Sixteen Years Ago I Became a MOM!

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I can remember it like it was yesterday, I was in a beautiful L&D suite at the Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen facing the New York City skyline. I had a clear view of Lady Liberty and a room full of family who were enjoying watching me for the third day in full blown labor. I had Days of Our Lives playing and it was suddenly interrupted with BREAKING NEWS about a paraglider who got caught in the arm of the statue, I SHIT YOU NOT!

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/dramatic-statue-of-liberty-rescue/

That’s neither here nor there…

Jerome, my boyfriend at the time (and baby daddy to be) went to McDonald’s with my sister because, you know, I was taking too long… I really wasn’t feeling well and I wanted this child out, so I hit that NURSE call button, for the 723rd time.

Finally a nice young nurse, who had just about enough of me crying and screaming in agony, took it upon herself to stick what looked like a knitting needle up my lady parts and break my water. She noticed that the baby’s heartbeat had slowed down significantly and she called for the doctor immediately.

After three days of sitting and waiting for the epic moment that I deliver their first child, niece, grandchild, and great grandchild, everyone watched as they wheeled me away into a surgical room for an emergency C-Section. So much for that beautiful scene when she comes out and everyone cries as she is placed on my chest. It went more like this…

I see the ceiling passing, I am crying “Call Rome and tell him and Tracey to COME BACK NOW” then I fall asleep, a few hours later I wake up to my mom and sister (one on each side of me) crying… I am shaking and confused, still very sleepy. I ask, “IS SHE THE BOMB?” and they laugh, Tracey replies, “She is THE BOMB” and I fall back asleep for what seemed like four more hours. Eventually, I wake up, it was dark out, the room was empty except for 2 people, Jerome and a beautiful little baby. My baby, that I was seeing for the very first time.  WHAT A DAY!

I finally got to hold her, she was so small and beautiful. Healthy and perfect in every single way. I was emotional, happy, scared – EVERY emotion possible – I felt it in that moment!

So, here we are, she just celebrated her 16th Birthday. I made a collage of her life with over 200 pictures that I gathered from the last 16 years and as I cut and paste each one I cried. It seems impossible that 16 years have passed us already. She is now a little woman. I am more than proud of her. She is a respectful and loving human who just wants to enjoy life and make the most of each moment. She has been the best blessing and I wish her all the happiness in the WORLD!

Thank you all who have been a part of helping to mold her and show her the way. It takes a village and I am so glad you are part of our village!

Dee-Dee

 

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STILL undone…

As some of you may know, my small business Love, The Undoing which was founded in 2013, hasn’t been active on social media in the last few months. The truth is, I am a firm believer in ENERGY. I believe that my art, holds my energy when I create. I believe when I create, I should be in a good spiritual place. I want the people who wear my bracelets to know that when it was created, my heart was IN IT… I always made sure my surroundings were clean and clear of chaos. I would burn white sage, sometimes I would meditate before creating. It was a process that I enjoyed and one that I knew my “Lovies” felt when they slid on their beads…

So, what is my “excuse”… I don’t have one… I have an honest answer to those of you have so lovingly asked me if I was done with LTU… I AM NOT… The store is still open (thank you to those who still loyally order!) and when I am in the right place to create with the energy that everyone deserves, I will create! The items that I list now were already made, or re-lists of unsold items.

So what have I been doing with my energy. I promise you it hasn’t been wasted! When I created my vision board in January, I was committed to becoming more socially active and take this time with my daughter as a times we can look back at as life lessons and love shared.

Having said that, I have devoted a lot of time to my family. (Having a teenage daughter has been so emotional!)

I have been participating in things that feel right – RIGHT NOW. I marched with the WOMEN and I protested and sat in on meetings with NJ11thForChange. But, most importantly I have become a citizen with a voice! I have been very active in reaching out to our representatives on many issues that I am passionate about. I have gone to some great “town-hall” meetings around my state and met some amazing, passionate people who have shown me the ropes of this messy game of politics. I have learned of ways to help protect things that I hold dear, like women’s rights, and have worked to further protect some of the issues that matter most to me! Some of my favorite groups are Just Leadership USA which works on reforming the criminal justice system and specifically to #CLOSERIKERS. How to help #CloseRikers

NAMI which works to raise awareness for Mental Health issues and funds resources for the mentally ill and their caregivers! Explore NAMI

I have ALSO become a BIG SISTER through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern NJ! This has been a process and it required a little work on my end because of the importance of this “job” but knowing the lives you may impact in the end makes it so WORTH IT! Check it out and see if you are ready to be a BIG!!! Check it out!!!

I can finally publically say that I am a vegetarian (almost VEGAN, DAMN YOU CHEESE!) for my own reasons that I wouldn’t push on anyone else… But, that in itself was empowering! For a long time, I was conflicted with telling people. It was such a personal (long) journey that I wanted to be sure I was confident before I shared it with others. I was still holding on to poultry as my “meat” but, gave that up last year and the rest is history!

All in all, it has been a very emotional year so far, to set aside something I love so much, but I felt that I had to take some time off to actually ACT on the change I want to see in the world!

I am sure it is no secret to you all that a fire has been ignited inside me and I need to follow my heart… As I would encourage any of you to do as well! I will be back at it soon, but for now, I am staying the course and seeing this through!!!

 

 

#DAYWITHOUTWOMEN


I know, the March wasn’t YOUR March and #DayWithoutWomen isn’t your DAY. Good for you! If you are a true American, you recognize the beauty of peaceful protest, equally I support YOUR RIGHT to protest my protest! I just ask that, before voicing your opinion you take a brief look in our HISTORY. It is simple, EVERY major social movement has faced some form of protest. (think abolitionist, suffragette and Civil Rights movements – to highlight a few!) So, please spare ME your rhetoric about today NOT being your day to stand in solidarity with women.

When I was a student learning about Women’s Rights Activists, I always imagined that, had I been there in those times I too would have participated. Who would have thought that in 2017 I would have the chance to stand with millions of women in solidarity!

I think of Susan B. Anthony, in 1872, walking to a barber shop demanding to be registered to vote and forcing the Supreme Court to acknowledge the 14th Amendment be extended to women. It wasn’t an easy fight for her and her followers, they had their share of “It’s NOT MY MARCH” people as well. They faced jail time, fines, trials for “illegal voting” and were considered criminals for wanting equality – 145 years ago! Susan B. Anthony wasn’t even allowed to speak in her own defense inside the court house, simply because she was a woman. I have women like S.B. Anthony to thank for the RIGHT to walk into a Middle School in Pompton Lakes, New Jersey, and cast my vote on November 8, 2016.

Some of my favorite chapters in history books center around strong women who have fought for our rights, whether it is our reproductive rights, fair treatment in the workplace, our right to vote, the right to obtain an equal education to our male counterparts, our right to own property OR EVEN KEEP OUR PAYCHECKS!

Much of the confusion surrounding these organized marches and protests is the motive or hopeful outcome. I can only speak for myself when I say that my motives are to help bring attention to matters that are important to ME!

So, I understand that #DayWithoutWomen may not be YOUR thing, and that is fine, but it is also International Women’s Day and it is WOMENS MONTH, and this “thing” is MY THING. I wholeheartedly believe, regardless if you stand with us or against us, you will somehow benefit from our activism and actions in the long run.

I wish for everyone to feel the great sense of community and solidarity that I feel when I participate in these “marches” and organized movements. It is a reminder that we didn’t get this far being silent.

 

Have a GREAT day LADIES!

 

Soul Sisters

Today I’m reflecting on a person who came into my life just a few years ago. Some people you know your entire life and still manage to feel like you barely connect, this happens with friends and family. Then, there’s the people who you come across that just ignite your spirit. They feel like an old friend from hello. These are the people to cherish. 

Today. My soul sister is starting a new journey in her life. I’m proud and I’m in awe of her resilience. Despite an already busy life, she set aside time to do something to better herself and those around her and that’s something we can all afford to do at some point.

My heart is connected to hers – somehow. I know she can feel my joy and support although I am miles away. 

Today, I’m meditating in honor of her and this new beginning. 

Congratulations A.U. 

Teach Me To Meditate.

In the past few years, I have been asked to instruct others to meditate several times. Although I was getting to the point in my own practice where I didn’t have to work to hard to achieve a proper meditation, I wasn’t able to instruct others how to do it. So, I educated myself over the summer of 2015, when my daughter was traveling. I dedicated myself to learning the art of Meditation Instruction and promised to share it with everyone.

So here I am today. Alone in my meditation. WHY?

Since being certified I have taught 6 classes and had just a handful of one-on-one sessions. I am pretty surprised that more people haven’t come out looking for me because when I wasn’t prepared to teach it, I was bombarded with requests. At the time, I knew how to do it but couldn’t give the proper guidance to others. BUT TODAY, I am ready!

So, what gives? Where are all my students?

I wonder if maybe word got around that I am a shitty teacher? I do get very nervous in front of groups and it certainly doesn’t come naturally, but I give it my all. I am sure I get the point across and people leave with some knowledge.

Maybe because I don’t “over share” on social media that I meditate, people think I just don’t do it anymore. There was a point in my life where, like people who “check-in” at the gym, I would announce that I was about to meditate or just completed meditating. Which prompted many of the “teach me to meditate” requests. Meditation is now a part of my life that, like showering, happens daily and seems so natural. Maybe I should share more about my meditation again, gain back that momentum.

I also wonder if people think that because I am trained, I can’t relate to the beginner who is just trying to get through their very first moments in meditation.

All these thoughts and no answers. Maybe you can help!

Regardless, I see a need for it now more than ever. I have never, in my 38 years, seen people on edge like I do these days. It is senseless. We need to let go of anything that doesn’t serve us and our souls. I know it sounds like “rainbows and unicorns” but, imagine if I told you it was possible to let it go and if even for a moment – I gave you permission to love EVERYTHING about yourself, your surroundings, others, the Earth… I promise you, after that, you won’t feel worse…

That is about all I have for today. I send my love to anyone who keeps up with me through this BLOG!

 

 

 

The Gift That Gives

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For my 38th Birthday, I asked my friends and family to give me the gift of RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS.

I was so excited to get text messages throughout the day telling me of the great things they did for others as a gift to me…

I assure you that these great people would go above and beyond for others, because it is in their nature. A Random Act of Kindness Challenge is a way to do that little extra something, on top of the greatness you do daily in honor of someone else!

Here are some of the Random Acts of Kindness they gifted me (and the UNIVERSE!!!) 

1. Went food shopping and picked up some extra stuff for the annual Bend To Mend Thanksgiving Basket Brigade Food Drive and another food drive!!!

Sidebar: *** If you are interested in donating ask me how! ***

2. Helped clean a friends house out of LOVE!

3. Surprised a girlfriend and delivered her lunch at work.

4. Stood out in the freezing cold for HOURS at the NYC MARATHON just to cheer on the runners, chanting their names and  reminding them they were doing GREAT!!!

5. Held the door open for an entire family. 5 1/2. Didn’t YELL at said family when they neglected to say THANK YOU. lol

6. Bought a $20 Gift Card at Dunkin Donuts and left it there to pay for the next few customers to enjoy their coffee on them!

7. Visited an elderly neighbor who lost all his family and enjoyed a nice talk!

8. Went to the Coffee Shop to get breakfast and grabbed a breakfast sandwich for the woman sitting outside!

9. Stood up for a homeless man when the restaurant owners and other customers wanted him out because of his appearance. Then bought him lunch so he could enjoy a hot meal, inside.

10. Paid for the entire lunch tab for a family sitting next to you at the pizzeria!

11. Donated BLOOD!!! (again!)

AND… My favorite RAOK of the day came from my Soul Sister…

12.  Played “VERY NICE” with my IN-LAWS, despite how hard they made it!!!

(insert rolling eye emoji here!)

Thank you to those who took the time to text me and let me know what you did to make my day special! It was an awesome birthday!

 

Moving On

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November 8, 2016

I am always excited on Election Day! I am the girl who checks out the ballot weeks in advance, regardless if it is a local election or a Presidential one! It is my way of being  involved in something, in part, so I can say I did what I could to see that like-minded people are representing me. It is something that has been instilled in me from my parents, who didn’t even tell us kids who they voted for, because it is “private”.

I thought it would be funny to post a little political satire, a Snapchat Video of me after exiting my polling site saying “This Pu$$y is NOT up for GRABS”. My mistake. TACKY, I know. For the most part, despite the urge to voice my opinion openly, I had followed my mother’s lifelong instructions, “never discuss politics in mixed company, ALWAYS participate in democracy and NEVER tell anyone WHO you are voting for”. Sorry Mom, I let you down. I didn’t outright say I who I was voting for, but I let you know who I wasn’t voting for that day.

I dragged my teenage daughter from her bed to sit with me and watch something I excitedly called “HER”Story in the Making. As the results came in, state by state, I was intrigued by the tightness of the race. I live in New Jersey, I was confident we would go Blue and we did. (By the way, my child quietly abandoned very early on.)

By 2:00 am, waiting to hear from President-Elect Trump, I replayed the many things that triggered my emotions during the campaign such as his comments on Immigration, Muslims, the LGBTQ Community, the Environment, how he treated the Disabled, Women’s Rights and even our Veterans. When he began to speak about uniting again and going forward together. Things I believe in, things I want to do, I was excited once again.

I resigned myself to the fact many politicians say whatever they need to say for votes. So I didn’t cry or stomp my feet, besides I was exhausted. I am an American and this is democracy at work. I already heard the cries of the people that the system was “RIGGED” when it wasn’t looking to favor them, and I thought that was absurd. Thankfully, all the parts seemed to be working smooth, like a well-oiled machine on November 8, 2016, possibly because it went in their favor or maybe because it is what it is and in a race as tight as this whoever won would need to admit they NEED to take something from the other.

Little known secret about me, I have politicians (ALL Republicans!) in my very own family who held political offices for years and some who are in office to date. We share so many of the same values, they are people of great integrity. We respect one another, it works. I don’t believe HATE should be tolerated on either side. A political party does not define a person.

I know firsthand that most politicians will appeal to peoples inner most beliefs and play on them. I am sure they both said things and avoided saying things strategically.

All in all, the election is over, we have a President-Elect and I will respect this President as I have all others before him, as an American.

November 9, 2016

I went to work with a smile on my face and a caffeinated water in my hand. After all, I turned 38 on Sunday and I know I had been through much more difficult things than an election not going my way. I had received a few texts from friends and family, just expressing their emotions and thoughts on the outcome.

It was otherwise a normal day in my life. UNTIL, my phone rang. It was an unknown number but I get that from time to time, so I always answer just in case.

“Hello?”

I could hear a TV playing loudly in the background, a man’s voice slurring the words while laughing “HA-HA you N*gger LOVER” followed by “You and that N*GGER need to get on the next boat back to AFRICA because YOU’RE DONE!”, I asked “WHO IS THIS!” loudly and in shock.

This alerted many of my coworkers to look towards my office, as it wasn’t typical of me to speak that loud while on a call. “He responded “YOU KNOW WHO IT IS! This day has been coming, PRESIDENT TRUMP is gonna kick that N*GGER out of the WHITE House and then you and all the other unemployed, welfare N*GGERS with no jobs who don’t pay taxes… disgrace to the white race… no man would want you after being with a black so you’re a N*GGER now too…”

Honestly, I am not sure what else happened after that. I did exchange some intelligent words with the man and the irony wasn’t lost on me that he called while I was at work, yet he seemingly was under the influence of something at 9 am and hopefully not working in that condition.

Several coworkers came back to my desk to “check on me”, I wasn’t upset or scared, just disappointed. One coworker was brought to tears, so I comforted her, explaining that this wasn’t the first time in my life that I have been called such names and I am sure it wouldn’t be the last. This is a reality of my life, maybe even more so now than ever. This is a reality I face more often than you could ever imagine or that I would ever share.

My thoughts are very simple. While I appreciate the concept of playing into people’s emotions and telling them what they want to hear “to get the vote”, there needs to be some obligation to not incite hate. Did Mr. Donald Trump tell that man to pick up the phone and call me those names, absolutely not, but did he give that man the courage to do that, possibly. Is it fair to say that ALL those who voted for Mr. Trump share these beliefs, NOT AT ALL! It was a singular person voicing their opinion on how I chose to live MY LIFE. More importantly, the fact that I have built a beautiful life with a Black man is not something I will hide or be ashamed of – EVER.

In my humble opinion, people have stooped lower than ever during this election on both sides. We have called names, made allegations, said things that we may have had buried deep inside and all because we have multiple platforms to share our voices. The media is largely to blame, as are we for giving them that power. The “news” played such a vital role in this Election and we can all rest assured that we didn’t research every single meme we read to validate it, right? Where was the integrity? We NEED to do better as Americans and as HUMANS. So, I will counter HATE with LOVE, something I do quite often.

Call me naïve, but I always believed America was great. Like everything else, there is room for improvement and I will look forward to trying to see that through.

God Bless America!