Category: Daughters

Three Little Black Girls

I wish to friend, understand and play with the little girls who came before me. I want to know what they dreamed of when they didn’t have to concern themselves with anything except to play, laugh and love without expectations and instructions. What were the secrets in their hearts? Were they happy or unhappy, and how so? Did each of these little girls have someone who often hugged them, reassuring that ‘All would be okay?’ Did they feel beautiful or empty inside? Did they feel alone or cold, particularly in the company of others? Were they permitted to speak without being accused of ‘talking back,’ or were they told to ‘hush’ because they did not have the permission to voice their emotions?

cropped-torrie_ocean3.jpgThe aforesaid questions are sketched in my heart and although my maternal grandmother’s story remains untold, the remaining two girls, i.e. me and my mommy still have a chance to accept each other just where we are in life – fully flawed – and to possibly understand the heart of both girls whose first-male love (their fathers) were distant. Mom, the youngest of three, was brought up as a lone-spoiled child who was parented by a mother that regularly overcompensated because working full-time came first. Hence, mom gained materially but lacked proper nurturing such as the time when adamantly told to never return home with kids in tow with no husband but never explained what, how and why that was important.

Grant it, the desire of most parents is for their offspring to marry before having kids, however, the communication of these critical messages is more effective with explanations instead of demands so to teach healthy discussions instead of negative reactions. Just imagine how the curious mind of a teenager processes what not to do instead of what because of feared energy. We’ve all been there when asked not to do this or that but still questioning why not. If parents could only be mindful about how “the hurried pace of today’s society can be an obstacle to effective discipline” we’d invite more personalized ways of parenting for the betterment of child development for our family.

Now think of questions that are never asked of a daughter, or a child, to their mother because fright exist. When this happens the learn to understand or the ask to become empowered is suppressed unless there is an invite to share personal thoughts in a safe place. Hence, our homes must be that safe-haven, the place where intimate thoughts can be exchanged in a healthy way that promotes awareness, careful deliverance, love and affection  so that conversations with our kids aren’t viewed as directives but rather advice about how to handle certain situations.

Parenting from a place of fear delivers fear. Loving from a place of hurt delivers hurt. And communicating from a place of anger results in one’s inability to handle discourse in a positive way because rarely does anything happen from a place of hurt or harm, unless there is healing. Explained a different way means if a hurt person wants to truly bless another without constraint s/he will give, but with reservation because subconsciously and hesitantly, their instincts about what negatively affected them has a more lasting impact than any positive incident.

Parenting from Distance_HotSpringsLake

Need more convincing? Take a moment to think about a personal situation that impacted you so greatly that you now flinch at the sight of either seeing, smelling or talking about it. It could be anything from witnessing a robbery gone bad or the attack on the World Trade Center. Okay, now think about the person you were before these events occurred! My point exactly. Unquestionably, your disposition before these events are altered by the negative-emotional load you now carry today. Hence, the robbery, albeit, or the 911 attack is forever sketched as a recall about how to prevent or react should anything similarly revisit.

Lone_BlackGirl_LayingonMelon.jpgHence, there is a lesson to be learned about styles of parenting. Parents will either take on the same patterns of how we were parented, or we will unlearn to relearn other techniques for a different outcome. Nonetheless, my mission is to better know the little girl given to me before she was labeled mom so that shared fears of the little girl who lives in me sees her as a friend who desires to be understood, loved and embraced as the imperfect person who did the best she could to parent with the deposits of maternal love passed forward, despite its monetary value.

Black Women Need Their Mothers More Than Realized!  – Sunshine

The Stakes Are Too High

The Summer of 2019 arrived and I was set on sending my manuscript to the publisher, but I found myself full of doubt about what would become of her image, his image, our image to those of whom we knew personally. Did I cultivate enough, did I give opportunities for told truths, was I acting in haste because we are so differently made? Further questions about rushing to become an author at the risk of losing all that matters consumed me. I recall thinking that recanting printed thoughts from the reader’s point of view would be unapologetic and callous; hence, I clearly knew the stakes were too high to publish a book at the risk of possibly condemning loved ones.

Expecting precise facts at certain times in particular places of my life was a tall order to request from the woman who was marketing my book to the community without clear knowledge of her own practices. That was the epitome of my decision to no longer author, yet continue to blog. I finally understood how her inability to connect with me correlates with our inability to connect with one another because of the systemic practices from our fore-mothers.

WeSeeWhatWeWantFurther, it was over a chat in the chair when we both wondered about our lives in between the dashes when the second confirmation arrived. That one glance when he turned his face and looked me in the eye changed the course of events. It wasn’t what he said, but rather what he didn’t say – his whole demeanor changed insomuch I felt a sense of peace about what is now. The cadence of language consumed our space and gave me the peace I had been seeking for several years, which is to share space with them both wherever they are, however they are and whenever I can.

The trivial things I once gave focus will no longer consume me.

So, will I eventually become an author of a book you ask? I will continue to write and tell a collection of my stories, but only when guided by my heart and mind to make a difference to all I am loved by and to whom I love. Thank you for your unwavering support and regular encouragement. Good Vibes Only!

Xo – Blossom,

These 3 Words…

mom_daughter_at oddsGood Morning! I. Love. You.

These three words are often exchanged on the phone between me and my dear father. As he rises each morning I am certain that he keeps me in prayer, as he has done for many years. This is a practice I also reciprocate! Hence, God tapped me on the shoulder one day and whispered that I should text him more often to share this same greeting; but, my mother also needs to hear I.Love.You more often because she is the person I have emotionally missed for many years because of our differences and our inability to communicate with each other.

Additionally, my close friend, turned fiance who has three sons and one daughter, once told me that a little girl’s first love is her dad. This statement is so accurate, as I am told to be my father’s female version. In contrast, the same cannot be said, or isn’t regularly voiced when speaking about the relationship a daughter has with her mother. Ahem. With that said, I do speak of my mother with similar endearment because she was, and still remains my first role model, although communicating this to her is so challenging – most of my time is spent defending myself from her unconscious belief of my taking advantage of her guarded heart.

So, until she believes otherwise, I will continue to write with hopes of meeting her there! If she only knew! One day, though … One day.

Three Little Black Girls

I wish to friend, understand and play with the little girls who came before me. I want to know what they dreamed of when they didn’t have to concern themselves with anything except to play, laugh and love without expectations and instructions. What were the secrets in their hearts? Were they happy or unhappy, and how so? Did each of these little girls have someone who often hugged them, reassuring that ‘All would be okay?’ Did they feel beautiful or empty inside? Did they feel alone or cold, particularly in the company of others? Were they permitted to speak without being accused of ‘talking back,’ or were they told to ‘hush’ because they did not have the permission to voice their emotions?

– Book excerpt from a section, titled ‘Three Little Black Girls,’ as the author explains the distant relationship between she, her mother and maternal grandmother.

My reciprocated partner

Happy Valentine Day!

On a day like today, i.e. the romantic-commercial holiday of exchanging and expressing love gestures to signify the appreciation we have for our partners and loved ones, don’t forget to keep the flame burning in your relationship. Whether you’ve found it already, still looking for that desirable match or are choosing to love on self because you need more ‘me’ time, be mindful of the gesture instead of its monetary gain or the public notoriety of receiving. Last year I wrote an article, titled Flowers and Chocolate where the giver of my gift was acknowledged for the Gesture of giving. I was grateful because the sender lifted my spirits insomuch the deliverance of joy was received at a time in my life when there were more downs than ups. Hence, his gesture of buying and ordering the deliverance of flowers and chocolate dispelled all self negativity.

Hence, today is unlike that day and now is a different situation because I am no longer in a committed relationship. I have thereby graduated to a stage in my life where the gesture of receiving is less valued than the act of giving. I will continue to usher more importance to the reciprocated practices of my very own Valentine who quickly forgives me when I make parental mistakes, compliments me when I feel low, lifts me when I am exhausted, reads to me when I need to hear an inspiring story and values our conversations during the slow-dance lessons on days when I will grab her hand to share the significance of ‘loving on self’ and why so. This person is my ultimate gift, my protege, my forever love, my darling, my Sweetheart, my shoulder when I am tired, my napkin when I weep and my partner who will sit across from me to work on her assignments when I also have work to do. She is my daughter and today is my day to make sure she continues to understand the essence of love, the act of giving and the significance of ‘marry to date’ so that flames in her future relationships are fueled with passion and substance.

Mommy and daughter

Enjoy your V-Day!

 

 

The Apology that Mattered. A House is not a Home.

A House is not a Home.

A house is a structure that includes different participants with dissimilar objectives. Each entity has a different focus and goal that is notarized and projected. The members in the house will behave in an agreed upon manner insofar of guidelines but each person has a different direction or objective to accomplish that, when given an opportunity, may lead to enticed conduct, e.g. stealing from one another, inflicting harm upon another, cheating or moving on to the next available offer. Further, the house members will enter and exit as they please because whatever laws that produce civilized conduct will be breached and persons will ultimately succumb to individual propensities, such as biases and judgments. Later, the ambiance in a house will fluctuate and grow uncomfortable, sometimes so unsuitable that it greets excessive admittances, produces high attrition, and invites intolerable demeanor and ultimate distrust.

In contrast, the home is a feeling (ambiance) that provides, produces and breeds tranquility. The cohesion and union cannot suitably occur without accordance. Certain things must be in place for a home to mature because it requires clarity, time, patience, tolerance, management, calm, a certain temperament, active collaboration and proactive teaching. Metaphorically, each member is a fiber that adds to the value of a finished product. The difference can be witnessed with the role of a project manager (PM) who is assigned to lead a group of 5, which was our household size before my parents divorced. The PM will wear many hats because he is the appointed overseer who will allocate funds, deliver assigned tasks, disseminate materials and issue project deadlines to name a few. Thus, I equate the PM to the head of the home; the father who is further designated to answer questions and provide clarity with the goal of delivering a finished-quality product.

The Apology that Mattered

love-daughter-dad-quoteClarifying these two distinctions lends itself to a question about the modern marriages compared to what I will call contemporary unions today. Shortly after sharing my most intimate post yet, titled “Sharing my Personal Scar” I received a phone call from my dear father. I will preface this to say that my dad has become my best male friend. He was overly apologetic and emotionally moved to learn that I had not reached out to him at a time of need. The content of my recent blog lends itself to a lot of speculations about the quality of parenting I and my brothers received when we were young; hence, I point the blame at no one because I attribute my parent’s parenting styles to that of which was passed on to them, i.e. adopted practices that were observed and illustrated in what I describe as the house where the parental figure was absent.

Conversely, I wonder if my grandparent’s decision to withhold facts about what they knew of their predecessors deprived my parents of an opportunity to predict and monitor certain tendencies that were imparted? Today I know the spoiled- rotten-little girl, who was left to self-parent because her older siblings were creating lives of their own, did the best she could to take care of house while her mother worked odd hours as a private-duty nurse, is the mother who parented us to the best of her ability. I also know the young man who pursued her because he wanted to be the paternal example that was absent in his life was improperly coached on chivalry and dating etiquette. Hence, both teenagers made conscious decisions to marry and create a nuclear family.

 “The future of every generation lies in its progeny.  Prepared or, unready they are the unwitting guarantors of familial memory, living time capsules filled with stories that define and sculpt family identity, culture and history.  All of us are both mirrors and windows reflecting what has been and apertures allowing a brief and narrow look into the limitless potentialities of what can be.”

Dr. Joy DeGruy

Systemic Practices

Dr. DeGruy alludes to the practice of inheritance. Whether it is knowledge bestowed upon us, experiences lived in the footprints of those we follow or the psychological incapacity of discernment, we essentially become what we may want to disown. Having said that, I see the authoritative, stoic, guarded, independent and covert habitudes that were instilled in me from my maternal upbringing that contradicts my paternal traits of balance, candor, transparency and objectivity to name a few. However, I also know that a lot of my characteristics were acquired along the way through my exposure to others and their experiences.

“In families where the father’s interaction with the children is limited because of marital statuses, he still has an effect on the children—but to a lesser extent. The roles of the father figure are assumed by male relatives, partners of the mother who live in the home, and by extended family helping networks (McAdoo, 1996).”

Excerpt from the Michigan Family Review. Section, titled The Child Socialization Role

For instance, writing and sharing my Personal Nuggets are necessary not inasmuch for personal healing but for others who are also reserved about why the black family is prone to systemic practices that seem challenging to overcome. For instance, if we were to poll children of divorce parents in the black community and ask them questions about their experience each person may have a different outcome; however, the common theme and take away may convey a degree of self-blame in their parent’s decision to live separately. Thus, my childhood history resembles other children that are now caught in the crossfires of a ‘tug of war’ between parents who have become fierce opponents. Accordingly, has the home structure that many black fathers desire been unreported?  Is the black man stigmatized by the mainstream media as deadbeats and uncaring?

There is supportive research that highlights the positive image of black males, who are willingly and actively involved in their kids’ lives, as was our father. Yet, for reasons I will write about later, both parents were subjected to unhealthy conditions that compelled him to leave when I was 10. Subsequently, his efforts to constructively co-parent and the attempts to remain in contact grew challenging as years passed. What I didn’t understand then I absolutely understand and agree to today. So, although the intentions of creating a home instead of that ‘house’ environment may be short-lived, our relationships with the comprised members don’t have to be. It is possible to maintain contact with our loved ones, albeit a grandmother or the village that reared us. And it is further possible to open our hearts to misunderstandings and disagreements. Today I thank my dad for the apology that matters because I am now receptive to hearing and receiving without reservation because he was the ‘Head of our Home’ and has accepted fault.

Note: This is dedicated to my Father.

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