Posts

For Love

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People often ask why I teach, or write, or minister. The answer is always the same...Love. I teach for the love of sharing knowledge with others. I write for the love of words and how placing them in just the right position can paint a picture in someone's mind. I minister for the love of being of service to others.
This past month, I have been participating in the 30 Poems in November! Challenge. The poems I have written have been dedicated and inspired by those I teach and for whom the money raised will benefit. I have not reached my goal, yet. I still have hope.
The money from 30 Poems goes to the programs and needs of Center for New Americans (CNA), a non-profit agency with sites in four Western Massachusetts cities. CNA helps immigrants and refugees learn English as well as assists in finding jobs, housing, citizenship and a host of other needs.
Center for New Americans runs its daily operations on grants, donations and volunteers. Fundraising is essential to our success. 30 Poe…

To the Ones Left Behind

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For those of us whose ancestors came to the US long ago, the thoughts of those left behind may no longer fill our minds. However, for recent immigrants and refugees, those left behind are a constant presences in their lives. Everyday, I see this in the faces of those to whom I teach English as a second language. Everyday, I walk the tightrope of asking students to share experiences, while praying they do not fall into the PTSD caused by living and escaping the unimaginable.

The stories of my ancestors are fragmented at best. I know some dates. I know some facts. I can only imagine the rest. 

My mother's father, my Grandpa, was first generation American. Born in NYC shortly after his family arrived from what is now Slovakia. Doing my genealogy, I have learned that the family returned to the Old Country when he was a toddler and returned when he was 14, just months before the start of the First World War. At that time, Kosicka Bela (now Kosice) was part of Austria-Hungary. Who knows w…