Coming From Where I From

I’m pretty excited about going home this weekend. Yes, I will always refer to Dallas, my hometown, as home.  And while, I have always been eager to move away , I can never stay away for too long.  I’ve always understood that this place and those relationships are the core of my existence.
Specifically, I enjoy my time spent with older and elderly people.  In D.C most of my time is spent around my peers.  All of my jobs up until now have also been mostly ran and employed by people in my age group.  The level of comfort among people in your age group, regardless of position, is one of the things that make this city so fun.   Nevertheless, I miss spending my Sunday afternoons over one of the elders from the church’s house and just listening to their stories.
There is one older gentleman in particular whose house I used to visit for hours upon hours.  His home was one that anyone that knew him could just drop in or if you saw the patio open just step on in.  It was warm. As a child I would fall asleep on the couch and miss some of the life lessons shared in that home or on that patio.
This man married the love of his life for some 50+ years.  He loved her until the day she passed away which will be 15 years ago next week.  Well, really, if you talk to him today, he will still tell you that she is still his wife and the absolute love of his life.  And when people ask him if he would ever remarry, he would reply “I’m still married.  I promised to be with only her until the day I die, and well she would kill me if I had another woman up in her house.” Even as a young girl, I knew what they had was what I wanted.
He would also tell stories of growing up as a sharecropper and surviving the Great Depression, World War II, and Jim Crow.  He is not one to brag, but eventually I would ask about his roles in the local NAACP chapter and how used his business, community, and church to bring attention to the national civil rights movement and local concerns for social justice.
As he spoke, I envisioned him as a child, as a young man, and his progression up until the older man I see today.  It is through his stories that I am reminded that everything is only for a season and we are designed to grow. Yet, the most important thing he shared was his mistakes, the things he wished he would have done better, and oddly enough, the things that even at this point of his life where he still seeks improvement.  In a world where everything is instant and tries to give the illusion of perfection, it is home where I like to slow down, turn off the blackberry, and just enjoy these kinds of moments and learn something new about life.

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Reflections of a Sick Lady

Man, I missed ya’ll…

So feeling like you are near death has a way of giving you a brand new perspective on life.  It will also teach you a few lessons on life.  The first lesson is to follow your doctor’s orders and not improvise with my own remedies and substitutions.  Well actually, that is all I learned this week.
However, as I reflected, I realized I have nothing.  I own nothing.  It kind of made me sad because when I planned my life out at 18, by this point I would have lots, plenty, and an abundance.  Yeah…very little about that plan has turned out as I predicted.  Contrarily, the only things of value I have are the relationships established over time.  It is weird the people that God throws in your life.  I am often surprised that the people you least expect become the best of friends and the people you expect to be great fall short.  Despite this, love is consistent.  It exchanges hands often, it increases or decreases depending on its supplier, but the balance of love always remains intact.  This makes it easier to let go of and move forward when you know that the love supply in our lives will always be replenished by someone.
Well, I did learn another lesson. Those who love are there to help carry our load and vice versa.   It is easy for me to fall into superwoman mode and think I can handle it all by myself.  Or moreover, that my problems and shortcomings are nobody’s business.  And while it is a fine line to tow, I am blessed that I have people I can share the things in which I struggle or projects and aspirations that I am working toward.  These people help hold me accountable – both to myself and to my dreams.
After further reflection, I do own two more things.  I own my actions which lead to my progress… or my demise.  And I own my words that either speak life… or destroy.  People don’t put enough stock into these things nowadays.  But I see them as the most valuable thing I will ever possess.  These along with my relationships,  will bear my prosperous future.

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