The Importance of Encouraging Sister Friends
It was less than a year ago when I met a pleasant lady who loved the color red. Yes, she is a Delta but I learned her dedication to the color of red is more detailed than I could ever imagine. Lisa Washington represents red extremely well because she is fierce, funny, and makes strange places become friendly spaces with her warm personality. Over these past few months she has shown great encouragement as I share my trials and triumphs of becoming a blogger.
Mrs. Washington is family oriented and very proud of her daughter who will be starting her journey to high school in the fall. Also, she is a skilled social worker who is dedicated to helping the youth and their families overcome obstacles in the city of Detroit. In addition, I can attest that she has become a Sister Friend who offered support and sound advice to this new girl on the block who was adapting to an unfamiliar environment. I am delighted to have her as a guest blogger.
“Sister Support and Uplift Sessions” Led to a Victorious Moment by Lisa Lockridge-Washington
I was recently asked by Michelle to be a guest blogger. I was honored and I accepted the offer. And thus, I share my story.
Several weeks ago, during what I call our “Sister Support and Uplift Sessions”, I was encouraged by Michelle to visit a very nice coffee house in Detroit called “Detroit Vintage”. I visited the coffee house with my daughter and it was a real treat. I shared my experience with Michelle and she informed me that on the first Friday of each month, the coffee house hosted poetry night.
Again, she encouraged me to partake in the spoken word. I’d written a poem dedicated to my grandmother 5 years ago when she made her transition. I wanted and needed to share this poem and what other way to do it but in a supportive environment. I was very nervous because I had never done this before. I would be considered a “Virgin” on the Mic. I mustered up the courage and decided to go. It was Friday and it was family night in my household. I chose the activity for this Friday which was a return trip to the coffee house (Detroit Vintage). My family didn’t know that I was going to recite my poem. When they called my name, they were in shock and so was I. I thought to myself, you’ve got to go through with it!
When I walked on the stage, I looked out in the audience. I saw my family look at me with amazement and I saw Michelle, my “Sister Support” give me the smile of encouragement. I said my poem dry mouth and all. I was hit with emotion that felt like a Mac truck. All my feelings seeped out and I could see and feel my grandmother as I recited this poem. It was the release that I needed. In that moment, I felt the vibe of love, support and understanding. It was an awesome experience! I thank my family and Michelle for helping me reach my goal of sharing my story, my poem.
Sooo…In light of April being poetry month, I’d like to share the poem I wrote in memory of my grandmother with you and I invite you to share a poem as well.
Do You Remember Me?
Hello Grandma! Do you remember me?
I’m the granddaughter you nicked named, Nene
I often wonder when you look into my eyes
Do you really recognize how much I Love you!
Do you remember I’m the granddaughter who use to rub your forehead
when a headache appeared?
I’m the one you taught how to drive without any fear
You know the red car that went fast on its own.
Grandma tell me when we leave do you feel alone.
I’m the one who scratched your scalp then greased your head
right before it was time for bed.
I remember you waking me up for Sunday school and church. You’d say
“Rise and Shine Nene, Rise and Shine.”
Do you remember me Grandma? I think you do because when I hold your hand
you squeeze it tight to let me know that you’re alright.
While you lay there with your eyes closed. Are you having memories
or are you talking with the Lord?
Do you know that I’m just sitting here as you rest and think things through?
Or are you enjoying the silence and the feeling of just us two.
Will you know when I leave your side to go home for the night?
Are you slowly making your way towards the eternal light?
Grandma, I hate leaving you here alone. I want to stay but I know you would say
“Now Nene you go on and take care of your home.”
Grandma I know you don’t know how often I think of you
and wishing there was something more I could do.
My heart is heavy with the thought of losing you but
I know you’ll remain in my presence and that will be forever true.
I Love you Grandma, I really do!
I Love you Grandma and I miss you too!
Sharing Stories can help others take a step towards healing
I was enlightened when I heard Mrs. Washington share her poem at the Detroit Vintage Coffee and Tea House Open Mic Night. I think I heard Ms. Washington take a deep breath after finishing her poem because she found the courage to share her story with others. However, I also took a deep breath once the poem was recited because it offered me a step towards healing when I wanted to hold on to sadness. Alzheimer’s robs the identity of one’s soul while stealing the joy of loved ones who care for them. Her poem reminds me to cherish the special moments I have of my grandmother that I can store in my heart forever. Thank you, Mrs. Washington, for not only sharing your poem but for becoming a Sister Friend who offers support and sessions to uplift this Sister when moments in life are unexplainable and unfair. Be Blessed!!!!
Resources for Alzheimer’s Caregivers
24 Hour Alzheimer’s Caregiver Helpline:
-Let your heart be full of new ventures that will lead you to the possibilities of limitless conversations!