Candles In The Wind…

I joined a group the other day that was set up in dedication due to a family’s untimely loss, with great sadness upon learning this particular news. As a result, I needed several days to gather my emotions and thoughts before I could source the strength to apologise for any delay in paying my respects towards one’s memory and all those who loved and knew her.

It is extremely painful always, to realise what has happened to a family be it young or old, which explains the delay in paying my respects as I know from my own experience, just how fragile life can be and how important a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister is. If it were not for the NHS, my children, my husband, my parents and my sister would not still be graced with the pleasure of my company today.

Yet to see how one’s memory can still live on, in every one’s hearts and words of kindness is simply rendering me speechless and in contemplation as to what it could have been like for my loved ones, to miss me.

Life is way too short sometimes for we are all candles in the wind. Carpe diem indeed

Group hug?! 🙂

Keep on smiling for it is free and does wonders xx

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

Seeing Is Believing

blurred-vision

We always seem to learn facts from those amongst us who may be deafblind but never experience it for ourselves, in order to be able to understand and relate in full. Therefore, here is a particular albeit very new experience of mine because, seeing is believing…

Without delving into the medical side of things for privacy reasons, I am once again unbelievably grateful for the NHS today. Without them, every one of us would have a very different story to tell. Having been born deaf into a deaf family, I was also exposed to people who happened to be deafblind which meant I never really took my eyesight (or anything else!) for granted. I know from not just my own experience but also others too, just how incredibly scary it can be, realising and seeing how quickly an organ thus relatively a life can deteriorate. It can be as sudden as a blink of an eye.

I had been getting a red eye now and again that was becoming bothersome but since it was not infected, my GP suggested I pay a visit to the A&E department at an Eye Hospital.

The moment I walked into the reception area, I sensed just how chaotic it was but patience prevailed and I made sure the receptionist understood I would not be able to hear when my name was being called. He quickly reassured me and said he will make sure they know and if necessary, he would call me too. As I went to find a seat, there seemed to be only one row of seats facing towards the communal area where names were being called out. All the other rows of seats were facing the other way, the wrong way in my opinion. There was also some elaborate hand waving going on, all dedicated to yours truly which I admired and appreciated. After all, their efforts made my heart smile.

My diagnosis after personally researching upon returning home made me stop in my tracks. I had assumed it was something almost trivial yet in the end, without the appropriate medication or specialist care the quality of my vision (in one eye) would have deteriorated. As it is right now – at this precise moment in time, I hope, the “insult” will be contained and eliminated, the quality of vision improving with the help of prescribed medicine and patience. For it is not easy at all, not being able to see or hear very well simultaneously. I now have a much more detailed understanding of what deafblind people may personally feel, and experience. It is extremely exhausting, not being able to lip-read, let alone reading, despite feeling even more vulnerable when outside, exposed to all the elements and the vast lack of awareness in sensory loss be it sight and/or hearing.

Overall, the whole experience is proving to be a good challenge.

People sadly forget just how precious life can be so please, do look after yourselves exceptionally well and enjoy life to the max. For the rest of today, I am going to slumber, cherishing each moment with my children alongside mugs of hot chocolate and some extremely sensual chocolate cake. Hmmm mmmm indeed! Mamma mia 🙂

Carpe Diem – Every day x.

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

A related post; The Next Hurdle

There’s No Place Like Home…

Oftentimes, I wonder where one’s home is because I have questioned myself if somewhere can really be ‘home’? As I was sent away to boarding school, ten going onto eleven years old, I lost that vital ‘homely’ and ‘family’ sense. Moreover, I do not really like to complain because…

Some people or children I dread to think do not even have a home. People here in the UK and elsewhere can be so ungrateful and inexplicably arrogant; they have a roof over their heads and free medical care. They concern themselves with having the best garment or the latest gadget when an older child overseas could be going without food for days at a time so their younger sibling does not – Their parents having passed away. It is children like them who you need to pay your respects to and be mindful of, not some sociopath looking to gain popularity to feed their ego and vanity.

Unfortunately, there is a level of such hypocrisy and ignorance amongst us also. There was a Polish family in the Valley and so there happened to be an Afghanistan family too. I scanned around me to gauge people’s reactions as I sensed an interesting moment. Most were happy to respect one another’s personal space and continue as they were yet the Polish adults clearly from their body language, facial expressions and directional glances did not want this Afghanistan family sharing the same albeit very public playground as their children or their space. One of them even tried his luck to take a photo of the women as they were in their full gear. He pretended he was looking at the menu on his camera but then he felt braver and so the camera was lifted higher and higher until he felt confident enough to brazenly photograph them.

I felt fury seething away at me yet my husband held me back from standing in front of his camera to obscure any further potential frames and to prevent him from being so disrespectful – making a point of his/their attitudes. How dare they take photos of another family and be racist about them when they are immigrants themselves?! The bloody cheek of them.

Once, someone from the very same vicinity told my husband, my children and I to go back where we came from… If only they knew that, I came from down the road to them. There was no way my family and I was going to keep quiet about these bullies so we complained to the local councillor and several others who at their next residents meeting had their voices heard on our behalf. They were rather embarrassed and somewhat apologised.

Many also tend to have one rule for themselves and another. I knew someone who did not want anything to do with anyone who was in a negative state of mind yet he did not practise what he preached “Be kind always for you never know what that person is going through”… What another hypocrite.

One of the things about being deaf is being able to relate to how a foreigner is made to feel, since we are made to feel like outcasts also. Social cleansing happens much more than people realise.

The difference between the people of the North and the south of England is clearly diversity and tolerance. In London, anything goes – everyone is different and easily tolerated whereas in the North, most people are spoilt and do not like change.

Nevertheless, I have come to sense a certain emotion being ‘at home’ in the North East of Yorkshire. Being out in the wide open, the rolling moors, and the golden beaches of which is the surfers’ paradise. Up above are birds cherishing their flight and the wind beneath their wings. Bags of Cinder Toffee testing the strength of one’s delicate teeth. The mouth-watering aroma of the traditional fish and chips, especially in Whitby… Forget Parmesan! Discovering an abundance of fossils here and there. My childhood becoming my children’s’.

The glistening in the sunlight and the relative unique sounds of the seashore reminds me how it feels to be at peace, to be in awe of Mother Nature and its designs. Trivial issues be it political or personal and wealth turn ever more meaningless. The meaning of Life is clear.

However, Italy and North Africa is also in my blood so it is only natural that I feel a certain connection to these places and their cultures. Ever since I was a child growing up in the UK, I have never felt at home or accepted, not even, for who I am. How could I ever feel “at home” amongst all the conflicting angst being imposed upon myself?

As the delight in my children’s faces matches that in my heart, I know that as long as we have one another, I determine that I will be ‘home’… For ‘home’ is where my heart is.

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

Social Media – The Biggest Playground, Ever.

Social media has unfortunately become quite the tool for adults to manipulate others on what was intended to keep “Friends” in contact – socially. However, if one falls out of favour, it becomes quite the playground for those to bitch, backstab and sometimes publicly, but for sure privately, defame characters.

People have approached me asking me not to allow certain people into my FB group – who are they to tell me what to do? Just because their experience with them was more or less negative does not mean my own experience will be the same so to avoid being influenced by hearsay and rumours, I gave those concerned the chance that no one else would and I am so glad that I did because every being deserves respect – regardless.

Social media has otherwise become the perfect platform for deaf people to visually keep in contact, real-time wise. However, the deaf community is oh so small so when one doesn’t get their way, they will stamp their feet and go one step further to manipulate friends, even mutual friends away from the person who stood up to them and held their ground. Is this behaviour acceptable? No! In a school playground, this would be extremely petty and childish… So much so, they would be laughed at and frowned upon by their teachers. Now, let us apply the same perceptions on people’s (mis)behaviour albeit via social media.

Do children ever actually grow up, learning to respect others and behave accordingly or is this actually an evil trait that is being compounded by desires, jealousy, greed and god knows what else? Not that long ago I posted on my FB wall that I would be removing those (on my friend list) who appeared to take to social media like wildfire, to publicly bully and joined the (m)asses in embarrassing themselves, over some poor woman’s appearance. How dare people laugh at and pick on someone else’s misfortunes, beliefs or who they may choose to be?!

There was a time when I was an admin on another group and on that admin board; the other admins were taking the mickey out of a member’s level of intelligence. I was appalled to say the least and put them on the spot by making them look at how they were behaving. Nevertheless, because I am not afraid of saying things as it is, seeking justice for all, I am relatively made out to be the aggressor when in fact, they are the ones who have defined their true colours, by instigating and encouraging others to join ranks with them. Thank you but no thank you – one would very much rather walk alone than be associated with the likes of them.

What I find extremely sad is the fact that no one else is able to actually SEE what is happening before their very own eyes, who is influencing them – who exactly is being the manipulator thus becoming the manipulated. This I find annoyingly frustrating. Unfortunately, people can be rather trivial and lose perspective in the ways of life, unable to correct themselves and respect others. Perhaps most importantly, unable to resist these undesirable traits / people. I say, let them continue to (mis)behave in a childlike way for what potentially goes around, comes around.

I truly sympathise with those who dislike using social media and understand where they are coming from – even their untold reasons why which no one should ever have to explain, for life should not be about trolls and bullies who have nothing better to do but destroy those in their paths. They deserve to be labelled as sociopaths and exposed for who they truly are. Shame on them. You know who you are.

It is about time “adults” take responsibility for their own actions and for the consequences of such actions by treating people like pawns in what is a backwards game – competing for popularity. Seriously, social media platforms need to clamp down on such people abusing their intended services and for turning it into one of the biggest playgrounds – ever.

An adults playground.

A word of advice into the ears of those being abused – take comfort in knowing they have shown you who not to be and please, do not be afraid to be yourself – remain patient, courageous, stand up and tell them to “Do one!”. Meanwhile, keep all the evidence and report them, to the social media moderators, the police and their employers. For if, they want to behave in such a despicable manner then so be it – let them be despised.

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

Misplaced, Lost & Stolen.

Over the past month, my father has been extremely patient since an order of his via Amazon was misplaced / lost, by one of their couriers. I have been discreetly impressed with his composure thus far however I cannot help but feel that he keeps being taken advantage of, keeps being pushed aside, keeps being misunderstood and I am more than certain that he is feeling extremely frustrated. How do I know? Because I can feel it too.

I have recently been trying to support him with his English via emails to enable him to express himself clearer, to Amazon, the market seller and DHL. The bigger picture gives me cause for concern as I am realising just how serious the missing package is proving. All my father wants now as a month has passed, is a refund for his amazon order, a Sony smartwatch which has been lost or rather, misplaced by DHL (who has a contract with Amazon) or has been stolen by one “A Kisson” who intercepted and signed for the package.

A DHL employee must have allowed the package to be signed over to someone entirely different from what was named on the package (my father) and to an entirely different address. Potentially, a crime has been committed of stealing and / or working with a criminal gang or is it plain incompetency?! The police of course, have since been made aware of the investigation carried out by DHL who say their findings from their CCTV is inconclusive and the package is simply “lost” yet is adamant the seller has to refund my father. The investigation carried out so far by DHL is somewhat unsatisfactory and further advice will be sought from the police in due course.

It is such a shame that people seem to keep overlooking the fact that the parcel has been delivered already albeit to the wrong address/person as indicated on the web link via DHL. It is also clear that the Amazon market seller is unwilling to pay the refund since the package was “delivered” but one has to remember that the package was misplaced, relatively lost by DHL – potentially stolen by “A Kisson” who did not return it or forward it on, out of honesty. Whose responsibility is it then, to refund my father? When all they seem to want to do is, shift the responsibility…

Trying to enforce his rights as a consumer since he did not receive his order is proving rather yet he continues to wait in anticipation for some good news by way of a refund.

You’ve got (no) mail.

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

An update:

Since publishing this 19 hours ago…

I have asked DHL what they will be doing to prevent this from happening again in the future as this is costing DHL/Amazon money. to prevent condoning and allowing their staff to deliver and hand over packages to other persons not named on said packages. I suspect they know whom the staff member was and where the package was delivered but due to confidentiality, they cannot share that information yet they can do so with the police.

As the Amazon seller was unwilling to pay out a refund since the package was “delivered” via DHL, my father has finally been given the opportunity by Amazon to file a claim to recover his lost funds and an email address for the police to contact them on – in order for the police to obtain further (personal?) details and information to assist them with, in their investigation. A member of staff from DHL has potentially assisted in a crime – whereby they allowed a package to be stolen by the wrongful recipient.

I would like to show gratitude towards Michele from the DHL customer relations department for her time and patience throughout.

And on that note, I can only hope my father’s trust and faith in the postal system will be restored – in time.

Update:

28/07/2015… DHL has finally caved in and offered my father a full refund for the package they misplaced, lost and enabled someone else to steal. Result!

Welcome, To My World

Seeing clearly how people throughout the world tend to engineer and manipulate situations to best suit and benefit themselves has left me feeling dispirited so much so that I find myself walking alone to pastures new. This is ok by me because I have no desire whatsoever to follow the (m)asses!

In order for people to help identify who they are, they fulfil a need to belong so will settle wherever they feel most comfortable and accepted. Hearing people do not face the same issues concerning communication yet a foreign speaking (hearing) person could relate most closely to the experiences facing barriers in communication that a deaf person would encounter albeit almost daily.

Within the deaf community, there is the signing community who may prefer to use sign language and the oral community, those who may prefer to speak or never learnt to sign. Whenever I meet a signing person, they automatically assume I am from a hearing family from the way I conduct myself. Whenever I meet someone from the oral community, they too automatically make assumptions yet on the opposite end of the spectrum. In both cases, the minute they learn I have deaf parents they are always rather overly surprised.

Being able to sign, speak and lip-read has meant I unfortunately experience even more conflicting emotions and situations. There is no middle ground for those in the minority, like myself. I am only trying to be who I am yet it is they who choose to make assumptions and create categories thus divisions. Welcome to their world.

I am tired, of feeling disenchanted and disappointed. There is no need, for people in general to continue playing what seems to be a trivial game (out of jealousy and contempt) and it is one that will do them no favours by the way they allow themselves to behave. Yes, “allow” because they cannot foresee or think outside the box thus giving permission. If only they could see the consequences of such actions, questioning themselves or others objectively they then would not allow it. At least, I would hope so.

As always with most everything, there is a balance.

Today, a complete stranger showed me kindness and offered a helping hand. It was extremely humbling to remember there are still genuine people around who have no agendas and nothing but a good heart. I mustered up the biggest glow from within and a smile to accompany it to show my gratitude. They relatively beamed. That familiarity of trying to make other people smile felt so good. I may be rather different to everyone else but once I have managed to make someone smile, I am home once more.

Welcome to MY world 🙂

Keep on smiling, for it is free and does wonders xx

Hubba Hubba
Hubba Hubba

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

Why Honesty Is The Best Policy

The truth will set you free.

The moment I realised as a very young girl that a tongue was for speaking the truth – honesty became the best policy. My maternal grandmother had this brass casting of the three wise monkeys, “See no evil, Hear no evil and Speak no evil” of which has been some comfort to me whilst growing up, to aspire to.

Mizaru, Kikazaru and Iwazaru.

Here are my interpretations;

1) Mizaru, “See no evil” – our eyes are scouts for the heart. To identify when someone is engineering a sinful situation so we can refrain from certain desires of the heart and remain righteous.

2) Kikazaru, “Hear no evil” – our ears are for listening to someone else with patience and respect – attentively. Not for turning a deaf ear, listening to slander, rumours, back biting.

3) Iwazaru, “Speak no evil” – our tongues are for speaking the truth albeit respectfully – not for lies, backbiting or spreading rumours.

There is sometimes a forth monkey depicted which is Shizaru, symbolising the principle of “Do no evil”. He may be shown covering his genitals or crossing his arms. All the tenets of the proverb are about not dwelling on evil thoughts, being morally responsible and steering clear of those inclined towards impropriety.

Having been in a broken home and then packed off to boarding school despite my protests. From experience, I have learnt to to identify situations especially whenever I was being spun a lie by anyone. This is because I despise lying above anything else immoral, to me; it is the ultimate sin.

Friends and boyfriends of past have tried to deceive me yet I chose then based on the extent and context of their actions, not to react to their efforts of which were in vain to outwit / betray me except to overlook their flaws and give them another chance. Trying to remember (and looking for) the best in them without letting them know that I knew the truth and remained patient. Fortunately, there should always be a line that we draw for ourselves and once that boundary has been crossed, justified by their actions – it is time to part ways. Only then, would I reveal to them with examples that I knew of how they had lied to me.

One evening, a boyfriend became rather “busy”. My instincts told me that he was being “busy” with his ex-girlfriend so I left the matter alone and gave the benefit of the doubt until the next morning thus giving him an opportunity to be honest with me. That afternoon I decided to text him asking nicely, how his evening went with his ex-girlfriend. He was in absolute shock and could not understand just how I knew. Ever since then we have remained just friends because he was honest with me whilst showing so much respect. I for one could have wasted my time being devastated or feeling angry and betrayed – how then would that have benefitted our friendship today?

People will unfortunately try practising having one rule for themselves and another for others. This to me is another form of lying yet in the hypocritical sense. For example, someone decided to single out another and cease all contact. Just because they did not talk often or live nearby (!) and proceeded to block this person, (of whom had done absolutely nothing wrong) across all social mediums. This person upon realising, decided to stand up for themselves and find out why, (as mentioned above) only to respond to the initiator with “What about all the other people you do not know even though we have met and occasionally spoke?!”

See how one person’s deceit could dictate someone else’s emotion and day? That person could have gone on to be angry with someone else, that someone else angry with another and so on. Who is the sole cause of this ripple effect? What then, is the point of lying and being disrespectful? I consider being honest and truthful as a mark of respect, inwardly and outwardly. Therefore if someone dares to pull the wool over someone else’s eyes, they obviously do not have any morals or respect – for themselves, let alone others.

A blind person would not be able to tell if someone was dressed extravagantly or haggardly, a deaf person less able to differentiate between someone who is speaking eloquently and lazily – more than likely they would treat everyone as equals. People do tend to pass judgement and dangerous assumptions unto others by the way we dress, sound or behave when all they need to do is be patient and seek the truth. I for one am not afraid of standing up to someone in authority albeit respectfully as my equal, especially when they have abused that authority, their position or trust. We all return to the earth whatever our status and wealth so what point is there to be aloof of one, ignore one and praise another when all we need to remember to do is be respectful of all beings equal – regardless.

If only people realised just how much they are taking for granted, what creations had been given to them whilst forming as a foetus and is being granted still. Sadly, people choose to consciously lie, abuse and take advantage to this day. I can only hope they will realise the errors of their ways, of which all their actions will amount to the last straw that breaks the camel’s back and they will accept the consequences of their actions – for which they alone are responsible.

My conscience is clear – is yours? 🙂

Please, do not take your sight, hearing or your tongue (or anything else!) for granted…

Thank you ever so, for your time and patience. 🙂

~ SJ (Sara Jae)