Thursday, September 8, 2016


I haven't written in so long it feels foreign because I do not feel like I am the same person I was even a few months ago.  This summer I took time off from work to spend time with my girls and to get my bearings, to catch my breath and figure out what was happening with my soul.  Now that the summer has ended and I am back to work, I feel like I was sucked up into a tornado and then set back down in the middle of a foreign country where I don't speak the language.

The first thing that happened when I went off on parental leave was dealing with my beloved uncle beginning to decline due to a second battle with cancer.  I was blown away that he was so sick and then when we began visiting every other week, I saw the further decline and realized that I was going to lose him.  I was scared to be left by yet another father figure, the only one I  had left.  I was scared to be orphaned, although I still (thank God) have my mother and she has me.  But as we watched her only brother dying I knew that I was dying on the inside too and nobody knew it but me.

May, June, and part of July we watched this man whom our whole family still adores deteriorate almost beyond recognition.  I rehearsed in my heart and mind all the others that had declined and then died the same way.  And the truth is, I gave up.  I gave up on life.  I gave up on me.  I gave up on God.  I gave up on faith.  And while this was happening, my heart stopped beating with the passion I used to have.  I had already been hanging on by a thread as it was, which was why I stopped working for the summer.  My passion for helping others and loving others was already fragile; then everything in me snapped.

My husband didn't understand what happened to the wife he used to know because she didn't know herself.  Our babies, placed in our home, watched their mother crying everyday.  The phone didn't ring and I felt like everybody that I had ever helped left me alone and never tried to be there for me how I had been there for them in times past.  I found myself numb to everything and everybody, except for a handful of people that loved me anyway.

When I say this summer was the worst one of my life, I mean that.  There is no comparison.  My heart was broken and I no longer could be who I was.  And the truth is NO ONE GAVE A DAMN.  And as far as I am concerned no one does, still.

My husband and I fell apart. Without saying too much because the situation is still sensitive, we both mutually agreed that we are no longer compatible.  Quite frankly, I will never be the woman he knew again.  Too much in my heart and soul has been damaged and I need to live life a different way now.  I have lost too much and I am empty.  He deserves better, but I cannot give that to him at this point.

July 19, 2016 at 1:25 a.m. I received the phone call that made everything that was crumbling in my life turn to dust.  My uncle died; he went to heaven and left me here.  No one knew that I hadn't been awakened by the phone call,  I was sitting in my chair in my bedroom, feeling anxious and restless, not able to sleep.  And then the phone rang.  I must have felt something deep down when he took his last breath.  My soul felt him leave.  And my soul still feels his absence.

So why don't I write anymore?  Why am I not the same person anymore?  I can't really put into words any of this.  Why am I not the strong person I used to be and why aren't I ready to just jump right back into the life I had?  Because I will never be the same again.  This loss, after all the other losses, took a major part of my heart and crushed it.

The only thing I want, more than anything, is to be loved and understood by those that matter the most.  But it feels very lonely down in this valley.  I have no flowery words or feelings for all this.  I want to love and be loved, but that feels very far removed, the more I reach for these things.  Where do I go from here?  I have no idea.  I am trying to plan the rest of my life, reaching for love and hoping one day it reaches back, but not being sure.  I am trying to move beyond an imminent divorce and living my life as a single mother in the Detroit area or in Grand Rapids. 

But the truth is, after this summer of no rest and no restoration, I have no idea who I am now.  And there is really no one around to tell me.

Friday, June 3, 2016


I know you've been missing me.

I've been missing you too....whoever YOU are. 

It has literally been a crazy year.  Since May 28, 2015, it has been cray-cray to the nth degree.  My husband and I are now parents to two little girls.  There is no more speculating on when my barrenness will end and when I will be a mom.  On May 28th, the oldest child moved in with almost little to no fanfare.  The newness set in when she threw her first cry fest with us at bedtime.  It seemed to last forever.  Today, she doesn't cry as much anymore - or at least, not for the same reasons.

In July, the little one that we had been waiting forever for moved into our home and immediately we were renamed "Mommy" and "Daddy".  This tiny little girl whom we loved on every weekend for a year as alternative caregivers became our daughter legally on April 29, 2016.  She became our Ariyanna and we became hers.

Unfortunately, in this same climactic year, I gave up on writing, art, and photography.  I gave up on helping others with their books because I was never paid for work I had done.  My work and my passion was overlooked for the sake of their pocketbooks.  Funny how that happens.  So I stopped announcing that I was so passionate about the oxygen in my lungs and the heartbeat of my life to others, even though it felt like my bones were burning within me.  I still laid my pen down.

That is why you didn't hear from me.

That is why I remained silent.

That is why I convinced myself that no one cared about what I had to say or my view of the world captured through photographs or the paintings in my studio.

I gave up on all that creative stuff and stuffed myself into my return to foster care case management.  I literally threw myself into helping others.

They were helped but it didn't really work for me.  I lost me in the process.

Here I was a new mother to these little girls that I didn't physically give birth to, but was laboring to bring forth into a new life, nonetheless.  Here I was trying to please the "powers that be" that they made the right choice in selecting me for my position at work.  Here I was ignoring the studio in the basement of my home, starting to use it as storage.  Here I was keeping the camera in the bag and never taking it out to snap one picture of my girls running around in the backyard. 

Three weeks ago, I made a decision to follow the unction of God.  You know how when you pray and ask God to work a miracle or move a mountain and he does and you know that you have to be obedient to the answer you received?  Well, that's where I found myself.  I asked God to get me out of the place where I was emotionally, financially, and even physically because I no longer felt like me.  Some prayers are radical because you don't really know how in the world things will work out and you know that a sacrifice will have to be made.

Three weeks ago, I made a phone call, submitted some paperwork, and started transferring cases to other co-workers.  I looked into my children's eyes and knew that I  had to press the stop button on some things in my life and the start button on more pertinent and serious things in our lives.  I went on a parental leave from my job because even though I didn't physically give birth to them, they deserved to have my attention; I needed a maternity leave of sorts for them.

They needed to see their "real mom".  They needed to see their mother painting in the studio.  They needed to go to the movies in the middle of the day on a Friday afternoon with their mother so they could enjoy "Finding Dory".  They needed to learn more stuff to get prepared for preschool and kindergarten.  They needed the real me because honestly, in this year, they haven't truly had the privilege of meeting her yet.

I know that I am in a middle of yet another transition in every area of my life.  Truthfully it is a spiritual transition; I need to draw closer to God so I can be a better mom, a better wife, a better career/business woman, a better writer, a better artist, a better photographer, a better daughter, a better minister to hurting people.  I need to allow this time to refocus and build a stronger foundation for me and my family with my husband.

I am excited about taking a break.  I have never done this before.  I just knew I needed to.  And I hope that even in this, I am helping others realize what is most important in their lives as well.

I think the most prolific thing about this season is that I see others that are in the same place as I am - transitioning from one place to another.  I see others saying no to those obligations that take them away from their families, themselves, and their passions.  I am glad I am not alone.