Day 2: No Social Media

Yesterday the struggle was real!  OMG!  I can not believe I was having withdrawals from being on Facebook.  Today is a little better but I still have urges to log into my social media account to see what is currently happening in my friends, family, loved ones and the world.  But!  I’m not going to give into my desire.  Instead, I’m committing to cleaning my kitchen and eradicating my emotions from the baggage of others.

How You Made Them FeelAs God would have it I was faced with choices concerning my torn relationship with my grand daughter.  She sees me as a negative in her life and never a friend or a person that cares deeply for her and her outcome.  My truth telling has hurt her beyond her ability to see logic.  As a result, she tell private things about me in order to gain some type of satisfaction in shaming me before others.  As if shaming me will fix what really ills her soul.  Well any who how . . . . She has drawn her line in the sand and set her boundaries.  They are loud and clear.  I must and will respect them.  With that stated, I don’t think she realize once she made her choices her decisions created choices for me.

I wish her well.  At the moment their can never be a point return.  Sometimes you must cut the cancer out in order for the body to survive.

A Life Cut Short: Marin’s Story

This drug seems to appeal to incredibly smart, talented, and particularly sensitive people. To me one of the most important battlefronts for today’s parents is the prevalence of prescription narcotics and the role they play in the social lives of young people. They’re regarded by young people as “harmless” because it’s just something your mom was prescribed for her back. It’s no big deal. But it’s essentially heroin. And once the prescription drugs are difficult to obtain, heroin is the next best solution. And it seems it’s almost impossible to kick…for many. Thanks everyone, for your kind words, thoughts and prayers. —Rachel McIntyre

Today, I had barely gotten the sleep nuggets out of my eyes when I stumbled to my computer.  I needed to check my Facebook message center.   I had made a promise to a young woman with a small family that I would teach her the art of couponing.  Yes, I will teach others how to coupon.  I think all people should coupon [chuckling to myself].

Well any-who-how, as I sat at the computer the first post that stared me in my face was from this guy I feel hates blacks.  Honestly his posts usually scream I hate everything and especially blacks.  And when he spreads his hate among his 2,000 friends, I try not to make comments on them.  And when I make comments I’m usually involved in delusional conversations that sickens me to my stomach.  Because from where I’m perched in life, I feel and have seen everyone with the ability to mess up their lives, to want something for free, to think they’ve been discriminated against for various reasons and such.

Why am I friends with him?  I don’t know!  I have mix emotions about him being on my feed but there are days when I learn from his disdain.  There are days when I enjoy his wittiness on some subject matters he and I do agree on.  But this post isn’t about him nor me.

This blog post is about the awareness of drugs, drug abuse, and realizing the misuse of drugs can affected anyone.  Those who do drugs I keep close to my heart and in my prayers.  Drugs are the things in life that do not and will never discriminate.

Drugs are given life when a person takes advantage of another human-being.  Drugs are given life when those that feel they won’t become dependent on them take or use them for whatever reason.  Drugs are given life when its value is worth more than the lives they destroy.  So please take a moment to watch this video of a family tragedy that has turned into a forever heartache.

 

Scooby-Doo Snacks as low as $1.99 at King Soopers/Kroger!

20150709_113226[1]Betty Crocker has a .50/2 coupon on coupons.com and King Soopers/Kroger store sites.  The coupon states you will receive a .50 cents discount.  The discount is towards the purchase of two (2) boxes of Betty Crocker fruit snacks.  This week at Kings/Kroger/Dillon’s Betty Crocker fruit snakes are 2/5.00.  The coupon will make each box $2.25, however, in Colorado the coupon doubles to a $1 therefore making the items $1.99 for each box.

And if you don’t have children and have an extra $5.00 dollars to give.  Please download the coupon to your Kroger/King card and buy this item to give.  A child in your area could benefit from such a luxury.

Day Five: Son’s Need Encouragement

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATO MY SON

I look to you with hope and pride;
I see your future brightly.
Your deep concerns and aspirations
I will not take lightly.

The future is a mystery
That everyone explores.
I’ll share your possibilities,
Embrace your distant shores.

I’ll answer you when questions stir,
Encourage you, implore you.
But life’s a challenge shaped by dreams,
A gift I can’t live for you.

So live it well; respect it full;
Play your spirit out.
Seek and then discover
All the best that life’s about.

Remember that you’re not alone—
My love is always there.
The challenge that defines your life
My heart will gladly share.

You’re on a voyage into time,
A trip to somewhere new.
You may not always see me there,
But I’ll be there with you.

–Bruce B. Wilmer

His Daughter’s Response to: A Message of Hope to His Daughter

Photo credit:  Annette Harrison
Photo credit: Annette Harrison

Today I got a question asking if my husband’s daughter got the email we sent her nearly a week ago.  Yes, she got the email and with her dad’s permission I’m posting her response.

I am not upset at all. Every statement is the truth. I know that about myself. I put unrealistic expectations on Jake. A friend of mine (who likes to counsel me for free) helped me see through the crap that I believe should be true. She helped me realize that I was spoon fed to be totally  dependant on a man and he should take care of your every need. You shouldn’t  have to work and you should be in tons of debt to reach that ‘American dream.’ The exact line is..’you aren’t  a real member of society unless..’ And for so long I have believed that. I am 22 years old and have a monstrous amount of debt because I was told at a young age that that is how you are successful.  No, it makes you stressed arena sick. There are ways to have those great things, like a house or a new car, without being overcome with a great amount of debt. It is called saving. Something Jake and I were never taught and are trying to teach ourselves now. It is very difficult. Because we were taught you weren’t  anyone unless you have tons of material  items. His  step-dad is very materialistic. His mom isn’t  but his step-dad, just like my mother, make you feel terrible  about your accomplishments if they aren’t  to their standards. I am working on my attitude everyday. Every morning  I wake up and I think of something I am thankful for. I may not like my job but my coworke just gave me all of her Thursdays and my Fridays back. That means 30 hours a week instead of 10. And that means I will also quality  for insurance  through the union. I may hate getting up early but it keeps a roof over my head, it keeps food in my cabinets and so that I am able to buy Layla’s  meds. I am working on not being too hard on Jake. That one is really  hard because he isn’t great at staying on top of important  things. And when he doesn’t  stay on top of it it makes me feel like he has not been truthful with me. So many times in the past he has not been. We are working on it and d everyday is a new day.

I love you!

A Message of Hope to His Daughter

Photo credit:  Annette Harrison
Photo credit: Annette Harrison

A couple of days ago my husband and I emailed his daughter.  Unfortunately, she struggles with self-worth.  And the emails she sends her dad and I are often heart-wrenching.  They cast a big shadow of gloom with no expected date of sunshine.  Sometimes after reading her messages I want to just fly to her home state and gobble her up with the biggest hug.  But that is impossible!  So the next best thing is to write her emails of compassion with hope that my husband and I aren’t making things worse.

I’m sharing this email because I thought it was inspirational.  It deals with the feelings of young people who often tend to lose their way because they are given bad advice.   In all honesty, there is no guarantee that everyone that sets out on their life quest will finish first or finish last; all a person can do is their best.

Dearest,

After hearing about your struggles I can see how you arrived at your fleeting moments of feeling unsuccessful.  Personally, Annette and I think you and Jake have been victims of bad advice.  It doesn’t mean the person(s) that gave the advice meant you or Jake harm.  It only means their information wasn’t conducive to the life and lifestyle you and Jake are seeking.  Remember, sweetheart, success depends on how you view life and what you truly want out of life.  And it’s fulfilling your dreams and not the desires of others that give meaning to being successfully satisfied.

Sadly, sweetie, people now days like being sold pipe-dreams.  I hope you’re not one of them.  Because the number one problem for most young people and couples are unrealistic ambitions that become constant let downs.  And once a person or a relationship reaches their limits with life disappointment most often desperation sets in with other negative feelings.  And sadly when that happens most, if not all, find themselves and their relationships in positions of compromise.

Jake is young and he have made some mistakes.  He is paying for some of those mistakes.  Or would it be better for me to write he has adjusted his life to accommodate the consequence of many of his choices?

You are young.  You’ve made some mistakes.  And, like Jake, you are paying for some of those mistakes.  Or would it be better for me to write that even you are finding ways to tailor your life to live with the consequence from the choices you made?

I’m not sure who is telling you that you should expect Jake to take care of you.  And in all honesty something doesn’t set well with me about that expectation.  I guess part of the reason that mindset doesn’t set well with me is because, it clips your wings as an individual, as a professional, as a woman, and eventually as a mother and mentor.

Another reason I believe that egocentric thought is harmful is because it defines or sets the tone for controlling and abusive relationships.  And in most cases where one partner takes care of the other partner, qualified to pull their weight, the relationship always end bad.  And each usually walks away feeling bitter and disappointed for different reasons.  So with that said, again, I think you and Jake, more so you have been victims of bad advice; mainly, because their concept does not help you or Jake reach what you seek for your lives as a young couple and as young people.

Annette and I weren’t sure if we should say anything about your feelings of hopeless, especially Annette.  She felt we needed to keep our nose out of yours and Jake’s business.  But I cringed upon hearing her words, especially since she is such a good parent to her own children.  Surely she could understand I want and have always wanted the best for my kids.  And I know that last sentence comes as a shock to you!  Laughter!  But don’t be so shocked!  And, yes, I want the best for you and your sisters.  And, yes, I have cried over my decision but it was made in the best interest for all.

My dear sweet wife had a change of heart about writing the letter as you can see.  And I’m glad!  What started out as a short email, later a book, and now an email again has been carefully written to send a message of love and encouragement.

So, I echo the sentiments of my wife, “you and Jake are doing great!”  But I think there is room for improvement.  Speaking from experience and as a man who has been married several times, I have fallen out of love with my first wife and I thought I had fallen out of love and in love with the second wife.  I noticed what kept and keeps my relationship together with my second wife is her ambition to help me help us.  My second wife is not perfect but she has my back.  And for a temporary moment I had forgotten that!

I hope the content of this email didn’t upset you.

Love,
Dad

Quote for Today: We raise girls to cater to the fragile egos of men

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Photo credit:  Rex
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Photo credit: Rex

We raise girls to cater to the fragile  egos of men. We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We tell girls ‘you can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful, otherwise you will threaten the man……

We teach girls shame – close your legs, cover yourself!! We make them feel as though by being born female they’re already guilty of something.  And so girls grow up to be a woman who cannot see they have desire.  They grow up to be women who silence themselves. They grow up to be women who cannot say what they truly think. And they grow up – and this is the worst thing we do to girls – they grow up to be women who turn pretense into an art form.  ~Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Taboo Tuesdays: There Are NO Perfect Parents

Photo taken by:  A. Harrison
Photo taken by: A. Harrison

For the past couple of months I have corresponded with a female family member.  She lives with a man, age 28, that has custodial issues with his child’s mother.

It seems he has problems keeping a job and a roof over his head.  And now that she lives with him, it seems he struggles with keeping a roof over her head.  Should he gain custody of his child, the hand-writing on the wall clearly shows he won’t be able to keep a roof over his child’s head either.  Yet, my young impetuous family member feels she and this guy are more suitable to raise the child than its mother!

Ooh!  I forgot to add, my young and gullible family member is only twenty-one years old.  She seems to believe living life as an adult is stupid.  Well at any rate with her childlike behavior she has been told by whoever, whomever, she is more suited to raise another woman’s child.  And with that noted I want to say the following:

It pisses me off to the highest of pisstivity when parents move on and find foolish people who believe they would make a better parent to children than the custodial or non-custodial parent.  And, trust me when I write, it really does rip my seat of toleration when these foolish people truly believe they are better than the parent in question.

Children don’t come with manuals.  And every parent (male or female) will make mistakes in parenting.  And I don’t give a hoot who spouts they are the better parent!  There are no perfect parents!  There are parents that do the best they can with what they have.  There are parents that are good parents because they do exceptional jobs at parenting!  But there are no perfect parents!  Like there are no perfect children.

 

Paying It Forwards: Gratefulness for Employement

The Dalai LamaThe video that I’m sharing today pricked my memory.  It brought to the forefront the importance of parents planning for their children’s future for in their untimely death.

I was angered at the sight of seeing children being abused.  Viewing the video made me feel helpless as a woman and certainly as a mom!   Without thought I wanted to find the man in the video and beat him with his stick!  It was clear to see the man was an ungrateful person.  The punishment he was handing out to parentless children for whatever reason was abuse.  And I wanted him to feel the sting of abuse he deserved.  I wanted him to feel a hard bald fist hit from an angry and very pissed off mother.  I wanted to be those kids protector.  I wanted to give them the loving shelter of a mother’s care.  I wanted to forget that I was a woman and whip his [implicative deleted]!  I’m still upset!  And like I said his actions pricked my memory.  Well any way . . .

When I was a young single mother I was sold a life insurance policy I could not afford.  What prompt me to buy life insurance was the untimely death of my younger, and only, brother.

Later people looking to profit and move up within a pyramid financial company tried to get me to stop the policy.  But I was bent on keeping it because I wanted to leave my son’s a little something should I die.  And I thank God for common sense!  Because, honestly, their sales-pitch came across as fishy as they tried to sell me a policy I did not need nor want.

They weren’t concern with what would happen to my children in the case of my death.  All they wanted was a sale like the first insurance salesperson.  And what I needed during this particular moment, as a single mom with three young children, was someone who knew the insurance business and knew about life.  Other words, I needed someone to help me make final financial arrangements for my young dependents.

I called my auto insurance agent and told her my dilemma.  She arranged a meeting with me to discuss affordable life insurance.

The meeting went well.  She sold me a policy that would fit my strained income.  But before she sold me the policy she asked me the below questions:

  1. How much is your mortgage?
  2. How many children do you have?
  3. How big is your house?
  4. How old are your children?

Then she went on to express the importance of having life insurance.  She could not guarantee that my children would not be mistreated.  But I clearly remember her saying that if they weren’t a financial burden to others they would probably be treated okay.  She included my mortgage in the policy in case the caretaker needed a place to stay.  She said the other half should be placed into a trust fund for the boys college expenses.  And she pointed out my Social Security could pay for their living expenses while they were under the age of 18.

Like I stated earlier, I found the video very disturbing.  It was clear to see the horrid man was not thankful for having employment.  His lack in kindness prevented him from being grateful; therefore, it was easy for him to cross the threshold of abuse.  Because had the man been grateful for employment he would have found a kinder and constructive way to punish the children.

Don’t Judge My Mom

When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. — Paul The Apostle


 

My mom Gloria Mae - Photographer:  Unknown
My mom Gloria Mae – Photographer: Unknown

When I was a child between the ages of four and eleven I was very envious of my cousins.  To me they had the cookie cutter mom and the all American home life.

Their mom stayed home.  And since my aunt didn’t work she was able to shower her children with love and guidance.  On the other hand, my mom, her sister, was a working woman.  My mom worked two jobs and she had little to no time for her children.  Therefore, me and my siblings were forsaken the love, understanding, and guidance that came from healthy parenting.

My aunt was a woman that took her role as a mom seriously.  Each of her children had swimming lessons one day and was taken to the library the next day.  She was a mom that made sure dinner was cooked everyday.  She was a mom that afforded her children the luxury to explore the heights of their imaginations.  She was the kind of mom that all children wish they had but seldom got or get.  And even though she was my aunt and a supermom I being her niece was living in parental poverty.

Parental poverty is a doorway that starves the mind from reaching its full life’s potential.  Most times parental poverty emotionally starves children of healthy emotions, as it slowly sends the souls of children into hardship.   It cripples children from learning and hampers childhood dreams.  It cast shadows over the lives of children and makes them question their existence.

And, sadly, my poor mom never realized the full meaning of being a parent.  She never really understood her role as a mom or a single mother.  Therefore, she never figured out she was for a temporary moment the captain of her children’s lives.  In her efforts to provide for her young she failed to see her children were starving for character building nourishment only a parent could give.  And as I grew so did my expectations concerning how my mom should parent me.

I hated my mom for not parenting like her sister.  I so desperately wanted to learn how to swim.  But my mom’s obligation to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table kept her from fulfilling my wishes.  And each time one of my child desires went unmet I began to nurture the love hate emotions I cultivated towards my mom.

I was never easy to get along with.  I hated my parents and with the exception of my aunt Pearl and her children I hated the rest of my mom’s family.   And most of all I hated being black, therefore, I hated my life.  And because my mom lacked experience as a nurturer the demands to shelter and feed became a lethal combination.

My mom had no idea she was killing my spirit when she told others I was retarded.  And hearing her unkind words cut deeply.  But my will to survive was stronger than the words she expressed to others.  My will to succeed was predestined and I knew that!

So when I was a child I made clear to self I was going to be someone special.  I was going to give to myself what my mom never gave to me, and rebuild what her mean-spirited words had torn down.  I was going to show my mom who was retarded!

My mom and me
My mom and me

My long awaited day of exoneration never came the way I thought.  My mom has grown old and is now sickly.  I became a parent that also made mistakes.  And as my mom’s health continues to decline the thoughts of revenge are replaced with compassion.  I no longer seek vindication nor does the thought of it appease my wounded soul.  By realizing my mom did the best she could with the understanding she had my broken heart was healed.  And in acknowledging her deficiency as my mom her overdrawn parental account is paid in full.