When I was around 7 years old, this curly haired dude with a limp came into my life. In the summer, we had our morning trips to his cousins tavern, which was closed during the day, so he could either work or shoot the shit. Not sure which, but I was given quarters to play in the little arcade that was in there until it was time for us to go so I didn’t care. My mom, him and I took drives in a big old, green Lincoln to do weekly shops and stuff. He was into his cars. In fact..I got yelled at all the time when I would drive up home and my car would be the dirtiest thing ever. He was the closest thing to a father that I had since my biological father was never there. Even though we had our ups and downs, he still remained in my life after my mom and his relationship ended. (I question whether it REALLY ended most of the time. lol) He still kept up with me and called me on my birthday each year just to stay in touch. In a way, I took that for granted. I never thought he truly cared until recently when I was one of the first calls made to make me aware of being in the hospital due to COVID-19. Anyway…thank you for being in my life John L. Peoples. I will never get the chance to tell you that. Rest in Peace.
OLD UNPOSTED POST. SO INTERESTING GIVEN MY RECENT EXPERIENCES.
I’ve read several articles/books/stories about friendship and they all mention a toxic friend. Now, I don’t think I’m the toxic friend, but lately I seem to be truly evaluating my existence as a friend. It may be because it’s the holiday season where everyone is more attentive than usual that I begin to wonder “What type of friend am I?”
If you can’t tell by this blog, I’m a bit of a loner. I have friends. I have great friends. I have friends that I have had for over twenty years. Most of the time, though, I like to be alone. After I leave work some nights, I don’t have a conversation with a single person other than myself…and I actually like it. Perhaps it’s because I spend a lot of my day talking to coworkers and customers giving and taking instructions. Dealing with issues and problems for eight to nine hours a day is draining. So often, when I leave, I just want peace and quiet. Because of this, I often don’t call or see my friends enough.
So I ask, Am I a bad friend? I’m always there for my friends. That is a given.
Wow! I have taken such a long break from my blog, but it’s been a crazy and hectic new year so far. Things have finally quieted down a little and this felt like the perfect moment to do an update. My life was thrown a pretty big curve ball in January.
If I thought the stress of last summer was getting to me, it was nothing compared to the beginning of this year. Long story short…my best friend and roommate, the person a consider my sister…attempted suicide. Depression is a serious thing! I’ve always known that, but until you have to deal with something like this, you will never know how bad it can be.
I knew she was “a little down” during the holidays. I put this in parenthesis because it was so much more serious than that. She had talked to me a little about it and I would try my best to give her encouraging words. Obviously it didn’t help. When a person has it in their head that all is lost, there’s not much you can do to defeat the negativity. Of course, I didn’t know how severe the situation was until January 2nd when the attempt was made. I thank God everyday that she was unsuccessful and that she came to her right mind to call someone for help! I don’t really want to go into details, but I’m so happy that she failed in each attempt.
At the time, the house was getting a little overhaul with paint so my mind was also preoccupied with other things. But all in all, I feel that I missed the signs. I should have asked more questions and checked in on her more regularly, but we are not your typical roommates. We don’t spend every day today and sometimes can go days without seeing or speaking. That was normal. We both like our space. So, the only thing that seemed out of the ordinary was how quiet she seemed. Normally, I could hear her television or music going in her room, but that month of December, it was just quiet. She just generally seemed disengaged. Also, she had stopped answering people’s calls. This isn’t really abnormal for her as she isn’t super attached to her phone, but we were planning a trip for Christmas and the day before…she just wouldn’t answer anyone’s call. I started asking if she was okay and if she needed anything and she would just say that she was sick. She had been having stomach issues. She also said she had the chills or flu like symptoms, which in hindsight I believe the negative thinking and depression had started to produce physical ailments. I’ve learned so much about depression in these last months and we’ve had to change up a few of our norms.
Now, I have to constantly check in with her. She was hospitalized for two weeks and now have a therapist and psychiatrist. I have to check her medications. I’ve tried to incorporate at least one night a week where we can sit down at the dinner table and eat and just generally catch up with things. I am trying not to be to intrusive and still allow her space…because she has insinuated her need for that BUT I also realize that I can’t give her the space that I once did. Since I am the person that is around her the most, I feel the most responsible for making sure that she is keeping up with her mental health and utilizing all of the coping mechanisms that she has been taught. It’s still a little stressful because this is a big change.
All I really want to say to everyone who may be dealing with something like this is to be aware. If your loved one is acting differently and just don’t seem to be engaged in communicating with your or just in life in general. Ask Questions! Keep Asking Questions! Keep checking on them even if it seems over the top. Get them help even when they tell you they don’t want it. Take them to the ER even though they may not want to go. Call for help. That’s all.
Til next time…….
There are two things that I took from my 9th grade Civics class. I know that was forever ago, but that just tells you that I learned something
Thing number one is a quote that was posted up on his black board with is: A person that thinks by the inch and talks by the yard should be kicked by the foot. This has followed me for many years and have given me pause before to think before speaking. So far..it’s worked for me.
Thing number two is the importance of exercising my right to vote. I have voted in almost every election since I turned 18. I want my voice to be heard even though sometimes I think it isn’t. It’s important. People died for that right! I won’t squander it even when things are looking bleak. I will still let my opinion know. I hope that you will too.
Talk to you all soon….
This Christmas is a first for me. I decided, along with my best friend, that we would not be putting up decorations or exchanging gifts. The only thing we are doing is hosting dinner at the house. I admit that it feels odd. There are many reasons that this decision was made on my part. To be honest, we didn’t celebrate any holidays in my house this year. I did cook for Thanksgiving, but I spent that holiday alone. I spent the day eating and hanging out in my pajamas. It was good, but Christmas is different.
I love Christmas! It is my favorite time of the year. I think that the majority of people are really happy around this time. At least that has been my experience. There is always a little extra joy in the air. The Christmas carols, movies and just overall cheer puts almost everyone in a good mood.
I also admit that this time of the year can be very overwhelming for people who just feel that there is to much to do. The shopping, food preparing, decorating, and schedule juggling can be daunting. I get it. I’m fortunate..or unfortunate to some…to not have much immediate family (husband, children, parents). Because of this, I don’t have much juggling but I do have all of the other things to contend with. My overall thoughts are Christmas is what you make it.
Christmas is, after all, the celebration of the birth of Christ. All of the other stuff is just extra. No one needs to go out and buy a ton of gifts or have an extravagant dinner. So whenever people say..the holiday has become so commercial, I think ‘It doesn’t have to be.’ Everyone needs to create their own thing and give their own spin to celebrating. They should make it what they want or feel that is should be.
This year, I’ve decided to just do dinner. No need to buy me any gifts. I’m giving love on Christmas day…as the song says. That being said, I kind of missed the hustle and bustle. I probably will be putting a little gift giving back into the plans next year and I definitely will be decorating. I miss my tree. I can’t wait for it to appear next year. You can check out my tree in previous years blog posts though if you want. I normally put up two trees a year..my office tree and my tree at home. It used to be three when my mom was alive. This year, I only put up the office tree but I miss my home tree filled with my ornaments that have been accumulated over the years. So, yes it has been an unconventional Christmas for me but I think I needed the little reset.
Til next time……
It’s my late grandmother’s birthday. I was reminded of this by my aunts on Facebook, and I’m glad I was. I called my grandmother, Mun. I’m pretty sure it is because my mother and her siblings called her Ma, but I mistook it for Mun. Now I just consider it my special name for her. My grandmother passed away when I was seven years old. I had such love for her.
I still remember things that we did. I remember her making me cornbread and buttermilk, and even pig ears in vinegar. This is stuff I would NEVER eat now. My mom and aunts said that I was a picky eater and would never eat a lot of things, so my mun would just make me biscuits and I would always eat that.
I was with my grandmother a lot when I was a baby. I loved spending the night at her house. Her and my mom were the most influential people in my life. I just remember how strong she was as a single woman (widowed) with eleven children. You didn’t mess with her either. I never heard her complain about a thing. She was an avid church goer and dragged all of her kids and grand kids along with her. It was a huge family and she managed to keep us all together. There are so many stories that I could probably share, but ultimately I just want to say Happy Birthday, Mun. I love you. I think of you a lot. I hope that you and my mom are having the best time on your day.
Til next time….
Today is my birthday. As with any birthday, I have a ton of thoughts going through my head. Am I where I want to be in this life? What are my goals for this birthday year? Is age nothing but a number?
Ironically, I don’t think I have ever been afraid of getting older. I don’t even think I really thought about it. I always thought that as long as I was healthy and had a great quality of life…I’d be happy. I can honestly say that is the case. I don’t feel 44. I don’t even think I act 44. I’m still very young at heart and refuse to let society tell me what I should or shouldn’t do or be at any age. My motto is and will always be, do what makes you happy. I still sing at the top of my lungs in my car. I still dance around my bedroom like I’m 16. Life is good!
So if I had anything so say about this birthday. It is that 44 looks and feels great! I’m living my best life right now. I know that regrets are somewhat unavoidable, but I try to keep them to a minimum by just doing what I enjoy.
Birthday outfit: Lane Bryant’s gingham collection – Off the shoulder shirdress – Sold out; Nordstrom Rack Ash Mumbaia sandals – Sold out
Talk to you all soon!