Happy Independence Day!

Happy 4th of July!  The 4th of July commemorates our adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The Declaration of Independence said that Americans were no longer under British rule. Instead, the thirteen British colonies came together to become our own country.

I know it seems that we live in a country of over stimulation and unpopularity, but it is still a great country. Not by those who choose to discriminate against us, but by the people who want and know how awesome America is. There is a lot wrong with us right now, but we are still here united and determined to make this country a great one.

One of the most famous passages of the Declaration of Independence is “We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

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Remember that we are all created equally. We all have rights. We give government power. We are one. Happy 4th of July America!

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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/.

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The Introduction

This is the 110th year anniversary of my church. We had a homecoming celebration the weekend of July 8th through July 10th where we had a praise celebration through song and dance, our church picnic and of course church on Sunday.

It was an awesome filled weekend of activities and after the week America had, there was no other place I wanted to be than with other folks praising and worshipping Jesus. I needed a spiritual rejuvenation and a renewing of my mind. I had to get my focus back after the violence we saw. So, I headed to the Lord’s house to fellowship.

I invited one of my besties back to the church because she was a former member that I wanted to invite home.  I invited a couple of other people, my girlfriend Christine and her family were invited to the church picnic and Mr. C was invited to church on Friday night for the praise session.

This was the first time that I had ever invited a man to see the place where I worshipped. To visit my church. To be a part of something so profound in my life. I paused for a second wondering if I was ready.

Truth is…I was. This is the best way to get to know me. Knowing what is important to me. My faith is important to me so I wanted to share that with him. It was also the first time that he would meet Munch.

I wasn’t worried. Munch wanted to meet him. Munch sees his name on the car dash as we converse back and forth in the mornings and on the way home in the evenings. He asked to meet him a couple of month’s ago. I asked him why. His response was “I know all your friends.”

He’s right. He does. I don’t have any friendships that I call meaningful and they haven’t met my son. My son is an integral part of who I am and all that I value. So, I asked Mr. C if he wanted to come to church. He asked “Won’t your son be there?” “Yes” I replied. He came.

My bestie and god son sat next to each other and Mr. C came later and sat in the back. He came over after church service and I introduced him to my Munch. I said “Munch, this is Mr. C. You said you wanted to meet him.” He smiled and shook his hand and said “Hi”. It was cool.

Munch was cool with it. Munch mentioned that he wanted to meet him because I’m always talking about him. He said, “Mommy always tells you the bad stuff I do.” Mr. C laughed. I replied, “Nope, I tell him the good and the bad. He gives me encouragement and clarity on how to deal with your moods love. He has a son. He’s been through this before.” Munch said, “But, I don’t want you to tell him the bad stuff.” I laughed.

It was over. No worries about him meeting someone. He had met someone in the most special place…church. He wasn’t concerned that mommy had a new friend. He was more concerned that I shared the “bad things” he did. My child is hilarious.

Just like that my parenting fear was over. All the moments where I struggled to decide if I wanted my son to ever meet someone went down the drain. I was now able to allow the fluidity of the situation to occur.

It’s been 9 months since I met Mr. C and now my son can put a face to a name. We are slowly enjoying this process of getting to know each other and our families. It takes time. I’m learning patience.

Next up though…we are actually going to do a Color Run in DC in October and bring our sons. Exercise and partying. That should be interesting.

Happy 8 Year Anniversary

It’s been 8 years since I’ve been on this blogging journey. I actually went a while without blogging because motherhood got in the way. I vowed in 2014 to write more. Share more. Do more.

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Since that time, my blog has grown in followers, readers and posts. I actually started posting more in 2015 than ever before and converted from Blogger to WordPress. I bought my own domain and customized my logo. I hope to be able to write more in the coming years and just continue to be transparent with you. I never thought that this blogging thing would catch on, but it has and I’m grateful.

Check out my first post ever here:

https://athomaspointofview.com/2008/01/22/mlk-weekend/

After you read it, you will see that a lot has changed in 8 years, but I’m thankful for the experiences. I’m definitely stronger. Life is different, but interesting all the same. I don’t regret my failures, just praying that I learned the lesson in everything.

Happy 8 Year Anniversary to My Blog!

The Number 7

Yesterday was an emotional day for me. I saw the number 7 everywhere. I woke up late at 6:27 a.m. I was late dropping my son off at school. It was 7:55. I got stopped at 7 red lights between my son’s school and getting on the beltway. I arrived to work late at 8:37. I got on a conference call that was supposed to be 30 minutes long and it ended after 37 minutes.

Seven was everywhere. If I was a gambling woman, I probably would have gotten a few lottery tickets with those 7’s in it. But, I don’t gamble. I remembered the significance of the day when I glanced at the calendar and began drinking my coffee. I knew why I was seeing the number 7. It’s been seven years since I lost my best friend.

Brennan Copeland (my cousin) was smart, attractive, attentive and loving. He was my best friend. He was the man I named my son after. He died seven years ago on the 15th of December. He lost his battle with cancer.

Brennan and I were like brother and sister. We were 9 months apart. He was my hero. God had truly designed a man to love me without restrictions, hesitation or ill-will. That all-encompassing agape love. Brennan or as we called him “Boo-Bop” taught me many things. He was full of charisma, intelligence and always had these quirky sayings. Many things he said, I couldn’t repeat on this blog, but trust me when I tell you that he had a sense of humor.

I was fiercely loyal and protective of Boo-Bop. I often challenged his love for me. I would cause drama in his life to test his love. See if that would stop him from loving me. It didn’t. No matter what I did he always forgave me. He loved me and had my back.

On December 15, 2007, seven years ago, I felt my baby move for the first time. I screamed for my husband. I told him that I felt the baby move. He reached for my stomach. I yelled, “Hand me the phone.” I called my sister. I asked her was it too soon?  I was 16 weeks and 3 days. I told her it felt like someone was tickling me with a feather inside of my stomach. She said, “Nope, that’s your baby moving. He’s freakishly huge. It’s quite normal for big babies to move.” We laughed at my baby.

Seven minutes after I hung up with my sister, my mom called to say that my cousin had died. Seven.

Seven years later and I started looking at the significance of seven and here’s what I learned about the number seven and my faith. According to Bible Study.org, “Seven is the number of completeness and perfection (both physical and spiritual). It derives much of its meaning from being tied directly to God’s creation of all things.” How awesome is that? Completion.

My cousin had faith. He is with God. Seven years later both physically and mentally I am in a much better place. I miss him immensely. But, I know that as I’m finishing this at 12:37 that he is truly watching over me and all that I’ve learned since he has passed.

Seven years later. I’m stronger, smarter and more aware of who I am more so than I’ve ever been. Seven.

There is completion and spirituality in the number seven. I’ve found peace and understanding in seven. Guess what? My word count is 577. Seven is good.

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Great Marriages and the Reality

My Facebook friend posted this link last month for a piece entitled “It’s time to accept this fact: A really great marriage is rare”.  I read the article and the researcher made some great points. It wasn’t a woman arguing that people shouldn’t get married, but that great marriages were rare and that there has been a shift in our society whereby women don’t need to marry because of the shift in our circumstances and/or cultural norms. Women have more options and don’t need men for financial security, sexual satisfaction, to have children or for social approval. Women have in essence changed the game. We’ve become more powerful.

I pondered that theory and I have to say that the researcher has a point. When you look at the changes in our society over the years, you see that not only in other races, but especially in the black community, there is a shift. More black women are earning more than their black male counterparts. Thus, it makes it harder for college educated women to find their ideal black man “IBM” who has equal or more to her in terms of wealth. Black women are working hard and waiting until later to get married. But, when you’re ready to get married, your IBM doesn’t come in riding on a white horse to sweep you off your feet.

Fairytales are just that. Fairytales. Not meant to provide any form of reality for our young girls. But, could I as a feminist really truly believe that I needed a man for anything? I don’t know if I was ever sold on the whole happily ever after fairytale that other little girls were taught because I knew better. My reality didn’t include a happy queen and a happy king. In my post yesterday, I talked about how my dad is an alcoholic so any chances of a prince charming taking care of me were replaced with the reality that he didn’t exist. People had faults.

Those faults translated into the fact that I grew up in a single parent home and I knew that I never wanted to be like my mother. She wasn’t a bad mother. She just short changed her life to have me and my siblings and to be a wife. Would she have made the same decisions now in today’s society? I don’t know. I would like to think no. I think she would have given birth to me and gone back to college like my grandfather insisted. I think she would have accepted that she could be considered a social pariah in a small town, but she would have been just fine raising a child on her own after getting her degree. She would have been considered a game changer by my standards.

But, she didn’t change the game. She followed her heart and cultural norms. Those norms shaped and impacted my belief in marriage. That fostered with the environmental factors and social shifts helped me realize one thing…I didn’t need to get married. I didn’t need a man for anything. Men were dispensable objects that had no real value other than fixing my car, maintenance on my house or just friends who I could toss ideas about my career path with. Not worthy of having the title of husband or father because I was jaded and I didn’t believe in happily ever after. I would never sacrifice my career to be a wife or mother. It wasn’t an option.

However, that changed when I found someone who wanted to marry me with my flaws and all. With my jaded view of reality in tow, he sought about finding refuge in my heart and spirit so that he could show me or whether prove to me that men weren’t dispensable objects and I could be both a wife and a mother and I would love it. Problem was that I didn’t love it. I loved him. I loved our family. I loved our son. But, I didn’t want to live my life being disappointed and feeling lonely and unloved. Yes, people have problems. I get that, but when the problem is the two people what do you do?

You make a decision on how your life will play out.  Whether it be a comedy, love story or tragedy, you have to know marriage is what you make it. It takes two people who share, not only the same value of marriage, but the desire to keep it healthy and functioning. You will make mistakes, nothing is perfect, but if you want to find someone who at the end of the day you would rather fight with than without then you have hit the jackpot.

“The painful truth is that really great marriages exist, but they are rare. What we as a society should probably be telling married people is, “If you have love, passion, companionship and equality in your marriage, you are wealthy beyond words. If you don’t, you have two choices. You can decide that your marriage is the best you’re going to get and try to be content. Alternatively, you can leave your marriage to play the lottery of finding that perfect partner, accepting that you are unlikely to win and may have to stay single for the rest of your life.” – Danielle Teller

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September 11th – My Story

It was a warm day. I was a new transplant to NYC having only lived there for the last three months. I was still naive and afraid of the “big city” so I would wake up every day and make my fiance look at me to confirm that he knew what I was wearing when I walked out the door. You know in case, I got kidnapped and murdered on the way to or from work? Naive right?

I was wearing a red light weight sweater and navy blue pants that I had just bought from the mall inside of the north tower of the World Trade Center that weekend. I woke my fiance up to look at my outfit and hurried down the steps of our fifth floor walk up apartment to catch the #6 train downtown to Brooklyn. I was working for a company in Metrotech, downtown Brooklyn, right over the bridge. I walked in the office with a cup of coffee and began to check my messages.

As I began to work, I received a call from a billing agent for one of our health plans about the erroneous billing for terminated members. I was frustrated. We got off the phone and I walked to find my boss to tell him the news. He was walking towards his office as I was approaching him. His head was down with tears in his eyes. I began talking and I stopped and asked “Keith, what’s wrong? Is everything okay?” He said, “No, a plane just hit the World Trade Center.” I asked, “Someone, can’t fly?” He responded, “New York City has a no fly zone. This wasn’t an accident.” He told me to look out the window of the executive conference room.

I walked to the executive conference room and stood there with three other co-workers and saw the north tower on fire. It was just before 9 am and I stood there in shock. Five minutes later I saw the second plane hit. I screamed. People started yelling, “This is not an accident”. I was in shock and said, “I need to call my fiance”. I ran to the phone to try and call my house.

There was no dial tone. I kept pressing the button on the phone by the receptionist’s desk over and over. Trying to get a dial tone. Finally, I heard the dial tone and called home. My fiance answered, “Are you okay?” I responded, “Yeah, I think so. What is this?” He yelled, “I don’t know. Get out of Brooklyn now. Get home.” I responded, “How can I come home?” He responded, “I’m going to call Muhammad to try and get you to his house.” I replied, “Okay, I will try and call you back. I need to call my mom.”

I rushed back to the window to see what was going on. With tears running down my eyes I looked at the TV that someone had cut on in the conference room. Chaos. What was happening? I rushed to my desk to call my mother. I knew she was worried. I couldn’t get a dial tone. I pressed the button on my phone repeatedly praying for a dial tone. I heard the familiar tone and called my mom at work. She didn’t answer the phone. I left a message saying, “Mommy, it’s me. It’s chaos. They’re saying we’re under attack. I’m okay. I am at work. I don’t know how or when I will get home, but I’m safe. It’s hard trying to get a dial tone. But, I love you. I’m okay. Please tell everyone.” I hung up.

I called my sister and my brother-in-law answered. He was asleep. He had just gotten off work two hours prior. He worked overnight. I said, “William, it’s me. Please wake up. Please tell my sister that I’m okay. Please tell her I’m safe.” Sleepily he replied, “Okay.” I hung up. I ran back to the executive conference room and continued to watch with horror the burning towers. I looked at my watch. It was 10 am. Five minutes later, the second tower where I saw the plane hit collapsed. More screams and chaos.

New York City had already been shut down. Flights grounded. This was not happening. This was America. We are the strongest country in the world and we are under attack. I didn’t know about terrorism. It was a foreign concept. Terrorism was crazy militant folks killing kids in Oklahoma not bringing down planes on Wall Street. The fire, the debris, the sounds of sirens. The MTA buses that drove down the streets empty with passengers but filled with armed military men and women with machine guns. The dust, the smoke, the reality.

I will never forget the events that occurred on September 11, 2001. I witnessed history. What was meant to break us, made us stronger and we are survivors. So, say what you will about a country that has it’s faults, but in times of crises we become one family. United. New York taught me that I can overcome anything. You can rebuild. You will survive and you will be stronger because of it.

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8 Years Later

Today is my 8 year wedding anniversary. I sit back to reflect how things have changed in the 8 year’s that we have been married. A lot has changed, but many things remain the same. We are learning that each day that passes, you learn not to sweat the small stuff. We learn to recreate the special moments and languish in all that we have accomplished. God is supposed to be the head of the household and many times we didn’t put him there. We have learned that with God, all things are possible. Love doesn’t answer all, but it is the determination, mutual respect and your belief in marriage that sustains when there appears to be no hope. Loving God first and each other next helps your marriage stay on track.

When Lee and I decided to have children, it wasn’t easy. Our marriage was no where near perfect, but God has a sense of humor. He allowed Lee and I to get pregnant when we were least expecting it. He molded us into where we needed be his patience and love for us. We were able to rebuild and find strength to continue on this journey. The result has been nothing short of a miracle. We were able to receive one of our best blessings ever…Brennan. Trust that marriage is a journey where both people need to take turns driving down the winding road. It’s full of thorns, deer and road blocks, but the car ride is nothing short of spectacular. Happy Anniversary Lee!