Tag Archives: support

The Sisterhood

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There are places in cyberspace where sisters of all ages, creeds, and colors meet up as often as they can for a little girl talk, motivation, support, love, candor, and fun.

This is only one such place. 

You all are like sisters to me! After I read the comments left on Date Night I started laughing, then I started crying.  I cried out of sadness  (just the fact that I even have to date) but more so out of gratitude.  I am so thankful that you all have been here with me.  It has been a long, strange trip, my friends!  Who knew that I would begin as stepmom and end up Ms. Singlemama?

Maybe God knew (of course He did) that I would need this circle of love to get me through a very tender season?  Blogging has no doubt helped carry me through the abysss.

I take your advice and suggestiions to heart because I know you gals want the best for me and vice versa.  I just value you ALL beyond belief!!! So I thank you Stacy, Joy, Doraz, Suzanne, Justaglimpse, Rhonda, Leila, Crys, Been There, Dragonflymama, Serendip, Kweenmama, Starla, Old Freind, Kelly, Destined,  Natalie, Yo, Amy, and anyone else that I forgot to mention who has been kind enough to leave a comment on this blog!

One love,

Morocco

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Overwhelmed

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One of my coworkers has made it her mission to cheer me up.  She has went over and beyond to do so.  My heart is really touched by her generosity and selflessness.  Here are a few things she has done; although I am probably forgetting something because she has done SO much!

  • She was my Secret Santa for a week (I did not even sign up)
  • She made me lunch and dinner several weeks in a row
  • She organized a group of coworkers to buy my lunch for a week straight
  • When I was sleep starved and not feeling well for two days she allowed me to bring all of my classes to the media center
  • For Christmas she gave me movie theatre and restaurant gift certificates
  • She invited us to her sister’s for Christmas dinner
  • She bought me a fancy journal and pen because she knows that I like to write
  • She attended the wake
  • For my birthday she bought cupcakes for all 135 of my students!  She also gave me a gift certificate to an upscale restaurant
  • She has volunteered her babysitting services
  • Just today she presented me with an autographed copy of one of my favorite books!

How do you thank a person like this?  I wanted to do something from the heart; so I made her one of my special framed acrostic poems and presented it to her.  She loved it!

A small token of my appreciation

A small token of my appreciation

Be There

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Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep..For none of us lives to himself…

Romans 12:15,14:7

As death is apart of the life cycle, it is bound to happen.  This is the one fate we all have in common.  I’m sure many of you have been in the seat of mourner.  During my period of mourning I have had some great support.  Death leaves a bitter taste in everyone’s mouth.  Sometimes you don’t know what you can do to help the person through their period of sadness and loss.  Here are a few things that I think are helpful to consider when helping those you are close to are grieving:

  • Silence is for Lambs: Always acknowledge the loss of the mourner’s loved one.  This can be done without words in the form of a simple hug, a greeting card, or a heartfelt smile.  Pretending like nothing has occurred is rather callous.  My own brother (Jazmine’s father) did not bother to attend the service or even acknowledge his death.
  • Practical Makes Perfect:  It was so helpful (and much appreciated) when friends, relatives, and coworkers provided me with meals!  Cooking is the last thing on your mind.  And of course, this is really a time that you need to nourish your body with good food.  Nicholas, Jazmine, and I were often invited to breakfast and dinner by family and several coworkers bought my lunch everyday or prepared it themselves.  If it wasn’t for these people, we would have starved! My cousin also volunteered tireless hours driving me around.  She made the roundtrip so that I could talk to Evan about his dad, too.  Another practical form of help is to assist in addressing thank you cards.  This is something that I didn’t feel like doing but my good manners would not allow me not to.  I even had several babysitting offers when I needed to take care of business.
  • 21 Questions is a Game Not to Play:  I say this because I have been asked some rather insensitive questions, such as was my husband overweight (no, he was not), did I cook healthy meals, (mostly) or was he ill (no again).  Allow the mourner the opportunity to grieve first.  They may or may not feel like divulging details of the death, and if  they don’t, then that’s okay, too.
  • Lipservice is Not Service: “If you need anything, let me know” is a common one.  Now I know people mean well and  hate to see a person that they love or care about hurting.  But only offer services that you are  truly capable of or are willing to lovingly provide.  One day, someone just might take you up on your generous offer which could create an ackward situation for both parties.  Also don’t offer simplistic platitudes such as “God needed him more.”  Even if it is true, that’s not what a grieving spirit wants to hear.
  • Rose-Colored Glasses Don’t Look Good On You:  One of my coworkers who is a wonderful man, is determined that I will not be sad.  He does everything to try and make me laugh.  However, it’s annoying.  I’m sad–sadder than sad and will be for quite some time.  But I have every right to be.  I don’t feel like laughing even when others think I should.  It is totally alright for people to experience a wide range of emotions while mourning.  Please give them this gift without the pressure of feeling that they need to “get over” their loss and be happy again.  I will be okay again one day in my own timing.
  • Disappearing Acts Are For Magicians: This is one of the most lonely and vulnerable times of grieving.  I imagine one could really lose their minds without proper support in place.  So don’t “go missing” after the service!  Grief is not something that ends with the funeral.
  • Use Your Ears for More Than Hanging Earrings:  I am so thankful to my friend Stacy, whom I met through blogging.  She listened to me cry and babble one night for over three hours!  I am grateful that she cared enough about a perfect stranger to sacrifice her time to make me feel better.  My friend Angela was wonderful as well.  I can’t stress how important it is to be a listening ear. 
  • Jumping to Conclusions is Not an Olympic  Sport: Don’t assume that a person grieving is “okay”  because they may appear to be fine. I am a perfect example of this because I hide my emotions very well.   Tears of a Clown is my theme song at the moment!  Check often on the person via email, text,  personal visits, cards, voicemail, or telephone calls to let the person know you are concerned about their wellbeing.  Also, don’t forget to include the mourner in on activities that you normally would.  It is eay to make the false assumption that “they won’t feel up doing anything.”  This is hurtful and not always the case.
  • Uh Huh…Okay…Shut-up: I have had several people tell me that I am “young and will marry again” or “you’ll be fine after a few years.”  Sometimes the best words to say are none at all.  Our society is so used to idle chatter that people are under the false impression that they have to say something when they don’t.
  • Be Clueless:  Feel free not to have a ready explanation as to why their loved one died.  We don’t know the answers to God’s many mysteries of life.  Just be there, your presence is enough.
  • Don’t Tiptoe Through the Tulips:  It is okay to talk about the deceased.  I’ve had a few of my coworkers look in horror when my students discuss the many times they saw my husband and I out.  He was alive once and it doesn’t bother me when people remember him.  Our family talks about him all the time.
  • Lace Up Your Nikes:  Don’t ask IF the grieving person needs something because you know they do!  Even if it is something as simple as a hug.  If you notice they haven’t been eating, buy them lunch.  Invite them to your home, baby-sit for a few hours, offer to run errands for them.  Most people are too shy/proud to admit that they really need someone to lean on.  Most mourners won’t interpret this as being intrusive.  I view it as people wanting to do something to help ease my pain.  The point is don’t wait for a vulnerable person to make a request because that may never happen–just do it! 
  • Orisons Are Awesome: This is the most beautiful and lasting form of support.  I know many of you have sent up prayers for me and I am in awe.  When I feel so low, which I often do, I can only wonder how much worse off I would be without the prayers of family, friends, fellow bloggers, perfect strangers, and coworkers to help keep me afloat.  I am so very grateful for all of the comments and warm thoughts left on my postings!  Thanks to all who have been  grieving with me.

To Her, with Love

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I have received such an outpouring of love from students both past and present.  Upon learning of my loss, I have had mounds of student visitors bearing cards, teddy bears, flowers, and plants.  Not to mention the  myraid of text messages and phone calls I have gotten. 

There have been so many former students visiting me in the last couple of weeks that the staff has been forced to escort various groups to my class.  Typically visitors are asked to come during a prep or teacher’s lunch, but I guess I must look like I need cheering up because they have definitely relaxed the policy for me.  

I was a bit surprised how quickly word spread.  However, when I learned that the majority found out through a current student’s message of condolence for me on her Facebook page, I smiled.  The kids put everything important to them online.   This act spurred text messages sent and forwarded to any student who has ever had me as a teacher.

I have barely had an appetite and have eaten little here recently.  I was quite touched earlier in the week when Ashley, one of my students who comes to my room for our lunch period placed a bag of chips in front of me.  She shyly explained that she had to make sure that I ate something becasue she has noticed that I no longer eat.

Really, I am filled with such gratitude and awe that they care so much about me.  A teacher couldn’t ask for anything more.  I know exactly how Sally Fields felt when she uttered those lines after winning the Oscar.  Not only do they like me, they love me!

Hubby Saves the Day!

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Busy does not fully describe what I have been the last week and a half.

Ian and Imani were invited to a birthday party by one of our employees from the salon.  We were able to drop them off and enjoy part of the afternoon.  Well instead of relaxing, I did some things around the house while Hubby watched football.  (Don’t you ladies just love football season?)

Hubby was away from home a few nights.  He went to visit a friend in the hospital.

Ian and Imani’s school had Family Game Night at their school.  Hubby and I both had to work late so our neighbor took them.  When I left the salon I went to enjoy the last half hour with them.  Ian won a game of bingo.  Imani was super excited and was running all over the place.  I was so tired but put on a happy face for them.

Kierra went to homecoming at her school last week.  We were really emotional about it considering this was her first high school dance.  I styled her hair and took her to get her nails done.  Then we went to look for a purse to match her dress.  We didn’t find one so she just carried a wristlet.  Hubby took pictures and she looked so pretty! 

I had two meetings after work and one training.  We were given a list of things to do in preparation for a walk through with the big boss.  During the meeting we found out that our building is set to close next May.  On top of that, the big boss informed us that we are not guaranteed a position at another location.  So my stress level is high. 

Hubby has been telling me to just work at the salon and not to worry about getting another job.  But I really enjoy working with the kids at the school.  Decisions, decisions, decisions…I guess I have a while to make up my mind. 

Since we have been runnung around on top of working, my house looks like a tornado flew through it.  Yesterday I had a major headache and I just refused to do anything.  My mom ordered a pizza so I didn’t have to cook.  I just ate and went to bed as soon as I tucked Ian and Imani in bed.

Ian has had a nightmare two nights in a row where he has scared the you know what out of me.  Screaming at the top of his lungs, “Mommy, Daddy Mommy, Daddy!”

I had another rough day at work today.  Another headache!  The rumors started about our meeting.  I just wanted everyone to stop talking about the building closing.  Towards the end of the day, I closed my door and turned on my Zune so I could “let it go” before I got home.  Then I thought about the laundry waiting on me.  Oh, and I didn’t go grocery shopping.  I need to clean the sink in the kid’s bathroom where Imani squirted red sparkly toothpate out of the tube.  Not only the sink but the walls too!  I was so not looking forward to that.

On the way home I was on the verge of tears.  I felt so overwhelmed.  As I pulled into the driveway my Hubby was cleaning out the garage.  We greeted each other and I went in to get a few moments to myself before I started my tasks.

Imani attacked me (which is her ritual lately whenever I come home and Hubby has picked them up from school).  I shared hugs and kisses with her before heading inside.

Going into the kitchen I noticed the breakfast dishes were done.  The kitchen, spotless.  I rounded the corner and saw that the floor had been vacuumed.  Up the stairs, same thing, vacuumed floors.  I go into our bedroom, Hubby finally put up his clothes that were draped over the massage chair.  Our bathroom, spotless.  I go down the hall into the kids bathroom, NO RED TOOTHPASTE EVERYWHERE!!!  I almost passed out.  The kid’s bedrooms, spotless!!!

I broke down crying anyway!  Hubby had to have been cleaning all day.  The only thing he left for me to do was the laundry.  That’s ok, I prefer it that way. 

Kierra even helped the kids with their writing lesson.

Oh, and the icing on the cake…Hubby cooked dinner too!  I just love him to death!!!

Single Parents

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This one may be a touchy subject but I have to say what I feel.  Remember, this MY OPINION!

Morocco and I were discussing a situation and during our conversation the topic of single parents came up.

Let me go back to my childhood.  I considered my mom to be a single parent, although I know my father.  He was married to my mother until I was 11.  They were separated for a few years before that.  He met a woman, married her and then was not in my life.  Yeah I saw him sporadically.  But he did NOTHING to help my mother raise me and my brother.  Oh he would make many promises but that was all he offered.  I am 34 years old and he still owes my mom child support!  And I still do not see him or hear from him often.  Like I said before my dealings with him are sporadic.

So for a major part of my life I had no father.  He did not attend any of my school functions.  He did not call.  He did not come to see us.  Nothing!  When I was about 17 he and his wife had a daughter.  Then he wanted to show up and show off.  I was not feeling it.  My brother went to visit but I kept my distance for awhile. 

Curiousity won the battle.  I wanted to see how he lived.  His wife had two boys from previous relationships.  They called my father Dad.  I was so hurt by this.  Not because they referred to him as Dad but because they knew him as Dad–if that makes sense? 

What exactly is a single parent?  I hear a lot of women say they are single parents and that they do everything by themselves.  I have a HUGE problem with this statement.  When I think of a single parent I picture a person doing Everything on their own.  Whether it be a mom or dad.

Maybe mom or dad is deceased.  Maybe the mom or dad just took off and never looked back.  Maybe the dad doesn’t know that he even has a child.  Maybe the mom made darn sure the father is not in the child’s life.

There could be a number of reasons why a person could be considered a single parent.  But I feel as though if both parents ARE in the child’s life (not together) and supporting the child, financially and emotionally, that they are NOT single parents! 

Anyway back to my rant…

My mom worked hard to make sure we had necessities, with no help from my father.  So I feel as though she has a right to say that she was a single parent.  Although I have not heard her refer to herself as a single parent.  She did what she had to do to raise us.

Then I hear women (like Christine and Eliza) rant and rave as if they are the ONLY ones doing and helping raise their children when there is a father in the picture.  One that goes above and beyond child support for thier kids.  I’m sorry but I don’t see that being single parenting.

Again, this is my opinion!

Friendship

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Friendship~1. The condition or fact of being friends: a friendship from childhood. 2. A feeling of warmth toward another; friendliness: friendship between two people who like the same things.

I guess the saying “Birds of a feather flock together,” is a true statement.

I remember meeting Morocco for the first time.  We met through someone we both knew in a department store.  We talked for awhile and exchanged e-mail addresses and phone numbers. 

I kept thinking how refreshing it was to meet someone else in my shoes.  Before Morocco, none of my friends were stepmoms.  In the beginning Morocco and I spent countless hours on the phone.  And when we were not on the phone we were e-mailing back and forth. 

At first most of our conversations were about our lives as stepmoms before we met.  Then because we grew into a friendship, we can talk about anything. 

I am so thankful that I met Morocco.  I honestly believe God brought us together.  We needed each other.  I know I needed her.  It just feels better sharing and venting to someone that really understands what you may be going through. 

“People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.”  I do believe that Morocco came into my life for a reason.  I also believe that we will remain friends for a lifetime, since we have passed over many seasons.