Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Learning from Our Past

Trying to erase your past doesn't take away the pain or the mistakes. Many times trying to erase the past only leaves holes, scars, and fragments of memories of what put you there in the first place. I started writing this as a Food for Thought during my lunch hour earlier today and then stopped and decided I would come back to it a little later. Well my Pandora was pumping out some jams during the day and "Faded Pictures" by Case and Joe started to play through my computer speakers. The song took me way back. That song was back during a time when I was going through some very difficult times.  There is one part in the song that always would get me....

"As she turned through the pages, the tears rolled down her face, I could see her reminiscing, why her life have to be this way, As she stopped and she came to a page where her diary ends To smell the scent of an old rose, from her lover I suppose"

It's funny how during those hard times you think you can't make it through, everything seems devastating and some situations seem like you can't escape. It almost feels like you are being punished for a crime you never committed. During this time of my life I was the most innocent, giving, loving, and caring, person anyone could ever meet and I just couldn't understand how my life seemed to be surrounded by hatred.  Despite my smile I was hurting so deeply, but I held it all in. 

As time progressed I grew stronger and more resilent. But it was still hard to look at the past, because I knew how painful it was.  Despite it all, I never once cut up photographs or cut people out of pictures. Instead I put them away.  As recent as last week I was going through pictures and I came across a few that made me smile again. I thought I looked so beautiful, even remembering what I was going through at that time, I still felt so good looking at the old pictures. When I say those were rough times, they were rough times. Looking back on it, I think what made it so bad is that I never shared my pain with anyone. I kept everything inside and managed to deal with my trouble on my own and at my own pace. i don't recomment that to anyone, especially not my younger readers. If you are going through something that you don't feel comfortable talking to your friends about, at the least find a trusted adult to share your troubles. I know that if I would have shared my troubles, someone would have been able to help me.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Looking at my picture the only word and outsider would have thought would have been "happy".

I think as we learn from our past and stop trying to erase what has happened, we grow and its no longer painful, it's just YESTERDAY!  So when I heard the song today, the main lyrics that stood out to me were

"Faded pictures in a broken glass, Like a mirror revealing, What the woman is feeling"  

As people we all have things we hold on to, but the past is definitely one of those things that can hinder our future if we don't let go of the hurt and anger that may linger with it. Look in your mirror and see what it reveals or is there some broken glass you want gone? If it still hurts reach out. If you don't have anyone to talk to, you are more than welcome to email me 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Good Old Fashion Huffy Bike

Small things make children so happy...and Mommies so emotional.

This weekend was gorgeous out. We'd just finished up the photo-shoot for the blog and had a little time to spare before it was off to visit Grandma, so we decided to go to the park.

On this particular day, when the emotions took me over, I was exhausted from the photo-shoot. I told her "We can go out, but mommy can't walk with you." I normally power walk behind her while she rides her bike. I said "This time I am just going to sit on the bench and watch you". She was so excited. She rode all around me, in laps, up and down, back and forth stopping to make new little friends. Probably the most freedom in our gated playground she's ever experienced.  

I felt tears in my eyes and a knot in my throat. {Here comes the violins} My daughter kept screaming, "Did you see me?, did you see me mommy?. I can do it, I can do it all by myself! " Then she jumped back on her "big" girl bike and sped off without any help. A tear trickled down my cheek. I remembered just months earlier we'd walked that same path, Dad holding on tightly to the back of the bike and me teasing her to not run me over as she steered recklessly in my direction. We'd all laugh and see how she was getting better each day and a little too big for her bike.

They would spend their summer trying to ride that bike and I loved to see them together. I secretly would remember my Daddy guiding the seat of my brother's old Huffy bike, as he taught me how to ride a two wheeler and before long he let go. It's something about when Dad let's go of the back of that bike.... it's like a part of childhood saying goodbye. Don't get me wrong it's not a bad thing at all. It is such a sense of freedom and accomplishment. As a parent you watch them go from riding a tricycle, to needing your help, to no longer needing your help, to riding all's simply a stage in life. Your baby is growing up. In girls it seems harder to let them go with each step, or may be it's just me?

What ever the reason it is great to see how good she has gotten. For her birthday surprise last month she got her first "big"girl Huffy bike and she is so proud to show how she can do it "all by herself". Believe it or not it is already time to adjust the seat.

They grow up so fast. I know one day she won't jump in my arms when I pick her up from school and she won't wrap her arms around my neck to say "goodnight". I also know learning to ride the bike won't be the first time I cry. I'm sure she and Dad will find more ways to make me smile and get emotional. What I do know is that, the time spent with this child of mine is the best time I've ever spent on this earth. I also know I was tired that day, the simple thought of rising off the couch to go outside was exhausting, but I am so glad I did. We may get a few more warm days this fall and I have to let her put a few more miles on her bike. Next summer won't be the same. She is growing each and every day. I have to make it last. I have to remember what's more important. Someone once told me "this is not a dress rehearsal". It's your life, live it! 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Food for Thought: Beyond the Moment

If we stop living in the "right now" and start living for our future we would see that some relationships that are in the "moment"are not meant to be. If we let go of what's not ours we can receive what we truly deserve. 

"I'll close my eyes
Then I won't see
The love you don't feel
When you're holding me
Mornin' will come
And I'll do what's right
Just give me till then
To give up this fight"- I Can't Make You Love Me


I've been teaching my daughter about sharing for as long as she could understand what it meant to not always have her way or what she wants.  She is no different from any other child, sometimes she gets the concept and sometimes not so much, but overall I think she is a well rounded kid. I don't want her to grow up to be selfish and so far she is far from it.

She has always seen mommy donate items to the Goodwill or give things to friends. There is a Goodwill we visit often, but lately I have been wanting to do more. I've wished for a child that I could just give the items to directly. In the summer a friend of mines found a woman at her church whose daughters were in need of shoes, I immediately raided my daughter's closet and found more than shoes and created a care package and sent it on it's way to find a new home. The woman was very grateful. I love doing things like that, it brings me joy to know that someone is getting good use out of things. Well I decided instead of just dropping off the bags at the Goodwill, we'd do something different this time. Since we don't know anyone to directly call up and give the items to, I decided to reach out to all of.

Over the next month or so my daughter and I will be giving toys, clothes, shoes and books to a little girl in need this year ages 4-6. If you or anyone you know that lives in the Chicago-land area that would like these gently used items please leave me an email and leave me your information. If I have more than one girl in need I will divide the items evenly.  This is NOT a contest, your request and  information will remain confidential.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Let's Last Forever

The documentary was excellent, it showcased black love and black marriages from a positive prospective. I saw this movie last year at a discussion group and a question was raised. "What comes first, love or marriage?" At the time I was one of about three single people in the room. Most people there were married, so I listened closely. I learned a lot that night and even more with the year to come. Many couples in the room spoke highly to the fact that the marriage came before the love. Couples married for decades and newlyweds all agreed and shared stories of how the marriage had to come first or there was no survival for the relationship because overtime love changes.

I've recently been thinking alot about the changes relationships go through. Withstanding the test of time. financial burdens, infidelities, miscarriages, infertilites, illnesses, deaths, and so many other obstacles. I think that the same way as God has to send your partner for marriage, you have to be prepared to be married.

I am old fashioned when it comes to love, I always have been. I've been told I was made to be a wife, but yet I am not married, reason is because it is not my time yet. I never dreamed about a wedding day or planned it in my head like most little girls, it just wasn't my thing to do. As hard as I love, I've only been in love once and that says a lot, because I think I get misunderstood often.

As the years have passed I've found so many areas within myself that have made me a better woman. A whole woman. When I marry I want to give ALL I am to my husband, be ALL that I am and take it back to the old school days when men and women lasted forever.  Back in the day love endured, families stayed entacted.  Now a days people get married today and divorced in two years. Even worse people marry for all the wrong reasons. No one seems happy. I don't want that.  One of the elderly women in the documentary spoke about being married to husband and then he passed away. I want that type of love. Until death do us part.

My parents lasted forever...I want that kinda love.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Fall Begins, Apple Orchard and More

We went apple picking this weekend. It was so much fun. I have always wanted to go, but never had a chance. I normally wait until the weather is too rainy and cold and usually get discouraged and back out, but this year I was determined. Apple picking is a great way to experience the outdoors and when you live in a big city like Chicago, it is also a good chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city life.

Saturday morning I woke up with a migraine, which has been the norm for the past month. I think it is stress accompanied with my change of activities, so instead of sitting around and feeling bad all day I decided to pack up my daughter and niece and headed to Indiana for a girl's day out. 

September begins the apple season and it is important to dress properly for the occasion. The weather was cool but sunny for us, so we choose to dress in layers and shoes that we didn't mind getting dirty because the grounds were still wet from rain the previous days. 

The drive out was well over an hour and I knew I hit never..never land when I saw countless roadkill along the way. Still open road beats stressful daily north side traffic and it was taking my mind off the pressure my head was experiencing for the sixth day in a row this week. We went to County Line Orchard in Indiana and general admission was only $1. You pay per pound for the apples you pick, so overall the experience is definitely worth it.  Our goal was to get apples and apples only, no pony rides, no train rides, corn mazes, or whatever other activities they had set-up to have my child begging to do. LOL

We made our way around the fields on the tractors. Certain fields were closed because some apples are not ripe until later October.  We picked apples for about an hour and half. There were many to choose from. The girls had so much fun. I just washing the apples in a mild soap with lukewarm water and then rinising with water to removing and residue. Our orchard was not organic and I did see a white residue on the apples so personally I am being safe.

After we were done picking apples we headed to Steak N Shake for lunch and later to the mall for a little shopping. I will definitely add apple picking to one of my fall activities. If you decide to go or have gone this season please share your experiences.

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