Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Hump Day

I had to let the babies back out on the streets yesterday after having them spayed and neutered.  Celia was spayed, and Mike was neutered.  Celia was just a young little thing, and it was so tempting to keep her, but you have to realize, there is just so little time to make decisions like that.  She was pretty wild, and it would take a lot to socialize her.  She is probably 7 or 8 months old, was born outdoors, and has feral friends around her, so that is all she knows.  Heartbreaking to do, always.

I found this entry in the Rochester Magazine and wanted to share it.  It’s beautifully written by Sister Grace Miller who runs the House of Mercy on Hudson Avenue.  It’s a shelter for the homeless and the down and out.  There but for the grace of God go I.  Wally, my old friend who has since passed, was once a tenant here.  I picked him up and dropped him off many times.  I have been inside this very shelter a few times bringing donations from the hospital.  I saw many people sitting, talking, playing games, watching television – this being their only refuge, their only life.

It sort of goes along with me helping the homeless cats in this city.  We do what we can for those that matter, that have nowhere to go in life, be it human or animal.  I found Sister Grace’s words very parallel to what I am TRYING to do for the animals.

Here, Sister Grace writes a letter to her younger self:

Dear Grace,

Do you remember when you were growing up and you had a close friend who had muscular dystrophy?  She wore braces on her legs, then eventually needed a wheelchair.  The day she got that wheelchair, she cried and cried.  You tried to help her through her grief by riding around crazily in the chair to make her laugh.  You both ended up laughing.

You were good friends, and you were in first grade and second grade together.  But third grade was located on the second floor, so your friend couldn’t attend; there were no elevators in the building.

You were terribly upset.  You wondered why the principal couldn’t move third grade to the first floor or come up with another solution.  You were thinking it would be simple.

You wanted so badly to change the situation for your friend, because you knew in your heart it was wrong to treat her that way.  You wanted to talk to the principal about your idea.  You wanted to speak up for your friend, but you thought you were too young and that the principal would never listen to an 8-year-old child.  You felt powerless and sad.  You couldn’t even share your thoughts with your friend because you were afraid it would make her feel worse.

Your friend returned to school the following year but eventually dropped out.   She never went to high school.

Grace, what I want to say to you is this:  Never, never be hesitant or afraid to speak out when you’re faced with an injustice or uncaring people.  Even as a child, you could have-and should have- gone to the principal and told her how you felt.  What happened to your friend was discrimination.  She had every right to attend third grade.

Maybe, if you had spoken up, the principal might have discussed the situation with her staff and found a way.  Your voice could have changed the whole course of your friend’s life!  She had so much to live for, but the system destroyed her hopes and dreams.  This is what silence against injustice can do.

When does this stop?  Only when people like you confront discrimination-be it against people with handicaps, people of color, Hispanics, migrants, gays and lesbians, foreigners, the poor, the homeless and any other human being.  Only then will justice be done.

Let the people who are hurting know that someone cares, even if you have to stand alone.  Give hope to the poor, the homeless, the neglected and abandoned.  Be like Mother Teresa, who picked up dying people on the streets of Calcutta.  Be like Martin Luther King Jr., who marched for justice and freedom for the oppressed.  Be like Dorothy Day, who opened up Catholic Worker hospitality houses for the poor.

Do not let the system and the people in power stand in your way.   Do not let fear of them silence you.  No matter what your age is, you have the obligation-not the option-to follow the words of Pope Francis and “proclaim truth to leaders to change unjust structures.”

There is a song called “Who Will Speak If We Don’t.”  It goes like this:
Who will speak for the poor and broken
For the people oppressed
For the ones who are voiceless
For the shunned and abused
For the thousands of homeless.
Who will speak out for them if you don’t?
If you see injustice and you don’t speak out… who will?


Your older self,

Sister Grace Miller

Have a great day all!

"We must be willing
to let go of the life
we've planned, so as
to have the life that
is waiting for us."


  1. Wow. A very powerful post today.

  2. Wow what an awesome post !
    Tomorrow I will witness FIRST HAND what you do.
    Yes - Joel is going for his first "ride along" .
    So excited !

  3. Did I know that Wally passed away? I don't think you told me, because I don't think I would've forgotten that.

    The times I should have spoken up as a kid, but didn't, still bother me to this day. :(