Here We Go Again…

Autumn Leaves

Sadly, summer is nearly over.  As with every year, I always come up with a list of things that I’m going to do, but never get to accomplish much of them for one reason or another.

Image result for images of fall leavesAs fall approaches, it’s almost time to put away my sandals (which I never look forward to), and don a light weight jacket.  I love autumn because of the leaves falling off the trees and turning into an array of bright colors; however, some people don’t see it that way.

There are those who view the change in season as a death sentence.  They are plaqued by the sun going down earlier because they feel as though they are losing their source of energy.  The sun How to Make Dead Leaves Decompose Fasterand the longer nights really do wonders for them.  However, as we get closer to fall, they find themselves beginning to drag around and/or shutting down beforehand as they brace themselves for the change in season, which leaves them not in the best of moods.  Their happiness is gone, temporarily, until they are able to adjust.  Some people have to take medication during this time to get them through because it’s just too difficult to manage without it.     There are some of us who will never understand what this feels like for those people who have to struggle with this every year.  I wished that I could embrace each and every person to assure them that it’s going to be okay.

If this is you, please don’t ever be ashamed or embarrassed.  Every single person on the face of the earth has something they are dealing with in life (some more than others), and it’s real.  We shouldn’t just tell people to get over it because we don’t know how they are feeling nor should we tell them how fast they should recover.

Love <3 Fall Leaves <3

You should never deal with life’s issues alone because that can lead to other things triggering off in your mind and body.  Find a good network of family and/or friends who will love on you when you’re going through.  These are the people who won’t judge you, but rather have your back.  You may feel as though they can’t identify with you, and are afraid you’ll run them away or they’ll look at you through different eyes once they learn about your secret; however, I beg to differ.  They will be there to support you through your difficult time, and actually want to be there for you whether it’s a shoulder to cry on, a listening ear, a prayer or whatever it is you need.  I wished when I was going through my phase of depression that I had shared it with others, so they could have supported me through that period of my life; however, I was just too embarrassed and ashamed to talk about it. The flip side of the coin is that if you shut people out of your life and just disappear, they have no idea what’s going on and will most likely think they did something to offend you.  If you don’t want to share what’s going on, maybe you could say something like, “I just need some alone time right now,” instead of leaving them to assume that you no longer want their business.  Always keep in mind, that people aren’t mind readers, and are human.

Even though my blog is written primarily for women, men face these issues as well, and should be loved on too; therefore, they shouldn’t be left out.

One of my younger cousins posted this on his FaceBook page and I thought it was apropos:

Men get depression.

Men get anxiety.

Men get suicidal thoughts.

Men have mental health illness.

Maybe instead of saying “man up”,

Say, “It’s okay to talk about it.”

 

Embrace your fears.  

I promise you will get through this.

You’re not alone.

 

Always remember, #GurlYouGotItGoinOn (and Guyz)

Love ya,

Grace

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Sister-to-Sister…

Image result for sisters

Hey, gurl, I hope you’re having a great day…

Several days ago, while I was walking to my car, the thought for today’s blog popped into my head.  Why, you might ask?  I feel that sometimes we don’t get the support we should from our “sisters” or “sista friends” for a variety of reasons.

As we know, women have the propensity to be downright catty (this is something that some learned from childhood and weren’t ever able to let it go).  I’ve been around women who weren’t always kind, and I couldn’t figure out why, particularly as I hadn’t done anything (as far as I was aware).  I used to work with a woman who, on a daily basis, would look me up down; she didn’t even try to be discrete about it.  Was I uncomfortable?  You betcha, but I tried not to let it show.  Perhaps, I could have broached the subject with her, but I chose to ignore her negative behavior.  I’ve passed by women who have mugged me for no particular reason, and just recently, I looked up only to discover someone giving me the “stank” eye or more commonly known as the “evil” eye.  I said to myself, “Wow, really?  I thought we were cool.”

Why is it that some women are threatened or jealous of other women?  I’m sure that’s an age old question that, unfortunately, I don’t have an answer to.

Having said this, I’ve met some really wonderful women who have their stuff together. They know who they are and aren’t intimated by any other women no matter what their status in life is.  They understand that there is “enough room at the table for everyone.”  Period!

We, as women, should be able to compliment other women on their beauty (inner and outer), their sense of style, makeup, cooking, thrifty ways, etc., without feeling like that takes away from who we are.  I often joke that Halle Berry doesn’t have anything on me. I’m not crazy.  Trust me, I know that if she and I were beside each other, she would be the one to stand out in the crowd and 99.9% of the attention would be on her (that’s perfectly fine) because she’s a very beautiful woman.  However, what I mean is that I’m confident in who I am.  I don’t need nor I desire to look like or be anyone else besides myself although there was a time in my life that I wanted to be anyone except me.

Don’t make your sister feel unwelcome because you’re insecure.  It’s time to take a long hard look at yourself, and figure out who you are.  Those things that you’d like to change, do so.  You don’t need to ask anyone’s permission to be yourself.  You are unique.  Maybe you haven’t figured it out yet, but you’re wonderful.  Maybe you’re envious of your peers because you’ve been comparing yourself to them and feel as though you don’t measure up.  I want you to stop thinking that right now!  No two people are alike; we may have similarities but we’re our own individuals.  Once you’ve arrived at this point, you’ll be able to love and even embrace your many sisters who are just waiting to welcome you with open arms.

To the Sisterhood…

This is my sister circle:  Top, biological sister; right, best friend for 46 years; bottom, dearest friend for nearly 13 years.  What I love about each of these women is that they add something totally different to my life, and it’s always, always wrapped in love — no matter what!

When you walk, lift your head like the QUEEN you are,
Gurl, don’t you know that you’re a shining star.
We have spent too many years trying to figure out this thing called “life,”
We don’t have time for jealousy, envy, and strife.
When they look you up and down,
Instead of turning your smile into a frown,
Put your head in the air,
As you leave them to wonder and stare.
Each day I’m working on who I aspire to be,
So, gurl you might as well stop wasting your energy hating on me.
Learn to love yourself and the skin you’re in,
Then, perhaps, you’d see that we could all win.

Always remember, #GurlYouGotItGoinOn

Love ya,

Grace

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Family — Not Necessarily the One You’re Born Into…

family-quote

We all have families — some family members we love to death and there are others that you might like to “kick” out as one of my uncles “jokingly” told me (though he was serious; no I’m not going to say which uncle or which family member).  LOL!

FAMILY: The True Meaning of FamilyFamily consists of the people who support and love you, and the people you can confide in and trust.

That about sums it all up.  Sometimes, your friends are closer to you than your actual family members — the family you were born or adopted into.

My, then, 3-year-old granddaughter figured this out on her own.  Last year, one of my friends was “playfully picking on her,” which got her attention.  Normally, she would retreat and not have anything further to do with the individual who was “bothering her,” but not this particular person.  In fact, quite to the contrary, she started asking all sorts of questions about them much to my amazement, which was definitely out of her character.  Before long, she started calling them her family (mind you, she had only spent a little time with them at this point).  To test her, one day I asked, “Why are they your family?”  Her 3-year-old response was, “Because they are my friend, they are my family.”  One of my daughters asked her if one of her friends was her family.  Her response was, “No, they are my friend”.  I have to admit that I was absolutely blown away.  How could someone so young put something so major into perspective?  How could she understand what some people who are older than she is don’t?  Until this very day, my friend is her family, and they have a very special bond.

Sometimes, we look at people and their families and “envy” them because their family is large and they are what we call “tight nit.”  They talk and socialize regularly, and are there for each other.  You long for that type of relationship with your family but, for whatever reason, it’s never forthcoming.

My family is pretty small on both my paternal and maternal side.  That’s one of the reasons I’m glad that my maternal uncle has a cookout every summer wherein he invites family and friends.  It’s good to see family during happy times rather just when someone passes.  During that time, everyone promises to get together, but it never happens.  My uncle usually makes this a two day event, which is really cool because the second day it’s just my immediate family.  The paternal side of my family is even smaller, and I very seldom spend time with them, unfortunately.  It’s funny how times change because when I was growing up, I spent more time with my paternal family.

When I was growing up, we used to have big family dinners at Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I remember when I “graduated” from the “kids” table to the “big people table”.  You couldn’t tell me that I hadn’t arrived.  These are memories that I will cherish for life.

I have longtime friends whom I consider family because they have been there for nearly every facet of my life — the good, the bad, and the ugly.  I also have new friends that I call family as well because as my granddaughter would say, “Because they are my friend, they are my family“.  They welcomed me and all of my craziness with open arms, no questions asked, and it feels like they’ve been a part of my life since forever.

No matter if you’re born into a family or “choose” your family, enjoy your time with them because seemingly go by in a fleeting moment.  Let them know how much they mean to you, and don’t forget to remind them of this often.

You, younger folk, should try and get to know the elders in your family.  Not only do they have a ton of wisdom and knowledge, but you can learn so much from them.  They possess a wealth of information they willingly want to share, which not only is interesting and fascinating, but can also give you a glimpse into your history.  I always enjoy hearing about the “good old days”.

My granddaughter and her great grandfather sharing moments of fun…

Always remember, #GurlYouGotItGoinOn

Love ya,

Grace

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Ain’t Nothing Like Some Good ‘Ole R&R…

 

Unused vacation

 

Life is hectic.  We are constantly ripping and running.  Most of us work, and by the time we get home and have dinner, check in with our spouse or significant other (if you’re in this category, get the kids ready for bed (for those who have them), it’s time for us to “crawl” into bed ourselves.  We work hard, but often forget that we need some down time as well.  Our bodies and are minds are in sync screaming at us to “relax and unwind”, but our response is “no time” or “no finances”; therefore, we continue the same pace day in and day out.

Some of you are stressed to the max, and don’t feel like you can keep up with the pace too much longer.  You want out of the “rat race.”  The only time you get any type of rest is when you’re sleeping, and some of you don’t even rest well then because your minds are constantly churning.

It’s important for our mental and physical well being to unplug and unwind from time to time, and it’s not only okay to do so, it’s absolutely “imperative.”

Some people are fortunate enough to always take their vacations away while others take what we call “staycations”.  There are folks who take long weekends every now and again, which is a huge help.  No matter which option you choose, you need to “learn” to relax.  I know someone who worked constantly to take care of their family.  If there was overtime, they signed on for it.  They would work seven days a week without any sort of break.  Guess what?  It caught up with them.  Ultimately, they had a heart attack from the stress of it all.  Thank God, they recovered.  However, it taught them an extremely valuable lesson — you can’t work 24/7 and think your body won’t give out on you.

I was blessed this year to be able to take two vacations — one in Los Angeles the beginning of the year (to celebrate my son’s 21st birthday), and the other was a “staycation”.

My trip to L.A. was absolutely wonderful, but if I had it to do all over again, I would probably not do anything the day before we left.  I’m glad that I took off the day after we returned home because the “old” girl is not as “young” as she used to be.  LOL!  It was a great trip because I’ve always wanted to go out to Los Angeles, but never had the opportunity to do so.  I have to admit I was a little more than nervous because I hadn’t been on a plane since before 9/11; however, I’m grateful we made it there and back safely.

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My “staycation” was taken because my granddaughter’s daycare was closed for the week. However, it was absolutely most enjoyable and definitely much needed.  My granddaughter, one of my friends and myself went to the beach for the day; I honestly don’t know who was more excited about going — my granddaughter or myself.  She was deathly terrified of sand touching her feet prior to this outing, but said she was “going to be a big girl and wasn’t going to be afraid”.   Guess what, she wasn’t.  LOL!  I was able to get some cleaning and sorting of clothes done, and even got some much needed exercise in.  Woohoo!  My granddaughter and I worked on letters and sight words.  We went to the park, kicked her soccer ball around, and raced each other; she even got to play at the area in our local mall.  We ended the week with going to a Steampunk Festival where she had a great time and chatted it up with everyone she met (I guess she got this from me; one of my friends calls me “Chatty Kathy”, LOL!).  Then, Sunday came night :-(.  Although I was ready to face the week feeling refreshed and renewed, my granddaughter wanted more vacation time, and cried and cried until I told her it was going to be okay.  I assured her that I always returned to pick her up.  However, once she saw her friends, it was game on :-).

 

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I can’t wait for my next vacation.   Until then…

This is your life.  

“Learn” to enjoy it.  

Don’t ever be afraid to unplug; it really is okay.  

 

Always remember, #GurlYouGotItGoingOn

Love ya,

Grace

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Please Hand Me the Remote…

Bored woman sitting at home with remote control watching tv

 

This thing called “life” has lots of twists and turns and, oftentimes, we are thrown curveballs leaving us to ponder “What am I going to do“, “What should I do”, and/or “Who should I call”?  Our minds take on lifeforms of their own and tend to “have their way with us” as we wrestle with it all.

I don’t know about you, but there are many days that I wished I could turn my mind off as I attempt to manage the issues and circumstances that I clearly didn’t anticipate nor did I ever expect to have to deal with.  It seems that before you can catch your breath, another situation arises, and then another, and another.  You want to get off the “merry go round”, but it won’t slow down enough for you to bail.  Is life like this everyday? Absolutely not although sometimes we “imagine” it is.  We have good days as well as bad days.  Some would probably say they have more bad than good days.  I can honestly say that’s not the case for me, but when it’s bad, it’s really bad.  Just recently, I felt like the entire bottom had fallen out of my life.  It seemed as though everything that could possibly go wrong did.  I was bewildered.  I was frustrated.  I was angry.  I was hurt.  It seemed no matter where I turned there wasn’t any relief in sight.  My mind would not turn itself off as my frustration and anxiety mounted.  Midweek, one of my friends texted me the video “He Has His Hands on You” by Marvin Sapp, and that got me through the next several days.  However, I felt like I was slammed on Friday of that same week and went to bed that night without any resolution and feeling pretty desolate.  Needless to say, I was completely worn out.  I was mentally drained.  One of my other friends texted me early Saturday morning to say that she pulled the t-shirt out that I gave her with my hashtag, GurlYouGotItGoinOn.  At that point, I picked myself up, and dusted myself off.  She had given my words back to me.  The funny thing is that neither one of these people knew what was going on in my life.  I don’t even think they knew the reason they reached out to me, but I did.

There are times that you flip through your mind as if you’re channel surfing.  You play one thing in your mind, then the next, and the next and so forth and so on.  It’s how some people watch TV.  They start one program, then another; they watch several shows or movies simultaneously.  I can’t do that because it’s too much, so I usually watch a movie til the end unless it’s pretty bad.  When your mind is on overload, you feel lost and alone, and feel like you are at lowest point.  Some reach out to their circle of friends or family while others deal with the pain on their own.  They won’t let anybody in because they “don’t want people in their business” or they feel as though “people will view them as weak”.  I get it.  However, we have to “learn to trust” someone because we need to be able to release our feelings of frustration or, perhaps, even our pent-up anxiety.  Unfortunately, everyone doesn’t have your best interest at heart (learned this the hard way), so it’s imperative that you surround yourself with a supportive circle who really cares about you and your well being (not people who just want something to gossip about) — people who won’t judge you for your thoughts or feelings.

Let’s face it, life can be downright scary at times because we don’t always have the answers.  For those of us, who know God, we pray and have faith, but sometimes our faith wanes because we don’t know if He is going to work it out the way we desire.  We can’t see what’s happening in the background, so we worry — some to the point wherein you make yourselves sick (been down that road).

Sometimes, it’s people whom we have helped time and time again who bring a lot of unwanted and undesired drama, distortion, and devastation to our lives.  They ask for our assistance, but never stand on their own two feet.  They are constantly ringing our phones for every single thing, and in the end we are left feeling burnt out as they are always on the receiving end; they are always taking from and never adding to.  I’ve had to start saying, “No”.  There are things that I’m done with, and I feel completely comfortable in my decision.  I can’t continue to let the same people wear me out day after day.  I’ve had to take a step back.  Rather than allowing myself to get all wound up and upset over situations people have created and continue to create for themselves, when I’m called or texted, my response is simply “Okay,” and I’m perfectly fine with that. I need to learn how not to be an enabler for people’s foolishness.  I’m not being selfish, but sometimes you have to know when it’s time to “let go”.

In one of my earlier posts, I talk about how women often have a good network of friends that we can go to and be completely transparent with, thereby, releasing our anxiety, frustrations, doubts, etc.  However, in that same article, one of my male followers shared that men don’t often have anyone to turn to.  Let me just say this pain, hurt, loneliness, worry, confusion, doubt or any other emotion is not gender specific.  Everyone (female AND male) needs to be able to release.  There are men who “struggle in secret” because of people’s perception of what they think a man should be.  If you’re not going to be supportive, then please move out of the way (sorry).

As we deal with life and change the channel after the “movie” has ended, we will be able to breathe and share our story with the next person who is struggling and trying to cope.  No, we can’t turn our minds off, but we can learn to silence some of the voices so that we aren’t dealing with everything at once and finding ourselves overwhelmed.

Always remember, #GurlYouGotItGoinOn

Love ya,

Grace

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What In the WORLD is Going On?

 

 

Some of you may be scratching your heads and asking yourselves, “What in the WORLD is going on,” as you listen to the tragic current events that have been going on and plaguing our society all across the country.  Things have been so scary that some of you may be fearful to even leave your homes, at this point, because you don’t know if you’ll return.

Everyone is pointing the finger at one another and, yes, our country is very divided as some blame those in the “oval” office while others blame the “press”.  No matter what side you have aligned yourself with, until a solution is found, everyone loses — and I mean everyone!

We are very much living in trying times, but instead of one side fighting the other and calling each other names and displaying childlike behavior (which solves nothing and is certainly not positive behavior that is indicative of what we what our children to see), why not come together and actually listen to each other for a change to find a solution to this escalating problem.  I have my thoughts and opinions on the topic; however, this is not a platform for that.  Every single one of us should be accountable for doing our part — no matter how small you might deem it to be.

Just think if everyone took an interest in making things better, how much positivity would be spread around.  Some of us know people who need our assistance, but have opted to look the other way because we don’t want to be bothered with “their” issues.  Let’s face it, no one wants to sign up for what they consider trouble; however, it’s time for us to stop minding our business and roll up our sleeves as we get into the trenches to help our fellow man.  People are hurting, and yes, we are our brother’s keeper.  

How about we learn to work together, and then agree to disagree when our thoughts, views, and/or suggestions aren’t welcomed?  What I have learned in life is that communication is extremely vital.  There was a time that I made a fair number of mistakes due to my lack of desire to communicate.  I expected people to be able to read my mind or if I was hurt or upset about something, I’d walk around angry for weeks at a time rather than talking about it; just for the record, that accomplished absolutely nothing.  Without communication a lot of assumptions are made, which oftentimes are incorrect, and we are left to our own thoughts and scenarios to play out in our minds.

As we go about our daily lives why not think about where we can lend a helping hand.  There are kids who need mentoring.  Why not take a child or two or three or four under your wing, if this is your area of giftedness.  If this is not your thing, but you know someone who could benefit from these services, I know of two programs because I’ve actually had personal experience with them —  Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (my son was in the program and we were fortunate enough to have a wonderful match who kept in touch with him, even after he aged out).  His Big followed him all through high school and beyond.  The other program in Baltimore is called BTST which is really good; again, I know about them personally as my daughter was in the program.  There are tons of programs out there, but you will have to do your homework and perform extensive research, as all programs are not equal.  Bear in mind kids will grow up one day, and we want them to be able to function in life and be successful in whatever path they find themselves on.  However, while they’re growing, they are watching and listening to everything we do, so be very, very careful what you do and so in front of them.

Don’t forget to check on your friends and loved ones.  Sometimes, people feel no one cares, which leads to depression and can set them on the path to self destruction as well.  Everyone wants to be loved, even if they won’t admit it.  Don’t think that because you can’t do anything big that you don’t have anything to contribute.  I know this sounds cliche but, sometimes, it really is the little things that count because those are the thoughtful things.  It could be a quick phone call, a text message, a letter, a card, whatever comes to your mind that could make a huge difference in someone who is going through.

In our willingness to help, sometimes, we, unfortunately, encounter people that we can’t reach.  We’ve been there for them.  We’ve given them all of the tools they need.  We’ve talked to them for a countless number of hours, and they are still on the path of destruction.  Because of our need to constantly save the day, we soon become enablers of their behavior as they manipulate us.  These are the kind of people who leave us feeling drained and completely exhausted as we have allowed them to suck the life out of us.  They keep taking and taking and taking and taking some more, and keep right on doing whatever it is they are doing.  At some point, we need to take a step back and not feel guilty about it.  When we’ve done all we can to help someone, and they are still exhibiting the same behaviors maybe that just means our assignment is up.  Perhaps, it’s someone else’s turn to pick up where we left off.  That doesn’t mean we’ve turned our back on them or have left them out there to be slaughtered, we’re simply saying I’ve done all I can do.  We’re not actually kicking them to the curb but rather put some distance in between the relationship as we need time to regroup and refocus mentally.

At my church we have a motto, “Each One Bring One, Each One Win One”.  Just think if everyone took just one person that they knew was struggling with something, albeit mental health, physical health, homelessness, joblessness, financial insecurities, health, etc., what a difference we’d all make.  The responsibility doesn’t just fall on a select few, but on all of us.  Some people aren’t able to physically help but, perhaps, they can pray for strength for those who are on the frontline.  James 2:14-16 – What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?  Can faith save him?  If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?  Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.  But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.”  Show me your faith without works, and I will show you my faith by my works.  Faith and then the work to back it up is extremely powerful. Whatever happened to “In God We Trust” that is on our currency and certainly a motto that most used to live by.

I hope as you read this week’s post, you’ll think of something you can do to lend a hand.  If you have been thinking about something and have been afraid to execute it, now is the time as it is absolutely crucial for you to utilize the tools that you’ve been given as you also help to make a difference.  We can’t afford to sit around and do nothing and watch our country destroy itself or go to H-E-DOUBLE TOOTHPICKS in a hand basket, as the old folks used to say.  Remember that we all have a gift and we have been placed on this earth for a purpose.

REACH OUT AND TOUCH…

WE GOT THIS…

If you have topics that you would like to see covered, please email me at grace.deveraux@yahoo.com.

Always remember,#GurlYouGotItGoinOn

Love ya,

Grace

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Have a “splentastic” weekend

Mending the Fences, One Picket or Barbed Wire At A Time…

Mending Fences

Mend Fences: To improve or repair a relationship that has been damaged by an argument or disagreement.

In recent weeks, I’ve shared how my life looked as I was growing up.  It feels so good to reminisce about the good times, but let’s face it, sometimes, there is an ugly truth that behind closed doors things are not always as they appear to be to outsiders.  When I was growing up, we were told that whatever happens at home, stays at home and that was a motto that we lived by every day.  My mother didn’t have to repeat it a million and one times because I got it the first time around.

Growing up, my sister, Pam, (who, by the way, is the middle child) and I were extremely close.  No one was ever going to pick on her except me (and, unfortunately, there was a time where I did a lot of that).  However, that job was reserved for me and me alone.

Image result for image of barbed wire fenceSadly, over the years, our relationship was pretty much dead except for when she came to town or the few phone calls here and there or the yearly Christmas cards that I would send her.  Our differences in lifestyles and lack of understanding and the unwillingness to agree to disagree got in the way of our relationshipour sisterhood.  I don’t know what happened or why it changed (I’m grateful that it did), but over the past year we have been as thick as thieves.  We share a lot about our lives, and even talk about the past — the good and the not so good.  We talk about the mental scars that we incurred as growing up.  Even though we have gotten over them, some of the scars remain; however, we don’t let them dictate our lives or the women we have become today.  She now calls herself my “little big sister” because she has more experience about some of life’s issues than I do.  Let’s just say, sometimes, I feel like I’ve been living under a rock as life passed me by.  What I’m good at, I’m really good at.  However, what I’m bad at…  Where she was daring, I was afraid and would only go so far because fear held me back.  We took separate paths and roads in life, but that’s what made us who we are today.

Bonding:  The formation of a close relationship (as between a mother and child or between a person and an animal), especially through frequent or constant association.

When my oldest daughter, Gabrielle, was growing up, she and I never had a bonding for whatever reason.  As a child, she wasn’t the huggy, feely type, and quite honestly, as her mom, I didn’t know what to do with that, so, sadly, I did absolutely nothing.  I know it sounds terrible and some of you may be thinking, “Wow, what kind of mother does that?”.  I would probably think the same thing if the shoe were on the other foot; however, I always want to be honest with you, my readers, with the hope that someone might benefit from my experiences  Trust me, not having a relationship with my daughter is one of the biggest regrets of my life.  After all, I was the parent and she was the child.  It was my responsibility to fix the relationship.  Whenever, I went to her school to volunteer, she would hide behind her friends or act as though she didn’t see me.  Sometimes, I would call her out; other times, I ignored the situation.  However, I was really hurt.  My other two children were the polar opposite; they wanted everyone to know I was their mother and wanted me to meet and get to know all of their friends.  The relationship I had with them was so easy, so I let Gabrielle slip through the cracks.  Unfortunately, I don’t think either one is us knew what to do with the other back then; however, today, I can say that I thank God for growth and maturity on both of our parts.  Hence, 20 something years later, we now have a relationship for which I’m extremely grateful.  Do we talk everyday?  No, we don’t.  However, when we do get together we have very meaningful, thought provoking conversations, and thoroughly enjoy being in one another’s company.  I told her the other day that I was proud of the woman she was becoming.  She asked me why, and I spelled it all out.  She smiled and said, “Thank you”.  I texted her the next day and told her that I took pleasure in our time together at her place, and she said anytime and she would cook dinner for me.  Woohoo!  I never turn down food, LOL!  This would never have happened in the past.  I’m really thankful because some relationships are never mended and, when people pass on, the  relationship remains broken.  Gabrielle or “Gabby,” as people call her, has become a very strong woman.  She doesn’t take any stuff and can be quite tough, when necessary.  She has come into her own and has now taken her rightful place as the big/oldest sister, and, might I add, she is wearing it well!  She has come to her younger sister’s aide quite a bit lately, and has even helped her brother in his time of need.

I don’t mention Gabrielle as often as I do my other two children, but it doesn’t mean that I love her any less.  I’m pleased to put the spotlight on her today, and I am mighty proud to be her mom.

If you don’t have a great relationship or a relationship at all with your family members, it’s not too late, even if it seems as though it’s been a lifetime.  I’m a living testament of that.  We wish for things and we pray for things to be different, but I don’t think we always expect the change to come.

If you’re missing the relationship that you once had or the bonding is gone, reach out.  You don’t have to be stubborn.  Take the high road, as a counselor that I used to see would always say.  If everyone leaves it up to the other party to resolve whatever differences that may have led to the tearing down of the fence, things will never be resolved.  However, if you’ve reached out a number of times and the person doesn’t respond or isn’t interested in rebuilding the relationship, sadly, there is nothing you can do.  I have a cousin that was like another sister to me.  A number of years ago, she disappeared out of my life.  I reached out to her via telephone, letters, and cards.  About four years ago, I was given her current phone number.  I called her and we talked and cried about how we missed each other.  She vowed she would stay in touch, but she hasn’t.  I reached out to her again roughly two years ago, and she said some things that I didn’t expect and weren’t true; however, they were her truth.  At that point, I knew there was nothing else humanly possible that I could do.  However, I miss her terribly.  The funny thing is we had no argument.  Everything was going extremely well, and then one day like a puff of smoke, she was gone — without warning.

I’d like to give a special thanks to one of my best friends who came up with the topic.  As a result of me sharing things with him, he saw things that I didn’t regarding the growth and rebuilding of my family.  However, as he broke it all down, I had what Oprah would call an “Aha” moment.

If you have topics that you would like to see covered, please email me at grace.deveraux@yahoo.com.

Always remember, #GurlYouGotItGoinOn

Love ya,

Grace

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