Excuse me, are you listening?
Sunday, November 12, 2017

  Dear Readers,

For my birthday on December 27th, I would like for you to consider doing something different.  I know that some save all year for material items but I would like you to consider education.  I am not asking people to go back to school if that is not what you want to do but  I would like people to donate a book to an agency that helps young people read.  We have so many people who have difficulty reading and that leads to less employment opportunities and the inability to flourish.  Students that have not been able to read on the same level as their counterparts are often ostracized and teased.  I cannot begin to tell you how that may impact them beginning with dropping out of school and possibly finding an income source that may not be legal.
I would also like for my friends to at least post one agency on social media that they know that helps families and individuals with education.  That does not cost anything except a few minutes.
For those who are interested in educating themselves, they have universities that offer free classes online so this does not have to do with educational or economic level of needy people, this has to do with a journey of enlightenment for everyone. I do not care if it is a free sewing, cooking, landscaping, computer coding or art class. Just post about moving forward. Not really one to celebrate birthdays because every single day is a beautiful day. 
A Note to Parents
To those parents that manage to get to one game, PTA meeting, dinner with children while working second shift, deal with mates that think they should get a gold star for changing a diaper (both men and women) and work, take the bus, be single, be married, dealing with financial, medical or psychological issues, whatever you are, the struggle is real and I commend you. 
There are so many people who blame you for not being present but do not understand that it is because it may take you two hours to get to work just to make $14.00 an hour.  I wonder when we lost the ability to see others for who they are and not who we want them to be.  There are some who do not have paid days off nor can they switch schedules because they have to go to their second job or they may lose their job.  
Another misconception is that this is the way it has always been.  We do not give space for someone who may have lost their mate to cancer.  If you are a single mother or father, ask a family member to go to the parent teacher conference or share responsibility in picking children up for an afterschool program.  If your child is struggling in school, keep looking for help, ask around and I am sure someone will be able to assist you.
Catching Up
I feel like I have been on a rocketship for the last couple of months.  However, I am finally trying to catch up with myself.  My children just went a the Lansing Black College Tour for a week and I was planning my own getaway to surprise them in Atlanta, Georgia.  They traveled to eleven different colleges and universities in Tennessee, Georgia and Florida.  Both of my children said that they had the experience of a lifetime.  It was and opportunity for them to learn how to budget their money, have roommates and get the feel of being on campus.  This all cost $500 per student.  As a parent, I would have been overwhelmed and out priced trying to do this on my own.  Plane fare alone for one person to one educational institution would have been at least $400 round trip.  I can’t even think about the cost of hotel, transportation, stress, food and everything else that goes along with travel.  I do not know if I could ever visit eleven schools in a week.  I think my brain would overload.  Thank goodness for Mr. Fred Porter and his capable colleagues.  One bus and over 40 people.  I wish that I had that opportunity but I went to Upward Bound which was fantastic. 
On a whim, I decided to get on a plane but there was a five hour delay in Grand Rapids due to mechanical reasons.  My patient thoughts were with  the airlines to get the plane repaired so that we would be safe. 
I was excited to see that the Grand Rapids library system had a cart in the waiting area full of books.  It was so much fun watching people stop and look through the books.  Pilots, stewardesses, airport employees, guests, arriving passengers and departing passengers.  I wished that I had a video camera and used a fast motion video editor, it would have been awesome to share.
I had a chance to see my mother and surprise my brother who had recently moved.  I also went to visited my friend Natasha Hall.  Her brother Michael Anthony McKissic II was murdered.  I understood even more deeply how she felt and her loss.  I did not want to leave her alone.
I missed my brother so much, in more ways than anyone could have ever imagined. He reminded me of the things I used to love. Songs I used to sing. The times we shared together because we had so much in common. Our love for classical music and Pink Floyd. I am brOKen by the time that we missed. When he asked me if there was anything he could do for me. I walked in the house two days later to aroma of fresh baked bread. I crunch on the last hardened piece that I carefully wrapped in wax paper and thought I love him so much. It was hard to swallow how much time was wasted. My little brother. I wish that we could be kids again...
Love People,
Rina Risper

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