My sister’s Journey. We all know someone who has been affected. For me, it has personally been my grandma, my mom but most of all my little sister. Here I share her journey as a fighter. A leader extraordinaire. She never gave up and I hope her journey inspires someone who needs it.
She’ll have my head if she knows I’m writing this but some stories must be told.
That was how I started this story four years ago but don’t think it was ever published. It was the spring of 2003, after experiencing discomfort and a series of medical tests, the news was relayed to my sister. Not only did they find a lump in her breast but it was also malignant. Visits to Specialists left her with two options; remove the breast, or embark on a series of chemo treatment. The option of removal was an uncommon feat at the time, so after engaging family, friends and mountains of prayers, she made the decision to save the breast and embrace the chemo treatment.
Past The Worst
Over 10 years later and different rounds of chemo treatment combined with the usual side effects of hair loss, nervous system changes such as numbness…
I decided to getaway to the sea…my favorite place. To stay on the beach. Ahhh yessss!
The day before was beautiful. Though a bit overcast after a week of rain, the sun shined through. I stayed . Relaxed and enjoyed…til sunset.
The next day was grand. A tanner’s dream. I sat birdwatching without a care. But the midday sun pelted my skin and I could hardly bear it.
Defeated …I headed for the rescue of the hammock in the shade. Crazy! It swung me 180 degrees and I toppled out and landed flat on my back. But it actually felt good lying there on the ground. So I stayed for around 20 mins. Beach Bag, phone, books scattered around me. Lying there, I read.
30 minutes later I retreated for a drink. Strawberry Daiquiri…non alcoholic. I sit contemplating as the clock ticked by. I didn’t have a plan. The goal was to simply relax and listen to the quiet inner voice.
Eyed the hammock again. Perhaps it will give me some insights. But scared I may topple over again, I stood staring.
Hmmm let’s see.
Wonder how the day is gonna end? Will I have the courage to get in and even more, will I get that coveted pic?
Hmmm … tried again. Second time. Yup! I did it again. Toppled over. Stayed right there on the ground again. Maybe it’s meant to be. Ground for me.
To the Rescue
Apparently my plight was seen by a groundskeeper who may have found my situation rather humorous (wonder if it happens all the time). Anyway, he came over.
Yep! I got in. Groundskeeper drove his grounds mobile like Batman to rescue the hilarious sight. With his help, I not only got into the hammock. I was able to get a pic for my girls. Evidence! I did it!
Careful not to swing too much, I chose land and safety. Decided after 15 minutes to get back on the beach to spend time with the birds. Time with the sea. Time listening to the sound of the waves. Time writing, and Time Reading.
Rejuvenated, inspired, refreshed. My 2-day Getaway was absolutely worth it!
Now it’s your turn. Try it. Getaway! You’ll love it!
In their careers my friend and her hubby deal with fatalities everyday. She shared an incident of a woman whose car was severely damaged when it crashed into a Guard rail. The woman reported that she was trying to commit Suicide. She survived.
On the other hand my friend’s hubby who is in law enforcement shared reports about a man who after investigation, authorities discovered it was attempted Suicide. He succumbed to his injuries and died.
A Pastor in his message recently shared statistics of the number of police officers who have committed suicide since 2019, in New York. An unbelievable rate of 24% as at mid-year.
Those Who Smile
I share this to ask prayers for those who SMILE or laugh out loud with us outwardly but deep down inside are hurting or depressed due to finances, job loss, relationships, or for one reason or another. Comedian Robin Williams is an example. Anthony Bourdain, celebrity author and travel documentarian is another. Not to mention the silent ones who go crazy with mass shootings of the innocent. All suicides. Sad indeed.
If you are among the depressed, please seek help. Using wisdom, if you recognize the signs in a Friend, relative, or co-worker, don’t wait. Do something. Get the person the professional help they need. Usually they can’t think clearly.
When All Seems Helpless, Pray
And while you’re doing all of the above Pray. Pray, and pray even more. Prayer changes things. There’s no doubt about that.
Let’s together do what we can in our small corner. But above all, Keep the Faith.
For God has not given us a spirit of Fear but of Power, Love and a sound mind.
Think about positive attributes, relationships, life experiences, and beliefs that have fostered contentment in your life (i.e. satisfaction, fulfillment, gratification) and create a metaphor of your life. This exercise was courtesy of Paula Hammond. Consider:
SYMBOLIZING YOUR LIFE AS A TREE
Write down where you come from. This can be your hometown, state, country, etc. You can also write down the culture you grew up in, traditions, a club or organization that shaped your youth, or a parent/guardian (i.e. neighborhood experiences, church involvement, baking with grandmother, summer vacations)
Write down the things you choose to do on a weekly basis. These should not be things you are forced to do, but rather things you have chosen to do for yourself (i.e. quiet time, exercise, reading, pampering, date night)
Write your skills and values. Consider writing your values starting at the base of the trunk going up (i.e. dignity, respect, faith in God, wellness, family). Transition into skills and talents. Consider your spiritual gifts as well (i.e. administrator, teacher, hospitality, mercy, compassion, exhorter, evangelism, discerner). Indicate a natural progression from roots to values to skills.
Write down your hopes, dreams, and wishes. These can be personal, communal, or general to all of mankind. Think both long and short-term. Spread them around the various branches.
Write down the names of those who are significant to you in a positive way. Your friends, family, pets, heroes, etc.
Legacies that have been passed down to you. You can begin by looking at the names you just wrote on leaves and thinking about the impact they’ve given you over the years. This can be material, such as inheritance but most often this will be attributes such as courage, generosity, kindness, belief in God, etc.
Flowers and Seeds
Write down the legacies you wish to leave to others. What impact do you want to make?
So there you have it. Hate drawing myself since I am terrible at it. But as you can see, I did one and found it a solid exercise to reflect on moving ahead. Hope you will try it. No doubt I am sure you will value it.
Whew, another year! It’s like it flew by in a flash! I’m a firm believer in looking back to get ahead. In business we look back to assess our performance for the year. Often it’s even mandated. I have always maintained that we apply the same principles to our own personal life. Some don’t like to look back because they believe, they must focus on the future. If you’re driving and need to change lanes it’s important to look back then make the change. Only then will we able to know when it’s safe to do so…. or face the consequences.
For me I believe it’s important to look back to give thanks. To look back to see what worked and what didn’t. If we don’t look back we won’t know where we excelled or where we need to improve. So, here I share a few of my major points in 2018.
South Florida Writers Of Color Recognition
I love to write and was thrilled to be recognized by the South Florida Writers of Color for my writings. If I can help someone through my writings, then my purpose is served.
Two New Books Released
101+ Empowering Quotes For New Entrepreneurs
Do you know why some people succeed while others don’t? It’s simple. They never give up. Successful people press on when the going gets tough and they become discouraged. Why Motivational Quotes for New Entrepreneurs? Because Motivation is the key to Success. With over 25 Million Americans starting or running new businesses, entrepreneurship has become incredibly attractive, yet extremely difficult to sustain. Even with the traits of fearlessness, risk-taking, passion, resilience, and creativity, difficulties arise, and Entrepreneurs need to keep going. That’s where a boost of inspiration comes in. So, get this little book of Motivation. Offer it as a Corporate or personal Gift and sow seeds of encouragement today.
GreenLight is a book of inspiration which we get step by step as we walk along the way. We cannot get green lights before we are on the road. At the lights, we are told what to do. When we get to life’s intersections whether it’s decision-making, career, business, or relationships, we find out what to do. In this book of Prayers, you will find: •Inspirational Short Stories and Exhortations to Uplift You •Prayers for Difficult Journeys •Devotions to Boost Your Prayer Life. So get your copy today
Pride in Other’s Publishing Achievement
I am pleased to have collaborated with others on their own publishing journey. Be intentional and Get a copy of these books for your own personal needs on Amazon.
The Reggae Music Journey
The Reggae Music Journey which tells of the Iconic Patricia Chin’s contribution to the Globalization of Reggae Music.
I Speak. You Read.
Poetic words by Charmaine Allwood-Hanson
Community And Industry Work
Serving in Industry and the community is always a pleasure. Tons of hard work, but the results are satisfying.
Hospitality and Human Resource Association of Broward County, Florida (HHRABC)
30 Under 30 Millennials, Washington DC
It’s always a pleasure to serve as chief judge for the annual Ignite Caribbean’s 30 Under 30 Millenials making waves globally.
Book Signings and Interviews
Book signings and interviews remained a big part of my theme in 2018. Giving thanks for partnerships throughout South Florida’s libraries, Museums, and events. Deeper exploration continues in the New Year.
Helping others develop and achieve their best potential through career and new entrepreneurship is a passion. Listen to this interview on How To Evaluate Your Career… done with Kerry-Ann of Carryon Friends.
Dreams Come Through
Trip To Paris
As always the year was filled with travels but my greatest personal memory was the surprise trip from my oldest of a Weekend in Paris. All the way to Paris for a weekend? I questioned. But it sure was a memorable event that has left me with the notion that our dreams can come sometimes in ways we think not.
The Journey Begins
The greatest joy a parent can have is seeing their child accomplish their own dreams. Congrats to my youngest on achieving her BSc Forensic Studies and Criminal Justice. Mom’s real proud.
Cheers to you!
Finally, looking back on the past 12 months, the memories made and the goals tackled, I am truly thankful. I now look forward to the future and the expectations ahead. Can’t wait to see how it unfolds. Here’s to you and your family as we wish you health, peace, and hope that all will be well in 2019, and beyond!
How about you? What was your favorite experience in 2018? Do share. We would love to hear!
Never give up; for even rivers someday wash dams away. ~Arthur Golden
Someday I will do this. Someday I will do that.
How many of us often sit or live at the ‘wishing well’ that someday I’ll do this, or that. Someday I’ll get that perfect body. I’ll have that perfect house, job, spouse, marriage with the perfect kids; go on that dream vacation, and much more! Oh if wishes were horses so many would ride.
Someday is Today
Why not let someday be today? I reflect on the movie Hidden Figures where each of the three women at NASA — Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into space.
The inaugural team at NASA decided to step out and do something that was never done before. From the astronaut, NASA’s president, the judge, and naturally the women. They all stepped out and did something different. And guess what? It worked! Their efforts changed the world (well outer space– orbit)!
Start Here. Start Now
Why not let your someday be today? Start here, start now. Step out. Go do that thing that you’ve always dreamed of. Become an entrepreneur! Write that book! Enrol in that course! Start that blog! Take that vacation! Leave that stressful job! You are capable. You never know what’s out there unless you try.
Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life—and travel—leaves marks on you.” – Anthony Bourdain
I’ll never forget the sight. Standing in line more than a decade ago with hundreds of graduates awaiting the march into the ceremony, I saw my mom and dad walking in together a little late. She, with a basket of fruits too heavy for her to bear, but far too precious not to. Him, adorned in a bright red jacket as if to say “nobody is going to make me miss this special occasion when my daughter receives her Masters degree”! I thought to myself…should I acknowledge them or should I shy away from this somewhat humorous sight? I dismissed the very thought and rushed to their side hugging them both. My action was met with admiration, claps, and with sounds of “aww”, as the waiting graduates stirred. Needless to say that this achievement was for both my parents as neither had college degrees. After the ceremony, my mom hugged and congratulated me with the question “when are you going to get the Doctorate?” The nerve! How could she? But her question stayed with me for years, even after the receipt of yet another Masters degree.
Years later, I finally acceded to fulfilling her dream. She couldn’t do it so I decided to do it for her. A year into the program while enroute to a mandated summer conference in Orlando, I received a call that she (with whom I spoke an hour earlier), had suffered a massive stroke!
That was the start of a yearlong journey to be by her side through thick and thin. Ironically both our journeys were paths of learning. Hers being to learn to talk, to walk, to eat, to do life’s simple things, and to learn the basics of living all over again. Me, to face the reality of the situation that my mother was in, and to learn the skills to adequately provide her care. Along with my two sisters (one who was ailing with the ravages of cancer at the time), we brought her to live closer so we could adequately care for her return to ‘normalcy’.
As I reflect on my journey, on one occasion I remember receiving an important call from a professor while attending to her needs. I answered the call, got the coaching from the professor then returned to finish her care. This became a routine.
I remember being by her side at the hospital for hours, days, weeks. She was my morning motivation. I couldn’t start the day without her knowing that I cared. It was the same at nights. I couldn’t end the day without visiting her; without her knowing that I was there for her. At work, the leaders knew that if they wanted my best then I needed an hour to be with my mom which was the fuel for the rest of the day. I happily worked that back during lunch or after hours. This went on for a year but sadly she never recovered. We later discovered that her body was wreaked with cancer unknown to our family. It was too much for her to bear.
After she passed this was my driving force. I had to finish my studies for her. I had to accomplish her dream, something she couldn’t do herself. I had to finish to show my two girls that you can accomplish whatever you set your mind to. I had to finish and leave something tangible behind. This culminated in a research to track the paths of immigrant leaders and their journey to success to achieve the American Dream. I accomplished that feat two years after she passed away. The research is now published and available here. I now spend my time coaching individuals and entrepreneurs to never give up; to keep going, because with that passion they will accomplish their dreams.
Goals. The Path. When You Can’t See Clearly, Slow Down or even Stop. ~ Dr. Shelly Cameron
The news reported sisters returning from a trip to Disneyland. The driver a mom in her early 20s, could hardly see due to immense fog and rain. She accelerated to get past the fog. Sadly, she drove head-on into another car that caused two fatalities. One family member said they couldn’t see clearly and that’s what caused the accident.
Innovation and Industry Disappearance
A friend shared with me a compilation of research that discussed the demise of Kodak whose name years ago was synonymous with photos. Gone. Disappeared. Artificial intelligence has taken over business. If we consider the likes of Uber, where a driver shows up at the click of a button to take you wherever you want to go. Airbnb vacation rentals has created disruption in the hotel industry. Social media giant Facebook, and other devices recognizes the face of our friends, family, colleagues without even a click or a whisper.
And there are more.
Things change. We create goals and invest the time for them to become real. But if we are not careful about monitoring our rapidly changing environment, we suddenly discover that what we are working towards, no longer exist. A politician spent time networking and missed the application deadline to run for office. Though she had the mass of supporters who were willing to get behind her, she was disqualified because her application was late. Tis sad.
Don’t Be Alarmed
But don’t be alarmed. If you are in the midst of forging ahead with a business entrepreneurship endeavor, pursuing college education, extending your family, or planning a vacation, be keen. When you can’t see your way clearly, you may need to slow down or even stop, if necessary. It’s only wise. Accelerating and going full speed ahead can be dangerous. At times you may need to pause and reflect. Are you still on track? Is it even still applicable? If you are not paying attention, and things change, it’s necessary to recoup and see if you need to change direction, make a U-turn or try something new.
Today I encourage you to open wide your eyes. Try to see clearly the path you need to take? Are you still on track? Need help? Let’s connect.