I get a friend request one day from someone with the same last name as myself. I don’t really pay it too much attention because one, I’m such an introvert and interacting at times can be a little overwhelming for me and two, who’s to say that we are related. Well, my Papa passed and this person reaches out to send his condolences. Right before Christmas, Davon reaches out and says hey, I’m your cousin, we should chat sometime. Of course, I fire away with questions just to see if we really are and how we are related. After some intense questioning, lol, I find out that we are indeed first cousins on my father’s side. I also find out that he has a brother near where he lives. Wow! Two older cousins that live only a few hours away from me. I felt so many emotions within the days of us speaking. We did Zoom to see each other and talk. We shared a lot of information about our family. He didn’t know much of our family but I was more than happy to share what I did know. I spoke to his brother Armald about a month or so later when he reached out. It AMAZED me how much we had in common and how similar we were once we started speaking. They were welcoming and very open to having a new cousin around. I know that I have a huge family on my father’s side, it’s just unfortunate that I don’t know many of them. I have two brothers that I’ve been wanting to find for many years. I know very little information about them but always hoped that it would be enough someday to find them.
Going back two weeks ago…
I’m on instagram and I see that my dad has a page…which I find very strange. But something told me to click on it even though there wasn’t a picture. He had 4 friends on his page, one who’s named Ishmeil. That is one of my brother’s names. I’m thinking to myself, there’s no way that this could be this easy to find one of my brothers. I waited a few days before I finally sent a message asking where he was born. He told me and it wasn’t the same city where I was born. I then asked had he ever been to the city where I was from and he said no but he had a sister that was born there. The wheels in my head really started turning then. I began asking him questions that only a sibling would know regardless of the fact that we didn’t know each other. I told him that I had two brothers that I never met and their names were Ishmeil and Shantel/Shantrel. He said that he had a brother named Shawntel. He then told me his mothers name and I knew for a fact that I had found one of my brothers!! I found my other brother on facebook the same day. I then told my other siblings that they were finally found we all did a video chat. That was definitely unexpected but I’m so glad that we finally found them!!
2020 was a roller coaster year for sure. My aunt and her husband both caught it and luckily got over it. Unfortunately, my grandfather, Papa, passed away from Covid back in December. I remember my sister calling me to tell me that he was in the hospital with Covid and was on dialysis. As scared as I was, I still had hope that he would come out of this. A few days later, she told me that he was on a ventilator. He passed away the next evening. I was mad that I couldn’t be with my family, especially my mom. I was sad and hurt. This loss was too close to home. The memories started to flood and I thought abut all those times he would see my pictures on social media and would tell me to smile. I took a random picture of me smiling just for him and he was happy. I burned my hair when I was a little girl and I remember him coming by to see me afterwards. When I was in kindergarten, I went to his house after school and I would eat his leftover pancakes and bacon. It made me so happy. So many bbq’s with him and his friends playing dominoes, spades and playing the blues during the summer. He came to graduations, birthday parties and any other family gatherings. He loved to bowl and fish all of the time. He caught and brought fish home one day and I just happened to be there at his house. Papa was about to clean the fish so he had a couple on the table on some newspaper. I asked him about the fish and he said don’t put your finger in it’s mouth because it would get me. When he turned his head to the sink, I stuck my finger in the fish’s mouth and it bit me! I snatched my finger back and tried to hide how scared I was and he laughed, turned around and said, “See I told you.” Loss is so hard, especially when it’s family. But thankfully we have memories to look back on to keep up smiling. I definitely miss him on social media telling us to be blessed. I still tear up when I see his pictures randomly pop up because I know this is all I have and when I go home, I won’t see him in the flesh. Papa, we will definitely miss you….R.I.P.
At this point, the schools have decided that the kids would not return for the year, restaurants shut dining rooms down, going to take out only and places we use for personal services began shutting down as well. What is going to happen next? Will I still have a job, when are the kids going back to school, how are we going to maintain some type of normalcy…? Slowly and surely things were figured out. Luckily, my job at the school continued to pay me even though at the time I was a temporary employee. My younger boys also spent some time in Florida. My oldest son was still working. I was beyond worried but he needed something to keep him busy and he didn’t really come into contact with other people. We’re getting into April and June and I’m running out of things to do. I then reach out to the school and I find out that they need help for summer school in July. I worked at the school for the month of July with Special Needs children. I also started going to the beach at on Sunday mornings just to clear my mind and relax in the sun. I went on a boat ride to see the dolphins and my baby sister came to visit for a few days. I took time to figure some things out within myself. At the end of July, I started preparing for my younger boys to come back while wondering what I can do to continue to keep them occupied. I also met someone who, as the time went on, made me face and address some persona things that i would normally brush off or keep to myself….we’re still building things 7 months later. In the midst of chaos in the world, I did find some peace and happiness and I was not too concerned what was going to happen but taking it day by day….
March 13, 2020…
I went to work that day with a migraine from. I remember crying because the pain was so intense. I ended up leaving after being there for only 15 minutes. I threw up on the way home, barely making it into the bag that I had in the car. A few days prior, there were talks about closing the schools down for 2 weeks because of the Covid-19. Once I get home, I take medicine and lay down to get rid of the headache. I wake up a few hours later to a notification that schools will be shutting down that day, which was a Friday, for at least 2 weeks. I ended up going to the store to stock up on things since my boys would be going to school virtually and would be eating all of there meals at home. Thankfully I went when I did because it got crazy in the stores as the day went on. Later on that night, I ended up going out for a while to eat, shoot pool and have drinks. (I got rid of that migraine 🙂 ) That would be the last time I went out for a long time. In the upcoming weeks, curfews were enforced and businesses were forced to close doors or reduce productivity. It finally hit me that we would all be home for an indefinite amount of time. I had a volleyball game the Wednesday following the Friday that schools were closed down and I was PISSED!!! I loved playing volleyball and I also went to work after these games. So at this point, I realized it was time to slow it down and have a seat to process what was going to be happening in the months to come. This worked in my favor in a couple of ways. The first was me being able to spend more time with my kids, much needed time. The second thing was it gave me a chance to breath for once and relax without having to run, run, run. I didn’t have to go to either one of my jobs, I didn’t have to get ready for a volleyball game, I didn’t have to run my boys back and forth for their activities and I didn’t have to rush home to cook dinner. Although there was so much uncertainty, I felt calm and relieved. My worry for bills and other responsibilities were thrown to the back burner for a moment just so I could enjoy my time with my kids and to relax. So by default, I got a much needed break….
Wow!! It’s been well over a year since I’ve last posted something. That’s definitely way too long. Today, I told myself that I need to be posted a few time a week. Besides the obvious game changer, Covid -19, it’s been a crazy and eventful year. I’ve left and gained relationships, I’ve lost my grandfather to Covid, I’ve had health scares, I’ve been in a cloudy state of mind for months, I started a new position with my job and I was able to spend so much needed time with my boys. I’ve learned boundaries, I’ve learned to speak up for myself at all times, I’ve learned to express myself without feeling bad about doing so and I’ve also learned that I don’t have to deal with things that I know will do me more harm than good. I’ve learned so many things about myself, positive and negative. I am now reminding myself daily when dealing with people that I can’t expect myself from other people. That will definitely set you up for disappointment and I’ve experienced that disappointment several times over the year. I am looking forward to going into detail about all of the things that I brought up. It’s been a year of self reflection and growth…I can’t wait to share with you all!!!
Peace and Blessings
As I mentioned in the previous blog, I’ve decided to step down from a salaried manager to an hourly manager/team member. It’s something that I’ve been thinking about for a while now and I’ve finally decided to make that decision and step down. The two main reasons were being more present for my children and a piece of mind. This job requires 50 hours a week and each shift being different (opens, mids and closes and not in hat particular order. Once you do the math with the 50 hours, travel time and getting ready for work, too much time is being taken away from home. Yes as parents, we have responsibilities and sacrifices that we make on a daily basis but at what point do you say ok enough is enough? I have all boys and I do my best to keep them on the right path to success academically and personally. Too many influences out here for me to not have my presence known more than what it is now. My oldest son has scarified a lot of his kid time to help watch his brothers. I love him so much for it and not complaining but he’s 16 and does not have children he’s responsible for. I want him to enjoy his teenage years, football and his social life. Yes it’s a big pay cut but I never wanted to be hat parent depending on their child to help with siblings. It’s hurts working back to back shifts and seeing your kids for a brief moment while getting ready for school. It’s tough being tired and sleepy all the time and missing out on that time they need from me to tell me what’s going on in their little young but important lives. It’s trusting being irritable all the time over the smallest things because you can’t function 100% from the lack of rest. God will make a way for us to be ok and I’m so thankful that I’ll have more time with my kids. They’re all going through changes and they need all the support and undivided attention that they can get. I’m also going back to school!!!!! I’m so excited for this. I’ll be able to focus and finally get done because it’s been long enough. I’m ready to do what’s in my heart which is helping people (social work). I pray that I’ve made the right choice and I pray for the piece of mind that I’ve been missing.
Man! It’s been a while since I’ve last blogged and so much has been going on in my world both professional and personal. I’m taking it one day at a time to not overwhelm myself. I took a trip home to PA, saw friends and family that I haven’t seen in years!!! I ate plenty of good food 😊😊 I also faced some old situations that needed to be addressed. I relaxed for once while on vacation and it was great. I also decided to step down in management at work for a piece of mind and to have more time with my children 💛 I’m learning so many new things, including things about myself…who would have thought that could happen at 34 lol I’m also planning my 35th birthday which is coming up next month. I’m feeling that this milestone is important and I’m choosing to not pour energy to people or things that aren’t worth the energy or who can’t reciprocate the same energy. I’m ok with that!! I’m loving the woman I’m continuously growing into. Now…it’s time to get back to business and catch up on some things 😎
To my two Angels,
I love you! I miss you dearly. I miss what could have been. I miss the possibilities. I miss the life that could have been. I miss the fact that you aren’t physically here as a part of the bunch. I dreamed of you two and you were the most beautiful little girls I have ever seen. You looked like your brothers that are here with me. Perfect in every way. You told me that you were ok, were watching me and would always be with me. Everything happened for a reason and I truly believe that my two beautiful baby girls were sent to watch over me from the heavens and that my handsome boys were here to protect me here on this earth. At my most vulnerable and down moments, I feel protected. My first baby girl, I briefly saw you as you left my body. The pain I felt emotionally is a pain I wouldn’t wish on anyone. My second baby girl, I felt a familiar physical pain and I knew that our time here was over. My girls, my sweet baby girls…I say this because I knew you were my girls before you had the chance to be here. I’ve seen you in my dreams. Know that I always think of you and you’re always in my heart. I miss you. I miss the possibilities. I miss what could have been. I love you two always and forever. My Angels above, please continue to guide your brothers, protect your brothers and be with them.
Your mommy 💛
Ok, what I’m about to say is cliche but so true. Many women look for their fathers in the men they date. Guilty as charged. For some of us, not having that positive father figure or a father figure al together, affected us in so many ways throughout our lives and at times it was overlooked as something else. I have no shame in speaking my faults, so here we go. Staying in relationships/situationships because I was constantly looking for the missing pieces I missed growing up…protection, nurturing, reassurance, love with no conditions, stability and being that number one girl. I feel like a load has been lifted just saying all of that. I feel like having a father or father figure is important for girls growing up because they set the platform for how a man is supposed to treat and woman and that little girl then growing up to accept nothing less and only the best treatment. ULTIMATE FAIL HERE! No one is perfect by far, but we learn by example. Some of us learn without the example, which is great, but what about some of us who are somewhat conditioned to accept almost anything because we’re looking for that missing piece? At what point do we say, this is not acceptable and turn that example to I know what I want and deserve? Every woman wants to be loved, protected and treated like a princess/queen. We accept some mediocre behaviors thinking, great this is all that I need when in reality it’s far from the truth. I stayed in a marriage for stability and the fear of failing. Did I love him? Absolutely. But I was unhappy for a long time because I accepted being content and stable and not demanding, then following through with what I deserved and wanted. This last relationship…….I felt protected when he was around but I didn’t feel loved, nurtured, reassured, like the number one girl or stable. I couldn’t open up and speak the truth of my heart. I was constantly wanting and waiting for everything I was missing to happen. I thought of my own father who was absent most of my life due to his own issues and demons. I love my father but I didn’t like this fact that I experienced so much pain and couldn’t run to his arms. Instead, I ran into the arms of those who I thought could love and treat me like I wish my father would have. I’m raising four boys into men. I pray that if and when they have children, they won’t be the missing pieces. I constantly tell them how women should be treated and I sit back and watch them apply. I’ll be 35 years old this June and I feel like looking for those missing pieces in the wrong people is old and tired. I’ve experienced enough to know what I deserve and nothing less than the best. I applaud the little girl in me for staying strong for so long, never giving up and still being able to love unconditional regardless of life being thrown at her in so many ways. No longer looking for those missing pieces and finding something wholesome.
I find myself watching cartoons here and there. Sometimes it’s intentional, like when I’m upset or if something’s bothering me. Other times, it’s just when I stop running through the channels and it just happens to land on Spongebob lol I sat and thought about it and I honestly feel that I use this escape reality, even if it’s for a short amount of time. It’s also a recap for me to my childhood or the lack of at several points it seemed like. I feel like that little girl, zoned out, watching tv and not having a care in a world. Temporarily finding that innocent, untainted happy place that once existed as a child. I amaze myself with how everything seems to be ok in that time frame where Doug or Bugs Bunny may have my attention. I’m no longer sad, mad, upset, consumed with worry and not having to deal with the messy part of the reality that’s lived. It feels GREAT to be in that fantasy world but at the end of the day, reality is real as hell and it needs to be dealt with…..accordingly.