“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

What’s going to keep you going in the New Year? Chellyz View

Woman Thinking

What’s going to keep you going in the New Year? Chellyz View

It’s a New Year!  I know you have seen and heard all the Hoopla.  “New Year, New Me.”  “2020, is my Year.” “No negativity in the New Year!”  So forth…so forth… and so forth.  What happens by the fourth or fifth of January or maybe even on the first?  We made a ton of resolutions then have a heavy heart because we don’t live up to them.  Well, I am going to keep this post plain and simple.  Stop throwing all those resolutions out there that you can’t handle.  Don’t you know they will return like a boomerang and hit you right in the face.  Booyah!  At that point you are feeling the burdens of self-defeat and depression.  What should you do instead?  Hey, I’m no expert but I would like to share three quick tips that have been helping me over the years.

Just try to be the best version of you!

I know it sounds cliché, but it’s so true.  You’ve read about this phrase in other articles.  Life is not perfect.  Neither am I or You.  Lord knows throughout my 40 plus years the life I have lived has not been stellar.   I haven’t always been the best daughter, mother, wife, sister, friend or well you get the picture.  Kodak moments haven’t always been displayed on the mantle of the fireplace or in my mind.  However, what I have decided to do is be the best version of myself.  No imitation.  No fakeness.  Just me.

I will strive to make wiser and better choices moving forward while packing plenty of prayer, patience, hopefulness, understanding, and positivity.  Most definitely, more common sense.  Hey, Donnie McClurkin sang it best, “We fall down, but we get up.”  I don’t care how many times you must repeat the cycle.  Learn to get back up and stand tall each time you may fall or fail.

Don’t stay in a place of Darkness!

Whether we want to admit it or not, life goes by quicker than we expected the older we become.  What happens?  Losses.  Loss of jobs, loved ones, self-confidence, wealth, social status, relationships etc…  Sometimes it feels like there are more losses than gains which may lead us to a dark place.  I don’t know if you are in a spiritual place or not.  Over the past two years, I had the opportunity to participate in a wonderful Biblical Bible class at Zion Hope in Detroit, MI.  Looking forward to year three!!!!   One of the recurring themes I have learned from the classes is if you have ever felt defeated in life or if you feel the enemy is always on your heels, don’t stay in a place of darkness.

Yes, it is alright to feel sad, it is alright to cry, and it is alright to go through the motions.  However, there is peace waiting for you. You must be the one willing to accept and welcome the light in your life.  Find what brings you solitude and solidifies your faith.  It might be through meditation and/or prayer, finding a support group, yoga, or finding a hobby that brings you joy.  Discover what brings you a sense of fulfillment to remove the emptiness and get out of the darkness.

Positive Affirmations over Resolutions

I probably wrote about this last year in another post.  I know some of you may have heard me say this time and time again.  It is only a suggestion, but it is a method I have adopted over the years.  Try writing positive affirmations over swearing to adopt disappointing resolutions.  Make a list of positive affirmations. Believe in them when you read them out loud.  Here a few of my affirmations:  I will be a good steward over my money and reduce debt in my life.  I am purposeful and will utilize the gifts the Holy Spirit has bestowed upon me to make the universe a better place for myself and others.  My temple is valuable, and I will commit to participating in activities that will keep me healthy and strong.  Now you make your own and revise as needed!  No pressure, and no race to the finish line.  Just believe in your worth!

We are Human

I hope these few suggestions have encouraged you.  Remember, we are HUMAN.  There will always be trials, issues, and a battle that will try to knock us of our game.  The key is to establish ground rules, and develop coping mechanisms that will help you survive throughout this year and the years ahead.  I truly hope you have a peaceful and successful New Year.  Thanks for your support throughout the years. If you ever need a conversation and a pep talk to keep you going, A Heart Full of Conversations is here!  Until next time…

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

Reference
McClurkin, Donnie.  “We Fall Down.”  Live in London and More.  Verity Records, 2000.
Photo cred:  Photo by Tachina Lee on Unsplash

 

 

 

 

 

What in the World are We Walking for? by Chellyz View

Woman Walking With A Fitbit

What in the World are We Walking for?  by Chellyz View

It’s amazing how we are tracking our steps around the world. This phenomenon is contained on our wrists and the apparatus is worn faithfully by many. Personally, I’m too frugal to purchase one. Therefore, I downloaded an app on my phone that records the number of movements I make each day. The problem. I don’t always have my phone on my possession. So, I probably made 5,000 steps in one day instead of 250. Alright, I am stretching the truth a little.

The steps we take are more important than we know. Not because it improves our health, but it provides the directions of how we should live. It shows how productive we can be or become. It gives us the opportunity to choose a path of development or destruction. If you adopt a spiritual voyage, you may be aware of the verses found in Proverbs 3:5-6 King James Version (KJV),” 5  Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6  In all thy ways acknowledge him, he shall direct thy paths.” If you look to an African Proverb it tells us, “If you want to walk fast, walk alone. If you want to walk far, walk together.” Oh yeah! I’m sure you have been told, “Always walk with your head up, not towards the ground.” You can also conjure up your own sayings about walking. I know that my everyday walk won’t always be pleasant or easy, but I am thankful for the journey.

giphy

Throughout the years, I recalled being lost. There were instances where I couldn’t find my sense of direction. I was preoccupied with everything that was in front of me. I wasn’t preparing myself for the days ahead.   Who really cared about the future?  Not me.  At least not all of the time.  It seemed too far away.  I didn’t focus on how those uncalculated steps would shape my future which left a negative impact on my life.

As I matured, I noticed the footprints of a distorted and disturbed generation. People rather be led by devices that only count the amounts of steps they take. I observed we feel a sense of accomplishment of reaching our walking goals, but what about our lifetime goals. Our ambitions have become limited. Our drive has dwindled to being excited about the brand of shoes we wear on our feet or chasing fast dreams that leads to disappointment.  We want to walk in other people’s shoes.  We concentrate on someone else’s journey instead of being content with our own.

Wait, maybe I should design a gadget that would track the movement of how many steps it takes to accomplish our personal goals and dreams. Oh, that exists already. All we need to do is use our hearts, minds, and the visions that are within us to walk towards success. There’s more to life than recording steps that will take us on a journey of becoming elated about numbers. Let us take strides to becoming better human beings and establishing a better society. Does anyone have time to take a walk for that? Take a count!

 

 

Reflections of the Dining Room Table at My Grandparent’s House by Chellyz View

dining table

Reflections of the Dining Room Table at My Grandparent’s House by Chellyz View

I was scrolling through the gallery in my cellphone and the picture featured above held my attention.  A table.  Not just an ordinary table, but a decorated table that reminded me of one of my maternal grandmother’s tablecloths.  Some childhood memories are clear like looking through a freshly wiped window cleaned with window cleaner.  I accurately see the reflection of dinner time at my grandparent’s home.

My grandparents resided in a small modest home with a round dinner table. Dinner at my grandparent’s house was a ritual.  The main course of the day was done by 4:00 p.m.  My grandmother enjoyed working for a brief time, but life circumstances summoned her to become at stay home mom.  I admired my grandma for watching over me while my mom worked.  I am displeased with myself because I didn’t pay attention to her nor my paternal grandmother’s recipes made from scratch.  I felt cooking wasn’t my calling.  Therefore, cereal and grilled cheese sandwiches became my specialty as I grew older, but that’s another story.

Yes, the dinner table at my grandparent’s house was sacred.  Hands washed.   Fresh produce.  Homemade Ingredients.  Life was at a slower pace back in the day.  At least that is how I envision grandma’s kitchen.  I can recall the aroma of greens, black eyed peas, the snapping of peas or green beans, and sweet potato pies (no strings found).  Watching flour and yeast being rolled by hand with a wooden rolling pin then left to rise a few times before being baked in the oven left me amazed.  The scent of roast beef or a whole chicken that appeared to be roasted without the rotisserie machine contraption lingered in the air.  This was a time before anyone thought or knew the definition or lifestyle of veganism or gluten free.

The most important part of the dinner routine was setting the table.  My grandpa would become irritated at times because I would start singing at the table.  I didn’t sing on key, but I always had a song.  I don’t know if this was a habit because the food was so good or I just felt like hearing him telling me to stop all that sangin’.  I knew we were to sit down at the table together.  No eating in the room.  No preparing separate meals.  Whatever was cooked you ate or you starved. Currently, I don’t know if that would be considered unfair treatment to children or not.  Paper plates, and plastic ware was not allowed at the dinner table.  Cups made of foam, oh no!  My grandma said she felt like she was about to choke when she drank out of a foam cup.  When she did finally break down and accepted paper or plastic goods at her dinner table, you were only to purchase Chinet or some other brand that resembled resilience.

Today, I feel guilty as a mother.  Don’t get me wrong, my children don’t starve.  However, they didn’t experience the same dinner time rituals I did as a child.   I am thankful their dad has mad skills in the kitchen.  So, they always get excited when dad prepares the meals.  We don’t always consume our dinner at the same time due to work schedules or extracurricular activities.  I am known for stocking up on paper and plastic goods because it’s an “easy” way of life in my home, but I know it isn’t good for the environment.  There are times when we have carry-out meals a little too often or the frozen section in the market conveniently saves time instead of having everything freshly prepared.  Electronics such as tablets and phones are supposed to be banned at the table when we have an opportunity to dine together.  The children ask, “Why?”  I respond, “Cause my grandpa said no singing at the table.”  Also, I tell them it’s important because it gives us a chance to talk about life.

A few years ago, before I realized the impact dementia was having on my grandmother we got into an argument.  It was about the details of the dining room table.  I wasn’t folding the dinner napkins correctly.  Grandma exploded and I left the room muttering, “I ain’t having another holiday dinner over here.”  I think she felt it would be one of her last holidays preparing a home cooked meal at the sacred dinner table.  A sadness overwhelmed me because I knew grandma was changing and this portion of our lives wouldn’t be the same.  Now, she enjoys the meals my mom and aunt prepare for her. She always sit by the window in her comfy chair.  Her dinner table consists of a small foldable wooden dinner tray.  Of course, she asks what time it is throughout the day, because she never wants to eat dinner after 5:00 p.m.

As families we need to find time to gather more at the table.  Even if time doesn’t allow for it to occur every day, we should commit to making the time at least three to four times a week.  It might not even be dinner, but maybe you could enjoy preparing an evening snack or dessert together.  Have at least one “good tablecloth” and a set of nice dinnerware you can find on sale.  Maybe even splurge on the fancy paper ware but remember to recycle.  LOL, I even invite singing to the dinner table as long it is a song, we can all sing and is appropriate.  Yes, our schedules can be rigorous at times.  Yes, we often find ourselves overworked and trying to manage the bills.  However, try to find a few moments to create some reflective and comforting memories at the dinner table .