happy birthday to me

today is my birthday and all i can think about is dedra. dedra didn’t live to experience 37 or 38.  dedra lived 36 years 5 months 1 week and 1 day.  in fact, dedra will have been gone for exactly 11 years on september 2.  friday.  hmm she died on a friday.

i’d recently moved to NYC, august 27, my grandmother’s birthday, and had no place to live.  dedra called the housing office, pulled a dedra, and in less than 24 hours i had a place to live.  she’d talked about having cosmetic surgery done, but as usual, i really didn’t take it seriously.  i figured “yeah she’s talking as usual…k, i’ll entertain it.”  but nah, this time she was for real.   she was so real that she was making arrangements for drop off and pick up and coordinating babysitters for tiffani and trey.

it didn’t truly sink in that she was having these procedures until that friday morning of september 2…she called me at like 6am to tell me she had made it to the outpatient center.  we talked briefly, as i was still sleepy but i do remember she told she loved me…and that was the last time i heard dedra’s voice.  later that day i took a chinese placement test because i wanted to continue my chinese studies.  when the test was over i looked at my phone and had over 10 missed calls.  it turned out her recovery didn’t go as well as expected. when i returned from her memorial services she shipped two ginormous boxes to me with goodies and birthday cards; i still have the cards and some of those goodies.

i still have my reservations about cosmetic surgery…my convictions are a bit strong however i’d never discourage anyone from doing what they think is best for their bodies.  do i support it?  does it matter if i support it?

anyway.  i wonder what she’d be up to if she were still around: remarried?  would she have moved to boston? hell, would i even be in boston? i think if dedra had it her way probably not… she probably would’ve figured out some way to get me a townhome or condo so she could come crash whenever she wanted.  or then again, maybe i would have done my own thing and she would’ve supported me, like how she did when i moved to nyc.

i found a letter from her while she was away…it’s comforting knowing that she mentioned that she was proud of me…yeah.  😀   so yeah, although it is my birthday i celebrate my sister.

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:-)

Happy Birthday Dedra!!

March is typically a challenging month for me, especially around this time.   And while I’ll forever cherish that time, I’m in a completely different place spiritually and emotionally.  I am forever grateful.

Suffering comes and goes, right?  Suffering can result in strength, perseverance, growth.  Suffering can also result in disgust, depression and anger….it depends on how you want to handle it.

At any rate I’ve had my share of suffering and I’m certain I will experience more.  Suffering is inevitable, ya know.  How are you going to deal with it?

Anyway. Let me just say God is good all of the time.  I had a kidney transplant since my last post and let me tell you how it all transpired:

I usually visit my around his birthday, which in January, and I stay for about 3-4 days.  This time around, dad requested that I stay longer, so I rearranged a few things and made plans to visit for two weeks in February. So I come down, have my transplant re-eval, kick it with dad for two weeks.  I’m scheduled to leave on Presidents’ Day, February 15.

We drive to Valdosta where I pick up a rental car.  My flight departs from Jacksonville, so we drive back to Madison, I pack my belongings and hit the road.  I make plans to visit my stepsister, Kia, since she lives near the airport, plus I had not seen her since the divorce.

As I park in Kia’s driveway I glance at my phone to see that my flight had been postponed.  No big deal.

I greet Kia and we chat.  An hour passes and I glance at my phone to see I have four missed calls and a voicemail from a Gainesville number.  I listen to the voicemail and learn that Shands Hospital in Gainesville Florida is offering a kidney por moi!  For me!  It seemed surreal at first and then I tell Kia the news.  She’s happy and I’m happy but still processing.  I call the number and get the voicemail. Hang up..listen to voicemail again. Oh my goodness this is actually happening…..Ok.  Dial the number again and this time the coordinator answers.  We talk for a few minutes and after we hang up, it hits me that I’m getting ready to have a kidney transplant!  Kia and I celebrate for a moment and then I call Delta to cancel my flight.  Because my flight was initially postponed, I qualified for a full refund. Praise God!  I don’t remember the specifics of the next steps, as to who I called and texted (I guess I could go through my phone….that’s tedious) but anywho I drove back to Madison to prep then to Valdosta to return the rental car, then back to Madison to pack.  We left the house around 950pm and arrived at Shands around 11:38pm. Everything happened so quickly but after shower and tests and labwork, I was wheeled down to the operating room sometime before 5am and I woke up peeing on an operating room table.  Doctors say that my new kidney mirrors my old kidneys.  Praise God.  Perfect match.  Thank you Jesus.

You cannot tell me that was luck.   You cannot tell me I was in the right place at the right time.  That was nothing but God’s work.  God was allllllllllllllllllllllllll over that and I’m extremely thankful grateful happy blessed for this new lease on life.  To not be tethered to a machine for 9+ hours a day, to not have to coordinate travel, deal with 30 pound boxes, take 5-8 pills before eating food, to have major food restrictions, to have my skin color restored, to not have super high blood pressure, to not have to get shots every week….lemme tell you…IT’S WONDERFULLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now as I heal, I count my blessings and praise God every time I pee.  This only the beginning……………….

 

 

what!?!

one of my goals this year is to get reduce the number of prescriptions that i have to take, especially the hypertension pills.

i currently take 6 heart related pills: hydrolazine, diovan, cardura, nifedipine and dioxi something plus prilosec for heartburn.

I’ll add that my heartburn used to be pretty intense:  I’d get realllly hot in the middle of the night, heart pounding followed by some extreme nausea and vomiting. I’d be ok after that, but i HATED going through that.  Imagine waking up in the middle of the night 3-5 times a week experiencing that.  Pass.

Well anyway, my aunts and I’m sure my dad and everyone else have been praying for me, to which I extend my sincere thanks and gratitude and blessings.  I pray for myself too, but now I’ve taken it up another notch and not only pray for healing but also for wisdom to receive my healing.  In other words, I ask God what do I need to do, how do I do it, and to please help me receive my healing and the first step started last night.

I remember back in November I drank ginger tea one night, forgot to take my prilosec before bed, and didn’t experience any heartburn at all!  At that time I made a mental note to try it back home, but these days I’m forgetful and never got around to it.

One of my aunts has heartburn and I mailed some prilosec to her and she used to take that that until one day I recommended her to drink ginger tea.  I spoke with her the other day and I asked if she needed a refill. She told me how effective the ginger tea was and no longer needed the pills.  At that time, she suggested that I drink the ginger tea, to which I responded “yeah I’ll get to it”.

I kinda forgot about the ginger tea again until after one of my Yatta/God conversations.  The Holy Spirit proceeded to remind me about the ginger tea, and how I am to drink that everyday.   Last night, I made my first batch of ginger tea.  I drank a cup with my meal, and then another cup 15-30 minutes after eating.  I fell asleep and now it’s 7am and I didn’t get sick throughout the night.  I’m excited that I’m one step closer to  healing, one day closer to healing and I did a happy dance and sang in front of my faux fireplace.

I’ll continue to be forever thankful and trust in God 100%, for God is getting ready to show how awesome he is through me.  I may have some troubling moments, but those are only fleeting.  As the song says “I’m so glad trouble don’t last always” *woot woot*

divine order

I peed today for the first time in two years.  Now before you get excited, let me explain what exactly happened.

Since I haven’t peed in two years, my pre-transplant team in Gainesville wanted to make sure my bladder is strong enough hold fluid.   The procedure is called voiding cystourethrogram, which consists of catheterizing to fill the bladder with a clear contrast so that the bladder can be observed and photographed via x-rays.   Traumatic?  yes.  Uncomfortable?  yes.   But I peeed!!!  lol. The time is coming soon when I will pee freely.   *raises the roof*

The most important thing I want to share is how awesome God is.  When I got there, I was terrified…well no…extremely nervous and bombarded the nurse with a gagillion questions. “Can you numb me?  What does the catheter look like?  What if there is extra fluid left in my bladder?  What color is the contrast?”

Anyway a nurse approached me in the dressing room and we talked for a few minutes.  She then turns me around, places her hands on my kidneys and spoke healing in Jesus’ name.  Not once, but twice!  It was an amazing feeling…her prayers got me through the procedure and definitely lifted my spirits, as it was affirmation that God is always on time.   Amen.

if i saw kara walker again

so i met kara walker back in the summer of 2014, during her “a subtlety” exhibit in brooklyn.   if you do not already know i adore kara…her quirky, nerdy, quiet demeanor is quite attractive to me.  her art is provocative and the white people eat it up, which means more money and grants for her…but she does this at the expense of blacks, primarily black women.

when i was first introduced to kara’s work, i was intrigued.  this woman cut out black and white silhouettes in the shape of people and objects to tell a stories about slavery in the antebellum south.  i thought it was coooool, so telling, so ingenious.  i’ve seen all her exhibits in nyc, one in boston, even flew to chicago and then brooklyn. yes, i was that type of fan.  i still admire her talent, but…

this past thanksgiving i met valerie maynard.  valerie is an artist in her own right; she’s responsible for the mosaics in the 125th/lexington MTA station in nyc.  she’s create sculptures, paintings and taught all over the world.  she’s a virgo too lol, but that’s not important.   we worked together in digitizing her art catalog.  she’s got so much stuff, her work and works of others, and she’s got no way of classifying them.  well, i helped her get that started, to which she appreciated.  anyway, we had conversations about art and she asked if i had any favorites.  i happily touted kara walker and she frowned.  she then told me to take another look at her art….and to look at it closely.  so while we were talking i pulled up a few pieces of her work and took a second look.  it didn’t take long for me to realize what valerie was talking about and my smile quickly turned into a frown…a frown of disappointment. why did i not notice this before?  i think it was the fact that she was a black artist from georgia who’d receive so many accolades, plus at that time she was teaching at columbia.  i think it was because i was slightly attracted to her intelligence…

or maybe it was because i was innocently ignorant.

if i ever meet kara again, i would pull her aside and ask her why does she exploit the black woman and portray us so negatively?  why was it ok for kids, notably white kids to pose behind the large sphinx of the black woman, and stick their tongues out, simulating oral sex, or pretending to suck her breasts?  why was it ok to expose the black woman that way?  or sacred private parts, our vessels of procreation hanging out for all the world to see?  does kara view herself this way?  is she a voluptuous bait for the white man?

why did i not see this before??  *sigh*  will i see her art again?  i’m not sure, because she is talented, but i’m still recovering from the bruises.

ignorance is bliss.

 

 

 

 

 

 

oh….think twice.

she did that

and this too

little bit of this

and a whole lotta images

what i’m saying is i’m very proud of ali from cali.   she’s shedding those layers of self-doubt and becoming the rock star i always knew she was.   yay  🙂

so hey folks.  what’s happening? i’m still in boston but making every effort to bounce.  the next location is to be determined but chances are it will be back in atlanta.   a few years ago, there was nothing that could make me go back to atlanta.  i left there carrying so much heartache and disappointment – it was hard to face all of that.  i’ve grown…emotionally and spiritually and have put all that in my past (let go and let God) and now i’m good.  i’m comfortable enough to move there, to do what i have to do to advance in my life.  besides, my move there is not a permanent one.  besides, i don’t think i was born to live in one place for a long period of time.

speaking of boston…fall is upon us.  the trees are finally changing and it’s gorgeous, but with pretty colors come cooler temps.  i’m not feeling the weather at all.  i’ve pulled out my thermals and have been wearing them every time i go out.  my heat is on 79/80.

thank goodness ye ole boss will be on vacation this week!

if this it is….please let me knowwwwwwww

if this aint love you betta let me goooooo!!

i sand that song for smule karaoke.  huey lewis and the news folks.

435am and i’m awake…bright eyed and bushy tailed.

when i dont sleep my blood pressure shoots up…yay.

i’m watching my go-to show a different world.  i think i can watch this for the rest of my life and be fine.  that and living single.

so it’s june and its 40 something degrees outside.  i think we’re going to have a mild summer which makes me 😦  temps next week are only reaching the 70s.  it’s usually 80 90 around this time.

and now im sleepy.  finally.