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Growing up it was obvious that I was different from most others around me. I spent the first three years of my life living in Boston, MA.  The street I lived on wasn’t conducive to families with small children. There were no parks in the immediate vicinity for children to play and there were no front or back yards. The children had only their homes or the sidewalks.  When my mother married my step-father things changed and we moved to Brookline, MA.  Things were different there.  There were parks everywhere and everyone seemed to have kids. Some houses had both a front and a back yard, while others had one or the other. When we moved to the Brookline Village area of Brookline in 1966, our neighborhood was predominantly filled with Irish Catholic and/or episcopalian families. In our immediate vicinity, there were a few Jewish families and a couple of asian families.  Then we came along. My mother is Native American and my step-father is polish, but my birth father was both Native American and African-American along with some other mix.  So we were the mutts of our neighborhood. I don’t recall seeing any other family like ours for several years, but that didn’t really stop anyone from befriending us.  I was confused about was how to refer to myself. When I was old enough to ask, I would ask my mother about our Native American Heritage, but she never offered much of an explanation or details of our other family members or what being Native American meant to her or anyone else in her family.  It ended up being something that we just didn’t talk about. We never really talked about being any one race. It was sort of ignored and we sort of acted as if we were just like anyone else.

I thank my dad (my step-father).  He is a Harvard graduate.  He along with my mother made sure we did more than well in school. Education was important.  I was just frustrated that I had no education on who I really was and where I really came from.  During my younger years, it wasn’t the one thing to be proud of being different.  In fact, it was actually frowned upon to point out your differences.  If you weren’t white, you were just classified as being African-American and nothing else. The funny thing is, now when I think about defining who and what I am and where I came from, I still draw a blank. Through History, I have come to learn about all that each race has endured and overcome. I choose to hold onto all that I know myself to be and try to be proud of it all. But I find myself being most interested in the Native American part of me, and I think that is because I live in Brookline, MA a place I know that many Native Americans first lived. Like in most other places they lived the land that they knew as their own was taken away from them and they became enslaved upon that land  or died on it trying to protect it. Only the white man was allowed to freely live on the land here and anyone else was considered a slave. The sad thing is, this was not taught to us during any of my school years. I found this information in a town book I came across belonging to my husband that his father had given to him when he was first a town meeting member decades ago. Reading the pages made me cry. In fact, I found myself nauseated by each page I read. It suddenly feels strange to live in a place where you grew up having one vision of your life, but now knowing the real history behind it changes the view I have now. I think it’s important for people to know as much as they can about where they come from and where they live to better understand who and what you are.

No matter what, each person should try to find a way to find comfort and peace with who they are and what part or parts of you, you feel most comfortable with. Otherwise, it will be hard to find true happiness in your life.


Zeituni Onyango fought deportation, granted asylum in 2010

BOSTON — Zeituni Onyango, the aunt of President Barack Obama who fought deportation, has died, the office her immigration lawyer Margaret Wong, said Tuesday.

Onyango died Tuesday at a rehabilitation hospital after being treated for cancer and respiratory ailments, according to Wong’s office.

Onyango was granted asylum in 2010 after her first asylum request in 2002 was rejected and she was ordered to be deported in 2004.

She did not leave the country and continued to live in public housing in Boston. Her status was revealed just days before Obama was elected in November 2008.

At the time, then-candidate Obama said he did not know his aunt was living there illegally and that he believes laws covering the situation should be followed.

Onyango’s funeral arrangements are pending.


California man battles stage-4 pancreatic cancer

Lindsay Villatoro, Love Song Photography

MURRIETA, Calif. — It was a day she’ll never forget.

An 11-year-old girl from California walked down the aisle with her dying dad in a tear-jerking ceremony that pronounced the pair “daddy and daughter,” ABC News reported.

“It was not easy to do, let me tell you, but I wouldn’t change it for the world,” said Jim Zetz, 62, who has stage-4 pancreatic cancer and is expected to live only a few more months.

“In 20 years, when she really gets married, she’s going to be happy that happened,” he said.

A photographer close to the Zetz family arranged the mock wedding as a surprise, to give Jim the chance to celebrate a milestone he’ll likely miss as his cancer progresses.

Lindsay Villatoro of Love Song Photography secured donations for Jim’s suit, his daughter Josie’s white gown, a wedding cake, catering and flowers.

Jim’s wife Grace Zetz, 54, called the ceremony a “beautiful” surprise.

“We didn’t really know what was going to happen — she put it all together in 72 hours,” she said. “She came in with three truckloads of decorations for my backyard!”

It happened on March 14, Josie’s 11th birthday.

She’s old enough to grasp the seriousness of her dad’s condition, her mom said.

“The therapists recommend we use big words and make her understand that none of this is her fault,” Grace said. “This is life and death and Jim has gotten a lot sicker over the past few weeks. She knows she has to be patient and it hurts.”

Jim was diagnosed with cancer last October. Doctors explained it was “fast-growing” and “too late to do anything,” Grace said.

After suffering through three months of chemotherapy, Jim opted to stop treatment and enjoy the months he has left.

“It’s been hard, his diagnosis was an aggressive one and things have gone by so quick,” Grace Zetz said. “We set goals to do so something every week.”

Jim and Grace are on a cruise to Hawaii this week, paid for by donations from their Murrieta, Calif., community.

“With the blessing of the hospice team, I have a suitcase full of drugs and we decided to take a little time to ourselves,” Grace said.

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The light of my life©

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

The light of m life

is you

each time you smile

each time you laugh

when I hear you giggle

when you cry and you let me comfort you

when you hold my hand when you need comfort

when you snuggle beside me for warmth

when you blink those big brown eyes when you want something

when you need help because you don’t have answers

when you want to share news about your day

when you’re angry and don’t know what to say

when you want to sit and watch old movies

when you want to listen to music with me

when you want to play games

when you come to me because its just me you want to see

You are the light of my life … just because you love me

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

The light of my life©

Was written by Felina Silver Robinson

on March 31, 2014


On the road to happiness©

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Happy is what I am

Family is what I have

Proud is what my family makes me

Time is what I love spending with those that are close to me

Chance is something we all have to take

Life is something we all have to live

Regret is something we all must leave behind

Change is something we must move forward with

Facts are things we have to accept

Time is what we have plenty of

Choice is something that only we can make

Responsibility is something we all must own up to

The road is what you must travel to find true happiness

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

On the road to happiness©

Was written by

Felina Silver Robinson on 03/30/14


A heart both tattered and torn

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

What happens to a love that you have had for so long and all of a sudden your love finds you sad and crying?  He wants to comfort you, but you can’t accept his comfort. You start to not trust what you thought you always knew, what you always thought was right? You find yourself believing that the love from your other is no more, which he wanders elsewhere wishing for another love, that he no longer loves you as you thought.  When his time becomes his own, he no longer yearns to spend every waking moment with you.  He masks what he does when he walks out the door.  He tells you stories hoping you won’t ask questions and you will believe all that rolls off of his tongue. The time he spends elsewhere you know is not spent the way he tells you.  You wonder if someone else pleases him in the way he doesn’t allow you too.  It pulls at your heart strings, it makes you feel empty inside.  When it’s time for dinner he cannot eat.  He finds somewhere to go after dinner and returns home fulfilled, but you know it wasn’t because of you.  What’s your heart to think?

The days are filled with him angry at the sounds of your children, he questions their every move, and there is no fun to be had, no natural movement or steps allowed. He polices every move.  What time do we live in? Are we not free?

The children fight their demons, they try to find their own happiness, and they make their own fun. Never perfect, but they wear no frown.  They tell you that they love you and that you are their best friend.  Your heart warms and you yearn no more.  You’ve found happiness in their innocence.  For the moment nothing else matters, but this moment in time.  You hope that this time will last forever, but you know it can’t last.  Once the morning shines in all the doubt will return again.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

A heart both tattered and torn

Was written By Felina Silver Robinson

(September 17, 2012)


Do you see me now?©

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

My eyes have seen a great many things

But as long as I can remember all I’ve wanted is to have you see me

A mother’s love is the only love a child needs

When she has that, she can become anything and everything she’s meant to be

If only you could have seen me the way I needed to be seen

Maybe, I wouldn’t have been so afraid

To reach for all I had hoped for

But I still always worry that I will fail you

That I will still bring you only disappointment

When you’re not looking

I shed a tear for each time you looked

But did not see me

For each time I was hurt and you didn’t seem to care

You always told me that no child of yours is weak

No child of yours has problems

You always said your children were destined for better things

It’s ok to have hopes and dreams for your children

But without love a child feels lost, forgotten and unwanted

You can’t wait until they’re all grown up and you have only hoped for the best

Without you to comfort me or to hear me when I needed to talk

I’ve made my share of mistakes

But I’ve certainly made my share of triumphs

I sometimes think of what might have been

Wishing things had been different

But if things had been different then maybe

I wouldn’t have the people who are now important to me

Those who took the time to talk to me when I needed to talk to them

Who where there to catch me when I fell

Those who hugged me when I triumphed

I hope you can truly see me now

If now you would take the time to hear me when I need you

Maybe there could be forgiveness which is something everyone deserves

Maybe then my children could forgive you too

The children who have never truly known you

For they are mere shadows in your life story

of those meant not to be seen

I’m happy to see

Everyone

Everything

Anytime

Do you see me now?

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Do you see me now?

Was written by Felina Silver Robinson

on March 15, 2014

 

 


By Ariel Wittenberg, The Standard-Times

Helen Fisher is overjoyed as she meets her nieces, Barbara Garro of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., and Jean Carl of Exton, Pa., for the first time at the McGann Terrace Community Center in Fairhaven.

Peter Pereira/The Standard-Times

FAIRHAVEN, Mass. — Helen Fisher, 80, doesn’t remember the last time she saw her sister Mary Ann.

But one day in 1933, 12-year old Mary Ann carried then-infant Fisher into the Salvation Army in Mount Carmel, Penn. and left her there.

It was the height of the Great Depression, and after a period of sleeping in church pews to keep warm, the girls’ parents realized they could no longer care for their 10 children.

Mary Ann and eight other siblings were put into orphanages. Fisher, too young to go with them, was left at the Salvation Army instead.

From there, she was adopted into a family where she was the only child. She didn’t see Mary Ann or the other siblings again, never knowing they existed.

But earlier this month, Fisher (her married name) met Mary Ann’s daughter, Jean Carl, for the first time. She also met another niece, Barbara Garro.

Standing in the community room of McGann Terrace in Fairhaven, Carl held an iPad displaying a picture of Mary Ann up to Fisher’s face.

They could have been twins.

“I look like my sister!” Fisher said with glee.

Eighty years in the making, Fisher’s reunion with Carl and Garro almost didn’t happen.

Mary Ann, who died in 2008, always wondered what happened to Fisher, and would tell Carl stories about the baby Aunt Helen who had been lost.

“We always knew she was out there,” Carl said.

Mary Ann’s daughter Carl, and a few other cousins, even tried to find Fisher a couple of times in the 1990s and early 2000s, “when the Internet wasn’t what it is now,” Carl said. They left postings on message boards, but to no avail.

“We were always praying, I hope Aunt Helen has a good day today,” Garro said. “But we never knew.”

Without any real information, the family made a point of being kind to the Salvation Army, which they knew had taken in the baby.

“But there was always the question of where is our lost Aunt Helen,” Carl said.

Meanwhile, Fisher said Monday, “I never knew I was lost.”

Growing up, she knew she was adopted after being left at the Salvation Army by a sister but was never curious about her birth family, she said.

“I was always happy where I was,” she said.

She became an officer in the Salvation Army, married her high school sweetheart, Jesse, and had four children, never really wondering about her birth family.

But this year Fisher’s friend from church, Marge Osman, took it upon herself to find Fisher’s birth family.

“I would tell her, ‘Marge, knock it off, don’t worry about all that,’” Fisher said. “But what do you know, she found them.”

Osman discovered a posting one of the cousins had left describing an infant being carried into the Salvation Army by her sister in 1933.

Fisher called the poster, another one of Carl’s cousins.

“I said ask for her birth date,” Carl said.

It matched the one Mary Ann had written in the family Bible years before.

In the two months since the discovery, Fisher has been in constant touch with her newfound nieces, Garro and Carl.

The nieces sent Fisher charts explaining her genealogy, complete with photos and life histories of each of her siblings.

They also sent Fisher her mother’s Bible.

“They wanted me to have something from my mother I could hold in my hands,” she said.

All of Fisher’s siblings are dead, including Mary Ann, but in getting to know the nieces, Fisher said she grew to love the whole family.

“I’m really the last of the Mohicans,” she said. “But I went from being an only child to one of 10. It’s very overwhelming.”

As they met for the first time, the three women hugged and kissed like old friends. They exchanged gifts and rifled through folders of old photographs, laughing and telling jokes the whole time.

In March, Fisher and her husband will go to Carl’s home in Pennsylvania to meet even more cousins.

“I feel like we’ve known her forever now,” Garro said. “All we talk about now is Aunt Helen. We’re so excited she found us.”


Kate©

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Kate waited each day for the same love that her mother showed the others

But instead she stayed on her hands and knees

cleaning up behind them

She venture]ed to the store by foot several times a day

Getting everything their hearts desired

She had no choices, no say, just chores to do each day

Her bones ached from all the cleaning and kneeling

She felt no love from anyone except her father

and for that she was punished

No one liked the attention he showed her

So with each glance, hug, or tender word he gave her

She was given another chore, or was forced to

Take another trip so that her face wouldn’t be seen for a time

Kate vowed that one day she’d find her own life

Away from all who had only hate for her

She stored up her strength

She saved all her money

Til one day a man appeared to her while out on a stroll

He said he’d been watching her day after day for a while

He didn’t like to see the sadness in her eyes

He offered his help

He extended his hand

Telling her of his family business where he’d happily employee her

He even had a place that she could stay

He promised that she need not worry for anything

He had all she needed

There would be no more waiting on others

No jealousy over affection

No time on her hands and knees unless she chose to garden

A smile came over Kate’s face that she hadn’t felt in some time

Her only regret would be her father

Who she promised to send for in time

The man who had saved her became known to her as Paul

Their relationship began to blossom and eventually they were wedded

She called for her father and of course he came

He was offered a place in the family business

Where he went on to continue his experiments

and was happy as could be

There was no more contact from mother or

Kate’s jealous siblings whom she had just about forgotten

Her focus now was to raise her family and tend to her husband

She was happier than she thought she would ever be

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Kate© was written by Felina Silver Robinson

on Monday, February 17, 2014

 


VideoMikayla Stern-Ellis, 19, Emily Nappi, 18, joined TODAY to tell the story of how they realized they had the same sperm donor, and were related. They met on Facebook before attending Tulane University and recently confirmed the relationship. “It’s so crazy walking around campus calling each other sisters,” said Stern-Ellis.

They look alike, love acting and chose the very same college hundreds of miles away from home. But there’s something else these new friends have in common and it’s making for an extraordinary family reunion.

Meet Mikayla Stern-Ellis, 19, and Emily Nappi, 18, who recently found out they are half-sisters, sharing the same biological father who donated sperm to their mothers.

“I already tell her I love her and it’s been two weeks,” Emily told TODAY’s Matt Lauer on Friday.

“It’s just really, really cool to gain more family,” added Mikayla.

The teens met on social media last year during the roommate search process at Tulane University in New Orleans. The girls — both freshmen — filled out a survey and noticed they had a lot in common. They didn’t end up sharing a dorm room, but kept in touch on Facebook. A few weeks later, Emily noticed Mikayla posting about her “Colombian sperm donor” biological father. It made Emily pause: she, too, was conceived with the help of an anonymous sperm donor from Colombia.

“When she posted that status, I thought that’s too much of a coincidence,” Emily said.

Could it be the same man? The teens joked about the possibility, but laughed it off. Still, the parallels kept coming: They both love the theater and will star in Tulane’s production of the “Vagina Monologues.” They have similar personalities and sport long curly black manes. Both were raised in California. They also have a similar taste in clothes: Mikayla bought a fleece jacket on a Black Friday shopping trip only to later find out Emily had bought the exact same coat.

So over the Christmas break, the girls asked their mothers for help. Sperm donors are issued numbers to identify them without revealing their names, so the teens compared theirs and were stunned to find out they matched.

“I wanted so badly to scream,” recalled Mikayla, who was at a doctor’s office when she got the news. “It was mind blowing.”

“I panicked,” Emily recalled. “I freaked out… I started running around the house screaming and telling everybody.”

The teens, who say they’ve become a lot closer since finding out they’re half-sisters, have enjoyed watching their families meet for the first time.

They differ in their interest in their biological father, however. Mikayla would like to meet the sperm donor, while Emily is curious what he looks like, but doesn’t want to find him.

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