Figuring Out My Life #68

Hi PBZT Family:

It’s Sunday night going into Monday morning shortly after midnight and I’m sitting on the bed watching my mom and my nephew, two of the people I love most in this world getting a good night’s rest. These two personify love in my life and I wish I could make the world a much better place simply for them. The house is quiet so it’s introspection and conversation with God time for me. There has been yet another mass shooting so the television is on the nonstop news coverage that unfortunately will diminish as the week goes by and I’m sitting here with a multitude of life’s issues running through my mind, praying for something to come into my life that lifts my spirit.

My birthday was earlier this month and aging another year has made me do a lot of thinking about my life and how I’m always trying to figure out where I fit in this world. My thoughts brought me to the conclusion that at 37 years old I still don’t have this life completely figured out and I’m not sure I ever will. I’m almost forty years old (such a scary thought) aren’t I supposed to have it all figured out by now. I wonder if there will come a time when complete understanding of life will come for me. I always feel like God has placed me into a world that I don’t feel like I fit into perfectly, like I’m am an ultra sensitive, introverted girl living in a world that’s the complete opposite and no one understands that it’s not a simple existence. I often feel like I am looking at the rest of the world from my own enclosed space and there’s so much that I see that torments my spirit; it seems much more than the average person. I look around at others who seem to have figured it all out, have their lives together and have solidified their place and purpose(s) in this world and I’m honestly envious although I know wholeheartedly that’s wrong. But now that I really think about it some of those people are probably just as perplexed by life as I am, they’re just good at putting on a front to make others think that their lives are something that they’re really not at all.

I always feel like God has me in a waiting period, I hope and pray that God has bigger & better planned for me but maybe I’m just not comprehending what it is God is trying to teach me during this waiting period that seems it’s been life long, so I can’t move on until my lessons are all learned. I feel like I’m supposed to be doing something that brings happiness to others but I just haven’t figured what that something is and I’m not even sure anymore that I should be expecting God to show me. I want to be the change that I want to see in this world, I just don’t know how to be that change. I’ve said this several times before and I will probably say it a million more, but I want to feel like my life means something, like I’m servicing a purpose and making a difference in the lives of others. Right now I just don’t have that feeling. I’m infinitely grateful that God gave me the amazing gift of life 37 years ago, I just want to figure out how to make it a fulfilling & purpose filled life.

That’s just my perspective!💜

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What Would Daddy Think? #67

If you have paid any attention to many of the words that I’ve shared on my blog, then you know that thoughts and memories of my daddy are always on my mind. As a teenage girl I never thought that at the age I am now I would be living without my daddy and even after twenty years it’s still extremely difficult for me to wrap my mind around the fact that he’s just gone from my life until I hopefully see him in another world.

Father’s Day was four days ago and I’ve probably said it before but since daddy’s death it’s always a day filled with mixed emotions for me, it’s like on Father’s Day either I’m fine and it’s just a normal day or I’m filled with a deep sadness that I can’t seem to suppress, no matter how hard I try. This year on Father’s Day I thought to myself “I’ll write about my feelings” but I set down to write and I just could not get my thoughts straight so I decided to try again another day.

Today when I set down in my quiet place where I go to collect my thoughts and write I tried to come up with so many other topics to write about besides my daddy, because I never set out for my blog to be “the grieving daughter blog” but it seems that I can’t help myself when it comes to writing about my daddy I cannot control my pen, it feels like my thoughts are writing themselves. I feel like if I can help just one person who reads my words about my daddy or any other topic then my writing and my living is not in vain.

A few days ago on Father’s Day, I began to wonder “what would Daddy think?” What would Daddy think about that condition this country is in? What would Daddy think about the fact that Donald Trump is the president. I’m sure Daddy would have something funny but thought provoking to say about President Trump. I look at my awesome nephew and I think “what would Daddy think about having a grandson that’s like him in so many ways?” One question that came to mind that’s more important to me than the others is “what would Daddy think of me? Would he be proud of the person I am? It’s actually something that I think of quite often and maybe I’m crazy but, even though my daddy is no longer living physically he will always live in my heart so I still worry about making him proud. I want him to look upon me from Heaven with pride in his eyes. Is it crazy that I want my deceased father to be proud of me?

I often wonder if Daddy would be upset with me, because according to societal standards I haven’t made much of myself in the twenty years since his death. I wonder if Daddy would be proud of me because like both my parents I have a good heart (too good at times) and I try to always treat people with kindness. I wonder what Daddy would think about the man and father that brother is growing into each day? Does Daddy feel like his children who suffered the loss of his presence in their lives so suddenly and were forced to grow up/mature without him are good people? Is he proud of the relationship we have with our awesome mother who he loved wholeheartedly? Are we in some way(s) a disappointment to Daddy?

These questions and so many more about how my daddy would feel about certain things if he were still alive are always running through my mind and it’s still so very difficult to fully accept that there’s no way for all my questions to be answered, because Daddy is gone.

That’s just my perspective!💜

A Salute To The Coolest Cat #66

The first person who I witnessed slowly making the transition toward leaving this side of life was my maternal grandfather, it’s so hard to believe that today it has been exactly twenty one years since granddaddy’s earthly journey ended. I was 15 years old in 1998 when a short battle with lung cancer started to take its toll on my granddaddy’s body. After about a year or so of chemotherapy and radiation therapy Granddaddy decided that he’d had enough and he put his life all in God’s hands. That summer is one that I think I will always remember, because it was the start of some life changing events that shaped the way that I currently think about life and death.

It’s a time in my life that I’ll always be grateful for, because it taught me about being grateful for people who truly love me and to cherish the time that God gives me with my loved ones. When my Granddaddy’s earthly body started to prepare itself to transition into the next life he had to be placed under hospice care and that was something I never knew anything about until that time. Because of my physical limitations there weren’t a lot of ways that I could help with taking care of my granddaddy while he was on his deathbed, but I could feed him while he was still able to eat and sit and talk with him. I’m infinitely grateful that God allowed me moments when it was just Granddaddy and I in his room together and I could tell him that I loved him beyond measure, so I’m confident that he died knowing my love for him.

I remember that Thursday morning like it was yesterday. A couple days before Granddaddy drifted into what I like to think of as a state of complete calmness, because he knew he was on his way to a much better place and life. I’ve never said it to anyone but I had a sad feeling that death wasn’t very far away. I’m sure the whole family was feeling it, but praying for just a few more days with Granddaddy or even for a miracle. I always find it interesting that for several nights before Granddaddy’s death I slept in his bedroom with him in his hospital bed and the night nurse watching over him but God had a plan that didn’t include me being in the room when Granddaddy made his final transition. I remember my daddy waking me up early the morning of June 4, 1998, before the sun had arisen telling me that my granddaddy died. It didn’t hit me immediately, I don’t remember crying until later on that afternoon when I went in the room and the sight of the empty hospital bed brought me to tears. Y’all know I still have a really difficult time wrapping my mind around the fact that Daddy died just nine months later. Twenty one years later it’s still difficult to repair my heart after death took two of the men I loved, admired and respected most in the world within nine months of one another.

Growing up as a little girl I absolutely adored my granddaddy for so many reasons, one being that he bought me whatever I wanted, all I had to do was ask. I always felt like I was his favorite grandchild. I often reminisce about admiring the fact that when my granddaddy who was a plumber until his health failed him wasn’t in his work uniform, there was no way he was going to step out not dressed well, looking sharp and smelling good. As I started to get a bit older I began to value my relationship with my granddaddy for much deeper reasons. One trait I wish that I had inherited from my granddaddy is that he was the type of person who never ever gave a damn about how people felt about him and his choices, I definitely aspire to be more like my granddaddy in that way.

When I am at my grandparents’ house now, I often wish that I could go in granddaddy’s bedroom, sit on his bed with him and just listen to whatever he had to say as I did so many times in the 15 years God gave us, because that’s one of the things I miss the most about being his granddaughter. I always learned something from just listening to my granddaddy and I cherish those times. As I am writing these words I can hear my granddaddy referring to me as “the cat that the kittens don’t know about. I think I got to see a side of my granddaddy that he didn’t show everyone, especially those outside of his family and I am tremendously grateful for that. Most people might have thought that Granddaddy was a bit of a Scrooge but to me he was one of the most loving and affectionate people in my world, I miss laying my head on his strong shoulder when nothing seems to be going right in the world and having a grandfather who just wanted to make my world alright.

I am so thankful to God because for 15 years of my life, Silas Delaware was my granddaddy, a man who I know without any doubt loved me and was proud of me. I am grateful that even though my granddaddy was literally on his deathbed each time he saw me he smiled because that’s just how special our bond was. I feel honored to be his granddaughter. I’m sure my granddaddy is watching over his wife of 50 years, his five children, five grandchildren, & the four great grandsons who he never got to meet smiling with pride at his family and bragging about us to everyone in Heaven.

That’s just my perspective!💜

Angels Disguised As Teachers #65

Its Teacher Appreciation Week and I’ve been thinking back upon my days as a student in school and some of the angels disguised as teachers who had a positive impact on my life and taught me life lessons that I will never forget. I thought maybe I would tell you all about a few of them. My very first angel disguised as a teacher was Mrs. Sharon Manness, my first grade teacher. Mrs. Manness was unforgettable, she was statuesque and towered above all her little students. I’ll always remember how stern she was, she did not play. At the age of six I remember being a bit intimidated by Mrs. Manness, but at the same time thinking she was amazing. One experience with Mrs. Manness that I don’t think I will ever forget is when she brought me up to her desk in the front of the classroom while my classmates were doing a fun activity, she helped me learn to tie my shoelaces. I will always appreciate her for all that she did for me and all that she taught me. I can’t believe it, but it has been 30 years since I was a student in Mrs. Manness’s classroom and through the years I have often wished that I could get in touch with her just to thank her for being such an awesome first grade teacher. Another angel God sent into my life disguised as a teacher during my elementary school years was my third grade teacher Mrs. Maureen Snyder. Mrs. Snyder aided in making my first school year at a new school an enjoyable and memorable year. Then there was one of the toughest ladies I think I have ever met, my fifth grade teacher Mrs. Monique Brown, who I loved because she was one of those teachers who treated me and all the rest of her students like we were her own. I always felt like I wanted to be like Mrs. Brown when I grew up, because I thought that there was something so fierce about her.

Along with my junior high school years came Mrs. Cleta Ellington. Mrs. Ellington was my 7th & 8th grade literature teacher and I always thought of her as the most eccentric person I had ever met at that point in my life. I mean that in the most complimentary way possible. Mrs. Ellington reminded me of my mother because they had a similar fashion sense, they both shared a love for linen clothes. Mrs. Ellington fueled my love for reading. She made novels like The Autobiography Of Miss Jane Pittman and To Kill A Mockingbird two of my favorites. My knowledge of Greek mythology is due to the fact that Cleta Ellington was my favorite literature teacher and I was interested in anything that she taught, because she made learning interesting and fun.

Finally on to my high school years, going from private Catholic school to public school was a bit of a strange transition for me but I had teachers like Mr. William Hubbard, Mrs. Willie Wortham, Ms. Teveta Smith & Coach Cheyenne Trussell, along with the best, most talented and creative art teacher on this planet, Ms. Candy Cain who all made me feel comfortable and at home at Callaway High School. My junior year in high school after my daddy died God gave me three angels who had already been my teachers, Mrs. Geraldine Bender, Mrs. Regena King and Mr. Dudley Ford. Mrs. Bender was my French II teacher in tenth grade, Mr. Ford taught history and I had been a student in Mrs. King’s classroom for several different subjects. These are three people that will forever hold a very special place in my heart because they helped me in countless ways. After my daddy’s death I felt like the weight of the world was crashing down on me and crushing my heart and when it got to be too overwhelming I could go to one of their classrooms and just let the tears fall. They never turned me away, they just let me cry and use their shoulders to let the tears fall onto. I always felt like Mrs. Bender, Mrs. King & Mr. Ford really understood the grief that I was experiencing because they too had experienced the death of cherished loved ones. The three of them always made me feel like they really genuinely cared about me, how I was doing and what I was feeling. I will never be able to repay Mrs. Bender, Mrs. King & Mr. Ford for being there for me. I am infinitely grateful that God placed those three angels disguised as teachers in my life at a time when I just needed to feel like someone understood me.

This week reflecting upon my years as a student in school I realized how blessed I have been to have had some really amazing angels disguised as teachers in my life that I am so grateful and thankful for.

That’s just my perspective💜

Waiting On My Best Life #64

 

 

IMG_0972It is after 1:00 in the morning and I have been working on this blog post for several hours because I have been determined to post something for my blog audience, but I had a difficult time getting my thoughts together, so I decided to just write straight from my heart as I always do. In my writing on this blog I always try to share something that “plants seeds” or is thought provoking to those who choose to read my words. I also try to be uplifting to others by expressing the good that I feel about the awesome people that God has placed throughout my journey on this side of life, because I have never wanted my blog to be simply a journal of my everyday life. I want my readers to benefit in some way from my words. If you know me you are aware that I try to always be someone who spreads compassion, kindness, love and positivity but honestly during the last few days I haven’t been feeling so positive. I’ve been throwing a pity party and I am the only person who received an invitation. In the last few weeks I have been dealing with some health issues and I feel like I have fallen into a giant pothole and God is the only one who can provide me with a ladder so that I can climb out.

About a week ago I posed a question to my PBZT family on my social media pages and that question was, what does the phrase “living my life to its fullest” and “living my best life” mean to you? Whenever I hear people say either of those phrases it is usually in reference to them being able to do the fun things in life like going on vacations and being reckless whenever they feel the urge to. The last time I heard someone say one of those phrases it made me think about what exactly those phrases mean to me. Thinking about what my definition for those phrases would be made me realize that I am not sure if I am living my life to its fullest. In the last few days while laying in bed in pain I started to realize that I feel like I am just existing in this world and not actually living. I also feel like the phrases “living my life to its fullest” and “living my best life” mean different things to everyone because all of our lives are completely different. To some of the people who responded to my social media question, those phrases mean doing whatever makes them happy like loving God and their family & friends, others said that they consider living their best life, living a life not concerning themselves with others’ opinions. Some in my PBZT family defined living their best life as being positive and sharing with others, staying on the right side of the law and living with no regrets. One answer to my question that really made me think about how I’m living my own life came from someone near and dear to me, my brother’s definition of living life to its fullest is, taking chances, enjoying the little things, taking nothing for granted, appreciating those you hold dear, traveling and discovering new things when time & funds permit. I believe that if I had to define the phrase “living my best  life” I would probably say a mixture of everything those in my blog family stated. I would probably define both phrases as living life in a way that brings you some happiness and contentment.

I have been thinking about it a lot and I am not sure that I am living my life in a way that brings me complete happiness and contentment, but I have always felt like I am living out God’s plan for my life at this moment. I think that living my best life would consist of finding something to do with myself that gives me a sense of value and fulfillment. As I stated above lately I have been having some health issues which have made me question life, once again I am questioning God although I know I probably shouldn’t be doing so, but some time I do not understand life so I have to ask why. I wonder why God has placed so much physical pain in my life, some would say God uses my pain to show me my strength or to show me that I am capable of carrying any load that life piles on my back, but I don’t always see myself as a strong person especially when I have moments of emotional weakness like I’ve been having a lot in the last few weeks.

You all know that I am always telling you about how I’m constantly questioning God about what his plan and purpose is for my life. Well, I sometimes feel like its because I have moments of emotional weakness and moments when my faith and trust in God are severely lacking, that God is making me wait to show me what his purpose for the life that he has so graciously given me is. I know that God has placed me in the roles of daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece, cousin, aunt & friend which are all roles that I cherish and I try my best to be good at, but I always feel there is something more that I’m supposed to be doing with my life. I always feel as if God has something else planned for my life but he’s making me wait or maybe he is preparing me for whatever that something more is. Right now it feels as if God is sending me through my life’s storms so that I can learn the lessons that he has planted within each storm. Its like as I wade my way through the storms of life each lesson that I learn is preparing me for something greater that God has planned for me. I have to admit that I struggle tremendously with waiting for God to show me what exactly his plans and purposes are for this life that he has sent me into, this life that he graces me with each morning when I open my eyes from a night of rest to see a new day. I wonder if once I know my full purpose will I then be able to live my best life without so many of life’s storms (health issues) interrupting my journey to happiness and contentment.

That’s just my perspective!💜

PBZT Family, tell me what’s your definition of the phrases “living my life to its fullest” and “living my best life. Please leave your responses in the comment section.

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Remembering March 3, 1999: Twenty Years Later #63

Wednesday March 3, 1999 is a day that is forever engraved in my mind. I was 16 years old, a junior in high school, who never thought about how life can change instantly until that day twenty years ago. It was the week before Spring Break and just like every other person in their junior year in high school I was anticipating being out of school for an entire week. The school day ended at 3:30pm everyday and most days my daddy and little brother were either parked right in front of the school or in the back parking lot waiting on me to come out of the building. On that day when I walked out of the building I was expecting them to be waiting on me as usual, but that’s not what happened. It had been a great day at school, so I was in a good mood, but the afternoon took an unexpected extremely tragic downward turn.

I didn’t want to stay outside waiting so I went back in the building and set down to wait, thinking to myself “Daddy must’ve gotten held up doing something that prevented him from being on time to pick me up as he usually is.” Never once did I think something is going to happen in the next few minutes that will change my life forever. I can’t tell you how long I set there waiting; looking back on that day it seemed like I was waiting for a long time, but it was probably only a few minutes. After that few minutes of waiting, wondering what’s taking them so long to get here, suddenly my brother came into the building looking sad like something was wrong. I never expected to hear the words “Daddy fainted” come out of my brother’s mouth, but that’s what happened. There I was a sixteen year old girl just anticipating Spring Break like everyone else my age, thinking that it was just a typical Wednesday, but the next few hours after my brother spoke the words “Daddy fainted” turned Wednesday March 3, 1999 into the worst day of my life.

My brother and I ran out to the car and I remember being in disbelief but not immediately going into a state of full panic. The image that we saw is literally forever etched into my mind. I won’t go into full detail, but just know that it was an image and situation that no children should have to live with seeing their father in. The minutes after that are somewhat blurry to me after twenty years, all I know is that those minutes involved getting in the car with my Aunt Sonja, following an ambulance to the hospital and calling my mother at work to inform her of the situation still not in panic mode saying “Daddy wasn’t breathing.” You see, at that time I don’t think that I had considered the possibility of my daddy not pulling through whatever caused him to faint. At that point we didn’t know that he’d had a massive heart attack. It wasn’t until we got to the hospital that the possibility of death hit me, but I pushed the thought away. I knew that whatever was wrong with daddy it was something awfully bad, because when we arrived in the emergency room at the hospital I vividly remember someone coming to unlock what’s called the prayer room (a small waiting room for families of critical patients), that’s when I got very scared but again I pushed the thought of Daddy dying away from my mind. My brother, our aunt and I set in that room and waited on my mother to get there.

Once my mother arrived at the hospital, she was allowed to go into the area where the doctors and nurses were working on Daddy, I’m sure they were trying their absolute best to revive him. After seeing Momma’s reaction once she was sitting in the prayer room (waiting room) I still don’t remember panicking, because I thought for sure Daddy is going to be fine. During the time of what felt like an eternity of sitting in the waiting room watching the minutes go by I thought to myself “ok this has to be a nightmare that I’m going to wake up from soon.” I remember going outside because I just needed to get some air when I walked back into the hospital the nightmare that I was living got worse when I heard the words “your daddy didn’t make it.” I’ve had several surgeries and experienced a lot of physical pain in my life, but I’ve never felt pain like that before that day. I can remember screaming “no that’s not true!” and falling down on my momma in tears like I’ve never cried before. I just couldn’t believe Daddy was gone.

He had been so happy and joyful earlier that day. I thought something wasn’t right, the doctors were wrong my daddy couldn’t be gone, that’s just not possible, not my daddy. He was supposed to live beyond 51 years.

For a long time after Daddy’s death, I remember feeling like if I had done something different he might not have died, if I had been able to much more accurately answer the questions that the paramedics were asking me about Daddy’s medical history and the medications he was taking, maybe something could’ve been done to keep him alive.

Now twenty years later, I realize that there was absolutely nothing I could’ve done, because Wednesday March 3, 1999 was my daddy’s pre-planned by God date to leave this side of life. I write about Daddy very often on my blog so if you read it regularly then you know how tremendous my love for my daddy will always be and how much I loved being his daughter. It probably seems strange and I’ve never thought about it until this very moment sitting in my quiet space twenty years later writing about that day, but I realize that I’m somewhat grateful for experiencing some of the events of those few hours until Daddy was pronounced deceased, at a young age because now at a few months from 37 I think about life in a completely different way from how I did on that day twenty years ago at 16 years old. I’m much more thankful/grateful for all of my loved ones and I value the time I get to spend with them on this side of life, because I now realize that there is no truer saying than “we aren’t promised tomorrow.”

There is literally not a moment that goes by without thoughts of my daddy and I treasure the sixteen years that God allowed us to be father & daughter on this side of life. I pray that God deems me someone worthy of going to a place where I will see my daddy again when my earthly journey is complete.

Written In Memory Of My Daddy,

Tee McReaver Taylor, Sr.

An awesome son, brother, husband, father, uncle & friend who is forever loved and unbelievably missed

December 12, 1947-March 3, 1999

That’s just my perspective!💜

My Heaven Sent Pre-Planned Second Father #62

One perspective that I have come to live by is that you should give people their flowers while they live. I think we should always let people know the good things that we see in them and feel for them. I guess that’s one reason why I write about my family so much. They’re the people I love and care for most in this world and I want them and the rest of the world to know just how I feel about them, so I use this blog as my venue to express my infinite love for the people in my life who I know always have my back, front & sides no matter what the situation may be.

On the eve of the date that marks 20 years since my father had to leave this side of life, because he was called to his eternal home. I want to tell you all about the man I fondly call my second daddy, my awesome godfather, Joe H. Smith.

I’ve never questioned either of my parents about why they chose Joe as my godfather, I guess I always thought that it was because of their lifelong friendship with him. Joe has never in almost 37 years given me a reason to question his role/place in my life or his love for me. I always like to say that God had already pre-planned my life on the day of my birth God knew that he would call my daddy back to him sixteen years later so from day one of my life God placed Joe there, because he knew that Joe would be the absolute perfect man to fulfill the void of a father figure in my life when Daddy had to leave us. As a matter of fact although my daddy’s death did leave a large hole in my heart I have never felt the lack of a father figure, because I’ve always had Joe in my life. I literally cannot remember a time in my life when my godfather wasn’t there, he’s been there for all of my good days and my bad. He’s been there for birthdays, graduations, countless visits in the hospital after all my surgeries or illnesses & every other major or minor event in my life. All of my fondest memories of time spent with my family include Joe. You see, my Aunt Zel who I expressed my love for in perspective #12 and my God-daddy Joe have been a couple for as long as I can remember, that’s how amazing God is to me, he put two of his best angels on Earth together in love and placed them in my life to love me.

Since Daddy left this life Joe has truly been there for my mother, my brother and I in countless ways. Being that I am such an emotional crybaby when it comes to verbalizing my feelings, I’m not sure that I have ever really expressed to my godfather just what his constant presence in my life means to me. I could never completely accurately express the love, admiration and gratitude that I feel for Joe without shedding tears, just thinking about what he means to me while writing this post has made those feelings fall from my eyes in the form of tears.

In the last 20 years Joe has been there for me in ways that as my godfather he really wasn’t obligated to be. I always know that if I need a compassionate listening ear or a strong shoulder to let the tears fall on when the load of missing my daddy gets too heavy to carry all I have to do is dial Joe’s number and no matter what’s going on in his life, Joe will listen to me, say something in the comical way that only he can and help me to feel better. Just being in Joe’s presence always makes smile and feel like he loves me as if I were his own daughter. To be honest with you, godfather seems like such a completely inadequate word to describe his role in my life, because he’s really so much more than that to me. Joe is someone who I thank God for in my prayers as often as I possibly can. He is definitely one of those people who will always have his own very special pocket in my heart where all that he means to me will be kept until my dying hour. My God-daddy is one of the kindest, most generous, fun-loving, humorous and loving people I know, he’s a man I feel blessed beyond any unit of measurement to call not only my godfather but my second father. I am honored to know him and to be one of his god-daughters.

That’s just my perspective!💜

95 Years Of My Family’s Crossing Guard #61

If you’ve read anything that I have written in the last four years since I started this blog then you know that I absolutely adore my family. I always feel extremely blessed to have been born into such an awesome group of people.

Today is the 95th birthday of the woman who I call the chief of our tribe, the captain of our ship, and the ruler over all in my family, my grandma. The bible tells us that our days may come to seventy years or eighty, if our strength endures. (Psalms 90:10). Today God has allowed my grandma’s strength to endure living in this world for 25 years beyond the 70 years that the bible speaks of. I don’t know about anyone else but I am overjoyed by that fact.

Let me tell you a little bit about just who my Grandma Freda is. For 29 years of her life her occupation was a school crossing guard, but she was a crossing guard long before she started that job. My Grandma Freda has been life’s crossing guard for her five children, five grandchildren, nieces & nephews and countless others. Til this day she is still serving as life’s crossing guard for her four great grandsons. Grandma Freda has been the one to see us all safely from one phase of life to the next. From infants to children, from adolescence to adulthood, Grandma Freda has been there every step of the way, making sure we got safely through each phase. Even if we happen to step into harm’s way she is right there to pick us up and point us back in the right direction all the while very sternly telling us where we went wrong. Grandma Freda is an important part of the lives of everyone that’s born into my family.

I’m not sure I know anyone else quite like Grandma Freda, she’s awfully headstrong, as a matter of fact she’s probably where the rest of us got that trait from. You might not think so when you first meet Grandma Freda but deep underneath her very hard shell lives a kindhearted woman. If she has even just an ounce of love for you you’ll know it, but don’t look for hugs, kisses or much in the way of affection from Grandma Freda because that’s just not who she is. If she doesn’t like you trust me you’ll feel her sting. Grandma Freda does not sugarcoat anything at all for any reason. If it’s on her mind you better believe it’s going to come out of her mouth and you just might get your feelings hurt, especially if you’re sensitive like me.

I think that the spiritual/religious side of me has always been nurtured by all of my life’s crossing guards, but I have so many memories of Grandma Freda sitting me down as a young girl and teaching me “church songs” and scriptures. I admire her faith and her trust in God. Her church members know something is wrong if she’s not at Beulah Land on Sunday morning. She’s the oldest member of the church and they all know not to talk back when she says something. She’s always taught me “just trust in God.” Grandma Freda is the reason that Proverbs & Psalms are my favorite books to read in the bible, because whenever life throws an obstacle in my path that I just can’t seem to jump over easily Grandma Freda tells me to read Proverbs & Psalms and of course I do as she tells me.

Grandma Freda will teach you a multitude of life lessons in one conversation with her. You really have no choice but to be still, sit, listen and learn, because it doesn’t matter what else is on your schedule when Grandma Freda is talking. Grandma Freda has always been a my way or no way type of grandmother but a lot of times in my life I have found that she’s not going to steer me wrong and her way is at times the best way. I just wanted to tell you all about the woman I’m celebrating today, my family’s life crossing guard. A woman I’m grateful beyond words to have in my life, my Grandma Freda.

It’s my prayer that God continues to bless her with good health and many more years to celebrate her life.

That’s just my perspective!💜

A Perplexing Overflow Of Violence #60

Do not plan evil against your neighbor, who dwells trustingly beside you. Proverbs 3:29ESV

What’s up PBZT Family? I hope the first month of 2019 has been great to you all. I just wanted to share with you all something that’s been on my mind for the last few days. It is the last day of the first month of 2019 and here I am sitting at home finding myself once again questioning God and not understanding life and what’s happening in the world around me. I am sure you all can tell by my previous posts that I’m the girl who naively feels like we should all be able to live in this world getting along peacefully. I guess because I feel that we should all be able to live harmoniously it’s difficult for me to accept that the world is just not that way and probably never will be. I have no problem admitting that I do not understand all the hatred and violence that’s going on in this world right now. In perspective #37 Why Kill? I discussed how I don’t understand why people choose to kill others and right now I am back in the frame of mind, probably because I never gained any understanding on the subject. Why do people resort to violence, especially gun violence that ends with death. In my hometown it seems like someone is murdered every weekend. We’re still in the beginning of a new year and there have already been multiple murders, one of which the victim was a pastor who was unlocking the doors of his church on a cold rainy Sunday morning. He was shot and left to die alone on the street. The mind boggling fact for me is that this kind of violence isn’t just happening in my town; it is happening all over this country. It saddens me to realize that people just don’t seem to have any love for one another in this world anymore. Some people seem to have no regard for their own lives or the lives of others. I just don’t understand why it’s necessary to resort to violence that ends in death. I guess I don’t understand because violence is not a choice I think I would ever make.

That’s just my perspective!💜

Empathy In A Mean World #59

“In my view, the best of humanity is in our exercise of empathy and compassion. It’s when we challenge ourselves to walk in the shoes of someone whose pain or plight might seem so different than yours that it’s almost incomprehensible.” Sarah McBride

True empathy requires that you step outside your own emotions to view things entirely from the perspective of the other person.” Anonymous

In Heartbreaking Moment Perspective #33 I wrote about how the sight of homelessness affects me. A few days ago I had another experience with the sight of homelessness. One of my Facebook friends shared a small portion of a video documentary about Skid Row in Los Angeles, California, watching that video broke my heart. This video literally brought tears to my eyes and it made me realize how much empathy I have for all people, especially those who are less fortunate than I am. I have seen dozens of documentaries on Skid Row, but this one really made me emotional for several days after watching it. Just as I did after seeing the homeless man that I wrote about in perspective #33 I began to question why is it that I am blessed with a nice home, and a comfortable bed to rest my head on at night, but there are so many others who aren’t blessed in the same way. I wonder if I am too empathetic.

I look at the sight of homelessness and I wish that there was something I could do to provide all people with a decent roof over their heads so that there wouldn’t be a need for people to be living in tent cities or simply laying on the street. I realize that some of the people who are living homeless are living that way because of choices they’ve made that ultimately changed their way of life, but even in those cases it still bothers me deeply to see anyone who is living on the street and doesn’t even have a clean bathroom to use. At the time that this video documentary was made there were over 2,000 people living on Skid Row with only a small number of portable toilets that the city government had placed in various areas for all of those people to use. That’s unbelievable to me, I really can not even imagine what it’s like living like that. As the young woman was walking down the street there were people shouting angrily at her and her camera person and I honestly didn’t really understand that. I thought maybe its embarrassment of how they are living, but I’m not sure. After posting perspective #33 I had a conversation with my mother about the many reasons why some homeless people make the choice to live on the street like mentally illness or worrying about being taken advantage of while in shelters or other facilities and I thought what an extremely difficult life it must be. Is it selfish of me to have empathy for homeless people and others who are less fortunate than me, but at the same time be grateful and thankful that hasn’t been God’s plan for my life thus far?

In this world we live in unfortunately there is a down side to having empathy for people who are less fortunate than yourself. I recently saw a news story about a couple who were driving in their city and stopped to help a couple who appeared to be in need, well that wasn’t the case, those people who appeared to be in need of some kindness had malicious intentions and ended up killing a pastor’s wife who empathized with them and only wanted to share some genuine compassion and kindness. That was a heartbreaking story to see as well. It made me think of myself, because I am that person who is quick to empathize with someone who appears to be less fortunate than I am. I probably get that from my mother because she is the same way. Whenever I see someone who appears to not have had a bath or shower in several days and is carrying what seems to be all their worldly possessions I quickly feel sorrowful. We all pass by those people who are carrying handmade signs that say “will work for food” or something similar. The empathizer in me is always quick to have sympathy for those people and want to do something for them, give money, food, anything to make their lives better or take their troubles away for a moment. Sadly we are living in times where my second thought to myself is always, “I wonder if they are legitimately in need?” It’s awfully disheartening realizing that this world has become a place where it’s necessary to second guess having empathy for someone, because being a kind, compassionate, loving empathizer can get you killed.

Who ever closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself call out and not be answered. Proverbs 21:13ESV

That’s just my perspective!💜

Another Journey Around The Sun #58

I can’t believe it is the last day of 2018. I’m sure it sounds crazy, but to me it seems like this year went by much faster than usual, although I know that it was 365 days just as all years are.(except for leap years of course) This year has definitely been a year that will remain unforgettable because so much has happened in the world around me near and far. I have been thinking a lot about myself and my place in this world. I feel like I am 36 years old and I have yet to figure out where I really fit in this world and what my purpose is in this life, but I know that God has a specific purpose for my life. I think writing this blog and sharing my thoughts and feelings about various things has helped me to learn a lot about who I am and who I wish I could grow to be. For a long time I felt like God didn’t give me a talent or at least he didn’t make me talented in a variety of areas like most of my family members, but writing this blog has helped me to realize that expressing myself in writing is something that I’m pretty good at and maybe that’s my talent.

Each time I post something here on Perspective By Zena T. I hope that it is something that in some significant way helps the lives of those reading my words, because I want my life to help others. Looking back on my blog posts throughout 2018 I realize that I have written a lot about how the negative things going on in this world affect me and my thoughts. I hope that in the new year God will inspire me to write about much more positive subjects. I always try to be someone who attempts to spread love, kindness, and compassion to others and I don’t think there was very much of those things being spread around the world throughout the 365 days of this year and I just couldn’t deal with all the hatred that was being spread around so I needed to write about it just to purge it from my mind. I have tried my best to be 100% honest about my thoughts and feelings about whatever it is that I am writing about. At times throughout this year I have felt like maybe I write about grieving my father a bit too but I have decided that it is impossible for me to write about my daddy too much. His death had a tremendous effect on my life and I write about him because it’s cathartic for me and I hope to help other people who are grieving their fathers or other loved ones.

One of my favorite quotes is by Nelson Mandela, it says “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” My constant prayer is that God will use my life to put some good into the world. I want to provide some positive light in the lives of others. Through my writing this year I have actually taught myself a valuable lesson and that is to try to stop being so critical of myself. I feel like God is constantly working on me and molding me into who he wants me to be. I hope that those of you who have chosen to read my words throughout this year have learned a little bit about who I am and I hope that something you have read has brightened your perspective. Thank you for all of your kind and thought provoking comments on my posts. In 2019, I hope to make my blog better by writing more often and continuing to share my honest thoughts on everything under the sun. I hope that you all will continue to take a moment to look at life from my perspective.

That’s just my perspective!💜

I hope that the 365 days of 2019 bring you and your loved ones all the love, joy, happiness & prosperity your hearts and hands can hold.💜

No Christmas Spirit But Grateful #57

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It’s Christmas Eve and I’m feeling a lot of emotions, but festive and the so called Christmas spirit just isn’t on the list. This morning when I got up I just wanted to close my eyes again, get back under the cover and sleep the day away. I just wasn’t feeling right. I thought maybe it’s because today is Monday. I set on the bed and said to myself “ok Zena, you’ve got to snap out of whatever this is, you have lived to nearly the end of another year and that’s something to be upbeat and grateful about.” The self pep talk didn’t help because I was still feeling like Scrooge in a grumpy mood, even after an unsolicited hug from my nephew. I realized that no matter how hard I try to not allow myself to get in this bad mood, it happens every year since my daddy died. Holidays just aren’t the same for me anymore. I don’t know about anyone else in my family, but I always feel my daddy and my granddaddy’s absence even though they’ve both been deceased for twenty years. Holiday family dinners haven’t even been the same for me since their deaths, because at some point during my time with my family I always began to feel their absence. I always try to hide it, because I am not sure how anyone else feels therefore I don’t want to ruin any of our precious moments together because I can’t seem to step out of the pit of grieving.

Today I decided to try my best to just snap out of the Scrooge mood, but boy oh boy is that extremely difficult to do. I know that I will always miss my loved ones whose earthly journeys have ended, but I am still here which according to my beliefs means that God still has tasks for me to complete here on Earth. I have several loved ones still here with me and I am going to enjoy the precious time that I am allowed by God to spend with them. I promised myself that this year during the holidays I am going to enjoy spending time with the people that I love the most in the world and I trust that it’s a reciprocal love. I am going to enjoy watching my mother get her Christmas and birthday gifts all on the same day, although her birthday is two days after Christmas. I am going to enjoy my awesome godfather using his incredible sense of humor to constantly keep our time together filled with laughter, although the other half of his comedy show is missing (my daddy). I am going to enjoy receiving my two dollar bill and bottle of Welch’s grape juice from one of my favorite people, my Aunt Zel. I am going to enjoy watching my 94 year old grandmother just enjoying all of her offspring and being ruler over us all. I am going to enjoy every dish that the taste bud magician (my Aunt Sonja) prepares for dinner. I am going to enjoy just listening to whatever intellectual conversation my Aunt Diane brings to the table. Most of all during the holidays I am going to enjoy spending time with my five year old nephew, I know watching him open his Christmas gifts will put a smile on my face and some much needed joy in my heart.

I vow to myself to try not to dwell on how much I wish my deceased loved ones were still here to enjoy Christmas dinner with us or how much I miss having the light that my daddy and my granddaddy provided in my life. I am going to try to focus on the tremendous love that I have in my life because of my family and friends. Sometimes I feel like I am being ungrateful because I can’t seem to stop focusing on how I wish my deceased loved ones were still alive, especially my daddy because I feel like I need him so much, but I am as grateful as one can be for my life and for all of the amazing people in my life who represent so much of what’s good in this world to me. I just feel like the holidays and many other aspects of my life would be so different if death had not visited my family twenty years ago.

On Christmas Day I think if I find myself slipping into that sadness which causes the grumpy Scrooge in me to emerge I’ll find a quiet place to be alone, just me and my thoughts. Maybe someone out there in the world reading my thoughts here on my blog can help me fix myself. How do you get pass the changes that the death of loved ones brings to your life? It’s been twenty years and I have yet to figure it out.

That’s just my perspective!💜

From me & my family to you and yours I hope that you have a very very Merry Christmas. 🎄