Happy Birthday Dr. King

Today, January 15th, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would have been 90 years old. He was a pioneer in the civil rights movement, a Nobel peace prize recipient, a husband, a father, orator and a Baptist preacher. In the U.S. we recognize his birthday with a federal holiday the third Monday in January. So, on January 21st we will observe his birthday with a day off.

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I always do a service project on MLK holiday. I will be working with some of my sorority sisters to volunteer at We Feed Our People. Munch would be there to help me, but he will be with some of my fraternity brothers and his friends attending a trip to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. This museum is currently closed due to the federal government shutdown, but we’re told that it will be open for them. Munch is super excited to attend and having some of his friends with him will be icing on the cake.

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However, Munch and I will be volunteering this Saturday for MLK day with Mothers of Black Boys United at A Wider Circle. They are a non-profit that helps people in poverty by providing basic need items to individuals and families transitioning out of homelessness, fleeing domestic violence, or otherwise living without the essentials for life. I’m super excited about this opportunity because I love to serve and I’m getting Munch in the habit as well.

So we are serving in honor of a man that gave his life to serve others.

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The Truth Hurts

Last week when I was driving Munch to school he and I were talking and suddenly I lost my train of thought. Munch being his ever observant self noticed that I cut the conversation short. He asked me what I was trying to say. I said “I can’t remember Munch.” I said “Mommy’s getting older and sometimes when I’m doing more than one thing I can lose my train of thought.” He said “You’re not old Mommy.” I laughed and said “Yes, son, I am. I’m 44 and as hard as I try, I will forget things.” He was upset and said “No, Mommy you’re not old. Nanna is old (my mother). Mamma Lennie (my grandmother) is old.” I couldn’t stop laughing. I said “Munch, my mom and grandma are not that old.” He said “Yes, they are. Look, I’m not trying to be funny but sometimes the truth hurts and the truth is that they are old but you are not old.”

I couldn’t stop laughing. He’s 10 and he’s talking about sometimes the truth hurt. But, I thought about the truth in what he said and you know what? He was right. Sometimes the truth hurts. We spend so much of our lives trying to get the right words to say the right things to people thinking of how we don’t want to hurt people’s feelings – and the truth gets lost in trying to frame it right. But, isn’t it true that no matter what you try to do in life, the truth will sometimes hurt?

It’s not intentional. It just does. Think about the time when someone was truthful to you about something. Was it your outfit, appearance, body of work, etc? Did it hurt? Maybe. However, if you value honesty, you got over it. You thanked God for another day. You moved on.

When you try to pretty up the facts the truth can get lost in translation. I think that’s why I’ve always been a straight shooter. I stand on truth.  I want Munch to stand on truth. To be kind but to be honest. Your word matters.

So, 2019 has me examining the truth in everything and everyone. My son gets his directness from me. It’s not something that I want to change in him. I just pray that as he grows he continues to deliver the truth in everything he says. That he stands on his words and that they are truthful.

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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 @mskeeinmd.

Merry Christmas

I’m wishing each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas from my house to yours. I thank you for being a part of this journey with me and I pray that you will still find my words beneficial in the new year. Enjoy this day with your family and friends knowing that Jesus is the reason for the season.

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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 @mskeeinmd.

Get a Plan

My visit to the ER was the scare that I needed that had my worst fears going at 100 miles per hour. Death. Heart attack. I had to make a change.

I am still restricted from working out due to surgery, but I needed to come up with a plan. It hit me the following week when I had Munch with me.  I noticed that Munch struggled to get out of the pool. He was literally throwing his body on the pool floor and trying to lift his weight up out the pool. It was rough to watch.

Two things happened when I saw that. First I realized that he was not utilizing the ledge in the inside of the pool to step on (which was weird as heck) but second I realized that we both needed to get healthy and increase our upper body strength. This was my opportunity to do it with Munch.

So, I reached out to my fellow blogger, David, over at Chape’s Fitness and asked for some suggestions. You know what? He gave them to me. He gave me some work out plans to help strengthen my ten year old son’s upper body. We had a plan. So, the next thing was to figure out how to tell Munch.

I casually mentioned it to him last week that we needed to work on his upper body strength, but I don’t think he got it. So, when he comes home tonight we will talk about our fitness goals. We will do this together. Not just Munch.

My plan is for us to do the following:

• Step on the scale and write down our weight

• Follow the plan that David sent over together

• Walk the track at the high school down the street when the temperature goes down

• Go to the pool together

• Eat more fresh veggies with our meals and less carbs (he loves rice and I love bread)

• Hydrate by drinking our water

• Track our steps – I just bought a Fitbit and I’m looking to get Munch one.

I don’t expect it to be easy, but I’m hoping that he will enjoy just doing these things with me. That it will allow us the opportunity to get meaningful workouts in and just enjoy getting healthy together. I need to strengthen my core, keep my heart strong and be here for Munch.

I want us to both be healthier. I’m not trying to kill him, but I want our health to be a priority. I want to model the behavior that I’m trying to get him to adopt. Healthier choices. More exercise. Keeping our heart healthy and living longer.

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/.

My Heart Hurts

A couple of weeks after my surgery I went to the emergency room. I had woken up the day before with chest pains. It was this severe pain right above my heart. I felt dizzy and out of breath. My mother was insistent that I go to the doctor’s. I had just returned to work and couldn’t miss a day. I figured I would be fine. After all it was a Friday.

Later that night I tossed and turned trying to get comfortable. I couldn’t find a position that helped. I finally dozed off only to wake up the next morning feeling like crap. My chest hurt worse. It felt like an elephant was stepping on my chest. I was struggling to breathe now. I was scared.

I caught my mother before she went about her normal Saturday activities. I needed her to take me to the emergency room. Something was wrong. We got in the car and headed to the hospital. The doctor scared the hell out of me when she mentioned that I may have a blood clot because I had just had major surgery two weeks earlier. I started to cry. I said “I have a 10 year old son. I can’t die.” She said “Sweetie, if it’s a blood clot, you’re in the best place and we can test and treat it immediately.” I just laid there praying that it wasn’t a clot. Munch needed me.

I started thinking about life and death and all the in between moments. The times when I was too tired to do anything because I was busy burning the candle at both ends. The times when I forgot to feed my own soul. My family has a history of heart problems and what if something is wrong with my heart? My heart history is bad on both sides of my family.

This was bad. I was only 43. I needed my heart to be okay. I prayed.

Many tests later, I found myself in a morphine haze and still in pain. The nurse said if the morphine wasn’t working then it probably wasn’t a blood clot. She was saying that morphine increases oxygen in the blood. Okay, I just remember that morphine was the good stuff only reserved for end of life patients and here was the hospital giving it to me like candy. The doctor came in and said that everything looked good. It didn’t look like I had a blood clot and my heart looked fine. She suggested that I follow up with my primary care doctor and apologized for scaring me.

I sighed. At least I wasn’t going to die. Not today.

I left the emergency room in pain and went home to sleep. I was exhausted from the day spent in the ER and drugged up off the morphine. I just wanted the pain in my chest to stop.

I spent the weekend in bed and sent an email to my doctor’s office for an appointment. I spent time with my primary as he accessed my hospital test results and informed me that everything looked good. I told him about my dad’s and my family’s history of heart issues. I explained that I was scared that something is going to be wrong with my heart and he’ll tell me too late.

I told him I didn’t want to die. I didn’t want to have a heart attack and I wanted to watch my son grow up. I needed him to make sure that I was okay. That my heart was fine.

He said he would. He recommended a stress test based on my family history and then repeated what he’d being saying to me the last couple of years. I need to get the weight off. I need to stop letting people and situations stress me the hell out because my blood pressure is getting higher and stress can affect my heart health. He suggested a low dose blood pressure medicine. He needed me to get control of my weight and stress.

I had no choice now. No more excuses. It was time to put up or shut up and do what needed to be done. He said we can wait until I get the all clear from my surgeon to resume exercise. We scheduled my stress test and it was time for me to make a change.

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/.

*Mothering Violence

I had to share this post because I’m a mother and in between watching your son grow up, shuffling him to activities and helping with homework and watching him sleep at night, you pray that you will never ever have to bury a child. But, this mother and many mothers do have to bury their son’s.

via *Mothering Violence

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 @mskeeinmd.

Happy Father’s Day

To all you wonderful men out there that are fathers or who are role models to young men and women. We salute and honor you for being you. Your continued support is invaluable to our children.

I pray that you have an amazing day and you know how appreciated and valued you are.

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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 @mskeeinmd.

A Sister’s Love and My Mom

Sisters, women are the keeping source of families. Recently, I recovered a letter my eldest Auntie wrote to her sister, my mother. My Auntie is 88 years old, will be 89 in a week.

“Both within the family and without, our sisters hold up our mirrors: our images of who we are and of who we can dare to be.” -Elizabeth Fishel 

My mother transitioned a few years back at the age of 76. May is a difficult month for me. Her birthday is May 8th and then there is the celebration of Mother’s Day. All my life Mother’s Day was spent with her. Even though I am a mother, there is always a major part of me missing on Mother’s Day. Grief does not get easier. I am learning that time, memories and the foundation of our roots, how one is taught moves the missing to the good memories, to the best of what love offers.

This letter brought tears, happy tears and I paused. I smiled. At times, I do not believe we realize the major pieces we give ourselves to others. The two were inseparable. My mother was quite the humblest person I ever met. Their love for each other is rare and so traditional.  I believe my sister Keyna put a presentation of letters written together by her children, friends and families for one of Momma’s many birthdays.

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These two were always stylish, always supportive of everyone and loved their communities. Our family bonds are important, worth keeping together. How we live is important. It is thirteen siblings on my mother’s side –we are huge! I have three sisters and three brothers. As you read this, I hope you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live.

Daddy and Momma
Daddy and Momma married August 8, 1959

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This post was submitted by Michelle. Michelle recently graduated with her Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She is the mother of four and Umi to Dawn Michele. You can follow, like, comment on her blog: amichelleexperience.me

 

Daddy

I know it’s Mother’s Day weekend and I’m sharing a post about my daddy, but I had to share this. I was asked to be a part of an incredible project by Dr. K E Garland. Her next book is called Daddy: Reflections of Father-Daughter Relationships and will be released next month (pre-orders are going on now and hard book copies will be available June 2, 2018).  This is an amazing book and I wanted to share my write up for the upcoming release.

Daddy is going to give you insight into the importance of father-daughter relationships. All relationships are important, but I tell you growing up without a dad changed me. In good ways, but definitely some bad and I’m not alone. So, I wanted to share my story.

I’m so excited to be a part of this project. It was therapeutic and I know that you will enjoy the book, so please check out my interview via DADDY CONTRIBUTOR: Tikeetha Thomas

Also, look out for me promoting this awesome book for everyone and think about getting it for Father’s Day as a gift to the many men in your life that are raising daughters.

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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/.

Heavy

September 2008

Heavy is the crown that comes with trying to be a good employee, wife and mother. I am failing miserably. There is not one day that goes by that I don’t see the looks of disgust as I leave on time to get my son. I have no help. I am a mother first.

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I chose to be a mother. But, apparently I’m not afforded the same privileges as my co-workers that have children. I have to choose work over mothering. How the hell can I do that? Why would I do that?

I can’t help that I’ve been out on leave for the last 6 months and that as soon as I get back to work, my husband is now sick. I have a strict schedule. It’s the only thing that makes sense about the situation…

  • I get up at 5 a.m.
  • I shower
  • I get dressed
  • I pack Munch’s diaper bag
  • I leave the house at 5:45 a.m.
  • I arrive at day care at 5:58 a.m.
  • At 6:01 a.m. I am handing him to the teacher in the infant room
  • I leave at 6:05 a.m.
  • I arrive at work at 7:30 a.m.
  • I leave at 4:30 p.m.
  • I arrive at day care at 5:58 p.m.
  • I leave for the hospital to see my husband
  • I arrive at 7:00 p.m.
  • I stay until 10:00 p.m.
  • I get home by 10:45 p.m.
  • I get the baby bathed and in the bed.
  • I crawl in the bed at 11:45 p.m.
  • I sleep to start it all over again.

Heavy. My life is so heavy right now. But, I will choose my son over it all. I just need to work to make sure that the money continues to roll in. We have bills. We need two incomes. I am so very tired. No one understands that there is no choice but me. I watch other people afforded the opportunities that I don’t seem to have.

I sigh.

Adjust this heavy crown. Do it all again. Each and every day. Why? Because I’m a mother. I’m expected to figure it the hell out.

 

This post was part of the A2Z challenge and the letter “H” is for Heavy. 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/.