Tag Archives: families

Who Are You

You are our son

Handed to us moments after your birth

We looked into your eyes to see questions deep and mysterious forming

How do birds fly?

Why do I have to eat vegetables?

Can I stay up later?

Who are you?

Let’s answer the last question first

We were chosen by:

Someone who cared enough to make certain you would have a loving home

Someone who wanted you to have better than they could offer

Someone who thought your father and I would be good parents

That, dear son, is who we are

As for the other questions

We will find those answers and more, together

Your curiosity and our desire to help you make sense of the world will help us bond

We will grow through this life together, as a family

While we may not have brought you into this world

From the moment we took you in our arms, we became your parents

And in our hearts, you have always been and will always be our son, forever

©2019 Annette Rochelle Aben

In celebration of the recent birth of a baby boy, released for adoption to a childless couple. I have known the adoptive mother for 2 decades and becoming a mother after many years of struggle with fertility issues, is as great a miracle as the birth of this beautiful boy! God Bless us, everyone!  I would share his picture, but I am respecting their privacy at this time.

Stick with Me, Kid – Guest Post by, Annette Rochelle Aben …

Reblogged from The Story Reading Ape Blog. CLICK THROUGH to the ORIGINAL POST and grab a spoon!

Source: Stick with Me, Kid – Guest Post by, Annette Rochelle Aben …

Writers Quote Wednesday Unity

Being different was something I totally understood my entire childhood. It was pointed out by nearly every adult and most of my peers on a regular basis. As a result, I spent quite a bit of time alone, wishing I could belong.  Once I got into high school, I found many ways to “belong” one of which, was that I was completely accepted by the drinking crowd who hung out on the steps of our massive school building. It wasn’t that they thought me to be special, they were simply so caught up in their stupors to the point where they didn’t care who was out there, as long as they weren’t trying to kill their buzz. Considering I could chug a bottle of vodka, swiped from a nearby liquor store like the best of them, I found UNITY in the form of drunkenness.

We relocated in the middle of my junior year and there was no such crowd with which to hang during school hours at the new school. Alas, it was shoulder to the wheel until I realized that the theatre crowd in which I was immersed, were also hearty partiers. Sweet!  I not only belonged and but found UNITY in creativity and drunkenness once again!!

Okay, my drinking days are l-o-n-g behind me and that’s material for a whole other post. I have seen the errors of my ways, I promise.

 However, on the topic of UNITY, there was this one time in my “just coming out of my mid-teens”, era, when I found that belonging to something that served others more than my addictions could be so fulfilling that my heart would want to burst with joy. That something was volunteerism!

We lived in what was called, a sub-division, which was basically a collection of houses that were all the same (and no one seemed to care – thank you Carole King). It was streets and cul-de-sacs of three-bedroom brick ranches, surrounded by beautiful trees.  These houses were filled with families and the trees were well marked by many friendly dogs. Around the corner, literally, was a park. On one end of the park and across the street, was an elementary school. At the other end of the park and across a street were more family-filled houses. In one of those houses was a family whose children never got to go play in that park, at least, not the way the rest of us could. All three sons of this family had Muscular Dystrophy (MD).

They had ramps instead of stairs leading in and out of their house. The family drove specially equipped vans instead of sedans or station wagons. The boys missed a lot of school so we rarely, if ever, saw them at after school activities such as football games or dances. They spent most of their free time at doctor appointments while the rest of us had part time jobs or were hanging like year-round Christmas lights at the local shopping mall. Talk about a feeling of not belonging…

One of summer day after I graduated from high school, someone came to our door, collecting donations for MD. I had very little cash but because of the personal connection to the local family, I smiled through my tears as I handed over my cigarette money. I apologized saying that I wished there was more I could do for them. The volunteer smiled and handed me a piece of paper that changed my life.

This piece of paper had a name and phone number of a Regional Director for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, who was asking for volunteers. I was dialing the number before that canister carrying volunteer was done at the next house. Next thing I knew, I was agreeing to be a Neighborhood Director. Guess who was pounding the pavement the next week, carrying a canister and a stack of flyers? It was my honor to walk for those who couldn’t and might never know that freedom. Before the month was out, I had replaced the Regional Director who moved up to the local telethon crew. Whoa, the LOCAL telethon crew? I never knew such a thing existed.

Of course I had seen the annual Labor Day Muscular Dystrophy Telethon, hosted by Jerry Lewis. It was entertaining as well as exciting to watch the tote board numbers grow. I’d chain smoke myself into oblivion with concern over whether or not Jerry would make it through the entire show and of course if they’d make MORE money than the year before. Not only was there this big national production but they’d “cut-away” once an hour to our local affiliate for updates of what we had collected in our area. We were promised that most of what we raised locally, would stay here to help the local families. It was heart wrenching and yet more thrilling than anything I had ever experienced before. Watching all these people come together, from all walks of life, to form a unified front against this monster of a disease.

Our local telethon segments were produced in Detroit, where we used to live. What I didn’t know was that there was also a local pledge center set up in the basement of the shopping mall where I had spent so many hours just wasting time with my friends.  And it NEEDED VOLUNTEERS!  People to do everything from answering the phones, to running the pledge sheets to the accounting room, to cleaning up, even manning the food room. I signed up!

I walked the one and a half miles to the mall the Sunday night before Labor Day that year. My energy was visible and I just knew this was going to be an amazing experience. Once I walked in, I could tell that everyone else there had been part of this crew for years as they were completely focused on their roles. I hung back a bit until one gentleman took pity on me and assigned me the task of clearing filled pledge sheets from the baskets in front of those answering the phones. YES!  I was on it like whipped cream on an ice cream sundae!  And that was great for the first three hours, until the calls slowed down…

Wandering around like lost sheep was how a couple of us spent the wee hours of the morning. We tried to look busy, sweeping floors, cleaning the food room and tried NOT to fall asleep. That kind gentleman suggested that I might want to just go home, as there wouldn’t be any real activity for several more hours. No, no, I was part of the crew!  I was in it for all the energy I could give!  I was determined to stay until the last numbers went up on that tote board.

 Boy, was I glad I did…

There is nothing more thrilling than seeing efforts pay off. The tympani played and the numbers jumped higher than the year before. We were monitoring the national broadcast of course, and our hearts burst with pride to know that a part of that total was contributed by our fellow local citizens.  For me and many others in that center, it was knowing that a local family was going to have whatever it needed to make the lives of their sons as comfortable as possible, that brought the tears.

Sheer elation carried me as I walked the mile and a half home nearly 24 hours after my adventure began. I don’t recall being able to feel my legs and didn’t care. I had been a part of one of the greatest crews and found UNITY in the common cause of truly loving thy neighbor. I stumbled in the front door, made it up the one little step into the living room and collapsed on the floor under the picture window. When I woke nearly 24 hours later, I realized my mother simply covered me with a blanket and left me alone.

While they have not found a cure for MD, they have made tremendous strides in treatments and services that they provide for families. All of this has been possible because of the UNITY of hundreds of thousands, probably more accurate to say, millions of people who gave and continue to give more of their time than money to raise awareness. The families affected by MD benefit, but so do those who come together in UNITY to volunteer.

My story took place 42 years ago and I have been back in our house for the past four years. The family around the corner have all passed on. The boys actually passed by the early 80’s and the parents stayed until they, too, passed. Their house is still there. No more ramps, in fact, if you did not know they had lived there, you would not know.  As I drove past that house today, I felt a tug on my heart strings. It was as though I was being asked, by that family, to use this story to illustrate UNITY. I hope I have succeeded in honoring that request.

Please accept my help

To stand with you in your quest

We’ll lift another

Shoulder to shoulder

Through the hours and the dark

Until we see light

(c) 2016 Annette Rochelle Aben




Daddy Gratitude


Wednesday, June 15th, 8am EDT ~ Daddy Gratitude, that’s right, we are celebrating our gratitude for our dads today! Welcome to The Perspectivepower Radio Network and our weekly Attitude of Gratitude program. As we are merely days away from the yearly recognition of Father’s Day, it seemed the perfect opportunity for myself, Annette Rochelle Aben and award-winning artist, David A. Martinka to come together to embrace the gratitude for fathers. Thank you for staying connected  http://www.facebook.com/perspectivepower. And find David at http://www.redbellymusic.com & http://www.sunshadows.net for some great music. My site is: http://www.annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com and I am always happy to have you follow me. Happy Father’s Day, Dad!


Happy Mother’s Day

 Here, in the United States, we are celebrating Mother’s Day today.  For many moms, this means, breakfast in bed, brunch, flowers, hand-made cards and of course lots of LOVE!

 In our house we actually celebrate the memories of Mother’s Days gone by, as our mother passed in 2009. Although it may seem odd, we actually chose Mother’s Day weekend of 2010 to lay her ashes to rest in the plot next to her mother. It was as though we were celebrating her life, and the love she gave us as our mother for our last Mother’s Day together.


 This poem, was one I wrote for her exactly 22 years ago today. I read it to her during our church service that morning, where I was the one delivering the sermon that morning. She came to honor me as the speaker and had no idea what I was going to say.

 Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms of the world, from a child of one of the best moms in the world!  Love you, Mom!!

Lo, it has taken many years

To learn just what is meant

By as the tree itself has grown

So shall the twig be bent

For loving care and kindness given

In so many generous ways

Shadows now are memories

The past, no longer haze

Yearly celebrations in full fanfare

Tailored for each child

Clothing fashioned on a home machine

Babies and dolls to dress in style

Hands working with artist’s knowing

Shaped clay for the science fair

Held also scissors, glue and lace

Creating valentines to share

And yet these are but random samples

Memories of a childhood gone by

And what we’ve learned from these examples

So you need not wonder why

For when someone say that your children

As nice as they can be

Ponder not the observation

Apples fall not far from the tree

(c) Annette Rochelle Aben May 8, 1994