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.
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.”
I was getting ready for work this morning and I began to think about my dad. As my birthday is fastly approaching, I wondered what would my dad think of me. I wondered would he like the person I have become, and would he be pleased with my morals and values.
Then, I thought of one of my most vivid memories of my dad. I had to be four or five years old. I was living in Henry Horner projects – 1847 W Lake St, Apt. 806. I still remember. It was in the winter time and I was standing in front of my school. My mom had bundled me up and no one else was standing in front of the school. I realize now she must have dropped me off early to make it to work.
This man pulled up in a car and called my name. I went to the car and he said, “do you remember me?” I nodded my head and said, “Yes, you’re my daddy.” He had me get in the car to stay warm and he talked to me until it was time to go into the school. He told me he hadn’t seen me in a while, but that was going to change. I later found out I wasn’t seeing my dad because of my evil stepfather, but that’s another story.
Father’s make a permanent impression on their children. The time you spend holding your children when their babies, allowing them to sleep on your chest, feeding, bathing and all the other quality time you spend with them makes a difference. Even though time had passed, I knew “that man” was my daddy.
After my dad passed, I got a tattoo over my heart that says “Daddy’s Lil Girl.” My dad always called me “daddy’s lil girl.” I was in my twenties and my dad was still calling me his “lil girl.” The special bond I had with my father has kept me grounded. When I feel like fighting as my mom would do, the peacemaking spirit I received from my dad prevails. My dad was the first man that loved me unconditionally. He showed me what unconditional love from a man looks and feels like.
This is a call to action for father’s everywhere. I pray it’s not too late for you to make memories with your children that will help you leave a good permanent impression on your children. What do you want your children to say about you? Do you want them to remember you with good feelings, or do you want them to learn the hard way that you failed as a father. I plead with you to make a renewed commitment to your children and be the great father your children need you to be in their lives.
If I could be transported, I would like to be transported to a place that’s very special to me. There’s a place that I love. I came of age in this place. I learned about sex, love, friendship, relationships, evil, jealousy and even other continents. I learned that I could feel all of these emotions and go to different places without ever leaving this one place. This place was my home away from home. I went to this place so much that the workers knew me by name, and my mom would call and ask to speak with me. I spent many hot, humid days in this place. I could hear myself think in this place. One of the greatest days for me was when I could go to the area of this place for those who were more mature in age. I felt safe and secure in this place. I could be myself in this place. Even now when I see this place, I am reminded of coming of age in this place. This place is the library in the town I grew up in – Cairo Public Library.
Where would you like to be transported?
Kickball and dodgeball were played during gym and recess.
We had recess!
Penny candy was really penny.
We jumped double dutch.
We played hide-and-go-get, oops I mean hide-and-go-seek.
You had a one on one fight and lived to be friends again.
Being ten and home alone wasn’t a crime.
Parents would come to school and whoop you in front of the class, and teachers let them.
Failing the Constitution meant you failed 8th grade.
Playing the dozens was a right of passage.
Parents were parents and could care less about being their children’s friend.
Grandma was actually old.
You couldn’t catch a mother and her children in the same nightclub.
We played outside until the street lights came on.
We played hopscotch, red light green light stop and hand games like Miss Mack.
Little girls didn’t wear weaves.
A singer actually had to be able to sing in order to receive a recording contract.
What do you remember?
Image courtesy of cjansuebsri / FreeDigitalPhotos.net