Those Who Would Be Left Behind...


Those who would be left behind by the Republicans. They are not glamorous, they are not what one would call 'Important to our society,' they do not contribute as much as this of us who have worked hard all of our lives did. No... but, in their own way, they have worked hard as well. They have done the best that they could with the limited tools that they were given. It's not their fault... it's the hand that nature has dealt to them. This does not make them any less worthy of our respect, of our love, or of our compassion. 
  I have had a few so-called 'Christian' friends tell me that they would pray for them. I have had them tell me that they would pray for my sister. 
  Let me introduce you to my sister, Alma Jean Zaffino. She was born into a challenged existence. Early on, she was diagnosed with Perthes Disease, a degenerative disease of the hip joint. She spent months in a cast from the waist to the ankle. When they finally cut the cast off, they also cut her from the hip to the knee. Alma seldom complained. When it came time for school, she was tested, and my mother was told that she was ineducable. My mother fought this diagnosis with everything that she  had, and eventually got her into a special needs program in the New Rochelle School system. Alma's teacher was a wonderful woman whose name was Miss Irby. She would teach Alma how to read and rudimentally write. This would serve her to this day. 
 These were the days of racial discrimination, even in New York, and Miss Irby was black. She dedicate her life to these students who, in those days, were called Mentally Retarded. I never had a problem with the term; but time moves us forward, and acceptable terms change.
  Alma graduated a modified version of High School after my parents had moved to Mahopac. She then went to work at the Putnam Associated Resource Center, doing things like putting small parts in packages, It gave her a purpose, and something to find pride in, 
  My father died in 1981 at the young age of 58. Shortly after, my mother decided that she should move back to the State of her birth, Oklahoma, to spend time with her mother and her extended family. She took Alma, and our youngest sister, Jackie, with her. That was in the mid '80s. My mother died in 1998, and my dear wife, Sheryl, said that Alma should come and live with us. We brought her into our home, and she has been here ever since.
  Alma has had serious health issues, off and on, since coming to live with us. Medicare, Medicaid, and our family doctor, who is also my good friend of 33 years, have made things easier for us. 
  The Republicans Healthcare plan would cut off her safety net... the very thing that keeps her going. She is a diabetic. She has various health issues that need constant attention, yet this hateful healthcare reform that is being pushed by il Stronzo, and the hate-filled Ryan and McConnell would  cut her, and those like her, off. Now, you can tell me that this is not true, that the Republican bill will keep them covered, and that is partially true... through 2020! This is simply unacceptable! The least of us need all the help that we can give them. The least of us should be protected and taken care of .  Those who claim to be 'Christians' need to take a long, hard look at what the teachings of the Christ say. He said that we must take care of everyone. He said that a rich man has less of a chance of getting into Heaven than a camel has to get through the eye of a needle. 
  So, I ask you to take a good, long look at my sister's face. She is an innocent, she is forever locked into the mind of a five year old, yet the Republican bill would neglect her, and millions like her, along with the elderly and the poor.
  Those of you who agree with McConnell  and Ryan and their ilk, I feel sorry for you. Somehow, someday, this will come back to haunt you. We will continue to do what we can for Alma, and those like her. I'm almost 71 years old, and I worry about what will happen to my sister, and all those who need help, after I am gone, I lament where our beloved  country has gone. In my opinion, it is on the wrong path.
 As always, I wish you all, Love, Peace, and Tranquility, and I also wish you enlightenment and compassion. I've found mine.
 John Zaffino, Kent Lakes New York, June 28,2017

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