The Season of Cancellation by Chellyz View

Canceled

The Season of Cancellation by Chellyz View

I woke up one day and felt like major events disappeared. Can you believe it? At this moment, there will be no proms or send-offs, graduations, senior trips, baby showers, weddings or receptions, shopping for that new Easter (Resurrection) Day outfit, most likely the school year, and the Auto Show. Ok, you know what I am trying to say. Canceled!!!

What a difference a day, a season, or a whole moment makes! I was excited. Not one, two, but I had three trips planned this year, not including the one recently taken in the ATL. In February before the widespread pandemic, the children and I went to Georgia to celebrate my brother-in-law’s 40th and nephew’s 17th birthdays!!!! Feeling a little nervous at the time, we still took the trip with prayer in my heart and hope in my head that the Holy Spirit would protect us on the journey. Thankfully, we made it, but the war on Covid-19 is still raging.

The enemy is attacking, and the number of casualties on the battlefield keeps rising. I keep hearing Hot Spot. Hot Spot. Detroit is a Hot Spot. Not too long ago, we were becoming one of the hottest spots as it related to regrowth in certain areas. That’s up for another discussion. Cobo Hall, now known as the TCF Center, is being transformed into a temporary hospital to house the sick and shut-in. I am trying to shut out the news and my addiction to scrolling through social media because a Sistah is getting Anxious.

As this goes on, I am thinking about how I keep hearing canceled. What about people who need treatment for ongoing illnesses? What about people who might be experiencing a Heart Attack, Stroke, or need immediate attention. You can call 911, but they ain’t trying to take you to the hospital. They stress you don’t want to go if you don’t need to. So what happens when you are sick, but it may not be related to the Cov?

What else is going on in the world? Did all other situations, crimes, and so on and so on stop? What about bills? Don’t worry! Right? I hear you need to call and make payment arrangements. Evictions are temporarily put to a halt. Cell phones and internet services are not being disconnected at this time. Utilities are not supposed to be touched. What will happen eventually? Will are debts be canceled, and we start from zero?

Businesses are closing. Will many survive? For example, damn the ones that did stay afloat on Detroit’s Westside Avenue of Fashion from the recent construction feel like they are drowning once again. Who will make it through? Employers are laying off. That means some paychecks are canceled. This is some historical ish, and I don’t like the look or smell of it. Hey, we don’t want to face tough times, but it’s something we must go through to be more humble, rediscover our purpose, and understand the Divine Plan.

Well, though this is the season of Spring, it feels like the Season of Cancellation. Right now, I am canceling out Corona and demanding once it’s gone that it never returns. I know the clouds are hovering over the universe, and people feel this is a losing battle. However, I need you to cancel those negative thoughts. Those of us left are soldiers who must continue to fight!!!! Affirmative!!!!

New beginning

After all of this, please believe There’s a Higher Power!!!!! All that is happening is going to be canceled out. If you need to break down and cry out for a minute, please do so!!!!!! Hell, the Earth is hurting, but we must do our part to ensure this thang gets canceled. This is the Season of Cancellation!!! However, once it’s over, be ready to welcome the cycle of New Beginnings. Be Blessed!!!!

-Let your heart be full of new ventures that will lead you to the possibilities of limitless conversations!

What the Hell You Mean Stay Home? by Chellyz View

edwin-hooper-Q8m8cLkryeo-unsplash

What the Hell You Mean Stay Home! by Chellyz View

A few weeks before the “Stay at Home” mandate, which means only leave out for essential business, I was feeling too busy! Every day after work, there was something to be done. My son had rehearsals, and my daughter had appointments. I attended meetings here and there for personal development, the new semester of my weekly Biblical Bible Class was beginning, off to an empowering event, outings with a few friends, and there were extracurricular workshops for the kids on an early Saturday morning. That’s the shortlist. I told a few of my co-workers; I needed a moment to rest and take a break from all the extras in life. Who knew it would happen like this! Suddenly, the whole world was disrupted. This terrifying nightmare isn’t what I imagined, planned, or ordered.

When I had the opportunity to work remotely from home and slow down a bit, I wasn’t bothered. I am at a place where I love being in company with myself.  I enjoy streaming and watching a movie or mini-series with the help of Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime with or without the Fam. I act a fool while having my private dance parties jamming to Classic R & B, Trap Music, the latest hits, or Old Skool Hip Hop. I debate with the online radio as I consume the information. Let me not forget my participation in Praise and Worship services by watching Kingdom on Facebook, googling a sermon online, or listening to some Good Ol’ Gospel Music to Lift My Spirits. As you can see, I didn’t have a difficult time adjusting because I can be an introvert at heart. However, this is not the case for everyone!

The Stay at Home Order could be a life sentence for many. The order can be very depressing and challenging for those who don’t know how to rest, deal with loneliness, trying to escape abuse, or may not have a place of their own to call home. Yes, some people don’t have a home to stay in.  This order can be overwhelming by not being able to socialize with others in the outside world, and you may feel isolated while working from home. Seniors who are homebound may feel helpless. Students are missing their teachers and peers. Well, maybe not the students who felt bullied at school or the personnel suffering from burnout. Young folks want to be young and live their best life. In times like these, we must be creative and obedient when the order is to “Stay Home,” if possible!!!!

If you need fresh air, open a window. I am going to sit on my back porch (not in a large group). If you feel lonely, phone a friend, start a group chat, or contact a distant or elderly relative. Keep a journal. Color. Do a crossword puzzle. Read a magazine or a book. Oh, you can talk to other members of your household. Exercise. From a spiritual perspective, read the Word!!!! Play board games. Organize. Find a free online class. For those who live alone, find virtual meetings that might pique your interest. Call a hotline if you feel you can’t cope. Ask for resources. Senior apartment building managers develop a phone buddy list for neighbors to check on each other.

I know there are many activities we can do to keep our minds right, but follow the rules and only go outside if you must. I know there are the front line and essential workers that don’t have the option to stay home. I am praying for your safety. I am forever thankful for your service. Too many precious lives have succumbed to this devastating illness.

Doors Closed

Yes, I know this is not going to last forever. I have hope. I try to be as cautious as I can when I must go to the store. The hub doesn’t have the option to stay home, and he still must go to work. I replace Fear with Faith. Yet, let me be honest. I have moments when I feel afraid or burdened with grief because I hear of an individual dying, a loved one is suffering, or someone else sharing a story of how this disease invaded their lives. I fervently pray that Covid-19 doesn’t show up at my door.

Many lessons are being revealed. We must learn to listen, pay attention, and guess what? Do something many of us don’t know how to do. Stay Home! We will find out how disconnected we are in our lives because we have been connected to what we thought was important. As stated in an earlier post, this lesson is more profound than just washing our hands. It is a lesson about how the Earth is being cleansed from selfishness, greediness, disobedience, and understanding we should not idolize material things.

Our biggest enemy is ourselves. Many of us don’t want to follow the rules. We want to be above the law. How dare anyone tell us what to do. Many continue to congregate in large crowds, people are coughing on produce as a joke, some megachurches are still holding Sunday Services, and there are other examples where we won’t stop moving. We won’t listen. The Holy Spirit, or what you believe in, is trying to tell us to be still, take heed, and become more disciplined. Once we learn how to do this, then the process of true healing will begin in this nation!

-Let your heart be full of new ventures that will lead you to the possibilities of limitless conversations!

RESOURCES:

https://detroitmi.gov/departments/detroit-health-department/programs-and-services/communicable-disease/coronavirus-covid-19

https://www.mi211.org/get-help/crisis-services

https://psychcentral.com/lib/depression-hotline-numbers/

https://www.clickondetroit.com/news/local/2020/03/15/list-food-services-provided-for-children-students-during-coronavirus-outbreak/

https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources

Featured Image:  Photo by Edwin Hooper on Unsplash

 

 

 

 

 

Silver Lining by Butch Ford

family together

Silver Lining by Butch Ford

It’s March 2020, and the world is amidst chaos and disorder dealing with the pandemic known as COVID-19 or the coronavirus. An outbreak that seemingly appeared overnight and has wreaked havoc and disrupted our daily lives as we know them.

Schools nationwide have closed their doors, companies have ceased operations, and bars and restaurants are open for take-out only with early closing hours. Everyone has been ordered to self-quarantine and stay home for a minimum of 14 days to decrease the chance of spreading and contracting the disease. Supplies such as toilet paper, hand sanitizer, bleach, and other disinfectants haven’t been available to consumers for over a week. And panic has set in. Everyone is in an uproar. Stores are price gouging, and consumers are hoarding items…whenever they can find them. The stress level of the general public is at an all-time high.

Let’s take a slightly different look at this. Children and parents are at home together. Society has an opportunity to reinvent family. It’s a time to recall past traditions and reacquaint ourselves with the true meaning of family. We can start by praying and eating meals together and communicating with each other. We can attempt to reform and rebuild all that has been damaged over the past several decades.

The new generation needs to have knowledge of the way life used to be before social media, video games, and lack of direction (as a people). COVID-19 is a horrible catastrophe that’s taken us all by storm. But there could be a silver lining, as well. Stay tuned.

 

Butch Ford

Dear Coronavirus, you suck! Sincerely, Everyone by Klassy K

Dear Coronavirus

Dear Coronavirus, you suck! Sincerely, Everyone by Klassy K

Dear Home Skillets, we are gathered here today to live through this thing called life. I know we have dealt with a lot of viruses, and it’s been a very long time, but I’m here to tell ya, it’s something else, the coronavirus. I wondered what Prince was thinking when he wrote the song, “Let’s go crazy,” cause that’s exactly what is going on in the world today. From school closures, travel restrictions, some businesses local and private shutting down, college institutions, etc. Even all sporting events canceled, including NFL, NBA, College: March Madness, golf events, etc.  It makes you wonder. How did this happen so quickly?

The coronavirus pandemic started in late January of this year, supposedly started in China.  But how do we know if that’s actually true? If you go to the CDC website, it will show you how many other countries, including the United States that are infected. I know some of you are wondering, how did so many people from China travel to the different parts of the world? Was it transported by airplane, boat, car, train, etc. one could only assume? But one could also argue, was it airborne? If not, how would you explain it, because the virus spread so damn quickly? It went from 22 cases in China back in January to over 90,000 cases around the world? Really?

But the real question I want to ask is why your President just recently addressed the nation only a couple of weeks ago? Why did he go on national T.V. and tell us what we already knew? But what’s so sad about all of this, it’s something that we ALL should do daily, wash your hands, cover your mouth if you sneeze or cough and if you/or your child is sick, STAY HOME!  So, once this is all over, I betcha you will re-think next time about bringing your ill child to school, daycare, or over the babysitter’s house because you don’t want to guess what somebody else “might” get. This coronavirus is nothing like a common cold or flu. I know Spring is coming up and some of you may start sneezing, you may say you have allergies, but that does qualify under the coronavirus as well.

It seems like ever since ex-Piston Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson were traded, the coronavirus came out the blue. Just kidding, but now Piston player Christian Wood recently tested positive along with Two Utah Jazz players. Now, Kevin Durant! Don’t know when we will be getting some sports entertainment! Sports could ease the craziness that is going on, but others may not even care. However, we gotta be careful. I was looking at WWE the other night, and they played in an empty arena. But, it’s better to be safe than sorry. I guess in the meantime, all you die-hard sports fans can watch re-runs on YouTube, pray to God for a cure, or that the virus will soon subside. Well, I guess all of us should do that.

I have to say this is truly an eye-opener for me, this is nothing like the other viruses that we have encountered, like SARS, Ebola, etc. Somehow, we have not heard about them anymore? It’s also crazy that some new virus surfaces around elections or every other two or four years and who came up with the name? Corona? Like the “foreign” beer?  Hey, home skillets, it makes you wonder. But please reach out to your love ones, stop driving your car on E, buy food in bulk (especially toilet paper), if you can afford it, have some rainy day money in your bank account or under your mattress. God helps us all!  

– Klassy K’s Sport Korner: A contributor writer      for http://www.aheartfullofconversations.com

COVID-19 by Butch Ford

Coronavirus

COVID-19 by Butch Ford

The Coronavirus or COVID-19…what is it? Where did it originate? And what’s up wit it? We all would like to know. There are several different theories. But only selected individuals genuinely know the answers to our questions.

The definition of a pandemic is the outbreak of disease prevalent over a whole country or the world. Well, this is what we’re facing today. And it’s scary. But should we be? I’m not a conspiracy theorist; however, I have raised my antennas.

I honestly don’t know what to believe. Is this whole thing legit? Or is it a distraction? Are we being lied to or manipulated? It’s all very confusing to me. I saw a graph outlining proof wherein every election year, a new epidemic miraculously surfaces. Coincidence???

Sadly…I don’t put anything past “The Powers That Be.” I’ve lost trust in the system. Although alarmed, it wouldn’t surprise me if this was part of a bigger plan or a hidden agenda. I’ve heard mumblings that if the country is under the State of Emergency, the Commander in Chief reserves the right to postpone the election and retain office for an additional two years. I’ve also heard others mention that the current headlines take the attention off the stock market…which is quietly dropping.

Professional and collegiate athletics have suspended operations indefinitely, and international travel could potentially be in jeopardy. Universities have canceled all in-person campus classes and have plans in place to resume academics on-line.  I ask that everyone keep your eyes and ears open. This could very well be an actual catastrophe of epic proportions, or it could be all smoke & mirrors. We don’t know yet. Everything is such a big secret. Only time will tell, but we need answers. Until we get them…stay safe and take care of one another.

 

Butch Ford

It Starts Now by Butch Ford

Fractured Flag

It Starts Now by Butch Ford

Because it’s that time again…I’d like to discuss the upcoming 2020 Election. Now I’m not much of a political expert. Nor do I claim to be overly knowledgeable on the subject of politics. However…I know that I strongly dislike smear campaign tactics and negative election strategy. That’s when a candidate or candidates use negative information acquired about an opponent to slander his/her character. The objective…obviously being to gain political favor or to sway the opinion of the general public/voters.

I’m on record with my personal feelings regarding political affiliation and voters sticking close to familiar party lines. Again…that’s the individual’s preference. I ask that the voters do extensive research and familiarize themselves with all the facts before making a final decision on their candidate. Politics is a dirty game, people. Most involved aren’t very noble or upstanding, and EVERYONE seems to have an agenda!

I’m not judging anyone’s political views. It’s your right to vote whatever way you see fit. Whether you lean towards the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, or vote Independent…just make a sound decision based on the candidate’s morals, values, and character. Is your selection a decent human being? Does he or she have the best interest of the American citizens in mind? Will they represent our Nation in a dignified, classy, and presidential manner?

We deserve better! We’ve been lied to, insulted, and embarrassed for far too long. It’s time that we get back to respectability and begin repairing the relationships that have been damaged by the current administration. We are the laughing stock of the free world, and they view us as a joke or a side-show. We used to be a proud country. What happened to us? How did we get here? We can be that again, but we have to come together and work peacefully. And it starts with the upcoming election.

 

Butch Ford

My Mane Journey as a 4C Girl by Chellyz View

 

Pic Earrings

My Mane Journey as a 4C Girl by Chellyz View

Changing the Narrative as a 4C Girl 

The journey of being a natural hair girl in the D has been a roller coaster ride for myself. My hair has been described as coarse, think, and untamed. Several years ago, I learned the category for my hair is 4c, which means I have very tight coils. In my younger years, being a 4C Girl led to being teased for having unmanageable nappy hair. Thankfully, the negative connotation of that statement is transforming into something beautiful. 4C Girls are embracing their hair across the nation! From the workplace, pool, gym, and beyond, we are representin’ and lovin’ on our hair more than evahhhhhhhh!

The fierce war of battling and embracing my kinks over the decades had me feeling emotions of imprisonment to appreciating the joys of hair freedom. As a young girl, I had my woes of getting my hair done. I collected countless tears that left a bucket full of fond memories from breaking multiple hair combs to having my hair straightened by pressing combs.

 

One of my spiritual sisters stated, “I must be related to Jesus.” Her reasoning behind the statement was my hair felt like wool. One of my cousins who used to French braid my wild mane told me my hair was thick enough to cut her fingers. Also, hairdressers have said my hair would burn the tips of their fingers because it held an abundance amount of heat. At that time, I didn’t realize the Holy Spirit designed my hair to match my strength for the challenging days ahead called LIFE.

Taming My Head as a Child

 

Who ensured my head was combed daily as a child? That lucky person was my aunt! My mom had already realized doing hair was not her gift. It was neither mine until my late 20s. My aunt had her hands full because I was a tender-headed child who looked like cousin “IT” from The Addams Family after a wash and blow-dry. For many years, she was skillful at taming my wild hair. My coils would be brushed and parted by my aunt then decoratively styled with colorful barrettes and ponytail holders.

cheer

Getting my hair pressed as a child wasn’t always Cheerful!!!

Eventually, my mom and aunt decided to take me to the long-gone Debbie’s Beauty School on Gratiot near East Seven Mile Road in Detroit. One day they found a beauty shop just for kids known as Some Place Special on West Seven Mile Road near Evergreen. They had toys, baby dolls, and patient beauticians who had the magic touch to keep my coils under control.

The Culture of Hair in the Community

As I grew older, I realized hair was more than a culture in our community. It’s an experience. Hair has always been a “thing” in Detroit. My city is called the Hair Capital of the World. We hosted many infamous “Hair Shows and “Hair Wars.” Detroit is where people emphasize the phrase “Fried, Dyed, and Laid to the Side.” We are well known for the vast amount of local beauty and barbershops that are a few miles apart from one another. You can always find a neighborhood beautician or barber beautifying or cutting hair in their home with their workstation situated inside the kitchen or basement. I had my share of trial and error of trying to find the right beautician to style my head or accommodate my schedule due to balancing work, children, and extracurricular activities.

Oh yeah! I was always trying to figure out what I should do with my hair. I cut it a few times, let it grow back, permed it, rocked braids and wigs, wore sew-ins, braid outs and twists outs. Over 13 years ago, I decided to go natural. However, one summer, the humidity won, and I asked the hairdresser to dump that creamy white substance in my head asap! Weeks later, I felt guilty after perming my head. After that incident, I vowed to stay natural forever. That was several years ago.

Deciding to Initiate the Loc Journey 

Well, it’s a new century! What’s happening as I continue to discover my hair passage to independence? After contemplating for at least eight years, I decided to Loc my hair! Before making the decision, I had randomly asked 100 strangers, read 200 articles, spoke with several people I know who have Loc’d their hair, watched 75 YouTube videos, browsed Pinterest and Instagram for 1,000 hours, and made the ultimate decision. Most people know I exaggerate, but that is how it felt.

Anyway, it was time to Loc these Locks! At first, I was going to have Sisterlocs installed, but that ordeal fell through. I lost $50 from a consultation fee, but that is another story. I reached out to another Loctitian on Facebook Messenger and left a phone message. I never received a response. Therefore, I stopped reaching out because I didn’t want to feel like a stalker.

Embracing My Loc Venture

New Locs

After finishing My Locs with two-strand twists

I was eager to start my Loc journey. So, on Sept. 22 through Sept. 23, 2019, I joined forces with one of my good friends known as Netflix to keep me company. After watching six movies and taking 20 breaks, I installed two-strand twists in my hair. The two-strand twist style wasn’t new to me, but this journey was different. I knew in my heart I wanted to loc my hair. My parts were uneven, and my hands were unsteady, but my intuition assured me it was essential to love on my Locs.

After locing my hair, there were small bouts of doubt that crept in. Did I make them the right size? Should I have paid the astronomical price of having Sisterlocs installed professionally? Should I have gone to an expert to interlock my hair? Should I this? Should I that? I was excited, nervous, and grateful at the same time.

Hair is the Inspiration

Hair Inspiration

My Auntie aka The Hair Inspirationist

On this journey, I am thankful for all those who keep me inspired!  I learned that I shouldn’t utilize the phrase “ugly phase” when referring to my newly installed Locs. Yes, my hair is frizzy, the shrinkage is real, and some of the ends unravel when they feel like it. However, I contribute this phase in my life as “awkwardly beautiful.” My mane source of “Hair Inspiration” comes from my Auntie Sherry, who, as stated earlier, used to tame these locs when I was a little girl. She has been growing her locs for over 15 years!

My hairdresser, who used to press my hair, schools me on how to remain calm during this early process of allowing my hair to loc.  She also does a phenomenal job retightening my Locs as needed. After twisting my hair, I found out she installed locs.  I guess that is what I get for not asking when I changed my mind about not getting Sisterlocs!  Also, I follow a few groups on Facebook that keep me encouraged. One Facebook group that has been instrumental in me keeping my faith during the process is Braidlocs, Sisterlocs, Microlocs, Interlocs, & More! I recommend you check out the group or find a supportive page or person to help keep you sane if you decide to loc your hair.

Experiencing Hair Freedom with Locs

Excercise Day

Prepared the Locs for a Moment of Exercise

I don’t know how long I will wear my Locs, but at this moment, I will describe my hair journey as liberating. No additives such as perms, brushes, or combs needed at this time. However, wear your hair as you choose. I can only speak for myself. The societal constraints of what defines beauty no longer confines me. I am a Detroit Girl with 4C Hair who has found contentment by deciding to embrace my crown with Locs. No matter where you are from, I hope you recognize and find what brings you the happiness of hair freedom as well!

-Let your heart be full of new ventures that will lead you to the possibilities of limitless conversations!

Reference:

Facebook Group:  Braidlocs, Sisterlocs, Microlocs, Interlocs, & More!

Stu Scott by Butch Ford

 

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Stu Scott by Butch Ford

In 1993 the sports world was turned upside down when a brother from Chicago, Illinois, by the name of Stuart Orlando Scott, arrived in Bristol, Connecticut for the SportsCenter programming on the ESPN Network. The Vice president for talent, Al Jaffe, was summoned by his superiors to find new personalities who would appeal to a younger audience.

Scott, a graduate of The University of North Carolina, caught the eye of executives and viewers alike with his unique urban catchphrases and hip-hop style. It quickly caught on with the general population…and a star was born. Initially, the fear was that “the masses” would scoff at sports reported in this manner. Would it be perceived as “too urban?” Little did we know…Scott became a pioneer and trendsetter who changed the way sports are broadcast. He added swag and brought flavor to sports telecasts. And everyone followed in his footsteps.

Scott enjoyed a successful 22-year career with ESPN until he lost his lengthy battle with cancer in 2015. The entire sports world experienced a colossal loss with his passing. In addition to nightly SportsCenter programming, Scott was also commonly seen on NBA, NFL, MLB, and NCAA pre and post-game shows, as well. There’s an apparent void in the hearts of real sports fans that may not ever be filled.

I can’t speak for everyone, but I miss laughing at Stu’s wit and comical approach. He was engaging and commanded his audience. It always left you wanting more. You couldn’t wait to hear what he was going to say next. And he would never disappoint. It’s tough to watch SportsCenter these days, but if you listen close enough, you may hear a new school anchor give an ode to the legend known as Stuart Scott. We miss you, my brother.

 

Butch Ford

“What Time Is It?” by Butch Ford

The Time

“What Time Is It?” by Butch Ford

In 1981, Prince assembled an All-Star group of musicians…comprised of the baddest cats from the local Minneapolis music scene. Together they became arguably the funkiest band in the ’80s. But individually is where they made their historical mark as superstars of R&B. I’m talking about The Time.

Morris Day, was not only the lead man and zany persona but is also a world-class drummer (he played on all of The Time’s studio recordings). James “Jimmy Jam” Harris III and Terry Lewis are world-renowned super producers with countless platinum and gold records spanning nearly four decades. Jesse Johnson, the ultra-talented lead guitarist extraordinaire & producer who’s still dazzling audiences after 35 years, both home and abroad. Jerome Benton…funk/R&B’s most notable hype man, who’s the ying to Day’s yang and also the younger brother of Terry Lewis.

But the longest active members of the group who I refer to as the backbone are Garry “Jellybean” Johnson…drummer & Monte Moir…keyboards. Johnson has produced for Janet Jackson, New Edition, Nona Hendryx, and Alexander O’Neal. Plus has played lead guitar on some of Minneapolis’s funkiest tracks like, “Fishnet,” “Innocent,” “Criticize,” and “Black Cat.” Moir produced iconic R&B classics such as: “The Pleasure Principle” and “If You Were Here Tonight.” The talent speaks for itself.

Despite playing very few notes, if any at all on the group’s first three albums (other than Day), it’s “time” the fellas get their just due in the industry and R&B History. No other band has accomplished so much in separate incarnations as this super group we love and know as The Time. “Ain’t nobody bad…like them!”

Butch Ford

“We Reminisce Over You” by Butch Ford

thinking back

 

“We Reminisce Over You” by Butch Ford

The title of this entry was inspired by a 90’s hip hop classic from Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth.  The thought behind it are feelings of love, loss, gratitude and pride mixed with a little bit of selfishness and some sadness sprinkled in too.  We’ve all lost loved ones at some point in our lives and admittedly…it hurts.

I remember watching my grandmother beam with pride and joy.  She loved family; her mother, sisters, aunts & uncles, daughters and most assuredly her grandson(s).  Holiday gatherings and family get-togethers meant everything to her.  I would marvel at the outpouring of love displayed at these functions.  It’s difficult to put it into words.  It was just simply incredible.  Boy…I really miss those days.  And then…the unthinkable began to happen.  We started losing our older relatives slowly but surely.

Now we’re the grandparents, the great aunts & uncles, the matriarchs & patriarchs of our families.  But times have changed.  Things are very different now.  The world just ain’t the same anymore.  Don’t get me wrong…we’re all blessed to still be among the living, but it’s sad watching the day to day occurrences in these dark and scary times we live in.  We gotta stay prayed up and watch out for one another.  Hopefully better days are ahead.  As the song says, “A change gon come.”  We need a change…BAD!!!

Thinking back on how my grandmother loved on all of us…that smile, those hugs and the loving, nurturing words of encouragement…makes me wonder if she missed her parents, grandparents, great aunts & uncles as much as I miss her?  If she did, she didn’t show it.  But gauging the void in my heart…how could she not?  Her focus was obviously on everyone else’s happiness.

I still smile when I think of my grandmother’s strength and courage.  The way she held everything together was nothing less than amazing.  Her memory still lives on today.  Mainly because my mother stepped up in her absence and filled those shoes remarkably.  I’m just expressing myself, but I know there are others with similar stories, right?  The message today is simple.  It’s for our loved ones who have gone on to glory…to continue watching over us while we reminisce over you.

Butch