Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Cancer Stole My Mom....Not Our Love

Hello Pundits! I know, I know....It has been a VERY long time since we last had a conversation.  Please accept my sincerest apology:) It seems that I lost my writing mojo for a period of time.  My mother was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer, and  I suddenly found no inspiration to write. I have always had a creative side, but then suddenly it was gone.  My only focus was spending what ever borrowed time I had with the single most influential person in my life.  Although this year has been THE toughest of my entire life, there were some golden moments. 

One memorable moment was Thanksgiving.  My mother was diagnosed just one week before, and started chemo two days before Thanksgiving.  She was nauseous and exhausted, but she remained upbeat.  She even acquiesced to my insistence that we go to the beach to take a family picture.  Normally, she would give me a hard time because she said that I was "obsessed with taking pictures" (insert thick Haitian accent).  But this time she did not put up a fight, and the day could not have been more picture perfect!

Thanksgiving 2014

This was followed by Christmas, which is a very big deal in my family.  After all, celebrating Jesus' birth is no small thing.  We do it big!  There's constant music, nonstop eating, and dancing.  This past Christmas was not much different, except that my mother was not feeling her best due to the chemotherapy.  However, it didn't stop her from dancing!  She even tried desperately to teach my daughter how to dance to Haitian music.  I still giggle when I think about how she was shocked that her granddaughter could not find the beat, and exclaimed "But you're Haitian!" My son grabbed the camera and recorded the sweet dance lesson, and I couldn't be more grateful.  It's hard not to cry when I watch it because I miss her so, so, sooooo deeply, and seeing her makes me long to hold her one more time.

This was followed by Mother's Day.  How could I forget Mother's Day!?!  By then, my mother's health had worsened, and she could no longer walk without either a walker or wheelchair.  This is when she was placed in home hospice, and my parents' house began to resemble a hospital instead of a home.  There was a constant stream of nurses, home health aide, doctors, and others.  My normally vibrant mother who woke up at the crack of dawn just so she could tackle the day was now spending more time in bed than anywhere else because the pain medication made her exhausted.  However, she emerged from her bedroom on Mother's Day all dolled up so that she could take a picture with me.  (She knew I wanted to;)

Mother's Day 2015

Although I began to prepare myself emotionally several months ago for what doctors said was inevitable...that my precious mommy would succumb to cancer, I was not prepared.  How could anyone be? 

It's been nearly 6 weeks since my family gathered around her bed and prayed as she took her last breath.  To be honest...I have been through every single emotion (sometimes on a daily basis).  One of the things that helps to calm me is to do things that she and I enjoyed doing together.  Cooking is one of those things.  I remember standing knee high to her in the kitchen begging her to let me help.  Later in life, she and I would plan and execute large dinner parties.  Those were fun times!  I will miss that, but I revel in the fact that my children and I share this same tradition, as we cook constantly together.  In fact, they beg me to cook like I once did.

My mother's legacy lives on through us.  She loved with such intensity, and was the voice of reason that I always looked to for guidance.  She protected and defended us wholeheartedly.  SO much so that my brother and I lovingly nicknamed her Mommy Bear.  She, in turn, referred to us as her CubsI miss my Mommy Bear.  Although cancer may have stolen her from me, it did not diminish our connection.  That will never change.



An open and honest blog about what matters most......Children and Families!!!!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Back To School Readiness

Hi Friends,

Summer is coming to an end...sniffle:( You know what that means...it's time for school! Are you prepared? Need some help? No worries, because here are some tips that might help you ease into the school year like a pro! Enjoy:)


An open and honest blog about what matters most...children and families!!!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Hide Your Kids and Hide Your Wives....Pastor's at the Pulpit

Hi Pundits!!!! I realize that I have been dormant for quite some time, but there have been a lot of recent events in the world that have awakened my writing impulse. For example, you may have heard about the little 'ole Zimmerman trial. No, I'm not writing about that today because I am still too angry and disgusted about the outcome. Nope, I won't go there today with you. Instead, I want to talk about a news story that came across my screen yesterday. It's one that has me scratching my temple and side eyeing so hard it makes my crows feet ache.
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Here it goes....

Christ Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church in Jacksonville, FL has banned children from attending Sunday services because their new pastor, Darrell Gilyard, is a registered sex offender and cannot have contact with children. I'm sure you probably had to pause and reread that sentence...cuz it sounds CRAZY AS ALL OUTDOORS. The good pastor plead guilty in 2009 to lewd conduct and lewd molestation of two underage girls. He was the pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church when he molested a 15-year-old girl, and sent a lewd text message to another. Under the conditions of his plea agreement, the pedophile pastor cannot have “unsupervised contact with children under 18 years old.” However, even any supervised contact must be OK'd by a therapist. 

It gets better...

There are even more reports of behavior unbecoming of a human pastor. According to the Guardian's report, in 2004, Gilyard also admitted that he had fathered a child with a woman who had accused him of raping her during a counseling session.  It should be noted that he was never charged with that crime.

Wait for it....

The church's attendance has spiked since he joined the church family.  It has grown from 10 to 200 members.  Sigh

My Humble Thoughts....

Maybe something is wrong with me.  Maybe  I have lost my mind.  Maybe I've slipped into psychosis and my sense of reality is off.  Or just maybe the members of  Christ Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church are crazy.  I choose the latter explanation.

What exactly do they say to their children as they head out to Sunday services, "Sorry sweetie you can't come because Pastor Gilyard might be tempted to rape you."  Wh wh what????  Come on people of Jacksonville!  Surely your children's spiritual formation is more important to you than supporting a pastor (I cringe every time I am forced to type that word before his name) with a lengthy abusive past.  I say give him the boot, and open up the door to children so they can worship as part of the larger group.

Here's my question to my fellow pundits.  What's worse...knowing that your pastor is a pedophile and banning children from church, OR Not knowing that the pastor is a pedophile and allowing him around your children. 

It's not secret that the Catholic church has been rocked with bad press following countless allegations and convictions related to sexual abuse by priests.  But did you know that there is a place where these men of the cloth sickos go for rehabilitation.  The Servants of the Paraclete is a Catholic order founded at Jemez Springs, New Mexico, in 1947 which offers this type of counseling.  The priests are then returned to their Parish or sent to other ones without the public knowing.

Please understand that I do believe in repentance, and in a forgiving God.  But uh rum ma...I can neither stomach nor trust a pedophile...Whether or not they stand at a street corner... or the pulpit.  So, in my loudest Spike Lee voice "WAAAAAAAAAAAKKKKEEE UP" Christ Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church.  Your pastor is a pedophile. 

An open and honest blog about what matters most......Children and Families!!!!

Friday, January 18, 2013

How to Have More Patience with Your Kids

Today's guest post is provided by www.NannyPro.com who contacted me and asked that I consider sharing this content with my readers.  This article is certainly appropriate for my fellow parenting pundits, so it is with pleasure that I share it with you!  We could all use these tips:)

An open and honest blog about what matters most....children and families!!!


The following is provided by www.nannypro.com:

Patience is hardly a trait people are born with, so when parents are pressed to care for themselves and their children, it should come as no surprise that patience can wear thin. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to increase your patience, decrease your stress, and better enjoy your parental role and relationship with your kids.

  1. Learn to self-soothe. When your patience is being challenged, put yourself in a mental timeout. Taking a deep breath in through your nose and blowing it out through your mouth, visualizing a calming and relaxing place, practicing positive self-talk, and turning on classical music can offer an almost instantaneous calming effect, allowing you to work through the situation at hand.                                                                                                                                                 
  2. Establish you time. If you don’t set aside time for yourself to meet your own physical, spiritual, emotional, creative and intellectual needs, you’ll naturally be short tempered with others. Whether you pencil in an hour each day into your schedule to have time to yourself or set your alarm to wake up a half hour before anyone else to enjoy your coffee and start your morning in peace, meeting your needs will empower you to better be able to meet the needs of others.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
  3. Set your priorities. Feeling like you’re being pulled in a bunch of different directions can be stressful. More stress translates into less patience. Each week, make a list of your priorities to help guide you through your week. When you have a set of priorities you’re less likely to feel frazzled and stressed.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
  4. Consider your goals. During times when your patience is wearing thin, keep your eyes on the prize. Consider what lessons you’re trying to instill in your children and what type of relationship you wish to have with them. Letting your goals guide you during your interactions, you’ll find yourself slowing down and wanting to spend the time and energy in the moment you’re in.                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  5. Take a break. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, you can watch your patience disappear before your very eyes. In these times, ask your spouse or a friend, or hire a babysitter to step in and care for the children. Even a short window of time can help you regroup and refocus and when you do, your patience will return.                                                                                                   
  6. Meet your children’s needs. Children who are well-fed and well-rested behave better than those who are not. Better behaved children are less likely to test your patience, so work towards meeting their daily needs to help them from pushing the limits of your patience.                              
  7. Have realistic expectations. Consider the ages and stages of your children and your own abilities and give yourself a break. When you’re aware of your children’s developmental abilities and your own strengths and weaknesses, you’re better able to manage your expectations. Realistic expectations can help you to better manage and extend your patience.

When all else fails, don’t give up. When you’re feeling short on patience or you didn’t extend as much as you would have liked, go easy on yourself and commit to trying again. When it comes down to it, the only way to increase patience is to practice it.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Safe Sex Is.....SEXY

One of the most powerful radio interviews that I have done to date happened 4 years ago. In honor of World AIDS Day, I am reposting my interview with the ever inspiring, and Emmy Award winner Rae Lewis Thornton. 

Despite her present day status of having full-blown AIDS (ACQUIRED Immune-deficiency Syndrome), Rae has lead a crusade to educate and challenge audiences to take control of their own bodies, futures and health. Rae uses her life as an example that AIDS is a non-discriminatory disease. She challenges the most common myths and stereotypes surrounding who and how one can become infected.

More than 25 million people have died of this disease, and despite medical advances...there is still  no cure.  The great news is that HIV is preventable...all you need to do is practice safe sex ALL THE TIME.  No sex experience is worth your life...seriously.  Please listen to Rae's inspirational story...and hopefully it will inspire you to get tested and take charge of your sex life.  SAFE SEX IS SEXY.....

 Click to listen.....

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An open and honest blog about what matters most....children and families!!!