Slumber Party With My Baby Girl

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At The Improv in Arlington to see Sheryl Underwood perform–my sorority sister (Zeta Phi Beta).

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As a mother I am always happy to spend time with my daughters and good friends. Met this wonderful friend at church (Carter Metroplitan CME).

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Sheryl Underwood and her opening act were both awesome.  She makes “The Talk” a wonderful show.

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We are back home,  and Sheba does not seem too happy. She wants her mama to take her out.  As soon as they get back, it will be movie time.

Remember thisisyourbestyear”.

Stop and Smell the Flowers (Take Care of You)

As women of a certain age, we sometimes think that we must be everything to everybody–especially during the holiday season.  Some of us are from the old school, and we must prepare holiday meals the way our mothers and grandmothers did back in the day.  Some of us even think we must show our new-found culinary skills (by way of the Food Network) in order to make our families happy.  We decorate our homes sometimes to the extreme.  It has to be perfect.  Don’t get me wrong, I cook, clean and start the process all over again–I enjoy it.

But I have learned from life experiences that I must take care of “me”, because if I am not at my healthiest, not only do I suffer, my family suffers too.  I’m not talking about being physically ill, nor am I talking about being mentally sick.  I’m talking about an illness that has no name so for the sake of this post it will be call “MyItis”.  “MyItis” can be defined as forgetting to stop and smell the flowers.  There is a gospel song that says “Give me my flowers while I yet live”.  That’s what we should do for ourselves as we mature. 

Take a little time to stop, look and smell the flowers.  Take time to look at the beauty that God has created for our enjoyment.  I’m not saying you have to buy them;  you can if you wish, but you can just look and smell while shopping for that holiday meal or that special gift for that someone special.

Stopping to smell the flowers is not all about “flowers”.  You are a beautiful flower that has opened its petals that needs a little extra attention (more than a  flower whose petals have not open yet).  Take time to cure your “MyItis”.  If at all possible take a day, weekend or more to rest and recharge.  Use this time to “rest”, not think about the next meal (believe it or not they will not starve before you get back).  If you feel they will, make meals ahead of time.  If the house doesn’t stay clean for a day, you will live–you clean everyday any way.

Take a break away from your phone, pick up that magazine or use your tablet to read your favorite magazine that you haven’t had time for.   Sleep late, can’t sleep late, then just lay there and thank God for the flowers in your life.  Do something that soothes you, not something that everybody else does.  You want to cure your “MyItis”, not theirs.  Take time to let someone else take care of you.  Have a meal at a nice restaurant, and this time don’t think that you can make it better, just enjoy the fact that you didn’t have to make it, and/or wash the dishes and/or clean the kitchen.  Take time to enjoy the little things.  Drink a glass of wine in the prettiest glass that you can get it in–you are the Flower that keeps the weeds from taking over your garden, you deserve the best. If you don’t drink wine, soda or tea will do.  It’s all about taking care of you.

I truly love my family, but I also love me.  When I am at my best, I plan better, decorate better, show off my culinary skills more and even look better.  I’ve cured my “MyItis” for a while by way of The Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida. 

My baby sister loves her big sister (this was my birthday gift from her).  Everyone was excited to see me when I got home, and I was excited to see all of them– from the kiss of my grandson to the kiss of my hubby. I know that in a couple of months I will have another bout of “MyItis”, and I will cure it whether it be in my sunroom looking at the flowers in my backyard, drinking my wine out of the prettiest glass I can find or somewhere else in the world.  I will do this, and you should to because “thisisyourbestyear.”

The Power of Sisterly Love

First of all I want to tell you how great it is to be back. Over the last few weeks, I have been battling some sort of virus–not the West Nile Virus, but something that left me feeling awful. I felt so bad that one Sunday my husband and I did not go to church, instead we spent Sunday at All Saints Hospital in Fort Worth. I am now feeling so much better–my doctor says it has run its course.  I am so grateful to God and the prayers of my church, Carter Metropolitan Christian Methodist Episcopal and my family. I know “thisis(my)yourbestyear“. So let’s get started.

Sisterly love is something that I have enjoyed for all but six years of my life. I am six years older than my sister Carol, who I will forever call my baby sister. There seemed to always be a bond with us from the moment I laid eyes on her. You have to remember I didn’t see her until she came home from the hospital. She immediately became my baby sister. Wherever I went, whoever I talked with, we talked about “my baby sister”.

It did not matter that we were so different. It did not matter that we liked different clothes, colors, foods even movies. We were sisters and we had a bond that could not and would not be broken. We would always be there for each other.

I was 19 and she was 13 when our father had his homecoming. I remember telling mama as she made out her will that I should be the one to take care of my baby sister if something should happen to her. Never mind that we had an older brother. Needless to say, mama didn’t agree.

We’ve always been there for each other. She would come to see me while I was in college at East Texas State University (Texas A&M Commerce), and years later, I would go to see her at the same university. We both became members of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority even though our mother was a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority and all of our relatives were members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. I can remember my aunt trying to get us to pledge something else, but as sisters, we were to stay together.

When I think back of our mother going to be with our father, and waiting at the airport for my baby sister to come home, and how we knew that our bond would become even closer. We could see our parents in each other’s faces.

I’ve gone through a few medical procedures, but nothing like my baby sister has had to endure. As we listened to the doctor tell her she had breast cancer and explain what her options were we held hands.  We decided I would be the one to tell our brother of the news. At that moment I could not give my baby sister anything but prayer, and pray I did. I called on the saints at my job, at my church, my sorority and my friends. I would have done anything to help my baby sister, and I know that my prayers did help. We had been taught, and believe that our faith will get us through anything.

Today, my baby sister is a globe hopping sistah. She always has her bags packed, and ready to go at a minutes notice.

When I heard that Robin Roberts sister, Sally Ann Roberts would be her donor I knew how she felt. As a big sister, you will do anything for your baby sister. 

There is a wonderful article in More Magazine where Sally Ann talks about her sister Robin and her struggle with her health. It shows so much “sisterly love”. There is nothing like it.

http://www.more.com/robin-roberts-cancer-bone-marrow-transplant 

God Bless you Robin.  You, Sally Ann Sally and all of your family are in our prayers–we know they work. We look forward to seeing you talking to us each morning on Good Morning America.  All who are going through something remember “thisisyourbestyear”.

Friendships Lost

I always try to write while on an airplane flight because it keeps my mind calm.  I also listen to music especially gospel when going through turbulence.  On this particular flight I began to write about friendships through the years.

Line sisters of Psi Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority–members of the 12 Phases of Togetherness.

You know friendships and how they change as we live our best year.

Friends since first grade and junior high school–how many years ago was that?

I thought the process was going pretty good, and then I decided to take a break and read one of my favorite magazines–More.  While reading the latest for women of a certain age, I ran across an article written by Jacquelyn Mitchard entitled “Where Did Our Friendship Go Wrong”.  This article got me to thinking even more about friendship(s).  I will ultimately give credit where credit is due.  It is an excellent article for women who have lost a friend.   I’m not talking about death, moving away or anything like that. I ‘m talking about the feeling that occurs when the friendship just stops and no matter how hard you or the other person tries, you can’t seem to get it back.

Jacquelyn Mitchard’s article deals with what we as women of a certain age go through when a friendship dies.  I will not give away the article, but it will cause you to stop and think even if it has not happened to you.  It has not happened to me in this particular manner.

The article will make you smile, it will make you sad.  You know the feeling you had when you broke up with your one true love, but you still saw him almost every day in the hallway.

A friendship that dies is sort of like a divorce or even the death of a spouse.  You tend to have to divide friends and acquaintances.  When a divorce happens who gets what friends, who gets the church, who gets the activities that you enjoyed together (the other friends came with the activities).  When a spouse or partner dies, this couple becomes a single person and that makes all the difference in the world.  How can the friends discuss their significant other when you don’t have one.

I can’t imagine my life without certain friends, those that I see and talk to daily, and those that I see only on occasion.

We’ve been trying to climb walls since our days at East Texas State University (Texas A&M Commerce).

I can’t imagine Oprah without Gayle

Gayle and Oprah’s road trip.

or Lucy without Ethel.

Lucy and Ethel were always together.

I even thought I couldn’t imagine Jen without Evelyn (it was my guilty pleasure until last season–little too much drama for me).

Basketball wives Jen and Evelyn before Chad came into the picture.

Then again, I always thought Diana Ross and the Supremes,

Where did their love go?

Desitiny’s Child and others would always be together–not!  Almost every time I read an article on former first lady Laura Bush, she is doing something with her friends.

Former First Lady Laura bush with friends.

As we live our best year, we notice that our friendships can change and evolve.  We can have friends of different ages.  We can have our friends that we enjoy doing certain things with. It does not mean that we love our other friends any less.  I love to travel with my cousin Kaye, it does not mean that I love my other cousins any less.

Grab your coffee, tea or wine and take a look at Jacquelyn Mitchard’s  “Where Did Our Friendship Go Wrong”. Reflect on the friendships that you have lost and enjoy the ones that you have now because no matter what has happened in the past “thisisyourbestyear”.

Here is the link to this wonderful/thoughtful article:  http://www.more.com/memoir-friendship-wrong