I want a man. But…..

I’ve been seeing this meme on social media for a while. I’ve even shared it a few times because it’s so funny to me. Lately though, it’s been really on resonating in me. I’m realizing how true this is in most situations. Especially with women. Here it is.

How funny is that? Hilarious! But let’s be transparent and honest with each other. We’ve all done this at some point. We sit and home, vent to our friends and family via phone/texts telling them about how we want to settle down and get married. How we want someone to take us out and love us. Buy us small “just thinking of you” gifts. Random calls and texts during the day. Surprise dates at night. Weekend getaways. A companion to sit at home and watch television with.  Someone who’s a great role model for your children. And someone who makes you want to play out Destiny’s Child “Cater 2 You” song.  We want to be singing the song and catering to somebody the way they said.

Let me help you, take off your shoes. Untie your shoestrings. Take off your cufflinks. What you wanna eat boo? Let me feed you. Let me run your bath water. Whatever you desire, I’ll supply you. Sing you a song. Turn the game on” I’ll brush your hair. Help you put your do rag on. “

Chile, this is what we want. But do we really want that?

Let me speak for myself though. I have guys that want to date me. But here I go again. I want a man. Here he comes. Then I’m like, naw bruh, not you! I then complain to people(mainly my brothers) about how nobody approaches me. Next, I take it to the spiritual side. God is sending somebody special for me. That’s why I’m single.

This meme is also funny to me. Sometimes I feel like when I’m talking to God that he’s giving me that face. Like, “Girl Bye!” He’s like, I’ve sent you plenty of men but YOU didn’t like them. One was not ambitious enough. Another one was too busy. One was stuck in his comfort zone. One wore ran over of Timberland’s. Ugh, you’re so petty KB. But honestly, God has sent most of us good mates. But we turned them down because they weren’t packaged the way we wanted them to be. Disclaimer: I’m not telling anyone to settle for just anybody just to say you have a man or woman. But lets stop looking at those things that seem trivial.

Get out of your comfort zone !!!!!!!!!!!

What I suggest to each of us single women and men is to write down exactly what you’re looking for. What are your deal breakers? What do you must have?

I’ll start with some things on my list to give you an idea.

He has to be a man of God. God must come first in his life. But let me say this, just because I want a man of God, that doesn’t mean that I don’t want him to be super fine, with a little bit of swag and a tiny drop of hood. I mean, it’s only right. Lol

He needs to be financially stable. I’m not saying that he should be golfing with Bill Gates every Tuesday but I wouldn’t want to worry finances. He must be able to manage finances.

If he has children, he has to be a great father to them.

He has to be intelligent, so that we can have great engaging conversations.

Now, here comes the shallow part. What does Mr. Right look like to me? I don’t really have a type. If we vibe and have a good connection, how you look doesn’t matter that much. Now, let’s be clear, he has to be handsome to me. Not saying that he has to be Idris Elba fine. But he can’t look like a oompa loompa.

Got it? Good.

I advise every one to make this list. These are not all of my must haves. I was giving you an example.

But what about you? Underneath that tough, raw, honest, blunt exterior of yours. What do you want? Most of you are loving and caring people. Are you going to keep all of that for yourself? I know some of us think that we are strong, independent black women who don’t need a man. But what about some man out there that needs you?-His potential helpmate. Loving strong Keisha, who won’t pull any punches, will always tell the truth, but will love him so much, he’ll believe he  can take over the world. Think of what we could be depriving our potential mates of. Just because we’re scared to think outside of the box or because we’re afraid of being hurt again.

But before we start dating people again, let’s make sure that we’re working on our hearts. For me, I have to work through my grief and some fears I have. Some may have to work on forgiveness, bitterness and man hatred. Let us forget about those that hurt us and didn’t have our best interest at heart. We have to forgive them for us. Not for them. So many of us are holding on to things that are keeping us in bondage. Don’t you want to be free?

Lets start this process over. Email your lists to me. We can go over them together. You can see what I can’t see and vice versa.

Last thing to remember, your journey is your journey. Stop comparing your life to those people you see on social media. Most of them are stunting so hard that even you would be shocked.

Until next time…Let’s be great! Lets be transparent! Lets be honest.

Keisha

Breakdown to Breakthrough….

So many times we look the other way when we’re in pain or when the people we love are in pain. Like I said last week, we ask how they’re doing but it’s just habit. We aren’t really ready to hear the truth behind the answers. Our family members and friends are suffering everyday and we won’t come out of our selfishness to really see their hurt. But do you know what they are? What we are(because we’re hiding, embarrassed and hurt too), we are, DEAD PEOPLE WALKING!!

I’ve never really watched Ivlana Fix My Life, but for the past two weeks, I’ve been enthralled in these episodes featuring Shelby and Neffe. This episode was so powerful. They’re marriage is…WOW! It’s always good to see what really happens in someone’s life. Not just what they “post” themselves to be. (that’s another post for another day though).

Here we have Neffe, she was a young mother, a young wife, angry, hurt, trying to find herself. I mean, she’s struggling to be who she really desires to be. Per her husband, she runs him away. He told her what he thought of her but she said basically that she’s grown and she can do what she wants to do. Problem one. She feels that her voice needs to be heard. No matter how rough and angry she comes across.  How many of us women feel that we have to be hard?

Then we have Shelby. Oh, Shelby. Let me say this, we do not acknowledge the pain men have. We don’t take the time to allow them to voice their frustrations and tell us what they really go through. But Shelby is a man that has had a rough past. He accepts things and doesn’t challenge them just to keep peace. He had a heart attack and he said that when he looked into the mirror he didn’t see anything. He said that he felt invisible. This man would have rather died than survive the heart attack.  Do you know that 10% of black men are depressed?  That’s nearly two million men!!! Do you know that most of them are not being treated because of the stigma’s associated with this illness? Let that ponder. But he enabled a lot of unnecessary things in his life. Like most of us do. He’s a man that didn’t have an outlet. Let’s stop looking away and putting our pain onto to men. Mothers, ask yourselves what we are bringing into our sons. Don’t make them so strong that they’re weak. It’s going to make them repeat the cycle.

He avoided the baggage that he has brought into the marriage. Neffe avoided the baggage that she brought into their marriage. We bring in so much bs into relationships. We don’t take the time to really heal from the things that we’ve been through. From issues with our families. Being abandoned by a father. Being beaten down mentally by a mother. Our children’s fathers or mothers leaving you as a single parent. Insecurities about not being good enough for love. Being cheated on or physically abused. We’re brokenhearted and exhausted. At some point these things that we’ve been through will show. We’ve all been through something that we’ve experienced that have changed and shaped our lives and made us who we are.  However if you’re reading this, you can change things.

And because we haven’t healed properly, we tend to hurt the new people that come into our lives. They don’t deserve it. And ultimately, we cause them damage. We turn them into people that they shouldn’t be. We make them bitter. We cause them to change from the good man or woman they were into someone that will eventually break somebody else down. We are killing them. Because we’re hurting ourselves.

We have to heal from the pain. We can’t keep hurting ourselves and each other over and over and over again. The cycle has to be broken at some point.

When Chance left, I got in two relationships that I had no business in. The grief I was in caused me to try to feel the void of her leaving. I didn’t give myself time to properly grieve. So therefore, you know what I did, I caused myself more pain. But you know what else? That’s not all I’ve been through. I’ve never healed from any of it. Here I am five years later realizing that I was ALLOWING more pain in my life. Because I was running from what I was going through. I’m not running anymore though. Again, another blog for another time.

When you don’t heal from your hurt, THE PAST WILL CONTINUE TO BE YOUR PRESENT!! Again, THE PAST WILL BE YOUR PRESENT!! Take responsibility for the things you’ve allowed in your life. Heal from it and move forward. Forgive yourself for the mistakes you’ve made. Overcome the fears. God cannot move when you’re covered in fear. Fear is not of GOD.

The depth of the sorrow in your heart will put your life in danger. Here are some things that I hope can help someone else:

  • Don’t let anybody diminish your feelings. If you’re hurt by something or someone, face it immediately.
  • Don’t allow what you don’t accept. Remember, what you allow is what will continue. ALWAYS. Don’t start a relationship accepting the things you don’t like.
  • Don’t be a voluntary victim.
  • Don’t make dysfunction okay.
  • Pain will not kill you so don’t avoid it. When you face it head on, you can heal from it.
  • Don’t allow someone to continuously hurt you. Nine times out of ten, if they do it once, they’ll do it again and again.
  • Learn how to live. Don’t just exist.
  • Remember that depression can kill you if it’s not treated properly. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to say that you need help. Don’t suffer in silence.
  • You can’t heal what you don’t speak. If you’re hurting and you’re not saying anything, you will always have that same problem. You have to let it go.
  • Get rid of baggage and stop having fantasy relationships. While you’re trying to portray this perfect relationship and life for people, they know what you don’t think they know. So stop pretending.
  • Don’t invite the drama into your home.
  • Exhaustion is not hopelessness. Ask for help.

At the end of the day, God is a restorer and He wants to heal you. He can heal you and all of the pain that you’re going through. Don’t let what you’ve been through cause you to turn your back on Him. When the storms of life rage and you think you have nowhere to run, remember to look towards the hill to where your help comes. No weapon, depression, hurt, anger, helplessness, loneliness, sickness, desperation formed against you shall prosper when you give it over to God. Remember that God loves you and I do too…

Be blessed.

Dear Chance 

Chance…

It’s been five years since I’ve seen you. Since I’ve held you. Heard you say Mama, Mommy, Brannon, Daddy, Shishard or Memo. Since I heard you ask for a Thomas the train toy or seen you dance in the back seat to “Love on Top”. Five long years since you ran to the door to greet Barney. Or wake TeeTee Erika up while she was trying to sleep. Or punked me when it was time to go to your God-Mommy Lynn’s house by crying until you got five inches down the street then laughing like you were going to Disneyland. It’s been 1,825 days since you kicked me while we were sleeping or cried when Granny tried to comb your hair. I haven’t had one of your wet kisses in 43,800 hours.  But I’ve missed everything about you in the 15,678,000 seconds that you’ve been gone. I’ve felt your absence and I haven’t been the same since. I’ve come to realize that I will never be. Not having you here has changed everything for me. (here come the tears I was trying to keep at bay…)


When I was pregnant with you, I knew you were special. I knew you were a mess when I had to walk around with an IV because you wouldn’t let me eat or drink anything. I was off from work my entire pregnancy. Now I realize that we were developing a deep bond. When I found out you were a girl, the name Chance immediately came to me. People tried so hard to talk me out of naming you that. But the name stuck with me. I relented and put Sydney as the first name. When I saw you, I knew I made the right decision. I wouldn’t realize until later what “Chance” really meant.

You came into this world with so much personality. I knew that you would give Brandon and I a run for our money. While, he wasn’t that excited to know that you weren’t going back to the hospital when you came home, his words were, “When is that baby going back?” In time you two developed a bond that was so unique and strong. He talks about you everyday now. And he finds a piece of you in everything. When you left, some of him did too. It’s so obvious. He doesn’t laugh as hard. Or smile as much as he did when you were here. We try to spoil him with all the love and attention that we can but he misses you. You are his sister and your energy and spunk gave him spunk and energy. He will be fine though. We will all make sure of it. So don’t worry about your big brother. He’s going to grow up and invent something that will make you very proud.


Mommy still can’t watch a video of you. It’s weird to me because most of the videos we made have you saying her name in them. It’s been hard on her. She tries so hard to be strong for all of us Chance. We sometimes forget that she has emotions and feelings too. She loves you like she birthed you. And I know you knew that. She made it apparent in the way she cared for you. Like, when we went into TJ Maxx and you wanted these sippy cups and the princess costume. I said no but Mommy made sure you had it. And when we got home, you had to put it on. Whatever you wanted, she made sure you had it. I can’t wait for the day that she will actually be able to sit and watch a video of you with me. I know it will make her sad at first but I know that sadness will dissipate when she can see your love for her.


And Daddy misses you too. I’m so glad I was able to record you two washing the truck. Or you saying his name. The Christmas videos we have are you are in his possession and I know that he watches them on his own. I think he’s still mad about that yogurt you half ate of his. Lol! He allows me to call and cry when I’m having a bad day because I’m missing you. I’m sure he would have had you bowling or fishing by now.


Shisard(Darrick) and Memo, I can’t even describe the way they feel. Darrick honors you in everything he does. He’s really coming into his own. He took pictures a couple of months ago and he saw this butterfly mural and he took the most beautiful picture in front of it. The first thing he said is, “I have to take this for Chance”. I cried of course.  The ABC’s will never be the same for me. Darrick sang it to you so beautifully. And Memo, he had a tree planted in your honor in Osceola. His school had an entire ceremony, just for you. His wife Tassha even carried your picture around her wedding bouquet. Memo, has pictures of you everywhere. And I watch the video of you all often when you were in the hot tub and the Embassy Suites. You all were having so much fun like you always did. I’m almost sure that we will have a baby named after you at some point. They love you that much.


TeeTee Erika misses you. That woman will call me out of the blue and just tell me about things you two did that I never knew about. She has a video of you eating a cupcake when she let you skip daycare one day. And I have so many videos of you and her arguing back and forth that keep me laughing. She loves you so much that her son Scatman knows you. He never even met you. That’s unconditional love right there.


Your God-Mommy Lynn would have had you all over the country by now. She loves you so much that you’re an honorary Girl Scout. People from all over the country bought cookies in your name. She still has you as her cover picture on Facebook. She misses you too. And again, she has shared many pictures of you that I never saw. You punked her and her family too. They miss their “Candy”.


Your spirit is always around Granny/Aunt Linda It’s nothing for her to call me and tell me about a butterfly that came up to her in the dead of winter. Or when she’s in her yard doing lawn work how you will send her a breeze to cool her off. She has a wall for you in her house. And every Christmas, your tree is put out before any other tree at her house. Paw Paw has a hard time talking about you but he wore a wristband for almost three years from your walk everyday until it broke. He actually never took it off. They miss you.


Poor Barney. You left this earth on his birthday. I have pictures of you sitting in his lap watching cartoons. And I remember how you would run to the door and say his name whenever he would come into the house. He was the best father figure for you. I think you had his heart before I did. The bond you two formed will never be broken. He misses you more than anyone will ever realize.


You have a host of family and friends who have lots of great memories with you. People all over the world know you. You’ve saved so many children, Chance. So many. That’s why, no matter how hard it is, I tell your story. I don’t turn down any interviews or articles that people ask me to do. I have to keep going.  And I won’t pretend like I don’t have bad days. I’ve had plenty of them since you’ve been gone. But I always get a push from you to keep going. And I try everyday.


I ask myself often, “Why did God take my baby?” I’ve asked other people to ask Him for me, because I didn’t think he heard me. I felt like you didn’t do anything wrong that it must have been something that I did to make you have to leave. I wonder what I did. For five years I’ve asked myself what I’m supposed to do now. You are my baby. I carried you for nine months. You were so beautiful. I wonder if you knew that I loved you? I did. I love you so much. I held you when you were born and I held you when you took your last breath. I hope you knew that I was the best mother to you that I knew how to be. I had so many plans for you. But God had other plans. His plans are always best even when we don’t understand them.

Five years since I’ve lost my baby. What’s going to happen to me? I don’t know but I know that losing you is something I’ll never get over. I’ll just continue to learn how to deal with it.

Just remember the last song I sang to you. “Chance it’s you. You’re the one I love. You’re the one I need. You’re the only one I see. Baby, its you. You’re the one that gives your all. You’re the one I always call. When I need you baby everything stops. Finally, you put my love on top”

I love you Sydney Chance Bowles. Save us all a seat in heaven with you. I can’t wait until we’re all together again.

Love,

Your Mom.

 

 

 

 

 

The butterfly…

I’m sitting here at work and I’m a little down today because it seems like the things that I really want in my life seem to pass me by and go on to others. I sometimes think, “Dang, don’t I deserve SOME of the things I pray and ask for?” And today while I’m ALL in my feelings I started reading on the internet and I came across this.

Quick little story…

A man found the cocoon of a butterfly. One day, a small opening appeared. The man sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force it’s body through the little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and that it could go no further. So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small shriveled wings.The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected at any moment the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body which would contract in time. Neither happened. In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It was never able to fly. What the man, in kindness did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were God’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives. If God allowed us to go through our lives without any obstacles, it could and would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been. We could never fly.
When you ask God for strength, He gives you difficulties to make you strong. When you ask for wisdom, God will give you problems to solve. If you ask for prosperity, He will give you a brain and will to work. Ask for courage and He will give you dangers to overcome. You can ask for love and He will give you troubled people to help. Ask for favor and you will get opportunities you weren’t qualified for. You may not receive everything you want, how YOU wanted but you will get everything you NEED.
So basically (and this is what I’ve always known) everybody won’t run the race at that the same pace. Some may come in first. Some come in third. Some come in last. But at the end of the day, the goal is to cross the finish line.
A few weeks ago, I dropped Brandon off in Brinkley but on the way back  I said to myself, “I’m taking the back way home.” It was raining and I know that traffic can back up any time on Hwy 70. So as I was driving I can still see Hwy 55. Well, I drove at a good pace. Enjoying the scenery and I look over at Hwy 55. The traffic is slowing down. And I’m just cruising along listening to my music. Minding my business. Lol. Then I look over again and traffic is at a stand still. I’m thinking, what happened? They were just moving. I drive up and I see that there’s a car accident. But while their lane has stopped, mine is still moving. So I speed up and I pass the car accident but then I’M stuck! Other cars and trucks decided to take a shortcut and it stopped me! By now, I’ve passed the car accident on 55 but their lane is moving and I’m stuck. Then it hit me. We’re all going the same direction but our trips will not be the same. Those that know me KNOW that I got emotional. We were all going in the same direction. 
 With all of that being said. Trust your journey. You may see other’s getting married, getting promotions, having babies, buying houses and traveling while you’re wondering when you will be blessed with these things but GOD knows. You don’t know what they’ve gone through to get to that point. You will get there too. Your journey isn’t theirs and theirs isn’t yours.
So I will TRY to be patient and know that God is getting me ready and when I’m blessed with the things I desire, I’ll be able to appreciate them.
 
Remember your journey is YOURS! What I’ve been through could have killed you. What you’ve been through, could have harmed me. Learn the lessons so you can pass the tests.
You’ve got this!
Be blessed.

Open letter to perfect parents

I try sooooo hard to keep my mouth shut when people get on social media and become cyber bullies. I can almost promise you that those same “internet thugs” would never say those cruel things to my face. They feel protected behind their computers, smart phones and tablets. It’s such a sad thing…

So here’s a quick overview: kid goes on vacation with his parents and sister. Family goes outside of the resort to watch a movie. Kid goes to shallow edge of water. Alligator pops out and snatches the kid. Kids father unsuccessfully tries to get his kid from the animal. Animal drags kid into water. Kid is regretfully found the next day. 

The next day. “they should have been watching their kid!!” “The parents are the worst because they shouldn’t have been in the water” or my favorite “my child would have never gotten in that water” *sigh*

Now I’m pissed. People are so cruel. People are so heartless. People have no compassion. People are so mean and nasty. People are so judgmental. People are so “perfect”. Right!!
For the past four years I’ve blamed myself for Chance’s accident. Knowing that I couldn’t watch her 24 hours a day. Knowing that there was nothing I could do to keep life from happening. Knowing that I would never intentionally let my child get hurt. But I was shamed by the media. I was called negligent. Lazy. I was told that it was my fault that I didn’t watch her better. So, I wasn’t allowed to use the restroom, cook dinner, do laundry, etc.  wow…

Let me tell you what’s happens when your child is just that-a child. They behave as children. Let me tell you what happens when your child suddenly has an accident.

First, you see your child in a position you never thought you would. In my case, she was pinned under a dresser. You know what you think? Please be ok!! Please wake up!! I’m so sorry!! Please baby!! I’m so sorry. Then you call 911 and you have to explain what happened while cradling your child and trying to get a response from them. Next, the ambulance comes and they try just as hard to get a response out of your child. When they realize that they can’t, the call Life Medics and they put your child into a helicopter while you’re watching from the window. Then you arrive at the hospital and police are there waiting for you to make a statement. At this point, they’re trying to make sure that you didn’t do this on purpose. Your situation makes the local news and now people are questioning your parenting. I mean, you can’t do anything if your child is not within reach. Lastly, doctors tell you that there’s nothing they can do so you have to make the decision to remove your child from life support. You go home without your child. It’s the hardest thing to ever go through. 

This family from Nebraska will leave Florida a family of three instead of the family of four they came as. This mother has to pack her sons clothes knowing that he’ll never put them on again. She will sniff and smell his clothes praying that his scent is still in them. Now the parents have to go a funeral home, pick a casket. Find an outfit for their son. Make funeral arrangements all while being judged by people that don’t know the story. People that could have been in their shoes. 

How many times has your child fallen out of bed when you were both asleep? She could have broken her neck. Hasn’t your child fallen off of a bike? He could have hit his head and suffered severe brain trauma. Haven’t you told your teenager to not text and drive? But even though you’ve told them not to do something, they hit a parked car instead of driving into traffic killing themselves and other people. You’re such a bad parent though. 

You see, things happen that we can’t control. But let’s try to be understanding and compassionate instead of cruel and judgmental. Because let’s face it, one day it could be you. And you’d want the public to get your side of the story before chasing you into seclusion. 

As grieving parents, we have more than enough guilt to live with. We ask millions of “what ifs”. Don’t add to our already difficult struggle. Let’s not compare tragedies. Let’s love and pray for one another. Give a grieving parent a hug and a kind word. Or spew those words of hate into our faces instead of behind your computer screen. 

After the hype about our stories go down, once you’ve moved on to the next tragedy; we’re still grieving. Now we have to factor in your judgments. Your harsh words. Your condemnation. While you’re sleeping peacefully and saying how terrible of a parent we are, we’re still dealing with the loss of our children. 

Again, you could be in our shoes one day…how would you want to be treated? 

I’m praying for the Graves family. I hope you are too…