I am no different than millions of people across America right now trying to understand what happened, where did things go wrong? For as many of us that think things went wrong there are three times as many people that think things went right. Those people think we are stupid, crazy and clueless for not wanting Donald Trump in office and I am here to present a different thought process. We aren’t stupid, crazy or clueless, we are simply a little fearful. We don’t want to move backwards. So many people are stuck on just the Presidency part of it and I am not sure they are thinking about the day to day lives that this changes. People are stuck on the thought that democrats are upset that republicans are in office and I don’t know if I want to laugh, scream or cry. People wake up I promise you not as many people care that republicans are back in office as you may think, it is this certain republican. I will let that sit with you for a moment. It is not the party, it is that man!
I have seen lately people trying to compare Trump to Obama saying “Now you know how we felt” so forth and so on, however I am not sure how people compare the two. Obama was not and still is not a man of scandal. He did not run his election threatening to deport people for practicing their constitutional right of religion, he did not threaten to build a wall as a scare and intimidation tactic, nor did he result to making fun of, mocking, degrading, calling names, and using vulgar names when speaking of other humans yes that’s right I said it humans. So I challenge you all to ask your self what reason would you have had to be scared of Obama as an incoming president? Surely not because he was a democrat or black man because we do not fear the republican party. Many of us have lived with republicans in office for centuries and there were no protest. Just as many people have pointed out there were no protest going on when Obama was elected. That doesn’t just speak to the people of this country but to the man that was becoming president.
SO I WLL SAY AGAIN, IT IS NOT THE PARTIES IN OFFICE THAT IS FEARED IT IS THE PERSON REPRESENTING THAT PARTY!!!
As I began researching for this blog I came upon story after story of hate filled bullying and crimes that have already begun and Mr. Trump hasn’t even been sworn in yet. As I was reading through them the question began to rise in me are there really that many people in My America that are clueless to damage that this man has the potential to cause to so many people and cultures of people? Now that is one question that I can easily admit was applied to President Obama and as many can see he did not use his power to inflict damage as so many thought he would. So I will admit the same is possible with Mr. Trump.
My goal in sharing this blog today was to share my heart and my insight with those that I love that are on the opposite side of this issue. I just want to help others understand where the fear, feelings and outrage may be coming from.
When the leader of our free country stands before the people and he uses derogatory terms clear and out in the open then the people will also begin to do so without fear of any repercussion. Bigotry should not be a way of life that is just accepted and laughed about as if it is the American way. Whose America? Woman should be able to stand with full confidence in any capacity at any podium and know that they are not viewed as just objects but as equals or are we really trying to set our country back 100 years? If racism wasn’t evident before it will be now because the leader of our free country refers to African Americans as “The African Americans” and has stated and I quote “If Black Lives Don’t Matter Then Go Back To Africa.” Clearly he doesn’t understand that 1) all black people didn’t come from Africa and 2) that the movement Black Lives Matter is trying to bring attention to the fact that for centuries black lives have not mattered and we want that to chance we want Black lives to matter too. As if that isn’t extremely close to home how about the mockery and disrespectful way in which he interacted with a disabled man. People with physical disabilities are often stared at, laughed at, made fun of and bullied sometimes on a daily bases, but now we have the President of the united States doing it so who is going to set the mandate to stop bullying in our schools? These things I have spoke on are just the tip of the iceberg. I haven’t even touched on the infamous wall and eradicating Muslims from the free country. You all do remember that right. This is supposed to be a FREE country, but not if you are gay, black, Muslim, Mexican, and only if you are a submissive woman.
These are some of the reasons why people are in the streets protesting Mr. Trump. These are some of the reasons that people, a great number of people are afraid right now.
With that being said I will play devils advocate, no pun intended. We are here now and the man deserves the chance to see what he can do. For those of us that have been in his cross hairs during his campaign, the brunt of his jokes, at the end of his nasty words, all that we can do is pray that the things he said were part of a tactic to win and not things he actually intends to stand by. I pray he does not make good on some of those promises. So many people believe that to be against Mr. Trump must have meant I was pro Hillary and I won’t denied on some things I was. I will remind everyone there were actually more than two people to vote for. I wish more people would have realized that.
I am a Citizen of the United States and I want to know that I have the right to chose whatever religion I so chose even if that is converting and becoming a Muslim. I am a disabled woman and I am not garbage as been implied by Mr. Trump, I add a lot of value to this world. My children are Bi-racial and my husband is black and their black lives matter too, they were born right here why should they ever be told to go to Africa. The America that so many people are excited to go back to is an America without Equality, without tolerance, without acceptance and knowledge of others different from you. It is an America where my family and many other families much like mine have no place much less feel safe.
My husband, My Children, My Brothers in law, My sisters in law, my nephews, my nieces, aunts, uncles, countless cousins, and many friends. AT ANYTIME ANY ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE LAYING DEAD IN THE STREET COULD BE SOMEONE I LOVE DEARLY AND DEEPLY AND FOR WHAT?? ALL FOR THE SKIN THEY’RE IN
We all wear this skin differently that is very clear. I wear my white skin very differently than most of my white counterparts. Even those that have their minds, eyes, hearts and ears, wide open to the dire problem in this country right now. I most defiantly wear it differently than those walking around with white blindfolds on. Eyes wide closed as I like to say. Even though I am very much aware, in tune and stand firm and with eyes wide open to the lives being taken at more than alarming rates in the streets of America I still have no idea what it must feel like to wear the black skin their in.
It’s not about skin color I hear over and over and over and maybe in some cases it’s not. Not maybe, I know in some cases there have been some amazing officers that have had to use lethal force in order to save their own life or the life of someone else. Here is where the water gets very muddy, even those good, honorable, incredible officers lose credibility when the cases of clear cut murder are going unprosecuted. I know so many people are going to hate these words and that’s ok because I am not here for a popularity contest, I am here to speak some truth. Good officers don’t deserve to have our backs turned on them, but black men don’t deserve to die on the streets for being black. The African American community doesn’t deserve to live in fear. THEY LIVE IN FEAR!!!!!
This blog today is about starting conversations. Starting a challenge that people would start asking questions. Most people don’t know how to help especially if this is not a world that you live in. Well here is where you start. Have a conversation with you children about injustice, about racism and the fact that it very much still exist today. Don’t turn a blind eye or ear just because it makes you uncomfortable, I promise you nothing is more uncomfortable than picking out caskets. Fear is what got us here so just jump and start the conversation. I beg and plead with you please stop turning a blind eye and pretending it does not happen and that the victims are the ones to blame because, while I am sure there is plenty of blame to go around there is only one person laying on the ground in a pool of blood. Officers are trained to work in high pressure situations. They are supposed to be trained to use their weapons. This is their job. There are thousands of officers that go out every single day and do not kill a single person, not one person. There are officers that go their entire career and never even fire their weapons, so why? These questions can’t just be left hanging in the air they need to be answered.
As I laid in bed with my husband last night and talked with him about the fear he feels when he leaves home every day I was overcome with a sadness that threatened to suffocate me. We talked about all the things he thinks about that could put him in contact with police and what he does to avoid that and I became disgusted, what country do we live in right now? I prayed God please don’t let my husbands car break down, don’t let him ever need assistance from the police for ANY reason because he is 6’5, 330 lbs. and I could not survive picking out a casket for him. We talked about the conversations we have had to have with our children and will continue to have with them. As I drifted off to sleep with tears sliding down my face, I prayed for The family of Terrence Crutcher and like so many nights before with the names of so many people slain in the streets of the “Greatest Country on Earth” and I begged God that the next one wouldn’t be someone I love. Please God our nation needs you and only you can make this stop.
Go in peace and love, have conversations. Take it all to the Cross!!!
Life happens sometimes to fast and to often. We get going at a speed often thinking we are comfortable and able to handle all that is coming at us, putting things in their proper places or on their proper shelves and I don’t mean physical things I am talking all the mental.
Recently my family went through one of the hardest things I think I have ever went through. I was faced with holding my family together during a time when I didn’t even want to hold myself together much less anyone else. It’s something I have always know about myself, the ability to find strength and push through even the hardest of situations. It is how I was able to lay my mom to rest for the most part by myself, at the age of 25, and it is how I was able this time to rise up and care for myself, my home, and children after my husband attempted suicide on August 11th 2016.
I have known about this demon my husband battles since the moment I fell in love with him 15 years ago and it is something I chose for better or worse when I said I do 13 years ago this November. Mental illness is no stranger to me, it is something that has plagued people I love for as long as I can remember, many of them trying to combat and fight it only to find themselves slaves to another demon altogether, addiction. There is a pride that comes with seeing how hard my husband has fought all these years; because this disease has tried to take his life on more than one occasion. Yet on this night, one action, one thought, everything changed with just one decision.
We don’t have much support or guidance in way of parents, a lot of his pain comes by way of saying goodbye to his mother and father just 3 years apart beginning in 2008. When you lose the two people that are responsible for putting your fleshly body here on this earth it can do something to a man’s heart and way of thinking. Well in complete honesty we don’t have much support at all. You truly find out who your real friends are when your husband is in a lock down unit for 6 days in the hospital. When you are left with handling everything from taxiing the children, to school supply shopping, not to mention the practices and school functions. The beautiful thing about it all is that you also find out you had friends in the most unlikely places and sometimes that is how God loves on us. He uses these heartbreaking times to build a new friendship or build a bridge between a strained relationship. However, with every good side there is a bad side and you also see who isn’t your true friend.
I know that most people in general just don’t know what to do when someone is in crisis so the go to statement is “please let me know if you need anything.” I learned sadly from experience that when you are in crisis you more often than not don’t know what you need so you can’t tell people how to help you so you just go about doing the next thing. In the 7 days after my mom died and in the 6 months after her death I would have loved to have been able to tell people what I needed, but I did not know so how could I tell anyone. In the 6 days after my husband tried to kill himself I would have loved to tell someone what to do to help me with my 4 kids, but I was in autopilot. I was just doing the next thing. What I am recognizing now is that people know how to rally around him because it is easier to identify how to help and support him. I am the strong one keeping it all together and holding it down. I didn’t know and don’t know how to really ask for help or what to even ask for so no one really helps or even just stops by to be my friend, but they know how to help him. There has even been a few situations where I have suffered some negative consequences for his actions. I feel like I have been failed by those that should have showed up the most. My wall is up, I am shutting down and that is why I am able to survive.
The truth is this, I don’t ask for help because I am a fighter and survivor. I have fought my way through life since that fateful day in May 1982 when I was ran over and began to fight for my life. I fought through my parents drug addiction, through a bad childhood riddled with poverty and abuse, I have fought and survived my own physical aliments and obstacles and endless surgery’s only to come out the other side an amputee and will continue to fight every day the rest of my life for things that most people with take for granted. I am a survivor and a fighter and us survivors don’t know how to ask for help or what to even ask for, we just do the next thing.
It is only now that Brian is home and that we are in the rebuilding phase working on putting our family back together and healing from this life altering experience that I start to fray. It is only now that I start to look at doing a few things for myself and work on some serious healing in our marriage that I look to the heavens and I fall to my knees and I ask my heavenly father is it now? Is the time now?
Because when you have four children and a husband with a fragile heart and soul. When you have no mom to call upon and no soft spot to fall, when you know that you are the survivor and always the fighter and everyone looks to you for strength, it’s up to you to know the right time to look to your savior and ask……
May I fall apart now, Sir?
We all matter. God decided that. YOU don’t get to determine that. My friends don’t determine that, my children don’t determine that. God sent his only son, Jesus Christ to die on the cross for my sins, for all of our sins, and that is what determined that WE MATTER!!!! The Police should not get to decide that. For as long as I have known it however, there as been a consensus by most of society that black lives don’t matter as much as others. Actually let me rephrase that sentence, lives of color in general don’t seem to matter as much. Most white people don’t know the differences in the Latino communities, I will be honest I don’t. How about the Indian community, Hindu, East Indian? What about the Arabic cultures, they are all taliban right? Since the beginning of time people of color have been treated less than.
Do my sons deserve to walk down the street without fear of being stopped by the police? They deserve it but they don’t have it. My 10-year-old son is literally the size of the average grown man. He is 5’3 165 lbs, and guess what, like most 10-year-old boys he likes to play with toy guns and when he is with his cousins, my nephews he even plays with their BB guns/pellet guns. What is to keep someone from calling the police on my son and what is to keep him from being the next Tamir Rice? #BLACKLIVESMATTER
So what about Briana, everyone that reads this probably knows my incredible 14-year-old daughter. She probably babysits for you or maybe she is with your child in Life Kids, maybe you have heard about her from someone else or maybe you simply had her in class. Regardless how you have come to know her you know that she is the sweetest, most loving, respectful, helpful teenage girl you will probably ever meet. She is the girl you want your daughter to be friends with, the girl you want your son to date, but guess what that police man who sees those rowdy teenage kids on the corner doesn’t know any of that about her. All he knows is that in a community full of predominately upper middle class white kids she is the black girl in the group and often times more than not she is going to be the one that they decided to question. What is to keep her from being next? #BLACKLIVESMATTER
Meet my husband Brian, the first thing that everyone that meets him says about him is that his smile fills the room. He is truly a huge teddy bear. He loves with all that he is. He has a laugh that can be heard from miles away. Once you meet him you never forget him because he has a God filled spirit that is one of the most beautiful spirits I have ever experienced. My husband doesn’t just always drive the speed limit but he drives under it, just in case. Any time there is an issue or a complaint to be made at an establishment he stands particularly farther back than necessary just in case. In a discussion in public that might become heated he always stands with his hands folded in front of him just in case even when he isn’t involved in the discussion. My husband is also 6’5 300 lbs and as per previous situation’s resulted in the police killing Eric Garner apparently his size alone makes him a deadly threat regardless if he has an actual weapon or not. What is to keep him from being next? #BLACKLIVESMATTER
If at anytime you have thought to yourself it is not just black lives that matter but all lives that matter, I will say this to you, as I stated above yes we all matter God made that decision; however it’s not killing season on your children, your husbands, your family. This doesn’t just affect my direct house hold. I have 2 Brother and sisters in law, 5 nephews 1 niece and countless cousins that are black and any one of the above situations could be them as well.
As I have sat and wrote this 11 police officers, 4 of which have lost their lives in Dallas tonight. That broke my heart even more than it is already broken. I can promise you this, The families of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile did not want this. The killing of police officers goes against the very change that we all want. The movement #BLACKLIVESMATTER isn’t saying that no other lives matter, it is saying we matter to, stop devaluing us so much that you will shoot us down in the street unarmed in front of our wives, husband and children. It is saying we matter as much as our white counter part. So killing police officers goes against those direct message’s because guess what there are black men and women on the police force and before they are cops they are black and their lives matter black and blue!
I want to end this by saying this, if you in any way think that this isn’t a race issue or that this issue doesn’t exist I ask that you kindly exit my life. I don’t want you here in our good times and should any of the unthinkable from the above happen I do not want you in my face being fake acting like you support me or my family in our darkness. I do not expect anyone who does not live with this reality to ever really understand, but what I do expect is that if you choose to stay in our life and be apart of our family is for you to acknowledge that this is a reality regardless if you get it or not. We ask for your support and most of all if you spend time with our children without us please educate yourselves on how you should handle any situations that may arise involving our children regarding these types of situations.
Tonight I pray for the fallen police officers and their families. For the righteous officers across our country that go out on our streets to honorably protect us. For the families of Alton and Philando and all those that were senselessly murdered before them. For the African-American Community that needs protection more than ever, they need healing and peace. Most of all I pray for the calm and peace that can only come from our heavenly father, our nation is in great need of you right now.
THE 5 BLACK LIVES IN MY LIFE MATTER
WE NEED TO DO BETTER
I have felt this grief before, I have felt this deep longing this deep deep ache that seeps down all the way to the pit of my soul. So deep that I can’t catch my breath. I literally can not take a breath in that moment. I felt it the moment my mom took her last breath. I walked out into her front yard and with my friend in front of my and my husband behind me, I exhaled. I released the pain that was anchoring me in that moment. In that moment I wanted nothing more than to have my mama back but I knew nothing on earth would change the fact that mere moments before I had laid next to her, held her in my arms as she walked in the arms of Jesus.
The next time I felt that grief was the moment I woke up from my 8th surgery. The surgery that I knew before I laid on that gurney would be the one that would take my foot. The nurses said my body was racked with sobs before I was even fully conscious. Just like the night in my mama’s front yard, there was that pain that had become so familiar, that ache that had made its home deep in my soul. I wanted more than anything to have my foot back but I knew nothing on earth would change that mere moments before I was a whole person and in that moment I laid in that bed less. No longer 2 feet but 1.
In that moment it was just one second at a time, that second. 4 days later I would have a revision to form my stump so I would lose even more of my leg, but it didn’t matter because nothing would hurt more than the moment I woke up from that 8th surgery and couldn’t take that breath. It’s been almost 10 years since my mom died and I still get those moments of deep grief where just for a moment, that one moment I want more than anything to have my mom back. I can’t catch my breath but I tell myself “just one second, this second.”
The last few days I have been having those moments. No matter what I do, no matter how bad I want it, I will never be able to grow a new leg. There is no hope for a cure when you are an amputee. On days like today when all I wanted to do was get up and walk around the church with my husband. I wanted to stand in front of the church back drop and take a picture. I don’t want to live another day in this chair. I look down at my one foot of painted toes and just want so badly, Father God please I just want my foot back. Yet I know that will never happen. And there it is, I can’t breathe, but just one second, this second is all I have to do.
If only people could understand that having and wearing a prosthetic isn’t that easy. If only it was as simple as some think and make it out to be, it’s an ok second choice if I could get into one that I can actually wear. Having one and not being able to use it is like a constant reminder that just out of my reach is freedom that I can’t have. But just breathe, one second, this second.
These collection of seconds are what get me through each day. The days when I just want to pull the blankets over my head and cry. Days like today, but I try to remind myself that everyone has something they struggle with and although it may be different for them it is just as serious to them as my amputation is to me. So I pray that their seconds help them get through their days a little easier. They being whoever is in my life dealing with something.
I miss things, I miss going on water slides, and wearing jeans. I miss doing things without having to worry about handicap accessibility. I miss walking beside my husband instead of always having him behind me pushing me. I miss just feeling “normal.” I pray that my collection of seconds become less about that deep pain that takes my breath and becomes more about living life and capturing memories. I am tired of sitting on the sidelines, of letting that breath seizing, time stopping, soul pounding grief hold me back, I want to fully step in2 my destiny.
Invisibility isn’t a real super power, right? Well guess what I have it. I have an invisible limb and I still feel everything about it. The only difference with it is that I can’t use it. Most day I feel like I am going out of my mind because I feel things with my left foot and the stupid thing isn’t even there anymore. I truly believed that as the days went by the feelings and pains would get less and less but they haven’t. They are just as strong today as the day they cut my foot off.
I have been told that because the injury to my foot occurred 32 years before my amputation and I had suffered with the damage and pain all those years that I would probably always suffer with pain and discomfort from the severe nerve damage even thought my foot and lower leg were no longer there.
March 24th 2014, the day of my first surgery for the amputation I expected to have some phantom pain afterwards. I was warned, my foot would itch, it would hurt, I would feel things on it even though it was no longer there. The physical therapist taught me that in order to move specific muscles I would just move those same muscles in my mind. so for example in order to still flex my calf muscle I would need to still need to flex my foot in my mind of course because there is no actual foot to flex. All of this takes so much more work then you actually realize because when you have all of your limbs etc. these things come natural. You have muscle memory so most things are done without thought at all. How does one convince your own mind to pretend the limb is there in order to move muscles you need to yet then remind your mind that it is gone so that you hopefully, possibly will have some relief from the crazy feelings and pains that plague you from a part of your body that doesn’t even exist anymore.
From the 24th to the 28th I was mostly numb because the surgery was done in 2 parts. So I can say I was slowly released into the phantom world but it didn’t matter because the twitches, the burning, the cramping, the full on pain hit and hit hard and has not let up since. I don’t even know how to explain what it feels like to constantly hurt in a part of your body that isn’t even there anymore. Sometimes I truly feel like I am going to go crazy. The muscle spasms can be the worse because when you get a spasm in your calf muscle and you can’t really flex your calf to work out the spasm can feel like torture. It really does work at your mind.
I think after two years I am just trying to learn to block out the pain. Remind myself that the foot is gone therefore the pain can’t be real, remind myself that it is ok to feel what I am feeling and that the pain will pass. Most of all I am just trying to be patient with myself. I am just trying to enjoy my superpower of invisibility and try to find a cool way to use it to help me to Step in2 my lyfe.