Mama – I Wouldn’t Be Me Without You

“She was there when I took my first breath, and I was there when she took her last.”

I don’t know who is responsible for this quote, but I lived this quote.  On November 21, 2017 at 5:50 am my mom took her last breath and I was with her.

I was determined to stay the night with my mom, and I did.  Even though I knew she would not be alone because God would be there, I wanted to be there with my mom as she made her transition.  If anyone had told me I would have had to make difficult decisions that involved my mom, I would not have believed them.

My mom always said if anything happens to me, you fight for me to live.  I took that literally.  I struggled with saying yes to hospice because to me that meant I was giving up on her.  I prayed and realized I wasn’t giving up on her.  When I was able to truly look at my mom as she lay in the hospital bed, I could see that she was suffering.  She was in so much pain, and not allowing the respirator tube to be removed was delaying the inevitable

In the circle of life children are supposed to bury their parents, but who wants their parents to die?!  We want them to live forever.  I wanted my mom to be here to see my granddaughter grow up and graduate from college.  I wanted my mom to see my daughter have children of her own.  I wanted my mom to be here to make me laugh.  She kept me laughing with the things she said and her views on life.  It seemed like a lot of my family members talked to my mom and she would have the good family tea!  She knew all the family gossip and shared it with me.  

We shared a lot of good times.  We didn’t always agree and during her sickness she was frequently upset with me because she said, “I thought I was the boss of her – LOL.”  I had to be firm and take over medical decisions and other things, which she didn’t like.  Everything I did was for her good.

My advice to anyone whose parents are still alive:  cherish the moments.  Please don’t get caught up in not speaking to them or having petty arguments.  Once your parents are gone, none of that stuff matters.  Instead of creating heartache, make memories with your parents.  The last thing you want to have is regrets or feelings of guilt because you didn’t treat them right.

I don’t have any regrets.  I treated my mother with the respect she was due.  You couldn’t have thin skin around my mom.  She equipped me to be a word master.  I know how to fight with words.  I learned to laugh at words that were meant to hurt me.  She taught me how to accept myself – flaws and all.  Being called fat was funny because I am.  She taught me that.

She taught me to love God.  She taught me how to be saved.  She taught me how to love my family.  She taught me that.  She taught me how to bake a cake.  She taught me how to clean a kitchen.  She taught me how to mop the floor.  She taught me how to wash clothes.  She taught me all of that.

This past year has been a lot of firsts for me:  first Thanksgiving, first Christmas, first New Year’s Day, first Mother’s Day, and first birthday without my mom.  I am an extension of her.  I look like her.  This curly hair came from her.  I find myself saying some of the same things she used to say.

I know my life will never be the same because she’s gone. I miss you so much Ma!  My life is better because you chose to give birth to me.  This first year without you hasn’t been easy and my heart will never be the same.  I’m strong though and I will continue to thrive because you’re my mom.

Chapter 49

Some people believe I do the most for Leo season and my birthday. Well, I do! I turned it up a notch this year because I’m grateful to be in the land of the living. This past year has not been an easy year for me.

I learned more about myself and the sacrifices I would make for someone I love. I discovered that I had more strength than I realized. I learned that even in the midst of the pain and grief that I yet feel, I can make it. I learned that Chapter 48 prepared me for Chapter 49.

It’s my first birthday without my mom. For 48 years I had her in my life. This new normal has not been easy. This year required me to be extra. If I didn’t, I would’ve focused on how much I miss my mom and the birthday greetings she faithfully posted every year.

I would’ve focused on how much I miss the cake she made special just for me – German chocolate cake with milk chocolate frosting because I don’t like German chocolate frosting. I would’ve spent today being sad instead of glad.

Through all I have been through I have learned the importance of carpe diem – seize the day! I’m determined to live a life of no regrets. I want to make the most of every moment I have remaining on this earth. I’m determined to have meaningful relationships, and appreciate when someone cuts me out of their lives because they are doing me a favor. They are helping me to invest in those that want to have meaningful relationships with me. I’ve learned that life is short and I should experience everything I want to experience.

Resist Chicago Resist!

Folks always have something to say. At least Father Pfleger is true to his activism for the community. Are protests supposed to make us comfortable? Will we agree with all protests? Everyone has the right to protest. A protest is supposed to shake things up, bring attention to disparities, and facilitate change.

The truth is some folks don’t care about the shootings in Chicago because it’s not happening in their neighborhood. Well, guess what? One day shootings could be happening in your neighborhood or one of your family members could be a victim of gun violence. Then, you will want everyone involved in being an activist against gun violence.

I think about my family members and it’s only God’s grace that it hasn’t been one of my family members or me the victim of gun violence. We are good at talking mess about what needs to happen and what everyone else should be doing. Well, what about you? What are you willing to do for things to change?

If you are interested in protesting against gun violence in Chicago, please click here. Shut the Dan Ryan down on July 7th!

Picture This!


Would you be able to get over it? How about that happen a long time ago, so let it go?! I’m not racist; that was my ancestors. I don’t see color. We all are equal. The constitution is for all of us. Show your patriotism by standing and pledging allegiance to the flag.  

From the beginning, this country was built on my ancestors backs. Mass prison incarceration is modern day slavery. The very laws were not created as me being equal. My people were not counted as a whole being, but 3/5! While the forefathers were talking about liberty and justice for all, my people were being used as free labor; and if they didn’t comply murdered!  

So, the next time you want to tell me to get over it, or that happen a long time ago, which I have been told by White and Black people; picture this image and hush! This is my platform and I will use it to inform about issues that impact my people, me and those that empathize with our struggle.

Chapter 47 of the Book “Annjanette”

Tonight is the last night I will be 47 years old. The night before my birthday I always reflect on the year. I think about my trials, tribulations and triumphs. My goal is to be s better me every year, and vow to not let the same things that caused me to stumble this year, cause me to stumble next year.
I have dealt with some things that I have never dealt with before, and some things that I thought I would never have to deal with again. I look back in amazement that I’m still standing. Like Marvin Sapp says in his song “Never Would’ve Made It.”

I’m stronger, I’m wiser

I’m better, much better

When I look back over all you brought me through

I can see that you were the one I held on to

The you that I held on to is God. I don’t know how anyone can navigate life without Him. I’ve been through some things this year that I could have legit lost my mind, BUT GOD said not so!! 

I took control of my health for real this past year. Not how I had done in the past, but with consistency. Little steps turned into bigger steps and now I see my progress. I’ve lost 75lbs so far!


I’m trying to live a life of quality not quantity. I don’t want to live a long time aided by medication. I want a quality life that includes living life to the fullest while healthy. 

As I reflect, I have no regrets. Every test has become a part of my story. My story shows the essence of Annjanette. My story has helped develop the strong, God-fearing confident woman I am today.

I’m ready for Chapter 48 of the book titled “Annjanette.”

What’s Hindering You?


We all face challenges that can cause us to forget our goals and dreams. We can allow obstacles to slow and even stop our progress. Along our journey, we can allow life, family, friends, limited finances, and our present social status to hinder our progress. What’s hindering you?  

Have you figured out what’s stopping you from reaching your goals? You have to determine the root cause of why you haven’t reached your goals, and move those obstacles out of your way! We have to be determined to let nothing and nobody block our progress.

I’ve learned that sometimes we don’t want to figure out what’s hindering us because we will have to deal with whatever IT is. Sometimes we don’t want to face that we will have to let dead weight go. That dead weight may be family, friends, a significant other or even that job we have had for 20 years. We have to be willing to let it go.


Choosing to let go is never easy. We like to operate within our comfort zone, but if we want to excel in every area of our lives, we have to choose to operate outside of our comfort zone. Operating outside of our comfort zone included battling fear and the unknown. We can do it! We can face whatever obstacles that are hindering us and overcome those obstacles!

Make a resolution now to remove every hindrance to your success in every area of your life. Don’t delay. Start right now!

When we tackle obstacles, we find hidden reserves of courage and resilience we did not know we had. And it is only when we are faced with failure do we realise that these resources were always there within us. We only need to find them and move on with our lives. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

When Will It End?!

Listen, I know I may not speak for all women, but I’m ready for this to end! I feel like I’ve done my time. I contributed to society by having two children that are contributing members to society and the economy. I shouldn’t have to suffer month after month. It’s time for my period to end! Be gone already!  

Since the age of thirteen, my period has been a constant companion. If I can’t depend on anything else, she’s always right on time. Now that I’m older she makes her entrance a monthly surprise. She comes when she wants too, or not at all.  

It’s time for us to part ways. It’s been real, but enough is enough. I don’t want to buy another pad or tampon. I want to take that money and buy something else with it. I’ve been living for the day when I will be period-free! I believe the day I decided I didn’t want anymore children she should’ve went away quietly.  

She doesn’t go away quietly. She does her best to wreak havoc in your life before she leaves. She sends false signals that she’s leaving. Then she comes back with a vengeance. What kind of hocus pocus magic is this? Leave and leave now.

I’ve decided when she finally leaves and stays gone I’m throwing a party in honor of her departure! I’m inviting everybody! I’ll be giving away every pad and tampon that I still own, and I’ll even by some for party favors. My gift to those who still need them. My party will be a celebration to the entrance of menopause. I can’t wait!

Rejection is Not the Final Answer


Rejection seems cruel and we don’t feel good after being rejected.  Nobody wants to be rejected for any reason, but rejection does happen.  Rejection is not the final answer.  It’s how we handle the rejection.

Recently, I experienced rejection at work.  I wasn’t happy, and I’ll admit that I haven’t fully recovered from feeling rejected.  However, I learned some lessons from the rejection that will help me achieve success.

In every trial and test we go through we have to determine what am I supposed to learn from this experience.  Our comeback determines our future success. 

 Here’s some lessons I have learned from rejection:

1.  I can say no. So many times we relinquish our power by giving in to be used, but saying no reclaims our power over our future.
2. I have a lot to offer. The skills and experiences that I bring to the table speak for themselves. It’s time I recognize that and not expect anyone else to validate me.

3. Write my vision for my future and begin to set my vision in motion by completing tasks that will get me closer to the fruition of my vision.

4. Take the limits off of me. Don’t limit myself to being placed in a box with a lid, but enlarge my territory and refuse to have lids placed on me.

5. Don’t be afraid to take chances.  

6. Always remember I have value, and refuse to allow anyone to belittle my value in their actions or deeds.

7. I can be angry and not act out. There’s a way to express myself without negativity being attached to my words or actions.

8. Let it go! Don’t let this situation hinder my progress.

9. I choose to make feeling rejected a temporary feeling. 

10. Learn all I can because I want my results to be maturity and growth.

Rejection doesn’t feel good, but the lessons learned from rejection are priceless.

When You’re Drowning in Staying Woke and Being Deep

There are some folks that are just too woke and deep for their own good. When does good ol common sense kick in? When does analyzing the decisions and actions of others go to far? Quit trying to psychoanalyze every word and action. Let it go and recognize it is what it is. Some stuff is just not that deep!
Here are some mantras to remember to remove yourself from drowning in being woke and deep:

1. Everybody doesn’t have to agree with you.

2. It’s not your job to change my mind.

3. Speak your truth.

4. Every statement doesn’t require reading between the lines. Some people actually say what they mean, and mean what they say.

5. Self-inspection is free. Try it sometimes because maybe just maybe your lack of self-inspection is the real issue.

6. Quit passing your personal issues on to others. Deal with your issues!

7. Choose to place your soapbox on the shelf.

8. JUST LET IT GO!

So You Think You’re Ready For Marriage…

You think you’re ready for marriage. You feel you have everything together. You’re easy on the eyes, and can’t seem to understand why you are constantly looked over. Are you being honest with yourself? Are you really ready for marriage.

Here are seven signs that you’re not ready for marriage, and yet have some self-work to complete:

1. You’re selfish. You can’t fathom placing someone else’s needs above your own even for a moment. Whatever is going on has to be about you. You could never see yourself having to take care of a spouse with a chronic health condition. That would be your cue to exit.

2. You’re not letting someone else know where you’re going. You don’t have to do that! Well, when you marry someone it’s just a courtesy to let your spouse know your plans. People leave home every day, and never make it back home. It’s a sign of maturity to let your spouse know when you will arrive home.

3. You expect your spouse to fit into your life because you’re not changing. When you get married your life becomes our life. You’re not expected to stop doing what you’re doing, but you are expected to create a life with your spouse.

4. You refuse to openly communicate about your finances. Listen, this is not a roommate arrangement. When you get married, your finances become our finances. Your credit becomes our credit. Many marriages are destroyed because of finances. If you’re not ready to be truthful about your finances, you’re not ready for marriage.

5. The only good communication you have is sexual communication. Let me tell you that’s not enough! When you’re fully clothed and standing up, you have to be able to effectively communicate. Communication is very important for the success of your marriage.  

6. Your vision of what marriage should be is based on what you have read in a book, seen on TV or what worked for your parents.  

7. You refuse to let past transgressions go! You keep a running tally of what others do to you, or things you don’t like. You can’t wait to bring up these transgression over and over and over again. There’s no clean slate with you.  

If you found yourself in any of the above statements, all is not lost. You have to be willing to work on yourself. There’s hope.