Letters to Editor, Dec. 15
I am grateful
I am thankful this Thanksgiving season for my Mom, Doris Williams, and for the amazing job she did taking care of her dad, my Paw Paw, Paul Wiliams, who lived in Indian Trail. My mom was diagnosed with lung cancer a couple of months prior to my Maw Maws death, at that time my mom moved in with my Paw Paw to take care of him. She spent the last year of her life caring for him, even though she was dying with cancer, she still made sure he didnt miss a meal, kept him bathed, with clean clothes on every day, pampered him and cherished every moment with him till her last breath.
She tried to make sure his life style stayed the same as before Maw Maws death, He walked (with a walker), he would go out to the porch to watch the traffic, he loved certain shows he had watched for years and years, The Price is Right, Let’s Make a Deal, Jeopardy, and The Wheel of Fortune. I can remember for the past 20 years, he tried not to miss these shows.
In May 2012 the cancer finally took my mom’s life, my Paw Paw was very sad to not have her here any longer. His life changed dramatically at this time. He was pretty much bound to his chair in the den, his walker was tied to a leg of the couch (I have the couch now and the cord that was used to tie the walker is still on it) he couldnt get up without someone coming to release his walker. It wasn’t long, his walker was just put away. He would just be put in a wheel chair and taken from room to room.
I will never forget the moment, I was there visiting one afternoon, he was at the dinner table, in his wheel chair, and a hospital bed was delivered, I asked what in the world that was for, the response was “he has been wetting the bed “I replied, what’s a hospital bed got to do with that?
About a week later I came to visit again, to find Paw Paw in his room BOUND to the hospital bed with the rails up. I cried and asked was this the real reason for the hospital bed, to put him in and leave him there? then was made fun of for being upset by one of the caregivers. Some people are just despicable.
Now remind you he loves certain tv shows, hes watched for a very long time, now he is Bound to a bed in his room with no TV. There was even an extra TV in the house and I asked why wasnt it in his room for him to watch, i was told because there was no cable in there. Someone could have put cable in that room. Another time I visited, he was shaking on the bed rails, he wanted out of the bed he asked me to get his trousers (his pants), I asked could I just take him home with me, and was told it would disrupt his life. He was always thirsty when I’d stop in, of course I’d get some drink. It was only a few weeks later till he passed on. As sad as I was to have lost my Paw Paw, I knew in my heart he was much happier now and with people who truly loved him.Now he can walk better than you and I probably and never be hungry or thirsty again, I love and miss all three of the most important people who have ever been in my life. I will join them one day!
Happy Holidays to all.
Every vote counts
The easily passed budget vote means two years of no government shutdowns.
It was past time for John Boehner to call out the third party of conservatives who controlled the House Republicans. Finally, the vote count was from the representatives we elected. This is how democracy should work.
Habits key to health
Given the universal nature of the Affordable Care Act, if I do not eat and drink properly, the cost of the nation’s health care and your health insurance bill and your taxes will rise. Conversely, if you are seen smoking I have an obligation to my fellow citizens, and the nation, to cause you to put out that cigarette and to induce you to stop smoking permanently. Your drag on the nation’s health care cost increases the nation’s deficit and hurts our ability to defend ourselves as a nation. Therefore, your smoking habit, and my unhealthy eating, are acts of treason.
The case can also be proven that eating donuts with frosting and a sugar filling, drinking beer and hard liquor, eating excessively without an exercise program for burning those calories are now, thanks to the ACA, also acts of treason. Perhaps we should pass laws making the baking of donuts, pastries, soft drinks, and other sugar laden products as illegal. Perhaps wheat, because of the toxic character of modern gluten, should be made a banned substance. It is far more dangerous to health than marijuana.
Oh, I forgot, marijuana is smoked and smoking is hazardous to health, so the growing and manufacture of all smoked products should be illegal.
Or, is the affordable care act really an economic subsidy to the producers of these things that damage our health and jeopardize our nation’s security; and to the pharmaceutical firms that treat the symptoms of these diseases; and to the hospitals and doctors who provide hospitality to the ill; and the insurance companies that take their profits from the system that pays for our mindless behavior. Ill health is a marvelous profit opportunity made possible by our own ignorance and a government influenced by these large, political contributors.
Our health care budget, nationally, would be a small fraction of the current level if we studied preventive nutrition, ate better, cooked at home, grew more of our own food or bought from farmers we know to be using natural methods, exercised, got enough sleep, and learned about drug side effects.
We are the problem. Eat dinners at home from your own garden and orchard. Then put down the phone and the tablet and talk to your family. They are probably nice people who would appreciate your caring about them enough to talk to them about their health and the future of their country.
Memories of teacher
In these times as we are sobered by the economy, doubting our schools and rushed by the holidays, we tend to overlook those little hopes, the small positive promises that maybe glow in a corner like a dimly lit candle. Yet every year at this time as the Christmas music begins to play, I am gifted with the rekindling of that flame, and I sit and smile as I am taken back in time to a day in December, 1997, when I was substitute teaching at Forest Hills High School.
I went into Forest Hills that day not knowing what my assignment was, only to find myself subbing for the Chorus Teacher. The lesson plans were quite simple for any layman substitute teacher — have them watch the timeless musical classic, White Christmas. By the last block of the day, I had actually tired of White Christmas, and thought myself bold enough to decidedly substitute teach! It was a chorus class after all, we were well into the school year — certainly these kids had something to sing, right? So all teacherly-like, I stood before these kids and announced, “Sing for me!” I had absolutely no idea what I was in for!
Little did I know, this was the more refined, but smaller ensemble who had been working on their Holiday Concert music. They fidgeted and talked amongst themselves as they decided what to sing. It was apparent the students had decided upon a song as they arranged themselves around me in typical concert style. However, due to the size limitations of the music room, the kids nearly encircled me in their arc. Then it happened!
These talented kids that surrounded me began to belted out an acapella (no musical accompaniment, just voices) rendition of Carol of Bells, that moved the heavens, at least within me. Music…just the pure, beautiful voices of these very talented students bombarded me from all sides. I had no choice but to feel it — it was hitting me in all its surround-sound glory. It nearly brought me to tears, as I was simply in awe!
Now every year when I hear Carol of Bells, I am taken back with the Ghost of Substitute Teaching Past and to the Forest Hills chorus room in 1997 — disheveled chairs about, writing on the dry-erase board, and a few moments of complete elation at again being enveloped by the beautiful voices of these talented kids.
Thank you Forest Hills High School Chorus of 1997. Your talent continues to inspire me today. Thank you Union County Public Schools, your Arts Programs continues to positively impact not only our students, but those around them. And Parents, be proud — we have such talented students when they choose to shine!
God’s indescribable gift of grace has been very powerful this year in accomplishing every good work that the He has put before us with Safer Communities Ministry.
s one body in Christ, there were cheerful givers who sowed financial seeds to sustain the ministry. Others lovingly volunteered of their time and hearts to serve and minister to inmates in the Union County Jail and SC Prisons. Still others were on their knees praying and standing in the gap for the eternal destinies of the men, women, and teens we serve.
In 2013, God called additional ordinary people to “get out of the boat” to bring life skills, deliverance, and hope to inmates, ex-offenders, addicts, and their families. The results were extraordinary!
HERE IS WHAT GOD DID IN 2013
SCM Chaplaincy at the Union County Jail: Over 190 SCM volunteers from various churches ministered in the Union County Jail.
Eagles Fellowship Program: Volunteers served over 140 men, women, & youth incarcerated in jails and prisons in our weekly Bible studies in Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, Alexander, & Union Counties.
Life Skills: Over 120 men and women also participated in the Union County Jail’s Life Skills Program. (Inmates learned character development, goal setting, anger/stress management and more, for 5 hours a day, 5 days a week.)
Mom’s in Prayer: The Lord opened the way for Moms in Prayer to bring hope for inmate moms in the Union County Jail. Through the power of praying in the Word for their children, hearts have been transformed. Prayers are being answered! Inmate moms are realizing that God is moving in the lives of their loved ones outside the walls of the jail!
SCM’s Second Chance Re-Entry Network (SCREEN) continued to assist pre-release inmates at the Union County Jail. Assistance was provided for ex-offenders transitioning back into society. Services included: finding housing, jobs, and keeping them from returning to lives of crime.
Addiction Recovery Ministry (ARM) This year ARM served over 150 ex-offenders, addicts and their families. They were offered a confidential and safe recovery based on truth from God’s word. In addition, mentors were assigned to attendees who desired one-on-one relationships. Former addicts and their families’ lives have been changed forever.
New Life Events: SCM’s interdenominational New Life Event teams served over 4,000 incarcerated men, women, and youth this year in quarterly weekend worship services in SC Prisons. Salvations, rededications, and countless seeds planted have enlarged the kingdom of God.
Rev. Al Lewis
Safer Communities Ministry