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
How can I be invisible in a world of billions of people. How can I hurt so bad that tears become a permanent path down my face. I become afraid to share the depths of my pain because of what others might think and I don’t want to lose what is important in my life and the few things that I look forward to, the only few things that keep me breathing every day. Others look at me and say how strong I am and how they couldn’t get through the things I have with a smile on their face but they don’t know that the smile is just to hide the pain and keep the tears from spilling onto my cheeks once again.
Everyday is like groundhog day. How many times do I think to myself there has to be more to life than this. My kids go through each day with the same routine asking the same questions and I give the same answers, praying with every breath that their life will contain more for them then what I have managed for myself. It’s not that I have a horrible life, and it’s not that I am ungrateful for the blessings that God has given me. You have to understand the history of my life and that it never seems to end. What is “it” you might ask? Well “It” is all the crap that keeps getting dumped on me. It never ends and it can’t ever be little stuff, no it is bad stuff and it just piles up and piles up and over time I have just broken. And at this time, right now in my life you find me completely BROKEN!!!
The question becomes can you meet me where I am right here on my knees completely broken. Not knowing which way is up. Trying to work through, heal, forgive, and ask for forgiveness of 34 years of pain, anger and destruction. I have to figure this out because if I don’t the outcome is detrimental. I know that losing my leg plays a big part in this because the day that happened it changed who I was, it changed my purpose. Everything that I was, did and took care of shifted. I was not longer able to do things that I had done my whole life. I had to depend on someone and that was brand new to me. I just don’t know who I am anymore.
I know that everyone has something and I also know that some people even have things that are worse than mine but the only thing I know what to do is deal with my own life. I don’t know how to heal. I know I am burnt out on life. I know I look in the mirror and I am disgusted with what looks back at me. My kids and husband are getting the worst of me instead of the best of me. Instead of normal life issues being dealt with and handled they are just piled on top everything else. Our life feels like it is in constant crisis.
I pray whoever reads this if they relate they just know they are not alone. I pray you know that one breath, one second, this second is all you have to do. I know that things pass and that most of the time things have a way of working themselves out. I encourage you to reach out to a friend, your pastor, a friend from church, school or even me. YOU DON’T HAVE TO SUFFER ALONE. I know that God loves me and that all I need is faith of a Mustard seed. I know that if I will just hold on the sun will rise again. I pray that every day I get better at living without a leg and that when I look in the mirror I see someone worth loving and saving but I know that is a work in progress. I know I have a choice and I have to choose life. I have 4 children depending on me to choose to overcome. I know that right now I may not be something they are very proud of but when all is said and done I pray they are able to look back and say that they are proud. I hope with all that I am down to the bottom of my soul that they when they are adults raising their own children that they look at me and say “mom thank you for all that you sacrificed for me.” I hope my daughters look at me and see an overcomer, a woman who worked her way from the bottom and never ever gave up. I want to work everyday to step in2 my Lyfe, so that they can learn to step into theirs.
If you have never had children then the agony I am about to describe when you see your child go through physical pain won’t make sense. There is a fear that hits your brain, hits your soul when one of your children comes against something, that they much less you has no control over. Most mothers from the moment we find out we are pregnant change our whole lives to protect and give our children the best and healthiest life possible. With 4 children I knew that my chances of having all of my kids healthy was probably slim to none especially considering the fact that one by one I went into premature labor with each one. They all were born early and up until our 3rd child they were healthy. Brayden was born 5 weeks premature and he was in the NICU for 7 days and has had asthma and allergy issues ever since, but our first-born she was healthy from day one. With the exception of a few ear infections as a baby she has always been happy and healthy so when she started having some discoloration and temperature issues in her extremities we didn’t immediately jump to any conclusions or freak out right away.
Time stands still when you hear words like disease, cancer, no cure, manage the symptoms. The day of her doctor’s appointment we heard words that made time stand still. We heard ” Briana you have Raynauds Disease, there is no cure, but there are things you can do to manage the symptoms. Everyone is different so we aren’t exactly what sure what symptoms you will even have.” My daughter and I got through that exact moment by telling each other that it could be worse, it could have been cancer. She could be loosing a limb like I did, she could be dying. There were so many worse things the doctor could have come in and said, but in my head I was screaming all those things don’t matter this is my baby. I was devastated.
See this child at her mere 14 years at age had already been through so much. She had to experience the death of 3 of her grandparents, 1 of which was my mom whom she was extremely close to. Then at 10 she began the task of caring for her 3 younger siblings because I had decided to have reconstructive surgery on my foot that ended up being 7 surgeries 20+ skin grafts, 2 external fixators. And in the end after 2 years of all that I ended up having to have that foot amputated. Our youngest daughter who was 7 months old when I had my first surgery called Briana mama first and for good reason, Briana had been taking care of her the way a mama would. She has been my right hand man as they say. I couldn’t have gotten through all of these obstacles without her help and she has done all of that while maintaining fantastic grades, and extracurricular activities. I could not wrap my mind around the fact that on top of all the things she had willingly took on to be a help and blessing to others and now she was facing this disease .
We are in the beginning stages of this disease and already it is proving to be an ugly opponent. As a parent it is beyond frustrating when you see your child cry out in pain and there is nothing you can physically do to relieve the pain. Briana is a tough girl and usually can deal with any pain but she has met her match with this disease. There are days, days much like today where the only thing I can do is hit my knees and cry out to God on her behalf. I beg him for mercy and relief for her. I beg him to please deliver her from this disease. I beg him to please ease her fear and uncertainty and to help me be the best mom for her I can be.
When your child is hurting you feel it to. Its like you’re connected. There are times when we may be able to do something to help ease whatever they may be feeling and those times are great gifts. However, there are more times when there isn’t anything we can do and it feels like pure torture. As I watch my daughter, she moves around and I offer to rub her feet because they are cramping so bad she can’t walk, my heart is breaking. I would give my other leg if only she didn’t have to go through this. I know I can’t take this from her or go through it for her so I just pray that God will use it in her life and she will be stronger, wiser and a warrior for his kingdom. We will continue on this journey and learn more about Raynauds. My Daughter will become a voice for this disease and she will conquer it. I will turn my frustration, fear, and anxiety for my child into drive to maker her life the best I can. In the meantime as she begins to step in 2 her lyfe I will just sit back watch and admire and be inspired by the incredible young lady God has created in spite of the obstacles before her .