From Bikes To Cars: They Grow Up So Fast.

DSC_2672.JPGThese are my girls. The younger one in the long sleeves is actually my niece, but I helped raise her, like a daughter. She received all of her shots along with my son and daughter . I have photo albums of her growing up and I can tell you every cute little story about her when she was a baby. When she was little she’d call me Aunt Mama. I thought it was so cute. Her mother didn’t raise her. Therefore, I was the closet thing to being a mom to her.

 

One hot summer day, my daughter decided to help my niece ride her bike. This brought so much joy to my heart to see them riding together. My daughter always said she bugged her when they were growing up. She followed her where ever she went and wanted to be like her.  It was out of admiration ; she looked up to her like a big sister. Back then it seemed as if , my niece was so much younger than my daughter. In essence they are only 5 years apart. In lady years, this mean you are the same age. Females  have so many challenges to face, the commonality makes us the same age for sure.

I can’t believe how much time has past.  I taught my daughter to drive a car and now I’m teaching my niece. Where did the time go? It’s frightening , but I have to let them go. Being independent is part of life. It’s healthy and natural . Yet, it doesn’t erase the fears of letting them go out in the world. They have to face disappointments, just as I did.  No one is shield from it. Men will hurt them , jobs will reject them and people will let them down.

As a mother, I wish I could hold them and rock them, the way I use too.  Each night I’d give them a bath, give them a snack before bed and massage their faces and backs until they were sleep.  I remember the 3 am feedings and the early morning fevers.  There was the time my daughter was a newborn and she was so constipated. I took her to Kroger at 2am, in my jammies to get a jar of apple juice. She screamed the entire time in the grocery store.  I opened the jar  of juice in the store and placed one of her nipples on it, from her bottle. As she sucked on that juice, I got in line to pay for it. She was a huge infant. My angel was a 10 pounder at birth. God’s work is amazing the way HE enabled her to fit in my tiny body.

One of the fondest memories of my niece was her loud piercing screams. She’d startle me with the scream. The weird thing is, she’d scream anytime she was excited while playing. No one could play games with her unless they were ready for the scream. Some times I’d have her sit down and rest to calm down. The more excited she got, the more she would scream. It drove me nuts!

Now my little girls are no longer little. They are 20 and 25 years old.  I’m so proud of them. Yet, I cry when I see them drive away.

Whats’s Wrong With Me , is What’s Right With Me.

IMG_0338.jpgI’m sorry I missed my Friday posting. I’ve tried adamantly to post a blog every Monday and Friday. Normally I have my blog post in queue.  This time I experienced writer’s block. If you’ve been following my blogs, you probably noticed. I’m sure you wondered what happened to me. There have been several things going on in my life for the past two weeks. It caused a little offset of my blogging schedule. It’s not anything serious. There were will not be too many times that I’ll miss my blog schedule, because I love to write. It’s always been one of my passions.

As we begin to approach today ( Father’s Day) I became indecisive about what I wanted to write about. My blog is mainly about tips on nearly anything that interest me, but my concentration  has been on weddings. I have not blogged too much on fashion and photography as much as I would’ve liked.

Today’s blog is different. Please consider it my belated Friday post. Today I have thoughts of my late daddy. He was the beat in my heart, my strength when things got tough and my joy when the world didn’t see my dreams as he did. You didn’t know this, but I lost my dad 4 years ago. I can’t believe I’m writing this, but I have been grieving since his death. Some days are better than others. Every Father’s Day I’d take him a card and buy him a gift. Buying gifts for him was tough, because he never wanted me to buy him anything. He’d always say, ” keep your money, I want to make sure you’re ok financially. ”  I earned a nice living as a business owner, but he still worried.  I’d sit with him for hours and laugh, eat and talk. The days I’d spend with him, he’d  tell me about life principles and his military stories. I would give my right arm to hear him talk about his military life today. I just wish I had recorded his voice.   One of the best gifts of all is I can actually hear his voice in my head. I thank God for that.

 

He may have been here today if the veterans hospital had taken better care of him. He complained religiously that his stomach hurt, but they insisted it wasn’t anything but high blood pressure. By which he didn’t have high blood pressure. I’m not really sure of the connection. What does stomach pain have to do with high blood, but then again, I’m not a physician. It doesn’t make any since to me.

By the time my family and I were able to convince my dad to seek another doctor outside of the VA hospital it was really too late. The other hospital administered myriad test. They found the problem almost instantly. The medical staff informed my mom, that my dad had gallbladder cancer. My mom kept it from me for as long as she could. She finally brought herself to tell me. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing on the receiving side of the phone. ” Your dad has cancer.” What? Not the man that is known for being called, Iron Man. His friends and family members called him, Sunny.  It was a childhood nickname, but his co- workers called him , Iron Man. They had so much respect for him. He would come to work no matter how he felt . My dad was always positive and he’d do any job that others would refuse to do. The owner of the company grew to love him and gave him more responsibilities, because he could count on him. Along with those responsibilities were perks that other employees didn’t get.

My dad always song around the house. He’d sing anything from old church hymns to old blues. Two of my dads favorite songs: I Believe In You, by Johnnie Taylor & I Will Trust   In The Lord, by, Unknown. It was probably an old artist back in the 50’s or 60’s. He sang many songs around the house while working on his cars in the garage or taking a shower, but these were the two he sang the most. I think he  secretly contributed, I Believe In You, to my mom, because the words were significant to their relationship. He was much older than my mother when they married. He was so good to my mother. If my parents would have some differences , he would call my mom, Honey, with emphasis. As a child I grew to know what that meant. I’d say to myself, ” Mommy and Daddy are fussing.” Their so- called fussing never got deeper than that.

My dad was my everything!  He was always telling jokes and kept me laughing. He taught me how to be an independent woman. He’d always tell me to check my car before I drove off in it. The things he would say:  “Check your tires, your fluids in your car. Listen for new sounds, and make sure you keep money for emergencies.” I listened. To this day those lessons has saved me. I had car issues recently and thought of my dad immediately. Guess what? I fixed my car.  He always showed his love by going over and beyond to take care of me. Dad wasn’t big on hugs. I thought it was so funny as I got older. I’d try to hug him and he’d give me this little soft ” Church pat.”  If you’ve been to church, you know the church pat on the back. It’s light and quick. LOL.

If I needed him for anything he was there for me. He’s been there through all of my failed marriages and business failures. He’d always say ,” that’s ok Peaches, try again .” My dad never judged me. He was not only a man of God, but a family man.  He wasn’t the type to criticize  and scold me with bible scriptures. No, he wasn’t that type of man of God. He’d always say, “treat others as you wish to be treated. ” He was a man of his word. If he told you , he’d be there, he would.

What I loved about my dad the most was his undying love for my mother. It taught me what real love looked like. Unfortunately  I haven’t found a man like him. He was such a giving man. He didn’t have a selfish bone in his body. It may be what’s wrong with me. I love hard, keep my word and I try to help everyone I care about. Sometimes I carry the burdens of being incapable of somethings and it makes me feel weak.  My entire life I’ve been told by others, ” You’re strong like your daddy.  Well, today I don’t feel so strong. My eyes are filled will tears and my heart is heavy.   Say hi to him for me – God.

Happy Father’s Day to all dad’s in heaven.

What Do Wedding Guest Care About Most?

The ceremony:   The greatest thing the guest care about. Who aren’t eager to watch the lovely couple proclaim their love?  Don’t make the ceremony too long, because guest will start to get restless. I hate to say it, but 30 minutes is roughly about all most guest can take. I know you’ve planned this for years and you picked out the perfect dress, but we are ready to move on to the next phase. That’s why a great photographer is imperative to freeze your special day.  felix-russell-saw-130503.jpgWhat about the food: Make sure your food choices are crowd pleasers, everyone is hungry and you don’t want anyone to leave early to eat else where. Besides you spent so much time with the event planner to make sure every detail of your day goes well. Be sure to offer options for those with common allergies and vegetarians. todd-cravens-250743.jpgThe drinks: Like cake and ice cream, wedding and booze goes together. Champagne, wine,  beer and 2- 3 specialty cocktails will keep guest smiling all night long. rhianon-lassila-48758.jpgThe music: Last but certainly not least. Make sure your music list is on point. Play contemporary tunes everyone is sure to know and love. Leave the oldies , but goodies in the attack. It’s not that kind of party . Remember as you have fun, keep it classy. Don’t drink and drive. mitchell-orr-179532.jpg

Motherhood: The Bond Between A Mother And Son.

When I found out I was having a boy 29 years ago, I was deeply worried. I thought how can I teach a boy, things that only a man would know? I was close to my dad and felt I would rely on my dad a lot for guidance on raising a son. Especially potty training . Besides I never owned a weiner gun. Someone needed to show me, how to show him; where to aim it in the toilet.  We had to learn so much together.

It was easy in the beginning. Infant boys and infant girls have the same needs. Love and attention. I did that, but I made sure I went the extra mile. As he grew older I became more frighten that I would not be able to guide and teach him. I didn’t want to baby him too much, but didn’t want to seem distant as well. Eventually I learned the happy medium. Don’t call him pet names in public, don’t caress his face and say that I love him around his friends and don’t ever sit with him in the movies. I had it all down!

I hated taking him to the barber shop. As expected the barber is filled with men. It was tough finding a good reliable barber. I went through many before I found one that didn’t watch porn in front of kids, curse, speaking down on women and talk about who they had last night. I’d find myself closing his eyes and ears and sometimes walking out. I could have gotten his uncles to take him to get hair cuts, but I was his mom. When he was born I vowed to God I’d be the best mom I could be. Eventually I found a good respectable barber. He was like a grandpa.

Once  he became an adult something changed. The space he desired as a teen didn’t seem as desirable anymore to him. He’d ask when is our next lunch date, or when or we going for a drive, by the way when can we just hang out on the couch and talk. Wow! what happened? I thought I was” too mommy” for him. Although the space hurt my heart just a little bit, I knew it was healthy for him to be his own man.

I’ve taught him all the basic things, clean your room, always groom and never play with a woman’s emotions. I’d always say, remember you have a sister and a mother. Our bodies and souls are attached to feelings. Then there are the funny times. Teaching him to ride a bike and drive a car. Watching him graduate from high school and college with my big box of tissue. Oh yeah! I cry when I’m happy and sad. I’m a big cry baby. The milestones that once seemed far fetched and scary. It literally flashed before my eyes.

I worked up so much misery in my head . Perhaps I’m just feeling lucky. With Mother’s Day around the corner. I wanted to jumpstart the joys and memories of motherhood, by expressing my love for my wonderful son. He’s more than I could have imagined. He protective, loving, kind and talented. As soon as he learned to write he could draw. He’s also bilingual. English / Spanish. By which he taught himself Spanish as a kid for the fun of it.  He loves eating healthy and working out. As a kid he was bullied for being skinny, quiet and different.

Raising a son wasn’t too bad. I don’t know why I worried so much. He’s know longer my skinny little boy. He is a full fledged intellectual man. I’m a proud mama whom still calls him pet names behind closed doors. untitled-1756-1