Tag Archives: holiday

Happy New Year!- The 2011 B List

 This morning I heard that 45% of Americans make New Year’s Resolution and less than ½ of them quit their good deeds after a month. So, I propose we kill the resolutions and just simply try to Be Better. Here is my short simple Be List:

1. Be More Grateful

2. Be More Patient

3. Be More Tolerant

4. Be More Adventurous

5. Be More Loving

Happy New Year and thanks for reading the blog!

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Thanksgiving 2010-In spite of Everything I’m Still Blessed

It is hard to believe it is Thanksgiving. My daughter said the other day this year has flown by. I told her that’s the kind of thing old folks like me say, but it is the truth. I lost my job in July of 2009 and I never would have thought that I would face another Thanksgiving still jobless, but I say in spite of that God has still been good to me. I have my health and my family and tomorrow I will feast on more food than I should eat but it’s holiday, I’ll deal with the consequences Friday. This evening while watching the evening news I heard a story of a 5 star restaurant providing meals to some needy families. They delivered a meal to family that did not have a table to put the food on. Can you imagine not having a table? Something that most people including myself take for granted. The next day that same restaurant had a table and four chairs delivered to that family. It reminded me of the story of the man who complained about his shoes until he saw the man with no feet. It might sound trite but there is real wisdom in the analogy. So tomorrow when you sit down to your table surrounded by family or friends or maybe it’s just you just take a little time to dwell on the good things and say what I will be saying tomorrow, in spite of the challenges I am still blessed. Thanks for reading the blog and tell your friends about it: www.ebonymompolitics.wordpress.com  I hope you have a great Thanksgiving!

Why I Love America

Tomorrow is the 4th of July so I like many Americans will be cooking out, enjoying friends and watching fireworks. Tonight, I wanted to say why I still believe America is the best country on earth. My grandfather was illiterate and my grandmother had an 8th grade education. They lived in the south and had 5 children. My mother was the oldest and when she graduated from high school she talked to her mother about going to college. My grandmother had the foresight to see the value of a college education in the 1940s. My mother along with her 4 siblings received college degrees when it was not the norm. Throughout my life my mother and father instilled in us the value of an education. Through education I have been able to do things that my forefathers never dreamed of doing. This is one of the reasons I love America. Here you do not have to be satisfied with your lot in life you have the capacity and the resources to change your destiny, and for me education has been the key. America is the land of opportunity.  I love this country because you can speak your mind without fear of reprisal. Our country is so diverse that you can have an Al Sharpton, Rush Limbaugh, Jesse Jackson and Ann Coulter all appear in a single day on one network. America is the land of diversity. I love America because on Sunday morning I can go to church or watch Meet the Press. I can opt for inspiration or conversation. This is a great country. I love America because every 4 years we elect a new leader, and in 2008 we elected our first black president. President Obama shied away from being branded as the black candidate, but he is, and his candidacy was a source of pride in the black community. I love America because tomorrow as I watch the fireworks I will be with my family and friends. My friends reflect America they are a rainbow of beautiful hues. America is far from perfect. There are many dark chapters in our country’s history, but the beauty of this land is when we fall we get back up and try again. So tomorrow on the 4th of July I will celebrate America’s greatness and America’s potential to be even greater. Have a great 4th!

Memorial Day is More than “the Unofficial Start of Summer”

Yesterday a friend of mine asked me where were the fireworks?  I said fireworks are for the Fourth of July a day of celebration. Memorial Day is a day of remembrance. It is supposed to be a somber day, but like all holidays it has lost its meaning to so many.  My mother used to visit my Father’s grave before she did anything on Memorial Day. She would put her flag out in front of the house. Yes, she would go to cookouts, but my father’s memory was front and center on her mind. Now when we hear Memorial Day it is followed by the words “the unofficial start of summer.” We are more likely to go to a Memorial Day sale than to a Memorial Day service.  We are simply to busy texting, twittering or posting to take a little time, and reflect on those who gave their lives so we could text, twitter and post. This is not meant as a chastisement because I am living in the glass house. So I am in no position to throw a stone. So today before you heat up the grill just take a little time to think of the 5461 lives lost in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Their sacrifice must not be forgotten.

Mother’s Day 2010-Another Motherless Mother’s Day

WARNING THIS IS NOT A POLITICAL POST. IT IS A MOTHER’S DAY POST.

Missing My Mother…Grief does Not Stop at the Graveyard

 My mother died almost 30 years ago.   She was so young that I can not imagine what she would be like now.  She was just a few years older than I am now. It is even more difficult to believe that I have lived more of my life without her than with her. My mother and I had a very close relationship. I was not a rebellious child so the conflicts we had were very minimal, but I now wonder what she would think about the life choices I have made. I now grieve for what never was. She was not here to help me plan my wedding or even meet my future mate. She missed the birth and growth of my children and I missed having her here to guide me through the mind fields of motherhood. As a young woman I was unprepared for my mother’s death. Most people see the tragedy in young children losing their mother, but once you cross the threshold of adulthood people believe you are able to cope with the loss. Yes, you do remain functional you are no longer wailing and lamenting at the loss of your mother, but there is an incredible void that simply can not be filled. During the initial mourning period I remember people mouthing all the usual platitudes: “I’m as close as the phone”, “call me if you need anything” or the worst “I know how you feel”, and let us not forget “she is in a better place.” What??? Well I want her right here with me.  I wanted to scream “why don’t you call me. I’m the one that lost my mother” or “no you don’t know how I feel”, but instead I smiled and nodded as they said the things they thought would make me feel better. What I have learned is you never get over the death of your mother, but you do get on with life, but your life will forever be divided into before my mother died and after my mother died. My father died 4 years before my mother died and while I mourned his death it was a different kind of loss. I still had my mother to help me through the loss of my father, and I remember even then saying I miss my dad, but I knew I could not live without my mother, but that too was simply untrue. After my mother died I remember losing my sense of compassion. When other people would lose their mothers I would be sorry for their loss but there was also a dark part of me that would be saying welcome to the club.   I think there were two people who kept me sane during the dark period, my best friend Stephanie and my Aunt Bernie. Stephanie lost her mother the year after I did so we could share thoughts with each other without fear of judgment, and my aunt provided a listening ear in the midnight hours when I simply needed to ask again and again “why?” What I didn’t think I understood then or now how the grief never goes away. Your happiest moments are always tempered with grief.  I remember redecorating my bedroom the year after she died and being so happy with the outcome, but a part of me was sad that I was happy. On my wedding day I remember waking up at 2AM to a tear-stained pillowcase because she would not be there to share the day with me. I miss the fact that she was never allowed the privilege to be a grandmother. She always loved kids and she would have had such a good time spoiling mine. My mother was the person in my life that saw me through a non-judgmental prism. Is my story unique? Probably not but it is not the kind of story that people are not comfortable sharing aloud or hearing. One thing you find when you lose a mother and you try to talk about with people who still have theirs they don’t want to hear it. As we age the death of parents becomes a common occurrence but when you are young and most of your friends and family members still have theirs you will find that it is a lonely road.  One of the saddest aspects of her death is not being able to make her real to my children. They don’t miss having a maternal grandmother because they never had one. You can’t miss what you never had. I share stories with them but it is like I’m reading a fairytale to them. In the early eighties we were not blessed with the kind of technology we now take for granted. We didn’t have video cameras or camera phones to help keep our memories alive. I have pictures, but the one dimensional version of my mother is insufficient to express who she really was. A picture can not capture the generous spirit that radiated behind the loving smile. In this post mom period of my life I have been able to surround myself with people who love me. I have a husband who has learned to recognize the sadness, but he knows when I want to talk or when I need to walk through it by myself. I have smiled as I see some of the traits of my mother in my children. My children share her loving spirit. My mother was one of the kindest people you would ever meet, but when you pushed her you did so at your own peril. I now can help someone who has lost a mother walk through the pain. Instead of saying “I know how you feel.” I say “I know how it feels to lose a mother.” It has taken me almost 30 years, but I can now be happy with no reservations. I can now rest assured that she is in a better place, but it took decades for me to get to this space. So on this Mother’s Day I can smile at her memory, and also smile because I do know that I have grown into the woman she prayed I would become.