I’ve always had a love for writing, deciding to put my skills to work so here I am. All of my entries are factual life stories in which I have endeavored. You never know the things others are going through in their life, so therefore we all should practice kindness. This world is filled with so many cruel intentions therefore make it a point daily to spread cheer. even if its just giving someone a smile, it might make their day.
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When the conversation arises about what I do for a living, am I proud and eager to explain that I am a Caregiver? Or Do I only disclose this to a select few because of the not so glamorous side? Yes, there was a time in which I was not so proud of what I did. Although after 25 years of caring for others and seeing the difference I make in the lives of many, I realize it takes a very special one to provide the qualities it takes. I can see Mother Teresa or even Jesus, himself, doing this job.
I try to view it from the perspective of the residents, how humiliating and embarrassing they must feel. To be unable to do simple things they once did…as in showers, help with bathroom assistance and such. My work helps increase the residents dignity and comfort. They have lived their lives independently until this stage in life.
Empathy is what makes me good at what I do to help others. How would you feel? You had to sell the house you have worked so hard your whole life to pay off, you can no longer care for yourself as well as you once did, you are unsteady with your gait and you have fallen quite a bit and Your family decides that you can no longer live alone. You have to give up all your independence in order to prolong the rest of your life. This is when they need a kind hearted soul. Not only do they need help with physical issues but also the mental ones as well. Sometimes, just someone to listen… to offer a hug. To show compassion.
Just like any other job, there’s hectic, horrible days and some not so much. Horrible days in this line of work includes Death. Rather it be a resident that has been declining and is expected or one that collapses in a traumatic unexpected moment and you’re rushing to save a life…it’s Always hard. Hard to put on a brave face and do what needs to be done before falling apart. Hard to realize you gave your all to save someone’s life but yet God had other plans for that resident. Losing someone you’ve taken care of is just like losing a family member. It hurts tremendously. Although we have to be strong for the family of the deceased. Offering our compassion. But in all reality, who offers us compassion? The ones of us on the front line? Doing the care? Besides your good circle of friends. Coworkers are the best source for needed compassion. We are in this as a team therefore we will be each other’s backbone when they feel like they can’t go on. We are there to give hugs to each other needing a shoulder to cry on during devastating situations.
So, yes. I am prideful of my choice to care for others. To make a difference in people’s lives is so self fulfilling. Also being overjoyed to have been bonded to some coworkers for life. What better individuals to feel exactly what you are feeling.
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Today my baby boy would be 26! It’s been very long since I’ve held him although in my heart I hold him everyday.
As Christmas of 1991 approached, we had moved into our first apartment and was excited to spend our first as a family. With my girl just starting to take her first steps and another little one on the way, I was uneasy about motherhood. There wasn’t instructions on how to be an nurturing mother and I was not taught as such. All I knew is that my love was so great for my daughter and for the child I was carrying, that maybe it’d come naturally.
Our marriage started off extremely rocky. We didn’t know each other long enough to understand the ways of the other. Stubborn as we both were, a lot of arguments and some physical altercations occurred as well. Looking back now they always seemed to over the smallest thing. So unnecessary at the time. We had much love for one another, and we decided this marriage…
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It was the summer of ’99, when I was hand delivered the most beautiful items I’ve ever laid eyes on. A gift from a lady that meant everything to me, My grandmother. My Grandmother had always told me, for as long as I remembered, that the diamond cocktail ring and diamond solitaire necklace she wore everyday was going to be mine one day.
I was visiting my Mother in Midland City, Alabama for the weekend. My grandmother which lived 20 minutes away in Dothan, had my grandfather drop her off to visit. He did not stay, he did not even come in the house to acknowledge me or my family. But that did not matter to me, all I wanted is to wrap my arms around my grandmother. He had always been a cruel, standoffish man anyway. After an amazing dinner prepared by my mother, Grandmother called me into the back room. She reached into her pocket and pulled out a little box. She presented me with the box, inside was the necklace and ring she had promised me. As I stood in front of her with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat, almost too large to swallow, I was confused. She had reminded me for years that I’d receive them when her time was near. I asked her, with my heart breaking, “Grandma, are you sick? Are you telling me your time is near?” She replied, “No honey, I’m fine. I feel fine. I just want to be totally sure that you get this. Like I promised.” She told me to put it away, it was to be kept a secret. Not sure why it was to be kept secret. Maybe, because her husband as mean as he was, wouldn’t honor her wishes upon her death. Or maybe because no other grandchild received anything from her worth value. Whatever the reason, I did as she said.
August of 2001, my grandmother passed. My heart was broke into pieces. A piece of my soul felt as if it died as well with her. I will always treasure the memories of her, the advice she gave me and the heirlooms she left to me… to pass onto my daughters one day.
It was 10:19am, on this day, 27 years ago when my outlook on life changed. I had just went through 10 hours of hard labor and suddenly when I thought I couldn’t push anymore, you entered this world. You have been a blessing to everyone who crosses your path every since.
I have so many memories of your childhood that I hold near and dear to my heart.
* 2 years old…you picking up a friends beer bottle, that was visiting us, and started chugging it. Then spitting it out because it wasn’t what you expected. Still bringing laughs to me every time!
*4 years old…Nulie, your imaginary friend came into our lives. She went everywhere with us. How you always made room for her and when I sat down one day, you screamed, “mommy! You’re sitting on Nulie!”
*6 years old… the first day of school, As I walked you to your class, you were so excited. Upon reaching the room, you turned to me and dismissed me. “Bye mommy! See ya later” I cried all the way down the hall and all the way home.
*all of your graduations… High school, Army and UGA, how proud I felt of you for accomplishing more than anyone in our family. Seeing the beautiful woman you have grown to be. Beautiful in every way. The respect you show others, your outer physical beautiful as well as how successful you are.
Moms take every memory and store them in the depths of our hearts. They’re more precious than diamonds and more treasured than any earthly possession.
As I close, I want to wish you a very happy birthday. I’m so thankful for you. You bring joy to many people everyday. Continue on the path you are traveling and never settle for anything less than you deserve. I love you beyond measure until eternity.
Someone said, “Just like wine we get better with age.” While pouring wine into a glass, they all look the same. Although, the taste differs, it takes time to mature and release a subtle taste. Improving with the aging process. The color, aroma and flavor changes.
Similarity, We age through many levels. We not only age physically but also mentally and emotionally. Many experiences, decision makings, failures and heartbreaks all help our aging process. We learn to handle and have a better understanding of situations, unlike in our 20’s. We become enlightened and wise with age, just as wine does.
When I was in my 20’s, I had no idea about a lot of things in life. Which in return was scary. I just lived Day by Day doing the best I knew. Learning as I went along. Here I am, 28 years later, and I’m thinking that most of the crummy experiences I lived through turned out to really good things to endeavor.
The advice I would give to my 20 year old self, I’d start by saying…You will find your passion and purpose. Everything that you are going through now is a piece of the puzzle. Just because you don’t know how the puzzle comes together yet doesn’t mean it’s not being assembled.
What other people think of you is not important. People are always going to judge you. So what!? It’s impossible to please everyone or be liked by everyone. Be you, the real you, not the version you think you need to be for other. Branching out in your own direction is hard but it’s worth it, for your happiness.
Cultivate your friendships. They will become the family you get to choose. Find friends who will grow with you, and let go of the friendships that have reached their expiration date.
Breathe. Slow down. Take your time. It all works out. Your dreams come true and there are magical surprises is store. Life is amazing now, and it gets even better!! Just like wine, we get better!
She arrives home from a long day at work to a clean house and dinner served by candlelight. After dinner, he runs her a hot bath with bubbles, candles and wine. There’s no special occasion. He just wants to show her how much he still loves her after two decades, how much he appreciates her all her hard work. After washing her hair, her shoulders down to her feet, she finishes up with her bath and she is lead to the bedroom by the trail of rose petals. Rose petals on the bed, candles lit, and an awesome playlist playing on pandora. Treating her like royalty is nothing new. He has done it all along. His love for her is tremendous and he’s not afraid to show her. His love grows stronger everyday.
As young girls, back in the day, we all dream of our knight and shining armor. Sometimes they are found rarely they are not. Although, a blessing came to her when She wasn’t even looking for her knight. When She laid eyes on him those many years ago, a premonition was felt…he was the one. Then eight months later, they were married. He had to be sent by the Lord. He came into her life, when she felt no love from anyone. He showed her, she meant everything to him. No way, Is the the relationship perfect. They have arguments, go days without speaking but after it’s all over, He’s back treating her like his queen.
For those still looking for their knight and only see despair, remember this, I was not looking when mine arrived. They come out of nowhere, when you’re not looking at all.
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As the day approaches of my birth, some 48 years ago, it brings a lot of mixed emotions with it. Before I was adopted at age 7, I have no memories of my birthday. Afterwards, the childhood memories of birthdays aren’t too fond or happy. I was not made to feel special on that day. I did always get birthday money, to go shopping at a later date though. Although no party, no cake or ice cream, no pictures of that day, no friends to celebrate with. Maybe on occasion, I could have spend the night company although no one really liked spending the night at my house because they were uncomfortable with the way I was treated. If I was lucky, I got to go celebrate at their homes instead.
My Aunt had a biological daughter upon me coming into their lives. She had already left home, was married with 2 children. Every year, I remember going to birthday party’s for them. With all the decorations to go along with it. The whole day was all about them. As a young child, what message was being imbedded in my little head? I was not as special as them. The daughter of my Aunt was always kind to me but it came down to me being to feel like I didn’t belong. I was treated differently and I felt as such. Was I just being made to feel this way due to the dysfunction in which I was conceived?
Once married, to my amazement found out I was born on the exact same day as my Mother in law. We would celebrate our special days together as one every year, as we still do. To feel a sense of belonging and importance makes my heart full of love. It makes me realize that at times, family does not have to be blood related to feel like you belong with them. They welcomed me into their family with open arms.
A few years ago, I was thrown my first surprise party by some great friends I call sisters. Again, Family are the one who love you unconditionally, the ones on your side whenever and for whatever reason. I’ll never forget that night. The way they made me feel special, how that night was all about me. Never have I felt that and it was so emotional and beautiful. And as I sit here, eyes full of tears, plans are being made to celebrate me are in the works. How blessed am I to have a family I gained upon marriage who loves me without measure? And to have a small circle of friends who love me just the same. Not a care of where I came from. Not one judgement do they have. Just pure unconditional love they give.
So this year, as my day approaches, I will not think of how much of a misfit I was made to feel growing up. Instead, I’ll have a huge smile on my face as my sisterhood of friends congregate to celebrate Me. My day. The day the Lord knew was my day before even being born into this world.
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The past is often filled with things we’ve tried to forget, painful experiences we had to deal with. Although the painful episodes from our past still influence our present and our future. As hard as it might be to recall who we were, it’s plays a huge part in who we are today.
Remembering who we used to be might be the most difficult part of the journey of finding yourself but it’s also the most important. It takes decades to become an individual we are happy with. An individual that is able to finally have inner peace, self love and confidence.
It was the last week in March 2010, when I had my first life changing moment. At the time, I did not realize this moment was going to be a positive thing in my life. Because what was meant to be a happy time started out all wrong. But hey, why would I think anything would be different with how she treated me now?
My oldest daughter was graduating from basic training at Ft Leonard Wood Missouri. I was and still am, her biggest supporter. So I made sure, at all cost, I would be front row. Although, at that time in my life, at the age of 40, I did not feel I was able to go alone. To get on a plane and travel to another state by myself. Low self esteem issues played a factor, and also the fact I had been sheltered basically my whole existence. My husband wouldn’t go, he feared flying and still does. My youngest daughter at the age of 12, learned fear from her father. She declined to get on a plane. So, out of desperation, I asked my aunt to go. The aunt who in return had caused every bit of my esteem and confidence issues as I grew up.
I purchased the tickets for the both of us for the flight, I booked the rental car and she would be responsible for the hotel stay for two nights. Fair enough, right? The trip started out rocky from the start. My impression, she didn’t really want to go. But somehow felt obligated. Once we landed in St Louis, the weather was extremely cold. Missouri had an awful winter that year. Icy roads were just barely passable. But not one thing would stop me from seeing my girl graduate.
As I drove us from St Louis to the Army base which was an hour and a half away, she was constant with her controlling words. I listened and stayed quiet throughout, turning the tunes up and blocking her out. Just as I had done my whole life. “You’re going too slow” “You need to get over a lane” ” Do you know where we are going?” “Quit washing the windshield so frequently!” It didn’t matter that I couldn’t see out the window due to the brine solution applied to the roadways. Her words went on and on for the whole time I drove.
Upon reaching our room, tension was over the top. We settled in and then set off to see my soldier. My excitement overcome her and the tension she caused. I was so proud as well as she should’ve been. We three ate dinner together, which was not stressful fortunately. It was a short dinner, apparently Privates have a strict schedule.
Back at the hotel room, she was back to her controlling words. We were getting ready for bed, as we had a big day ahead of us. I would have to say my breaking point was when she said, “You didn’t brush your teeth long enough, go back and do it again.” At that moment I instantly saw red and for once in my life, I confronted her. I explained to this lady that I was forty years old. 40!!! I was not the little girl she controlled all those years ago. From then on, for the rest of the trip, she was quiet. I could tell she was so mad by her demeanor but yet she said not a word. Which was fine with me actually.
Early the next morning, we attended the ceremony. I was beyond filled with joy. To see my daughter transformed into a soldier made me so proud. The obstacles she went through to get to this point showed me the strength she carries. The ceremony was beautiful and our visit was short. After lunch and a few pictures it was time to head back to Georgia. My heart was joyful although very heavy to leave so soon.
The drive was very quiet back to St Louis. Not a word was said except when she notified me of her urgency for a bathroom break. Other than that, no words spoken. Once we landed in Atlanta, we went our separate ways. Not speaking to her or she to me for several months and I was not at all saddened by this.
That trip changed me, helped me to grow into a person that was not going to be disrespected by her or no one ever again. I learned to break out of my shell into a person with confidence. I realized that I was just as good as anyone else. I finally saw the light. The light that showed me that all these years that I felt less than, when I felt stupid and not worthy… it was not me. It was her making me feel as such. Constantly putting me down had came to an end, finally. I had found this new individual with a whole new aspect on life and I loved it.
Do you ever go through bouts in life where you’re down and out? Your mind will not stop racing about all the things wrong in your life therefore you lie in bed crying most of the day…feeling self pity. Instead of getting up, going for a walk to clear your mind, instead of deciding to get some fresh air, you continue to stay in that dark place. The place you hide all your inner demons and continue to let them keep you down.
Then suddenly the tears stop, your mind drifts to the distance you’ve traveled to get to the point you are now. How many obstacles you’ve hurdled to lie here full of self pity. So, we conjure up pleasant memories in past times. We must drag ourselves out of the darkness of despair. That’s not the person we were meant to be. We portray ourselves much differently than that.
We all go through depressive states of mind. The most important thing to remember is, we must have a good cry and move on to the light. Because just as Jesus says, “weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning” psalm 30:5