Thursday, April 19, 2012
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Multiple Sclerosis, an Enigma http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/152332
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Today's writing prompt: What five people would you invite to a dinner party, and why?
I have to expect that my immediate family (husband, daughter and companion, son and companion, and grandchildren) would already be at the table with me. And, we always set an extra place. So here are my six guests:
In that case, I would like to invite Hillary Clinton (accompanied by her husband, Bill), in order to thank her for her service to our country as Secretary of State in such difficult years.
I would next want to invite Barack Obama and his wife, and two daughters. I would want to thank them for the decision to stay at the White House at great personal expense, and for the benefit their presence gives to the rest of America.
These six people are currently in the position to advocate for improved health care for all Americans, and are currently receiving top notch medical care for themselves. Their futures are assured by earned pensions, and their safety is in good hands with the secret service protection no matter where they are in the world.
All six of them have every reason to want to sit together at the same table; I would love to have my family break bread and have a chance to talk freely with each of them.
As a teacher, I would want to engage the Obama daughters in a conversation about how they are developing their own social and political beliefs, and how the move to Washington may have affected those. My own grandchildren would no doubt have some comments to share about attending public high school in a state widely impacted by the economic decline.
As a retired teacher whose pension was affected by a premature retirement caused by a diagnosis and treatment that weakened me both physically and emotionally, I would want both Hillary and Barack to hear my limited economic rewards for thirty years of dedicated, 'highly qualified' teaching. I would want my son to have a chance to explain to them that though he works more than forty hours through multiple positions as a highly skilled public servant he is not yet entitled to quality health insurance. I would want my daughter to have an opportunity to ask both of them how they are working to improve the long-term economic planning to benefit her children. I would want my husband to have a chance to point out that his years of unpaid elder care have limited his maximum earnings towards pension and social security benefits.
I would like to give our dinner guests a healthy menu, one which would feature vegetables, grains, clear filtered water and fresh fruit for dessert. I would like to host this dinner during cold winter weather, using our wood stove to supplement the oil furnace that we really cannot afford to turn higher. While the stove would keep them comfortable, they would see that carrying in the wood and maintaining the fire and the area surrounding the stove would take energy and attention, more so than simply turning a thermostat higher.
I would ask our guests to bow their head for a moment of silence, meditation or prayer, just as I did with my colleagues for thirty years of public education. And I would teach them the Pledge of Allegiance in American Sign Language, explaining the meaning so evidently attached to each word's sign. And then, after dinner, I would offer a simple grace expressing thankfulness for the healthy food and good company shared.
And I would wish them all well.