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.

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.

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!

Entitlement Society

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I have had enough of these entitlement programs and people. We have become a nation filled with lazy, give me, give me, give me people. What happened to the old adage, “If you don’t work, you don’t eat”?

Wait! Let me back up,I don’t want you all to get the idea that I don’t believe in helping others, so let me get this clear. I believe that at any point, in any of our lives, we may fall on a financial hardship and need a little help to make it through another day, week, or few months while we pursue our financial independence.

With that being said, I believe in giving a hand up instead of a hand out. This is a temporary hardship that calls for temporary assistance because they are out seeking gainful employment in order to sustain themselves and their family-I can respect that and would be glad to help my fellow citizen with the basic necessities of life.

Now on the other side of those pursuing self-sufficiency, are those I first started talking about-the give me types. These are people who rely on the government or not-for-pofit agencies to take care of them. People who believe such agencies are responsible for their well-being. People who work dead end jobs just to keep their “benefits”; benefits such as food, shelter, transportaion, and clothing. People who turn down the education and career training opportunities that the same agencies offer them for a brighter, self-reliant future.

But I shouldn’t put all the blame on the “give me types”. In all fairness, they are a product of social services; the programs that have handicapped them. Think about it, as long as their income is low and/or they have children, they qualify for assistance. Now, the lower your income, the more babies you have, and oh…this is a big one, the more behavioral or psychologically challenged, you or your child(ren) are, the bigger the checks and benefits are.

What our society of well intentioned programs has done is crippled the mindsets and success of many in our nation. By not setting strict but manageable guidlines, such as making education and career training mandatory for assistance, and having a deadline in place, you encourage laziness. Make people accountable for themselves!

You can’t tell me that financial freedom and success isn’t possible in our beautiful country-I see it everyday. We are truly a nation of opportunity but you have to want it and pursue it. There will be hills and even mountains to climb but self-sufficiency, success, and wealth are attainable. If you don’t believe me, look around you, who do you see owning 90% of your local stores and businesses? They are people from other countries that came here with a dream to pursue happiness-and they did. They work harder than any American born citizen I know and they have more because they expect more out of themselves.

I believe our government should have a system in place to help those sustain the basic needs of life during a financial hardship, but I don’t believe it should be thousands of those programs with thousands of loopholes that allow people to become permanent dependents. If the government would start saying no then the “takers” would be left with no other option but to care for themselves. I’m just tired of the excuses. We know better and can definitely do better as a society.