SICK AND TIRED OF BEING SICK AND TIRED

Fannie Lou Hamer was an African American Civil Rights activist of the 60s/70s.

She was well acquainted with the poverty and violence in the Jim Crow South.

A phrase she coined, in all of her activism, was “I am sick and tired of bring sick and tired.”

I feel you, Fannie, because I am tired, tired of being watched in unexpected places.

What do I mean when I say I am tired of being watched in unexpected places?

Well, i have lived most of my life being watched in unexpected places.

Huh?

reeseandcoco

 

Here’s the deal…

I am tired of being watched in places where it is assumed I will not be or presumed I should not be.

Watched by startled eyes that mark my every move to make sure I live up to their lowered expectations.

Expectations gleaned from a family book of prejudices or a media that reports its own brand of digital apartheid or stereotypes paraded behind closed doors of private clubs or redlines rigidly drafted onto stark white paper strewn across dark walnut tables in a good old boys boardroom.

I am weary of others deeming denial as my birthright while privilege continues to labor to keep me in a place as defined by them.

I am sick and tired of my concerns being dismissed as yesterday’s old news while microaggressions nip at my heels day after day  after day.

Yep, I, too, am sick and tired of being sick and tired, so dear people, please be forewarned from this day forward.

Before you bring me any of your foolishness, fine tuned in the errancy of your self-entitled pride, take a deep breath, step back and re-think how you think before you speak.

Because if you don’t, I most definitely will “clap back.”.

Be very, very sure, and rest assured, that the next time you dismiss my truth, I will call you on it and just so you are not uninformed, here is my truth: I, too, am sick and tired of being sick and tired!

 

reeseandcoco

Where’s my mic?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHEN DID I BEGIN? Daily Post Challenge

Origin Story

 

When did I begin

At birth?

Before I knew who I was

Or what I was

Did it begin

When I named myself adult

Grown enough to  make my own decisions

Or so I thought

Was it when I became “Wife”

Or “Mama”

Or “Supervisor”

Or

Was it when I became “Widow”

Had to figure out life on my own

Manage single what once was double

Sleep alone

Dine alone

Survive alone

Become someone’s object of pity

Yearn for Yesterday

Grapple with Today

Wonder about Tomorrow

Find a new voice

Face a new normal

Alone

(un)Naturally

New beginning

New day

New season

New start

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New Normal

 

 

From Forgiveness to the Mission Fields of India

charity for life ministries

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Front to Back:  My niece Aquila, my sister Jacqui in the middle and me Gina E with my hand up

From forgiveness to the mission fields of Chennai, India is where I find myself after reluctantly, but obediently fasting in pursuit of living in the midst of God’s will and call. It was and continues to be important for me, as a maturing Christian and the president and founder of Charity For Life Ministries, to insist that God discloses to me anything in my life that would encumber or prevent me from achieving His call on my life and to Charity For Life Ministries. Every call to leadership is successful when in pursuit of God’s supreme instructions, directions, guidance and when His presence is beckoned . And so it was, in my hunger and thirst, that God revealed to me deeply hidden unforgiveness that was threatening my growth and call…

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HILLARY AND THE “HOOD”

Hillary Clinton is running for President.

No news there.

By the way, did she drop “Rodham?”

But, less I digress,

She is making all the rounds.

I get it.

Shake the hands.

Kiss the babies.

Attend churches that are predominantly black.

Learn how to twerk like the sisters (or was it the Nae Nae she whipped?).

Play dominoes with the brothers.

You know, all that stuff that shows how relatable she is to me and my hood (as in neighborhood).

Wait, what?

I can’t with you, Hillary, I can’t

Your face in what you think is my place does not automatically give you a free pass to my vote.

In fact, I am just a little irritated by your attempt to “connect” with what you think are my connections.

Were you twerking with Bill before this election year?

Did Bill watch you whip?

Did you teach Chelsea how  to play dominoes (or bid whitz for that matter) when she was a little girl?

When was the last time you sang one of those good old hymns you learned in the “black” church?

When was the last time you even attended a “black” church just to worship?

Many people will not get my irritation.

I get it. No big deal to some.

But, for me, it’s tantamount to Hilary proclaiming to the African American who wonders as I am wondering, “Some of my best friends are black!”

Microaggression on display.

I. Just. Can’t.

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p.s. She was in South Central L. A. today (check out the demographic).

Yeah. . .

😳😐😳😐😳😐😳😐

 

 

 

THROUGH THE AIRWAYS

I think I have discovered the “sweet spot” of technology.

It just came to me this morning, this “sweet spot” eureka moment.

It came to me as I was congratulating a Facebook friend on how naturally she took to becoming a first time grandmother.

Prior to the birth of her grandchild, she had expressed concerns on her page about whether she would know how to be a good grandmother.

I responded to her comments, then, with what I hoped were some words of encouragement.

Here is where the sweet spot comes in: I do not know this “friend” personally. She lives in Florida. I am on the West Coast. We will probably never meet in person, yet this “gift” of technology allows us to reach out to one another as though we were sitting across the room from one another chatting about grandchildren.

The “sweet spot” is that place of love and support and encouragement and warm moments of connection with strangers across the states or across the pond.

Faces we do not recognize flow to us through live-streams. Words of sympathy are tweeted on fluid trending timelines. Writers across the world share their thoughts with cyber pen and paper.

Yes, I know.

Technology also has its rachet moments, it’s mean moments, it’s totally out of control moments. But it is just a reflection of society, isn’t it, a melange of diversity and attitude?

It is our choice as to how we use what I will call the “gift” of technology.

When we receive a gift we can either relish it or misuse it. The choice is ours.

Technology also brings with it the potential for psychological trauma as it transmits the chaos and turbulence rampant in the world today. Our hunter-gatherer new world creator ancestors would have been blissfully unaware of such things, at least for a longer period of time, simply because there was no technological herald from across the seas or across the land. News traveled slowly in the New World. By the time word was received of wars and victims and massacres and death, the dead were long buried and the wounded healed. Words of love, hope and support were transmitted in the form of prayers that never reached the physical ears of friends and loved ones but hopefully God would hear and act.

Yes, technology today can either be a bane or a blessing, two words our ancestors would definitely  understand.

I choose the “sweet spot” of blessing.

It is the best I can do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHEN I GROW UP. . .

You wake up one morning and the realization hits you like a cream pie in the face.

You have gotten older.

The years passed by so quickly you did not notice.

Until the year the calendar reminded you

It happens this year.

Big Birthday.

Now you know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, you have more years behind you than in front of you.

Your knees will never recover.

They will just be replaced.

No matter how black your hair appears to others.

You know

It is really gray.

The promotions, bonuses and career highs are now icons from your past.

Energy and memory battle it out to see who will wane faster.

Retirement screams to the world “over the hill.”

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Until the day you wake up and realize

You still have value.

You still have talents and gifts and experience.

So you get up and you move forward into the years that remain.

Determined to wear out

Rather than rust out!

“The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in His hand
Who saith “A whole I planned, Youth shows but half; trust God; see all, nor be afraid!”

You still have passion. 

 

 

 

 

 

WHOSE REALITY IS IT ANYHOW?

real_housewives_logo-9401They are stunning in their expensive jewelry and designer clothes.

There is never a hair out of place on their well coiffed heads.

Their make-up is always on Fleek.

They live in magnificent homes and drive luxury cars.

People who can’t be them, want to be with them.

They are surrounded by individuals who hang on to their every word and while always agreeing with them, never dare to tell them the truth.

They spew malice out of expensively tinted lips and are applauded from the sidelines by the lookie-loos.

Gifted with abundance, there is a poverty of spirit, of hope, of compassion, of understanding

They act out in public, perhaps because of private grief.

Surrounded by one another, they stand alone, wrapped in self-righteousness and self-approval even as they yearn for acceptance and validation.

Sighhhhh. . .

 

IN SEASONS OF DISTRESS AND GRIEF

https://livehomeandaway.wordpress.com/2016/03/13/quotes-on-life-and-empathy/

Grief can often catch you unawares, blindside you with raw memories that threaten to overtake your day. When someone comes alongside to simply walk with you through the “new normal,” their gift of quiet concern is a balm of compassion applied to the wounded soul.

ALL THAT REMAINS

Daily Post WordPress Daily Word Challenge

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“But now I think of my life as vintage wine from fine old fashioned kegs”

I have discovered something.

The older one becomes, the more one realizes life is not forever.

Eighteen takes forever to arrive and the years after that much ballyhooed milestone flash by in a blur!

Leaving the eighteen year old mind to ponder the rather decrepit condition of the body in which it lives.

What happened and when did it happen and where was I when it happened?

In startled realization the eighteen year old mind begins to mull over the undeniable recompense of having been born.

Life ends, sometimes not with a bang but with a whimper or maybe with a sigh or a slight whisper of regret.

What will remain?

When that day of reckoning comes, what will remain to say to the world (or at least my world) that Donna was here?

The Bible reminds us that life is like a vapor, you know, like the steam from a tea kettle that dissipates as soon as the flame underneath it is extinguished.

What will remain behind to say, “There once lived a woman named Donna?”

Kind of sounds like the beginning to a really bad limerick, doesn’t it?

But, really, what will remain?

It’s a little late to become a mogul or a tycoon or even a thousandnaire, so material goods are out!

Material goods of any great value, I mean.

What will remain?

Three daughters whose sharp wits outpace mine but whose humor is reflected in my own?

Yep.

Grandchildren who will remember me as Granny without the “r,” the woman who always asked the typical old folks question, “How is school?”

Yep, again.

Life inspired words splattered across virtual pages released to searching eyes in hopefully exotic places?

Yes, indeed!

Memories of yesterday cocooned in the hearts of those left behind to remember and laugh and cry and cherish?

Now, that is the real question, isn’t it?

Really, what will remain?

Legacy

TUESDAY TANTRUM: Cliched Encouragement

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At some point in our lives, death, the unwelcome interloper, will knock on the door of someone we love.

Though we may do our best to hold on to them, the steely cold hands of death will eventually  win that awful tug of war.

When death interrupts the normal flow of life for someone we know and love, our first instinct is to try and fix their brokenness. We just don’t want them to suffer in their sorrow.

A noble intent, indeed, but I have a word or two for all of us well- meaning souls. . .

STOP IT!!!

We can’t fix it! We can’t change it! We can’t make the pain and sorrow go away!

Yes, I know we rush to their sides because we love them, our heart breaks for them, we want them to feel better!

Yes, yes and yes, I get it! Compassion, sympathy, empathy, pathos, all of that, I. Get. It!

BUT

We must do our best to not hand out clichéd encouragement to those who are going through those gut wrenching moments of sorrow!

Cliched Encouragement

“God has another flower in His garden.”

“You loved them but God loved them more.”

“Now you have an angel to watch over you.”
“You can handle this!”
“Stay strong!”
“What doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger!”
“He won’t put any more on you than you can bear.”

Yeah, stuff like that.

Don’t misunderstand. I am not saying do not try to encourage those who find themselves wrapped in grief.

What I am saying is stop trying to fix the person, fix their view of their situation.

Support them through their hard times. Sit quietly with them when there are no words. Weep with them. Share their tears. Hold their hands through the valley. Listen to their stories. Allow them their sorrow in your presence.

Yeah, stuff like that!