It’s always for someone else…

I have literally been trying to get the pen to pad for quite some time.  I have had so much to say and yet once I am at the computer, I just stare at the screen lost for words.  Before I even began a sentence just now, I stalled for hours.  It feels like you have a foggy head  and you are unsure where to start or even what takes precedence to even began to explain it.

The last few years have been a helluva ride and that’s putting it mildly.  These hills and valleys have been a force to be reckoned with and if I am being honest…scary.  Just when you think you have hit a peak, a storm so mighty makes you feel like you are suffocating, like your feet cannot reach the ground, and when you think you have it all figured out, a gust of wind knocks you flat on your back and you think the likelihood of recovering is nowhere to be found and just when you are ready to give up, the light shines so bright and you see the silver lining and realize it was all apart of the plan and you just had to trust the process.

For the past 2 years, I have been an emotional wreck.  For those that will read this, will probably be shocked to know that.  I’ve held that in and even uttering the words make me feel funny.  It makes me want to retreat, but that part of me, I’ve buried.  No more retreating, it’s time to face the music and be transparent because it’s never for us, it’s always for someone else.

I’ve been battling so many emotions.  I’ve never known what anxiety felt like until a year ago.  I hear people talk about anxiety.  I even hear people talk about the medicine they take to even cope with anxiety.  Thankfully I am not really into a ton of meds because I feel with the amount and severity of anxiety I have experienced, I would have been probably somewhere overdosed just to cope.

For starters, the anxiety began last year right after my family’s annual 4th of July vacation when my Grandmother was diagnosed with Lymphoma Cancer.  This was a blow that hit our family hard.  My Grandmother was always so vibrant and she lit up any room she entered because of her friendly personality.  My Grandmother along with my late Grandfather raised my brother, my sister, and myself.  Our family was so close and finding out she had cancer was scary for all of us, including her.

We were always with my Grandmother.  We were attached to her.  The relationship was different than most because as we got older, the relationship shifted.  She literally became our Best Friend.  She once told me, she thought of me as her Best Friend.  She raised her own 4 kids and then turned around and raised me and my siblings.  She even retired for the 2nd time at 79.  That’s how vibrant she was.  She couldn’t sit still.  She moved around better than most teenagers.  She was known for loving music and dancing.  So, to see her so down from being sick hurt and it hurt bad.

It hurt so bad, I developed anxiety.  No one knew this because I kept it a secret because I knew my role as the oldest was to make sure my family stayed positive and prayed up.  But, when I was alone, I was struggling bad.  I didn’t sleep good at all.  I was a walking zombie.  There were some nights that I couldn’t even catch my breath from hyperventilating so badly.  I cried so much that my eyes would be swollen and sore.  Even during the day I couldn’t focus because I was thinking about my Grandmother.  At night I was scared because every time my phone rung, I was in fear that it would be the “dreaded” call.  Did I mention months prior to finding out my maternal grandmother’s prognosis, I had just lost my paternal grandmother.  So, I had not even healed from that loss.  I was just not a good headspace. 

Did I also mention, my family lived in Atlanta and I had just moved to Michigan in 2015.  I was torn terribly.  A part of me wanted to just pack up and just run home and the other part of me had a life here with my husband in Michigan and I couldn’t just leave him.  I was riddled with guilt.  So, I went home as often as I could to visit my Grandmother.  My Grandmother and I had developed a routine over the years.  We talked every morning while on my way to work to get my daily dose of encouragement (she later revealed that it was I that was her encouragement) and I immediately would call her as soon as my work day ended to talk about my day.  Our usual greeting was “Hey Girl…..”  She really was my girl.  I could guarantee a good laugh because she was so funny and after our greeting, we talked about our day, and then next we would usually talk about my niece Zoe whom my sister had in 2014.  Zoe had surely awaken a different type of love in her because they became so close.  So close that Zoe didn’t even call her Grandma, she called her by her real name….Betty.

By now you can guess where this is leading up to.  But before we get to the ending, by the end of the year last year, my Grandmother had miraculously gotten better.  She was back to herself.  The months prior to that, we thought we were going to lose her so for it to just be 360, it puzzled us, but we were just thankful.  We wasn’t ready to lose her and clearly God was not ready to call her home. 

So many times while going this process we kept asking my Grandmother to fight.  She has been our strength, our backbone, our everything…..our Matriarch. We just was not ready to let her go and though she kept telling us she was tired, and though we couldn’t understand it because it was a side of her we just existed.  She was our everything.  She saved us so many years ago and later I believe she felt we saved her too.  So, I changed my prayers.  I asked God to give her the fighting strength but if He was ready for her, to help us to not be selfish and help us to see that her staying could not be because we didn’t think we could live here without.   But in true fashion, my Grandmother fought and because she had always put everyone before her, I knew she was fighting for us and she couldn’t go until she felt we would be okay.  She seemed to start improving and we all could breath just a little bit better. 

 The new year began and low and behold it all fell apart again. We were right back to where it started and it was a slow and painful process.  By February, the doctors told us there was nothing else they could do for her and we were given 3 options; rehab, hospice care at a facility, or hospice care at home.  We along with my Grandmother decided on hospice home care.  At that point it was all about comfort.  Even with hospice home care we were still hopeful because she seemed better than what she had been previously.  Even with her family and friends visiting, no one could believe she was sick.   

On March 1st, 2 days before my 36th birthday that dreaded call came.  I had thought about how I would react to better cope with the inevitable.  But, you can’t really know until you are faced with it.  The call came from my sister just as it had been 12 years ago when my grandfather had passed.  I felt like my soul left my body.  The only thing that was on my mind was getting to Atlanta to be with my siblings because I knew they needed me. 

My Grandmother was laid to rest beautifully on March 11th.  I thank God for giving me 36 years to spend with her.  I thank God for giving her 81 wonderful years on this earth.  It was her turn to rest because she had given so much of herself.  Even to the very end, she was thinking of others, but I know in my heart that she was not going to leave here until she knew in her heart that we would be able to continue on without her.  She was truly an example of how it is always for someone else.  She was the most selfless person I have ever met.  I have drawn so much inspiration for the life she lived and all the love she poured into me.  With everything she taught us, we can take those lessons and continue her legacy. 

Image-1

The title of this post was drawn from inspiration of a line said in the season finale of “The Walking Dead”.  Funny thing is the season finally was April 2nd and I have literally watched this episode specifically for the scene below between Sasha and Abraham several times.  It stood out to me and it stayed with me and I found it to be so befitting to my Grandmother and what she gave to not only our lives, but to so many other lives she had touched.

 

“It’s always for someone else”That line made mflower-blesse think about why we are placed here. I’ve always prayed for Blessings to Bless others.  I whole heartedly believe a lot of what we go through; the trials, the tribulations, the struggle, the ups, and the downs. It’s not always for us, but to help others.  How we get over can very well be the encouragement the next person needs.

My Grandmother is missed tremendously but I am at peace knowing that she is no longer suffering and that she can finally rest peacefully.  We will always carry her in our heart and remember all the good times.  I thank God we cherished her while we had her here.

Betty Collage

Betty Jean Williams                                                                

 September 16, 1935-March 1, 2017

 

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It’s always for someone else…

I have literally been trying to get the pen to pad for quite some time.  I have had so much to say and yet once I am at the computer, I just stare at the screen lost for words.  Before I even began a sentence just now, I stalled for hours.  It feels like you have a foggy head  and you are unsure where to start or even what takes precedence to even began to explain it.

The last few years have been a helluva ride and that’s putting it mildly.  These hills and valleys have been a force to be reckoned with and if I am being honest…scary.  Just when you think you have hit a peak, a storm so mighty makes you feel like you are suffocating, like your feet cannot reach the ground, and when you think you have it all figured out, a gust of wind knocks you flat on your back and you think the likelihood of recovering is nowhere to be found and just when you are ready to give up, the light shines so bright and you see the silver lining and realize it was all apart of the plan and you just had to trust the process.

For the past 2 years, I have been an emotional wreck.  For those that will read this, will probably be shocked to know that.  I’ve held that in and even uttering the words make me feel funny.  It makes me want to retreat, but that part of me, I’ve buried.  No more retreating, it’s time to face the music and be transparent because it’s never for us, it’s always for someone else.

I’ve been battling so many emotions.  I’ve never known what anxiety felt like until a year ago.  I hear people talk about anxiety.  I even hear people talk about the medicine they take to even cope with anxiety.  Thankfully I am not really into a ton of meds because I feel with the amount and severity of anxiety I have experienced, I would have been probably somewhere overdosed just to cope.

For starters, the anxiety began last year right after my family’s annual 4th of July vacation when my Grandmother was diagnosed with Lymphoma Cancer.  This was a blow that hit our family hard.  My Grandmother was always so vibrant and she lit up any room she entered because of her friendly personality.  My Grandmother along with my late Grandfather raised my brother, my sister, and myself.  Our family was so close and finding out she had cancer was scary for all of us, including her.

We were always with my Grandmother.  We were attached to her.  The relationship was different than most because as we got older, the relationship shifted.  She literally became our Best Friend.  She once told me, she thought of me as her Best Friend.  She raised her own 4 kids and then turned around and raised me and my siblings.  She even retired for the 2nd time at 79.  That’s how vibrant she was.  She couldn’t sit still.  She moved around better than most teenagers.  She was known for loving music and dancing.  So, to see her so down from being sick hurt and it hurt bad.

It hurt so bad, I developed anxiety.  No one knew this because I kept it a secret because I knew my role as the oldest was to make sure my family stayed positive and prayed up.  But, when I was alone, I was struggling bad.  I didn’t sleep good at all.  I was a walking zombie.  There were some nights that I couldn’t even catch my breath from hyperventilating so badly.  I cried so much that my eyes would be swollen and sore.  Even during the day I couldn’t focus because I was thinking about my Grandmother.  At night I was scared because every time my phone rung, I was in fear that it would be the “dreaded” call.  Did I mention months prior to finding out my maternal grandmother’s prognosis, I had just lost my paternal grandmother.  So, I had not even healed from that loss.  I was just not a good headspace. 

Did I also mention, my family lived in Atlanta and I had just moved to Michigan in 2015.  I was torn terribly.  A part of me wanted to just pack up and just run home and the other part of me had a life here with my husband in Michigan and I couldn’t just leave him.  I was riddled with guilt.  So, I went home as often as I could to visit my Grandmother.  My Grandmother and I had developed a routine over the years.  We talked every morning while on my way to work to get my daily dose of encouragement (she later revealed that it was I that was her encouragement) and I immediately would call her as soon as my work day ended to talk about my day.  Our usual greeting was “Hey Girl…..”  She really was my girl.  I could guarantee a good laugh because she was so funny and after our greeting, we talked about our day, and then next we would usually talk about my niece Zoe whom my sister had in 2014.  Zoe had surely awaken a different type of love in her because they became so close.  So close that Zoe didn’t even call her Grandma, she called her by her real name….Betty.

By now you can guess where this is leading up to.  But before we get to the ending, by the end of the year last year, my Grandmother had miraculously gotten better.  She was back to herself.  The months prior to that, we thought we were going to lose her so for it to just be 360, it puzzled us, but we were just thankful.  We wasn’t ready to lose her and clearly God was not ready to call her home. 

So many times while going this process we kept asking my Grandmother to fight.  She has been our strength, our backbone, our everything…..our Matriarch. We just was not ready to let her go and though she kept telling us she was tired, and though we couldn’t understand it because it was a side of her we just existed.  She was our everything.  She saved us so many years ago and later I believe she felt we saved her too.  So, I changed my prayers.  I asked God to give her the fighting strength but if He was ready for her, to help us to not be selfish and help us to see that her staying could not be because we didn’t think we could live here without.   But in true fashion, my Grandmother fought and because she had always put everyone before her, I knew she was fighting for us and she couldn’t go until she felt we would be okay.  She seemed to start improving and we all could breath just a little bit better. 

 The new year began and low and behold it all fell apart again. We were right back to where it started and it was a slow and painful process.  By February, the doctors told us there was nothing else they could do for her and we were given 3 options; rehab, hospice care at a facility, or hospice care at home.  We along with my Grandmother decided on hospice home care.  At that point it was all about comfort.  Even with hospice home care we were still hopeful because she seemed better than what she had been previously.  Even with her family and friends visiting, no one could believe she was sick.   

On March 1st, 2 days before my 36th birthday that dreaded call came.  I had thought about how I would react to better cope with the inevitable.  But, you can’t really know until you are faced with it.  The call came from my sister just as it had been 12 years ago when my grandfather had passed.  I felt like my soul left my body.  The only thing that was on my mind was getting to Atlanta to be with my siblings because I knew they needed me. 

My Grandmother was laid to rest beautifully on March 11th.  I thank God for giving me 36 years to spend with her.  I thank God for giving her 81 wonderful years on this earth.  It was her turn to rest because she had given so much of herself.  Even to the very end, she was thinking of others, but I know in my heart that she was not going to leave here until she knew in her heart that we would be able to continue on without her.  She was truly an example of how it is always for someone else.  She was the most selfless person I have ever met.  I have drawn so much inspiration for the life she lived and all the love she poured into me.  With everything she taught us, we can take those lessons and continue her legacy. 

Image-1

The title of this post was drawn from inspiration of a line said in the season finale of “The Walking Dead”.  Funny thing is the season finally was April 2nd and I have literally watched this episode specifically for the scene below between Sasha and Abraham several times.  It stood out to me and it stayed with me and I found it to be so befitting to my Grandmother and what she gave to not only our lives, but to so many other lives she had touched.

 

“It’s always for someone else”.  That line made mflower-blesse think about why we are placed here. I’ve always prayed for Blessings to Bless others.  I whole heartedly believe a lot of what we go through; the trials, the tribulations, the struggle, the ups, and the downs. It’s not always for us, but to help others.  How we get over can very well be the encouragement the next person needs.

My Grandmother is missed tremendously but I am at peace knowing that she is no longer suffering and that she can finally rest peacefully.  We will always carry her in our heart and remember all the good times.  I thank God we cherished her while we had her here.

Betty Collage

Betty Jean Williams                                                                 September 16, 1935-March 1, 2017

 

Confessions of a Writer…..Through the looking Glass

Traveling down the trail of life
Destination unknown
Rough patches heavily worn
The looking lens bear no resemblances
The tattered mirror reveals the emptiness
Dare I nudge the conflicted connection
Wait…..there lies no reflection
Swaying between the fact and fiction
Teetering without a mission
Where this train stops, there ain’t no telling
Mind Battered and wounded
Wrapped up tightly it stays bounded
Forceful grin to he who looks within
The only thing that captivates me is the desire to win
Constraints to stay sane
To mask the constant pain
The struggling tributes that stain
The mere existence brings rain
Trudging through the mud
How did it flood?
Walking blindly through the obstacles
Feeling bare backed without a cover
Quick…..somebody hide me
Daring to break free
Hidden solutions taunt me often
Thoughts of the internal fire outweigh the sin
11:13 means more than what the clock reads
It’s life over death
The ending to begin
The trump card to all that fell behind
Learning and relating
Relating to learn
Saying yes to the task
That had already begun
And as rambled as this all seemed
Somehow, somebody just might believe the dream
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13 things I learned in 2013

***I’ve been trying to get this post out for the last 15 days, but finally here it is***

2013 sucked!  Okay, Okay…..I know that sounds a bit harsh, but it’s true.  2013 had some highs, but oh did it have some lows!  2013 was like a roller coaster and I surely felt when it would incline and the gut wrenching drops.  The best part about it is, you know the roller coaster will eventually stop and as you unbuckle your seat belt, you smile and walk away with a t-shirt bearing the words, “I survived to tell the story.”

2013 was a year of plentiful lessons that needed to be taught and lessons that needed to be learned.  I can raise my hand confidently and say I received both.  The biggest lesson for me was patience, understanding, and most of all……growth.  I learned just how strong I was and boy I thought I knew my own strength.  I accomplished a few small goals and I gained a few long-term goals.  But most of all……I made it!!

Of all the things I learned in 2013, here are 13 things that stood out and gave me the biggest lessons:

1.  Just because it sounds good in my head and even look great on paper, it still doesn’t mean it will happen that way.

Earlier in 2013(January) I moved back to Georgia without my Husband because I got transferred through my job.  The plan had been I would get here and continue working and by the end of the month, he would be here with a job.  Clearly we both missed the memo because He didn’t arrive until August.

2.  Just How much I loved my Husband

I love my Husband clearly because I married him, but being separate from my Husband for those 8 months was the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with.  Even though we were visiting back and forth between South Carolina and Georgia, it wasn’t enough.  I really missed my husband.  Which brings me to #3…..

3.  I cannot sleep peacefully without my Husband

I know that sounds just as cheesy as can be, but it is absolutely true!  Being away from my Husband left me tossing and turning many nights because you seriously get use to sleeping next to your spouse.  I got the best sleep when I would go to South Carolina and visit or when he would come to Georgia to visit me.

4.  Stressing only makes it worse

I learned really quickly that stressing about any situation will not change the outcome.  It only leaves you with plenty of headaches because in the end, it usually works itself out anyhow.

5.  The Truth really does Hurt

You know how you just know something, but yet it doesn’t make sense until you actually see it up close and personal.  Well, that is what I experienced a lot in 2013.

6. It’s really okay to say No

I do not have a hard time saying No, but what I do struggle with is saying No to certain people.  Last year I was able to say No to some people who I wouldn’t generally say No to and it felt really good.  Good enough to do it again if I need to….lol!

7. Crying is not a sign of weakness

I cry.  Actually I am a cry baby.  You would never know it unless you are family, a bestie(best friend), or my husband.  I am that tough girl exterior, but a softy at heart.  I always thought letting people know you cry shows that you are weak, but last year that changed.  I learned that it is not a sign of weakness.  However, crying does help release whatever you have pinned up inside.  There were times crying was exactly what I needed and I could just move on to whatever it was that might have been bothering me.

8.  The tongue is a mighty weapon.

I am so guilty of speaking before I think.  This is just beyond the “Oh, I tell it like it is”.  Bottom line……you have to chose your words carefully and every battle is not even worth having.  Because if it is going to cause you grief and the party(s) involved, then it was never worth it to begin with.  You cannot take back words.  People forgive, but it is sometimes hard to forget.

9.  Dust yourself Off and Try again.

There is a quote that always stick out in my head by retired basketball player Michael Jordan…..”I can accept failure, everyone fails at something.  But, I cannot accept not trying again.”  It’s okay to keep trying because you will never know if you can, if you do not try.

10.  It’s okay to be taken care of.

I am so used to taking care of others that when it is my turn, it actually feels foreign.  Well, there were a few times last year, especially the last few weeks of the year that I had to surrender and be taken care of.  And it felt good to finally accept that it’s okay.

11.  Family and Friendship is important.

Sometimes when you do go through things and having your family there to support you through it, makes a difference.  I could not have gotten through some parts of last year without Family and close friends.

12.  Write the Vision.

My favorite scripture is Habakkuk 2:2-3.

“Write the vision
And make it plain on tablets,
That he may run who reads it.
For the vision is yet for an appointed time;
But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
Because it will surely come,
It will not tarry.”

This has always been my go-to scripture over the last several years. Matter of fact, “Writing the vision” was prophesied to me at the start of the year.  For me, seeing it is believing it.  If I see it written then I can commit it to memory and believe that it shall come to pass.

13.  I will never truly be at peace until I am walking in my God-given talents.

This is something I have known for quite sometime, but last year it was at the height of a lot of issues I was having mentally.  My state of mind by the end of the year was that I must push and push until I am exactly where I am supposed to be.  We fight for a lot of things and for me, that is what I am fighting for and I will not stop until I am there.

2013 was all about the lessons.  2014 will be about growth.  Growing into what was given to me at birth and flourishing into what has already been planned.  I welcome 2014 with open arms.  15 days into this new year and I can already see the start of this growth.  And the Journey continues……

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