Who Can Find A Virtuous Woman? WWI Black Women Supporting The War Effort

Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.

Holy  Bible (KJV)  Proverbs 31:29

I heard that the local public library, was hosting a talk on took part in the WWI, often disguising themselves as ambulance drivers or orderlies, and I immediately grumbled, “I bet no black women will be mentioned”. I thought I’d attend and on the off-chance some older Black ladies were there, have some ammunition to make them feel less marginalized, what a wonderful gesture on my part of protecting the honor of Black women in this small bucolic hamlet. I did some quick research the night before, finding a dearth of information I had previously been unaware of, information and accomplishment of The Black Woman from slave times to the present. I was about to attach this introduction, then Eureka !, I realized that for almost 70 years when discussions started about Black People’s contribution to the WWI conflict, I automatically and immediately focused in on our brave black men who volunteered and heroically served under the French. I have never once mentioned The Black Woman’s contribution to patriotically supporting WWI America Servicemen, one because I was plain ignorant of their many contributions before and during WWI years, and secondly historical focus from the 1900’s until now; has been highlighted and supporting the accomplishments of Black Men. The White American historical system continues to promote  racially biased laws which mercilessly attack our males of all ages; even upholding the right to shoot or use excessive force statutes that allow white citizens and police departments (some of the victims Black Law Enforcement Officers) for Black males to be justifiably killed or injured.

Those are two noble and idealistic excuses but the truth is I personally never even considered, what Black women may have done during the WWI war years, and I realized in retrospect that I owe American Black Women a deep and abiding Apology!. I also  believe that America owes Black women a sincere apology for the way they’ve been treated in The Americas for over 600 years, in spite of their mistreatment Black Women continue to raise up successfully in spite of adversity and continued setbacks.Black women  are rarely acknowledged for their many contributions to American society and culture, so this assignment has been a worthwhile learning experience, and gave me appreciation for women such as my mother who were unsung heroines of their generation. Every time I use my intelligence in this egotistical manner, it just goes to show others how ignorant and insecure I really am, then I eventually have that spiritual experience where the voice of God internally asks me, “Did We learn anything today?”.

American Women in World War I

In a period of overt racism, African-American women who tried to participate in these efforts met almost immovable obstacles. After a long struggle, a few black nurses were admitted into the nurse corps, but not until after the war. The military accepted no other black women. Although 200,000 black soldiers served overseas, no more than half a dozen black women managed to get there, for with the sole exception of the YMCA all the volunteer organizations excluded them from service abroad. Black women worked nobly in this country in the workplace and as volunteers, but almost always in their own groups, set apart from whites.

Social Education 58(2), 1994, pp. 83-85
National Council for the Social Studies

A References List of Black Women Who Contributed to The WWI War Effort :

1. WWI Black Red Cross at St. Paul Hospital Photograph
2. WWI Black Nurses Red Cross Motor Services Photograph
3. Black Machine Operator Redspring Webring Photograph
4. Nurses that worked during WWI ( Mahoney ) Photograph
5. Black women in WWI helped at The Colored  YMCA/YWCA 40’s photo
6. Book ”Organizing Black America” about Helping during WWI
7. Book “Private Politics…Black Women’s Activism In World War I
8. Uncle Sam allocated $4 million Colored Women’s YWCA 1914 -1918
9. 1914 Colored YMCA Women “Answer the Call!” supporting GI’s
10. Awards to Nashville’s African – American Women’s Committee
11. WWI Black Women Railroad: cleaning cars, laborers, wiping engines
12. The National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses (1909)

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Listing By State of  Historical Black Colleges-Universities Nursing Programs


The First World War And Colonial Blacks/Asians

The outbreak of the First World War, in 1914, provided a solution to this problem for many Blacks already resident in Britain. Labour was needed for the war effort in factories, and seamen were required for the merchant service, to replace men who joined the navy. They were among the thousands who died facing the German U-boat attacks, bringing supplies to Britain.

Moreover, men were needed to fight in the army for “King and Country”. Thousands played their part. In the Caribbean and Africa, as elsewhere in the empire, there were public meetings to encourage people to get involved in the war effort.

Mary Seacole Jamaican Nurse during Crimea War: More famous than Florence Nightingale

WWI Black Britons: “Its a White Man’s War

Black, Asian,Caribbean Men Who Fought For Britain:

Male UK Blacks and Indians in WWI

Remembering Frank S. Fujii

Frank S. Fujii is one of the most important artists and influences in my life and that of thousands of other, there are many men and women of all races and socioeconomic backgrounds, that were fortunate to have Frank as a mentor, teacher or friend and in my case all three. I first met Frank S. Fujii at summer school because I was doing poorly in class attendance and performance, my IQ was 150 and I was an avid reader who would check out as many books as the library would allow, my father was out of the home because of alcoholism and subsequent divorce. I was immediately struck by the quality of Fujii Chan’s abilities as an artist, and though he specifically concentrated on commercial aspects of art in the classroom environment his work and craft was impeccable. Inspired by Frank I later took fine arts classes from great artists of similar skill and reputation; Guy Anderson, Bill Cumming, Don Scott, Charley Stokes, John and Paul Healed, Nan Nadder, at Seattle’s Cornish Allied Art School in the 1960. Many of those same teachers also taught me; anatomy, rendering, color and many fine arts skills at Burnely  School for Professional Art also located on Capitol Hill in Seattle, it was only us arrogant art students who debated weather Fine Arts was more reputable than Commercial Art. Frank had prepared me for attending art school at Garfield High School (Horiuchi donated painting) , Cornish, Burnley, U of W Art Dept and W.W.S.C. Art Dept., by not only giving me the foundation basics for learning and applying my craft, but also taught all of us young novices industry and discernment through careful study of our subject matter, and the invaluable ability to accept and learn from the criticism of others.

The first story Frank related to our class was about getting your work completed in a timely fashion the anecdote demonstrated the value of hard work and its eventual reward; Frank and his brother were working in an Alaskan cannery, to make the laborious time pass quicker; they made a game of who could get the most work done quicker, their boss was so impressed by their good nature and industry, he invited them back for the next season.

That was one of the first life lessons Frank taught me and my classmates in that early classroom environment, then for me when later I ran cross country for a different high school team, Frank was instrumental in helping me hone my running and competition skills, both by his wise anecdotal examples and valued critiques of my techniques. I watched and learned from my mentor Frank over the years, who was an excellent educator and role model like my mother, Aki Kurose (1925-1998), and others in the Seattle School Systems; minority teachers having extra burdens (Giri) and obstacles placed in their path, in some instances having to work twice as hard to receive the same recognition and promotions given White counterparts. Because Frank was a Renaissance Person who excelled in so many endeavors, he was able to be; a well respected artist, a great teacher in several meaningful disciplines, a compassionate dedicated  administrator in a political  junior college position, an authentic lasting role model, and a supportive philanthropist to our Asian Community and Greater City of Seattle. Frank S. Fujii planted and nurtured seeds into the imagination of young idealistic kids like myself, I was always welcomed to contact him and share a few treasured moments in his usually busy schedule, I am proud to be one of the recipients of Frank Fujii’s wonderful legacy

I loving refer to Frank as Fujii San  or Fujii Chan, because like that most impressive Japanese mountain, Frank is a noble symbol of unassailable greatness and true compassionate strength.

Giving Back To Your Parents: Your Kid Is Not Dead Or In Jail

It was quitting time and the end of a long string of exhaustive days, nothing would get in the way of my vegging out in front of the tube and watching my favorite television programs, then disaster hit President William Jefferson Clinton was honoring us with his presence shortly.  Crap, didn’t the President know I had a particularly trying day, didn’t he know I hadn’t brought my car to work so getting home late was an inconvenience, maybe I could look really miserable and beg off due to having the bug that was going around? But before I could get my well thought out excuses out of my mouth, I was greeted with more bad news, Bill Gates, Patti Murray, and other business and political luminaries would also be present. So when I was asked what I wanted I just said, “Oh, nothing”, realizing it would be useless to feign an illness, in fact I was starting to feel a little sick at the prospect of the evening ahead. I had a sudden revelation, I said to myself why suffer alone I can call Mom, at least give her the opportunity to see and be in the company of these Big Wigs. I called Mom who was delighted at the idea of attending this special event, gave instructions where to park and had a security guard escort her to my office, we had to line up with the administrators entering first followed by less important staff.

Mom was pleasant and stoic as usual and didn’t seem to mind the slow meandering line, especially since all the important people from work stopped by to pay their respects to her, and told her what a great important asset I was and how much they all appreciated me. Okay, here’s where the title comes into play, it should read “Your Kid Isn’t Drunk, Almost Dead, or in Jail”, which twenty-five years earlier was the usual dreaded phone call Mom would have been expecting. No employers or colleagues would have been praising me because I would have again been fired or quit another promising job, and in all likelihood the money I had used to become drunk and disorderly had been begged or stolen from her. In the beginning of my recovery I had taken some Assertiveness Training, Relapse Aversion, and Alcoholic Anonymous Open Meeting courses, and they all encouraged the healthy important step of Amends and Restitution.  I saw asking for forgiveness and truly forgiving myself, as a twofold step to reestablishing a pattern of honesty and a virtuous lifestyle, which in my case never existed but could be obtained. My new lifestyle meant I had to abstain from; Alcohol, Drugs, Riotous Living, Unhealthy Eating and Exercise practices, Smoking, Lustful Relationships, and Unforgiveness. My mentors and religious teachings encouraged me to do this in moderation or “One Day At A Time” as it says in the Bible, the sad fact that I was responsible for causing my mother and others pain and suffering for eleven and a half years, was only lessened by my earnest hard working efforts to actively become the kind of person I wished I had been or pretended to be (or not to be) publicly.

My aunts and cousins told me if I really wanted to give back to my mother I would attend church with her, they said “returning to the faith of your father’s”  would make her feel happy and blessed, and please her church peers who were devoutly praying for me and my  return to the church fellowship. It seemed a bit much to go back to a church that I had abandoned, besides I could do similar things in my twenty-fourth year of recovery that I believed equally showed my sincerity, it’s an old selfish alcoholic motto to, “give them what they need, not what they ask of you”. So almost twenty-five years into my recovery I’m moaning to my counselor about always upsetting my mother, that even if I’ve resolved an issue and succeeded, when I discuss it with my mother she becomes fearfully upset and critical. “Then why are you laying your problems on your mother, if you know in advance these things will upset her, why not try communicating with her about non-threatening topics?” At first I  initially judged that my counselor didn’t understand me or the situation, then I realized that he accurately saw my “sharing” with my mother as a habitual juvenile attention/ approval seeking behavior, which blocked true adult communication with someone I regarded as my superior. I stopped calling Mom to win her approval, and when temped to try and fix family problems she just happen to mention; I’d usually but with great difficulty no longer volunteered my services, instead wishing her and the family good luck on solving their problems.

Our telephone Mother and Son Talks became something we did every morning, noon, and bedtime, we talked about The Antiques Road Show TV Program and the British television series As Time Goes By, or PBS specials or marching parades which were on or scheduled in the future. At the end of each conversation we thanked each other and said, “I Love You”, and we began having regular Saturday evening dinners at her home, and eventually I surprised her by showing up at her church and becoming a regular Sunday member. There were times when I intervened in family matters of a dire nature, but I continued to have friendly conversations with my mother daily, and we showed our love and appreciation by voicing it and worshiping as family at our church.  The church eventually recruited me into the choir, ushering, running the sound system which I rebuilt into a modern Audio/Video system and teaching the New Member’s Class. My efforts meant Mom was showered in praise by her cronies, but sitting next to her each Sunday service became a rarity. Every so often a mother and father would appear at church with their son or daughter who was freshly into their recovery, and or had been recently released from incarceration, showing up in ill fitted clothing and embarrassed from all the loving attention we showered upon  them. I was thankful to see them because it was a reflection of my journey with my family, through hard times that I compounded with my negative behavior, and if I hadn’t accepted a new way of living and made earnest effort to turn my life around 38 years ago, then today I’d be either Drunk,  Dead or in Jail.

Do Not Much Harm

God does the Work, but we collect the fee. – Surgeons Motto

“Primum_Non_Nocere /First, Do No Harm”

I have a major concern about my present health care providers, after my last interaction with my Care Provider; I didn’t receive a Lollipop or piece of candy at the conclusion. I realized it was probably just an unfortunate mistake, but I was so looking forward to my sweet after the examination, which had been the custom my childhood G.P. Dr. Suzuki. Our 1950’s wonderful doctor with a kind yet professional face, who would arrive from his office on Jackson Street, carrying the ubiquitous black leather bag; full of medical devices, various and sundry potions, and candy to reward me for being his good patient. One might argue that it was sixty some years ago, with modern medicine having eliminated the need for general practitioners. At age 65 I can afford to and should buy my own lollipops.

True, it’s not the sweets or bedtime manners from my physicians I miss, but it is the feeling that I am being Cared For, by an; empathetic, sensitive, understanding, medical practitioner, whom would explain my prognosis and diagnosis in a simple but informative manner. If I visit a facility and am rushed through the procedures by busy people doing a “job” instead of “being of service”, I’m insulted having worked in the medical field, I can sense when I’m a being rushed along the assembly line. I would rather be considered an ailing patient, requesting the help and expertise from knowledgeable staff, whom are eager to help me in my time of need. I want my doctor to fully inform me on my present illness and how to approach cure, informed of our plan action like visiting the pharmacist and making a follow-up appointment to discuss how deal with or prevent future outbreaks. I believe if the communication between myself and my doctor is vague about going to the pharmacy or making other appointments; or failing to have the nursing assistant gave me precise  instructions noted in my records. This allows  their receptionist staff to help me schedule an appointment and insure I acquired my medication from the pharmacist. When I tried to tell the reception area I wasn’t certain how to proceed after my examination, they won’t looked at me puzzled at me,  thinking, “didn’t the doctor or her nurse give you that information already”?.

Of course The Lollipop is a metaphor for good and reasonable service when visiting a medical facility, I’ve done the back to back shifts in hospital wards full of patients, fully confident I’d be able to help All my patients, sadly by hour 16 my energy began flagging, and I was more concerned about finishing the additional 8 hours than serving my patients. Some facilities used ,to chart or secretly mark P.I.A. (Pain In The A_ _) on certain patients charts, if patients complain about their treatment or ask for some resolutions to their concerns, but calling a patient a rude or prerogative nickname can be considered libelous or violating patient rights. Getting a label as a bad patient usually doesn’t extend into patient care, but sometimes the there becomes a passive – aggressive attitude toward that person, and they can even become the source of derision,  sabotage,or needless banter.

I’m sending my care providers a copy of the William Hurt medical drama “The Doctor”, about a high profile surgeon who contracts cancer and becomes shocked, when he receives substandard treatment as a regular patient: misdiagnosis, given the wrong treatment regiments, left languishing on gurneys between testing, and talked to in a rude or condescending manner by help staff he formerly supervised. The problems aren’t as egregious as in the 1971 George C. Scott movie “The Hospital”, where  by staff causes constant harm to patients, who murderously strike back by misdiagnosing and wrongly charting staff selected to be mistaken for patients. Also I love this edifying historical and positive movie, about a gifted dedicated person willing to allow others to take credit for his medical genius, Something The Lord Made *  (movie below);is the description Dr. Alfred Blalock of Johns Hopkins, attributes to his Black surgical technician Vivian Thomas’  miraculous life saving inventions, for the cure of Blue Baby Syndrome.

So the Lollipop is that good feeling when patients believe they have been treated fairly, by medical staff that are caring thoughtful and informative, who relieve patients suffering and make them feel safe and secure. Not only do patients then feel positive should they have to reschedule a return visit, they will be confident their concerns will be professionally and helpfully addressed, and some youngster involved or watching these healing interactions may someday decide to  embrace the noble careers of Medical Assistance and Health Care.

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My favorite Medical Drama is  Kurosawa’s  1965  masterpiece Red Beard (on HULU+/Criterion) about a famous country doctor in 1825, mentoring a young imperial (Trailer) court doctor, who had been groomed for the highest honors but finds he has much more to learn.

Also a Sleeper I faithfully viewed on HULU was a 52 part Korean Television series called The Horse Doctor: The life of a Joseon-era low-class veterinarian raising to become The King’s  Personal Physician, but he is fought at every step of the way because he is an extraordinary talented doctor able to do surgery at a time when Traditional Korean  Medicine used standard potions and acupuncture, and invasive cutting surgery is unheard of and heretical.

* MOVIE: Something The Lord Has Made, story of Vivien Thomas

 The Hippocratic Oath Today

Some Established Healthcare Model Programs Which Effectively Serve Their Patients

Seattle’s Country Doctor A Positive Community Health Care Center Which Efficiently Serves It’s Community: http://www.countrydoctor.org/

Seattle Indian Health Board is a longtime admirable Community Health Institution: http://www.sihb.org/

45th Street Clinic in Seattle’s Wallingford District:medical, dental, and Street Kid’s Advocacy healthcare providers: http://www.neighborcare.org/clinics/neighborcare-health-45th-street

Every Witch Way

There I am at a Midwestern college school one of few Blacks attending, happy I wasn’t languishing at an alternative touchy feely West Coast institution or a pompous Ivy League bastion of entitlement and luxurious privilege, I was enjoying my nice safe bucolic environment devoid of any problems until I heard about the demonic witches plaguing my friend. My friend was a petite young blond blue eyed girl on her first adventure away from home, a naïve trusting 19 years old recently out of high school and had just quit her babysitting job, was far away from parental protection so the relentless predators descended  upon her like hungry vultures.

To say that Lilly (pseudonym) was carrion for the satanic scavenger accurately  described her dilemma, the warmth and youthful happiness had gone from her eyes and her rosy cheek were now ashen grey, Lilly’s whole demeanor was that of a frighten imperiled victim of her aggressors. She was told by these more mature collegiate icons, that she was now under their coven’s authority and she must unquestionably follow all their dictates, terrifying yes more so if this had not been the 1960’s when  college campus life  was “in loco parentis “ and even pledges were subservient to fraternity/ sorority members. Lilly’s problems were much more sinister and could mean the end of her fledgling college career, she was so panicked and distraught my young friend was a candidate for insanity or suicide, and I had no proof but I believe her condition was aggravated by some drugs they’d forced her to take.  I was about to loose a friend and good confidant to these demonic harpies, I was enraged inside but relatively calm on the outside, gearing up for battle with enemy I thought I didn’t know.

First things first, I informed my dear friend Lilly that sadly her time at school had ended, that my elders had taught me not to fight Evil but rather resist it, and in this case that meant removing oneself for Evil sphere of influence thereby releasing Evil’s grip on her. I had Lilly pack her basic essentials after calling her folks to say she was on her way, I escorted Lilly to the Greyhound Bus station where we pooled our money for a ticket to home and safety, and I tearfully wave goodbye to my young friend who promised she’d write as soon as she landed.

Got a letter from Lilly a week later, seems that her parents dashed back up to the school and retrieved all of her belongings, and she was recuperating at the family home, and enclosed in the envelope was money for my ticket contribution. I was happy everything had worked out, I could imagine being in a similar situation and helpless to defend myself…until it happened to me, it turned out that my most trusted ally’s at college were part of this coven and I began to feel more and more unstable as though I was being weakened by drugs. A good guess and I finally had to have the school nurse send me home, my parents fretfully awaiting my arrival at the Greyhound Bus terminal, and to my chagrin and utter embarrassment to school to retrieve my belongings.

I took me a couple of   month to fully recover from my ordeal, and I did wonder what had happened to my young friend Lilly, then a year later I was watching the Newlywed Game there she was looking happy and full of life as though this tragedy had never occurred.  Lilly and I unfortunately had run into devious people that altered our lives, but it’s a common occurrence for your young freshmen barley out of their teen and away from home and family, to have minor adjustment problems to complete nervous breakdowns.

The pressures to succeed academically and socially are enormous, one may have been the best in their class or the best in their state but find themselves achieving a much lower rate than their peers, and the academic setting can be disappointing for serious students with teachers more concerned about job security than teaching and other students on campus to ingratiate themselves with rich parents. Being at school to please family or community can make the four year process a drudgery, some students escape by alcoholic binge or illegal drug usage, other young immature students turn toward camaraderie with less serious students or find a romantic partner. The great lesson I learned from higher education was that I could have done well without it, but I did better in life by being in that complex and organized society, I played hooky from high school and attend University and adult art school classes but the commitment wasn’t the same until I was a registered older student.

One Stroke Before Ten

 

Things had been nice had been going nicely since her neighbor and his girlfriend had moved on, peace at last especially after 10 PM when Gladys was becoming drowsy and sleep beckoned her into her small bedroom, which unfortunately was adjacent to the noisy couple’s living room. They had all day to make noise and they frequently did, but to disturb her attempts at slumber, she could only take so much before exploding and giving them a piece of her mind. They shouldn’t be up after ten disturbing their neighbor’s rest anyway, she wondered what they were getting into next door, but that annoying loud music and bumping around was enough send any sane decent person over the bend.

“It’s 9:45 pm, I‘ll wait  till the stroke of 10 to cut out all the noise and then…”, Gladys stopped in mid-sentence as she felt her right side stiffening, just before the side of her face hit the plush fiber of her ornate carpet. Gladys’ first thought was, “ Funny, this carpet still has a faint smell after all I spent to clean it”, then Gladys realized if she didn’t get help immediately she could die on her bedroom floor or become a vegetable like her namesake Aunt Gladys Sorenson. If she crawled over to the bedroom wall facing her neighbor, she could use what little strength to get their attention by banging loudly on the wall, his response usually was to knock back harder or usher his partner down the hallway to the

T.V. for about an hour. Either response this time could mean her doom, Gladys had her Jesus Saves signs and a door knob plaque stating, ”I’m Okay”, and her apartment neighbors might take that to mean she’d doing fine but wishes privacy, Gladys became terrified as she slow began losing her “what’s that called?”, suddenly puzzled, “Oh yeah, my mental faculties”. Gladys could sense that more and more of her brain cells were rapidly dying, she wanted to cry out for her God’s help, but cursed Him instead for afflicting her rather than Gladys’ sinful neighbor. Now she became angry and frightened believing her bowels were about to move, “Fine, that’s just what I need, for someone to come to my rescue and find me having craped all over myself. Gladys had to turn her whole body now to move her head, but laying on top of her bathroom slippers was her Emergency, she couldn’t remember what it was called but knew she needed to push it, she felt like a giant slug or beached whale as she took the last ounce of strength to scoot over to her bedroom slippers.

Gladys wasn’t going to make it she would die helpless on her bedroom floor, or be discovered by her daughter or the caretaker, an 80 year old woman covered in fesses and forever brain damaged. Another curse word flew out of her now gnarled and contorted mouth, as she lunged with all her remaining strength on to her electronic savior, pushing the locket sized alert feverishly until the Emergency Technicians forced it out of her hands. Now some EMT in a fireman suit was shouting questions a the grateful stroke victim, “And I thought my neighbor was loud”, and Gladys noticed he was standing next to the EMT guy giving her information about his good neighbor Gladys. When the local fire station sent the EMT crew to her rescue, Gladys’ next door neighbor heard them knocking on her door, had inserted a credit card between the door knob and strike plate which easily opened the door. Gladys’ neighbor was visibly shaken and heard to he was glad he wasn’t wearing his headphones, he may not have heard the E.M.T.’s knocking. Gladys overheard her neighbor say to the EMT,” Funny, since she was lying right there, why didn’t she just bang on the wall?”, Gladys excused his ridiculous comment because she knew that had barely survived this crisis… or But by the Grace of God they used to say at church. Hopefully, Gladys and her neighbor could find common ground to be friendly and help one another, next time God Forbid there might not be a button to push, maybe she could push her bed further away from his living room and tolerate the sounds of a little muffled bounding by him and his mate?

Elim Lutheran : Learning Prayer As A Vehicle For Turning Faith Into Action

I woke this morning to my meditation on Elim Lutheran’s Adult Forum Sunday’s Prayer Class and thinking about something I said that interested a another member, “I tell people I believe God’s Will for me is accepting Whatever God’s Will is for me”, forgot to expand my belief which is,” in the meantime I have a work list to accomplish on a daily basis as professed by St. Paul”. St. Paul said that, “God is a Great Spirit (Enthusiasmos) of Love, Truth and Honesty, and I will carry the Great Spirit into All my daily actions!”. This morning I further considered my belief that God knows and wants us to have the desires of our hearts, even if my requests pale in magnitude to the gifts and blessings He would bestow upon us. Similar to any intelligent and thoughtful parent, God is aware of our needs before they reach fruition, and has a perfect plan to make them a meaningful part of our lives. I thought of my mother honoring my desire to play an instrument, but rather than go out and purchase any musical instrument I took a juvenile fancy to; she passed on the ubiquitous violin,which my older sister had started and later lost interest. That would become the instrument by which I developed and gained discipline, into the complex and intricate world of musicianship.I now easily see in hindsight the related analogy of embracing and developing my fledgling faith in God, and practicing and experiencing the power of Prayer. Spiritual concepts which eludes people I try to help understand Who is God, and how does prayer work when trying to communicate, with an Omniscient, Empathetic, and Loving Higher Power? In the Black community the ability of mothers to provide the wants, needs and desires of black children is called “Mother’s  Wit”, who intuitively sense their children’s longings, obsessions and preoccupations and sincere desires in advance, then immediately plan workable strategies to help their children receive and maintain their desires. Like in the embracing of my religion when I saw my sister struggling at her new found pursuit of violin virtuosity; when she made some progress and become part of an orchestrated group of like-minded young musicians, I too wanted to be on stage and receive the applause and adulation of my peers and admirarion from the community. I wasn’t aware or concerned of all the hard work I’d have to do to get to that lofty stage and honored position, I just wanted the blessings that this role promised me, and convinced myself that getting there would be a small matter. My mother also similar to my Heavenly Father saw the Bigger Picture of my sudden desire to achieve a new goal; she would have to arrange and pay for violin lessons at Ford’s Music, adjust her schedule to get me to lessons and make certain I knew bus schedules, buy new updated books, strings, new bows, new chin strap and extra resin, and prepare to buy new exercise and classroom books now  , and in the future when I probably joined the Seattle Youth Orchestra. Mom knew our schedules would be altered and she would have to press me to Practice, Practice, Practice, and endure my whining and complaining, even though I promised I’d rehearse faithfully when I tried to convince her to let me start taking lessons. Mom pressed me to keep my commitment, would not allow me to quit and encouraged me to go from 4th chair to 1 st chair violinist; even though it meant her enduring my interminable, squeaky, atonal scratching on my poor suffering junior violin for years. As I became more proficient on my instrument, which then required Mom to pay for advanced lessons, and consider purchasing a better quality instrument: plus arrange for transportation to All City Orchestra practices, special school practices, and concerts. I was amazed – Who Know…all this would be happening? Mom had all these contingencies under control, which surprised me since she didn’t play an instrument, though Mom provided us with an excellent music appreciation record collection. Mom had taught generations of her 2nd graders at Concord Elementary, the joys of good music and inspired some budding musicians. Mom was always happily singing around the house during the good times, and sadly moaning melancholy dirges during our bad periods, when she was feeling overwhelmed we could hear her mournfully humming her pleas and prayers to her Lord. Mom also sat with us with sheet music in hand, while  we rehearsed class or concert pieces throughout the years, diplomatically correcting our many mistakes and applauding our eventual successes, and when I wanted to master the more costly loud snare drum ($75 in 1960 or in 2015 = $600.00)… she agreed without much discussion or objection. At that moment I could not see her speculating the new financial expenditures; plus the additional rental cost of a new instrument, the neighbor’s assailed by this new loud obnoxious percussive instrument, and future commitments of participation in All City Orchestra and All City Concert Band. In my religious and prayerful life  I was clueless how my willful  desires affected and altered others lives, even to this day I  usually  primarily consider my wants and needs in prayers, I have learned to uses certain prayers to have  God help me be more sensitive to the needs of others. When I was 8 years old I was so impressed by God asking Solomon what he wanted, and Solomon saying he wanted only knowledge and power to serve his people, and God being impressed by Solomon’s earnest desires to help his people…God gave Solomon knowledge and power! I wanted to be admired and blessed by God as well, so that became my prayers and life goals . I never considered my Mother’s sacrifices in any of my youth, I like most acquisitive children (and many Christians) acted as though Mom and God owed me, and regardless of what I did or didn’t do, they should give me what I determined I needed to be happy or at least pacified. Even when my younger siblings were passed on the ubiquitous violin and I had to endure their rites of passage, I unsympathetically viewed their similar progress as a minor annoyance, never making the connection how Mom continued to do this in all areas of our lives. The Adult Forum Class at Elim Lutheran Church helps me to remember and appreciate how God continues to work in my life and my church family, understanding that though God knows the desires of our hearts and is capable of fulfilling them for us, God wants us to accept the Spiritual Gifts of  Wisdom and Discernment so we can mature as well meaning devoted Christians, learning to change prayer and meditation into Faith and Righteous Action. We will realize God is supplying all our needs and our lives with be filled with days of positive contemplation, and restful nights after long days of honest toil.