Thinking of you…
Not too long after Mom passed, I stepped out on faith and did something that I would never do. I entered a Model Call/Ambassador Call for a local organization called “Natural Girls Rock”. There were forty or more young women wanting to be part of this Natural Hair movement that taken over. I became one of the chosen few. With that being said, I want to take this time to thank Kelly and the Natural Girls Rock team for taking a chance on a grieving young lady who was simply trying to pick up the peaces of her life and put herself back together again. My Mom would be so proud and in love with the work that I have done with the organization. She was about community service, missionary work, teaching, inspiring, encouraging and love. That’s what Natural Girls Rock is about. What better way to honor her legacy by being apart of something that represented who she was? Most people don’t know, is when Mom first started feeling sick, long before we knew what was really wrong, I cut my hair. It represented newness, patience, it taught me what it really meant to be faithful and consistent and above all to honor my mom. Mom eventually lost her hair due to treatment but it didn’t define who she was. Needless to say I am attached to my hair because of the journey. It irritates me to hear people say “Oh it’s just hair.” because to me it’s not. It means more to me than anyone will ever possibly even care to know.
I was given the opportunity to do a photo shoot in September (nervously), a fashion show in which I walked in November(even more nervously) two days before my first birthday without my mom, and participate in other events that allowed me travel and to share my story and encourage others. Little did I know that my story, my journey and loss would inspire others. I have met some amazing women along the way, women who have continued to comfort and encourage me. (Thanks, ladies… you know who you are!) I have received so much love from people who I didn’t think paid much attention to me. Thse people saw my light, a light that I thought had dimmed the day my Mom passed.
What I have realized recently is that had Mom not put God in my in my life and had I not seen His light for myself through her I would NOT be the light that people have gravitated to. I never knew that encouraging others would encourage myself. “This little light of mine, I’m gone let it shine!” I don’t know where my light will take me or how many more lives it impacts but I go faithfully. He didn’t break the mold when He created Mom but I believe He left a lil bit for me.
“Believe it or not you’ve inspired me in many ways. Besides you’re ridiculously perfect fro, my spirit natural accepts you. You are very genuine . I admire your love for your mom and how you strive to overcome your loss. Your happiness comes through and brings joy to others. You da chic id see in a crowd and say I wanna hand out with her.” ~Shelya, FL~
“Thank you for being you! When I come to your Instagram page you make and brighten my day! You’re inspiration in every sense of the word.” ~Nacole, Fl~
Photographer: John Thomas (for natural girls rock)
Other pics were taken by me
The joys and inside jokes shared with Mom made having a relationship with her so easy and the hard times made it strong.
CATAWAMPUS: cat·a·wam·pus [kat-uh-wom-puhs] adjective 1.askew; awry. 2. positioned diagonally; cater-cornered.
When Mom would position herself into bed my brother Vernon would say “Mom, you lookin a little catawampus.” and that strange word (That I’ve never heard of before) would tickle Mom pink. She laughed for two reasons. 1. The word was funny. 2. It would literally take her 101 ways to fashion herself into a comfortable position in bed.
Video: I would often times watch Mom get ready or go shopping and watch her try on things. Mom had a “Fashion Fair (her favorite make up) Runway Walk”. Sitting on the sideline watching her I would make lil comments about how she looked and primped. “Whoo chile, watch out der now look at Rev. Martha!!” She would turn to me and say “Get out my video Merical Joy”.
Mom was a fashion extraordinaire and very prideful of her appearance. She never wanted to be seen NOT looking her best, regardless of how she felt. Mom came home from church one Easter Sunday and she looked stunning. I mean the hat matched the trim of the suit and so did the shoes. Only MY took the time to complete her look by dying her gloves and pantyhose mint green. My niece Carrie being silly and looked at Mom and said “Gran, what you doing with that flower pot on your head.” If I only had my camera that day. You see the outfit was a full length mint green coat with the matching long dress. The flowers were on the trim on the bottom the coat and around the sleeve. The dress had the same flower trim as my Mom’s hat, lets not forget the J Rene’ shoes that matched too. Mom looked in the mirror and gave herself the fiercest overlook and retired to her room. Not to throw shade at Kenya Moore’s “Gone with the Wind Twirl” but MY Mom, The Late Reverend Martha Virginia Alexander did it best!
These are the memories that make me smile and memories that I will cherish and never forget. Please create and cherish memories with your loved ones. Take plenty of pictures for they will provide comfort in the times of grief.
Today would have been my Mom’s 74th Birthday. On Sunday, January 20, 2013 my siblings and family gathered to release 74 balloons and celebrate and Mom’s life. Her birthday is extremely hard for me because I wasn’t with Mom for her last birthday. Had I known last year was going to be her last, I would have worked harder to be at her side. God ordained things to happen the way they did. I don’t feel any guilt because when I was and could be there, I was and I enjoyed every single moment of it no matter how hard it was. As I continue to travel this road from grief to healing, I ask for continued prayers. The void in my heart and not having her here still hurts. I pray constantly for healing and restoration.
Mom, I carry your love in my spirit and your words in and my heart. I miss your smile and laughter. I long to hear your voice, smell your scent and to be able to rest in the comfort of your arms. I cherish every single card you gave me, the wisdom you provided, every prayer when you prayed for, with and over me and my son Adreyn (your baby), for every conversation, every high and low, and everything that you represented as a woman of God. I thank you for being there for me and allowing me being there for you. I’m honored to have had the opportunity to take care of you the way you took care of me. He gave you 73 years of a glorious life here and presented you with the gift of eternal life on the other side. God blessed and granted me 31 years to enjoy a life with you and for that I am humbled and grateful for that honor.
Happy Birthday, Mamee! You are loved and missed.
I’m Still Here
As I sit in heaven
And watch your everyday
I try to let you know with signs
I never went away
I hear you when you are laughing
And I watch you as you sleep
I even place my arms around you
To calm you as you weep
I see you wish the days away
Begging to have me home
So I try to send you signs
So, that you will know you are not alone
Don’t feel guilty that you have
Life that was denied me
Heaven is truly beautiful
Just you wait and see
So live your life, laugh again
Enjoy yourself, be free
Then I know with every breath you take
You’ll be taking one for me…
Love you all,
On Sunday, January 20, 2013 130pm at Kennedy Memorial Gardens. My siblings and I RELEASED 74 balloons in honor of moms upcoming birthday Thursday, January 24, 2013.
As we try to put the pieces of our lives back together after our lost, it is always something. When there is disharmony, it makes the continued grieving and healing process even harder. It is my understanding that all of the things that has transpired since mom’s passing is “normal” or that “it happens in every family “. What disturbs my spirit the most is that, normal or not certain things simply should not be. Seeing a person with a sorrowful heart and allowing it to fester is worse than seeing a loved one’s body committed to the ground. They have no clue, knowledge or understanding that having a heart like that can break their spirit. I understand people grieve and deal with loss differently. I however pose the question
“Should someone else’s grieving process affect the healing process of another?”
Proverbs 15:14 The discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly.
If we have God’s understanding, we can ask Him for the knowledge to overcome every trial and situation. God is bigger than our grief, sorrow, pain and every problem that any of us face. We shouldn’t be like the fool who feeds on his folly. This is a person who is continually mouthing their troubles, blaming others including God. They blame Him (God) for their circumstances and even for taking their loved one away. They fed on self-pity and rehearse their problems to all who will listen. We must give our heartaches and troubles to God and keep a cheerful attitude no matter what is going on in our lives. We need to remember, “this too, shall pass” as God is eternal and has a good plan for our future.
We must find a way to give mom back to the Lord (She belonged to Him first, anyways.) and ask Him to remove the sorrow and grief from our hearts. We can keep the good memories, but we must not allow the enemy to torment us with the bad memories. God will replace the emptiness we feel, if we ask Him to. Jesus died on the cross, not only to give us eternal life, but He also died to take our grief and sorrows. Since He took them, we do not have to take these things into ourselves, but receive healing, and peace by faith. Faith that mom had and displayed everyday prior to her transition.
Isaiah 53:4-6 (NIV) Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Tormenting grief is of the devil, that torment can make you want hold on to things that should not be held on to, like worldly possessions. That negative emotion can cause you to live in the past, ignore your present and void your future. The devil uses bad memories to keep you in bondage and make you hurt people around you. Unknowingly or even knowingly you are hurting family and friends who are trying to transition from grieving to healing. Not caring or being aware and conscious of the fact that they suffered the same loss as you.
The Bible tells us in Philippians 3:13-14 to forget those things behind us, and reach forth to the things in front of us in Christ Jesus. The devil uses grief as way to keep you from remembering God’s Word and promise to us.
I am in no way shape or form an expert and I don’t have all the answers. This journey without mom is new for me and I am learning this process as I go along. I can’t quote hundreds of scriptures. I still have to go to the table of contents to find certain books of the Bible. Im not trying to be preachy or holier than thou, just stating how I feel and know for myself. I know is what I was taught and instilled in me.
I remember how hard it was for my mother to eulogize her own mother years prior to her own passing. Mom did not allow the grief of loosing her own mother to consume her. She didn’t harbor my grandmother’s possessions. She knew the true value of her mother and it wasn’t defined by material things. She continued to live even through her moments of sadness because she was human. She didn’t stop taking care of herself, working, going to church, ministering, and teaching. I know the kind of woman my mother was and not because she was “mom” but because she was a living testimony, inspiration and example.
The best way to honor mom’s life and legacy is to not allow the devil to bind us in so much grief and darkness that we can’t see the light. Mom would want us to be free and release but remember her. Jesus died so that we may live so that we can be blessed and a blessing to others. If we submit to God and resist the devil, then the tormenting grief and pain caused by the devil, will have to flee. (James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.)
With mom’s birthday, the first anniversary of her death and Mother’s Day approaching we have to remember it was God’s voice we heard through her. It was God’s light that we saw in her and it was God’s light that she went into when she passed. We wanted the best for her and she is receiving the best right now, in heaven. How could we not be joyous in that? There is nothing on this side of the world to hold on to but memories of and being there for mom when she needed us the most. My vow is to RELEASE tormented grieving and allow God to heal my heart and fill the void. I want to live the life that God has for me with a “cheerful attitude” and make my mother proud.
1 Corinthians 2:9 But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”