I remember When…..

Dear Readers,

There is a Rap song titled “We came from nothing” and an old church hymn that talks about building a house on a solid foundation. When I think of a solid foundation, I think of family. civilization was created with the idea family being the fabric that holds society together. Family is where children are supposed to learn the values and morals of life. The knowledge passed into children from their grandparents are words of wisdom that is the sum of their life experience and struggles they have conquered.

Family is where mothers teach daughters how to be domestic divas and at the same time how to be self-sufficient, while preparing to meet their life partners. Family is where fathers educate their sons how to respect women and what their responsibilities are to their future wives and children. Family is where children learn to love, share, communicate and stay close to their siblings.

Our family’s teach the importance of honoring our elders and never forgetting those who passed on. Family is where babies are celebrated and weddings are a serious extended family event, and death is seen as a home going not the end. In a perfect world, this would make sense.

Nowadays, the family structure is broken and seems damaged beyond repair. Divorce has swept through generations if to say the only way to be happy is to remain single. Mothers burdened with the task of raising multiple children by different fathers. Men are running from home to home spreading their seeds without looking back to see them to maturity. Grandparents are now parents to children parents felt that parenthood is too burdensome. Aunts and Uncles have become best friends to their nieces and nephews, instead of being role models of good leadership and guidance to help younger family members to navigate a world of hate and misery.

I remember growing up eating at a long wooden table this was a sacred time for my family. We waited for family members to arrive for the pleasure of sharing a meal. We did not answer the phone or watch TV. We sat, ate, talked, and laughed. As I got older, the family dinner table became the place were serious family matters were discussed and solved. Sunday was family day, a day relatives anticipated these weekly visits. Nowadays, there are no weekly visits or calls just to say,” hi, how are you.” No one sends cards by snail mail anymore, and we texted instead of letting our voices be heard.

We carry senseless grudges until somebody dies and then we live with the guilt of not asking for forgiveness while they were alive. Children thrown out of their homes at 18 because parents feel it is time for them to go. The visits to elderly family members get less and less, we have replaced time spend in person with technology. We have allowed the grind for that next promotion to get the new car or the bigger house, and spend less and less time with family. In addition, parents are over scheduling children in extra after school activities to keep them busy.

Take a second and think. Do you wish for the days when Family was first, and everything else followed.

What say you?

In the Spirit of LOVE

Dear Readers,

Someone comes into your life after many seasons of broken and dysfunctional relationships; He/She said “I love you” and the expectation is to respond, “I love you.” What happens when you do not feel this heart-pounding, palm sweaty, gitty LOVE? You are happy with the companionship and camaraderie of the relationship. You have opened your heart to caring for someone who have brought joy in your life that was dark and empty. However, there is the question of LOVE.

You are forced to evaluate your position in the relationship because your partner is not satisfied with how deeply you care for them he/she wants LOVE. What is LOVE? What is this LOVE that leads people to search until they have connected body and soul to their true soul mate; but disappointment comes because the LOVE you thought you found was confused with lust and infatuation. What is the secret for the couples who stayed together for 20, 20, 40 plus years?

I believe that the bond shared between people extend beyond the boundaries of the kind of LOVE that people mentally boxed themselves into. LOVE is a word that people carelessly throw around. LOVE is the reason why some people say they get married. No. you get married because you and your partner have vowed to love, honor, respect, and care for each other, while forsaking all others. These wedding vows have a deeper meaning then saying I LOVE You. We have all know a couple or two that have vowed to love and honor until death does its part, but at the first sign of trouble, they contact a divorce lawyer.

When my father passed I watched my mother stare at his closed casket and after 32 years of marriage, she said,” there goes my best friend.” That was 24 years ago and I still get goose bumps when I recall that moment. People say “I LOVE YOU.” For many different reasons. I say it is the intentions behind and what is in the heart of the person who says “I LOVE YOU.”

I will say this I will never judge a person based on how much I think he/she loves or does not’ love me. People express LOVE in various ways. Because we have our narrow vision of what we want LOVE to be sometimes we miss extraordinary experiences because we close our eyes to LOVE.

Think about this the next time someone holds your hand. When a stranger flashes an authentic smile, the kind that light sparkles in their eyes. When you receive, a hug and the person squeeze you and holds on for a few extra seconds.When you receive a card that say, “Thinking of You.”

When a stranger shows an act of kindness by paying for your coffee. Think about the time when you were at the end of the rope and just when you let go, someone caught you and helped you to hold on. LOVE is in every moment of each day. Do not close your heart, soul and mind to that spirit of love that flows around us every day.

What Say You?

 

BALANCE

Dear Readers,

“Got to have it all” or “Be all that you can be” which one of these slogans describes the life you are struggling to live. There are countless books, essays, articles and motivational speakers telling us that we can “Have It all” meaning juggling career, family, travel and a social life, while trying to squeeze in eating and sleeping. This idea of “Having it All’ springs forth from the ideology of advertisement that frown at simplicity, and that having less is not a fulfilling life or quality lifestyle. People who desire a simpler life are settling for mediocrity. Why settle for less when you have more? Most people believe in the saying “Dream big or go home” Yeah ok. We live in a society were materialism vs minimalism is a tough trade-off. Who doesn’t want to enjoy the finer things in life? Well, here is some news for you sometimes the finer things in life are above the pay grade. The battle between the Haves and the Have Nots continues as an ever-ending drama of individuals comparing their life to those who they have no idea how those who seem to: “Have It All” are robbing Peter to pay Paul for all those shiny new things.

This mindset of “Having It All” is a competition between people from different social economic status. If having it all means struggling to keep up with the Jones whoever they are and each day you dread opening your mailbox because of the mountain of bills that pile up month after month after month.  You start to hate the things you purchase because of them you are in over your head.

The title of this post is BALANCE.

What Say You?

 

Resurrection

Dear Readers,

Today is the first day that I have sat down and put pen to paper. My absence was not due to a dry spell, writers block or lack of ideas. It was TIME. The last few months (February –May), I was grinding, splitting my time between 2 part-time jobs while completing my Masters. During this time I suffered from what I thought was a bad cold that developed into pneumonia. However, as the saying goes “I trooped it out.” I pushed through until the date of completions. It has taken me five years to return to graduate school. Each time I attempted to register for my final class, something or someone got in the way.

During this time of waiting to cross the finish line to graduation, I lost to death, two uncles, my grandmother, she lived a long life and went out with a smile on her face. Two nephews (victims of violence) my step-father a great man, a sister who helped me develop my love for reading, my twenty year old niece who suffered from cerebral palsy thanks to her dedicated mother, this little princess lived a good life. I was almost homeless due to the loss of my apartment, including some of my possessions. I had to change roommate twice and nearly lost my sanity. Through all of this, I smiled looked up to heaven and with thick tears in my eyes asked. WHY?

Well here, I am the May 3rd deadline to submit my final project and application for graduation on June 14 has come and gone. No, there is no light at the end of the tunnel. I am in limbo. Why because those who are place in the position of power deemed me unworthy of receiving a grade of INC. I needed an extra two weeks to submit the total number of hours needed to complete my field study. I pleaded my case but it fall on death ears. I was told that if my total grade tallies up to an F, yes an F. I would have to repeat the course. This means pay another $2000.00, plus the $300 for graduation and re do all the assignments AGAIN.

After receiving this message via email from the director of the Education department, I laid in bed in a fetal position for two days. I felt sorry for my finance, tried as he did, I could not pull myself out of bed. I do not know how, but I managed to resurface and got back into life. I have not checked my email to see my final grade. I need time. In the meantime, Good news, I am getting MARRIED. Well, not soon, but I am getting married to a wonderful man who supported me thorough all of this madness. I have a new home to remodel, and an appointment with the New York Missionary Baptist Advisory Council for my Ordination exam. Moreover, most importantly I need to get back to WRITING. When I check my email and if the news does not lead me to graduation, I will take the fall term off and enjoy living then start again in the SPRING.   In the meantime………

This was the best 549 words I have written in a long, long time. I am back.

What Say You?

 

Valentines Day is for suckers

Here we go again. Another Valentine’s Day or as I call it a day for SUCKERS. Valentine’s Day is a day for some women to hold men hostage for “A RING”. A few women will receive roses, that will dry up and die just like the relationship they are in. The majority of women who get excited on Valentine’s Day, due so because this is the only day out of an entire year when their partner will express love towards them.

My hope for women on this Valentine’s Day is for them to know their own worth, and stop measuring how someone else sees their value. Women of all ages must understand the value of self-love rather than waiting for someone to show love to them. You are more precious than any DIAMOND RING. You have a beauty that Surpasses the life of any ROSE. Don’t buy into the myth that Valentine’s Day is that one special day to show your loved. The Bible says that” Love is patient, Love is kind, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with truth. It always protects, always trusts, always……..

What say you?

 

The power of a remarkable attitude

Dear readers,

In is book Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl wrote these amazing words: “We who lived in the concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last pieces of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: The last of his freedom is to choose his own attitude in any given set of circumstances -to choose one’s own way.”

what say you?

Broken Family

Dear readers,

I saw something posted by my son on his Instagram page. No need to worry , my son is 36 years old, married 14 years to a fabulously talented and beautiful wife, who gave birth to my three amazing grandchildren ( two girls and a boy), Yes, I know I said no need to fret, but a mothers never ceases worrying no matter how advanced in age their children. My son is a family man. He is among the thousands maybe millions of young black men, who have  stood before man and God and said ” I do” and meant it. Nonetheless  it pained me to read this post:

Family isn’t what it used to be. It use to be time when you could go to grandma house, eat hang out with family, and just have a good time. Now everybody choose who they wanna deal with. Aunts and Uncles choose which kids to be proud of. Brother’s and Sister’s treat friends more like family. Cousins talk about each other like they aren’t flawed. Grandparents spend time with certain grand kids. And the only time you see everyone together is a funeral.

While your reading this post and discovery that your family has fallen on hard times. Pick up the phone and reach out. Plan a dinner, send a card, aplogized to the family memebers you haven’t spoken to becuase of a foolish grudge. the foundation of the next generation depends on strong family tides,

Whats say you?