Category Archives: Hope is the thing with feathers

Hope springs eternal

Conqueror

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Yet in all things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

My best friend has conquered life! On 12.12.12, she returned to our Father in heaven. I have memories that span 22 years-from elementary to college, children and husbands, shopping and dining, drinking tea, attending cultural events, worshipping together, celebrating birthdays and other milestones, and our love of all things Twilight-Team Edward (I take pleasure in the fact that it was me who got her hooked, lol)-we have traversed the roads of life together.

On the drive home from the hospital, the theme from “The Golden Girls” kept playing in my mind:

“Thank you for being a friend/Travel down the road and back again/ Your heart is true/ You’re a pal and confidante.”

She was all that and more. I’ve never had a finer friend. My heart brims over with love for her. I take comfort in knowing that absent from the body means present with the Lord. More than a conqueror, cancer didn’t beat her. She ran the race until the end. For weeping may last a night, but joy cometh in the morning!

I encouraged her to start a blog, and for a moment, she did. She didn’t write a lot, but what she did is so powerful and motivational. I am still amazed by all that she was.

I praise, bless, and thank God for our time together!

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The Missing Piece

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For we walk by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1

Life is like a puzzle I like to tell myself. When you are putting it together, it often looks like it will never amount to anything, especially so when it  large or provides few clues on piecing it together.

Case in point: I had a photo turned into a puzzle, and because I was being cheap, I did not order the tin that would have displayed the picture on the outside. So when putting it together, I grew frustrated because I had nothing to reference and could not find the original picture snapped on a  Hawaiian beach.

The backdrop was simply sand, sky, and sea–which made it very hard to decipher one piece from another.  I quickly decided that the company  must have gotten the puzzle all wrong, it truly did not APPEAR that it could form a legitimate image.  I finally  located the picture on my computer and worked from there. Slowly I made progress.

It wasn’t until I was virtually finished with it a few days later that I knew a picture existed. I was so excited to have the puzzle done except for one piece that I could not find. Strangely, I did not panic. I was sure it would turn up somewhere. And it did in the strangest of places.  The missing piece was on the bathroom floor!

I recalled this experience today and decided to keep a puzzle piece in my purse as a reminder.  The piece serves to remind me that everything happens as it should, and once every piece is all in place, the picture will be complete. And make sense.

Moral of my story: Have faith!

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God Sees The Truth, But Waits

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This weekend I was feeling a little down so Saturday I decided to visit the mall and treat myself.  I saw a couple of former students and chatted with them, but for the most part, I was alone with my thoughts for the next few hours.

I concluded with a bite at the food court.  As I was walking toward the exit, you all would never believe who was coming straight toward me! Ethan! Ethan who is now 15 and in the 10th grade! It was a surreal moment though I don’t know why. 

A couple of days prior my aunt’s husband told me that he saw the kids at the license branch with my former SIL.  From that I concluded that she finally received custody and the fact that she made it a point to tell him that they now lived with HER .  He also said that Evan kept asking to come over to their house.  My aunt called me later and told me she believed that was his way of getting to see me since he would not be allowed to do so outright. 

Also, Eliza had written me over the summer seeking my help in contacting their aunt regarding guardianship (because her sister no longer wanted the responsibility).  And as small as our “big” city is, I knew I would be bound to run into them sooner or later if this did happen.

I gave Ethan a hug and a kiss and inquired about Evan.  It was an awkward moment. We both  wanted to say more but not in front an audience and only talked for a few minutes because his uncle (my SIL’s husband) looked uncomfortable.  Though he has tried to stay neutral in the situation; I suppose he still has to defer to his wife.  I could see he knew that she would not be happy about our reunion.  But Ethan seemed pleased to see me.  I just wish Evan would have been with him. 

Last night I dreamed about the kids. Today I am still processing seeing him again after almost two years.  Next Monday marks the second anniversary of his father’s death. I am still being haunted by the ugliness of it all.

I feel like my enemies have won again. My SIL has the boys and has been arguing via FB with Eliza’s sister (she is the one who took them from me) regarding their social security checks!  Sadly they both only want the boys for the money they come with.

I mentioned that Eliza wrote early in the summer.  Here are the 3 of the 4 letters she sent after initially asking for my help in locating my husband’s sister:

7/9/10

Hi Morocco,

How are you? Have you heard anything from Shawn or her mom? I’m still waiting to hear something from them. I appreciate your immediate response- thank you. I have filed paperwork so I pray I receive a response from one of them soon.  Be Blessed

Always

El

10/5/10

Goodmorning M,

I pray all is well with you. I’m doing well by the grace of God. Morocco I really need your help. I need for you to mail me copies of anything you have regarding Evan’s condition. I need it as soon as you can get it to me. I’ll be home in a few months and I’ve been trying to get things ready ahead of time with family counseling. I would greatly appreciate this. I know you stayed on top of things and I will forever be grateful for the care you provided our boys. They ask me if I talk to you. Maybe if you are up to it we can get together when I get home after I get things together. Well I’ll let you go, have a blessed day. 

Sincerely

El

 10/13/10

Goodmorning Morocco,

Thank you so much I really appreciate it. I will contact you soon so that we can set something up. I talk to the boys but I don’t get to see them regularly. I know they are going to be excited to see you. I think it would be good for them. God has a way of working things out doesn’t He:)? I’ll close for now but I’ll be in touch.

Be Blessed M

Always

El

 Of course after meeting all of her requests, including contacting his sister and sending her over 250 pieces of paperwork detailing Evan’s condition, I have not heard from her.  I suppose I should have expected this from the same person who orchestrated her children’s removal from my home, sent no type of condolences after my husband’s death, and who slandered me in prison and ended up getting into a fight with Jazmine’s mom over her comments.

She also never mentioned that she had a modification hearing on October 19th in an attempt to get an early release.  I only found out because I received an email from the victim notification system.  I believe she wanted to use the paperwork to bolster the chances of having her sentence reduced.

I’ve done all I can do for her, so I foresee no reason for Eliza to contact me ever again.  She probably never intended to allow me to see her boys.  That was just the dangling carrot to manipulate me into doing what she asked.  Unfortunately that shows that she still does not get it.  I did those things for her because that’s just the kind of person that I am. 

And I do believe she is right about one thing, God does have a way of working things out. He already knew of her ill intentions and arranged for me to run into Ethan.  I do believe I’ll being seeing Evan next!

4 1/2 More

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On a hunch, I checked Jazmine’s mom release status and to my dismay, she had a new date: April 7, 2010!

Oddly enough I have been pretty calm about the matter. I have enough overwhelming my mind at the present time and I can’t worry about this. I am going to trust that God will see me through.  I have to believe that no weapon formed against me shall prosper.

Beautiful Day

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My students and I are watching the inauguration.  My kids seem to have an opinion about everything!  This is a great moment in our history so I asked a few students to share with me how they felt.  Here’s what they had to say:

This is history!  We shouldn’t have to come to school ever again on this day!  ~Howard

It’s a new beginning.  ~Donte

I am happy to be alive to witness a Black man become president. ~Fernando

On November the 4th I realized that I could be anything.  There are no more excuses that can be made by anyone in this country.  Hope is alive! ~Brian

It’s a beautiful thing.  I really want to shed a tear.  (two seconds later) I mean I’m happy to have a Black president and all, but really it’s not that deep! ~Iesha

I think he will make things better for all Americans. ~Ashley

I don’t know what to think! I can’t even express the way I feel. ~Dasha

I hope he will make college more affordable. ~Makailya

It’s amazing! ~Maurice

Barack O’bama is a rock star! ~Dashae

He has set a standard for Black people. ~Montice

Awesome!~Miles

My only wish is that my lost loved ones were here to witness the day with me.

The Good Book

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Last night I spent some time writing in my prayer journal.  However, I didn’t write to God this time.  Instead I searched the Bible to find scriptures of comfort to transcribe.  I like to memorize them but during the times I need them the most, I can’t seem to recall many! 

There are several that really speak to my heart.  Here are a few of my favorite:

Be still and know that I am God Psalm 46:10

In My Father’s house there are many mansions, if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.   And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.  John 14:2-3

Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord Psalm 27:14

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing Psalm 30:11

Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.  He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your justice as the noonday. Psalm 37:5-6

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.  There shall be no pain, for the former things have passed away.  Revelations 21:4

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

He will swallow up death forever, And the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces. Isaiah 25:8

Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. James 5:13

You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. James 5:8

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  James 1:2-3

He heals the brokenhearted, And binds up their wounds. He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name. Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite. Psalms 147: 3-5

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:38-39

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

Take a Bow

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Tonight two of my girlfriends and I had dinner and a movie.  We went to see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.  When I saw the commercial on tv last night, I thought it looked pretty intriguing so I searched online and viewed two other trailers for the film.  I definitely knew I wanted to see it.

I won’t ruin it for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet, however, I will say that it is so poignantly charming and tender despite its somber undertone (death is everywhere, but life is, too!).  I cried and loved Benjamin right from the start.  I wanted to bring him home with me!

 My tears came for many reasons:

  • My husband loved movies and would have enjoyed this one with me
  • Essentially it is a love story (not just romantic) and reminded me of how much I miss him
  • Having danced ballet virtually my whole life and as a part time teacher, I really loved this facet of the movie
  • The beautiful and timely message that you have to accept both the joys and pains of life
  • The acting was superb

Thankfully I had my two lovely friends there for support.  They graciously allowed me to cry unashamedly.  Walking out of the theatre I had a fresh flow of tears just thinking about how fleeting life really is.  One of my friends joked that perhaps we should have watched The Tale of Despereaux  instead!

But I do wonder what F. Scott Fitzgerald would have thought of this silver screen adaption of his short story…now that’s just the English teacher in me talking!

Live Through This

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2008 has been quite a year for me.  I never imagined that I would lose both my mother and my husband in the same year.  But as painful, terrifying, and debilitating as it is, I know I will make it.  The truth of the matter is that we can live without lost loved ones even when our carnal flesh feels we can’t.

If that wasn’t the case I would have died my first death when my grandmother died in 1994.

And again when my uncle died in 2001.

And again when my great-aunt died in 2002.

And again when my aunt died in 2004.

And I would have died twice this year alone.

I was very close to each one of them.

Yet I’m still here.  I have had many comatose moments in the pit of despair since he’s been gone.   I am crawling out of it at a snail’s pace.   At my lowest points I feel that I can’t go on.  However, I know these thoughts are strictly from the devil.  He wants me to believe that I can’t exist without him which spawns depression and suicidal thoughts.  But the devil is a liar.

No matter what you are going through, and I can guarantee that you will go through something in the year to come, just remember you can make it!  I hope to grow and learn from my trials .  What else is there to do?  Eventually I hope to use my testimony to help other widows and stepmoms through this difficult time.  And as long as I am alive, I have a chance to do this.  I have lived through a lot of strife in my short time. You can, too!

I hope everyone has a blessed year in 2009!