One night in late spring 2015, my buddy John and I were sitting on my front porch talking while the womenfolk were inside probably swapping recipes and churning butter or drinking wine. Who knows… Anyway, John and I were solving some social injustice or reliving his glory days on the gridiron as we were prone to do when he and his sweeter than sorghum wife Robyn came for a visit. Then, a man who would greatly affect my outlook on charity emerged from the darkness.
I opened my computer and saw where we’ve lost one of the great minds of all times. Stephen Hawking passed away at 76. Not only was he remarkable because of his intellect, but he was able to fight off ALS for 55 years after being diagnosed with the disease which usually proves fatal within 2 years of being diagnosed. Maybe he just outsmarted it.
My advice to other disabled people would be, concentrate on things your disability doesn’t prevent you doing well, and don’t regret the things it interferes with. Don’t be disabled in spirit, as well as physically. -Stephen Hawking
Last week was exhausting mentally, physically, and spiritually, and I’ll bet I lost 5 lbs. through my tear ducts and another 55 lbs. from exercising my smile muscles. If you saw me, however, you wouldn’t be able to tell because of all the good food I ate which had been prepared by neighbors, good Southern Baptist women, and The Lake (the restaurant at the local resort, Lake Tiak O’khata). Continue reading →
I’d just finished a couple chocolate chip cookies and was rolling past the phone on the wall by the kitchen door when it rang. Immediately, I knew there was bad news coming even though nobody had answered yet. Mom hopped up to grab it, and I continued down the hall as if I could run away from whatever it was. “How is he?” and, “What do I need to do?” were the two things I heard Mom say into the phone that let me know my premonition was accurate.
On most Sunday nights, my neighbor from across the street rides to church with me in Jackson where our small Episcopal mission meets in a space sectioned off from an old furniture warehouse a few blocks from the Old Capitol Museum. Most nights it’s just us, her son whom she drops off earlier in the afternoon for the youth meeting, and Father Chuck, our vicar. After finishing a six-month-long study of the book of Mark, we spent the last few weeks just talking about whatever was on our minds. The lack of direction tended to lead to rambling, but I really enjoyed listening to the other three debate whatever topic because their combined intelligence is through the roof. I feel like a complete dunderpate while listening to them.
Today is the day our country remembers Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s life, his accomplishments, and what he strived for but wasn’t allowed to live to see come to fruition. It’s an opportunity to examine our country, our states, and also our own pasts relative to how we’ve acted to make things better or worse for all people. Continue reading →
I’ve never been much of a vacationer. Growing up, we didn’t go on many vacations. It just wasn’t that big of a deal for my family. I can remember a couple trips to the beach, one or two visits to see distant relatives, and a week at a cabin at a state park. Outside of those instances, my travel experiences were mostly centered around school or church trips. As I’ve gotten older and my independence has been wrested from my grasp, the hassles of travel have kept me mostly within a couple hours drive of central Mississippi.
Today, I contacted the Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services concerning a few areas of service they provide. One request concerned funding assistance for someone to help me a few hours a day with stuff around the house and the other was concerning some minor adaptive equipment for my car. I’ve used Voc Rehab several times in the past to help cover the exorbitant cost of medical equipment and vehicle modifications so I can remain a somewhat independent productive member of society. Continue reading →