Care For The Caregiver

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images (17)“Let me check your temperature baby,” Is what your mom said as you lie limp in your bed. She rubs your forehead with one hand while she holds the thermometer under your armpit with the other. Your body is trembling and you reach for the garbage can beside your bed. She gently rubs your back while you try your hardest to let it all out. Nothing happens so you roll back onto the bed. She pulls the covers up to your neck and gives the sides a little pat down. She leaves the room and you hear the dryer start just before you hear the kitchen cabinets close. When she returns, she has a glass of ginger ale, but she doesn’t allow you to drink it right away because it still has too much fizz. While she wait for the ginger ale to go flat, she goes back into the kitchen to grab a pack of saltines. When she returns to your room, she has the crackers and warm sheets with a blanket. She helps you off the bed but before you can gather your balance, the bed is all made up and she’s tucking you in again. You close your eyes and let out a slight moan of relief. She pass you two crackers and you wash them down with the lukewarm ginger ale.

Your childhood was filled with memories like these of your mother; but it wasn’t just you that your mom cared for and nurtured. She loved “nursing” people back to health and devoted her life to the well-being of others. She served on both the nurses guild and the missionary committee at church. She was always happy to help and there was never a bad time to request for her assistance.

Now you find yourself sitting beside her bed preparing ginger ale and crackers for her, while the nurse checks her temperature and change her dresssings. You see all the love and appreciation for your mother surrounding the room and it brings tears to your eyes. “Lord please don’t take her from me. Not now,” is what you say to yourself. The nurse finishes with her and you sing her favorite hem, “God has smiled on me,” as you pat down the sides of her bed coverings and she drift off to sleep.

You hate that she was too sick to stay home, but you are very thankful to the medical staff at Millard Fillmore Hospital for giving her the same care she devoted her life giving to others. It never occured to you that one day…the caregiver would need care.

Save Your Judgement

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Keep living and you’ll keep learning…is what I heard from my elders on a regular bases. I am six months away from 40 and I have racked up A LOT…of lessons.

One of the biggest life lessons that I have learned and come to accept but not respect, is that people will always judge you. I am on a few social media sites and when I read some of the comments, I want to scream.

Social media is a place to express our thoughts, feelings, and concerns. But the abusive language that is used to tear down another because of their “bad” or “unethical” behavior is sick and just as disgusting as the problem you claim to detest.

These cyber psychologists often forget or ignore the fact that they have a closet full of bones themselves. Just because you hide the fact that you sleep with married men, have had 10 abortions, or that you sleep around on your wife, does not make you fit to judge another person who decides to be open about their mistakes–past or present.

For the past few weeks there has been several upsetting stories in the media and these “psychologists” were on top of it. Calling people unfit parents when they themselves could use some parenting classes or a visit from CPS because they have no qualms about leaving their 9 year old home alone to babysit their 9 month old while they go out to “turn up”.

Then there’s those cyber psychologists that think they know the celebrities they love to hate. Supposedly they wouldn’t want Beyoncé or Nicki Minaj to speak at their childs schools because they’re not good “role models”. Again I say, what kind of role model are you to your own children? Sending child support but not spending time with your child(ren) does not satisfy the role model criteria; nor does putting a man before your child(ren).

Yet these same type of judgemental people find their way to these social outlets and spit poison from the same lips they just used to pray for favor. We all have error in our ways, but as long a we keep living…we’ll keep learning; so with that, save your judgement because we all have fallen short.

Music credit: No Angel by Beyoncé

Album: Beyoncé

Blogging Newbie

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If you haven’t noticed already, I am new to the blogging community and my technical skills are non-existent. Learning to blog has been a challenge for me. I have spent countless hours researching how to blog, where to blog, the cost of blogging, and blogging topics. There have been several moments when I just didn’t want to embrace the idea because it was too complicated. I wasn’t sure if people would find my writing interesting or if my writing was as good as I thought it was.

After months of research, reading, and over analyzing, I have decided to stop thinking and just write. If I’m going to be a creative writer, I must write; I must put my work out into the universe in order to build my brand. Blogging is the best way to self promote, inform the public, inspire others, build a platform, and connect with like-minded people.

At this moment, I am a blogging newbie, but with time and practice, I will become a blogging vet; after all, I am a creative writer.

End of our Journey

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How can you tell when a friendship has come to the end of its journey? You’ve been best friends since Jr. High, shared a lot of secrets, wiped each other tears after a heartbreak, and changed the diapers of one another’s babies. You supported each others achievements, disappointments, and hardships.

At least that’s how you saw it.

In all reality, you’ve been the one supporting the friendship. You have never missed a milestone in their life, but they’ve always missed yours. You put $100 in their wedding card, yet they only put $25 in yours–two months after you were married. When you talk on the phone with them, they dominate the call, but just before they hang up they ask, “how are the kids?” or, “so what’s new with you?”–never really wanting a reply. Your so excited to share the good news about your sons new job or about your promotion at work that you begin to speak. Bad move. They begin to yell at their kids in the background, put you on hold, or “un-hun” you to death, just before saying, “well that’s good. I’m happy for you guys”.

“Yeah, but not really. What did I just say?”

You and your spouse build a new home, but they never come to see it; however, you make the ten-hour trip to see their new home and bring house-warming gifts. Patterns like these happen over and over again throughout the course of your friendship. Your not tallying up your “good works” because you do it from the heart,with love. But you do wonder why they don’t show you some love.

You saw the pattern for years, but you ignored it–that’s just who they were; nothing personal. Now, at 40, you have decided to take inventory of useless friendships and clean house. You are in a good place in your life and have realized that this friendship has never benefited you. You have had an epiphany and it’s time to move on.

A friend is someone who loves you as if you were a blood relative. Friends empower one another with words co-signed by actions. You should not be putting more into a friendship than what you’re getting out of it; that’s how you know that your friendship journey has come to an end.

Mental Illness – ILLNESS

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Just STOP

Stop…Calling suicidal people weak-they are not weak but dealing with excruciating emotional pain that is both distressing and debilitating. The burden is so heavy that they can’t see any better option. That stigma is both ignorant and insensitive and a prime reason why those in distress don’t seek help.

Stop…Calling people crazy-mental illness is just that an illness- an insidious illness just like cancer. No one asks for it or deserves it but it will still come without an invitation.

Stop…Telling people to get over it-you don’t tell cancer patients to get over it. This is the worst thing you can say to someone. If it was just that easy to snap out of it they would. No one wants to be alive yet not living.

Stop…Telling people to just pray about it-nine times out of ten, they have prayed and prayed and is all prayed out, that’s why they have come to you. All you are really saying is, “I really don’t care, take your problem elsewhere.”

And finally,

Stop…Gloating/celebrating someone’s storm-Instead of spending an hour on the “chat line” with your friends to gleefully discuss the downfall of another, hit your knees in prayer for them. Pray that God will deliver them from evil and to loose the stronghold that has their mind.

More of Yourself

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I just finished watching the Queen Latifah show and the show was dedicated to her birthday-which is today. She had some great guests on her show, especially Terrance Howard…Gawd I love that man; but the biggest highlight, for me, came from Oprahs simple, yet effective statement, “That’s what getting older is about-becoming more of yourself”.

I just turned 39 on Thursday and I’ve noticed that my attitude about who I am has dramatically changed. I used to hide the real person I was in fear of rejection or persecution, but about a year ago, out of no where, I just didn’t care anymore. I looked at myself long and hard; I looked deep within myself and couldn’t find anything that made me unhappy. In fact, on that day, I was renewed. I fell deeply in love with myself and the woman I had become. “Why did I hide all this from the world?” “How could they not love me too?”, are the questions I asked myself. As I sat back and took it all in, a word I first heard, about a year and a half prior, came into my mind-Irie. Irie is a Jamaican word, mostly used by Rastafarians, and it means to be high on life or at peace with your present situation in life. From that day forward, Irie has become my everything and I no longer care if anyone else likes who I am and I will live my life for my own happiness, my own peace, and my own way-no longer afraid of how “they” would receive me.

I am older and more myself. I am….Irie! Thank you Oprah for giving me the “o.k.” and happy birthday Queen!