april fools!!

a journal entry for april fools day!
by all the wildes

what a wonderful funderful laughter filled day....  we'd talked about april fool's day  ever since the LAST april fool's day!!  we'd planned and promised.. schemed and smiled...  it was gonna be fun!

karen, our picture perfect grp leader, conspired with johanna about getting ruby, our other much loved group leader.  poor ruby!!  johanna hid in the kitchen while karen told ruby that johanna had left to her brothers in florida while ruby was away.  johanna stayed tucked away.  ruby was very distraught!  a lil bit later she went into the kitchen and found johanna there and they all shouted april fools!  everyone laughed!  we'll talk about that one for sometime to come.

mary met the mascot first thing in the morning.  she was trying to get my attention and putting some effort into telling me i had a spot on my forehead... or the like.   knowing how wild my hair is from rebellious curls i thought i musta had a fuzz ball in there or some other gawd aweful thing...  she blurted out april fool's--- she TOTALLY  got me!   first thing in the morning... sheesh.  i thought i was prepared.  (=

karen tricked mary telling her she'd won a lottery ticket... i forget the details, but mary bought it hook line and sinker.  when karen went to try the same trick on danny she could barely get it out before she blurted --' no sir, i cant lie to you!'  haha  that one was on karen!  we laughed as we recounted it!

john s had been sick and was just returning and not really feeling too well.   the ruthless mascot was having a deep and meaningful conversation with him and then said that while he'd been away she'd given 2 weeks notice  and really only had about a week and a half before she was gone.  ouch!  bad mascot bad!!  within seconds, within the safety zone, she said aprils fools!  he smiled..   he'd been tagged early in the day too!   i told him about a joke that i'd planned on someone else still unplayed. 

karen was playfully pranked a few times, but i forget the details.  i sure hope they got her good! 

johanna told ruby that the director wanted to see her!  our director is fun-- i bet she smiled the whole time! 

we gathered together as a group having a discussion on several points when that bad mascot casually shared a few people who would be swapping groups... for about 4-5 seconds as the group thought... hummm???     and then she said april fools!  MAN!  did the room laugh! it was the best group laugh of the day!

then we were on an outting--micah, john g, and scott.   oh we played the best foolery on that outting!          giggles... people will laugh about that one for some time to come!

oh just too many fun moments to share them all well, but well we will remember them! 

its nice to laugh, especially when all laugh together!  its rumored to even be medicine!

Posted by group mascot on April 5, 2005 at 07:54 PM in group writings | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

draft one on caring

micah, john g, nichole, danny, scott, mary, and johanna

this is draft one of a composition/poem?  we wanta do for here.  people all the time wanta see some of the process.  here's draft one.

brainstorming thoughts on caregivers

being able to feel the care
taking the time to listen
getting extra projects we enjoy
spending time
shows respect
supports dignity
trys to cheer us up
or find out what we are happy about
talks to us
cares about the US in us
being included
asked for our opinion
do fun things with us
make us laugh
help with practical needs caringly
quietly hang with us
sometimes have coffee with us
share some of yourself with us
know we all are the same

Posted by group mascot on March 29, 2005 at 06:16 PM in group writings | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

how we cope. a message of hope.

how we cope
a message of hope
composed by all the wildes

when we are asked to share about ourselves, one of the first things that comes to mind is the unusual set of challenges we face and the tole they can take upon us.  we face things on a daily and frequent basis that would crumble the strong in the non-disabled world.  we dont want to over emphasis, but spotlighting might be helpful.

below is a copy of what the mascot put in another forum on thursday of this week.  it describes as an overview without crushing the readers.  our comments on coping with these things will follow.

we discussed yesterday what might go onto the blog next. what i got from them was a list of challenges. they wanted to discuss such things as what it feels like to talk and never be understood, or the strain and tole that takes on them. one wanted to talk about how they feel at high risk very often for personal safety. that person has had their elevator down and been trapped for weeks in their home. the entire group wanted their wheelchairs discussed.... how when they are broken they can be bed ridden as well as trapped inside. one gentleman had his chair out of commision for 6 weeks because the repair people were so backed up. others raised their voices about what happens when their home care staff doesnt show up. a member shared how she was left in bed till the next day when someone finally showed up. she said she was hungry and needed hygiene cares attended to. what message does this send them? can you feel their dignity and self worth/value assaulted? the list of challenges grew the longer we discussed them. i sat there befuddled wondering how to turn this into blog material.

after we discussed what trampled us to the ground so effectively we highlighted how we get through such difficult things. we singled out some keys that become survival tools. while they want to proclaim these things to the world, they also want to use them as tools to inspire and encourage those in harsh situations who also may be tempted to give up hope.

depending on which one of us is sharing our coping skills look a lil different.  one of us shoots hoops or plays playstation, another goes to her room and surrounds herself with her fav things.  some of us talk to friends just to share how difficult the challenge may be, not that there will be answers. some, but not all of us, pray.  some use relaxation exercises, or listen to favorite music.  we all try to remember they wont last forever.  we try to let them blow past us like the wind as best we can.  like the wind we will feel them, it may chill us, but it blows past eventually.  finding someone to laugh with or at helps.  we discussed that the best thing we can do is look to the tomorrows when we are discouraged.

mary's chair broke as she left the program yesterday facing a weekend in a broken chair and the threat of it not being repaired for some time.  there was nothing that could be done.  there was no one to answer the phones for repair service.  sometimes theres  no way out but through.   while our challenges may be different, and often hard to resolve, the tomorrow always comes. 

we look to the future and call for it to come.  when theres nothing left to hold to, we hold onto that!

Posted by group mascot on March 11, 2005 at 10:37 AM in group writings | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

feelings of safe and unsafe

we were recently asked in another forum what made us feel safe and what particularly  second life added to such feelings.

as a group we discussed safety and things that make us feel unsafe.  after three sessions of group discussions we offer the following.

things that make us feel unsafe
lack of predictablity
being left alone too long
being in a room with closed doors and no staff
not being understood
staff shortages
people who work with us and dont know us
not being properly in our chairs
being in a strange unknown environment
not being able to ask important questions
someone helping us eat who doesnt know how

things that help us feel safe
being in a comfortable known environment
being empowered
having our wishes understood and supported
feeling free of risk
knowing someone has our backs
physical closeness to those we trust
reassuring touch
basically an inverse of all that makes us feel unsafe

our second life and why it feels so secure
(modified from another forum)

our island is symbolic for all this season holds for us. its the virtual/visual representaion of our hopes, dreams, and future. its our brighter tomorrow.  its the brighter tomorrow for others like us who will come.

its our welcomed wanted valued corner of the world. where we go from the feeling of 'no power' to 'very empowered'. it is the ablity to be seen, matter, and feel real.   all that confines us in the real world is temporarily vaporized.  it goes 'poof'  as john s would say. 

for more on what sl offers to us read john s's writing 'second life for the world'.

Posted by group mascot on March 11, 2005 at 10:09 AM in group writings | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

sweetest souls on earth

the sweetest souls on earth we see
come packaged different from you and me
we watch them every single day
they are lower functioning in every way

yet their precious value calls out to us
not to leave them  in the dust
we wonder so as days goes by
if these darling souls inside do cry

wanting more touch, wanting more care
is it ever more than they can bear?
its easy for some just to let them be
this bothers us, so we raise a plea

do not forget our tender brothers
remember our sisters, these gentle others
please dont let them all alone
they have so little to call their own

invest a bit more in their hearts
see they are more than the sum of their parts
a kind word, a walk, a caring touch
these easy things can mean so much

the sweetest souls on earth we see
come packaged different from you and me
we point to them, oh hear our cry
they are just as important as you or i

by  mary, scott, danny and john s

Posted by group mascot on February 27, 2005 at 09:05 AM in group writings | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

missing you

friday was a bit hard for us.  we really wanted to use the computer!  we tried and tried to find time, but the day was too full of other things and the mascot couldnt steal away anything extra for the computer.    )=   we all hoped that we'd be able to get on for at least a few moments.  when she came into the room at the end of the day to share we could not get on the computer, a dark cloud fell on the room.  it got very quiet.   the mascot was as saddened as we were, but could do nothing.  eyes filled with tears.  WE WANTED TO PLAY!  one of us didnt wanta take no for an answer and began to ask and reask.  the mascot explained there was not even 5 minutes of time we could use. 

john wanted to fly the new airplane... he also wanted to go visit hell..  the group had had so much fun doing both these things.  he and scott were the most upset about not being able to play.  the mascot noted both were the least verbal of the active players.   'does it feel like you've lost your voice when you cant play guys?' she asked, both chime in loudly with their yes's.   'do you feel you are able to be yourself when you are online?'  more yes's. ' when you cant play does it feel like a part of you is lost?'  more yes's, from the whole room.   uggh.   we feel so powerless!

what to do, what to do!  teary bloodshot eyes filled the room as the mascot attempted to lay out a computer plan for monday.  monday seems so far away.  'do you want me to post this on the blog ya'll?  do you want me to tell folks how much you missed them?'  more yes's.  'kk then, its the best i can offer you, but i'll post it on the blog so folk know you were thinking of them, missing them, and wanting to see them.'  they are slightly comforted, but not by much.  i promise to also trek down to see john l and give him something they've made for a mutual friend in california. johns traveling there monday.  they like that.  that makes it a tad bit better, but nothing will take the ache away wholly.    i'm beginning to see even more, how important this is becoming.  i thought i knew, but this took it to a new level.  its a rather depressed room we are all in.

the program day ended.  two of the group left uncomforted, one still with bloodshot eyes fighting not to cry.

so... everyone who may read this....  wilde was missing you.  and they'll see you soon!

Posted by group mascot on February 12, 2005 at 11:04 AM in group writings | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

pictures of the crew


this would be john s, scott,  johanna,  and mary

this is johanna,  mary, and john g


this is charlene


danny  at his 70th bday party, pointing to his head saying he's all here!

danny and johanna, together 50 years and counting


john s


mary the queen of hearts


micah  aka the joker


scottie and micah halloween 04

Posted by group mascot on January 16, 2005 at 04:30 AM in group writings | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

the love of one

the love of one

the love of one can make you strong
when you are feeling blue
can lift you hold you make you smile
in ways you never knew

the love of one can be enough
to weather all the storms
to dry your tears, calm your fears
and keep you safe and warm

the love of one who listens
the love of one who tries
the love of one who understands
and looks you in the eyes

the love of one can do so much
that love can feel soooo strong
it gives you strength to stand when youre all out
it helps you to belong

the love of one can set you free
when weights would pull you low
the love of one who'll laugh with you
is more precious than you know

this love of one so rare so true
words can not contain
the life it does infuse to me
without i'd be not the same

thank you thank you caring soul
for reaching out to me
you give me wings that fly so high
you set this captive free

i open up my hands to you
and pour our all my love
i wish you more than happiness
and strength you know not of

may the love of one be with you
may the love of one bring  song
may the love of one carry your soul
may you know that you belong

the love of one can make you strong
when you are feeling blue
can lift you, hold you, make you smile
in ways you never knew

the love of one

group approved
written by all

Posted by group mascot on January 13, 2005 at 07:04 AM in group writings | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

we love to give, share, and help!

work in progress

for each person on earth to be happy, no matter who they are or where and how they live, each soul needs a place to give something meaningful of themself.   there are many ways people can do this.

even with our obvious challenges we LOOOOOOOOVE to give and make a difference thats real. 

to break the stero type that we are only takers and to illustrate anyone can make a difference if they like, we've included a list of some of the ways we have enjoyed helpin in in the past few years.

a word from our group mascot--  who does the typing-- 
*  plz keep in mind that simple things you do could take us 5-10X your time to accomplish. 
*  sometimes even then we must have the aide of anothers hands, etc...
* some things, even with great desire  or aid, we will never be able to do.    we deal
with that.   sometimes its easier than others, but such is always someones life...   dealing with parts we dont particularly like.   

kk- back to our list of contributions...
we have helped with behind the scene work for telethons, with extra effort. and staff aide we have been able to stuff 1000"s of packets and envelopes.  we generally do this a few times a year and its always a major project...   but after all the effort, it sure feels good to have done something that will help someone.  someone we dont know.  who will never know us.  our part was lil,  but we did it big!

we have taken trips accross town and bumpy roads in thick traffic to volunteer centers, using adaptive tools to yeild finished products for blind children and other young tikes with confusing physical challenges to have better lives by.    in good times we do this once a week with a van load all making the adventurous trek.  we know its worth it. 

one guy whose no longer with our group, we will call him bob.  this guy bob was a wise and brillant hysterically witty and most often right man.  he was a quad we all respected who used his toungue to steer his chair.  he used his toungue to operate switches.  he used the ability to pull his torso back and forth to cut wood by a string drawn saw.  he made a table that way...

i say all that about bob to say that he made stunning cut glass art using adaptive tools at this same volunteer place.   sometimes we sharpen pegs... use saws...   paint furnature... sew...   never discount how big you really are, even if you feel your abilities so small.   each part matters!

we have written many letters to the soldiers in iraq and the surrounding war torn areas.  for some their stay there was too brief to have more than a few contacts.  for others we know they just got ours for they could never write us back.   we heard how these letters were read before whole groups of soldiers and brought tears of laughter and joy to them.   

our group discussed how it felt to be in a very very strange place with scary rules where you are never safe.   they know what it feels like to not feel safe.  we acknowledged what a drag it would be to sleep the way they do for long periods, to lie in the holes in the ground... to never know who was who and when your beloved pal would be gone..

we are big into all human rights-  very big-  for obvious reasons.  and we talked about the iraqi's.  what regular life is like for them there.    what this time in history is, how confusing and painful.  what ever can you hold on to, if you are them???   

so we wrote them to try to encourage them. 

when the hurricanes hit this past fall and damaged so many many lives, we discussed it blow by wrentching blow.    then we raised money by bake sales in our little program and sent over 100 usd to haiti.   we have people in our program from everywhere.  when one place, one heart  is hit...  it is important.    so---  simple, not much by some's standards...  but our little tokens to make the world a better place.

because of second life with its sometimes greater empowerment, we were able to give to the tsunami victems in the indian ocean area.  we were able to give a chunk of our inworld monies which were then converted to rl monies and sent to help.  this new avenue to help is exciting because there will be more of such opportunites ahead, where we can now contribute monitarily where we wouldnt have been able to before!

awe, this is just a tad lil glimpse of our loving to give share and help.

those actually are the easy to see ways... the ways which are  most important come from  within the heart!!   giving to those who will never give back the same around us...  laughing at the preciousness of another...  feeling the burden of the one next to us...   giving a love gift to a friend...  buying someone a soda when they are having a very hard day,  well it always makes them feel better!   making people laugh.... letting another do it their way a few times.   its too easy to get selfish.  selfishness blinds and binds folk!   and greed kills~

this is another peek at who we are...  just another...   hope you enjoy the read~ 
wilde cunningham

Posted by group mascot on January 13, 2005 at 07:03 AM in group writings | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

what do you see

what do you see when you look at me
can you tell i have a soul
do you see only my body
do you think i am less whole?

can you tell that i have feelings
tho i'm judged by all who gaze
that i hear the words you say of me
i'm not dumb or in some haze

do i make you feel uncomfortable
are you unsure what to do or say
do you pass by dismissing me
or look the other way?

but i'm a soul the same as you
my heart it beats and bleeds
i have hopes and dreams and fears
i have wants and needs

i need someone to look at me
i want someone to care
i need someone to understand
to reach out, if they dare

i promise not to bite you
if you reach out your hand
oh lets be friends and share our lives
wouldnt that be grande?

by john, scott, mary and micah

Posted by group mascot on January 13, 2005 at 07:01 AM in group writings | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack