Monday, September 29, 2008

Soccer Mama for Obama

Time to put it out there!
With less than 5 weeks to the election, I have decided to make sure there is no confusion about where I am coming from.
No need for a disclaimer. I was born and raised in Chicago by activist parents who covered the Civil Rights and Black Power movements. My idea of fun was going to the local A + P to participate in a boycott to change discriminatory hiring practices, marching in Chicago and Mississippi. I was old enough to meet many of the powerhouses of the movement in my parent's living room and at many a hall.
For me, community activism is not a dirty word but what you do to pay rent for being on earth. In medical school, I was energized by the Harold Washington campaign for mayor of Chicago, I worked with my Latino grad school colleagues to forge a Black Latino alliance that was part of Washington's success. I immersed myself in the peace and solidarity movements of the eighties, stayed abreast of the Anti Apartheid movements.
At times I have "retired" from activism to focus on just making my local piece of the world a better place. Three years in the National Health Service Corps working with patients in need in Nevada and Central Valley California convinced me that I need not go overseas to find third world health conditions. Becoming a mother of a child with special health care needs has highlighted for me the failures of our educational and health care systems. Every child deserves to be cherished and nourished. No throw away kids. We must redirect our focus on coming together and giving a hand out to those in need.
So on the brink of turning 51 (October 3rd), I know it is time to stand up and be counted. My 11 year old said it best during the California Primary, "mama of course you are voting for Obama!"
Hope is not a dirty word; social change and bring diverse people together is not just a pipe dream.
Vote Obama, vote in your local elections. Don't stop the day after the election....
We need to keep on keepin' on...
I don't need no stinkin' lipstick.... but a manicure/pedicure and massage will do me just fine...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Saving the good stuff for submissions or....

having massive writers block while experiencing a bit of life on life's terms.

Yes, it has been 9 months since writing on this blog. Many work changes- short term part time work, looking for full time work without success, filing for unemployment and medicaid for my son. Hearing more often than not, "you are a doctor, why are you unemployment."

My son has several chronic mental health problems. Psychiatric hospitalization number 4 during June of this year. Number 5 first two weeks of September. 2 and a half years of sorting out what he has, (bipolar disorder, Tourette's disorder and partial seizures with a bit of asthma). Spending much of my waking hours advocating for resources for school, after school and home, often settling for "hurry up and wait." I am making the hard decisions about residential placement as he is nearly 12 and increasingly out of control.

So, I have dabbled a little with my writing. One of my poems was published this fall in the 2008 Vintage Voices and Vines Anthology by the Redwood Writers Guild. I submitted an essay called, "I believe in coffee" to the NPR program, "This I Believe." It wasn't selected for reading, but was put on the NPR website.

I am hearing the several times weekly refrain from my bibliotherapist,Art, my sisterfriend, Aurora and several others to write, write, write.

Just letting y'all know, I have heard and am making that commitment! My stethoscope is a bit dusty since March 08. Gettin' that 'puter and pen warmed up.

Let the games begin!