Disability

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Above you see a para-snowboarder with a prosthetic leg compete in the World Cup doing the same jumps as those who have two good legs.  Every day I read wonderful poetry and see photography from many of you, who share that you are overcoming your disabilities through writing or photography. Stereotypes and stigmas are fading as we learn to see the abilities in people rather than disabilities.  It is a beautiful thing to see what is being accomplished. Today on Public Television, I watched a tribute to Mr. Rogers who shared with children that people who have disabilities also have great ability. This poem was inspired as I watched that show.

Disability

You are not defined by your disability

But by your ability to overcome

Not by what other people see,

But //by what they forget

When they are with you.

When we move from words

Like retarded and crazy

To challenged, unique, and special

We then replace

Old stigmas and stereotypes

Stop dissing your ability

Find abilities that make you special

Do not let others define you

Choose your goals

Set out to achieve them

Use your abilities and drop the dis-

Only you can overcome dis-abilities

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Photo: whitelines.com

Reigniting the Fire

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Reigniting the Fire

In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out.

It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being.  

We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.” Albert Schweitzer

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It is amazing the way encouragement and affirmation moves one beyond himself to do things he has only dreamed about. This is the situation that occurred in 2013. It was at that time that an open mike poetry reading evening was started at the Indian Trail Cultural Arts Center in Indian Trail, NC. We began attending and reading our poems together as the group grew into twenty-five to thirty-five people.

I had only written a few poems before that time, but with the encouragement I received there I began writing a new poem each month. It was a wonderful group of people who loved poetry. Everyone from ten year olds to seventy year olds attended.

The poem above describes what I experienced in this affirming group.I would like to thank Kym Gordon Moore and Susan Didier along with the poetry reading group that met at Indian Trail Cultural Arts Center for their encouragement and support in reigniting my inner fire. Kym Gordon Moore is a local North Carolina Poet. Susan is the director for the Cultural Arts Center.

Because of my connections with them I have gone beyond my wildest dreams in what I have been able to do since then. I will be forever grateful for their word of  encouragement and believing in me.

Check out Kym’s site on Word Press:

https://frombehindthepen.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/teaandpoetrybookclub/?hc_ref=NEWSFEED&fref=nf

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

 

Christmas Grace

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The photo above shows the hammer I got for Christmas almost sixty years ago!  When I was child my family had very little money to spend on Christmas. My father was a pastor and only got what people gave on the Sunday the offering went to the preacher. In our church there was a couple who had no children. They adopted our family each Christmas and asked each of us children what we wanted for Christmas. When Christmas came they had each of our requested gifts. I will never forget this act of grace and what it meant to me.

Christmas Grace

“What do you want for Christmas she asked?”

A chemistry set would be a real blast.

When Christmas came, this angel of grace

was at our door with every gift in place.

*

We were just poor preacher’s kids, our die was cast.

Waiting for Christmas was always a great task.

For we knew our selected gift of choice

would make us shout from the top of our voice.

*

“What do you want for Christmas this year?”

She would get it no need to fear.

Just a hammer of my very own,

would make my day when you come to my home.

*

Money was scarce and gifts were few.

But, at our house we always knew

that no matter what the circumstance,

we need not worry about chance

 

“What do you want for Christmas this time?”

A Louisville slugger would suit me just fine.

Then I could be like Henry and Don.

A bat of my own yes, that’s the one.

*

Ruth and Edgar were one of a kind,

No children of their own they did not mind,

bringing smiles and joy to their preacher’s kids

and that helmet they brought me surely did.

*

“What do you want for Christmas,” she asked?

She never let a Christmas pass.

Every year until I left home

my gift of choice became my own

*

I will never forget that act of grace

and the joy and smiles she brought to my face

I learned of God’s love and his saving grace,

and his only son Jesus who took my place.

*

And now each Christmas I hear that voice,

“What do you want for Christmas?” “It’s your choice?”

There is nothing I need that will bring me more joy

than that gift of God’s Grace to a little boy.

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Written as a tribute to Ruth and Edgar Honsaker

who helped make our Christmases a little brighter.

Photo: Dwight L. Roth