Tag Archive | Mom

Why Not Me?

We were sitting at the table with my Uncle George during our annual family picnic and he says “I miss my Sis.” He said during his last conversation with Mom before she passed he asked her “Sis, have you ever asked God “Why me?”” and she said to him “Why not me?” At that moment I was speechless. It was such a profound statement from such a profound woman. We will never know how and what Mom was feeling leading up to her transition but one thing we DO know is, that she accepted whatever God had in store for her.

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How many times have you questioned God and asked why something was happening to you? Better yet, how many times have you thought that God was punishing you? I know I have. I used to think that God was mad at me. He was mad at me for not going to church, not praying, reading the Bible and tithing like I was supposed to. I was in a dark place, depressed and very unhappy for more than a year. I felt like God didn’t love me anymore. He had taken my Mother and other things away from me. I couldn’t see the light or find my way through. It was a dear friend of Mom’s who spoke new life into me. She reminded me that God didn’t DO anything to me, He didn’t take anything away. God was simply preparing me for a new harvest in my life. He will never take anything from you that won’t be replaced with something better. When I look back at the times I questioned God, I can hear Mom’s voice saying “Why not me?” and am reminded that God gives his battles to his strongest soldiers.  Those three words are an affirmation that I had to go through some heartaches, heart breaks, some losses, and tears to be able to appreciate God’s love for me. Right now I can appreciate my life, job, finances and relationships more. I can truly understand that all things happen in divine order according to God’s will. We are exactly where He wants us to be in our lives.

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Life’s A Beach

I had the pleasure to wake up one morning and walk along the beach. There’s nothing like the sound of the water washing up on the shore and the feeling of sand between my toes. I’m at peace when I’m on the beach because it seems as if everything fades as the waves come and go.

Every time the water meets the sand and goes back into the ocean it leaves a different mark. I began to wonder, what will my mark be? How will I be remembered? Will people remember how I made them feel? Things I said or didn’t say? Things I did or didn’t do? Will they remember my smile and laughter?

Walking The Beach

Walking The Beach

I have always felt like I needed closure. No matter what the situation was, I always wanted people to know how I felt or how they made me feel. I would often times loose sleep when things went unresolved or when I felt like someone wronged me. Eventually I realized that sometimes closure means leaving things, situations and even people alone and simply moving on. I had to remember to pray about whatever it was and put it in God’s hands. I also had to have faith that He would give me a sense of peace and that was better than closure.

I believe the best thing to do in moving on and creating an everlasting mark is to make sure your body of work, (your life) is done with integrity and humility. Life is not easy, we are not perfect and we should never miss an opportunity to start over and make better decisions. Pray without ceasing. Take responsibility for your actions.  Apologize when you’re wrong, even if it’s not accepted. Love unconditionally. Give cheerfully. Enjoy life and the people in it. Live with no regrets. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Smile and laugh often. Forgive as Christ has forgiven you.

Mom left us with memories that will never fade and numerous and valuable life lessons. I will never forget this particular lesson I learned, while simply walking along the beach.

When you leave this place, leave your mark and be remembered.

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34 Years….

Waking up in tears… Today is my 34th birthday. I dreamed of Mom last night. She called and asked me to take pics of her at the church. No matter how many times I tried to capture her I couldn’t. I was either too far away or my camera wouldn’t shoot. While attempting to take one last photo of her she started to faint, I ran towards her but by the time I got to her she was gone.

Photography is something that I love and cherish dearly and Mom was my biggest supporters and I pride myself on being able to capture amazing photos. It was frustrating trying to figure out what the point of the dream was and then I remembered this photography quote…

“Life is like a camera. Focus on what’s important, capture the good times, develop from the negatives and if things don’t turn out right, just take another shot.”

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Mom’s not here but she did give me life and wouldn’t want me to focus on her death. To enjoy the good times, develop and grow from the bad times and to keep trying and pushing forward.

Today I will celebrate my birth, the beautiful mother that I was blessed with and the life that I have lived so far. It hasn’t been easy, but it has been good nonetheless. I can lift my hands and say “Thank You, Lord. I won’t complain!” through sorrows, tears, smiles and triumphs.

Happy Birthday to ME!

Happiness

Always on my mind; forever in my heart.

April is approaching and it is the cruelest month ever. While others are basking in the introduction of spring and all things blossoming and beautiful. My family is dreading the anniversary of my moms passing.

Life is never the same after losing a parent even as an adult. For the first time, the person who knew us best, loved us unconditionally and who from the moment of our birth had always been an integral part of our life is no longer alive.

Gone are the expectations of my mother seeing my son grow up, sharing his achievements and his joys, and him sharing in her abundant love, kindness and wisdom. Everything just ceased to exist on the afternoon of Saturday, April 7, 2012.

Life will never be the same.

Eventually, I believe it’s possible to be happy again, or so I’ve been told. Im trying to find happiness through my relationship with God, my son, family and friends in my life. The love and kindness my mother so generously gave to me, is hard to share with others. It’s hard to give something that is so cherished to me that originated with her.

While, I graciously accept the gift of my mom’s life. I also accept that our greatest gifts are not ours to hold forever – but to appreciate and give back to God. But death leaves a heartache that’s often times unbearable therefore, how can happiness be apart of that equation? I try to think of ways to help others as a means to feel better to help my own healing process. Encouraging others, encourages me. When I give back, I’m honoring moms missionary legacy. When I find myself thinking of the time she is having in heaven, I smile and that gives me a small piece of happiness.

As the days go by and I allow God’s healing to take place, I pray daily that the emptiness and unhappiness I feel sometimes will be filled with the reminder of God’s promise to never leave me nor forsake me (Deuteronomy 31:6) and to be with me always (Matthew 28:20). Mom is not here anymore, but God is. He has and will always be there.

God called and Mom answered. Who am I to question or be angry at God? Who am I to want to deny mom a better life worth living?

Philippians 1:21-26 (NIV)
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.

I should bask in the life she had and enjoyed here and how happy she is in heaven. My happiness should merely come from the fact that she is happy and sitting with God. She’s not suffering, she is having the time of her eternal life the way we remember her. Mom was taken well care of, loved and cherished when while she was here. She’s getting the royal treatment now! Its not fair to be selfish but I’m human and it DOES hurt to not have her here. The daily struggle is finding the balance, can I be happy in my life without my mom? Will what should be my happy moments be overshadowed by her absence?

Everyone’s journey to happiness isn’t the same. The distance between the depths of our sadness and road traveled in order to find happiness is different. The best way to honor her would be to not just find individual happiness but to make sure that the rest of the family is happy and cared for as well.

The reality is that being happy doesn’t mean that mom is loved less or forgotten. It just means that we stop allowing the grief to consume our lives. What will honor her memory is for us to live, love, laugh and enjoy the life she helped give us.

I Wish You Enough

I can’t remember where I found this but I thought it was too good to not share.

I love you and I wish you enough.

I wish you enough.” May I ask what that means?”

When it’s said ‘I wish you enough’ we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them”.

“I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.

I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.

I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.

I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.

I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.

I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.

I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.”

They say it takes a minute to find a special person. An hour to appreciate them. A day to love them and an entire life to forget them.

Smile

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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.

Release

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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.

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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”

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