Jordan

April 30, 2017

Munch turned 9 today. I’m having a party for him later today. I’m excited. He’s excited. Yet, I’m sad. Every year as I watch him grow I’m in fear of his safety. I try to block it out. I try to think positive, but something happens that reminds me that my son has a bulls eye on his back.

Today it was Jordan Edwards death. Jordan was a straight-A student, talented athlete who came from a two-parent home. Yet, even with those stats he wasn’t safe. He was 15 years old and the day before Munch’s 9th birthday he was murdered.

Munch will be 15 in six years. How can I protect him when it seems that our police are trained to fear their life and shoot without thinking? He didn’t do anything. To many what ifs play in my mind. What if Munch is riding in a car? What if Munch is walking home from the store? What if Munch is playing with his friends outside? I can’t breathe some days thinking about the what ifs. The list is endless.

My mind is in a daze this morning. I must check my emotions, put on some make up and smile because this is the day that I brought forth life. A mother is mourning the loss of her son as I sit preparing to celebrate mine. I will pray for that mother and her family. I will love on my son and kiss harder and love harder than ever before.

This has got to stop.

Black is beautiful.

He is beautiful.

He is loved.

J

This post was part of the A2Z challenge and the letter “J” is for Jordan. My posts will be written as a journal style for the challenge and will be on the theme: Mothering While Black. I hope you enjoyed it.

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

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Anguish

July 6, 2016

Today I cried. A silent cry. Tears streamed down my face. I stifled my anguish. I silenced the wail that was building in my throat. Another. Another black man was shot by the police. This time in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He was 37. He had a name. It was Alton Sterling. He had a family.

He was more than the media make him out to be. He is was more. He was a father. He was a son. He wasn’t alone.

Second day of blood shed. I watched the video and tried to rationalize that something must have happened. But, I couldn’t. I couldn’t understand this murder. It was murder right?

Another black man who leaves behind a black son who will always remember that his father was murdered. In cold blood. At a gas station. Who will protect and serve him from this tragedy?

He will grow up. He won’t forget. None of us will. I pray that his anger and rage are used for positive. I pray that he sees that he will be the force of change.

I pray that his mother will get the strength to preach love and peace in a chaotic time to the black boy that she must raise alone. That she knows that heavy the crown she wears now because it is at this point that she must choose love no matter how easy it is to choose hate. I pray that she doesn’t succumb to the pain and leave her son alone to fend for himself because he needs her. He needs everyone. He needs to know that he is not alone.

I stifle my anger and anguish and think of the words of Langston Hughes poem: A Dream Deferred:

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?

I shall pray harder tonight. I shall hold my son harder. I shall kiss him longer. I shall pray that this madness stops. I shall pray that no more mothers have to bury their children. I shall try to scrub the bulls eye off his back.

If only for one more night.

A

This post was part of the A2Z challenge and the letter “A” is for anguish. My posts will be written as a journal style for the challenge and will be on the theme: Mothering While Black. I hope you enjoyed it.

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Welcome April

It’s April 1st. We made it to the second quarter of 2018. It’s also Easter and April Fool’s Day what are the odds of that?

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Have you set your second quarter goals yet? Have you started to think about your vacation plans or summer camp or college if your children are graduating soon? It can all be overwhelming but I want to encourage you to remember to put God above all plans that you made today and each day going forward. I know that our list of To Do’s can always get long, but we have to stay focused. I’m thankful for each and everyone of you and I pray that you have an amazing second quarter at an amazing Easter!

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Comeback Advice

Woohoo!

It’s Friday! If you woke up this morning and you’re reading this…Be Grateful. There are those that didn’t wake up and further those that would kill to be in your position. Life’s rough. We all have setbacks that are setups for a comeback. Are you working on your comeback or are you still settling in your setback?

Trust that everything happens for a reason. Although we may not understand it in the middle of all the chaos,I promise that if you get up and get moving you can make it another day. Isn’t that what we all want? To make it through another day? To pull ourselves out of the funk and keep going?

Do it. There’s nothing like the present. You can only change how you deal with things.

I’ve been consumed by the drama before. Letting it affect and stress me the hell out. I am deciding not to do it. To get out of my own way and create my own peace in the chaos. And you know what? I have that right and so do you.

Let me tell you that sometimes all you can do in the middle of a storm is yell out “Not today Satan. My faith is rooted in the ONE who promised me victory.” Really, that’s all you can do. You can’t let the pain of your situation embed deep in your soul and destroy the very fabric of who you are. You are amazing. You are worth more than the bulls*it that people throw at you.

You are pretty darn awesome! Focus on moving forward. Your comeback is greater than your struggle. You have to trust that in everything that you do there is a season and you have to trust that the season you may find yourself in right now, will not always stay the same.

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Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Cursing and Conflict

One of the things that I’m trying in my relationship with Mr. C is to make sure that we have constructive conflict. Conflict happens as part of any relationship. It’s normal. It’s natural. But, many people (myself included) either avoid conflict or we aren’t taught how conflict is supposed to work.

My marriage was an example of this. We didn’t have healthy conflict. We saw many therapists and one relationship therapist turned us on to Gottman’s method for couples :

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The goals of the Gottman method are “to disarm conflicting verbal communication, increase intimacy, respect, and affection, remove barriers that create a feeling of stagnancy in conflicting situations, and create a heightened sense of empathy and understanding within the context of the relationship.”

It sounds awesome in theory, but it was hard to do.  We didn’t get too far. It wasn’t our therapist fault. I got put on bed rest and couldn’t continue in the therapy sessions. My pregnancy was high risk so I didn’t want to discuss stressful things that could endanger my baby. So, I chose to stop it. The baby’s life was more important to me than working on my marriage.

I stifled the pain and frustrations of my marriage and focused on my baby. I was determined to carry my pregnancy to term so we in essence avoided the conflict. It wasn’t healthy. It was unsettling. We didn’t fight fair. Our foundation wasn’t built on solid ground and it began to crack after Munch was born.

We couldn’t communicate to save our lives. Neither of us had learned how to effectively communicate in relationships and that has moved into a major reason why we don’t communicate well now. Good communication is essential to anything you want to do in a relationship and let’s be real…co-parenting is a relationship.

I realized that I couldn’t do it alone with co-parenting, but I had to shift how I let things affect me. However, in my relationship with Mr. C this shift in poor communication was not something that I was willing to sacrifice. I was okay being alone. Learning how to communicate mainly through texts and emails was something I’ve gotten used to in co-parenting, but I needed a man that would talk to me, lead me and love me through our issues. Especially those that involved communication.

I am learning to be more open with Mr. C. To express my discontent on issues or frustrations in a way that he will hear me, but not make me feel as though I’m blowing things out of a proportion. I needed to make sure that we are practicing healthy communication behaviors. So, I did what I do best and began to research effective ways to communicate and how to have healthy conflict resolution.

I focused on my communication skills and wanted to research “fair fighting” and healthy conflict. I needed to know how to communicate my dissatisfaction in a relationship without it escalating into World War III. I wanted to be able to increase intimacy, respect and affection like in the Gottman method without either of us cussing each other out and I wanted to make sure that we understood our end goal was always to be heard and respected.

-To Be Continued-

 

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.0

Finding the Beauty in Broken Things

This was one of the topics my therapist and I discussed a couple of weeks ago. She was telling me that I needed to find the beauty in the broken things and stop being so pessimistic. I couldn’t help it. I literally felt like everything around me was falling apart and that life was dragging me along.

I felt alone.

I know you’re probably thinking, “T, how can you be alone if you have this great guy that you love and adore and is good to you?” Easy – he’s not always there. We don’t live together so sometimes I am the one fighting for his attention when he has many other things going on. Not that I’m jealous. He takes care of a lot of people. I know that. I support that. But…

Sometimes my mind makes me believe that there is no one when I’m going through the storm. I can sit there and call my top five people and they are all busy. They will usually call back, but in the middle of my self-imposed crisis, I feel like I’m drowning. In the ocean with no raft.

That’s when my therapist told me that I needed to change my mindset. That I was being consumed by the negative and I needed to see the beauty in the broken things. She was explaining how there is a Japanese art form called kintsugi that uses gold to fill in the broken pieces of bowls. “The Japanese art of kintsugi teaches that broken objects are not something to hide but to display with pride.” – Steffano Carnazzi , LifeGate

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That’s what she wanted me to remember that life may seem broken and I may get overwhelmed, but I need to sit back and see the beauty of all that is around me. There is beauty within me no matter what. She said you’re like that bowl.

She said that I need to stop being overwhelmed by the issues/situations that are affecting me and celebrate some of my successes. So, I’m doing that. Here are three success that I’m sharing with you today:

  • I’m a TODAY Parenting team contributor. I’m truly excited about this. Baby steps.
  • I wrote two grants for my son’s school last year that were approved and will be funded. Pretty cool huh?
  • I pitched two pieces last week and I’m hoping that they will be picked up. Hey, the worst they can say is no, right?

That’s about it. I know that I have a lot of people praying for me and Munch and I truly am grateful. I just need to change my attitude and start counting my successes more than my failures. There are a lot out there and I’m just in awe of God’s grace.

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Note: I do not own the rights to these photos. A Google search showed on kintsugi images showed them.

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

The Sins of My Father

I have a confession. I’ve struggled with forgiveness for so long. I told ya’ll about what my therapist said about how I gave my dad grace and not forgiveness. So, here I am feeling somewhat guilty because it has been 3 weeks since my dad called me. He called me on my birthday.

The first time in 34 years. Do you know how disappointed I used to be each and every year? But, God. Each year got easier. I realized that it just didn’t matter to him.

Until 2018. I guess it did matter. He called and left a message saying Happy Birthday. 

I haven’t returned his call. I made up excuses. I had some real stuff going on and real health issues that took priority. But, I haven’t called him back. Why?

I honestly don’t know. I think I am just struggling with my feelings for him. So, I’ve been trying to catch up on some blog posts. Forgive me for my delays. Muddling through emails, throwing myself back in work and then I read two posts about forgiveness.  I stopped.

One was by Maya Moore entitled Football & Forgiveness  and the other by Chris Weatherly entitled What I Wish Everyone Understood About Forgiveness. Two posts in less than 30 minutes about forgiveness? What was going on?

It was as though God was speaking to me. Talking to me. Telling me to push forward and understand where I’m at and decide where I want to be. To talk to him and to let him know. The truth.

I declined to do so. Me and God don’t always see eye to eye, but I know that in the end His word is forevermore, no matter how stubborn I am. So, I pushed his voice to the side and kept it moving. Until Chris Weatherly posted this:

via What I Wish Everyone Understood about Forgiveness

I couldn’t hide anymore. I couldn’t ignore. God was trying to tell me something.

Please read these posts about forgiveness. It will truly encourage you. Are you struggling like me?

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Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.