Sunday, July 7, 2013

Dare to Be (Inspiration)





“Dare to Be"


"When a new day begins, dare to smile gratefully.



When there is darkness, dare to be the first to shine a light.



When there is injustice, dare to be the first to condemn it.



When something seems difficult, dare to do it anyway.



When life seems to beat you down, dare to fight back.



When there seems to be no hope, dare to find some.



When you’re feeling tired, dare to keep going.



When times are tough, dare to be tougher.



When love hurts you, dare to love again.



When someone is hurting, dare to help them heal.



When another is lost, dare to help them find the way.



When a friend falls, dare to be the first to extend a hand.



When you cross paths with another, dare to make them smile.



When you feel great, dare to help someone else feel great too.



When the day has ended, dare to feel as you’ve done your best.



Dare to be the best you can –


At all times, Dare to be!” 



  

  

Saturday, July 6, 2013

A new chapter begins

bouquet of flowers


After the ordeal in Wisconsin almost 20 months ago (found in my earlier blogs from 2 Summers ago) , I swore I was done with men and relationships. I had enough of the lies and deceptions; I'd had enough of making bad choices and no longer trusted myself to make a 'good' decision where men were concerned; I needed time to "find" me again...dealt with the knowledge that if I never met someone, I would be content to remain single until my last breath. 

And really...who would want "me"? That's the biggest thought I lived with all of this time. 

Then...something happened that changed everything for me.

Mike and I went to school together, so many years ago...and had become 'friends' on Facebook almost 2 years ago. We had moments of conversations over that time, nothing more than a comment here and there, and I could see that he was living a good life down South. (Between Florida and New Orleans.) He seemed happy in the relationship he was in...and life seemed good for/to him.

Then, in late May, I saw a comment or status update of his, and I offered a kind word...and began to wonder what was going on. I went to his page and there, discovered that he was not living in New Orleans but was back here in New York, and single. That blew me away!

We began chatting a little more on Facebook, exchanged cell phone numbers, and one day Mike called me...wanting to come and visit 'an old school friend' and do some reminiscing and catching up on our lives. I honestly hesitated...excited in the knowledge that he wanted to do this, yet afraid of what he might think of my looks now. I fought my own fear and told him yes...he could come visit me. 

I won't deny that I was extremely nervous...36 years is a long time since our time together in school. I was scared too...of so many things...but they were internalized...I was scared of 'me'.

About one o'clock he arrived, climbing out of his car and giving me a bouquet of fresh wild flowers. A while later he took me to lunch at a local diner. We talked, and talked, came back home...and talked more. 

It was amazing that we are so much alike, finding ourselves on the same page about an infinite number of things, it was amazing and incredible that we meshed so well! I never thought something like this could be possible.

As the hours passed, he ate supper with my brother, niece and I, and then decided he should say goodbye about 8:30 p.m. that evening. He hugged me and I have to tell you that I didn't want to let Mike go! After he left...I was so lost!

How is that even possible???

Later that evening, we chatted again on Facebook, and I told him that I missed him terribly, that I was scared of what I was feeling...and hadn't wanted him TO leave...to which he replied that he hadn't wanted to end his visit, but felt he should...and very much missed me too. 

Weeks have passed since then, and we actually started an official relationship on June 1st. In these last weeks, we have become so much closer, and although it has been just a handful of weeks, it feels like I/we have known each other a very long time.

I have never known this kind of love and understanding...we are true soulmates in every sense of the word. It is absolutely wonderful!

Have a wonderful weekend...

Deb

  

  



Dehumanization

window looking outside...7/5/13

A new story has begun in my life...one of beauty...one of sorrow. In the week ahead, I will begin at the beginning, but for now, I am starting here, where the biggest travesty is occurring.

Michael, my boyfriend, has hit rock bottom. In the last 6 months or so, things evolved which were completely out of his control. His own brother attempted to kill him while high on crack; he lost his unemployment weeks ago; was evicted from the place he was living because he couldn't pay his rent; had to surrender his car because he was unable to pay for it; and now...he's had to turn to welfare for help. 

(As a side note, he had been living in New Orleans up until 6 months ago, returning 'home' to New York.)

I was with him when he applied for emergency help at the Department of Social Services...and watched as it tore him to pieces to have to be this low in his life, and saw how the whole process of applying and being interviewed shredded his dignity. The questions asked, the 'rules' one must follow while receiving welfare dehumanize you...inch by inch, until you walk out of that place, feeling little better than the dirt under your feet.

I know. I have been that route before in my own life. But in the years since, those rules and questions asked have become even more grueling...and it is perverted in many ways. 

Mike was told, point blank, that no one can give him ANYTHING, because it is considered 'income'. No tobacco, no food, no time on his cell phone...I mean, really? Here is a man that is ex-Navy, has worked his whole life, has no criminal record, and has been looking for a job, and they expect him to continue looking when he would have no means to contact or be contacted if a job was found (after his cell phone minutes expire)? 

What is sickening, is sitting there watching other people apply for welfare or recertifying, with cell phones...there was no one there that didn't have one! Some were even fancier than my own...yet they tell Mike, threaten him with jail IF someone puts time on his cell and he doesn't 'report' it???? 

Then, because he was homeless, they put Mike in a boarding house not a block from the county building. What a horrible place it is!  The outside is ramshackle, and the inside is disgusting. Mike's room there, isn't much bigger than a jail cell, the tiles on the floor are cracked; efforts made to patch holes in the walls are clearly visible; the paint around the window and frame are cracked and chipped (how much lead leaks from there, we wonder); the bed frame is, by looks, something that might have been a hospital bed (even the paint on it is dirty and chipped)...40 years ago and the supposed 'new' mattress is boney, you can see the definition of the springs through the padding.

 How is this right? 

This system was designed for such instances, yet every person that goes there for help...for the first time...gets treated like crap.

I will let you judge for yourself...here are more photos of Mike's 'room':

door and wall with desk/single lamp to light the room

small dresser with fridge

bed and mattress

some type of cupboard I didn't dare open

wall above desk

wall across from fridge

floor

floor and wall along the floor

window sill

window

single radiator


Is THIS how anyone should have to live? 

Really?

It is just so wrong. This is AMERICA! 

Thanks for reading,

Deb