A Conversation Between My Mother and Me

My mother had 13 years from the time the youngest of her three sons—that would be me—went off to college and her passing in December 1998 at the age of 67. We’d visit her on Long Island, as she continued to live in the house in which we’d grown up in Albertson, New York, sometimes…

An Announcement, a Benefit, and a Giveaway

I am pleased and genuinely honored to announce that I am joining the board of directors of the Center for Craft, with a 3-year term beginning on July 1. The Center for Craft is a national nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to advancing craft by fostering new ideas, funding craft scholarships, and backing the next generation…

Ray Hemachandra and Nicholas Hemachandra

Autism Acceptance—an April Campaign, a Lifetime Choice

Autism is treated differently than other developmental disabilities. It goes directly to why Autism Acceptance Month—a critical step up from Autism Awareness Month—is so valuable and important a distinction and change. Awareness historically has been more about something being wrong and a cry for help and donations. Awareness has been more about the “plight” of…

Intellectually Disabled Adults and COVID Vaccine Prioritization

Adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities are at greater risk—three times greater than the general population—of COVID-19 complications and/or death. That risk factor is higher than those of most serious medical conditions. Yet only 10 states have listed adults with IDD as a prioritized population in their vaccine action plans. I serve as a member…

Are Autistic and Intellectually Disabled People Worthwhile Community Members—or Aren’t They?

I have been reading the proposed changes to North Carolina’s Innovations waiver services and supports, which are designed for individuals with significant intellectual or developmental disabilities, in order to offer some comment to the state and the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. One thing I’ll be giving feedback about isn’t actually changing but…

Photograph of lilies by Ray Hemachandra

Poem: Favorite Person

Favorite Person The excitement of hello vibrates and shines not with the promise of what’s to come but just for itself the best moment possible every morning, every day. How lucky that I get to see my favorite person every day that I have a favorite person to love. I remember when a moment a…

Wayne Dyer

Living on a Rampage of Appreciation—An Interview with Wayne Dyer

A best-selling author for decades, Wayne Dyer was one of the most popular teachers in the self-help, mind/body/spirit, and New Age communities.  This interview was my first with Wayne. At the time I was editor in chief of New Age Retailer (now Retailing Insight), the main industry trade magazine for the category, and this piece originally…

Ray and Nicholas Hemachandra sitting by the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina (photo by Kristi Pfeiffer)

Poem: To have and to hold until death has no part

To have and to hold until death has no part He had a secret. He grabbed you and pulled you in hugged your head against his chest, shoulder tightly so tightly I’d never imagined such a hug with strength I didn’t imagine he had with strength he didn’t have when he could no longer raise…

Love in the Time of Segregation and Discrimination

I came upon a box of a few dozen random—utterly random—photographs yesterday: family photos in NYC from a half-century before I was born, pics of my childhood on Long Island, my first wedding, my son’s earlier years, my summer camp, his summer camp, graduate school. I scanned a few of them, put them back, and…