When I saw this meme online this morning, I laughed so hard I began to snort. I thought to myself ” Wow! what a great way to start off a Tuesday morning!” Since I enjoyed reading it over and over in various voices of older people I know, I thought said why not share the laugh? Once I posted the meme, all of my friends found it just as hilarious as I did. I shared with one of my friends who commented on it that I can picture my grandmother saying this to me. However she would have added a whipping to go with it! I never thought I would be a 42 year old mother with 10 tattoos. I remember when my brother started to getting his tattoos and I could not understand why. I felt like the old white woman in the meme: I bet he is a weed snorter! Then of course my son started getting them and then he got the big one. Who but his mom’s name on his forearm. I was so surprised, but I couldn’t help but to love it. I can remember asking Chris to please stop getting tattoos and my nonsensical reason was, “how are you going to get a job?” I am woman enough to admit that crow does not taste well at all. He is employed and doing just fine. I lost count on how many tattoos he actually has. When I moved to Atlanta, I got my first tattoo on my foot on a whim. I was just riding around and I saw Psycho Tattoo and said “let’s see what’s going on in here.” One hour later was I hobbling to my car with my pretty, swollen foot and my new tattoo. The funny thing is, I really loved my tattoo and it was something personal I did for myself. Oh and I didn’t lose my job because of it. Fast-forward 17 years I got my tenth one about 2 weeks ago. I love them all and I get so many compliments on them. They are for me and no one else.
This is a great life lesson on how I became the book I once judged by its cover. I have to be honest. I was a little afraid to show my mother my latest creations last weekend. I finally pulled up my sleeves and showed her. She was surprised and was only concerned about the pain they caused. She is one of my biggest HS supporters and she wants to make sure I take extra care of my skin. Times change and people change along with it, if they choose to do so.
Tattoos are beautiful. Get one, two or ten. The next time you see someone with a nice sleeve or leg tattoos, give them a compliment if you like them or ask questions if you are curious. I am sure we won’t mind sharing our story.
( On the inside of my forearms I have a dandelion, cross, lotus and mindfulness)
Today is a special day for me. Yes, I know it’s April Fool’s Day, but it is also my son’s birthday. For some reason Chris turning 26 today has made me feel proud, happy and thankful. Whenever I tell the faithful story of giving birth to him at the tender age of 16, I always start with telling people I had Chris before it was acceptable to be a teen mom. Not only did I or anyone else know I was pregnant (I was skinny and continued to have my period), but I gave birth at home. I’ll save the reaction stories for another time. What I can tell you is that I was a child that had given birth to a child and I was terrified! Chris was so tiny and premature that I was not even able to take pictures of him until 27 days after he was born. Children’s Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama was his home for the next several months.
As I sit here and think back about his life up until this point, I smile and I thank God. Even for the times that he was not making the best decisions or doing the right thing. All of that was part of his journey that makes him the man I see before me today. He is handsome, strong, smart, kind and has a heart of gold. Best of all, he knows that he is loved. When I think about how I wish my daddy was here to witness Chris on his journey, I have to remind myself that his spirit is with us and continues to live on through us. I know he is just as proud as I am.
Words cannot express how much I love my son. He has been my motivation for 26 years. We have not always agreed on everything, but one thing I always hold on to, nothing will ever separate me from the love I have for him. I want to end this mom brag post with one of my favorite verses in Adele’s Sweetest Devotion song. The song she wrote about her son.
I wasn’t ready then, I’m ready now
I’m heading straight for you
You will only be eternally
The one that I belong to
I hope everyone is doing well. It has been a stressful, rollercoaster past few weeks. As unorganized and all over the place as I have been, I am thankful that I am here. Still moving forward, still pushing, REFUSING TO BE DEFEATED!
As many of you know my mommy just had triple bypass surgery. Yes, this is a major procedure. When she first told me, I have to admit I was taken aback. I immediately went into mommy protector mode. While trying to stay positive with my mommy, I began to prep and plan trying to get everything done before the date of her surgery. I did not want her to have to worry about anything. After I hung the phone with her I sat here at my desk wondering what I was going to do next. First thing I did was ask God to watch over and heal my mommy. I explained to him how much I loved her and how much I needed her. I continuously prayed and prayed and anything trace of fear I initially had disappeared. I had to choose fear or faith. I chose faith.
With everything going on of course I started to reflect on the days of when my daddy was sick in the hospital. I honestly think God knew I was about to spiral down a never-ending rabbit hole of emotion with these thoughts. Instead I thought about the things my parents told me at some very difficult times in my life. I narrowed it down to two for the sake of not writing a book. (More to come in future posts!)
- I traveled home from Atlanta on a stormy day to visit with my daddy when he was in the hospital. This was actually one of the last visits I had with him before he passed away. So it took me a while to get there and when I did I was so tired and hungry. It’s like I can see his face now. When I walked in the room he smiled and said “hey baby!” I spoke and told him it took me forever to get there because it was storming. I told him I was hungry, but that I didn’t need to eat because I was fat. Daddy looked at me and said ” Landa you are not fat. I wish I looked like you right now. You are so beautiful.” Of course I told him ” I get it from my daddy!” We both laughed. You see, at the time my daddy had lost so much weight because he was sick, he didn’t look like himself. I grabbed his hand (which I just loved) and told him thank you and that I loved him. There I was complaining about the way I looked and all he could see was his daughter that he loved and that loved him so much. That’s all that matters.
- I called my mommy one day like I try to do on a daily basis even if there is nothing going on. Well on that particular day, I was having a bad day. My feelings were hurt about work and my lack of a social life. I remember being at the point of tears. Just before a tear fell my mommy said to me,” Baby I wish you could see yourself through my eyes. You have no idea how wonderful you are.” Of course many tears fell after that. When I got off the phone with my mommy all I could do is smile and thank God for her. She had no idea how what she said made me feel so much better. Words from her mouth went straight to my heart.
I carry my parents with me daily. It doesn’t mean that I don’t mess up or make mistakes. It means that God does not make mistakes. It means my parents belong to me and I to them. Even when we have had our WTF moments, rough spots and truly asking if there was a mix up at the hospital. I means I was, am and will always be loved by them, as I love them.
Things have a way of coming back full circle. I have been lucky enough to be with my parents during their times when they were vulnerable and sick. When they needed me most. I use the word lucky because it is something I am more than happy to do. They have taken care of me all of my life. The good, the bad and the ugly. Yes it has been ugly because no matter the ailment, I told my parents about it! LOL! I know as children we can never repay our parents for everything they have done, but it is nice to show them the unconditional love they have shown us.
I know its been a while since I have embraced my blog, but I am so happy to be writing this post. As I sit here an write I am listening to Drake’s In My Feelings that has taken social media by storm with the shiggy challenge. I have been singing and trying to dance to this song for 3 days now. My puppy Gambino started out enjoying the festivities, now he just goes and hides when I start the music. Of course you know I force him to dance with me because I am his mom dammit! LOL! Needless to say today is a good day.
For those of you who know me personally, you know I am a planner. For the most part I need to know how, when and where when I am doing something preferably before hand. I am working on being more spontaneous, but I must say it is not easy. I call it being organized, others call it being a control freak. With that being said, once upon a time I really thought I could plan love. Yes you read it right, love. One of the most fickle, wild, crazy, unpredictable feelings/action ever know to man. The list was made. Everything from the way he looked, his job, hygiene skills, the type of car he drove to what kind of parents he would have. I wouldn’t say I was on the hunt, but I would say rather I was carrying this list with me everywhere and if I met someone who fit then it was a good thing. Right? WRONG! I will tell you why. If you never meet a man with these qualifications then you think you have failed at love in some form. Like maybe he is not out there for you and you are destined to be alone. Or you end up frustrated and say to hell with the list and decide to choose from being a workaholic or a crazy dog lady. Whatever comes first.
Then, it just happens. The day you are minding your own business while you are in Publix trying to find ripe bananas for yourself and fresh ones for your puppy. He asks you if you could hand him a fruit bag. (That he could’ve gotten himself!) As you are handing him the bag you both end up dropping your fruit. 5 minutes later you exchanged numbers and he says he is going to call you once he gets home. ( AND HE DOES!) That is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Sometimes there is no handbook or script. You just have to go with it. Not everything is meant to be planned. Life is too short not to make the best of it. It is when you least expect it the magic begins.
We Meet For A Reason. Either You Are A Blessing Or A Lesson
I try to stay mindful of the fact that not everyone has a person or people in their lives to pick them up when they fall or give them a kind word when they are having a rough day. I wanted to show up today for anyone who is unable to show up for themselves and perhaps may not have anyone to say the things that they may need to hear right now. Just in case no has told you today,
- You are going to be okay
- All you can do is the best you can
- It may be the end of the road, but not the end of the world
- This is just temporary
- You are such a beautiful person inside and out
- It is okay not to be okay
- You are not alone
- No one is perfect
- Even the smallest thing we do for ourselves or someone else can bring so much joy
- The love you have for yourself surpasses the love anyone else can have for you
- Be kind to yourself
- It’s okay to laugh at yourself
I felt a need to put this out in the world because we are all in this thing called life together, whether we know one another personally or not. You may need these words today or maybe it’s someone you know. Maybe you will meet a stranger today who needs a kind word. The world is hard enough on us all. Let’s try to pull one another up in hope, kindness and love.
P.S. I went to walk my dog this morning and I had the leash and his poop bags, but I forgot my dog! I chose to laugh at myself instead of getting upset about messing up the walk.
Speak with you soon.
I know it has been a while since I have posted. To be quite honest, when I sat down at my desk to write I did not know where to begin. I had to keep in mind this is my blog and not my journal, but at the same time being as authentic as I can. There has been so much going on in the world that when I actually sit down and try to understand it all, I want to take all of my family and friends to a secret place to try and protect them. Then I wonder is there a place for any of us to go. The world has its way of making some of us feel like we don’t belong anywhere. School shootings, shootings targeting black people, black people being killed by police, black people being afraid to ask police for help, the justice system over sentencing based on the color of your skin, teachers not making enough money to function on a daily basis, fear of SSI and Medicaid being cut for the elderly, overwhelming student debt for people trying to get jobs that don’t even pay enough for them to live on, looking at videos of racist people saying we don’t belong here and its time to make America white again. I could write an entire page of just issues that are going on today, but I know you get the point. If you were unable to take a breath from trying to read that run on sentence, imagine trying to take a breath while you live it. Trying to understand this and be apart of the solution while trying to live with HS has been a bit overwhelming. My faith was being tested. I was beginning to wonder if anyone cared. What can I do? What can you do? Needless to say I was in a rut.
I am only one person and alone it does not seem like I can do much, but I will do what I can. I know it sounds cliché but I will be the change I want to see. With all of the mean, vile, racist and uncaring people in the world, I will always try to remember there are just as many good people in the world. I realize the further I get away from God the more complex my life tends to be. It makes more sense to give Him the time I spend scrolling through Facebook and watching the news. It doesn’t mean I am trying to keep my head buried so the problems would go away. It means that I need to do things that will strengthen my faith and my soul. I always make sure the people I surround myself with are strong, loving and supportive people. I am going to be strong, loving and supportive to them. If I am defeated and depleted, I am no good to myself or anyone else. I am going to fight for what is right and spread awareness when and where I can. I know I am just one person, but sometimes that’s all it takes….Right?
HS be damned. You did not win! I did. I have been looking forward to the arrival of Black Panther since last year. Matter of fact, I think that is when I purchased my prescreening event ticket. It’s hard for me to plan anything because HS is very unpredictable. I decided to let the chips fall where they may because nothing was going to keep me from this film. Besides, one of my dearest friends is an extra in the movie. Which to me is the same as her having a leading role. The day before the event as I got up to prepare for work, a sharp pain brought me to my knees. I knew better to ask what it was about. I knew it wasn’t the flu, but HS related. I had one of the worst flare-ups I had ever seen or felt. Every scar and every open area was red, enflamed and angry.. AT ME. The first thing that came to mind was OMG what am I going to do with my ticket because I will not be able to walk. I sat on the floor and devised my plan. Thank goodness I had my cellphone because I did not know when I was going to be able to get up. My entire day consisted of Clorox baths, various topical medications and a solo rendition of the horizontal polka. Thursday morning arrived and I felt like a kid at Christmas. Black Panther is here! Black Panther is here! As was the pain! There was a silver lining. I was at least able to walk a little. All I needed to do was get my hair styled, shower, get dressed, get in the car and to the theatre. That was my to-do list for the day. It was touch and go there for a minute, but I managed to make it. There were many breaks in between and even a few tears, but I persisted.
When I got out of my car, I was immediately greeted by this beautiful lady that said ” I love your shirt, your hair and earrings. Welcome. We are so glad you’re here.” I was shocked. I could not believe there was a welcoming committee for the movie. She asked me my name and I told her as we were walking toward the theatre. She finally asked me if I was here for the volunteer work. I was like “ummm no, I’m sorry I am just here for the movie.” We both laughed and hugged. She introduced me to the rest of the volunteers and we all had a laugh. As I walked into the theatre to find my place in a line, I saw all of the Black Panther posters and instantly got goosebumps. People were trying to buy tickets and they were sold out until Tuesday. I was so happy I had my ticket already. I walked around looking at the posters and a young lady walked up to me and asked me if I was here to see Black Panther. I told her yes and she replied ” so am I let’s sit next to each other.” More and more people arrived dressed in their t-shirts and African attire. Everyone was hugging, laughing, and taking pictures. I was okay with being there alone because it was like I was attending with my family. It was amazing. This is not a fad. This is a positive movement.
I won’t spoil the movie for those of you who have not seen it yet. I urge you to go and see it as many times as possible. This movie made me feel amazing both during and after I finished watching it. I am so proud to see people on the big screen that look like me play such positive and profound roles. Killmonger’s role as the villain is just as important as T’Challa’s role as the hero. Africa is being shown as this bountiful and beautiful not impoverished land. Children have their superhero that is not a slave, crackhead or criminal. While I know Wakanda is fictional, this movie is pushing me outside of my box. I want to know where I came from. I want to explore my family history. I want to do more in the community and the world. If nothing else Black Panther has shown how we all can come together for a common interest and make a difference. We can do great things together and make a difference. I want to continue to take this feeling with me not just this weekend, this month but forever. WAKANDA FOREVER!!