Valentine's Day

The day of love, right?

Test day, right?

Prove yourself day, right?

The day that defines your worth, right?

The day that signifies whether or not you’re special, right?

The day of reminders, right?

Reminder of loneliness?

Reminder of hurt, pain, loss, and lack, right?

Wrong!

Today doesn’t have to be any of the above or perhaps it can be all of the above; however, let’s not stop there.

Valentine’s Day – a holiday that many of us get really excited about, used to get really excited about, feel perplexed about, and/or hope to continue to be or one day be excited about or feel less dreary about.

Today, please pause! Please stop the negative thoughts and love on yourself. I am serious. This post is being publicized at noon intentionally. I am hoping someone reads this post in divine time and realizes self-love should be first. It’s nice to receive love from others, acknowledgment from others, gifts, love, time, and various other forms of appreciation are much appreciated. However, can I share with you that it feels 10x better when it is received after you have learned to love on yourself?

To those reading this today: Will you do me a favor and capture the following: your uniqueness, what you like most about yourself, what makes you laugh, when you feel your prettiest or most handsome, when you feel most passionate, when you feel most relaxed, when you feel most determined, when you feel your lowest, when you feel drained, what makes you cry, what makes you blush, smile, and/or shy, what’s your picker upper, and lastly how do you want to be remembered?

I’d like to get to know you and learn what you’re open to sharing. I truly appreciate each of you who follow, like, share, read, and/or comment on my posts.

Today, on this holiday, choose to love on you – first. Then, cherish those you love. This is not to encourage selfishness. It’s to remind you that your self-love is like that bomb outfit that you love seeing yourself in. Others’ love is that accessory that enhances that outfit.

Signing out,

With love!

Thoughtful Tuesday: Gratitude

Today is my 32nd birthday and I couldn’t be in a better state of mind. I’m not sure how long I’ve been unconsciously selecting words for the year, but I noticed about a year ago that I have been choosing words for over a decade. This year my word is Gratitude.

This year I am choosing to be conscientious of all I have to be grateful for and to be sure to express my gratitude. To start, I decided to have a virtual birthday party by mailing some of my friends hand written thank you cards. I wrote on the outside of the envelope, “please do not open until 2/4/2020.” Turn up!

The cards were filled with tear jerking messages to let them know how much I appreciate them. Today, whether near or far, many will feel the vibration of my gratitude.

Now that’s a party in itself!

This is exciting for me and it’s only one of the ways I am choosing to celebrate this very special day.

32 years and counting. It’s a blessing to be alive today. A blessing to be connected to my purpose. A joy to be able to live out my dreams. And an indescribable feeling to know what I’ve accomplished; thus far, and all that I seek to accomplish going forward.

As I reflect on the past decade, I know it’s only by God’s grace I’ve made it this far. Birthdays are special moments and in the past I spent much time worrying and concerning myself with what didn’t happen and who wasn’t present. However, in this season, there is currently an overflow of individuals anticipating spending time and celebrating with me.

Today, I am especially thankful for the mindset to celebrate myself by doing exactly what I want and second for the abundance of love, sacrifice, and thought to celebrate me.

Join me today by notifying one, two, or maybe even three or four people of how special they are to you and how grateful you are for them.

Until next time. . .

Cheers!

Thinking Tuesday

What are some good qualities about your dad?

This question stumped me. Typically, I am not speechless. However, at that very moment, I couldn’t think of anything. Eventually, I was reminded/remembered he was great at planting a seed of the importance of education, the importance of hygiene, and the importance of eating before going anywhere. During my early childhood, in the mornings he would do my hair, get me dress, cook me breakfast, and take me to school. I got out early when I was in Pre-K so when I got home school was not over. I’d have lunch: vegetable beef soup or boiled rogerwood sausage and homemade french fries. A random thought as I was thinking popped up: I remember liking to put syrup on my scrambled eggs that he would make in the morning before school. I recalled Reading Rainbow was a must! I hated it! He loved it and found it vital to our daily routine. I’d try everything to get away from being forced to watching it. It never worked unless he became restless and then nap time came early. Another dislike of mine. Lol. 

Lesson 1: Thou shall invest in learning even outside of school

I believe he took advantage of nap time too because he worked at nights but I don’t exactly recall. I do recall attempting to play in the window. 

There was a nursery/daycare next door. My classmate’s grandmother lived next door and I always could hear what sounded like so much fun happening next door. 

I’d look out the window and wish I could play with the other kids. One day I was caught looking out the window…BUSTED…not only did I get a spanking…nap time was extended. 

I don’t recall when it happened but eventually my window was sealed🤦🏽‍♀️. No more peeking out the window for me. I’d still hear the kids playing, laughing and running around the house next door. Nonetheless, the laughter and playing faded in the background as I drifted to sleep.

Lesson 2: Thou shall allow no distractions of nap time. Just ask anyone at this point in life about interrupting my rest. Issa no, sis! I gets all my zzzzs!

Counting
I enjoyed playing games and cards with my dad; however, I was always tasked with score keeping. On one particular occasion, I miscalculated. I can’t imagine this was the first time based on what happened next. My dad refused to play anymore games with me until I got my calculations together. 

We used to save coins in a Sunny Delight jug. He went to his room got the jug and dumped all the coins in front of me. He explained until I could count accurately we wouldn’t be playing anymore games. I ain’t going to front y’all I cried! To some this may seem harsh; honestly, it was just another way my dad ingrained the importance of education. It’s probably why I can calculate numbers in my head quickly. Math still isn’t my strong suit but if you ask me what’s 100 – 68 I can surely rattle off 32. Or, how many reps are left if 122 were completed and the goal is 250 I can quickly formulate and answer the question. 

And my system is weird in every way imaginable. I round to the nearest tenth; then add or subtract – pending the situation. Using the same reps example from above: I would round to the nearest tenth 130 add 100 which equals 230 with a remaining of 20 to get to 250 + the outstanding 8 from the round up for a total of 128 left to go. Or, I may calculate it as 122 completed + 100 = 222 + 8 = 230 + 20 = 250. Grand total of 128 left. See what I mean? Weird!

Lesson 3: Thou shall know how to conduct simple math calculations!

So, I circled back to the question why did it take time for me to remember. Can the bad really out weigh the good? Can there be so many negative thoughts that the positive only reflects dim lighting? Isn’t lighting lighting? Doesn’t it still produce light in darkness? Doesn’t it still shine bright when next to darkness? Could I unconsciously be focusing on the negative attributes and therefore, they are at the forefront. What does that mean? For me? For my body? For my mind?

Lesson 4: Live a life you want to remember!

Lesson 5: Keep striving for improvement!

Lesson 6: My dad’s best quality is teaching his youngest daughter (that’s me) how to stay hungry for more self progression and continue fulfilling the hunger.

Lesson 7: Keep learning. Keep teaching. Keep passing knowledge. Keep growing. Keep being You, but be the best version of you so when people remember you they remember the good of you.

Lesson 8: Heal. For Real. It’s true Hurt People Hurt People. So. Heal. Mind. Body. Soul.

Wellness Wednesday

Me: Good morning. How are you?

Person: I’m okay. How are you?

Me: I’m well. Thanks for asking. Why, just okay?

The conversation continues on. Sometimes remaining on topic. Other times switching topics.

Buttttt….What does it mean to be well? By definition, it means to be in good health and/or in a good/satisfactory way.

I don’t know that each time I reply with I’m well that actually I am well; holistically that is . . . but I want to be.

I want to be well on any given day. In my right mind – at peace.

I want my body to be well. Not overworked from working out but in a satisfactory way.

I want my physical health to be well. Not deprived from the inconsistencies of intake of the Synthroid I am required to take.

I want my eyes to be well. Not strained from staring at a computer screen, cell phone screen, television screen, or burning from me being up burning the midnight oil.

I want my spirit to be well; not lacking attention or cleansing. Not dry and needing its thirst quenched by a word, prayer, or song.

I want to be well. I want my brain to be functional and not sent into overdrive from worrying about completing task after task never having a moment to recharge; going into overdrive and overheating like a car without routine maintenance.

I want to be well.

I want to be well so that I feel refresh. I want to be well so I can give my best. I want to be well because I want to know, feel, and live what it feels like before shoving the ideology onto others. I want to be well because I always want to live what I preach.

I want to be well because I believe in being well.

I want to be well because balance is a thing.

I want to be well so that others know it’s possible to be well and that they are worth being well too.

I want to be well and I want my community to be well too.

So, will you join on intentionally practicing and living a life of wellness?

I’m starting with setting aside intentional time to meditate, to read, to rest, to schedule and attend physician appointments, to take my medication, to get off the couch, to lay in the grass and stare at the clouds, to go for walks, to listen to my body, to be kind to myself – To Be Well.

Tell me the steps you are already taking or will begin to take to be well.

Transparent Tuesday: Purge that ish!

Happy Transparent Tuesday! While we are on the topic, allow me to re-introduce myself. I am Kotrish; known personally by most as Kotrish. Those from my past refer to me as Trish. Those getting to know me reference me as Koko; a name affectionately given to me by personal trainer. I am a lover of people. Friendly is likely an understatement. I enjoy the calmness brought to me by the ebb and flow of rivers, lakes, oceans, ponds, streams, and any other body of water. Although, I am new to workout world, just a bit over 3 years to be exact – I must say it is a new found love. Cardio is my least favorite; nonetheless, I embrace the love-hate relationship I and my body has with it.

Family is important to me; however, reliability overrules what most people consider “family.” Allow me to simply state it – I believe family is what you make it – simply put. The longer version; I’ll save for another day. Now, where was I? Oh yes, introducing myself – sometimes I ramble and sometimes I forget mid sentence the point I was making – that’s new for me. That too will later be expounded on.

Hmm. . .other things to know are I love laughing and truly enjoy making others laugh. I also like to point out people’s strengths rather than flaws; empowering them as they continue to work on their areas of opportunity.

Lastly, for now that is, I am walking in a new direction and it feels great. I used to wait for others to define me. I used to believe I was unable to define myself. Unable to offer any gifts or talents. Unable to contribute intellectually. Unable to relate. Unable to build relationships. Most importantly I thought I was unable to thrive on my own with just Kotrish. Crazy, right?

The morning I woke up and realized how dope I am is the morning I scared the shit out of myself. Seriously, all these gifts and talents, abilities, visions, and thoughts and I’d discounted each and every one. Sigh!

Sooooooo. Hello. I am Kotrish. An individual who finally looked in the mirror and saw the reflection staring back. When this blog was initially created it was done so out of love of a dear friend who believed in my writing skills and another beautiful being who verbally co-signed. However, in this moment it’s being revamped by me – the author of these words. So again stick around because this time – I have a different motivation to let you all hear what I have to say.

Things flow differently when you catch the revelation – well at least for me things do.

With that being said, I am purging all the negative thoughts, all the disbelief, and all the toxic ish clogging up my space!

That being said, I’d planned to purge my Google Gallery New Year’s Eve. It didn’t happen. Partially because I am still learning balance. I always think I can do a million things in a limited amount of time. Then time runs out and I wonder how the heck did that happen. Or, I overextend myself and push pass a point of needed rest because I don’t like to leave things incomplete or miss deadlines. Then, I’m drained and looking for a quick fix. However, I’m literally in the process of trimming down my to do list. People are shocked by my “no’s.” Sometimes I’m shocked too. #itsaprocess

The other reason why I haven’t finished purging my Google Gallery is because it dates back to 2009 and is filled with several pictures that should have been purged well before now. This fact made me pause and think.

What’s the message(s) here? Covert messages? Overt messages? Clearly, I was still holding on too way too much. Too many past memories, moments and times that are long gone and to never return! I realized I’d somewhere somehow decided that it was a great idea to revisit the pictures and relive those moments through the captured pictures.

In this digital world, it’s much easier to permanently delete a picture versus the polaroid days where you had to throw the picture in the trash. So, why hadn’t I hit the delete button over the course of all these years versus allowing the pictures to build and clutter my space?

Deleting was too permanent. Too close to death. Final!

It took me sometime to realize, admit, and accept, I wasn’t ready to let go pieces of my past. On one hand, it was because I wanted to go back and rewrite history and in other aspects I judged myself; holding my past choices over my head as if it was a death sentence. The irony.

Can you imagine if I was holding all those memories in my phone’s memory log and it was limiting my space to capture new memories; how much more my body and world was being affected?

If you can’t, I can and welp that’s enough to say later gator to the clutter and what’s up to the purge!

I’m on a personal purge hunt with my camouflage on. Yep, I said, with my camouflage on. The ish gotta go!

What’s in your world, your space, your home, your office, your mind, your soul, or body that needs to be purge?

#Liberation

Catch the vision. 20/20 is perfect vision. Look in your life and see what needs to be purge. Then purge that ish!

Signing out

Transparent Koko

Transparent Tuesday: Decade Reflection

The new year countdown is here. In just 16 hours, we will welcome a new decade. Hello 2020. I must say I am excited to intentionally embrace the upcoming new year & new decade. The past decade consisted mainly of my 20s. They were wild. They were crazy. They were confusing. They were fun. They were beautiful.

My 20s taught me who I could be, who I wanted to be, what I liked, what I disliked, what I thought I wanted vs what I thought I needed. My 20s taught me to pause and listen. To listen to the words I said to myself. To listen to the thoughts I exchanged in the mirror as I stood face to face – eye to eye – with myself.

My 20s taught me one of the most important lessons in life – they taught me to learn, love, and appreciate myself. Learning, knowing and accepting myself has afforded me the opportunity to understand how I am to flow and operate in this world. I don’t have to wait for someone else to validate or teach me who I am or who I should be. I don’t have to bother myself with worries or concerns of being who the world wants me to be versus who I need myself to be.

I am enough. You are enough! Embrace it. Take a picture of it. Write it on your mirror!

My 20s taught me confidence through the rugged muddles of low self-esteem, low self-worth, low self-confidence, and lack of self-awareness all while taking steps that I thought would lead to success. You know that “I’ve arrived” destination that many of us seek to chase and reach. Boss, I’s tied! Tied from stepping, running, and chasing the “I’ve arrived destination.” My 20s taught me to get my ass off that train, that plane, that boat, that helicopter, that ship and reconfigure what the hell it even means to be successful. But that’s a conversation for a different blog.

I digress.

My 20s taught me I am adventurous. They taught me what it feels like to be in my happy place – traveling the world – bungee jumping 850 feet – jumping 9 feet into a waterfall – zip lining tree to tree at a local zoo – playing arcade games – laughing endlessly – participating in game nights – watching Christmas movies with my family – spending quality time with friends – sipping fruity cocktails – eating good food and falling in love with that special someone!

My 20s showed me my heart – the glow of it, the depth of it, and the darkness of it. My 20s showed me just how much of a hopeless romantic I can be – from enjoying being welcomed home to rose petals leading to a bathtub filled with more rose petals to watching the notebook repeatedly to love poems and using google translate just to say I love you in more language than one.

My 20s taught me how selfish I could be, how immature and impatient I could be, how inconsiderate I could be, how ruthless I could be and how remorseful I could be. My 20s taught me what it means to grow-up.

My 20s taught me how to trust the God I serve, how to connect with my purpose, how to serve the people of my community, and how to connect with those who I meet along my path. My 20s taught me what it means to be in Spiritual Warfare and the power of praying. My 20s taught me what it means to have a spiritual relationship versus a religious routine. My 20s taught me how to feel, see, hear, and connect to the spiritual realm.

My 20s taught me that life is short and not one single person on this Earth is exempt from experiencing “adversity.” We all have a journey to travel. We all have a story to live out. We all will experience troubling times, hardships, challenges or any other name that we’d like to call adverse experiences. However, what’s important is to not get stuck and to not let those moments over power us. There will be great days and there will be some not so great days; all in all life is truly an abstract piece of art.

I also learned in my 20s life is too short. Too short to live a life of arguing. Too short to live a life in and of fear. Too short not to face fears. Too short to live a lie or double-life. Too short to judge others. Too short not to speak your truth. Too short to be dependent on people. Too short not to learn more and do better. Too short not to be kind to yourself. Too short to hold grudges. Too short not to learn the power of forgiveness. Too short not to take responsibility. Too short not to offer a genuine apology. Too short not to live to have a fulfilling life.

In my 20s, I learned family is unapologetically what I make it. So I can and do choose to surround myself with those who I love, mutually care about, and most importantly those who I can be my – forever evolving – self around and vice versa.

As this decade closes and a new one begins, I take with me all the lessons I’ve learned, all the love I’ve gathered, all the growth, all the beauty, and all the confidence I’ll need as I face every fear and boldly say yes to using every ounce of potential and talent inside of me.

I leave behind the useless busyness of the spinning hamster wheel I’ve gotten stuck on. That chapter has come to an end and a new chapter has begun. I don’t have a new year’s resolution. I have a new life mantra: live out my visions one vision at a time. Time’s up for child’s play and fear of embarrassment of failing. Failing equates that method didn’t and doesn’t work – not that I am a failure and neither are you!

So let’s slay together not just for a week or two. Not for six weeks into 2020 or 90 days into 2020. Let’s intentionally slay for the remaining days of our lives – one hour – one day – one week – one month – one year – at a time.

Happy New Year’s Eve.

Stick around. This upcoming year, more blogs will be written and with consistency.

Peace. Blessings. Love. Intentionality. Growth & Harmony.

What are your decade reflections? What are you expecting for the new year/new decade? I’d love to hear about it.

Losing Our Babies

We’re losing our babies and it hurts deeply.

We’re losing our babies to violence.

We’re losing our babies to lack of education.

We’re losing our babies to lack of experience.

We’re losing our babies to lack of awareness.

We’re losing our babies. And it hurts!

We’re losing our babies to voicelessness.

We’re losing our babies to hopelessness.

We’re losing our babies to vicious cycles.

We’re losing our babies. It wounds me deeply.

They defeatedly state their inability to think, to read, to add, to subtract, to divide, for goodness sake to multiply.

We’re losing our babies to the feelings of incapability.

They sit in a shell called a body and feel worthless, mindless, incompetent, and fruitless.

We’re losing our babies and it pains me.

We’re losing our babies to settlement.

We’re losing our babies and I can’t stand it!

There has to be a solution. There is a solution. I will be the change. A movement will be a reality.

A change must occur.

This week was tough. This week was emotionally taxing. I wanted to wept. I wanted to scream.

As I listened to this 2x Junior in high school explain she had difficulty reading, she didn’t know how to multiply, and she didn’t have an ounce of belief she could earn a diploma – my heart shattered.

I refused to believe she was incapable. What did I believe? I believed she may have developmental challenges but with support she was capable. Capable of learning. Capable of being empowered. Capable of trying.

I asked, what is 4+4? 8 she quickly responded. I asked, What is 8 + 4? She paused. I encouraged her to take her time, use her fingers if needed, and reinforced I knew she could do it. 12 she said. And, if I asked what is 12 + 4? She rapidly responded 18. Calmly, I said, not quite. Take your time. What is 4 + 2? 6 she immediately responded. Correct now bring down the 1. I noticed her struggle to visualize what I meant. I quickly grabbed paper. You’re a visual learner.

Then, I wrote 12 + 4 = she responded 16. Right. I smiled. The journey is about learning, embracing, and applying. Do not give up on yourself, I riposted.

Look at what you have just completed – multiplication! Then I wrote 4×2 is the same as 4 + 4 which is 8. 4×3 is the same as 4 + 4 + 4 which is 12 and 4×4 is the same as 4 + 4 + 4 + 4 which is 16.

You did that not me. I can’t take any credit. You see. You are capable. *insert name,* I can feel your feelings of incompetence and stupidity. Tears welled in her eyes as I said you are neither of those words. They do not describe you!

You’re a hard worker that learns differently. It takes you time to process. That’s who you are.

We discussed other things. While, at the end, she did admit she felt better; I was saddened by her deeply embedded feelings of it being too late. Ms. Wright I do feel better; a lot better than I felt when I came in. I just don’t think I can keep going. I assured her as long as she decided to attend high school we could work on whatever it is that she desired (multiplication, reading comprehension, addition, subtraction, division isn’t my strongest suit but we can figure it out). I reiterated my goal isn’t to convince you not to drop out. I will never try to direct your life. However, I will always help you to see your good.

She shared with me she didn’t know if she would come to school the following day. She assured me when and if she returned she would come to see me. The student didn’t come to school the next day. I hope if nothing else a seed of hopefulness was planted. I hope to see her in the coming days.

We’re losing our babies and it pains me.

Will you grab a hand and join me on this movement? We all have a part to play. There’s enough roles for us all. We can. We will. Make a Difference.

Monday Notes: Atlanta Book Reading (Setting Intentions)

Are you living intentionally? Here’s a few examples when you are intentional.

K E Garland

Some of you will recall that I had a book reading in Jacksonville, Florida. It was Women’s History Month and my intention was to introduce the book, Daddy in a public way with at least four authors. I did that and it was successful.

breeWith the Atlanta book reading, the intention shifted. One of my co-authors, Bree had a different purpose. She aimed to provide a space for healing.

It began with her creating another title. Instead of the book’s title, Daddy: Reflections of Father-Daughter Relationships, she decided the theme would be,Dear Daddy: Intimate Conversations about Father-Daughter Relationships. And let me tell you, her intention set the tone.

for_keepsAdditionally, Rosa Duffy, the owner of For Keeps Bookstore also had a goal. If you haven’t read about her, then please do so in this Atlanta magazine feature. Her intention was to have an open place for rare…

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Trauma, Let’s Talk About It!

Did you know that June is National Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Month? What better time to talk about trauma?! Many times we hear the term when discussing soldiers who are going to war, have returned from war, or are inactive veterans (whether honorably or unhonorably discharged). In my opinion, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is exactly what it states stress after trauma, stress induced by a traumatic event, the aftermaths of trauma sometimes felt by survivors, the body’s reaction (communication style) to explain the effect of a nearly unbearable experience, and the list goes on. Literally the list goes on. Below are a few definitions:

According to the American Psychological Association, trauma “is an emotional response to a terrible event like an accident, rape or natural disaster. Immediately after the event, shock and denial are typical.”

Trauma in the DSM-5 requires “actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violence.”

Webster lists trauma as

a) an injury (such as a wound) to living tissue caused by an extrinsic agent

b) a disordered psychic or behavioral state resulting from severe mental or emotional stress or physical injury

c) an emotional upset

This past Saturday as I watched When They See Us the following words came to mind:

Free Write: Trauma is

Trauma is being helpless because the color of your skin
Trauma is your dad losing his ish because of his past
Trauma is unforgiven mistakes
Trauma is fear of your son being picked up [by Law Enforcement]
Trauma is being voiceless
Trauma is feeling the hopelessness screams on the inside
Trauma is seeing black boys coerced into lies
Trauma is knowing one day you’ll have to have “that talk” with your future kids
Trauma is little black and brown girls and boys being viewed as animals
Trauma is red, blue and white lights flashing
Trauma is the hurt and pain that is too generational deep to not be felt
Trauma is the adrenaline rush felt when you or your child walk out the [front] door
Trauma is feeling powerless because of the socio economic class you are categorized in
Trauma is understanding that your country was built on the backs of people who look like you but received no credit
Trauma is your nation continuing to be build on the backs of those who look like you yet act as if it’s not happening

Trauma is
Trauma is
Trauma is

Trauma is not being able to ride bikes freely in a park without fear
Trauma is not being able to play in the street at a summer camp
Trauma is not being able to protest peacefully without threat

Trauma is brainwashing
Trauma is not knowing if you will be able to afford your child’s call [from jail]
Trauma is systematic oppression…that blocks income, self-sufficiency, progress
Trauma is the cycle implemented to destroy you
Trauma is generations of system captivity and dependence
Trauma is planning your funeral while your an adolescent
Trauma is being coerced to sign your death sentence while you’re still alive

I can’t express how thankful I am that I suggested a watch party and co-workers agreed to it because trauma is having a heart to heal the world and having to watch, to understand, and to immerse into the depth of the darkness to uproot and reroot.

Signing off

Sunshine – light of the universe

Yes, that’s my superhero name – pun intended – buy me a cape!

Stay Tuned for Part 2 – coming soon to a blog post near you 🙂

Mother’s Day

Transparent Tuesday

Everyday is Mother’s Day. Words from my mother. Mother’s Day 2019. I battled the days leading to Mother’s Day. I’d purchased my mom’s mother day card and gift months in advance. When the time came to mail the items, I found myself stalling. The gift didn’t carry the weight that previous gifts carried. Days continued to pass and the items remained on the dresser.

I never sent the gifts.

We’d talked all week about her plans for the upcoming holiday. In my opinion she was “traditionally” having her “annual” Mother’s day dinner. My sister and niece would come over and of course my dad would be present. Additionally, this year she invited her older sister to join the family. Somewhere between Saturday night and Sunday morning sadness overwhelmed.

In spite of having to work Mother’s Day weekend, Saturday afternoon I’d considered making the 2.5 hour drive home on Mother’s Day; so much, that I’d gotten an oil change and purchased a dozen of bundtinis (cupcakes) from a local bakery.  The fact remained that I was tired from working a nine-hour shift, that I had to work the following day and didn’t have a scheduled day off until May 23, 2019. Yet, I set my alarm for 5:00 am with every intention to go to work by 6:00 am and be to Jacksonville by 11:00 am.

However, when the alarm sounded off I wrestled with the idea of driving, the thought it was supposed to storm heavily and the fact that I hate driving in the rain, and that I was 31 years old and had yet to bear children. This was the first time being childless crept in and shook hands with my emotions. I didn’t understand where the feeling arose from or why I was so disturbed. In fact on previous Mother’s Days I’d found myself blissful and joyful; anticipating honoring my mom. As well as, grateful for the many messages and calls that came from previous kids I’d interacted with expressing their heartfelt feelings regarding me making them feel loved.

As I laid there and the hours passed I remained conflicted. I weighed the pros and cons. I texted my mom to see if she was up but she wasn’t up. I decided to called a dear friend to talk it out. I wasn’t looking for advice just someone to talk it out with at 7:30 am in the morning. LOL! She responded to the text advising to give her a ring.

Me: Hey sis. Are you up?

Her: Yes. What’s up?

Me: Trying to make what feels like a big decision. It’s really not though. Wondered if you had a few minutes to process it with me.

Her: Sure. I have a few. Your timing is impeccable.

I called and she cheerfully answered, Hey Bud! What’s Up? Then I shared with her the aforementioned. As we talked I still felt crappy and eventually told her so and thanked her for her time. She advised she would be traveling back home from visiting with her family and to keep her posted on my decision.

Thereafter, my mom texted stating she was up. As soon as she answered my throat tighten and I struggled to even say Happy Mother’s Day.

Her: What’s wrong, Kotrish?

Y’all I wailed like a baby!

And when I was done . . .

She calmly and lovingly stated, “Kotrish, Mother’s Day is everyday. Everyday that I get to be your mother is Mother’s Day for me. You know material things do not matter to me. You bless me all the time with gifts not just physical gifts but spiritual gifts too. Those gifts are the greatest gifts of all. She also mentioned that I drove enough for work and that I should spend the day resting and shouldn’t feel bad. Look at your schedule and let me know what day we can drive up even if just for a hour to pick up the gifts, talk a little and maybe play a game or two.” In the midst of me hyperventilating, I managed to say, “okay, I can let you know by tomorrow.”

In other news, we disagreed on the traditional dinner she said it’s not a tradition. I retorted, perhaps, not one that’s established but it happens every year. LOL! Maybe she’s right it’s not a tradition, it’s a routine that appears to the outsider looking in as a tradition. Either way, I realized I was battling with the reality of more family photos would be taken that did not include me and within hours my phone would be flooded with those photos.

In the end, I selfishly needed my mommy on Mother’s Day to tell me it was all okay. I must say I am thankful and blessed to have such a wonderful mom. I hope that I am just as wonderful in my own way to my kids.

Most importantly, I needed to give myself permission to feel the emotions I felt and face my vulnerability.