful to all Americans for their prayers, encouragement and support.

I totally disagree with the hate towards France being spewed on Facebook!! Yes we all know that France was a Colonizer back in the 18th and 19th Centuries but the people alive today, the people maimed and killed in those horrible attacks have nothing to do with with what happened centuries ago. Yes we do need to learn and heed the lessons of the past. Colonialism and Slavery must continue to be taught in schools so we recognize wickedness and choose another path. On that note yesterday I left a group that I thought was about the positive because of the evil statements made against France. People who return hate for hate are little better than the oppressors.

Winston Churchill – We Shall Never Surrender (Full Speech)

Governments often make problems that make others suffer. My parents, grandparents and great grandparents went through racism and Jim Crow but they did not hate this nation, their country. As a Black woman I experience bias, racism and bigotry often but that does not give me the right to lump all white people in the same pot as an excuse to hate and spew venom. As a Christian I represent Jesus Christ so I can never do this. My spirit and soul do not allow me.

Love Train [Original 12″ Version] – The O’Jays (1972)

Many of those murdered in France and on the Russian airplane blast were innocent children. Hatred solves nothing. We cannot go back and change the past. Also keep in mind on 9/11 many French, European and other nations supported New Yorkers and Americans. Being Pro-Black does not give me the right to be anti-white or anti-European. Why? Because the Love of God and His compassion is in my heart. Most people of color have experienced bias and bigotry in some form but I refuse to deny aid, support or prayer to those in need. I pray for everyone. I’m still praying for the innocent Russian people killed in that airplane explosion. Hate is divisive. Please do not use this tragedy as an excuse to incite or fan the flames of hatred. I wholeheartedly and unashamedly support and stand with the people of France and victims of terrorism worldwide! Show Love to all.

‪#‎France‬‪ #‎Paris ‬‪#‎OneLove‬   #America

********************************************************************************************************************************************

I Rise Above hatred, bias, bigotry & racism.

I know what it is to be treated with the wide brush of stereotypes.
Working with the general public can be a challenge and if you’re a Black Woman wearing a uniform, a uniform that designates a form of authority more challenges come your way.

My Great, Great Grandfather William Henry Halstead left his life as a Free farmer and joined the Union Army for the benefit of his enslaved sisters and brothers and for his descendants unseen and yet unknown. But maybe he did know that Stephen and I would reap the benefits of his sacrifice. My Dad Edward G. Palmer left City College and joined the Air Force to fight for an America that did not even consider him a man but duty and honor came first. Thanks to the sacrifices and Love from my ancestors my generation of Black Americans became the first generation to benefit from the Civil Rights Movement. I’m carried on the shoulders of giants.

My Mother, Grandmothers and Aunts rose above the indignities of Jim Crow.

Sadly some look at me and see only color or gender. I’ve been approached by white males thinking that I’m a drug dealer or available for sex. Obviously I had to set them straight.  They needed to be firmly re-educated.

But I’m more than race, nationality or gender. Like most people on this earth Black, Brown, or white I’m a human being of complexity. That’s why I had to speak out against vile remarks being leveled at the French people. God created people. Humans created race & divisions.

I’ve come to think that the reason God placed me in the museum was to root out my preconceptions, illusions and delusions about people of other faiths.
Over the almost 8 years I’ve worked there the Ladies and Gentlemen I’m closest to are Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu & Jewish. By being around and in close contact with co-workers outside of my faith I’ve learned a lot and mostly not to be judgmental. I’ve even visited their Houses of Worship and learned that these faiths are not so different from Christianity. If I had been born in Iran, Egypt, Bangladesh, India, I would be a practitioner of that faith. We are all people who want the same things in life.

One God. Many Paths.

Earlier this year I spent two weeks in the hospital. The reason I’ll keep private but the person who visited me and took me home is Gay. Again another lesson of acceptance. Every time I’ve prayed for help God sent someone from another race, faith, gender, or sexual orientation to assist me.

I could lower myself to the level of bigots, haters, slanderers & spew a fountain of venom and vindictiveness but I choose not to. I choose if not to Love everyone but to at least to respect all people regardless of race, religion, or sexual orientation. When I make mistakes or say the wrong thing I go back and apologize. Nobody is perfect but these errors in judgement provide me the opportunity to examine myself.

I’m sure as I make my way towards March 2018 and retirement God will have even more Life Lessons on my path towards Enlightenment.

Still Rising.