Category Archives: Not Fiction

Let the Girls Lead

small evans (419x640)

In their book(s) ‘the S.H.E Anthology, ‘The Evans Terrace Girls’ give their account of what happened when 7 or more parents died within a year or 2 of each other in a small subdivision of about 110 homes. People started saying their land was CURSED. The children heard those rumors about their subdivision and were scared to death. Then, when a neighbor lost her dad to a blood clot after surgery, the kids felt the need to help. When one of the girls heard the rumor that the mourning family ran out of milk, she setup a traditional solution or proverbial lemonade stand. That day, other angels or young children arrived; many of those neighbor kids ran door to door selling half glasses of hot lemonade. They raised enough quarters to buy milk and other perishables. More importantly, they formed a group that became a club and led their neighborhood out of grief. A CHAPTER excerpt from their story follows.

Excerpt: ‘Tis The Season

The holidays seem to make shopping imperative. Being girls, we enjoyed that event just as much as the nursing home women did. However, sometimes, our allowances were needed for more important things than just a new outfit to add to the other twenty- five in our closets. Our club was about to happen on one of those causes.

Right before the holidays a year earlier, Joy found out that one of her friends had inherited two cousins. One of the boys was just two weeks old and the other was eighteen-month-old when their single mother died in her apartment of an epileptic seizure. These two miracles survived two days with their deceased mother before authorities found them. Their aunt’s family was not well to do but had inherited two cribs for the boys. However, just near Christmas, they needed real beds for these toddlers.

Our neighborhood parents have a cookie swaps once a year during the holidays. The mothers go and exchange sweets while discussing us. We always wanted to be able to attend. This year the club came up with a reason to be invited to this party. We wanted to raffle items using the proceeds to buy at least one bed for these two boys.

Nicole’s mother hosted and let us set up a table to sell tickets. There were donations of new jewelry and Christmas items to raffle. We charged a dollar a ticket. On our little table sat our flyer of community services completed and goals to finish this year.

As one guest read the document, she handed us a five-dollar bill whispering to my mother, “What is their goal?”

“At least one bed,” She responded.

“Well, good luck. They probably won’t even raise enough for a mattress,” this woman added.

“I’ve seen them sell one hundred and seventy one dollars’ worth of lemonade and still have over half the original gallon. I bet they can get this bed,” My mother defended.

“Good luck,” The guest reiterated.

“I believe in miracles,” Mom observed smugly. “ ‘Tis the season!”

The next morning as we recounted the cash, it was our turn to gloat. We had raised one hundred-forty dollars for our orphans. Nicole and I had come up with the raffle idea and our pride filled us with joy.

The telephone rang early; it was Laura, Nicole’s mother. “Hey, why don’t we go to estate sales, today? We could try to find a nice used bed for the girls to give this orphan,” She suggested to our only adult, permanent member to this club. Along with exhausting and futile searches, they checked the local paper. In the paper, there was an ad for twin beds. Laura made a call to the woman with this item. After hearing the story, the lady agreed to meet us and possibly sell us the bed for a bit less than the asking price of four hundred dollars.

Laura made to appointment and took the directions to the self-storage facility. Unfortunately, Nicole’s mother was new to the area and from Brazil originally. Sometimes, these facts lead to communication difficulties. Unaware that we didn’t really know where this storage facility was located, the club members entered Nicole’s and my mother’s van.

“Okay, I’ll follow you,” My mother yelled across to the other driver.

After a few turns and some meandering, my mother became anxious. We were headed towards the migrant farmer area of town and away from storage facilities. A few more blocks and we’d be past the agricultural area landing in the middle of alligator pods and wilderness. Realizing there was a problem, my mother began signaling with her lights for Laura to stop. The others in that van must have realized we were lost because it didn’t take long for both vehicles to pull off the road to discuss the situation.

“I don’t know. This facility should have been sooner,” Laura spoke in her heavy Brazilian accent.

“I think we got a turn or two the wrong direction,” My mother agreed.

“Well, she says turn right on Airport Road,” Laura read her scratch sheet of paper.

“What is the name of the storage place?”

“U-Store, I think.”

“Hmm, I think I know where we wanted to be. Follow me!”

Then without a clue to whether she was heading for the correct facility because this area was big enough for several storage places. Our main chaperone led on a wing and a prayer. She pulled our car into the location that seemed correct but it had the wrong name.

As Laura pulled into a parking slot nearby, our fearless leader jumped out of the car and ran over to her window, “This place has the wrong name but is the only one on this road. Are you sure you have the street name correct?”

“Here, I have a telephone number. Maybe, we can call the owner,” Laura offered just as confused.

My mom grabbed her cell phone from our car and dialed rapidly muttering, “She’s probably at the storage place and won’t even answer this call.” Then, someone answered and a conversation occurred, “I am at public storage facility on Airport Boulevard, am I at the right location?” After a few nods and frowns, our leader spoke aloud to us. “I think we are lost. The woman on the telephone was the mother of the seller. We’ll wait ten minutes before we give up. The lady says we are at the right spot, maybe.”

It seemed like an eternity, “Let’s go. This lady isn’t late! We are at the wrong place!” Joy’s impatience revealed itself, again.

Just as we all gave up hope, in came a car with a “Jesus is the magic” sticker. It was truly a miracle that we found one another because we arrived by reversing the scribbled directions, and she was held up in traffic. When she called home her mother told her we were at the wrong location. So, this Christian almost drove home but figured she’d drive by just in case her mother was incorrect.

After a good chuckle, we started to bid on the twin beds. They were gorgeous oak and in fine shape. However, we only had one hundred-forty dollars, and it was weeks until Christmas. Thus, our allowances were all assigned to various gifts for our family.

“I am sorry! I want to help your cause but these two beds that can be arranged as bunks are less than a year old. I paid a thousand dollars for them before I lost my job. The price of four hundred is already a sacrifice.”

“Couldn’t you sacrifice a bit more?” Laura’s mom commanded instead of questioning. “These beds are for some orphans not for some rich family.”

“They lost their mom to epilepsy and went to stay with their aunt who already had children to raise. She lost her job to care for her nephews,” Mom tugged on her heart.

“Excuse us,” Laura pulled my mother aside. “These beds are too nice, and she has her own sad story. I don’t think she’ll give them to us for less. What should we do keep looking?”

“Yes!” Then our leader noted, “The girls only have one hundred-forty. We can’t even meet her in the middle with a bid.”

Wandering back over, my mother explained it to us all. At that, the stranger stopped our movement back to our vehicles, “I’ll let you have both beds for two hundred dollars but only if you can pick them up by tomorrow.”

“Sold!” We all screamed as Laura and Mom flinched. The club was sixty dollars from reality. However, our leader knew that when we had a goal we’d usually surpass it so both adults remained silent or too stunned to speak. In either case, I called an emergency meeting to find sixty dollars in less than twenty-four hours.

As we sat at our kitchen table, Stacey, my cousin and current sibling, overheard the plight of the two orphans. She was five years older than I was, so this sister usually stayed away from my activities. However, this project hit home for her. A few years before this Christmas and a short time before Jane lost her dad, Stacey buried her mother due to cancer and her dad because of suicide. After these four horrible weeks, my cousin came to our house permanently and became our older sister. Thus, she could empathize with the plight of orphans.

Wandering back in sight, Stacey tossed ten dollars on the table. “Here, I want to help with my allowance.” She vanished as quickly as the money arrived to the table.

“We can use our allowance. If we all gave ten dollars it would be more than enough,” I stated.

The next day was rainy. Our leader had arranged for my dad to drive the beds to their new home using his pickup truck. She invited the recipients to meet us at the storage facility and guide us to their home. It poured and drenched all the earth around us as we loaded up the beds and covered them with traps, plastic, and raincoats. Then, we caravanned to their new location. In spite of the rain, the orphans received their Christmas gifts early.

Our main adult sponsor has a letter from Jesus that her mother left behind on the day of her death. It talks about talking problems over with Jesus and letting him be your friend or guide. One line in the note says that He feels our emotions with us, and his tears are in the rain. Today, they are droplets of joy; I am sure.

“Praise the Lord,” the new mother of the orphans, their Aunt Nora, gasped as she hugged each member in attendance and blew kisses to the rest. Then, she made her two toddler boys smooch each girl and with a loud voice say, “Thank-you!”

Before we left, my mother bent over to say good-bye to the boys. The oldest one leaped into her arms hugging her wildly. Our mentor threw her head back laughing. Then, she talked quietly into his ear, “You are so sweet.”

At his young age, he seemed brilliant as he told her loudly, “I see the angels! Right there!”

“Where?” My mother giggled not mockingly but just because she was taken off guard.

Nora chimed in, “This one is so special!” She grabbed his arm and said, “He sees the angels that took care of his brother and him. I believe him.” She gave the child a peck on the cheek.

Then, he made his eyes stay open by using his fingers saying, “When mommy was like this,” the unspoken word was dead, “the angels told me what to do for my brother.”

“The angels were with you,” Nora sang hugging the youngest child. “They helped you find food to feed your brother and yourself.”

“Yes, I found the cereal. I couldn’t do the diaper.”

“That’s okay because your brother was clean at the hospital.”

“Yes, the angels helped him.” This youngster jumped from my mother’s arms taking his brother by the hand. They ran off to jump on his newly installed bed. We followed except for Nora and our mentor.

“It took two days for the neighbors to realize something was wrong. My sister was dead just after coming home because the baby was still strapped in his car seat. My sister must have gone for her medicine but didn’t make it. The medicine was lying next to her.”

“Wow!” My mom listened as I lurked in earshot.

“When the neighbors realized that my sister had not been seen in days and the baby was crying too much, they went to her door. It was locked but that little boy,” Nora recounted the incident while pointing towards the bunk beds, “called out, ‘My mom is sleeping too long!’ ”

“Sad!” My mom tried to imagine the scene. I did, too.

“That boy was only eighteen months old, and he was really being instructed by his angels to know what to say. They put another older child through an open window. She went into my sister’s apartment unlocking the door for the police and her parents. They found the boys. The oldest was trying to wake his mom up to talk to them.” She mimicked him poking her face to wake her up. “Like that!”

“Awe, were they okay? I mean I know the boys lived but were they okay at that point? Was the little girl that opened the door traumatized?”

“All the children saw the angels according to her mother. That kept the girl okay,” Nora told her newest children’s story. “They took these guys to the hospital and not one diaper rash out of either of them. Not one bruise or harmful mark! No sign of dehydration or malnutrition! The oldest said it was because of the angels. I believe him.”

Goose bumps took over my skin as I believed this story, too. “It makes sense. To last two days unharmed, there must have been angels with them.”

“To this day, anyone that helps these boys is blessed. You all are very blessed,” Nora added.

“Yes, we were to get these beds for you!” My mom gloated.

“No, I mean you are blessed forever by these children’s angels.”

After that, the oldest boy emerged from his bedroom and leaped back up into my mother’s arms. “Thank-you!” He hugged her. “Did you see them? The angels are here!”

My mom nodded and smiled at him.

“This one is very leery of strangers, but he loves you,” Nora explained. “It is because you are close to his angels. All of you are! God bless you!”

The little boy’s sentences were so eloquent for his age that he captured our imagination. His new mother was so sure about the angels that none of us left doubting their miracle story.

To the neighbor that played doubting Tom, my mother’s heart winked as she said, “I believe in miracles!” However, sometimes, you have to help God accomplish them instead of just praying and then waiting.

A majority of the proceeds from the S.H.E. Anthology go to agencies that deal with children with PTSD. So, come on buy to be inspired and help grieving children.
It’s a WIN-WIN.

Blogger’s main author page is @ WEEBLY, you can find many nonfiction uplifting books there. http://mchanson714.weebly.com/

AMAZON author page: http://www.amazon.com/Mrs.-Cynthia-Meyers-Hanson/e/B00B28J7L2

Views – 1037

If you enjoyed it, others will too.
Facebook Twitter Email Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Linkedin Digg

Let the Children Lead

the_S.H.E._Anthology_Cover_for_Kindle (495x640)

Many of my short stories are nonfiction and inspirational tales.  Therefore, I rarely submit pieces for anthologies announced online or through writer’s societies because their editors are usually looking for fictional short stories or poetry.  Recently, a random invite happened; someone offered to add one of my stories or essays to their anthology helping Newton, Connecticut.  I heard about the massacre in their elementary school and submitted a story that I coauthored.  However, the editors rejected my entry because they were compiling adult reading level stories about how it might feel to be a Newton resident.

I appreciated the editors’ candor.  However, I was amazed the compilers of that anthology didn’t realize what the children (and adults) of Sandy Hook Elementary might really need to go forward.  I thought that town might enjoy rhetoric from kindred spirits.  Due to fears and anxieties, I felt that those kids and folks might feel less alienated and alone if they were shown the light at the end of their tunnels.  I wanted to find a way to be empower those children while revealing to them a HOPE that things can and do get better. I felt bystanders including health care professionals might enjoy those types of stories, too. After pondering the anthology rejection, I woke up one day as God illuminated my next step.  Thinking of three books that I had partial copyrights to, I immediately had the title of an anthology in my mind.  I began compiling that book.

By the way, the S.H.E. Anthology is NOT a romance anthology but it was written by all females.  In this book, most of the girls recollect traumas, mostly related to death, that they faced while in elementary school.  Their stories reveal their path out of mourning along with many minor miracles that they encountered.  Their tales of hope and inspiration are true accounts from those children turned authors.

The abbreviation ‘S.H.E’ also refers to Sandy Hook Elementary.  Isn’t God the best at setting up coincidences?  This book is meant to empower Newton as well as others that read it.  Its writers hope that the anthology, also, sheds some new light on grief recovery in the minds of teachers, mental health professionals, and adults handling major life changes.

Speaking of a child in mourning, there’s great insight into being the victim of death and childhood loss.  In fact, Stacey’s saga is an intimate look at a ten year old girl’s personal story about the results of her mother’s cancer death.  She, also, deals with the aftermath that includes her dad going crazy and committing suicide.  Obviously, tragedies, such as the Sandy Hook Massacre, touch home with her.  In her book contained in the anthology, the young girl talks candidly and inspirationally about surmounting her PTSD.  Her honesty through writing is only surpassed by the miracles and guidance from those around her including God.  The book excerpt that follows reveals how God taps into this young girl’s anger and grief to show her hope and HIS love as HE answers her naïve, childhood prayer.

Hail, What’s Next?

Later in another conversation, Cindy told me, “There are a ton of reasons why you need to live.  First, you haven’t even seen all the world has to share with you.  There are some really beautiful places left to visit.”

“I get two weeks’ vacation in December.  We can drive into the mountains and find snow for the holidays.”

…                       

Jenny (Cindy’s child) was hospitalized after repeated infections.  Her tonsils needed to be removed, and the promised trip was postponed. 

“I wish it would snow here!” My response arrived.

 

“Get real!  It rarely snows in Central Florida.  If it does, it falls in January and never hits the ground.  It melts on the way.  It sometimes falls just north of us and stays a few hours but nothing close to snowman weather.  We can drive to see snow next winter, but we are not flying anywhere this vacation.”

 

“I’m going to pray for snow within driving distance of our house.  I am going to ask for it now,” My style less angry these days converted to belligerent.

 

“Pray away!  But, it isn’t possible,” She added as the other car passengers giggled.  At age seven and nine, they realized I could be unreasonable at times.

 

 

The next day, the front page of the local newspaper pictured the hail storm that happened just south of our home.  Hail stones piled into drifts so high that it appeared to have snowed in Florida….

 

Since Stacey didn’t see that version of snow in person, she kept praying for snow.  What happened next? You guessed right- more Florida snow in the form of hail and many more miraculous events as God honored the orphan. 

 

Also, in the anthology, the Evans Terrace girls give their account of what happened when 7 or more parents died within a year or 2 of each other in a small subdivision of about 110 homes.  People started saying their land was CURSED. The children heard those rumors about their subdivision and were scared to death.  Then, when a neighbor lost her dad to a blood clot after surgery, the kids felt the need to help.  When one of the girls heard the rumor that the mourning family ran out of milk, she setup a traditional solution or proverbial lemonade stand.  That day, other angels or young children arrived; many of those neighbor kids ran door to door selling half glasses of hot lemonade.  They raised enough quarters to buy milk and other perishables.

More importantly, they formed a group that became a club and led their neighborhood out of grief.  Find out how by reading their full story.  In the following except, the girls know no limits to miracles and continue their community service buying beds for two, orphaned toddlers that come to live with their aunt.

Tis The Season

One of the boys was just two weeks old and the other was eighteen-month-old when their single mother died in her apartment of an epileptic seizure.  These two miracles survived two days with their deceased mother before authorities found them.  Their aunt’s family was not well to do but had inherited two cribs for the boys.  However, just near Christmas, they needed real beds for these toddlers. 

There were donations of new jewelry and Christmas items to raffle.  We charged a dollar a ticket.  On our little table sat our flyer of community services completed and goals to finish this year.

 

As one guest read the document, she handed us a five-dollar bill whispering to my mother, “What is their goal?”

 

“At least one bed,” She responded.

 

“Well, good luck.  They probably won’t even raise enough for a mattress,” this woman added.

 

“I’ve seen them sell one hundred and seventy one dollars’ worth of lemonade and still have over half the original gallon.  I bet they can get this bed,” My mother defended.

 

“Good luck,” The guest reiterated.

 

“I believe in miracles,” Mom observed smugly.  “ ‘Tis the season!”

           

The stranger stopped our movement back to our vehicles, “I’ll let you have both beds for two hundred dollars but only if you can pick them up by tomorrow.”

 

“Sold!” We all screamed as Laura and Mom flinched.  The club was sixty dollars from reality.

Did the girls find the cash? Of course! What other minor miracles happened when these angels joined forces with others to make wishes come true?  The story gets even more fascinating when these human angles (the girls) meet the young boys that shared days with real angels before authorities found them in their apartment with their dead mother.

You should read more inspirational, side stories in the S.H.E. Anthology; it’s available as a book and eBook through AMAZON, Kindle, and SMASHWORDS. See my profile for more details on how to find books I write, co-author, produce, or compile.

By the way, the compilation’s royalties will help charities involved in grief counseling or with mental health issues- especially for children therapies for the types of traumas witnessing massacres produce.  For example, one local group ‘New Hope for Kids’ (Orlando) will get some of the profits from this compilation because the group that started this organization helped Stacey over 20 years ago.

This blogger’s main author page is @ WEEBLY, you can find many nonfiction uplifting books there.
http://mchanson714.weebly.com/

AMAZON author site http://www.amazon.com/Mrs.-Cynthia-Meyers-Hanson/e/B00B28J7L2

Views – 3066

If you enjoyed it, others will too.
Facebook Twitter Email Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Linkedin Digg

Special Educational Needs – Getting Started With Statements

Please give a warm welcome to our very first Guest poster, Tania Tirraoro….

This year so far, I’ve started writing two fiction novels. Got to ten thousand words with one, then left it to sit. Another one, which I will soon be taking up again, got to just a thousand. Why did I stop the second? Because I woke up one morning and knew I had to write a book to help parents with special needs children get the educational support they required.

Getting Started With StatementsIt was a bolt from the blue and then again, it wasn’t. I have maintained a special educational needs site http://www.specialneedsjungle.co.uk since 2008. It has lots of advice to help parents but, that morning, I just knew I had to take it further and write a comprehensive guide to setting out a child’s needs in a methodical way to give the parent the best chance of securing help from the Local Education Authority (LEA).

Parenting is tough. It’s even more difficult when, when your child has a ‘hidden’ disability such as Asperger Syndrome, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia or ADHD. Strangers are happy to judge you, teachers are ready to label the child lazy or thick or just plain badly behaved. Daily Mail readers are all too willing to stick the boot into parents of ADHD kids – of course, they’re all just bad parents who reach for the Ritalin and the Disability Living Allowance before you can say ‘firm discipline’. Continue reading

Views – 988

If you enjoyed it, others will too.
Facebook Twitter Email Pinterest Stumbleupon Tumblr Linkedin Digg