Here's a stories from some of our Black older buds, in honor of Black History Month. February may be over, but we plan to keep the spirit of Black History Month going for at least another three hundred and sixty five days:
Have you ever been afraid of being lost? Most all of my adult life, I have the fear of being lost. It may have started when I was ten or eleven years old.
The church I belonged to at the time took trips to Albany Park, Coney Island, or Wildwood, New Jersey during summer vacation.
One year, we went to Wildwood, New Jersey. As you enter towards the beach, there was a lumber yard. Somehow, I got separated from my group would included my sister, Bernice, my brothers Eugene and Paul.
I was always very thing, and I was carrying my sisters shoes which was too big for me to wear, so here I am all alone trying to find my way back to my church group.
So I started walking, I walked and walked, and walked. I passed a group of young, but older than myself boys. They were a different color than me. I was called names including the N word. I just kept walking afraid to even turn my head to look at them. I utterly ignored them.
Seeing that I wasn't getting anywhere walking in the direction I was walking in, I decided to turn around and go back in the direction from which I had come.
After walking for quite a while, I saw an older couple turn into an entrance. So I said in my mind, I'm going to follow them. Low and behold, they were my guiding light to where I was looking to go.
It was only god that gave me the mind to follow that couple. I believe He sent that couple there just at the right time for me to find my way back to the group I was with.
Years later, I began to have nightmares about being lost. My first dream was that I had gone to church and when church was over and I was leaving, when I opened the door, it was a strange and unfamiliar location that I was in and I became very frightened because I was lost.
After that first scary dream, I had other dreams of being lost. So one I dreamt that I was lost again. So I started crying and yelled that I was tired of being lost. Guess what, after that I didn't have anymore dreams of being lost. Last week, I accompanied Caitlin and two others to Drexel University. Not being familiar with that area, I had to be told how to get back to South Philly.
Guess what? It was either that night or the next that I had neater dream of being lost.
Being lost to me is a very scary experience when you're not familiar with where you are
When I overheard the announcer on the radio say "Special Olympics" I recall the cabbie that picked me up after a 3-11 shift.
I enjoyed his broadbased conversation. He asked if I had watched "Special Olympics," I reluctantly said no.
He proceeded to tell me about his son who skied for the Special Olympics. The following week, he gave me an autographed picture of his son with his bio on the back.
According to the bio, Ralph Green lost his leg at 16. Ralph was a victim of a random nearby fatal street shooting. Prior to that shooting, he was aspiring high school athlete at Belfort in Brooklyn, New York. A fierce competitor and an optimist, Ralph set out to make the best for his new life.
He moved to Winterpark, Colorado site of the National Sports Center for the Disabled. He had never skied, but was determined to learn the sport.
After a few years of training in 2004, he became the first African American to make the US Disabled Alpine Ski Team and competed in the first Paralympic in 2006 in Turin, Italy.
When he's not skiing on the slopes, Ralph spends time spreading his time spreading hope to all the children around the world. Ralph has the competitive spirit. He stated, "I'm skiing until I am the best."
What Is a Fool?
I remember when I was a small child. One day, I ran home crying because my friend promised me that he would share with me as I shared with him, but he never does. My mother sat me down and said to me, if you expect people to treat you like you treat them, you'll have a very unhappy childhood. That statement stuck with me for a while and then soon forgotten. Even today, I still get taken in my other people's promises, "Lend me a couple of dollars, I'll pay you back in full on Thursday." "Oh, okay. I'll come back on Thursday." That was about two months ago and Thursday hasn't come ye! I had one person tell me he would meet me at a designated spot and he even game me a time! I was foolish enough to go to that spot and waited and waited and he still never showed up. And I realized that I couldn't be angry at the individual. I was angry at myself. I guess that's all part of my human imperfections. One day, I read a wise person who made this statement, "If you keep doing the same thing and expecting different results, then you are insane or just a plain fool." I examined this statement and tried to understand how it applied to me. And this is my conclusion: Being human, I am subjected to faults and fallacies, therefore, I may do foolish things, but I'm no fool. I'm just human. All human beings and that's not just me, have faults and fallacies. Those imperfections are what makes us human. I'm not insane and by no means am I a fool.
Thanks again for reading, and enjoy the rest of Black History Month.
Curated by Caitlin Cieri