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

 

 

Pause Down Memory Lane


 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/pause/

Pause

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.

 

 

Memory Lane – Minnie Riperton

One Word Photo Challenge: Family


 

One Word Photo Challenge: Family

One Word Photo Challenge: Family

owpc logo 2

Part III: People, Places & Things

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!

owpc 2017

This week’s word is Family!

My Family Past and Present from the 19th Century to the 21st Century!

 

 

 

 

Fannie Lou Hamer


 

This is Well Worth a ReBlog for Black History Month Feb. 2017!! Celebrating the Women Warriors of the Civil Rights Movement!!  Long Live the Revolution!!

Fannie Lou Hamer ~~ One of the Queen Mothers of The Civil Rights Movement

I know that this weekend Americans are celebrating the Birthday and Life of Martin Luther King, Jr. but I want to focus on the Mothers of the Civil Rights Movement in America. Many Americans have no idea about these great African American Women who risked life and limb for the freedoms we now all enjoy and some take for granted. They endured jail under harsh conditions and were often beaten within an inch of their lives just because they wanted to register to have the Right to Vote!  Seems shocking but in terms of American History these protests, marches and speeches took place a scant 50 or 60 years ago. As I have heard some of the elders say, We Stand on the Shoulders of Giants. Fannie Lou Hamer is one of those Giants.

“God will not have his work be manifest by cowards,”- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Fannie Lou Hamer – “I Don’t Mind My Light Shining”

 

Fannie Lou Hamer – “We’re On Our Way”

 

Fannie Lou Hamer – “Until I am Free You are Not Free Either”

 

Fannie Lou Hamer : At the 1964 Democratic National Committee

As most of my readers know by now I’m not a woman who holds her tongue. I’m bold, brash, outspoken and unafraid. I call things as I see them. A Revolutionary, Activist and Outcast all wrapped into One! I’m beholden to no man save the Lord God. Real Life. Real Talk. Grown Folks speech.  Where do I get my Fierceness from?

I have neither chick nor child. Thelma Palmer Varner

I’m Free, Black & 21. Edward G. Palmer

Deborah all you need to do in this life is Stay Black, pay taxes and die. Edward G. Palmer

I also remember all the stories from my mother Mable Elizabeth Palmer, Grandmother Hattie Finney Banks, Maternal Aunts Helen James and Gladys Young; Paternal Aunts Helen Palmer Garcia and Thelma Palmer Varner of what it was like to be Black during the early part of the 20th Century. Jim Crow at it’s worst. Now there is a resurgence of hatred against People of Color and those who follow faiths outside Christianity. Yes History does repeat itself. The Tea Party, Christian Identity Movement, American Nazi Party, Klu Klux Klan, Fox News are all wearing the same White hoods under their three piece designer suits.

Back in 2014 when I turned 55 I entered the Council of Elders. I take my position and responsibilities seriously. I cannot and will not stand idly by while people are persecuted, harassed and bullied simply for the color of their skin. I believe everything happens for a reason. God, the Universe, Lord, Jehovah or Creator places us in certain situations to see what we will do, how we will react and will we really Live our Christianity or whatever faith you follow. As the Bible says, Faith without works is dead.

So as the expression goes if you can’t take the heat get out of the kitchen!  Okay So you know what’s coming next!! Get Ready!!

F.E.A.R ~~ False Evidence Appearing Real

We hide behind that Wall of Silence thinking if I’m just quiet enough I can slip under the radar. They won’t see me. I can hide and everything will be alright not knowing or not caring that Silence = Death.

We’ve become a society of trained apathetic circus clowns who when the powers that be say jump we ask how high. If we shuck and jive continually bowing down to the institution plantation head clowns. If we kiss their ass long enough perhaps we will be permitted the privilege of being allowed to slave another day.

Reduced to a mass of sniveling groveling cowards we’ve sold our birthrights for the few crumbs that drop from the Overseers table. We rant and rave against Trayvon Martin, Ferguson, Staten Island and other atrocities but back away from the injustice in our own backyards. Completely ignoring all the weapons within reach, easily at our disposal. All we have to do is pick them up use them but instead we say it’s not happening to me so I’m safe. Safe for how long? Who guarantees that you’ll magically be released at the age of 62 or now 66? There are no outside saviors. It’s you that will make a difference. Do you really think that by ignoring the cries of others that evil, harm, & wickedness won’t come your way? You’re living in a glass bubble. And why post scriptures of peace, love and redemption without acknowledging that even Jesus got angry and threw the money-changers out of the Temple. But No we mix idly among thieves, robbers, rapists, stalkers tethered to electronic mind numbing devices entranced by technological marvels ignoring the mud and filth accumulating on our clothes while building empires in the sand. Yes the brainwashing has been completed successfully and the new slave masters smile from on high.

 

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!!

 

 

 

 

The Black Twiggy Plus Funny Story


 

 

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

 

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.

deborah_dad_family-34
Montreal 1970

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.

 

 

 

Twiggy Biography