Tag Archives: thankful

Farewell To My Mama

After my grandfather transitioned this past June, my grandmother was devastated. She didn’t have to say that she was, because it was evident in her reaction. I saw Mama, my maternal grandmother, cry for the first time in the 41 years that I’ve known her. To see her in pain was foreign to me because she was so strong and had the biggest carefree attitude.

Mama and Grandfather’s wedding picture day, 1951.

After 69 years of marriage to Grandfather (we actually called him Grandfather) how could she not be basked in pain?

Mama and Grandfather in Bahamas, September 2012.

As much as I love Mama, I didn’t truly appreciate her until I was a mother and saw her relationship as a great-grandmother to my children. It was necessary for me to warn them of her ‘hot mouth’ and temperament. For anyone that doesn’t know her or is naturally sensitive, can be easily scorned by her words. She was a product of her environment as a child and once I accepted that (which took years) I grew to love her even more. 

Mama and great-grans at Brevard Zoo.

Mama transitioned to the spirit world this past Monday December 14, 2020 after losing a week- long battle with COVID-19. Although I wasn’t pleased about how she contracted it, oddly enough I wasn’t sad when she passed. I felt comfort in knowing she joined my Grandfather. She grieved his departure and pleaded to be with him on the other side since June.

She felt so much heart ache immediately after his death that she fell sick and ended up in the hospital. She actually missed his funeral, but was content with it because she did not want to see him bury. Her tending to him during his last few months alive, and seeing her body decline and tire was heartbreaking.

Mama and Grandfather during my visit with them in January 2020.

So knowing she’s reunited with him is comforting and I’m grateful to have gained another ancestor. 

Mama and Grandfather at hospital with Aunty Sybil, October 2009.

Thankfully I was able to spend quality time with her and tell how much I appreciated her way before she transitioned and during the last time I was with her on September 28, 2020. We enjoyed roti and curry, cooked by her lovely friend, Ms. Chingie and Grey Goose (for me) and Crown Royal (for her and my mom) mixed with cranberry. And she visited me in my dream the morning she transitioned. She was sarcastic but I know she was telling me her farewell. That’s Mama 😊

Mama and Mom enjoying roti and curry potato and channa, September 28, 2020.
Mama and Mom, September 28, 2020.

Tonight I took a toast for my grandparents. Thank you for the lessons you’ve taught me. The conversations you had with my children during the many years of summer spent with you. Thank you for bailing me out when I needed it (Grandfather understands this one). Thank you for your patience, time, and dedication. Thank you for sticking together and showing true love. As a married woman I understand there’s no way in hell it was easy. Thank you for your resilience. And Mama, thank you for your fearlessness. That’s where my mom gets it from, which is how I got it. Thank you for the jokes and ‘fresh talk’ that got me through tough times. Thank you for being great-parents to my children, nieces, and nephew. 

Mama and Grandfather, 1951.
Uncle Aldwin, Susie, Grandfather, my mom, Uncle Eldwin.
Mama and Grannie.
Me, my mom, Mama, at the hospital with Aunty Sybil, 2009.

We miss them but how grateful we are to have had them in our lives. During this Holiday season I reflect on them, and cherish the memories. Until we meet again…



Sometimes… it’s hard to be thankful

Amongst all the messages of Thanksgiving and hopeful wishes, I can’t seem to shake off the rejection I’ve recently received. The past few weeks has challenged my thinking and created me to reconsider the direction of my profession as an artist.

Don’t get me wrong…

I am ALWAYS very grateful (my family and I are healthy-what more could I ask for? — well…I could) and have an innate tendency to see the positive side of my experiences. I’m always very determined to accomplish my goals (personal and professionally) and find myself often encouraging others to push past their challenges (I may have missed my calling as a coach?).

But every now and then, the “no’s” get to me.

The 4 big grants I spent much of my time completing was rejected (I just knew I would be awarded at least one). The exhibit I hoped to participate in at the Smithsonian… rejected (still puzzled by that). An Editor at L’Oreal interviewed me to feature a story about my work… cancelled. Vroman’s Bookstore in California, shipped my books back (due to no sales), and others are coming up soon.


I haven’t been able to finish my film, not just due to lack of funding ($30,000 to be exact) but also due to the lack of b-roll. Scheduling additional filming dates hasn’t gone so well due to everyone’s schedule.

On my challenging days, I seek quotes that resonate with me and what I’m going through (I love quotes). In this particular situation, I thought about Oprah’s words on the finale of her show, which I’m sure I’ve shared before).

I’ve talked to nearly 30,000 people on this show, and all 30,000 had one thing in common: They all wanted validation. If I could reach through this television and sit on your sofa or sit on a stool in your kitchen right now, I would tell you that every single person you will ever meet shares that common desire. They want to know: ‘Do you see me? Do you hear me? Does what I say mean anything to you?

In truth, my response is a feeling of unappreciation, which truly boils down to feeling a lack of validation. I’m fully aware that I will receive more rejection than acceptance in anything, but at times it’s hard… and exhausting.

And I honestly needed the time to simply slow down a bit, vent about what I’m feeling and give myself the time to grief (Is that an appropriate word? It’s as close to a word as I can come up with at the moment) and rest.

Ipray4u-laugh.jpgSo on this day of Thanksgiving, I must admit, sometimes being completely thankful is hard but even in the moments of disappointment, there’s so much to be thankful about. Not only am I in the best of health but I’m grateful to come home to an amazing family every day. As always I get up, adjust myself and keep going.

What are your challenges and what are you thankful for?

Enjoy the Holiday!