Be the person you needed…

Y’all when I say this one struck home I mean it. The person I needed growing up was my memaw, and she was there every single time without fail.

You see, I didn’t have the best childhood. My dad was an alcoholic, and not the fun kind, but the kind who took all his anger out on whoever or whatever was in front of him. Unfortunately, a lot of times that ended up being me, my brother, or the walls and furniture of our home. I can remember him coming home drunk and just putting holes in the walls or spanking my brother or me for absolutely no reason. During this time I stayed with my memaw during the day while my parents worked; and the happiest times of my childhood were spent at her house. I can remember her constantly singing or humming old gospel hymns. That sound, to me, meant safety. As long as I heard that sound I knew I was in a place where no-one could hurt me. I was in a place where I could just be a kid and not have to worry about the grown ups around me. I was in a place of freedom.

But, it turns out, it’s the things I don’t remember that made my memaw such a special person to me. I was at my grandma’s house yesterday and my 4 year old asked about her mama, which got us reminiscing about memaw. And my grandma asked me if I remember praying with memaw every morning as soon as I got there. I don’t. She told me that every morning when I got to memaw’s house, I would say “Memaw we need to pray for my daddy because he did such and such last night.” And every morning, without questions or hesitation, memaw would get down on her knees with me in front of the couch and pray with me for my daddy.

I’m convinced my memaw’s prayers are a large part in my dad giving up alcohol when I was 10. But, by that age, the damage had been done. I was angry at him, and honestly at almost 31 years old, I still am. I can remember telling memaw one day that I knew I shouldn’t be mad at him because we’re supposed to forgive everybody and I’ll never forget what she said. She sat me down and said “Honey, you have every right to be angry with him. Being angry is normal, but holding onto that anger is what will get you. You eventually gotta let that anger go. Not for your daddy, but for yourself, because one day that anger will become so deeply rooted in you it won’t let go no matter how hard you try. Yes, you’re supposed to forgive everybody, and I know that’s hard, but it’s the forgetting that’s near impossible. You’ll remember some of these days for the rest of your life, and sometimes those memories will bring that anger back. When it does just remember you’ve gotta let it go.” I’ve tried to live by that since then.

When I turned 17 I moved in with my memaw to take care of her because she had gotten Alzheimer’s disease. If you don’t know what Alzheimer’s is consider yourself blessed. I had to watch the smartest, sweetest woman I’ve ever known forget who I am. And, that is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. She didn’t sing or hum anymore. She didn’t remember the pranks she used to pull on me. She didn’t remember the days and years we spent together. She didn’t just forget my name, she forgot me. But I stayed, and I helped in any way I could, not because I felt like I had to, but because she took care of me when I needed it the most. When I graduated high school and started college my grandma made the decision to put her in a nursing home. I tried to talk her out of it by saying I could put off college until we found someone who could take care of her at home, but by that point she needed constant supervision. She lived next to a busy highway and crossed it by herself one night because we didn’t hear her get up. Thank God she was ok and a neighbor found her but that was when I knew that no matter how much I wanted to keep her at home, I just wasn’t capable of giving her the care she needed. The day we took her to the nursing home she had a lucid moment and she told me that watching me grow up was one of the highlights of her life and that she was proud of me. I promised myself in that moment that when I had kids I would strive everyday to make them feel the way I felt with memaw.

I know I fail at that a lot, but I also know when my children are with me they feel safe, they can just be kids, and I am their freedom. And I owe it all to the woman I needed when I was growing up.

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This is the country we live in y’all!

I just saw a video on Facebook that absolutely broke my heart this morning. It was about an African American family in Denver Colorado with 2 small boys who woke up one morning to racial slurs spray painted all over their porch and house. Someone painted a noose with a man hanging from it right outside their door. And after watching this all I can think is why? Why would anyone hate someone of a different color so badly that they would do something so heinous? Imagining those parents having to explain to their young sons why someone would do that to their home literally brings me to tears. I couldn’t even imagine having to have a conversation like that with my kids. This has GOT to change. We have GOT to stand against this and stand up for those who experience it. Nothing will ever change if nothing is ever done. Change starts with us. It starts with our children, and it starts in our hearts.

The video can be viewed through the link below.

https://www.facebook.com/100575810307679/posts/830365130662073/

This is what we’re raising our children in! This upsets me more than I could ever explain. Nobody and I mean NOBODY deserves to be treated like this. Nobody deserves to feel unsafe in their own home because somebody else’s parents taught them how to be an ignorant racist. Racism is not born, it is taught. Our generation, the generation raising kids who will one day be the leaders of this country, have the opportunity, no, the obligation to change this! Teach your children to love everyone no matter their color. Teach your children to be kind to everyone they come in contact with no matter their color. Teach your children to take care of one another, because at the end of the day we are ALL human, and we are ALL in this together.

Please take my words to heart. But most of all, please raise humans who would NEVER do something like this. My heart breaks for this family and I pray the police catch whoever did this and they get punished to the fullest extent.

Quote 81!

If you suffer from anxiety you know exactly what this is like. Some days, simply getting out of bed can feel like the biggest accomplishment, and it is.

If you love someone dealing with anxiety, research it. Learn everything you can about it so you can bring them at least a little bit of peace. There will be days they are hard to love, not because they don’t love you, but because they’re having trouble loving themselves. Learn their signs. Learn their mannerisms and learn how they act when an anxiety attack is imminent. Then learn what you can do to help them through it. This will inevitably be a trial and error lesson, but once you find what works do it.

As someone who suffers from debilitating anxiety I can tell you nothing brings more peace than knowing I am not alone. Knowing someone loves me enough to learn how to help me when I can’t help myself is the best feeling in the world.

If all you did today was survive, I am incredibly proud of you, and you should be proud of yourself.

In Arm’s Reach

Buckle up, because this is going to be one of the most real and from the heart posts I’ve ever written. This is a topic I feel very strongly about, so excuse me if it comes off as a rant. Just please know that’s not my intention, but when I start writing I just let the words flow from the heart. Some of you will agree, and some of you might be offended, but I’ve never been one to worry about offending anyone if I truly believe that what I’m saying is right. So. Here. We. Go.

I just read a post on Facebook that made my blood boil. It basically said that if you’re an organ donor and black that the paramedics and doctors won’t do everything they can to save your life. What. The. Hell?

At one time I was one of the people who showed up to save someone, and I’m here to tell you not once did anybody even ask if the person was an organ donor. It didn’t matter. What mattered to us was using every bit of our knowledge and training we had to save that person’s life. I can’t even recall one instance where any of us even saw a victim’s identification, making it impossible to even know if they were an organ donor. We didn’t need to know because it. didn’t. matter.

The racial divide in this world makes me genuinely afraid for my child. Some of the things I see on the news makes me physically sick knowing my children are growing up in a world where we’ve let everything from race to politics turn us against each other. Yes, I am aware that racism has been around forever, and chances are it’s not going away. But, the only reason it’s not going away is because people have forgotten how to show kindness and compassion.

Whether you’re black, white, purple, or red, you deserve kindness and compassion. But, you also have an obligation to those around you to show kindness and compassion. Whether you’re republican, democrat, liberal, or any other political affiliation, you deserve kindness and compassion. But, you also have an obligation to those around you to show kindness and compassion.

Yes, these problems have been around forever, but I blame the media for widening these divides to astronomical proportions. So, turn off the news, go outside, and meet people. Listen to their stories and tell them yours. I promise you will be surprised by how much good there still is in the world. Yeah, there is a lot of bad out there too, but don’t let the bad keep you from seeing the good. Be kind. Be compassionate. Remember that we are all human. We are all on this crazy ride called life together, and change starts with us. WE are the only ones who can make this world a better place for our children. And it all starts with kindness and compassion.

So, I challenge each and every one of you to go out and find someone different from you. Whether it be someone of a different race, political affiliation, or religious beliefs, and just talk to them. Learn from them. You never know, they might end up becoming a very important person in your life. Don’t let the media keep you from meeting new people just because they’re different from you. There are some really amazing people out there with amazing stories to tell. Go out and find them. Let’s leave our children a world full of kindness and compassion instead of a world full of hate and ignorance. Help me change the world, it’s just an arm’s reach away.

Shhhhhh

It’s 7:30am and my kid is still sleeping! Well, in my bed, but she’s still sleeping! What should I do with these 5 calm minutes before the storm?!? The possibilities are endless!

Quote 80!

This quote is from the book “Love Letters to the Dead.” I haven’t read the book because I tend to shy away from anything I think might make me sad, but I came across this quote on Pinterest and had the overwhelming urge to share it here. I’ve never had that happen on here before most of the quotes I pick are from a book I’m reading or just quotes I like in general. But, this one, this one was meant for someone. So, whoever you are, and whatever you’re going through, don’t you even think about giving up. I know from experience there are days when giving up feels like the only option but there’s always a better day ahead. You’re strong. You’re beautiful. And I am incredibly proud of you.