The Last Echo

Hush.
It’s alright now.
That was just the last echo
from a past that was healed
long ago. It can’t touch you
or hurt you anymore.
The past brought you
to where you are now.
Be grateful for it.
And let the last echo
bounce harmlessly off the wall
and fade to nothing.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

 

First Review for Brush of Angel Wings

I got my first review for The Brush of Angel Wingsand it totally made my day:

“The author of The Brush of Angel Wings never fails to disappoint me. The poetry in her latest book causes a wide range of emotions in the reader, from joy to sadness, happiness to grief, humor to acceptance. Every poem is unique, yet the author’s distinct style can be found in each one. I enjoyed seeing glimpses of the author’s life through her poetry. I can’t wait for her next book to be released. -MM”

The_Brush_of_Angel_W_Cover_for_Kindle

Enclosed in a Bubble of Love

I feel enclosed in a bubble of love:
Dad’s sitting to the right of me,
quietly working on his painting;
Scott’s sitting to the left of me,
quietly working on his photos;
Clara Kitty is sitting on my shoulder,
purring.
The feeling of love is so deep and powerful,
I feel myself tearing up.
I can feel Moz in the room with us.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

Universal Love

 

Insights from a Wheelchair-Bound Friend

Insights from a dear friend (who wishes to remain anonymous) about the proposed Republican health insurance “reform”:

Ok, here goes. I can’t stay silent. 

Do you have a family member with significant disabilities or are you disabled yourself?

The reason the ADAPT activists were removed is because Mitch McConnel ordered the police to remove them. The activists had been calmly and peacefully protesting the Medicaid destroyer (aka health bill). Why? Because the bill is written to cut 800 BILLION dollars from Medicaid. It also is written to drastically reduce Medicaid funding for home care.

For the disabled community this means three things: 
1. Under the current bill, those who need significant home health care will no longer be able to get it, because there will not be funding for it. This will force us into long term care hospitals and nursing homes to live out our days. These hospitals and nursing homes will be overcrowded and underfunded and basically totally miserable. It will reduce our quality of life drastically…and when you are this sick or this disabled, quality of life is hugely important. 
2. The cuts will leave the hospitals and nursing homes we will be forced to live in – basically in prison – so underfunded they won’t be able to afford proper care. 
3. Those well enough to live at home will not be able to afford medicine – the money won’t be there – or wheelchairs or medical supplies. The quality of supplies will go down – substandard wheelchairs that leave pressure sores, substandard walkers that tip and let you fall, etc.

If you think all of that is fine..
if you think we deserve that kind of treatment and lack of care …
if you think we deserve to be locked up to save you a damn few dollars… 
if you think we somehow earned this horrible treatment so that the rich can be richer…
then you might want to step back and re evaluate your life.

This is what the activists were protesting. You all were worried about death panels under Obama (that never happened) but this is ok with you? Bullshit. Don’t tell me you care about people. 
The activists had a right to protest. They were only there 30 minutes. They were arrested because McConnell didn’t want to hear their words. He didn’t want to listen. He didn’t want to look at the faces he is dooming to death or forced into prison. 
Here is a shocking fact: The activists didn’t resist arrest. The woman in the video was struggling with leg jerks, made worse by stress. Most severely disabled people completely understand this. It happens to a lot of us. She couldn’t control them. She warned them not to stand in front of her. They did. They grabbed her legs which caused her to slide down. Rather than be reasonable they forced her from her chair. It was inexcusable.

She started screaming when her legs were being grabbed because it pissed her off…as it should have.

A lot of the activists were held at the local station, in a federal building. A building, by the way, that was lacking a wheelchair accessible women’s restroom. The women were there for hours, many cathed who needed to empty bags, others needed the facilities. They had to be embarrassed and humiliated and forced to use the men’s room instead. If a black man was forced to use a different bathroom because of the color of his skin, the county would (hopefully) erupt. But 25 years after the ADA was passed, people with disabilities were denied equal rights and equal access. And it happens all. The. Time.

That is why we fight. We fight for our rights to live and love and be free and cared for. We fight for the right to live at home. And use a public bathroom. And be treated with decency by our lawmakers and our officers.

You see..I know the back story. These are my people, my community and MY LIFE on the line.

I will not shut up. I will not settle down. Because people like a lot of you on this thread have NO PROBLEM with me being forced from my home to live in a hospital an hour away.

We do have rights. We will fight for them. And while the cops had to follow McConnell’s orders and remove the protesters, they did it all wrong. There were bad lifts that left bruises and injuries. People on ventilators separated from caregivers and without a nurse to help them. And people removed from their mobility because the cops couldn’t see the difference between a health issue and “resisting”.

In case you were wondering, what I described about what will happen to us is accurate. That is what an 800 BILLION DOLLAR CUT TO MEDICAID looks like. Its not just people scamming the system being kicked off. We don’t spend 800 billion on scammers. Its poor people who get kicked off, who can’t afford their medication or their chemo or a wheelchair.

It’s sick people, who live on life support, who are forced to go live in a hospital.

It’s children…CHILDREN..who die because their parents can’t afford the hospital bill for CF complications, or chemo, or a life saving operation, or a nurse to help keep them alive at night. 
It’s people who rack up an astounding $500,000 hospital bill because they had to be in ICU for quite some time. 
It’s people (ME) who rack up $1,000,000 a year in medical bills. It doesn’t matter how many jobs my parents get…we would be bankrupt after 4 months. And Medicaid will only be able to pay a fraction of it.

Choices will have to be made…who to treat and who gets nothing because they are terminal anyway.

That is what 800 BILLION dollar cuts to Medicaid look like. 
You are really ok with that?”

***

And now a poem…
Democrat, Republican, poor, rich, and middle,
God-believers, non-believers, the big and the little,
gray/white/red/brown/yellow/black-haired, and old,
young, introvert, extrovert, scared, brave and bold,
northern, southern, western, eastern, female
and male, tall, short, and yes, even those with a tail
straight, LGBT, white-skinned, and dark-skinned –
WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER. And that’s the end.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

together

 

Pep Talk

Pep talk to self: Don’t be discouraged. Think of all the kindnesses you’ve witnessed today, remember all the good people you’ve met, and all the beauty you’ve seen. There were flowers and a fairy house; a UW cap and a letter for Dad; a former student at the espresso stand, and two very cool baristas full of smiles and sass; Dad’s old friends who became your new friends; a bike ride in sunshine; Mary, the post lady loaning you her reading glasses without even being asked; a kitty cat weaving between your ankles; 10 cents off of your gas; Xander’s CD playing in the car; an “I love you” from your 99 year-old father; and an “I love you” from your husband of 33 years; and now stars sparkling above you, and the smell of summer coming through your office window. It has been a really wonderful day.

sweet peas this one

Photo of sweet peas by Karen Molenaar Terrell.

Protesting for Their Lives

The people in the wheelchairs were protesting the proposed cuts to their health care insurance. Some of those people will, quite literally, die without the health insurance the Republicans are proposing to cut. I think it’s important to understand why those protesters were there. They were fighting for their lives. This is not hyperbole.

I myself rarely use my health insurance – so rarely, in fact, that my doctors’ office was surprised when they found my 30 years of doctors’ visits could be printed out on one page. But I am concerned for my friends who are dealing with serious health issues, and I support the folks who were outside Sen. McConnell’s office protesting. They had every right to be there.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
– First Amendment to the United States Constitution

The “Right Thing”

He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” _ Micah 6:8

How do we know if we’re doing the “right thing”? Here’s what I think: I think we can trust we’re doing the right thing when we’re motivated by unselfish Love – when we’re motivated by the desire to help those in need, to stand alongside those who are oppressed, to seek after justice and mercy. Boom. Right there. What do you think? Will that work? 🙂

“The rich in spirit help the poor in one grand brotherhood, all having the same Principle, or Father; and blessed is that man who seeth his brother’s need and supplieth it, seeking his own in another’s good.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

give us courage