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Judy Atchinson's A Stubborn Woman
by Judy Atchinson

A Stubborn Woman

A Daily Gazette community blog
QUEST leader's wanderings and musings

Girl's essay shows change in attitude

“There is no reality except the one contained within us. That is why so many people live such an unreal life. They take images outside them for reality and never allow the world within to assert itself.”
-- Herman Hesse

As you may or may not know, I have worked hard to teach my kids that there is a monstrous difference between being a snitch and being a good citizen. Sometimes I feel I am just spitting in the wind and sometimes someone comes along to show that she paid attention.

Last week Terri (Moomah) came to me and said, “Would you read my essay?” “Sure,” I said and it changed my perspective on so many preconceived notions. Terri turned 12 last week and in this written piece she speaks like a much older wiser woman. I put it in my blog because that is where it deserves to be. She is pleased and proud and of course her Mom feels like she raised a budding journalist. Sometimes these parents want so badly to be proud of their children, especially academically. So here you go Elaine -- your daughter’s story.

Trayvon Martin

“I was murdered more than a month ago and I still have no justice. Please don’t stay silent I am TRAYVON MARTIN!”

Do you know anyone that had their life taken away, at a young age? And have people seem like they don’t care? That’s how Trayvon’s family feels.

Martin was 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighed 158 pounds at the time of his death. Trayvon was murdered by George Zimmerman.

When the police arrived on the scene Zimmerman told them that Martin attacked him and that he shot in self defense.

Trayvon is 17 years old he died a painful death. The person who murdered Martin (George Zimmerman)still is not in jail to this day.

Trayvon and his father were visiting his father’s fiancée and her son at her home town in retreat at Twin Lakes in Stanford on that day Martin was shot.

Second Degree Murder. On April 11, 2012 the special prosecutor filed a charge of Murder in the Second Degree against Zimmerman, who then turned himself in and was also placed in custody.

My opinion on how Trayvon’s family feels, is that they feel like the cops don’t care about what happened to Martin. Like they didn’t try their best to put Zimmerman away, he only got a slap on the wrist and left with a warning. “If another kid like Trayvon goes walking down the street and someone like Zimmerman is out there the same thing might happen because they think they wouldn’t go to jail because Zimmerman didn’t. DON’T STAY SILENT.”

-- Terri Ingram

And me, well I’m sure you all know how I feel; this is more than just a well written essay; it is a change in attitude. When she writes “Speak Out” it simply gives me chills.

“To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.”
-- Robert Louis Stevenson

Or simply...

“To their own self be true”
-- Shakespeare

I am feeling better and better, stronger and stronger. I am leaving my cane desolate and alone perched in strange places because I am unconsciously walking without it. If you can call it walking, it’s more like lurching, but I am walking better unaided than I did with a cane before my surgery. Next big milestone for me will be a sit down bath with scented oils and lots of bubbles, my further step towards heaven. I am now managing to get through the day without a nap. Though I have to admit when 8:00 PM comes around I am exhausted and totally ready for hibernation.

Hurricane Sandy has come and gone since last I wrote this blog and the bitterness on Facebook was astounding. I don’t mean those folk who lost everything but those nuts who make political opportunities into everything. And then there’s the God contingent, you know, people who actually believe God is looking down on a very few and is giving them special attention and smiting their chosen enemies. Really people, the U.S. is just another small piece of a huge picture. “God is on our side,” is a weary old fashioned battle cry, so much torture and hate and death throughout the centuries done in God’s name. Boy he must be tired of us humans by now. He/she must have made those rules about love and turn the other cheek, to keep his/her spirits up and to make sure he trods the right path cause it’s obvious his creations were not ever going to get it right.

Chapter 2 on my C.N.A. girl, C. Last week her 3-year-old got sent home from daycare with serious pink eye; actually it looked more like green eye with the pus coming out of it; of course that was the day she was going down to get recertified for her benefits. Well, first things first, son to the doctors. So she canceled her appointment and tried to make one for the next week.

But, her caseworker was out on maternity leave indefinitely and possibly was not returning. So they needed to assign a new caseworker to C; the problem was because the agency was short staffed they could not give her an appointment until Dec 4. Yup Dec. 4. The day care situation for her son was canceled immediately, and she had to pull him out on Halloween. He couldn’t even stay for his Halloween party. And she lost the benefits for job hunting because obviously she couldn’t go hunt for a job taking her 3-year-old son along. So everything is on hold until Dec 4. All because there was no one there to do the routine check at the office.

These appointments are every 2 or 3 weeks. How long does that take? The whole operation seems to leave no room for flexibility, and the clients comes away the loser. I just don’t get it. Someone’s life is disrupted for 5 weeks because no one could spend 15 minutes just checking on the usual paperwork. This is not setting up a new client. That work is done, it’s just continuing and ongoing client and child history. Surely we can do better than that.

We (missed) the nor-easter, just like Hurricane Sandy. I suppose the prayer chain was working overtime. Diverting bad weather from us and sending it down to Long island which is already reeling from Sandy.

“To seek God without already having him is of all things the most impossible.”
-- Julian of Norwich

I am cold, it is cold -- it is dark t0o early and cold when it is not supposed to be. My dog loves it, my cat hates it. The fish are swimming down in the cellar, so they are not even aware of the change of seasons. But these old bones, my old bones, feel it, and I, like the cat is constantly looking for a sunny spot to cuddle in.

I dream of Nova Scotia at night and the sun streaming in all the windows, and this time when I visit I can actually go down to the beach. In my dreams it is always slightly out of reach and I wake up with such a total yearning in my being I cannot adjust to reality. Sometimes I feel if I could simply click my heels together 3 times (sort of like Dorothy in the "Wizard of Oz") and I would immediately arrive at my destination.

Here is another interesting tidbit about downtown. It’s the YMCA, my husband has been a member for years. He used to swim before work and now he likes to go down early on Sunday morning to swim and work out. But he can’t — here's the deal. Schenectady’s doesn’t open until 8:30. That might as well be the middle of the day for most runners and other athletes.

So he drives to Clifton Park to use their Y, it opens at 5 AM and has a pool; of course our Y does not have. A pool is what made the Y famous, but even in our fabled downtown we have a second class YMCA and our YWCA is not much better, no pool either. This is in the Stockade folks, and right across from Proctors for the YMCA and frankly it does not speak well for our city. I remember a few years back Mr. Morris had announced a partnership with the YM; they would host babysitting services during theater productions for a small fee so that parents could enjoy the delights and joys of an evening out. Is this still going on? Did it ever go on? Someone please tell me.

As I drive up the streets of Hamilton Hill I see all the “VOTE” signs and signs with directions to polling places, and I hope people here voted. I discuss this with my kids and find that many of them have parents who did and I am proud and delighted. Everyone asks me who I voted for and I say, “Why Obama -- of course” and then we settle down for our own debate on the two candidates. They seem pretty well informed and extremely opionated. And sometimes I play devil's advocate and we all really get things going. And I am so cheered by this that any thought of quitting leaves my body.

And then two boys pipe up and say, “Do you know how much my (his) brother loves you?” We are talking about a 6-year-old who is inordinately bright and a real real handful. Yet this beautiful young child will come up to me and say “I love you”, and then I respond of course “I love you too.” And then we move on. But I am going to tell him today that every time he tells me he loves me it leaves a warm spot in my heart. It is as if I were aflame with love.

Driving around with 7 boys ages 11 and 12 telling jokes, listening to the radio and it is if as it were 20 years ago and I was much younger but the ambiance is the same, and the laughter and the talk and my mind drifts a little and I remember. I have been so blessed. This is my church, this is my professed dedication, these are my people. This is my calling. Then someone farts and every one goes “EWWW.” And I am firmly back in now. The faces may be different but children -- well, children are one of the world’s greatest constants. We are moving forward and life is good.

“Always be on the lookout for the prescence of the wonder”
-- E.B. White

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