One Love: The Challenge..The Meaning

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One Love is universal. My perspective ….curled up on an island with a good book. Can’t help but to think of the legendary Bob Marley’s song …One Love.

Weekly photo challenge  <a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/one-love/”>One Love</a>

Legacy: What’s Love Got to do with it?

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Some stories must be told. It was the spring of 2003, after experiencing discomfort and a series of medical tests, the news was relayed to her…my little 30-year-old 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. A decision she never regretted.

After many bouts of treatment, combined with the usual side effects of hair loss, nervous system changes including numbness, weak feelings, and more…she lost the fight. A fight that lasted over 12 years. She fought to survive for her children. To see them live beyond their childhood years.

I write this not to seek sympathy but to share the innate character of my sister—Carleen, a stalwart! A fighter! A survivor extraordinaire! A teacher by profession, she spent her years in New York, Florida, and the Caribbean educational systems molding the minds of countless youths. Many were overwhelmed by the genuine care and concern she showed for her students, most of whom she brought from non-or-minimal performance to the realms of exceeded expectations.

Today, I choose to celebrate and recognize the life of my sister—Elaine, AKA Carleen. Today, I choose to celebrate the character and personal attributes of someone who has made a difference in the lives of many. Carleen, our family remembers you. We love you! We salute you! What’s love got to do with it? Everything! Your legacy lives on.

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/legacy/”>Legacy</a&gt;

Survive! Desert Island Must Haves

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Daily prompt: A classic question, revisited: what are the five items you must have on a deserted island?

The results are in! 5 Desert island essentials polled are:

  1. Water &/or filtration bottle for purification
  2. Tent
  3. Knife
  4. lighter or matches
  5. Warm clothes

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/five-items/”>Five Items</a>

 

 

 

 

Private Note to You My Love

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It’s been awhile since I’ve seen you. I miss your touch. I miss your love. I miss you. I long for the way you look at me, with longing of love so sweet. I miss our talks. Our walks. Your stares. Your smile. Oh how I miss you.
And though you’re far away in that unknown land that I’ve never been, I want you to know that my love for you remains strong with the warmth of Expectation that one day soon we’ll be together again. 

My Mom…My Journey

The nerve! How could she? But her question stayed with me for years

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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 must Confess
that 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 “awww”, 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 succumbed to fulfilling her dream. She couldn’t do it so I decided to do it for her. A year into the program whilst en route 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 year-long 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 ailing with the ravages of cancer …now passed), we brought her to live closer so we could adequately care for her return to ‘normalcy’.

As I reflect on my Dissertation 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, and 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 my 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 my research that tracked 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.

My mom was someone who wanted and accomplished much, even after she had gone. She remains my motivation. Today I salute her. Today she receives my standing Ovation!

As you reflect, is there anyone that has influenced your life? Do share, we would love to hear!

Cheers!