A Publication By and for Fellowship Place Members Issue 38, SPRING 2014

THE BEACON
“Books are lighthouses in the great sea of time.” -Edwin P. Whipple

The Season of Spring
By Desiree B. Blushing ladybugs giggle, kiss and tease, Attractive male bumblebees, beneath dancing, swaying green oak trees. Irises, violets, daffodils, carnations, sweetheart roses twirl in the wind, wiggle and pose, Catching the fatal, contagious spring lover’s disease. Helpless flowers begin to cough and sneeze, With passion, love and romance on their minds they welcome spring And all of its first signs.

This newsletter, The Beacon, represents just a few of the many Fellowship Place programs that Fellowship Place offers that provide members with an 441 Elm street opportunity to be creative thinkers and writers. We hope you enjoy this New haven, Ct issue. Please see Sara B. if you are interested in learning more about writing, www.fellowshipplace.or The Beacon newsletter or if you have something you would like to contribute to our next issue.

Forced to Grow By Rina N. There are pictures of children in corners with fear in their eyes. Men cringe as blood streams down their bodies and create a puddle of red on the floor. This is war. A person forced to lose her hair and vomit in an inability to stay away from more than three hours is war. Children forced to grow up before their time is war. All of us have our wars to fight. I was eleven and was sitting under the deck in my backyard looking at leaves and rocks when my mom and dad walked over to me. Their heavy footsteps were crunching the leaves under their feet. The moment I saw my mother’s face I knew. Her big hazel eyes were bloodshot and olive complexion was wet with tears; she was sick again. Her cancer had come back; I was too young to remember the first time clearly. How could this have happened? This a war we had already fought. Seeing my mother, who had been my rock, weakening. This woman whose mission was to take care of her children could no longer take care of herself. Do you remember when you were a child? Everything was just right. You would wake up early for school, run down the stairs, and throw yourself in front of the television. Somewhere between Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers, you would get dressed. Your mom would make you breakfast. And after school you and your friends would play on the swings and in the sandbox. Everything was okay and could be fixed with a plastic tool kit. I remember a hot day in August when the sweat was pouring down my back and all I wanted was a nice cold shower and to sit in front of the air conditioner. It was the end of summer 1998. My parents would be coming to pick me up from sleep-away camp and I was looking forward to sleeping in my own bed. I missed my friends and was excited to go back to school to have a fresh start. My parents helped me load my luggage into the trunk and I said goodbye to my new friends. We were driving for only a few minutes when my mom took off the hat. I guess she noticed me gasp because right after she turned around and asked if I was scared to see her wit no hair. I said no. Everyone has something under his hat; something he is hiding. There are people in our community who are victims of verbal abuse. They walk around us everyday, and we do not know their story. There are families who have loved ones at war, and we strive to keep their attention. Do you remember when you were a child? When you had all these expectations and dreams. The world offered so many things and you wanted to try it all. You wanted more than what you had. You wanted to be a gymnast, a scientist, and a carpenter all in one week. Do you remember reaching for your goals? Do you remember the taste of independence? I remember when I had to put on the other shoe. I went straight from dependent to dependable. I was making a timeline in my room when I heard the sound of someone choking down the hall. I ran to the source, my parents’ bathroom, where I found my mother pale and sweaty, holding herself over the sink. Until that point, I have never seen her that sick. I remembered all the times that I had been sick, and my mom would stay up with me all night and rub my back. I went to rub her back and as I reached for
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her, she pulled her body away from me and toward the sink. She wanted to be strong for me and would not let me catch her. I screamed for my dad to come. When I explained all he could say was that there was nothing that he could do; the medicine was making her sick. I was upset and I was in a state of such disbelief. If there was nothing you could do, at least you could go rub her back. Do you remember when you were a child and a band-aid could fix a headache? Remember playing doctor and a prescription of two chocolates and a sticker could cure the flu? When it comes to cancer, the medicine makes you more sick. It is difficult to put faith in that. It is hard to understand how you can fight a war to achieve peace. But, of course, there were not always bad times. In fact, because of the cancer I got to spend more time with my mother. When I got home from school she would be waiting for me and we would cook and eat lunch together. We would read outside in the sun and watch television. Subconsciously I knew she was battling a disease, but she was my mom and, in my heart, she would always be there. Do you remember when you were a child? You could wish upon a star and anything was possible, or you could wish on your birthday candles and everything would change. The cricket and blue fairy could always make Pinocchio into a real boy. Miracles do not always happen. I blindly walked through these five years. I never stopped to look and see that the trashcan became a place to heave. My mother’s bathroom was a pharmacy lined with drugs. And while I lay next to my mother, there was something keeping her immobile. Making her have to stay beside me. Do you remember when you were a child? The first time you realized that people you love die? That you die as well? The fall of 2002, my mother died. For seventy-two hours my family and I lay next to my mom in the hospital. At first I begged for her to live. I told her that I was her baby and that I still needed her. Then I squeezed my mom’s hand, trying to push my blood into her body, trying to take out her cancer. But then I understood that I could not save her. I told her it was okay to leave me, that I would always love her, but she was in too much pain. Spending seventy-two hours in the hospital was the hardest thing that I have ever done. I watched my mother change. Her face moved side to side in a look of panic. She moved her lips as if to speak to me. She dangled a thread of hope as she fought to get better. But slowly this hope faded. As she lay in bed, with me beside her, her breathing changed. First short, shallow breath, then long, deep breath, and then no breath. I have been battling a war of my own and I know how difficult the fight can be. There are wars abroad but, at the same time, there are private wars going on in homes: physical abuse, drug abuse, and powerful health battles. Everyone has his or her private battles. There is safety all around his, but no security within us.

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The Poetry Corner
Featuring... Desiree B.
The Elegance of Spring All kinds of pretty fragrant flowers Come out and adorn the earth, With beauty, color, elegance and vibrant life. Butterflies ladybugs, squirrels, green grass and leaves burst. Choirs of croaking frogs, hooting owls, Robins, sparrows, cardinals and buzzing bees Sing melodies, beneath swaying, dancing green oak trees, Awakening from a long winter nap. Caterpillars, grasshoppers, praying mantis, bumblebees take off their spring caps, With the morning dew, a blazing yellow sun, and silken rose petals giggle, blush and twirl At a spring dance. Everywhere you look there is mystery

Happy Easter Saints Hallelujah! The highest praise! Harvest of repenting souls, flock to the alter like cattle and graze. God sanctifying and taking over the minds of teenagers and impressionable skeesters, Sunday School, happy Easter. Filling our bellies with chocolate bunnies and jelly beans, The enemy and defeated foe turning green! Victory over sin, demonic powers, and spiri‐ tual wickedness in high places, With tender love and concern Christ gazes into our faces. For heart diseases, gallstones and cancer, I discovered Christ is the answer. Repenting of all my sins, down at the alter on bended knees, To heaven, hell and eternal life, Jesus has the keys. The word of God, says, by his stripes we are healed, Claim God’s promises, We serve and fear a God who is real. Time to think of Christ’s love for me, God’s grace and blood slaughter at cavalry, Dressed to kill on Easter Sunday, in the whole armor of God, Praise and victory deep within my heart.
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The Poetry Corner
Featuring... Kathleen M.
A Fantasy Picking flocks of marigolds On angels’ wings that bend and fold, Sparkle dust free flies Heaven’s soul. A path the white unicorn Follows in the cold. Purple clouds sing lullabies And children ask their mothers why Puppies park and kittens cry, And why the sky explodes on the Fourth of July. And when Grandfather’s clock strikes twelve The fairies sing a heartbroken tale To turquoise lakes and yellow snakes And frogs that croak as they sail From rock to rock Beside the snails who squimmer in the water beds And when all is done and all is said We close our eyes and nod our heads to whispers then Time happens again and colored lights will tell the tale of unicorns’ lime green sails That float upon a blue, blue sea In a land called Tripoli.

Heaven Among the golden gates that glow They say, in Heaven flowers bloom And among them crystal towers loom Below them blue green waters flow. And birds and fluffy squirrels are so tame They sit upon your lap and chirp; at least they say. They say in heaven any injustices are atoned for And tears no longer are shed, Teardrops stopped by God Himself. They say we see our long lost loved ones In perfect health, and restored by God above. They say in Heaven nothing goes terribly wrong, No hurricanes, no tragic falls, No disease, no cause to cry, Since no one in Heaven ever dies.

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The Poetry Corner
LIFE By Kathy K. Slow or Fast, Always and Ever, Never an End or New Beginning. All we have is eternity. Blazing Sunsets followed by shining sunrises. More than that—low tides pulled to shore causing inevitable high tides. In and out forever; the water that flows. This continual cycles repeats itself as if our lifetime had no beginning or end. GOSSIP By Kathy K. I will not gossip, I will not tell, Stories about people I know well. Thought I no longer like them, Respect they will get, And their bad incidents I will forgive and forget. Remindfulness By Do W. It is time to get serious; stop playing around with this Life. Life is serious. But, how does one become serious? Should I Meditate more than an half an hour per day? Perhaps less? Maybe my energy into Meditation is precisely what I require? How would I know? Can I really know? Even analysis looking back from some future may prove inadequate in deciding which decision was correct; inadequate in deciding which way was the best way. How can we ever really know? Perhaps, it just does not matter. Perhaps, it is important just to try. A reminder to try and keep trying. Remind, remind, re‐mind: remindfulness; a new word for a new time. Remindfulness; a new word for a new mind. Remindfulness until there is just mindfulness.

Testimony By Robert D. I want to tell a story of how I came to know the most “Holy, Lord God of Hosts” (B.C.P.). I prayed for nights and days on end: “dear God, may you be the lighthouse for my eyes to see?” I sought understand and hungered for wisdom, wherefore, the grace of God spared my life. Amen
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Untitled By Judy M. I was born as a child and was a child up until I was 20. then I was not prepared to live. I was thrown into the world of adulthood without a trace of what to do with myself. No help curing my mental illness, loss of friends, loss of family, loss of anything worth living. Then came 1977. I had been living with my friend Marian and was hospitalized with mental illness. It felt like a safe haven. I felt a surge of peace. After that I went to a halfway house; I had two years of soulful peace I met Michael and I began to recover. Life was beautiful for those two wondrous years. I remember feeling this surge of happiness and relief from the mental illness. I remember how clean and bright the sun was. I remember going to the beach in a rowboat. I especially remember my boyfriend, and now my husband, Michael and my good friend Marian.

The Singapore Saga by Jon S. A couple of years ago my aunt Louise told me that she was descended from John Howland of the ship, the Mayflower (c.1620) which brought the Pilgrims to New England. John Howland had famous descendants. According to Col. Duncan Somerville’s book, The Aspinwall Empire, the Howlands and Aspinwalls intermarried and set up the company, Howland & Aspinwall. In 1875,that firm was the most prominent mercantile company in New York City. Meanwhile, a relative and member of that firm, William Aspinwall, set up his own company, Pacific Mail, a steamship company which sent mail and goods from New York to California. After Aspinwall died in 1875, his firm eventually changed hands and became American Presidents Lines or APL. In 1997 APL merged with the company, Neptune Orient Lines which was founded in 1968 by the government of Singapore in Southeast Asia! Neptune Orient Lines was wholly owned by the government of Singapore (it is now usually called NOL). In the mid‐1970s NOL was ran by managing director Goh Chok Tong who later became Singapore’s second Prime Minister (“Neptune Orient Lines”‐Wikipedia). In 2011 Ng Yat Chung joined NOL and became its Group President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). I found the Wikipedia article, “Ng Yat Chung” which said that he was Chinese and had been Chief of the Singapore Army from 2000 to 2003, then fifth Chief of the Defense Force of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) from 2003 to 2007, getting rank of Lieutenant General. In 2007 he had been an executive of Temasek Holdings. I discovered an article on the internet about the Ng family and it was, “Ng Family History.” They were Cantonese and Hakka. They talked a lot about one Ng Mui, one of the legendary Five Elders who survived the Qing Dynasty’s destruction of the Shaolin Temple! I found another article by Wikipedia, “Ng,” which said that Ng could be found in Vietnam, where it was spelled as Ngo. Ngo Dinh Diem was born in 1901 and he became the first presi‐ dent of South Vietnam (reigned 1955‐1963) who got us involved in the Vietnam War! An earlier Ngo was Ngo Quyen who defeated the Chinese and became king of Vietnam in 938 A.D. (Wikipedia). He founded the Ngo Dynasty of Vietnamese monarchs.
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FELLOWSHIP PLACE CLUBHOUSE
UPCOMING SPECIAL EVENTS Cultural Luncheon April 9 @ Noon Learn about the Jewish holiday of Passover ZUMBA! April 15 @ 10:30 am Kick off the spring by getting your body moving Cultural Luncheon, April 16 @ Noon Turkish Culture and cuisine Easter Dinner, April 17 @ 4:30 Earth Day! April 22 @ 1:30 Flower and Herb Garden Planting Walk For Hunger, Sunday May 4 @ 1pm Join the Fellowship Place Steppers in the Walk For Hunger benefitting The Connecticut Food Bank! This even will be held at East Rock Park. Fellowship Programs will be closed this day NAMI WALK Saturday May 17 8AM-3PM @ Bushnell Park in Hartford Fellowship Programs will be closed this day If you are interested in walking or in making a donation, please see Linda S. Mental Health Awareness Picnic, May 19 @ 2pm Kick-off of the softball season and 26th anniversary of Mental Health Softball League Mental Health Awareness Art & Music Show, Mary 19 @ 5:30pm Friends & Family are welcome to enjoy the art and refreshments! Mental Health Awareness Poetry Jam, May 22 @ 1pm Refreshments will be served Mental Health Awareness Community Meeting Presentation, May 27 @11am “School is Recovery”

JOIN US FOR WRITERS’ GROUP TUESDAYS 2:00-3:00 in HALD 2
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