Almost every time another Black man is murdered, I think about when the Harvey police pulled my son over and pointed their guns in his face! He had done nothing wrong. He had just left Ingalls from visiting his dad after his dad’s surgery.
I think about how they could’ve murdered my son for nothing!! We would’ve probably never found out what really happened because folks were not recording like they are today. They would’ve tried to paint my son as a criminal. God protected my son that day!!
I have been mostly reflecting and not doing a lot of talking about what people should or should not be doing. I don’t have the answers and neither do you.
I know I’m tired! I’m tired of Black people being murdered by police. I’m tired of encountering racist behavior from others. I’m tired of white privilege. I’m tired of us being mistreated because of the color of our skin. I’m tired of having to navigate through this world in defensive mode ALL THE TIME!
I’m tired of folks who sit on high horses like they do everything right and use their platform to bash others for the choices they make. I’m tired of folks comparing what’s happening to the crime that happens in communities. It’s not the same! If I kill someone, I’m going to jail. Police don’t seem to have that same understanding.
I’m tired of folks want to speak out about how wrong the rioting is, but didn’t speak out about a Black man being murdered. I’m tired of folks who love Black culture, but don’t like Black people. I’m tired of these protest calisthenics: make your profile picture Black, don’t buy anything on this day, boycott this company, cancel this person and NOTHING has changed!
Black people are still being murdered by police, Black people are still being murdered by the local neighborhood racists, companies are still producing racially insensitive advertising and products, we are still being followed around stores, we are still being questioned about why we are in certain spaces, we are still being falsely accused and imprisoned, and we are still having to fight to wear the hair that grows out of our heads! I AM TIRED!
Rejection – I have experienced several rejections in my professional life. Rejections that I still don’t fully understand why I was rejected, but God knows why I was rejected.
Great personal loss – A few people that impacted my life I didn’t expect to be gone are gone. It still doesn’t seem real that they are gone. I’m so grateful that these folks left their imprint on my life and will forever be missed.
Difficult decision – I had to make a difficult spiritual decision that I didn’t foresee having to make. If I would’ve been told in 2017 or 2018 that this decision would be made in 2019, I would not have believed it.
New life – Excited about my next grand-baby!
Fifty – I turned 50! I see this age as new beginnings, new experiences, and new goals.
Finishing what I started – I started working on my PhD and then had to stop. I had resigned myself to never completing my PhD – but God! 2020 will include me beginning to finish what I started!
This year has been filled with the good, the bad and the ugly. Some things were set up to knock me down. I stumbled and tripped, but I didn’t fall! Some things were set up to destroy me l, but I was not destroyed! I know that God protects and cares about me. God favors me and is expecting great things from me!
We are consumed daily with so much noise that we can’t take the time to think. Think about our goals, plans and dreams for our futures. We are inundated with so much that’s nothing but noise. I call noise anything that doesn’t allow you to focus on what you should be focusing.
We have to carve out time for ourselves to just think. My best thinking and ideas happen while I’m walking. I love walking. By my job there’s a forest preserve trail that I walk to clear my mind. As I’m walking, I look at nature and I’m just in awe of what God has created. I’m able to hear. Hear from God, hear my thoughts and plans. I have a peace that I can’t explain while walking. Walking centers me.
I notice things that I wouldn’t normally notice because I’m moving too fast or focusing on the wrong things. On one of my afternoon walks I met my friend below.
I couldn’t even remember the last time I saw a turtle. A turtle! He was just moving along as if he didn’t have a care in this world. I thought to myself I need to have the attitude of a turtle – moving at my own pace and not caring about what others are doing. Focusing on myself and making sure I’m doing what I’m supposed to do.
Below are some other picture I’ve taken on my walks:
Let’s talk. What works best for you to clear your mind?
I started the morning of Chapter 50 eating breakfast with family and friends. I want to thank you for all the birthday wishes that were received in every form.
I wanted to go somewhere that was on my bucket list of places to go and never been before for my 50th. NOLA was my choice. I wanted to celebrate with my family and friends. Everyone couldn’t make it, but I’m having a blast with everyone that was able to make it.
I’m excited about my future. This birthday has been one of my best! I received one of the best gifts ever! Fifty looks good on me. I mean I do look good period! Here me roar – ROAR!! I love me – flaws and all. My theme this entire year is BETTER! Every day I’m striving to be BETTER.
I have another item I want to check off my bucket list this year – learning to swim. I’ll be finding a class to help me on my quest to be BETTER!
Today is the last “official” day of Black History Month. I celebrate every day and continue to share knowledge on a regular basis.
There’s so much Black History that I didn’t learn in school. When I was 15 years old, I went to the library and borrowed Mary McLeod Bethune’s autobiography. My need to learn more led to me studying African Kings and Queens. I found this book. If you haven’t read it, it’s an empowering read:
Next, I discovered the various inventions that wouldn’t exist were it not for a Black man or woman. Here is a partial lists:
Then, I read Malcolm X’s autobiography and he woke up the militant spirit in me: “We declare our right on this earth to be a man, to be a human being, to be respected as a human being, to be given the rights of a human being in this society, on this earth, in this day, which we intend to bring into existence by any means necessary.” I became proud of my people and recognized we have persevered and succeeded against all the odds and obstacles that have been placed in our paths.
Finally, Fannie Lou Hamer made me even more proud to be a Black woman and honor her and others like her who secured my right to vote. Fannie Lou Hamer said, “Actually, the world and America is upset and the only way to bring about a change is to upset it more.”
In studying Black History, I found my voice. My voice to speak out about injustice and demand to be treated right. Studying Black History made me recognize I have a legacy of determination, intelligence and ingenuity pumping in my veins. I have no other choice but to be the best at whatever I set my mind to do. It’s in my DNA!
What Black History knowledge didn’t you learn in school?
I didn’t watch the R Kelly documentary last night, and don’t plan to watch. I have read some of the posts that have came across my newsfeed. So, teenage girls are fast and were given what they wanted 😳😑😑. Men have been doing it forever, so it’s ok?!! Nothing was said about Elvis Presley and other white men?!! I almost can’t place into words my reaction to these statements!
Are y’all serious?! So, this is how we make it okay to victimize young people?!!! I wonder if it was your child would you still have those feelings? We have sexualized Black children and held them accountable like they are adults, and this is wrong! These are children! There are grown women and men that have been bamboozled by abusers and we expect children to recognize an abuser and say no?!
I am a victim of sexual abuse by a family member and an authority figure. I was just a child and didn’t know what to do. I told on the authority figure and he publicly shamed me while I wasn’t present. He said I was lying on him, and people believed him. I never looked at him the same again. I forgave him for my growth, but I told my mom if he doesn’t ask God for forgiveness in hell will he lift up his eyes.
I’ve never said anything to the family member. Since I’ve been grown, I finally told my mom. I forgave the family member too, but a conversation needs to take place for that person to know the affect of their actions. The sad part is the person probably doesn’t even remember because I’m sure I wasn’t the only one.
Quit blaming victims. If you still choose to listen to R Kelly’s music that’s your choice, but don’t blame victims to make you feel better about your choice!
“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.
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.
Thinking about my mom today. It’s been three months since she passed, and she’s in my thoughts daily. I had a good chuckle last night and today with my niece about her.
When I lived in ND in the 90s, my niece came to live with me. One day we were gone all day. I don’t remember where we went. We didn’t have cell phones. We arrived home to a note on my door from the military police. The note said “Call your mom.”
My mom had the military police come to my house😂😂😂😂. The fact that she was able to even find their number was hilarious!! She was concerned because she had been calling and couldn’t reach us.
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.”