A Few Words – Prince and Chronic Pain

 

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On April 21, 2016, we lost another great icon, Prince.  I have been a Prince fan since he burst onto the scene and I have always been in love with him.   If you never got a chance to see him perform live, then you really missed seeing a powerhouse dynamo!!! He was a phenom!! I had the privilege of seeing him live at Madison Square Garden some years ago and he was just awesome!!

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He was diminutive in stature, but his giant talents made up for his lack of height.  His height couldn’t erase his talent or his love of the ladies.  He was an extremely good looking man, so I get why the ladies loved him.  He was another one who marched to the beat of his own drum.  He made it okay to be different, hell he made it sexy to be different.  He was true to himself.  He and Muhammad Ali had that in common.

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Much has been said about how he died and his last days here.  The speculation was endless, but now that we have a cause of death, I feel I can say something about it.  Prince was known for his energetic and physical performances.  Over time this began to cause him problems and he was in chronic pain.  Most of us as we age are going to feel some pain.  All that crazy stuff we do in our youth does eventually come back to haunt us.  There are some though who are in chronic pain.  I know people who live with chronic pain and take lots of medicine that barely seems to help.  So I do not judge Prince because he gave us the best of himself and what he ended up with was pain!!

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I am sorry that he and millions like him must suffer daily because our society does not fully acknowledge, treat and alleviate pain for chronic sufferers.  We expect people to just handle it, or take some watered down medicine that barely helps because we don’t want you getting addicted to powerful drugs that may help you.  People get addicted because the medicine is not being administered in a responsible way to begin with.  Most people in chronic pain would benefit tremendously from a lifestyle plan administered by multiple professionals working together to alleviate the problem, but this is rarely the case and I can’t say I understand why.  We have a long way to go as a society when it comes to helping people with certain issues, mental health, violence, poverty and chronic pain.  We need to do better!!!!

A Few Words – Muhammad Ali

As most of you know Muhammad Ali passed away on June 3, 2016, after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease.  He was one of my heroes and I admired and respected him immensely   He was a champion and simply “The Greatest Of All Time.”ali2

Mr. Ali was more than a champion in the ring.  He was a man who stood up for himself and his people.  He was a man of conviction and decency.  He refused to fight in a war for a country that treated him as a second class citizen.  It cost him his title but he didn’t care. He stood tall, proud and determined.  He believed in himself.  He was a man who decided to be a man, he had to stand in his truth and handle the consequences which is something you don’t see often today!!!

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He continued to make a difference, stand up for people and fight the battle of Parkinson’s. He was an outspoken advocate and a source of strength for those who were also battling the disease.  He will be missed by all who loved him and by me.  He is one of many reasons I am so proud to be black!!!! RIP Mr. Ali, you fought the battles, now it’s time to rest!!!

 

22nd December 1971:  Muhammad Ali trains for his fight against the West German Jurgen Blin, with his daughters in tow.  (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)

22nd December 1971: Muhammad Ali trains for his fight against the West German Jurgen Blin, with his daughters in tow. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)

 

 

Memories

 

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My mother, father and brother.

Starting the new year off right seems to be at the top of everyone’s resolution wish.  How long  most people stick to their resolutions is anyone’s guess, but I’m guessing not long.  For many of us this is the time to renew broken promises we made to ourselves, begin afresh something we say we’re going to do, lose weight, find another job, open a business, join a gym, take a vacation, etc.  The list is endless.  I wish you all success with whatever endeavor you seek and encourage you to do it whether it lasts or not.

I did not make any resolutions this year.  It begins for me with the decision to move on.  After suffering the loss of my mother in November 2013, I spent most of 2014 coming to terms with this loss.  Losing a parent is a significant loss and especially when it’s your sole remaining parent   You walk around feeling like an orphan and somewhat insecure, because let’s face it, no matter who old we are, we still need our parents.  I have decided that my mother would want me to go on and not only live my life, but enjoy my life.  In order to do that, I must let go of her and things in my past that keep me from moving forward.  Mostly, I feel like I would be leaving her, my dad and my brother behind.  I know that is not the case, but it felt like it.  I am a Christian so I believe with all my heart that my mother is in heaven with God and wouldn’t come back if she could.  Who would leave heaven and the presence of God to return to this earth?

So my promise to myself is that I will take as many steps as I need to move ahead and go on with my new reality.  It’s a different life.  When people are removed from our lives for whatever reason, death, divorce, moving away, our lives are not the same, at least not initially, if ever.  It’s funny how things happen that forever change you, but people expect you to be the same.  I was already in a state of reassessing and reemerging before this happened.  My life has been in a state of unpredictability for years now and all the while on a learning curve.  I realized that I have to some degree, cut myself off from my own renewal not wanting to incur any more setbacks or pain. If I am to ever fulfill my life’s purpose, I have to begin to experience life again on a more proactive level and be more focused on what needs to be done instead of crippled by pain, fear and dread.  I’ve always been a person who rolled with the punches and kept it moving until a few years ago.  Life knocked me down and for whatever reason,  I didn’t really rally the way I should have.  We only have so much fight in us, so maybe I just surrendered to it because it was easier than fighting.  I know that aging and being tired (as only another single parent can understand) caught up to me.  So now I accept it all and release myself from it. It is no longer my burden to carry,

What does 2015 have in store for me.  I don’t know, but I do know that as long as I hold fast to God and keep praying, I stand more than a chance of being okay.  As for my mother, father and brother, they will live on through me and in my memory for as long as I walk this earth.  I know that they all want the best for me and wish me the best.  If they could I know they would say, no more weeping, no more mourning.  We have left you with plenty of fond memories to keep your heart warm, NOW GO AND LIVE YOUR LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!

45 Life Lessons

45 LIFE LESSONS

WRITTEN BY A 90 YEAR OLD

1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short not to enjoy it.
4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will.
5. Don’t buy stuff you don’t need.
6. You don’t have to win every argument. Stay true to yourself.
7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for things that matter.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye… But don’t worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful. Clutter weighs you down in many ways.
18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It’s never too late to be happy. But it’s all up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Overprepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words, ‘In five years, will this matter?’
27. Always choose Life.
28. Forgive but don’t forget.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give Time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.
35. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d
grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have, not what you think you need.
42. The best is yet to come…
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
44. Yield.
45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift

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Learning to Live with the Pain

Learning to Live with the Pain

You may have noticed that I have not posted anything to my blog lately. I hope that you missed me and are awaiting my return. I took some time off to deal with the unexpected loss of my mother. She was such an important part of my life and I have a long road ahead of me adjusting to life without her. As a Christian, it is my belief that she is with our Lord and Savior walking around heaven amazed at what she sees. I am extremely grateful for the time I had with her and thank God that she was my mother. I appreciate all the support, prayers and kindness that was exhibited to my family during this time. I would like to request that you continue to pray for me and my family as we work our way through this most difficult time!!! I am forever thankful to God for her and the many ways she inspired me and my life!!!!!!!!!

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What Next?

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I have been going through a restless state for the last few months. Finally, I decided to take some time and assess my thoughts.  After much thought and pondering, I realized something, It’s not that I’m unhappy, it’s that I’m not satisfied.  What a revelation.  I try to live everyday in a state of gratitude and be thankful for what I have.  Being an American and being blessed enough to live in a city I love, New York, I know that I live a tremendous blessing everyday, yet something is still missing.  I’ve concluded it is an internal issue and not an external one.  In other words, the problem lies within me and only I can fix it.  Step one is acknowledging that change is needed.  My goal now becomes to figure out exactly what changes I need to make.  This is a more difficult task because the world is full of choices and I am not sure exactly which direction I want to take.  Right now I envy people who know exactly what they want and go after it.  It’s such a nice thing to know about yourself.  I do not have my whole life ahead of me, just the rest of it.  I am probably already at least half way through my life and need to feel I’m accomplishing something.  It’s not that I haven’t accomplished anything, it’s that I haven’t accomplished anything significant lately.  I have accomplished many things in my life such as raising a child, getting a great education including Grad school, experienced success and  (failure) and have traveled some.  All of these things are in my past.  I don’t feel like I’ve done much lately and I need to change that.  This blog is one way for me to express myself and reach out.  Sharing the good things in life is one of things that makes me feel good and I am happy to do it.   It doesn’t matter if only a few enjoy it and appreciate it, that is enough for me to continue to do it.  I’m looking for that feeling on a much larger scale where I feel like I make a difference while I’m still here!!!  Thank you for following me and for making me feel like I am doing something that matters at the moment even if it’s a small thing like sharing a recipe!!!!

 

Disappointments

Disappointments

 When you are born, surely if you live long enough, you will experience disappointment in life.  Someone you work with, a friend, family member or other loved one will disappoint you.  Marriages, friendships,  relationships, circumstances, expectations, beliefs and careers are all things that sometimes breaks our hearts and brings us into the realm of disappointment and even disillusionment.  The true test of our character will be tested by these disappointments and separate the immature from the mature.  We learn some of our best lessons if we are willing to from states of disappointment.  How we decide to proceed once we have been disappointed by someone will delegate how quickly we recover from that disappointment.  I have experienced some epic disappointments in my life and each time, I was faced with the decision of how I was going to handle it.  In my youth, the responses I chose were not always the best way to respond.  Thankfully, I have grown tremendously since then and have learned to handle things in a much more mature manner.
Frustration, embarrassment, anger, shame, disbelief, resentment, fear and regret are all emotions you may experience when you are disappointed about something.  All are normal responses but not necessarily the right reaction to display when expressing yourself after being disappointed.  The most logical thing to do is take a deep breath, step back and retreat.  Most times it is best to just step away and clear your mind so you are able to think rationally.  It is hard to think rationally when you’re in the throws of any of the above mentioned emotions.  If a solution is needed, to find the solution and there always is one, you must remain calm and be able to use your head.  Feeling disappointed can affect your judgment and your mood for some time if you focus on the situation.  It is easier to focus on the problem sometimes than to find a resolution.  I am about finding resolutions and not wallowing in the problem.  Just because you can’t solve the issue immediately does not mean you need to continue to focus all your energy on the problem.  Once we have time to get past things and move on, we realize we have survived it and it’s done.  When we look back on our lives, we often feel a sense of amazement that we let it take us off track in the first place   Sometimes we have to stumble a little to find our way.