Showing posts from 2015

Twenty Fifteen - And Another One

I made it through another year's journey, God kept me here and for that I am grateful especially since I lost a dear friend this year and my dear cousin Jane lost her husband just weeks ago. Started off the year on a high note in love. Beautiful, soul stirring, get me on all levels love.  We had settled into a beautiful relationship and I just knew we were in it for the long haul. Then came the shattering of it all. I wasn't even mad. Just grateful I hadn't wasted years pouring into what would no longer be after just 6 months. Wished him well and sent him right along his merry way. I thanked him for the memories and appreciated the purpose he served. Cancer. Yeah, the year also started off with me being the chemo partner.  12 rounds and radiation. That chemo room taught me so much humility.  This thing does not discriminate.  I watched a couple that looked no older than 25.  He was the patient and she snuggled close on that chemo chair under a soft blanket as they wat

Angels Among Us

I come from a place where AIDS was something unspoken of. Death was all around and it was obvious what it's cause was and yet silence.  People would give all kinds of explanations to save face.  Headache was a common one.  But even as a young kid in the early 90's, I knew people didn't die from headaches at such alarming rates.  Another was malaria which is a common illness where I am from but even that couldn't cover up the lie. I left my country in 1993 as a 17 year old when the epidemic was at it's genesis.  Years later as I listened to a friend terrified of going to see a doctor even though she was 5 months pregnant, I finally had an Aha moment.  I didn't understand why she was so terrified and was putting her child in jeopardy when she finally blurted out, "You weren't there! You didn't see what we saw. After you left people we know were dying every single day and I saw them wasting away."  It's true I wasn't there and I di


Dear Black Girl, You have found yourself in a foreign land by your choice. You are an immigrant. A beautiful African girl on the cusp of womanhood in an American world. It is a land of opportunity and so much goodness will happen to you here.  You will grow leaps and bounds and find your footing here. I want to tell you that it won't always be beautiful.  You won't feel beautiful some days.  This land's view of beauty is not your country land's view of beauty.  They will make you question the very things about yourself that you find beautiful.  Your perfect nose will suddenly be called too broad, your hips will suddenly be called too wide and your sun kissed skin will suddenly be called too dark. This will confuse you terribly because this is the only beauty you've ever known.  The only beauty you have been surrounded by.  Up until now you have never heard anyone criticize things one cannot change.  Or so you thought. You will be tempted.  You will

On Grace......

I know many people named Grace.  It is quite a common name where I am from.  We had a Grace C, Grace P, Grace K, and Grace Z in my class alone. And for the longest time that's all it was for me, a name.  Well let's not forget the thing we said automatically before a meal in school and social settings too.  At home not so much for me.  We are a praying family now and went to Church every Sunday growing up, but family prayer was reserved for important events like right before a long trip and before a meal only when the people visiting and sharing a meal were regular grace sayers. What grace means has been on my mind lately.  Mostly how it is one of those words you know but don't really know until you experience it. I've been thinking about how much I didn't know about grace all my life.  Things happened that I can attribute to grace now but while they were happening I just saw them as another one of those things I survived and got through. So I looked up gra

Treading Water

It doesn't happen as often but it happens. This feeling of being in the middle of the ocean all alone and treading water. Sometimes someone leads me here and gets me good and comfortable then abruptly leaves. Other times I lead myself here and stay here until it is time to come to the shore again. It's never done willingly. I feel myself "going there" and can pull back and stay in the wonderful reality that is my life.  I'm not always fortunate enough to catch it in time the same way I am learning to catch when a migraine is coming and deterring it. I see changes in how I deal with it.  In the past I stayed there and and went under. I'd come undone and watch as I went deeper.  I'd eventually get tired and frantically find a life jacket or life ring to desperately hold on to till the raging thunder ran out of rain. These days I tread water and reflect.  I don't fight it.  I don't like being here but I know it's necessary. It is a par


It happens to everyone.  That shiny brand new thing one day becomes dull and boring. It all fades away some days.  The beautifully manicured lawns you once admired on TV and on postcards beckoning you to come are glorious and divine to look at now that you live here but some days you long for the grass you saw outside your window growing up. This land of plenty and choices galore make you appreciate that you have a choice most days but some days you long for the simplicity that ONE thing brings. And when you voice your longing and say you miss home you are not met with empathy but instead by the dreaded "Why did you come here? Go home to your country." My younger self would go to that place full of anger and explanation but these days I have nothing.  I just don't have the energy. Yes, this is the land of the free and the home of the brave BUT I have a home.  I have made this my home but home will always be home.  Don't mistake that. Why do people do that?

Gaining One’s Definition (G.O.D)

                I am being harassed and pressured to write by 2 people who shall remain nameless or not. Hey Edith and Elita. Happy now?  Both E’s. Surely there is a story here.  I’ll explore it one day.                 I have had discussions over the years and most recently with philosophical, lover of history Warrior about religion.  He studies it in depth so he can go on and on for days about its origins and meaning while I am content with my UCZ (United Church of Zambia) and Fatima Girls Catholic School Religious Education class fundamental teachings.  We both agreed that Catholics have a high level of no judgment zone compared to most.  My Religious Ed class taught me about Catholic Saints, the Prophet Mohammad, Buddha, Gandhi and Jesus.  It was never about how their way was right and everyone else was wrong and doomed.  I’ll forever appreciate them for that.                 I got it early that the world was huge and it was not all Christian.  I refuse to believe that only t

Parenting: The Tricky Teenage Years

Those of you who know me outside of the internet, well my life is on the internet so scratch that.....those of you who know me know I fell in love 2 years ago with my nephew-son Princeton.  I spent everyday with him from the day he was born until he left to live with his Grandma. He just turned 2 and this is the stage I loved most with my sons.  These little people suddenly develop personalities and actually communicate with you! It's the best feeling in the world to have a conversation and see how their minds work.  Princeton has developed a love affair with Barney episodes on my phone and potato chips and found every way to work that into our conversations. My sons, my sugarbabies, my young men are now teenagers. I have learned to adjust but this right here is new territory that no one can prepare you for like most stages of parenting.  They can write the books and preach the Sunday morning services about it but until you get here, you have no clue. Not one iota yo! Th

What Fear Keeps Us From

I see her walking outside. I notice her because she will not go a step beyond the pavement outside our apartment block.  She will walk the 20 or steps from her front door to the spot where I park my car and promptly turn around and do it again.  I've never been patient enough to observe how many times she does this because I am in Georgia and you avoid being outside when air conditioning is an option. Yesterday and other times before that, I have seen her just standing on porch staring into space longing for something.  I know what that something is, I have experienced it myself; she is longing for home. Like me, she is an immigrant. I don't know where home is. It could be India or Sri Lanka. I've seen her in a Sari before but mostly she wears a Salwar Kameez. Her face needs no Botox but you can tell the years she has been through just by looking at her. I noticed her because of her fear.  She looks uncomfortable whenever anyone walks by her.  Her fear takes on a di

Christians Are The Worst

This title seems harsh but it's the honest truth and until you see it for yourself, it is hard to believe. After all aren't Christians those wonderful folks who publicly give their lives to Christ and vow to live as Christ lived?  Instead....... Call it getting older but this past year I've been yearning for simplicity. Simplicity in everything really.  My brain just can't sit through hours of ratchet TV anymore to watch the same scripted argument about who ate the last sandwich, or who didn't tell who what for 5 straight episodes.  I'm tired. I've known about The Duggar family for years.  They were on the Today Show announcing pregnancy number 17, 18, 19 and 20 and the engagements of their children.  I knew of them and thought God bless this woman cause my nerves can only handle the 2 children I have.  Michelle Duggar has been pregnant for 24 years of her life or something crazy like that. Not me for, but do you Boo. This family has had a show on th

From Boys to Men to Boys Again

I come from a long line of men who take this manhood thing seriously. Men who know that they are born to be providers.  Men who will go to the ends of the earth to ensure that their families are provided for and who will get physically sick when they can't. Men who hold their mothers on the highest pedestal and do whatever it takes to make sure their mothers are smiling until their last breath. Times change and we evolve with them but what I am witnessing lately is blowing my whole mind. While it was not expected for women to work outside of the home 40 years ago, mostly all women choose to work now until they have kids.  Even then, most return to work once the kids start school.  This is tied to the cost of living and how much higher it is now than it was 40 years ago but more importantly it is tied to self worth.  Some men seem to think our working and bringing in money means they can take a back seat now.  Um, no Sir.  What it means is that we are relieving your burden

On Death and Dying

My first memory of death was being in the 3rd grade and my best friend Gina's father dying.  We had had a play date at her house before her and family went on vacation.  They were driving to Livingtone I think.  We said our goodbyes knowing fully that I'd see my best friend in a week when she returned. A phone call came and Mummy explained that the family had been involved in a terrible car accident on the way back from vacation and Gina's Dad had died.  I was sad that I would never see Mr. Giampaolo again and how he liked to tease Gina when I spent the night when she asked him to take the bones out of her fish and he would say, "Look at Mwabi, she doesn't need me to take the bones out of her fish."  I remember going to the cemetery to bury him but death still didn't compute. Life went on without one person in it. Then came the early teen years. Details are fuzzy but a car stopped by the house full of teen boys to pick up my brother and my parents said h

Everything, something and nothing.

I never ever thought I'd be here again. Here where it is confusing, frustrating, embarrassing, annoying and uncertainty filled. Here where I feel everything at once. Here where I feel everything in waves. Here where I don't feel anything at all. I haven't been here in years and felt stronger than ever.  I vowed to never be here again.  When I was here before, I didn't have a spiritual foundation. I do now. I'm angry that I'm here again after being so careful and guarded. I feel tricked. I'm embarrassed. I should have known better. I'm especially angry that with a spiritual foundation, I'm here again. I heard Iyanla Vanzant who has saved me from so much in my life, once say that you have to sit with your emotions and what you feel in order to heal. You can't just ignore what you feel and brush it under the rug. These jokers tend to keep showing up unless you let them do what they were sent to do. I know

What About Your Friends?

I have been watching another show, "Being Mary Jane" and the relationship between 2 girlfriends has me scratching my head and examining my own friendships. These two women, Mary Jane and Lisa definitely love each other but there are so many buts. It appears that Lisa has it in her head (Lord, why do we live in our heads so much?) that David is the answer to living a happy life and somehow she had a chance with him that she missed.  She missed it because David was not interested in her, all his interest and affection was for Mary Jane.  Mary Jane didn't steal David from Lisa (though I think in her head Lisa thinks she did) because David was never hers to begin with. It goes deeper and our girl Lisa feels like MJ gets everything; the loving parents and family, the great job, the good men.  It is frustrating to watch because Lisa is beautiful and a successful doctor in her own right. Our girl is STUCK.  And angry. And lashing out.  And gone inward. Phone off the

My Aha Moment on Forgiveness

Parenting is the most important job in the world.  I know this for sure.  It is difficult and rewarding. There are things we say or actions we don't even think twice about that our children store in their minds for a lifetime. These very things shape them. I can't remember how old I was but I do know it was at an age where I was comprehending things and seeing life for what it was just a little bit more.  It was definitely after the days of Santa Claus but still before the days of "wait, you mean I gotta figure this all out on my own one day?" and panic setting in.  I was in the happy medium state of still living at home where Mommy and Daddy took care of everything and my biggest decision was what to wear or what book to read that day. I remember this day so clearly.  We had unexpected visitors stop by and my parents rolled out the red carpet as always.  We kids let the parents reminisce about the old days and us kids talked about what kids talked about.  My chil

On Love.

There are so many lessons on love. I continue to learn them as I go along my life's journey and some lessons surprise me but mostly I have duh moments because we know and have known all we need to know about love for a very long time. The beauty of aging is that you settle more into what you know.  I'm staring at 40 and feel very comfortable with what I know.  I knew what I know now in my 20's and even now in my 30's but when we are younger we want to prove things wrong or set out in changing what we know or tweaking it to our liking so it can fit better into our plan. I wrote a little about what I have learned on love for my sons here and really believe I have given them a great foundation that they may glance at in their 20's and 30's but truly get when they're older. Or maybe they'll surprise me and get the lesson much sooner than I ever did.  My parents didn't give me their thoughts on love like I'm giving my sons so we shall see.

How Different Are We Really? Part 2

I am African. I am American.  I am Black. I was born and raised until age 17 on the Continent whose bright blue skies are the most brilliant I've ever seen.  I am a daughter of the sun and marvel at the sunrises and sunsets in Africa. Happiness is infectious and I truly did feel like I had no worries. I became a woman on a Continent of plenty where you want for nothing. There's never one of just one thing.  Variety is the norm. You can easily become overwhelmed picking out toothpaste, a car seat, a house, you name it.  With all its abundance there is also a harshness in this land that I discovered and no one prepared me for. I identify fully as both an African and an American. Some would argue that I am the true definition of African-American.  Others would just argue that I'm just black.  I'd argue that I'm just a human being born with an amazing chocolate hue. I wrote about my experience back in 2006 over   here if you want to read it. Lately I've m