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Archive for the ‘Love’ Category

Appreciation, Lack There Of & Father’s Day

In Family, Love, Parenting on June 19, 2016 at 9:51 am

Father’s Day.  A day meant to celebrate those men who have handled their business, been an integral part of their children’s lives & have left their footprint on their families.  The reality is father’s are mostly under appreciated and taken for granted; they play second fiddle to ma dukes & it isn’t even close.  No matter what good or how many sacrifices a father has made, mom’s always take top billing.  When something goes wrong – dad’s fault.  When relationships end – what did dad do?!?  When the children have to finally fend for themselves – dad never helped.   When decisions or advices are given – let me see what mom says or the enteral “…well mom thinks….” It’s crazy to me. Now all good moms deserve kudos, for sure!  I mean I love my momma dearly and that love is well deserved, but I loved my dad just as much; appreciated all he did and provided. I tried to let him know whenever I could how much too.  The advices given, the life lessons, the time spent coaching, car pooling etc.  At times it’s like we are just participants in their lives.   Any news to share, we have to hope the wives fill us in.  Any mistakes or tumbles occur moms are given first crack at resolving or providing comfort.  God forbid a father makes a mistake or says the wrong thing, the backlash is swift and lasts a while; for mothers – maybe an hour or two.  For you step-dads out there, this is magnified.  At times it feels like you fall behind not only mom, but friends, family members, social media and the family pet!  Good Father’s take solace in knowing they are doing all they can, as best as they can, in making sure their charges grow up to be honorable and responsible adults.  We have to keep pushing forward, unnoticed to make sure all ends well.  Keep providing, protecting and loving.  It’s what good dads do. So for all you good dads out there, enjoy your one day in the sun.  Take in all your efforts, love them all the same and smile knowing you are doing one hell of a job!  

Happy Father’s Day my good brothers!

There are two things we give our children – one is roots the other is wings.

               – Unknown


Thoughts, Surroundings & Positive Deposits

In Education, Family, Friendships, Love, Relationships, Religion, Spirituality on February 19, 2016 at 10:21 am

Been doing a lot of thinking recently; I mean I am always thinking don’t get it twisted, but been doing more thinking about my surroundings, my interactions and my “people” / network.  It seems the older I have become, the more wise I try to be, the less tolerance I am developing.  All my life I have strived to always do the right thing by others – not always myself.  I have always tried to help when needed, asked or implied.  I have always tried to impart any knowledge I may have on a subject or use my influence or connections to assist others.  I have neither been perfect nor always cautious with my approach, but I have always been consistent.  Basically, I have always tried to leave a positive or helpful deposit regardless of “delivery”.  I have been taking stock of the deposits those around me, past or present, have made in my life.  In being honest with myself, I have to admit – there have been only a small few who have made positive deposits, especially on a consistent basis.  Very few have ever added or done anything without an ulterior motive or “want” in return.  They are all cool, don’t get me wrong, as long as there is a benefit in it for them or a need within them are satisfied.  They take all the time, be it actual time, energy, emotion, money etc…, but do they ever leave a deposit?  When you are in need are they there to lend an ear, a hand or a shoulder?  Sometimes it’s just knowing you can count on someone or someone actually “listening” when you need to get something off your chest.  What’s crazy is when you choose not to give in or can not assist a person who you have always tried or have helped, how quick they flip and attack.  They start to judge or become accusatory of your efforts, not seeing the pattern they have always exhibited.  It’s always about them, never about you.  Then you start hearing how “you’ve changed”, “you don’t care anymore” or the best one “you forgot where you came from”.  Nah, its not that.  Honestly it could mean you just couldn’t provide the necessary assistance or the assistance provided could not solve the actual issue.  Perhaps the positive deposit being left is trying to help them problem solve on their own or see the pattern they’ve created, while giving them the room to adjust and fix.  It’s not always that one specific instance, but rather all the instances before or after that will continue if the pattern is not altered.  Sometimes it’s about big picture processing not individual, micro instance occurrences.   And oh boy, when you call them on this, well – that’s a whole other post.  Suffice it to say, the onus and wrath is put on you and the issue at hand gets blurred.  We as people do evolve, not so much change.  Our perspectives, based on life experiences change.  We must adapt for sure.   Life is full of stresses, most self created.  Our time and energy is limited, especially the older we become.  Thus we must surround ourselves with individuals who consistently leave positive deposits in our lives. I can only assume this is why some folks find God; it gives them that positive infusion of hope and purity we all seek.  I am not saying forget all the old heads, never that.  What I am saying out loud – truly hoping that I am hearing myself, is to just try to guard your time, heart and soul more.   Take stock of those who provide the positive deposits in words, actions or shared experiences, even when they are masked in ways we choose not to see.

They say I’ve changed, I say you didn’t.

– Joe Budden

The Barber Shop, Lessons & A Lasting Impression

In Education, Family, Love, Parenting on January 16, 2016 at 3:16 pm

I arrived for my haircut appointment like any other day, hoping my barber was on time, checking my emails & reading my news.  Luckily my barber was only 2 minutes late, which was a small victory in itself.  My barber and I have a pretty good relationship.  There’s a respect factor we had from the onset.  He talks to me about many things, personal and not; we go back and forth and I try to provide him with my insights or opinions when requested.  The barbershop was alive and the conversation ranged from sports, to what they did the night before, to who the best rappers were; the usual harmless fun barbershop banter. It was fun debating certain comments with them and listening to them state their cases.  While in the chair, a brother walks in with a young girl, maybe 12 – if that.  The young girl is carrying  a rack displying bracelet beads as the male with her walks station to station peddling the “homemade jewelry”.  When they arrived at our station, the brother begins to converse with my barber briefly.  I initially thought to myself, damn, another interruption – I gotta go.  I look up at the young lady and can tell she was a bit uncomfortable or shy about approaching folks while carrying the merchandise.  Thoughts were running through my head, you know – was this some sort of street scam, who would use his daughter to peddle items just to make a buck, were these really home made?  But within seconds, I thought otherwise – more like who cares and I focused on the obvious lessons being taught.  The brother appeared quite humble and respectful as I asked the young girl if she made the jewelry, which she replied by smiling and nodding her head yes.  Her dad smiled too and said she made each and every one of them.  He would glance at her,  trying to cajole her into verbally selling her creations, but you can tell she was new to this.  A deep sense of respect hit me.  Here was this guy, in my humble opinion, teaching his daughter entrepreneurial traits, confidence building tactics and survival skills.  Here was this young girl, tagging along with her dad, willing to learn and deal with the ups and downs, the rejections and the triumphs, each time she tried to sell her creations.  Her smile was bright and her eyes, while unsure, still twinkled.  Her dad, well his eyes showed pride and even admiration toward his little girl.  I was moved.  I have been at the barbershop hundreds of times, many of which included interruptions from people selling all types of items – most ill begotten.  Not this time, this time it was simply a daughter & her dad, striving together to succeed.  Small victories each time, but lessons nonetheless.  Now all this occurred within 2 minutes – maybe.  I purchased two of her creations, telling her to keep them for herself – cause she earned it.  Her dad very surprised, looked at me and smiled.  We nodded at each other with mutual respect and they went bout their business.  I went bout mine, smiling, happy and full of hope.

“Picture jewels being handed to an innocent child….”

– Tupac Shakur

Caring, Effort & A Good Father’s Pain

In Family, Love, Parenting on May 6, 2014 at 10:01 pm

When does it start? When does your child begin to disregard all you have taught him by example, let alone words, and instead begins to listen or allow outside influences to cloud their thoughts and shape their behavior? To in some instances, turn against their father in ways not understood? Now all father’s are by no means created equal. There are plenty of father’s out there who are not involved in any meaningful way, who are by all intents and purposes, donors. They deserve the resentment that may come their way. But the funny thing is, sometimes…shoot most times, these jokers are never subject to any. This post is about the pain a good father feels when his likeness turns on him for reasons outside his control. The hurt a good father feels when he looks in his son’s eyes and sees a blankness, a resentment or a misplaced anger, even while his own eyes show the hurt he can’t hide even when he tries. There is an emptiness a good father feels after all he has done or tried to do for his seed(s), only to be told he does nothing, means nothing or is not cared for, even though he knows those sentiments may be coming from elsewhere. At some point, the child – regardless of what he hears elsewhere, must recognize or realize what is right and make his own decisions. My eyes well up just writing this, thinking of all the efforts a good father continues to make, with indifference returned to him. How alone he feels, when others who know better, either remain silent or by continued association, stay on the sidelines, watching the crime unfold – but yet do little to prevent it. Yet, even through it all, a good father perseveres. He continues to try to get through to a piece of his heart, even when he’s obviously not being heard or appreciated. All the good father can do during his private moments, is hold his head high as he looks in the mirror, a tear running down his face, and feel a comfort -small as it may be – knowing he’s done all he can. Unfortunately, try as they may, it doesn’t dilute the struggle or hurt. A good father pushes forward, amidst the turmoil, always letting his child know he is there for them. Is tough love going forward the answer? How much is a good father supposed to accept when unconditional love is not working? When is it ok for him to resist, while he awaits for his child’s awakening? The truth is all a good father can do is try to understand the root of the issues & where it comes from; to be there when that awakening finally comes with open arms. So until that time comes, I will always remain your FATHER.

There is a time for departure even when there’s no place to go.

– Tennessee Williams

Smiles, Joy & The Birth Of An Angel

In Family, Love, Parenting, Uncategorized on March 17, 2014 at 10:31 pm

Life has no script, no concrete plan for anyone. Plans are made, re shaped & rewritten. When you feel lost, something finds you. When you feel you have reached the mountaintop, something knocks off your equilibrium & a tumble ensues. But there are times, moments when we are blessed. When things enter our lives that bring nothing but positives, brings excitement, brings utter joy. Recently I had one of those moments, moments I feel deeply will be everlasting. Cambrie Milana Naut entered the world on January 1, 2014 @9:53am. Seeing her beautiful face as she grabbed my finger left me speechless. My heart beat furiously as I looked down at my lil princess who entered this world to remind me of all that is good, that I too am blessed & how my life will forever be altered. At that moment a rush of emotions flowed through my body as I envisioned all the stages in her life. I kept seeing her smiling at me as she grew from a baby, to a toddler, young girl, teen & finally a woman. Her face was pure, her smile priceless, her energy real & her spirit a joy. In a matter of seconds decades flashed before me & a sense of calm came over me, for here I held a love child, destined to share her ups & downs with me. Who I believe will love unconditionally. When I brought her into my wife’s arms, I felt an enormous rush, a deeper understanding of love, as before me was our future, a creation born from our deep love & passion. I looked at my wife in awe, amazed at her strength & grace during the process; overjoyed with sharing this beautiful being with the love of my life. Eagerly looking forward to our forever with the bundle of joy before us. I couldn’t stop smiling, doing a little dance & shouting to everyone within earshot that a princess was born. People will ask why have a child at this stage of my life? At my age? I reply why not? Having a child at this age provides me with a chance to more intently absorb all the nuances & growth they undertake. To have an opportunity to provide Cambrie with all the knowledge I have learned, all the experiences I have gained. To soak in all her achievements & patiently deal with her failures. To guide her with a steady hand & a pure heart. Cambrie Milana means angel – bringing people together, a name that suits her perfectly. She is our lil angel, who brings our separate worlds together, solidifying our love. She is the perfect combination of us, an Angel in the truest sense of the word.

A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.

– John Lennon

Life’s Pain, Vulnerability & Re-Discovery

In Love, Relationships, Self-Improvement, Spirituality on January 20, 2013 at 10:56 pm

Life has a way of humbling you. When you think you have it figured out, it reminds you that you don’t know shit. We think we can control things, steer the outcome to how we want or need. However, what I keep learning, as shared by a good friend of mine, is that all we do is control the process, but not the outcome. We can try a plan for things, try to make things work, save, love, work hard, but ultimately we have no control over what happens. Too many variables can interfere with the ending. Real talk, I have gone through some rough emotional moments recently, culminating in a dark sad moment where I felt lost, alone & broken. Where I felt sorry for myself & asked why me? I thought I had done all I could, was a good man & deserved better. It has put me in a bad emotional place where I want to disappear, be alone & not hear about anything or anyone. When you invest yourself totally in something, someone or in everything you do, but it never seems enough, it gets rough. When you are shunned, ignored, disrespected or taken for granted, even though you know you have extended & exhausted every fiber of your being, only to result in failure, what do you do? How are you to feel? Recently, I have been unable to focus, to overcome this feeling of emptiness. It resulted in real tears. Yeah, those who know me may be surprised, but I cry too. Maybe it was the realization that in this world of billions, I felt alone. I have been trying to dig into my spirituality, to find some meaning, but have yet to come across the answer. I went to church in my search, but instead of contentment, it bought me an overwhelming sense of loneliness, of questions & of confusion. I lost it as an overwhelming feeling of sadness enveloped me. A recent loss suffered just overtook me & I broke down. I became embarrassed; how could I feel this way? Why do I? Life gets painful when you feel pulled in multiple directions, always there for everyone when they need you, but find what you need is never fulfilled. It’s painful when you realize you can’t find happiness where you want it most. I felt like I had nothing left inside, nothing more to give anyone. Like a piece of me was gone, taken & never to be regained. I became reflective, thinking of my experiences & failures, my triumphs & goals. I wondered what the good Lord’s plan was for me & why were my plans not good enough? I tried to suppress the oncoming feelings, but couldn’t. I hated the fact I had gotten to this point, had allowed myself to become vulnerable. I had always prided myself in the belief I could handle anything, but now I had reached a level of brokenness I could not contain any longer. I fashion myself a private person, strong minded & tough. But here I am sharing a piece of me with you, with the hopes of reducing some of the burden. It’s a hard thing when reality hits and you realize how regardless of your efforts, other factors influence outcomes. How what you think is right is wrong, and what you thought was wrong was right. How you can love completely, but still be left empty. How you can work tirelessly, yet be stunted. Somehow, someway we have to overcome this & solider on – never allowing these unexpected feelings to become permanent. I had reached my limit I suppose & just realized I had to keep being me. Stay true to self & maintain my dignity no matter the situation. I have to start thinking of me, living for me & doing me a little more often, while still being who I am, keeping my essence. By this I mean, not sacrificing my personhood to please everyone, thus leaving myself depleted. It might be a long road, but I have no choice. I have always been this way & it has lead me to this point. I have to move forward, learn & grow; accept, persevere & be strong. I am not sure if you all have experienced a moment like I described, but I can tell you it is a deep cleansing of the soul. A cleansing I hope leads to happiness, freedom & inner peace.

I broke down a while ago, picking up the pieces; memoirs of how the undefeated can feel depleted.

– Joe Budden

Heartfelt, Struggles & A Daughter’s Love

In Family, Love, Parenting, Relationships on January 13, 2013 at 12:05 pm

I have been going through some deep emotional strife recently, things that have caused me to call into question many things. It has caused me to question my spirituality & my life’s meaning. Sometimes, I can’t understand why things go the way they do or how people can allow them to spiral to a point of no return. Although my heart is heavy folks, I have tried to keep my mind clear. It’s just that my heart has a strong current, a strong pulse & has been messing with my mind. It happens to the best of us. In one of my most vulnerable moments, I remembered a passage my oldest daughter wrote to me last Father’s Day. It brought me solace, a reprieve from my sad & troubled soul. I share it with you all now hoping it can show you how one’s child can bring you comfort when it is most needed.

Three days ago, you shared with the world a blog honoring your father. A blog that showed how close you were with him, the struggles of a true man, the appreciation you had for him and still do til this day, but never getting the chance to show him how much you really admired him. It’s funny how God works because all those things you felt about your father, I feel ten times more about you. I believe I know one of the biggest reasons I was put on this earth, and it’s to be there for you. You’re the most amazing, hardworking man I have ever met. Through your “daddy jewels”, discussions, inspirations and lessons, you have showed me what a true man looks like. I’m here to protect you, love you and always remind you that you did turn out fine- a man, just like your father. You know what they say, “they wait till your dead to give you your roses.” While sad, it’s true; so I promise myself everyday that I’m breathing on this earth, to show you how much I appreciate you pops, that I love you more than life itself, and that I understand. Words will never truly express what you mean to me, but if this rose can help make your Father’s Day a happy one, this brings more than you know, but not as many as you truly deserve.

Thank you princess, you mean the world to me. I love you…

Do your job so well that when you’re not there it speaks for you.

– Consuelo Kickbusch