Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day

Happy mothers day to all the great moms who stand by their children's sides no matter what! A "day" isn't nearly enough of an thank you.

To my mommy,

You are gone but not forgotten. There are times that I wish you were here, but I honestly feel your presence every day.  For the most part, I think that you would be proud of all that both your children and grands have accomplished. We continue to embrace who we are without reservation and make every effort to be there for each other in times of need. Thank you for every day that you provided motherly guidance, wiped a tear, nursed us to good health, prepared a meal, cleaned, and simply loved us.  Thank you for being you no matter what the circumstance or situation.

Happy Mothers Day, Clara May.

Say Something...

You better say say something… cause I’m gonna give up on you.

I’m on the verge. I would have wholeheartedly followed you, but now I do not know what i’d do. I’m swallowing my pride. You know that I love you, but I am no man’s fool.   You better say something cause I am about to give up on you.

I’m tired of both your pretense and mine.

You better say something… cause I’m gonna give up on you.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Woke up Flawed ...

I was recently slapped in the face!  Call me idealistic, but I misjudged the allure of self-improvement to those who have been disenfranchised.  In an effort to address the needs of my school’s parents (and the community at large), I both conceptualized and scheduled a Health & Wellness Series, consisting of the following workshops, to which all interested adults can attend:

February 12th 2014
Eating Healthy on a Budget
(Plus food & mood, asthma and diabetes)
Provided by Renaissance Healthcare Network

February 26th  2014
Asthma Workshop 
(General triggers)
Provided by A.I.R. Harlem/A.I.R. Bronx

March 5th 2014
Financial Literacy
(Make the most of your money)
Provided by Food Bank of New York

March 12th 2014
Behavior Management 
(Effective childrearing methods)
Provided by PS 30M’s Guidance Dept.

March 19th 2014
Provisions of the Affordable Health Care Act
(Obama Care)
Provided by The Children’s Defense Fund

Outreach was conducted: backpacked flyers, school messenger, one-on-one calls by a CLS Parent Committee, neighborhood flyer distribution and postings, an outreach collaboration with the other co-located DOE school, yet only 13 parents attended; we have roughly 300 students in the school.  I felt defeated.  In a last-ditch effort to recruit additional parents, both the pre-k guidance counselor and I went to the school lobby to enlist some additional parents to attend.  My school is not merely co-located with another DOE school but also one of several Success Academies (Eva Moskowitz’s network of charter schools). 

I hate to admit this, but the charter school parents where happy to attend the workshop while parents of my school expressed little to no interest, even when personally approached.  There is no distinction in socio-economic status! The charter school parents who agreed to attend resided in the neighborhood, as do the majority my school’s parents, yet there was a desire that they possessed that some of my parents lacked.

It was a disheartening revelation that honestly made me lose a degree of faith. My job is to turn my school into a hub of the community to the extent that the hurdles that hinder academic success are lessened if not completely eliminated. This requires the identification of those needs, whether they are mental, physical, or emotional health assistance, and the subsequent enlistment of local services/programs that address these needs, which honestly go beyond the child. A child’s ability to learn is impacted by his/her environment, which includes the home and community.  Thus, the Community Learning School (CLS) Initiative requires me to also identify and answer the needs of students’ parents and community members, which is an aim of the Health & Wellness Series.

But what do I do when the very thing that my parents deem is needed, is also the very thing that they disregard? I now realize that it isn’t merely a matter of identifying the need, I most also contend with a flawed mentality before I can really spur change.

Monday, February 10, 2014

A Writer's Nightmare (Sometime in October 2013)

There is this pain in my wrist. My right hand suffers from an occasional numbing sensation and an ache between my thumb and pointer finger with rather persistent wrist pain.  My years are catching up with me, so I attributed the pain to the woes of aging...

I purchased a wrist/arm brace to combat the pain and continued with my regular routine: recruiting (and carrying material to do so), writing, editing...

Then about two weekends ago, while I was heading to work, I noticed that my hand hurt a bit more than usual. It progressed to the point that I wasn't able to correct my students' papers.  I slid the papers toward them and handed them a pencil advising them to read aloud so that I can help them catch the mistakes. Normally, I make corrections while we read together but my hand hurt like heck, and I couldn't really move it.

On my way home, my hand was throbbing and by the time I made it to my apartment, my hand had began to swell. The pain was unbearable and the swelling was accompanied by a persistent throbbing. It was late and since I live alone and had no one to call, I opted to wait until the morning before heading to Urgent Care (City MD).  Sleeping was difficult and as the swelling grew, I couldn't handle the pain.  I cried until I fell asleep.

The morning came, and I quickly showered while holding my hand; it was now double its normal size.  It hurt so badly that I believed I had broken it. I cried on the ferry, then on the train; all the while I securely held my injured right hand in the left.

The doctor advised me that I had nerve damage. My eyes widened at the news. I was a victim of the Carpal's infamous tunnel, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.  This condition has sense progressed to include tendinitis in my lower thumb and a sporadic twinge that travels from my wrist and up my arm.

Now, writing has taken on a whole new meaning. It is truly a labor of love...

Thursday, October 10, 2013


Look to the right. Right there. Your right. The right of the screen your viewing now. Yup. Now do me a huge favor, click on that ad. Any ad that you want. Just click it. Don't actually buy anything. Just click the ad. You know you want to... so click it.


My mother always told me to be mindful of who I call a friend.  Folks often call acquaintances or associates friends without considering what a friend really is.  So, what is a friend?

I have been fortunate enough to have friends who have provided the shoulders upon which I have cried, who have been honest even when the truth hurt like hell, who are ready with the getaway car, black masks, and machetes, who have encouraged me to take risks, who have told me to just be easy and who, after weeks or even months of little to no conversation, manage to nestle themselves into my life as if no time had lapsed.

I have observed as others have taken their friendships for granted, foolishly allowing long lasting bonds to break under the weight of their own pride or haughtiness.  Granted friends can grow apart; there are also instances in which a friendship can be unhealthy; give some thought to the dissolution of your friendships and consider if it was really worth letting go.   

Blessed But...

It sucks when you love someone yet realize that it would never work out. I have been so blessed and am so grateful and receptive to every gift that God has bestowed upon me.

A position that is tailor-made for my interest and expertise has been offered and accepted, setting me on the career path that I desire with the compensation to boot. HE is great and has seen to it that even more freelance opportunities have come my way. Though I have plenty of folks to share the news with, there is just one individual who I really want to tell.

I couldn’t understand why there was this lack of satisfaction, like something was missing. A very wise man shared his thoughts and then I understood. Success is wonderful when shared.

What’s weird is that I now know the difference. I know how it feels to be accepted completely and loved without doubt or reservation, to the degree that an individual willingly endures the pain of another’s shadow. How selfless! This is what love is supposed to be, selfless, committed, resilient, and brave! I would never think of taking this for granted. It isn’t often that one finds it. Yet I know myself well enough to acknowledge the truth. I am not ready.

It is time to shake off the shackles of the past to make way for the embrace of the future but how does that really happen? The past is engrained in the very fabric of who we are. It makes us whole so it never really is that far behind us. It is always looming… an ever permeating presence.

I cannot afford to allow my past to effect my present and future as it has, so I have to do something. There is too much at stake, especially now.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

New Edition Coming Soon...

The rerelease date is approaching, and the cause remains as necessary today as it was 7 years ago. I challenge you to fight along side every contributor whose word's grace the pages of "And We Write: Surviving Cancer Let the Healing Begin." 

We all have been touched by cancer; whether directly or indirectly, we all know someone who has succumbed to the disease, managed to overcome it's grip, or is, as you read this very message, embarking on the fight of his or her life. 

You'll be surprised by how much one person, one solitary individual, can accomplish by one kind gesture.  The proceeds from the sale of "And We Write..." will be donated to a small nonprofit that provides counseling and support to cancer victims and their loved ones. The emotional toll that this disease takes on its victims is just as traumatic as its physical effects! So I challenge you to help all those who have, are, and will kick cancer's ass, and I challenge you to help the families who weren't as fortunate enough to win the fight. The battle, however, is far from over!  I implore you to not let all those whose lives were lost, to have been taken in vain and to aid their families' healing process. 

If you purchased the compilation before, thank you! If you haven't, then please kindly spread the word and also purchase the new edition once it becomes available. The compilation will be available in both paperback and kindle formats and contain new entries and edits.

The release date to be announced soon...xoxoxo

For Monk with love!!!! 

Saturday, March 30, 2013

March 29th

March 29th "Is a date that will truly 'live in infamy,' at least for me!" And We Write... Pg 40.

...but this year, I almost forgot!  I almost forgot that on the 29th of March, exactly 7 years ago, is when I had received the call! If it wasn't for a sibling who was actually one day too early, it wasn't the 28th but the 29th, with the date, I may not not have remembered at all. I did awaken yesterday morning with an all too familiar sadness.  I suppose that my internal alarm clock went off a little later than normal, but my body still innately knew.  And We Write... Pg 40.

I cannot speak for my siblings, mom! But you were an awesome mother and friend whose words of wisdom are greatly missed. You managed to see the bright side of every situation.  I apologize for the oversight. It is horrible that I allowed my own musings to consume my thoughts. It will not happen again, mommy!

I broke a promise, mom, but I always make good on my word! Whenever I set my mind on something, you know that it will be accomplished. The book will reappear with edits, additional entries composed by the Bennetts and one Ms. Wilson, and it will also be available in Kindle format in the coming months! Life threw me a hurtle, but I think that I am bouncing back nicely! You always said that God closes one door so that he can open another or even several; you were right because several opportunities have presented themselves to me. Even a door that I thought was closed for good has reopened. I am truly blessed and grateful. 

Thank you, mom, for being you no matter what and for helping me to grow into the woman who I am. I only had you for 26 years but you did so much within our brief time together and I know you are still with me. I feel your presence everyday...

From Shell Ann to Monk :)

Sunday, December 30, 2012

"Fool of Me" by Me'Shell NdegéOcello

As I embark on a New Year, I reflect on 2012, with much sadness and regret. I've overcome so much in my life, and I know that this too shall pass, but damn if it doesn't suck... lol. There is always two sides to every story; there are no victims, but it still hurts and the pain can be un[fucking]bearable.

For every trail, there has always been music; there has always been a song that seemed to speak to the situation and that provided me with solace and the emotional release that creeps upon us behind closed doors... when no one is around to see us weep. 

When I lost my mother, Otis Redding's "A Change is Gonna Come" lolled me to sleep at night. 

At the moment and for the past few months, Me'Shell Ndeg√©Ocello's "Fool of Me" has been my solace.  And the song speaks to the situation perfectly...

I remember when you filled my heart with joy
Was I blind to the truth just there to fill the space
'Cause now you have no interest in anything I have to say
And I have allowed you to make me feel dumb
What kind of fool am I that you so easily set me aside 

You made a fool of me
Tell me why
You say that you don't care but we made love
Tell me why
You made a fool of me you made a fool of me 

I want to kiss you
Does she want you with the pain that I do
I smell you in my dreams
But now when we're face to face you won't look me in the eye
No time no friendship no love
Don't say don't touch you I can't touch you no more
Can't touch you any more any more
I don't touch you anymore 

You made a fool of me
Tell me why
You say that you don't care but we made love
Tell me why
You made a fool of me you made a fool of me

It too shall pass...