Coping with Grief

This December will mark one year since my father’s passing. I honestly never thought I would be able to go on since he passed, but with the help of God and prayer, I have been able to. Every last one of us have our own way of coping with grief, and the way we cope with our grief should be respected.

This past weekend, I cut off over half of my hair as a way to deal with my father being gone for almost a year. Some of those closest to me were shocked, others were even sad because of how long my hair was. Me? I felt two things. One, I felt a sense of relief in knowing that I was able to go on after my father fell asleep in death. Two, I felt free because I was able to let go most of my grief. My hair, like my emotions, was weighing me down and just like everything else, I had to do something about it.

My hair will grow back. It always does. It will grow back faster and longer like it always does. It’s genetic, it’s in my genes so there is no escaping it; just like my grief. My grief is still there and it’ll always be there, but it’s not as painful or as debilitating as it was before. No one can prepare you or tell you how to grieve. Only you can.

If any of you recently lost someone, you have my sincerest condolences.

Until next time…

Henrietta Lacks

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is a book and documentatry that I am itching to read and watch. The documentary, starring Oprah Winfrey, tells the incredible story about a poor, uneducated Black woman whose cancer cells were taken without her knowledge or consent. For 60+ years, her cancer cells have been credited with a number of breakthroughs in medicine and cures.

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Henrietta’s cancer cells has helped saved the lives of millions of people because they were used and are still being used in research and other advancements in medicine. As amazing as all that sounds, we cannot forget that parts of Henrietta’s body, like so many other Black Americans years ago, was used to fund and advance the world of medicine without any acknowledgement, consent or monetary compensation. That is until now.

Lacks Book Cover

I cannot express to you how good it feels to know that such individuals are now being recognized for their contribution to medicine. Not only that, their living descendants have a BIG say so in how their loved one’s cells, body or tissues are being used. Adding to that, the family is rightfully being compensated.

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Click here to watch a brief video on the late Henrietta Lacks and her incredible story.

Until next time…

The Hardest Lesson 

The hardest lesson I have yet to learn is how to let go or say goodbye to someone you love. To see a loved one in pain and fighting so hard to live is heart breaking to say the least. You try to stay strong even though you’re crumbling on the inside. You smile on the outside even though you’re hurting on the inside. For days on end you hold back or swallow your tears because you don’t want them to see that you too are hurting. Man, let me tell you, cancer sucks.

Now, it’s getting harder and harder for me to write. My desire is fading and my determination to write is wading, but still I write. I’m on a time crunch now more than ever because I’m pushing myself to get this story written. Yes, I must finish my second novel before it’s too late. I’m painfully focused and I don’t plan on losing that focus anytime soon. I’m 75% finished with my first draft and I know that if I push myself just a little harder, I can finish the rest. And I will.

Peace, love and blessings to you all.

Until next time… 

Not Giving Up 

Yesterday was a nerve-wracking day for me. Why? Well, because I had to wait on pins and needles to hear if a new type of chemo and radiation treatment will work for my father. Never one to lose hope, I was in awe to see just how upbeat and positive my father was. Not only that, can you believe that he drove himself and my mother over 2 1/2 hours to his appointment?!? That may not seem like a big deal, but considering he’s battling advanced lung cancer and Parkinson’s disease that is AMAZING!!! 

When I tell you there is nothing my father can’t do, I seriously mean it. The cutest thing of all was how he surprised my mother on the way back by taking her out to dinner. He’s always done sweet simple things like that, but seeing how things are much different now it made it all the more sweeter. My family is quick to tell you, we don’t want any pity. Your kindness and genuine concern will do. Keep fighting Dad, because we’re fighting alongside with you. You are truly the strongest and most determined man I have ever known! ❤️

Until next time… 

Writing Memories 

I witnessed something when I went home this weekend that truly showed me how strong and resilient my father is. I’ll be completely honest with you, my eyes welled up with tears at the very sight of it. Yes, I’ll admit that my heart flooded with tears and I’ll tell you exactly why. 

This past Sunday morning, my parents were talking about cooking on the grill. Mind you, my father hadn’t been feeling too well lately seeing how he had a recent radiation treatment for his cancer. We (meaning my Mom and the rest of my family) had talked about getting some meat together to throw on the grill for my Dad. You see, he had been wanting some BBQ for a while now, but the weather hasn’t been too favorable. Any who, we had seasoned up a good bit of meat to go on the grill and had sat it in the fridge to marinate. What happened next took our breath away. 

While we were standing in the kitchen getting the rest of the food together, we heard a noise coming from outside. It sounded like something was being moved or dragged. When I went to the front door to see what it was, I was surprised to see that it was my Dad moving his favorite old grill (ancient ain’t the word LOL) to the front corner of the yard. When he saw us looking at him in total shock, that famous smile of his scrolled across his face. Before we could say anything to him my father stated that HE was going to BBQ. Man, I tell you, my father is the strongest and most determined man that I have ever known. 

These are what memories are made of and I can’t wait to share and write up more. More memories to come Dad, many more memories to come. 

Until next time… 

Cancer Warrior 

The word cancer in itself is enough to strike fear in anyone’s heart. It’s a devastating diagnosis that can affect not only the individual, but those closest to them. Imagine watching someone you love battle cancer day in and day out. Let me tell you, it can be tough. At times, if not all of the time, you wish there was a way you could take all of their pain away, but unfortunately you can’t. Instead, you do all that you can to help them and care for them as much as possible. After all, that is what family and friends do. 

What amazes me the most (more than anything else) when it comes to cancer is how strong individuals with cancer are. Despite their condition, they bravely face each day with a spirit of positivity and a level of determination that is enough to garner boat loads of respect. I watch my own father who is battling cancer and he amazes me, my family and those around him every single day. When people come to encourage my father, they walk away encouraged themselves because of how strong, resilient and upbeat he is. Talk about being inspired in every way you can imagine. 

I have nothing but the deepest respect for those who are fighting cancer because they are the toughest people I know. I pray for all those affected by cancer and their loved ones who are sticking by them. May you too stay strong and continue to put up a hard fight. As the saying goes, “We are in this together” and together we can help fight against cancer. 

Sending Love and Hugs to you all…stay strong 💪. 

Helping To Fight Against Cancer

Let me first start off by saying that this is the most difficult blog post for me to make this year. As I sit here pecking away at my keyboard, I cannot help but to become a little emotional because the strongest man I know, my father, is battling lung cancer. My father is not only the strongest man I know, but he is also the bravest man I know because he has survived things the average human would not stand a chance of surviving. My father has two nicknames that has been given to him by his family and friends and that is Sampson and Superman. This is a man who survived a number of military wars, this is a man who has battle scars that would horrify most, this is a man who is still walking around with bullet fragments in his head and body because many attempts have been made on his life. Yet, through it all, my father is still here.  At the first sight of him, many would think he is a mean man, but like most individuals who meet him for the first time and talk to him, they become drawn to him. I have seen strangers strike up a conversation with my father and would be there for hours talking to him. I guess one could say my father has a magnetic personality.

Since being diagnosed with lung cancer a few weeks ago, I have seen my father go into survival mode and we as his family have been there right by his side. Two days after his surgery, my father was walking around cracking jokes with the doctors, nurses and some of the nursing students who came to his room. A few of the nursing students became attached to my father because he is just that type of man. As one of the nurses stated, “You cannot help but to love him.” It has been two weeks since my father’s surgery and he is walking around like nothing ever happened. As I watched my father yesterday during our family fish fry, I could not help but to be amazed at his strength and optimism. We are holding out hope and relying on our faith that my father will be just fine. We are not a family that gives up during severe trials and unbearable adversities. We are a family that supports one another no matter what and my father knows that we will ALWAYS be by his side.

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As we gear up to help fight this cancer with my father, like with any hardship that has come our way, we are not going down without a fight. I have always been an avid supporter for ALL cancer cures and I for sure do not see a reason to stop now. To my AMAZING father, I am so honored to be able to call you MY DAD. We as your family cannot wait to make more memories with you in the years to come. Keep fighting because we are fighting there with you! WE GOT YOUR BACK!

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Until next time…