When was the last time you expressed happiness? Excitement? Joy? If you're like me you feel it all of the time but expressing it can sometimes be quite arduous. Not sure how you can learn how to show on your face and in your words exactly how you feel. Like everything in life, that too can be a work in progress. One thing I know for sure is that my family, my friends, writing, children, cupcakes, cookies, vacationing, football, basketball and sooooo much more truly make me happy and can also excite me. What about you?
Another year. Another February 24th. Another day I'm missing my grandmother Blanche. I have a lot of family and friends who celebrate their birthday during the month of February. These days, with the celebration of life comes the remembrance of those who were nearest and dearest to me yet today are no longer physically here. One such person is my grandmother Blanche Elaine Wideman-Jones or Nana as me and my two cousins Natisha and Yolanda affectionately called her.
So many memories flood my head when I think about Nana. I'm reminded of her strength, her determination, her heart, and her laughter. Nana was not only my grandmother, she was my friend. Nana was the centerpiece of my family and the void that we all feel has ceased to disappear. Everything that Nana did was to make each one of her family members feel content even if it was something she didn't always agree with. Whether being there emotionally, financially, physically or spiritually we never went without feeling her presence. When it came to me and my two cousins, she didn't treat us like the traditional grandmothers you see on television. No. She treated us like peers. She respected us enough to be honest but not mean, giving but not over indulgent, and all the time with love oozing out of her being.
When I think of Nana, I think about the times we spent chatting on her back deck, playing badmitton, spades, phase ten and gin rummy. I think about the times we laughed so hard it hurt, the times we ate so much it hurt, and the times we comforted each others hurt. When I think about Nana I think about how successful she was at navigating individual, special relationship with each of her four children. When I think of Nana I think about how amazing she was to be able to sit in a space of forgiveness and openess in spite of how some wronged her. When I think of Nana, I think about how she lit up when she talked about her parents, siblings and her overall youth. When I think about Nana, I think about the joy she felt for the seemingly little things. When I think about Nana I think about how nice she was to everyone and how there wasn't one person who felt uncared for around her. When I think about Nana I think about Love.
Today as I sit back and remember the woman who was my grandmother on what would have been her 79th birthday I pray. I pray that she is resting comfortably. I pray that she is surrounded by her parents and her brother. I pray that when she "checks" in on us she smiles that glorious smile I shall never forget. But most importantly I pray that she knows just how much we all love and miss her!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY & RIP NANA!!
I feel like as a black person living in the United States of America l will always be considered black before human or even woman. I often read and listen to commentary about how this is post racial america. I hear people say that they don't judge others based on the color of their skin. I read articles by writers who express their annoyance with black people constantly playing the race card. I watch interviews on television where the interviewee claims to never have looked at or thought about the fact that the other was black when they made the decision about one thing or another. We call our president black, completely disregarding the fact that his mother was white. Same for Halle Berry, Mariah Carey, Derek Jeter and so and so on. It's like one drop and you're tainted AND we are going to keep reminded you of that fact. It all just irks me.
I have lived my entire life feeling like I was less than because of the color of my skin. It's an armor that I carry with me daily. I try not to harp on it but it's a form of reality that will never escape me. When I walk into a conference room full of 50 or 60 people and see 2 or 3 other black people I 'm reminded of my race. When I notice the fact that friends and friends of friends don't make a concerted effort to raise their children around a racially diverse group of children I'm reminded of my race. When I walk into Gucci or Louis Vuitton and get "followed" I'm reminded that of my race. When I log onto people.com and look at their 10-20 startracks photos and the only photos of black people are Beyonce and Rhihanna, I'm reminded of my race. When I go to the movies and watch a period film that has an r&b hip hop soundtrack with no black people actually in the movie, i'm reminded of my race. When I turn on the TV and listen to the tape of a man say they always get away with it or that they're thugs because of the music they chose to listen to in their car i'm reminded of my race. I could go on and on.
I guess my point is, that as much as we Americans like to think that the election of President Obama signaled equality, the truth is we're so far from it I could cry. As a black person, I have to remain aware of things that I can only assume others don't. It's a constant state of awareness. I'm not blaming anyone. The fact that we as a country have made the strides that we have in such a short amount of time speaks to the human soul and spirit. Like people, our country is a work in progress. Progress however, can only move forward by recognizing where changes should, and need to take affect. I'm no angel and i'm constantly in need of education and learning how to accept and appreciate. I just think that if you remain closed minded to the possibilities and unaware of your surroundings you will only aide in moving us as a whole backwards.
I'm incredibly grateful for some of my co workers, who took the time to get to know me and ask me human questions. Not can I touch your hair...yes I've been asked that more times than I care to count. I'm grateful for those who in their own way asked about me and were genuine about it. I'm grateful for those friends that shared black history facts this month because they recognized that black history is american history. I'm grateful for those friends and associates who invited me into their home...the first black person ever to sit on their couch. I'm thankful to all of those who took a step forward and said YES.
Being black while black ain't easy but it sure is interesting. May the black be with you, happy black history month.
My grandmother Rebecca Lee Blair would have been 82 today. I miss her so much. That phrase is so cliche. People have used those words to express those sentiments about others before. It's a simple phrase but when we break it down and delve into the what's and the why's the character of the missed becomes all too clear.
My grandmother loved me like no other. I was her first grandchild and one of many, yet I felt special. I truly believe all of my cousins felt special in their own way too. I don't want to take away from that, it's just that my grandmother Rebecca Lee Blair had a way of making you feel like you were all that mattered. As much as she attempted to utilize material things to make you feel important, it was her heart that beat loudest of them all. The hugs my grandmother gave were the best I ever received. To this day, those hugs rein supreme and I can still envision her arms around me. She exuded love and I never felt like she didn't have it for me or those in her life.
Rebecca Lee Blair was my friend. The Fridays and Saturdays that I spent playing poker with her and her friends remains some of my greatest memories. It was an extended period of time that made me feel like I was included and accepted. My grandmother made sure to remind me in very subtle ways just how much she loved me and those poker games were just one of the ways. Playing alongside her, my dad and stepmother, my dearly departed grandfather Haywood, my dearly departed aunt Willa and their dearly departed friends Marge, Paul and Virginia as well as Lucille and Pat are some of the highlights of my life. It was during one of those poker games that I had my first sip of jack. Sitting around the table playing cards with people three times my age, sipping jack and cracking jokes. I was only 16 when I started and It was the life.
My grandmother Rebecca Lee Blair is so deeply missed. Sometimes when I'm sitting on my couch I tear up because I miss my friend. I miss our Sunday afternoons where she would bake cookies and we'd eat those and sip tea as we battled it out over scrabble. I miss laying on her bed falling asleep trying to watch tv. I miss the summers I spent going to the flea market with her. I miss when me and my grandmother would go to Atlantic City alongside some of my other loved ones. I miss sitting in church and constantly looking back waiting for my grandmother Rebecca Lee Blair to make her entrance with her full fur coat and matching dress, hat and shoes. I miss my grandmother telling me how she really felt about situations and circumstances that surrounded her. I miss seeing the devotion my grandmother exhibited for her family even those who shunned her, took advantage of her and blamed her for the mistakes of others. I miss witnessing the bond of friendship and sisterhood that my grandmother had with her true best friend, her sister Willa Mae Goodwin. I miss watching her be a friend to her mother. DAMN.....I really miss my grandmother Rebecca Lee Blair.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRANDMA....may you rest in peace eternally!!
So many people make a big deal about Valentines Day. It has become a day for us to express and show the love we have in our hearts for those close to us. More times than not, the concentration is focused more on the girlfriend/boyfriend, spouse, jump off, main squeeze or mistress.
But, today I was reminded that Valentines Day can quite significant, especially when you don't have one of the aforementioned. Good or Bad. This year it's extremely good!! My one true love gave me Candy and a stuffed dog. I nearly cried....and not because I was emotional after my third glass of wine hahaha. I nearly cried because I was reminded of the Love that I feel for my one true love. My mother.
So today, when you're spending those last few moments on this one day of the year trying to prove just how much you love that perfect and sometimes imperfect mate, remember the loved ones who are there all 365 days showing you true love. Remember that today is a remembrance of love yes, but focus on who you love and why. Take a moment and call your parents, your siblings, your children, your friends and/or whoever isn't your mate and let them know that they too are your Valentine.
And if someone hasn't already told you yet please know that I LOVE YOU!!!
So for the millionth time, I broke it off with the guy who wasn't that into me. We had been seeing each other off and on for years and for whatever reason, he never wanted to make it serious. Opting instead to maintain a casual relationship. I, like many girls, ladies and women found it quite difficult to sit in that space without "catching feelings". Each time I ended it, it was because I started to find myself more attracted to him than I wanted to. And each time I ended things, it took everything in me to say no more.
Its crazy because, as I sit here typing this I want to reach out to him and say JUST KIDDING. But, that would be a lie. I'm not kidding. I really like him and the more time that we spent together the more I would start envisioning our future together. A future that he made very clear more than six years ago would never come into fruition. You see, i'm not his type. He's more of a Jennifer Aniston and Kate Upton kind of guy. No, this isn't my opinion he actually told me this. So, right from jump my dark skin, full lips and somewhat shapely figure didn't fit his traditional marriage material mold. I fit more of the mistress role. He craved me. Wanted to spend time with me. He just didn't want to date me. He didn't want anyone to know.
So here I am again. Cutting off an addiction. Going cold turkey as some might say. The guy I longed for and in my heart of hearts wished could have longed for me simply wasn't into me. So, saying goodbye was the only logical solution....again.
Last night I was blessed enough to go watch the Knicks with my dad. You often see father and sons at the games or hear father and sons share memories of their time watching various sports. The same can me said about my dad and my brothers, but also about my dad and myself. There's something magical about spending an evening over a beer and tasty but bad for you food with the guy you look like haha.
My dad and I had such a great time. I cherish last night so much and I feel incredibly grateful for the opportunity to spend time with him.
If you, read my blogs you'd know that I write about a plethora of topics. Three of the most written about are Love, Family and Sports. I experienced all three in one night at the garden. We as people often lament about the ills of the world. We complain about what's going wrong as opposed to whats going right. Sometimes, I talk to people and not once do they share a positive moment, words of encouragement or even show a sign of gratitude. People including myself, can at times get into a moment of feeling like all is against you. As I was walking all the way to the top of MSG, I found myself wondering if my dad was going to complain about sitting up so high. Of course he got in his little joke saying "my nose is about to bleed", but when all was said and done he was very very happy. The seats were great (get those west balcony seats....some of the best in the garden!!) the ambiance was perfect and the company made for a great evening. I foolishly, allowed my mind to go places and imagine things that leaned on a more negative scale. For no reason.
I guess I'm just saying that life is short. Enjoy each moment. Make memories that you will always cherish and appreciate. Show gratitude for the people in your life and the things that make life special. Seek out those experiences that broaden your smile and light up your skin. I'm so glad I spent my Friday night with my dad...and the KNICKS won!!
My brother Zeb, turned 30 today. I remember the first time I held him in my arms. I saw so much of myself in him and was so happy that I had a sibling. My brother Zeb was my favorite person. I thought about him all of the time after I found out about his arrival. Zeb and I have different mothers so, I didn't get to see him as much as I wanted. Absence definitely makes the heart grow fonder. I remember vividly when Zeb was about 2 or 3 years old, I went to visit him and my dad at their home in Brentwood, Long Island. It remains one of my fondest memories. During that visit, my brother rode around on his tricycle incessantly. He kept making sure that I would notice him and I never took my eyes off of him. I was enamored. Everything about my little brother made me smile. The way he called me by my nickname, the way he grabbed my hand, the way he hugged me. My little brother was perfect in every way. As the years went by and I was able to see him grow, my love for him grew too. I really enjoyed spending time with him and playing jokes on him. Whether we were hanging out at my dads apartment in the Bronx, going on family trips during the summer, or hanging out at our grandmothers house I always looked forward to seeing him. Still do. My brother Zeb, is 30!!! WOW!!! You will never find someone more proud of their brother than me. Zeb, is intelligent, funny, caring, creative, compassionate and so much more. I feel truly blessed to have him in my life. If you know him wish him a happy birthday today!!!
My name is Tamieka Blair and I live on Long Island in New York. I write, I read, I write, I work, I write, I support..I WRITE!!!
Please note that the viewpoints expressed in this blog are solely my views and do not necessarily represent those of any employer or company associated with Tamieka Blair.