Voice & Vision Blog

Reluctantly Planning a Corona Quilt

Bill and I went to one of our favorite farmers markets last weekend. It is clean and relatively quiet, and populated by lovely, polite people. It has very little in common with the farmers market of my youth, which was like a farm stand, a flea market, a circus and a bikers’ rally all rolled into one. I have great memories of that one, but it doesn’t exist anymore, and I like things a bit more peaceful now anyway. . . . We enjoyed a fried fish dinner at our favorite spot and spent some time...

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A Voice for the Voiceless: A Tale of a Brave Little Knight

In April, as the pandemic was building and the world seemed to be spiraling out of control, our son lost his battle with depression and anxiety and made the decision to end his life. Our family was already going through other difficult issues, and this seemed like just one more challenging blow. I wondered at our resilience and how we could ever recover. By the grace of God, we are healing and doing better than expected. My last interaction with my son was so completely normal that it felt...

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Read about Someone Else’s Life . . . It Might Change Your Own

The day the library was closing due to COVID-19, I made a mad dash to grab a few books before they locked the door. I love to read, and the idea of being book-less for who-knows-how-long was not a happy one. I like to read devotional material in the morning, and most of that reading is online, so that wasn’t going to be a problem. But in the afternoon and at bedtime I like to read novels—actual hardbound ones, so I was glad I got to the library before it was too late. Fortunately, one of the...

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It’s Okay not to be Okay

I haven’t been feeling great lately: not sick . . . just not quite right. I’ve been feeling edgy . . . like I’m waiting for something bad to happen . . . like I’m waiting for another bad thing to happen . . . waiting for the proverbial “other shoe” to drop—that’s how I’ve been feeling. I can’t remember the last time I woke up feeling well-rested and eager for a new day to begin. I can’t remember the last time I had a really good laugh. I’ve been having a hard time focusing on conversations...

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Something Worth Fixing

I love my little city garden. It’s just 10 feet by 14 feet, but the pleasure I get from it is HUGE. The first year we lived here in South Philly (I can hardly believe we’ve been here almost ten years!), I cleaned and plastered and painted, I found planter boxes to sit along the top of the walls that line two sides of the yard, then began filling the boxes with plants. I put a café table and chairs out there, and voila—a little urban oasis was born. The world outside my front door is often...

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Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

National Minority Mental Health Month has been observed each July since it was established in 2008. During this month, I took a closer look at how mental health affects minority community members and want to share some of what I learned with you.    Mental illness does not discriminate. No matter what race you are or identify with, mental illness can strike at any moment. Some individuals have easier access to healthcare to help cope with it, or even just a better support system against the...

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Happy Birthday America!

Happy Birthday America! Today we celebrate the birth of the greatest, freest nation on earth—the United Statesof America. The independence of this great nation came through much bloodshed, courage,perseverance, strength, and hope. We honor all those who fought for our freedom then as well as those in the armed forces who continue to fight to protect it now. On my mind today is a passage written by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence; it is one of the most powerful statements...

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Toward a More Perfect Union

My family got together on Father’s Day. This was the first time we’d all been together, under one roof, in ages. We hugged and hung out without masks for the first time in almost three months, and it was wonderful. As much as I was looking forward to the day, I had also been feeling anxious about it. Recent events in the nation and especially right here where we live in South Philadelphia have had us all on edge. Not knowing what to expect from one day to the next has been exhausting. (As...

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Sun

Like most nights I went up to my bedroom to watch the 11:00 pm news to find that George Floyd had been murdered by overseers, you may call them officers, but I will not until there is change in this country. I sat in shock once again, devasted, deflated in tears. I didn’t realize my ten-year-old Sun had been also watching the news downstairs, and yes, I spell Son “Sun” because he is just that, my Sun. My Sun ran up to my room sobbing asking why this keeps happening! We cried together. I...

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George Floyd: You Did Not Die in Vain

These past two weeks have been extremely difficult for people who are Black or African American and those of us who love and honor our brothers and sisters of color.  The horrific murder of George Floyd exposed more than injustice. As one of our Black co-workers said, the history of racism, fear, injustice, and inequality creates trauma that continues to be revealed through the actions of many people every day. Another African American co-worker expressed anger at the violent protests and looting...

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