Will We Ever Truly Overcome? #73

“Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” Genesis 2:7

I’ve been struggling for a while trying to decide if I should share this post or not. I want to have a voice in this world through my writing, so after a lot of thinking I realize that part of having that voice is expressing things that not everyone is going to like or agree with, but that still need to be expressed.

So here goes…

I’m having a really difficult time trying to release Tuesday May 26, 2020 from my mind and I am not so sure if that’s a good or bad thing. On the afternoon of Tuesday May 26, I found myself scrolling through my Instagram timeline, just as I do most days, but on that day I stopped to view a video, a video that I am certain everyone who viewed it will never forget its contents. You see, Tuesday May 26, 2020 was the day that I watched the video of George Floyd’s callous murder. At the time I didn’t have the emotional strength to watch the entire video, but while watching the small portion that I did my one and only thought was “WHY?”.

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Later on in that week as I sat watching the whole video of George Floyd’s heartbreaking death, it took my thoughts back to an experience I had as a little girl. In the late 80s or early 90s, I don’t remember the exact year, I was visiting my grandparents and other relatives in my family’s hometown, probably during summer vacation. One day my older cousin and I were in the downtown area with our aunt, the three of us and some other African American people were walking out of whatever store we had been shopping in, when some young Caucasian girls traveling down Main Street in a convertible suddenly started shouting “porch monkeys” “porch monkeys” as they rode down the street. I don’t remember exactly how old I was, I believe that I was elementary school aged, regardless of what my age was at the time I can remember the experience very vividly, as though it happened recently.

I am by no means comparing my experience with the modern day lynching that was George Floyd’s callous murder. My experience was not at all a violent one and I am alive to tell others about it. At the time of this experience I didn’t know what a porch monkey was and I probably didn’t know anything about what racism really is, because I was just a little girl who probably did not have many cares at the time. Later on in life, as I grew and got a little older I learned that the term “porch monkey” was used in reference to a lazy black person, in my opinion it’s just a bit of a “nicer” way of calling a black person the N-word.

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I believe that watching the video of George Floyd’s final few minutes on this side of life took me back to my “porch monkey” experience for a reason. I believe that it triggered thoughts of that specific experience to remind me that for centuries there have been people in this world who have always thought of black & brown people as simply porch monkeys and many far more derogatory names, solely based upon the color of our skin. The deep melanin in our skin, the race that we were born into which God chose to make us has caused others to feel that we “colored people “ are in some way inferior to them. As a 38 year old who is paying much more attention to what’s happening in this world than that little girl who was frightened after being called a porch monkey on Main Street, it is very infuriating to be reminded that there are people in this world who don’t know me and my heart, but have hatred in their hearts towards me simply because I am a black person.

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I bet those four police officers thought of George Floyd and every other African American victim of police involved murders as just porch monkeys; lazy black people. They didn’t think of George Floyd and the multitude of other black & brown police shooting victims as someone worthy of life, but as someone adding no value to society, to this world. I believe that due to the efforts of numerous protesters & activists since George Floyd’s death, there have been a few positive changes in the racism war that has been going on for centuries in this country, but I’m pessimistically not so sure that the war will ever be won, because racism is deep rooted in the hearts and minds of those who exhibit it.

That’s just my perspective!💜

What do you all think? Is it realistic to think that we will truly overcome and all forms of racism will no longer exist some day in the future leading us all to live equally?

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“There is no vaccine for racism”
-Senator Kamala Harris

Farewell My Dear Cousin #72

“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.” Thomas Campbell

My heart is heavy laden with sadness as I write these words today. One of my favorite people was laid to rest in her eternal home earlier today. I couldn’t be with my family to celebrate her life because distance and a global pandemic separates us. My maternal grandmother’s niece, my cousin Mary was very affectionately known as simply Mae Mae. Mae Mae journeyed through this life for a very blessed eighty years before she transitioned to her eternal home on Friday June 19, 2020. I was very heartbroken when I heard that Mae Mae’s time on this side of life had ended and in the days thereafter I began to think about her life and what she meant to me. I decided to celebrate Mae Mae and what she’ll always mean to me by writing a bit about our special relationship.

The first time I have any memory of Mae Mae coming into my life was in the early 1990s when I was 8 or 9 years old. It was 1991, if my memory serves me correctly, when Mae Mae and several other family members came to my family’s hometown to attend a family reunion. I can remember instantly just taking a liking to Mae Mae, I guess it was because even as a child I could tell that there was something extraordinary about Mae Mae. I immediately felt like she loved me. During the weekend of that family reunion I stuck with Mae Mae at all of the reunion events. After that weekend, Mae Mae started calling me “her girl”. I can’t explain to you just how much that always meant to me, even if she had other relatives and friends who she called that, it still meant that I was special to her. Once the family reunion weekend was over, I don’t remember keeping in touch with Mae Mae much, I guess that’s because I was busy growing up, but she would always ask about me whenever she spoke with my grandmother.

Over the years, whenever Mae Mae, her daughters and family came to visit or my family and I traveled to Gary, Indiana to visit Mae Mae and her family, just as I did as a little girl I always stuck right beside Mae Mae. As I came into my adult years I feel like the bond that Mae Mae and I shared grew even closer/stronger. In recent years Mae Mae and I had numerous phone conversations that I will remember and cherish for the rest of my time on this side of life. I don’t know anyone who loved and cherished family quite as much as Mae Mae did, family literally meant the world to Mae Mae. If ever there was something that I wanted to know about our family she always had the answer for me and sometimes the answer went far beyond what I was asking, because family was her favorite topic during all of our conversations. It always seemed as though Mae Mae made an effort to keep in touch with just about everyone in the family. During many of our phone conversations she would update me on what was going on in the lives of several family members, some of the relatives she would tell me about I still have yet to meet. Her family updates always meant a lot to me, because like Mae Mae family is very important to me.

It probably doesn’t make any sense, but sometimes I felt like I could hear the smile in her voice when she would discuss her family. She always spoke as though it brightened her day to speak about her family. Mae Mae and I never had a conversation without her mentioning something about her daughters. She always seemed so proud to be their mother. She spoke in a way that would lead one to believe that her sons in law were more like her sons. On all of our phone conversations Mae Mae was always a doting grandmother, she was always bragging about her awesome grandchildren. She was very proud of the young adults that her grandchildren have become. Family truly meant everything to Mae Mae.

As I sit in my quiet place writing these words about one of my most favorite people, Mae Mae, I can hear her infectious laugh and a twinge of sadness hit me because I realized how long it’s been since I’ve gotten to visit with Mae Mae. In the last year or so I’ll admit I have done an awful job of keeping in touch with Mae Mae and at this moment I’m feeling some regret. I’m feeling some regret because I haven’t picked up the phone to call Mae Mae in a while and now I can’t. It’s dawned on me that distance in miles is no longer what separates Mae Mae and I, honestly that realization stings my heart more than I could fathom. Although I failed at keeping in touch as I should’ve, Mae Mae has never left her very special place in my heart and she never will.

Rest well Mae Mae, my girl 💜

God Is Speaking; Are You Listening? #71

I’ve been grappling with my thoughts & feelings for a while now trying to decide how to express myself about life in the last few weeks since the Covid19/coronavirus pandemic started. I’ve been dumbfounded seeing how a virus can spread globally so rapidly and affect millions of lives. I can’t tell you how many conspiracy theories I have read about what’s caused this virus to come into existence.While some of those theories make a lot of sense I’m not much of a conspiracy theorist. I tend to think of most of life’s occurrences from a spiritual perspective.

I know everyone who reads this is going to think that I’ve lost a few brain cells, because it’s the craziest thing, but every time my thoughts go to “the virus” as I’ve heard so many people call it, I think of a song that was sang in the movie The Color Purple. I’m sure if you’ve seen the movie then you’ll surely remember the scene where the song entitled “Maybe God Is Tryin’ To Tell You Somethin’ was sung. I’m sure you can envision the entire scene in the movie right now just like me.

Once “the virus “ started spreading faster than wildfire it seemed, I began to think maybe God is trying to get our attention, maybe God is trying to tell us something. The way most people live on a daily basis has changed within just a few weeks and life may not easily go back to what we all considered to be normal before the pandemic. I’m typically a homebody so being in quarantine, sheltered in at home has been a breeze for me, but this period of change occurring in the world around me has been an eye opening experience. This period of change in the world has been like nothing I have ever seen in my life. I wonder how many of us who claim to love him are paying attention to God right now. It’s unbelievably tragic how much death has occurred during this period of change and I’m deeply saddened, because people who have been a part of my life’s journey have departed this life due to their bodies being infected with Covid19. While death is rarely a joyous occasion for those left living as I think the bible says it should be I believe that death is never sudden or untimely, the year 2020 was God’s chosen time for all who have departed this life to step into the next. My heart aches for each family member grieving their loved one(s) during this period of change when homegoing/funeral services can’t even be what they once were, but maybe God is trying to show us that we should give one another our “flowers” while we live and not wait to celebrate one’s life at their funeral.

Y’all, we are living in a world where we’re doing everything but what God’s word teaches. I’ll be the first to admit that I definitely am NOT living my life in all the ways that the bible states I should be. I’ll admit that there are scriptures I read in the bible that I simply don’t understand, therefore I cannot abide by them and although it may be blasphemous or sacrilegious to say so, there are things written in the bible that I don’t agree with or feel fit into the world we are living in, in the year 2020. I do feel like those of us (yes, me too )living in this world today have traveled to the extreme opposite side of what God wants and He had to use a global pandemic to get some of us to stop and listen attentively.

It tickles me when I think about how God has even shown some people that placed a high level of necessity on being inside a church every Sunday morning that it’s not the building you’re in that matters when you are sharing time with God. The pandemic has forced some to face awful things about this world, specifically in the United States, things that we’d rather keep buried deeper than a 6 foot grave. All the isms (racism, sexism, ageism & many others) that some would rather just act like haven’t existed for centuries. It’s forced so many who didn’t already realize to see that our healthcare system is in deep need of some intense modifications. It’s revealed that some parts of our political system and the politicians within it are a bad comedic horror show. This period of change has proved to be a reiteration of the fact that money is the root of all evil. God has point blank shown us so many of the things we are doing wrong in this world; using a global pandemic to do so. I believe the awesome part of it all is that after he’s done showing us our errors, he’ll allow us the time to correct them. I wonder if we will take the opportunity.

This period of change (pandemic) has also been a time where God has reminded me personally that even though at times it seems that the bad outweighs the good in the world, there are still some amazing people in this world. I have read numerous stories about the women and men who God has called to serve in medical professions, people who God is performing miracles through each and every day. It’s astonishing to see people who risk their own lives just to fulfill the calling to take care of others. It’s great to be reminded of all the awesome teachers that I had when I see stories of great teachers who are doing all they can to assist their beloved students with the sudden change to 100% online learning at nearly the end of a school year. It makes my heart smile and cry all at once when I see pictures of daughters, sons, grandchildren and other relatives standing outside the windows of elderly loved ones who are quarantined/sheltered in their nursing homes, but those daughters, sons, grandchildren and other relatives are going to visit by any means necessary. I’m reminded that there is still love, kindness and compassion being shared in this world especially during the most difficult times.

God has reminded me that this life and this journey on Earth he has allowed us all to travel is a temporary gift that he has given us all for a specific purpose and a specific time limit with no exceptions. The gift of life comes with unspoken terms and conditions which I feel are that we take care of ourselves, our loved ones, and this world that God allows us to live in. Also for those of us who believe in him, to trust in him and share with him some of the time he’s given us. I’m not so sure we would all be graded an A+ at fulfilling our end of that unspoken agreement. Are you?

God is speaking loud & clear. Are you listening?

That’s just my perspective!💜

The Sweetest Spirit Watching Over Me #70

 

If you have ever taken a moment to read anything that I have shared on my blog then you know that God has blessed me to know some truly awesome people throughout my journey along the path God set for me. I think I’ve said many times before that I have come to a place in my life where I try to live by the saying “give me my flowers while I live.” which is why I use my blog to express my feelings for the people I love and care about most in this world.

A few days ago, I was reminiscing about my childhood and growing up going to Beulah Land M. B. Church, being a member of Beulah Land Church I was blessed with the opportunity to grow up around some of the best people in the world, in my opinion. There is one very special person who is within all of my memories of growing up in Beulah Land and that person is Mrs. Virginia Bland Scott.

Throughout my childhood into adulthood Ms. Virginia was the organist at Beulah Land alongside her daughter Juanita who played the piano. It was always an awesome sight watching them sitting back to back accompanying the choir. The organist at my church wasn’t the only role that Ms. Virginia served in my life, she was an immensely special person in my world. She was always like a grandmother to me. As I was reminiscing about Ms. Virginia teaching music every summer during vacation bible school at church I realized that unfortunately she was someone who I didn’t give enough “flowers” while she lived. 

Ms. Virginia married into the Scott family and you see, my grandmother’s family and the Scotts have shared a friendship that goes back through several generations of both families, so my relationship with Ms. Virginia extended far outside the walls of our church. Ms. Virginia is someone that I thank God for each and every day because I’m tremendously grateful for the spot she held in my life for 31 years. I’m sure you all can relate to me when I say that sometimes in this life I don’t always believe people when they tell me they’ll pray for me, but I wholeheartedly believe that through all my surgeries and any other troublesome times I’ve endured sincere prayers were spoken from Mrs. Virginia Scott’s mouth to God’s ears on my behalf.

I don’t think in all the years I knew her that I ever saw Ms. Virginia angry, I’m sure she probably had a side of her that she only showed to those who knew her best, but to me she was always one of the most sweet spirited, most loving & caring ladylike women I’ve ever known. Those of you reading this who know me best know that I went through a period of time when I was home alone everyday before my mother retired from being a school teacher and I can still remember numerous times when I would get a surprise call from Ms.Virginia, that always ended with a smile on my face. Her surprise phone calls were always to check on me because she cared so genuinely and our phone conversations always included an encouraging word or two just at the very moment when I needed some motivation and encouragement. Ms. Virginia always seemed to know just when I needed to hear from her. She would often tell me that she enjoyed talking to me because I have such a soothing voice, I honestly never knew how to reply to that compliment, but it always brightened my day. I’m really bothered by the fact that I never took the opportunity to shower Ms. Virginia with praises and express to her how much our phone conversations meant to me and just how much value I placed on her spot in my life. 

Today Ms. Virginia would have celebrated her 97th birthday, but unfortunately she completed her journey through this side of life on February 1, 2014. I’ll never forget that morning six years ago, waking up to a text message on my phone from her granddaughter which stated that Ms. Virginia was gone. I hadn’t been that extremely heartbroken since my daddy’s death. Although Ms. Virginia was 90 years old at the time, she was someone who I honestly never thought about leaving my life. I know its a completely immature thought, but Ms. Virginia was one of those people that I always considered to be invincible. Unfortunately God didn’t make any of us invincible, some day we all will finish our journey throughout this side of life just as Ms. Virginia did that morning six years ago. 

Six years later and I realize Ms. Virginia hasn’t left my life simply because she’s no longer here in the flesh. I can no longer receive those encouraging surprise phone calls or see her playing the organ at Beulah Land or walk up the street from my grandma’s to visit with Ms. Virginia and her family, honestly those are things I have yet to adjust to, but I know that Ms. Virginia is always with me, she’s in my memories and she never strays too far from my daily thoughts. I’m the luckiest, most blessed girl in the world, because alongside my daddy and other family members who have left this side of life I have the sweetest spirit watching over me. 

That’s just my perspective!💜

In Loving Memory of

Mrs. Virginia Bland Scott

March 2, 1923-February 1, 2014

Four Wise Men #69

My God is so amazing, you see, 37 years ago when God placed me in this world, he made me the daughter of two extraordinary people, but being the amazing God that he is, his plans were already set and he knew that my daddy would forever be in my heart but only physically a part of my life for 16 years. For 16 years of my life I was blessed with the best father any daughter could have. I know all of us who have/had great fathers feel that way, but anyone reading this who actually knew my daddy, you know I’m right, my brother and I were blessed with a great father who we always felt loved by and my mother was blessed with a wonderful husband who without any doubts loved her. My amazing God knew that in March of 1999 he was going to need Daddy back with him, so from day one of the lives of my brother and I, alongside our daddy and of course our exceptional mother, God placed our village. My brother and I were extremely blessed with exceptionally great parents, but as the saying goes “it takes a village to raise a child.” We have many great people who have had a role in the village that raised us alongside our parents, especially after our daddy’s death. In this post I want to express my gratitude and love for four of the wise men in our village.

The first of the four wise men is my godfather, Joe H. Smith who I expressed my love and admiration for in My Heaven Sent Second Father #62. One definition of a godfather is a male godparent who acts as an advisor or mentor to someone. If you read perspective #62 then you know that definition fits Joe’s role in my life, but he serves a myriad of roles in my life so I always feel like only calling him my godfather seems so inadequate. Joe is not only my godfather, he’s my trusted confidant, I consider him one of my professors in the classroom of life, because I’m learning something from him all the time, he’s an outstanding role model, he’s my shoulder to lean on whenever I need and there’s nobody else who can make me laugh like my god daddy. He does all of that and more for me, sometimes without reward simply because he loves me without conditions. He is always there for me whenever I need him. He is one of the most selfless people I know, I can’t think of a time that he has ever said “no” or “not right now” when I ask him to do anything for me. One of the most essential life lessons I have learned from Joe is to always keep a sense of humor no matter what circumstances this life puts you in. I can’t imagine my world without Joe Henry Smith in it.

The next of the four wise men is my Uncle Charles, my daddy’s youngest brother.

Uncle Charles is one of the people in my life who when I really get to thinking about what he really means to me the tears just start to roll down my face before I even realize it. Uncle Charles reminds me so much of my daddy it’s amazing, I never realized how similar they are in so many ways until after Daddy was gone. I’m not sure Uncle Charles knows just how much I value his presence in my life. Uncle Charles and I have phone conversations that last for a few hours sometimes, we talk about everything and nothing. Uncle Charles is probably one of the wisest wise men in my life, his intelligence is unparalleled, he seems to know a little something about anything that I ask him about. I call him when missing Daddy gets to be too overwhelming and nearing the end of our two or three hour conversation Uncle Charles will have me laughing at a story about something silly/comical that my daddy did when they were boys. I’m grateful to be able to pick up the phone whenever I want or need to talk to Uncle Charles.

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Rev. Willie E. Smith, one of my daddy’s best friends from childhood to manhood, his Tougaloo College roommate, is the third of my four wise men. Rev. Smith has always been a part of my life, as a little girl I knew that he was one of my momma and daddy’s best friends, but honestly it wasn’t until after my daddy’s death that I began to truly appreciate his presence in my life. Rev. Smith and my Goddaddy Joe are two of my parents’ lifelong friends who have been men of their word for as long as I have known them, but most especially since Daddy died, if those two say they are going to be there they are; always. Rev. Smith has been there to officiate over some of the most important moments of my life, he was the officiant at my baby blessing ceremony when I was an infant and he performed my baptism in my teenage years. I don’t get a chance to see Rev. Smith nearly as much as I would like to because he is always busy fulfilling his calling doing the Lord’s work and taking care of his family, his church members and anyone else who needs him, but I know that if I need him all I have to do is make a phone call and his 747 will land wherever I need. I’m grateful to Rev. Smith for being someone who befits the definition of the word friend.

Last but surely not least is my Uncle Jake, my mother’s only brother. I feel like the older I get the more and more my relationship with my Uncle Jake grows. My Uncle Jake is a deep thinker like I am, he always looks like he has something on his mind and when you have a conversation with him you get to see just how wise he really is. Uncle Jake’s demeanor reminds me a lot of my granddaddy, you can’t always tell what he’s thinking by looking at his facial expression. My Uncle Jake was there that awful afternoon/evening nearly twenty one years ago when my daddy left his earthly life. I don’t think I ever got the chance to thank him for being there, but if I did get the opportunity my emotions would probably get in the way of me being able to express myself properly. My Uncle Jake is someone who I am glad to have in my world and I hope and pray that our uncle/niece relationship continues to grow.

Though neither of them could ever fill the void that my daddy’s death placed in my life I am profusely grateful for the place each of these wise men holds in my life and I hold an infinite amount of love in my heart for each of them.

That’s just my perspective!💜

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!💜

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

It 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 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!💜