I Survived with Help From Above

Late last night I quietly marked the 1st anniversary of my mother’s death. Anniversary has always seemed an odd way to refer to someone’s death, because I really only think about anniversaries in relation to happy occasions. However when you turn to the dictionary, as we writers, are trained to do you find that this term is appropriate.
Merriam-Webster defines an anniversary as “the annual recurrence of a date marking a notable event” and notable it was. That is the day that my world changed forever and a piece of me died.
The hours, days and months have continued and with each day I have learned something new about me, and in turn about my mother. You see, I envisioned myself experiencing a total meltdown. A meltdown complete with days in the bed and tears that would never seem to stop flowing. That was not the case, and it is my mother who predicted what would happen. A few weeks before she died, at a time when I still believed she would be around for several months she calmly told me “you’ll be fine,” in response to my tear-filled rant about not knowing how I would manage to survive without her.
I also give credit to my faith and belief that she is now in a better place and that she is no longer suffering. God has led me through this and along the way He has placed the right people in my path at the time they were most needed. As an example, over the last four days I have experienced the love and support of four different women, all keeping me grounded as my mother would do if she were here.
This all began on Friday when a new friend presented me with a lovely book that celebrates the mother-daughter bond. The book “Still the Person I Turn To” is a compilation of quotes and Bible verses that speak to this special relationship and it was written by daughter’s for their mother. When Evelyn presented the book to me, she said she had reservations about whether her timing would be appropriate or if it would be too difficult for me to receive. I’m happy to say that the timing was perfect because I knew that it was given with love, and at a time when I needed to feel some joy.
Saturday while researching family history I had to call my Mom’s sister to verify some information and that call turned into a long conversation about family and finally about spirits being channeled into the living. How, you ask? Well this past December when Cleveland experienced its first major snow storm of the season I was overcome with a desire to be outside in the snow, a trait I had left in my childhood years ago, and my only explanation for this desire was that my Mom was pulling me out into the snow. She loved to be out and about during the first snow. I recall a number of phone calls asking, “Hey girl don’t you want to go for a drive? or Let’s go for a walk and play in the snow.” So why else would I be drawn outside in some of the nastiest weather of the season? Not long after that experience I shared it with my aunt but she wanted to know more about channeling.
This idea of someone speaking to you from another place is all new to me, and I can’t say that I know how it happens or if it really does. I can however say that this is the second time I believe someone who was not present attempted to send me a message.
The wonders of friendship continued on Sunday when a friend decided to forgo her own health to attend a reading of “for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf.” When she called she said she wasn’t feeling well, but would attend because of the circumstances – the anniversary of my Mom’s death.
To further confirm the presence of spirits in our lives, or at least in mine, I received a package in the mail today from a friend thinking of me during my time of loss. She sent me an essay “Connected To Mama’s Spirit” by Gloria Wade-Gayles that chronicles the mother-daughter bond and our connection with other “dimensions”. It is a wonderfully written story of a daughter’s last days with her mother and how she fought the presence of other dimensions. How fitting!
I share this to say that I made it through the first year. It’s been challenging and difficult, but I have learned that the strength I don’t believe my mother knew she had was passed on to me, along with the gift of loving friends. I miss her daily, but I have faith I’ll see her again.

A Day of Accomplishments

Trying to find time to engage in some of my favorite activities has been a bit of a struggle lately.I love to say ‘work gets in the way of life’, but we all know you have to work in order to enjoy some of the joys in life!
Work is not always the problem. You see I enjoy a number of creative activities – writing, photography, paper crafting, knitting and reading. Now, each of these activities can be intense and time consuming so actively engaging in th
ese activities on a regular basis can be difficult.
Let’s take a look at these activities:
Writing has been a love and a neglected passion for a number of years. I say it has been neglected because I have not quite figured out a good writing routine. I started this blog as a means to find my way back to writing, but as you can see from
glancing at the previous posts lists I have only been able to keep this up in spurts. The problem maintaining this blog consistently is that I don’t have a true focus
You see truly successful blogs tend to focus on one, possibly two subjects and there are scheduled postings with a minimum of one posting per week. I have really got to get busy on making scheduling regular posts.
Additionally, I think I need to redesign my blog so that I can have sections for my various passions. This is a future endeavor, one I hope will take place in the near rather than far off future.
Photography has been a regular activity since I was about 13 and probably earlier than that, but that is when I received my first 35mm SLR camera. Over the years I
have taken photography classes and dabbled with developing
my own photos, but my diligence waned. This Christmas I received a Digital SLR and the photo-bug was reignited! Below is an example of some photos taken while playing around with my
new camera.

These photos bring us to another of my passions – knitting! I recently completed both of the hats pictured above! The bottom over processed photo was taken as part of my work for my Mastering Manual Mode class at Big Picture Online Classes.
The purpose of this class is to help owners of digital DSLR’s take the camera off of automatic and add art to your photography. I can say it’s been a bit of a challenge, but a lot of fun. I’m revisiting some of the basics of photography that I left behind when I picked up my first digital camera.
This is another example from class – the focus of this sample is a
perture settings.

Paper crafting really entails making greeting cards and invitations by hand. Utilizing stamps and a variety of techniques I have come to enjoy creating cards, but I have not found much time to create lately.
Finally, I love reading and every six weeks or so I read a new title thanks to my book club The Literary Sistas! My Sistas and I read only African American fiction, and it is usually of the literary variety. Some of the authors we have read include Toni Morrison, Tananarive Due, Carleen Brice, Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant, Mat Johnson, and Leonard Pitts to name a few.
I read all authors and some non-fiction because I truly love a good book. The race or nationality of the author is not the first thing I look at, but I do have a tendency to read works by authors of color because they are so often overlooked by the masses.
To further my writing efforts I also post book reviews. Check back in the next couple of weeks for new reviews.
Today was a productive day because I dabbled in photography and found the time to write this post. Progress is made one step at a time! I hope you will join me on this journey.
Comments are always welcome…let me know what you think this might inspire a new post!