Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Time-Out For Tricia

On May 4th, 2013, I did something quite out of the ordinary.  I woke up in the middle of the night somewhere around 1:26 a.m.  With urging that felt like the Holy Spirit, I began to search Facebook. This was out of the ordinary for me because when I wake up in the middle of the night I typically pray. I rarely ever spend time checking out social media because my brain isn't fully functioning yet. I wasn't particularly looking for one thing or another but it wasn't long before I came across an extraordinary young woman.   My news feed led me to one of my best childhood friend's timeline. She had the woman’s story on her page and with curiosity I began to read.  To know my childhood friend Mary, is to know her heart.  Her parents named her perfectly. The woman’s story posted on her page was linked to a fundraiser. The woman, Tricia Moses was diagnosed with a disease that was unfamiliar to anything that I’d ever heard of.  Intrigued, mostly by this woman’s glow and natural beauty I continued to read.  From her picture alone you could almost pick up on the true godliness of her spirit.  What I learned was that Tricia Moses was a beautiful elementary school teacher from Brooklyn, New York. She was diagnosed with Scleroderma, the sister disease of Lupus an autoimmune disease. As I continued reading I learned that Tricia's lungs were virtually turning to stone inside of her body and that she was in very urgent need of a lung transplant.  The fundraising link for Tricia, explained that she would need to temporarily relocate to a global medical center here in the US in order to have this life-saving procedure.  Oddly enough, I felt like I needed to know more. I needed to understand how something like this could even happen. The woman in the picture looked so healthy to me. I wondered if she was born with this disease or if it was something that she just developed.  Instead of just pulling out my debit card, donating and closing my computer; I did the unthinkable and “friend requested”, her on Facebook.  I that the only person that could offer the answers I was in search of was Tricia.  The question was, would she even discuss the very personal circumstances of her disease with me? Well, not only did she accept my friend request but we began to chat in the wee hours of the morning.  Tricia Moses was a gem that night and within minutes I felt like she was one of my oldest girlfriend's.  She is by far one of the sweetest and most humble human being's that I have ever spoken to.  
To date, Tricia along with the help of, “Give Forward”, (, has raised 56% of her $10,000 goal for assistance. This money will help with both her lung transplant and aftercare expenses. This fundraiser will continue until July 21, 2013. No longer able to continue working for the NYC Department of Education where she has been employed for over 13 years Tricia is preparing for a short-term move to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  This is required by the medical staff at UPMC-The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center {}. All lung patient candidates must be living within close proximity to the hospital. I immediately knew that I had to spring into action quickly if I wanted to be any help to this family. I scheduled a phone interview with Tricia for the next day. I could have kept her on the line for hours.  I asked her everything that I could possibly think of.  I had to keep in mind that we were strangers and I didn't want to be awkwardly invasive.  That’s the beauty and the simplicity of my Creator.   We have this silent loving understanding that we are all truly brothers and sisters in His love.  Tricia has experienced things in this lifetime that an ordinary person would have never been able to cope. She is extraordinary and filled with spirit.  I learned during our phone conversation that in 2005, the love of her life was killed.  As she moved forward from that heart-wrenching loss and pain she focused on being a loving teacher to her 3rd Grade students at P.S. 233. As life went on, Tricia began to experience some uncommon medical issues. Just shy of 33 years-old, this normally healthy and energetic school teacher developed an itchy rash that was treated by her doctor with topical cream.  This rash was the onsite of her current condition but as with many medical conditions in the United States she was misdiagnosed.  In addition to the rash Tricia also developed a persistent cough. This cough also went misdiagnosed and she was treated for asthma.  She was released from the hospital with an albuterol pump for pulmonary relief.  She has actually never suffered with asthma a day in her life. It wasn't until Tricia became pregnant that her actual condition would truly reveal itself.  After a long night of constant violent coughing, Tricia had a miscarriage in her bathroom at home.  She immediately contacted her GYN who wanted to run some tests on the loss fetus.  With no time to deal with the loss of her pregnancy; Tricia was referred to a pulmonologist.  A shocking discovery was made from the test results conducted on the fetus.  This would turn out to be the beginning of Tricia’s own lifesaving journey.  The unborn baby that lost its life would save its mother's.
Tricia was diagnosed with Scleroderma.  The medical definition of Scleroderma is as follows: Scleroderma is a connective tissue disease that involves changes in the skin, blood vessels, muscles, and internal organs. It is a type of autoimmune disorder, a condition that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue”. The fate of this diagnosis would mean the very rapid onset of Tricia losing the normal functionality of her lungs as her body was tricked into believing that they were an enemy.   Slowly, Tricia would be robbed of her ability to breathe on her own. In addition to struggling for air, she suffers from painful joint arthritis, loss of appetite and excessive weight gain from the daily consumption of steroids. Steroids also play a part in altering Tricia’s moods.  She has her good days and she has her bad days.  Oh how this makes me think of the ways that we take our lives for granted.  The ability to hop in and out of the shower at our own leisure has been taken from Tricia who is now totally co-dependent on her oxygen tanks.  I would think that bitterness and anger would have settled into her existence yet the moment that my phone rang all I heard was hope in her voice.  I heard this precious and youthful, life-filled voice on the other line. Tricia Moses is an Angel living here on earth.  Tricia will be receiving her transplant this fall. UPMC, the hospital performing the procedure is a nonprofit global healthcare system. They are internationally renowned for performing life-saving organ transplants. No one in NYC was willing to take the risk of performing this surgery that Tricia so vitally needs to save her life. The Simmons Center, {within UPMC}, is specifically geared toward Interstitial Lung Disease.  The center provides patients and their families with informative support groups which Tricia and her mom have had the pleasure of attending.  These IPF-(Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis) support groups educate patients and their families on the transplant journey. It connects families with candidates that are in similar if not the same predicament. Tricia is fully aware of what is at stake and her unbreakable Faith in God is moving her full speed ahead.  The Simmons Center staff has taken the time to let her know the odds of her upcoming surgery and the odds of her life without it. 
If you are at all as touched by Tricia’s unexpected life-changing journey then I ask that you please donate to her cause. The smallest donation will leave your imprint on changing someone's life. Her story can become any of our own realities in the blink of an eye.  My heart goes out to Tricia so much so that it was extremely difficult for me to write her story. I hope that my empathy and love for her will be reflected in my words.   Tricia and I, are nearly the same age so this really hit close to home for me.  Her love for her mother and for her twin sister Natasha Moses touches me even more.  Her selflessness is beyond admirable. Her mother, a beautiful woman in her 70’s has been by her daughter’s side since Tricia’s ordeal began.  Natasha {her twin}, is taking this extremely hard as we could only expect.  This morning I opened my Bible to the Book of Joshua and  I'd like to say this to Tricia:
Joshua 1:9 This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go”.
You will win this fight! You will teach the world about Scleroderma!

Much Luv,

post signature

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Ugly Truth About Abortion

I was Pro-Life until I was 28 years-old and found myself in an entangled web of hypocrisy.  I never passed judgment on anyone that was Pro-Choice, yet using abortion as a method of birth-control was something that made me cringe.  During my time in college, I took a very interesting philosophy class that further opened my eyes to the truths surrounding certain types of abortions being performed right here in the United States of America.  Partial abortion was something that I ignorantly knew nothing of before taking the course. My Dear Lord, what I learned was absolutely disturbing.   My professor at the time was very passionate about the course work and he provided some of the most gruesome images with supporting documentation available to support this unethical practice.  I can remember thinking, “How can any woman kill the life that is growing inside of her in such a horrific way?”   In my eyes, it was murder plain and simple. Snipping the spinal cord of a fetus at the neck seemed illogical and cruel. Of course at the time I was a mother of 3 healthy children and I had never come face to face with abortion or miscarriage.  Every now and then I might get the occasional confession of a friend that had gone through either of the two ordeals.  As many of you know, Kermit Gosnell was found guilty earlier this week on numerous counts of murder and manslaughter in connection with his “chop shop”, style abortion clinic in Pennsylvania.  Please take a moment to read this article posted by the Huffington Post yesterday: I was quite dismayed when I found out that I was pregnant with what would have been my fourth child.  I was fresh out of a very long-term relationship with my son’s father.  I was reckless and on the rebound and to add to the mess that I was creating I was now pregnant.  I confirmed my suspicions and was 4-6 weeks along in gestation as described to me by the tech performing my ultrasound at the abortion clinic.  Dismay and profound sadness was the feeling.  The tech didn’t want me to look but I refused to turn away.  The precious sight of the tiny little dark spot growing inside of my stomach was impossible for me to ignore. The inappropriate comment made by that same tech made everything that followed awful.  Abortion clinics are like desensitized butcher shops where one goes to have meat chopped.  She said, “This is your first abortion honey, it won’t be your last”.  I instantly corrected her and snapped back with, “Oh yes, this will be my last”.

The well-known abortion clinic that I went to in Queens was disgusting to me.  Not only because of the atmosphere per se, which was banquet-style torn pleather seating  and writing on the walls.  It just had a very dark underlying feeling overall.  The only spiritual light I could sense was from the religious spectators chanting outside for me not to go inside. God is not inside of abortion clinics and I will stand firmly by that statement.  God and the Spirit are in the womb of the woman carrying new-life.  There is an overwhelming feeling of spiritual warmness a woman can feel when she is pregnant. If, of course she’s willing to be still enough to be aware of it. Although, the tech said I was only 4-6 weeks along my entire body felt filled with pregnancy.  I wept uncontrollably that day as I was whisked from one phase of the process to another.  The final phase being the fatal one; at that point I was told to undress and to slip into a gown that was provided by the staff.  My girlfriend that accompanied me that day just kept encouraging me not to “think”, about it.  Unfortunately, the life growing inside of me was all that I could think about.  I said a prayer while I changed into my gown.  Not a typical prayer. Nothing rehearsed or memorized from a scripture verse.  At that moment I had a simultaneous silent discussion with God and the new life that was trying so desperately to just continue growing.  The spirit of that life felt male to me and right inside of the clinic’s gym-styled locker room I named that spirit Joshua.  I apologized for sending him back to God.  For not trusting God enough to know that I would have been able to care for him.  For the shame that I felt in my heart for carelessly putting myself in a worldly situation to even let something like conception occur.  I let Joshua know that he was no less loved than my other 3 children and that my decision to give him back to my Creator was not an easy one for me to make.  I asked my elders since passed on to please care for him and I closed the prayer by asking for everyone's forgiveness.  With uncontrollable crying and shaking I took my place in the next room.  A male anesthesiologist touched my shoulder and said, “This must be your first time, everything will be alright”.  The last thing I can remember was how much emotional pain I was in.  I heard the same anesthesiologist telling the doctor that it was my first time and by then my legs were  high in the air and I was losing consciousness.

I won’t walk anyone through the next steps at the clinic.  I’ll fast-forward to how I felt laying in my bed that night at home. The warmth, the fire, and the spiritual fullness that I felt prior to the abortion were gone.  I felt an extreme emptiness, I felt sorrow, I felt dark and I felt cold.  I let Satan win that one and I was deeply ashamed.  I called the "would-be",father and let him know that there was no trace of pregnancy inside of me and he was disappointed to say the least.  I never included him in any of the events that had taken place earlier that day and that was just wrong.  Abortion isn’t over once the procedure has been completed.  I personally grieved the loss of that new life that was growing inside of me for a very long time. I contemplated suicide for the first time in my life and I don’t think anyone in my family understood why.  I was very disappointed with what I had done. Abortion was a very emotional journey for me that I didn’t have the heart to discuss with anyone but God. Years later while riding on a NYC train, I learned there is a website dedicated to helping women that suffer from PASS or Post Abortion Stress Syndrome.  For more information, please go to Of course, there are many women living in our culture that appear unaffected by abortion.  Some of us have brought into the political view of a woman’s "right" to choose and we have lost sight of some of the gruesome and careless practices that are taking place around us and in our country.  Babies are such precious bundles of joy.  Where you see no way you must know that God will make a way and I encourage you to email me if you are struggling or need help with an unexpected or unwanted pregnancy. By clicking the envelope on the left hand side of this page; you will be taken directly to my email box. I intentionally began this relationship series with, “After the Booty Call”, because I wanted to use it as an opener for other avenues.  HIV, STD’s, unwanted pregnancy, shame, hurt and lies are all things that can directly result from having sex with someone that you are not in a committed relationship with.  This issues are tough enough for couples but imagine the thought of having to deal with these things alone.

*It was so ironic to me that Kelly Rowland released her new single this week called, "Dirty Laundry".  Although the song doesn't represent this specific issue. It does discuss the importance of letting things go and being honest.  We can cover things up and we can hide behind our shades but that doesnt make the hurt go away.  It just encourages more hurt to develop. I hope my own naked truth will help a young woman that needs to hear it right at this very moment.  Things may not be well with your circumstances, but they can be well with your soul.  God Bless You All.

Proverbs 3:5 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding".

Much Luv,

post signature

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Young Motherhood

I woke up on this beautiful Mother’s Day morning and I decided to discuss what the essence of motherhood has been like for me.  First, I’d like to say that I have the utmost respect for all of the mothers of the world.  The mothers of the world are the nurturers, the supporters and the light givers.  We pass the torch. Whether you’ve birthed a child, adopted a child, donated your time as a mother-figure to a child, supported a child, encouraged a child, or work with children, you will want to read this post.   On my journey, I’ve been blessed to experience the inexplicable joy of motherhood and of childbirth three times.   By no means do I feel like I have any particular expertise in this field but I will say that I’ve always tried my best to rear three joyful children that know God’s love for them.  What I am quite familiar with is young motherhood.  I’ve seen reality TV distort the nature of it for personal gain with shows like Teen Mom; so I decided to share what this experience has been like for me.  I can vividly remember thinking moments after my oldest daughter’s birth, “What am I going to write on?”  I wasn’t keeping a journal at that time because I was being physically abused by her father.  I quickly began pulling pages out of a parenting magazine and tried my best to jot down all of my thoughts on any free space that I could find.  Today, I’m almost scared to ask my mother for those early writings because I know they’ll be so painful for me to read.  I can tell you this; I have never seen anything so humanly perfect before the day that my daughter entered the world.  She had the cutest hands and feet that I had ever seen.  She clung to me as if her life depended on it and I realized that she was just as acquainted with me, as I was with her, from the 9-month journey that we had just come off of.  Love never made as much sense to me as it did when I first laid eyes on that child.  Of course I could feel the love in my heart that I had for Jesus, yet this was very different. This was like that love magnified.  You see, this was my Creator’s love for me cradled in the blessing lying in the crease of my arm. Tears would stream frequently when I came close to her.  I would never pick her up unless the nurse at the hospital handed her to me because I too was still just a child myself.  I was 16 years-old when Mercedes made her grand entrance into the world and I was no longer responsible for only myself.

Did I have a plan?  Not even the slightest. People were extremely critical of my age at that time and of course looking back now I know why.  I was still in high school, I didn’t have a steady job, and I didn’t have a remote clue of how I was going to provide for this child. There was no fluffy bank account stashed, I didn’t have a baby shower to receive any gifts and I definitely didn’t know how this child would get into college.  I probably should have been walking around feeling some intense level of guilt and shame while I was pregnant but I didn’t.  I knew in my heart that my child was supposed to be here and that I was chosen by God to bring her into the world. I felt filled with a spiritual blessing yet my reality was quite dark.  Her father was a local drug-dealer in my neighborhood so buying pampers and baby formula were no big feat for him.  I was a thinker on the other hand. I was a writer and quite frankly I knew I should have been preparing for doom but I was at extreme peace. Being in an abusive relationship with such a controlling man left me with very limited access to outside resources; most controlling individuals want the person they’re controlling to be completely codependent on them and only them.  Alternative schools for pregnant teens and young adults like, “The Door”, in NYC would have gladly added me and Mercedes to their enrollment list.  I took their pre-college assessment exam with a friend and I passed with flying colors. Only problem was, my abuser wouldn’t “allow”, me to attend school.  My new job according to him was to, “tend” to my daughter. A young mother has to have a vision of what’s at the end of the platform.  If she doesn’t, she’ll simply tank and tanking was not an option for me. I was filled with the Spirit and it was that same Spirit that never left my side. I lived with my abuser who was gone for the better part of the day.  Raising my little girl each and every day gave me joy.  Plugging into her made the harsh reality of my life easier to accept. Every now and then a trusted friend would come by just to make sure that I was still alive. They know who they are and up until today that sentiment still warms my heart.  Nurturing is instinctual and spirit guided. I didn’t have my mother or my father on standby for when I needed to run errands, get money or go to school. My mother resented my decision to have my child and in her anger she withdrew her support. It was my daughter and me, day in and day out and I think by the time she turned about three, I was her hero.

God Blessed me with two daughters between the years 1993 and 1994.  The physical endurance it took to raise my two precious little girls at the very same time is still something I can’t quite put into words.  As I write and edit this publication I keep choking on my tears.  Pretty ponytails, well-balanced dinners and bath time were mandatory parts of my mommy job that came with no wages.  My pay came from hugs, kisses and really big smiles.  My abuser was locked in prison by early 1995 and my mommy became a sole-proprietorship that lasted until their adult years.  Lots of love and a very well-paying hospital job helped my daughters and me to stay afloat.  The love and dependence that the three of us had for one another is what makes them being away at college so difficult for me today.  Private school, trial and error, lots of episodes of Barney, and divine favor shown to us by our Heavenly Creator is what ultimately carried us through.  The highest reward in all of it for me has been earning the respect of two young women old enough to be my younger sisters.  Watching them fearlessly aim for their dreams while manifesting their own destinies has been an added bonus. My youngest daughter Portia told me just last week that I'm still her hero. My journey was different from an older more established woman’s journey of motherhood.  Should it be embraced differently?  I don’t really think so. I tend to view it this way, “We all have different paths”.   Children make their entrance into the world in God’s time.  Mothers that are handpicked for this precious position can find a blessing in answering the call.  Mothers of any age need encouragement and support from everyone around them.  Dealing with toddlers throwing food in your face and smelly diapers is a really tough gig whether your 17 or 40.  Young motherhood requires even more support as they try so desperately to raise themselves while they continue raising their children and make the sacrifice of giving up young life.  I was blessed to have a lot of babysitting years under my belt before my girls arrived.  I began helping my grandmother to care for my younger cousins when I was just 8. I know that gave me a loving head start for what was just around the corner for me.  Often times, that’s how God works.

A very unexpected miracle arrived in the form of a son later in my 20’s.   His name is Jessiah and his light is brilliant. I’d somehow resonated to the fact that it would always just be me and my girls. I had a very difficult pregnancy with him yet a voice let me know one day while I was sitting on the train that he would be alright.  I never wanted anything more than for him to arrive into the world and to be ok.  His stay in the hospital was longer than mine and initially that was a crushing blow.  God showed up in the form of a very gentle pediatrician that said to me, “God didn’t make any mistakes with your baby”.  This Mother’s Day feels extra special to me and for a change I’ve slowed down enough to take it all in.  All of the pictures, all of the school-made mommy cards, and all of the text messages I get these days; makes every tear, every difficult time, worth it.   Motherhood is an extraordinary relationship that we have here on earth.  It’s the one role that is always underappreciated.  The world says, “Go be independent”, “Go be liberated”, “Go be skinny”, “Go get botox”, “Chase Hollywood dreams”, but it never says, “Go and be a Mom”.  Motherhood is a sacred calling. Motherhood is selfless and it comes with chores and nurturing that will far exceed a child turning 18 years of age.   Psalm 127:3-5, has such beautiful commentary regarding young parenthood and children, “Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him. Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior’s hand. How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them!” In a world that has learned to use abortion as a form of birth control I love the challenge of this verse. Mothers that celebrate their children will raise children that celebrate their mothers. I encourage you to celebrate the mothers in your life today! Some of us have more than one.  Lift them up in prayer, and let God know how much it means to you to have them in your life.  If your mother or your grandmother has already traveled back to heaven, please let God know how grateful you are for the precious time that you were blessed to have spent with her.  The memories of a mother’s love will live in her children eyes forever.  God Bless all of the Mothers of the World today.

Much Luv,


post signature

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Lure of Temptation

Last month I had the opportunity to watch Tyler Perry’s latest film entitled, “Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor”.  I hesitated on giving early commentary on the film mainly because I wanted to give late movie goers a chance to get out and see it.  I’ve always been one to greatly appreciate a film that forces me to think.  I walked away from this film stumped (in a good way), for a number of reasons.  I watched the film with my young adult daughters and it instantly sparked interaction.  I appreciate the way that Tyler Perry is always ready to delve head first into those societal issues that many of us would like to turn a blind eye to.  Temptation is a word that we can explore here for hours on end.  It’s that distracted place that a person in a committed relationship allows themselves to go. It’s definitely not a realm support by our Higher Power.  Temptation can be the onset of complete and total destruction.  Distractions within a relationship are born from many things.  The relationship may have fizzled out due to the high demands of life.  It may be the need for one person in the relationship to fill a void and in doing so they choose a negative way to act that out. Some partners feel as if constant communication is too much of a task and they shy away from it.  Isolation is the complete opposite of oneness in a relationship.  It’s oneness that a couple needs to move forward collectively.  Couples can argue over the silliest of things.  Because we’re all created differently and clearly raised differently, we all have different ways of communicating and dealing with conflict.  Some of us our confrontational while others run from conflict at all costs and in turn sweep things under the rug.  The door that leads to temptation opens the minute that we stop talking.  When we stop talking, we stop communicating.  This works the same way in regard to our relationship with God.  The Bible makes numerous mentions surrounding temptation. Any Christian practicing a faithful walk with God knows that there is a daily deliverance that we need in order to stay away from it.  In Matthew 6:13, the Bible says, “And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one”.

In Perry’s film, he builds upon a concept that I too have always believed in.  Experts in any area gain their expertise through the practice of real life experiences.  People who have applied-knowledge tend to excel and at times even have an advantage over those that have only had the opportunity to study the practiced material in textbooks.  This idea is seen in the film with Jurnee Smollet’s character, “Judith”.  Judith is a marriage counselor in the film and ultimately she gets a little too close to one of her company’s clients.  She’s eager to jumpstart her career with the wealth of knowledge that she accumulated obtaining her Master’s Degree in Counseling.  As a Christian woman that is herself married in the film, she feels highly prepared to open her own practice and to give the world her all.  The adversity she constantly faces in the film is coming to terms with the reality of her simple life.  The young couple are in their mid-twenties she and her husband Brice played by Lance Gross, are just barely making ends meet. Her headstrong, moralistic stance is strong early in the film as she refuses to adhere to the modern chic/sexy dress code of the matchmaking office she’s employed at.  We have a woman with a vision fresh out of graduate school who wants to counsel couples and help them to stay married.  Sounds simple enough right? Hmmmm, the plot is well set because we see that Judith is feeling underappreciated by her young husband.  He’s early in his career as a pharmacist and in many ways he’s just trying to establish himself as a man.  We can feel the genuine love he has for his wife who was also his childhood sweetheart.  Brice can’t afford fancy nights out for his wife, he forgets her birthday and he has this innocent way of diminishing her dreams without meaning to do so. The story takes a dark turn when Judith is given an assignment at the office that forces her to work very closely with “Harley”, played by Robbie Jones a very famous, young billionaire entrepreneur in the film.

Harley is overly charming and extremely vocal in expressing how much he admires a woman of Judith’s caliber.  He plays up the victim role in his past relationship which he claims as being the reason why he’s still single.  Harley in essence is the boyfriend that every woman wants. He’s attentive, encouraging and supportive of future endeavors.  He makes being in a relationship what it should; an exercised team effort. Their forbidden romance spirals out of control quickly.  Like many that fall into the lure and then later the trap of temptation, things get rather messy. Harley goes from charming and having sincere admiration to an aggressive pursuer whose only mission is to remind Judith of what her husband doesn’t do for her. The biblical theme of Adam and Eve began running through my mind; as I closed my eyes still hopeful that Judith would stay strong.  Poor, poor Judith, she gives in to all of her tempter’s whispers for control and she soon finds out that he isn’t who he originally presented to be. Brice begins to catch wind of the affair as does Judith’s mother who is a Christian pastor in the film (played by Ella Joyce).  We watch in awe as Judith begins to lose herself. She changes her style of dress, the way she wears her hair, begins abusing alcohol and cocaine and as if most disheartening she begins sleeping with Harley.  There’s this underlying theme of, “Is the grass really greener on the other side”, we soon see that clearly that it isn’t.  Perry shows us that it’s a small world and many things really do come to light full circle.  Brice happens to be working with a new staff member at the pharmacy that’s on the run from her abusive boyfriend that recently infected her with HIV.  Do I need to say anymore?

Judith ultimately becomes a seasoned marriage counselor because she can now relate to some of the real issues that married folks struggle with.  By the films end, she is somewhat crippled after a monstrosity of a beating inflicted by Harley.  She is HIV positive and she is very divorced from Brice who remarries and has a child with his new wife. Brice does not contract the virus. This is the unfortunate reality of how destructive the path of temptation is.  The shocking blow of Harley, Judith, and Brandy’s character all having HIV is a very hard pill to swallow, while still indulging in buttered movie popcorn. The twist nearly blew me away! I love that Perry made the consequences so extreme.  We live in a risk taking world that I constantly see downplaying the harsh reality of real consequences.  God’s love and protection can be absent when our obedience to him is equally as absent.  People are constantly targeting what they want, exercising their power to obtain their target, and in return they are ending up with a heap of things that they don’t want including STI’s and lots of unnecessary drama. Married couples are falling victim to distraction and in some cases even boredom.  The numbers of new HIV cases in New York City alone is shocking; in Brooklyn, New York they’re astronomical. With rates so high, I guarantee you that each and every one of us knows a person living with the virus; whether or not they’ve disclosed their status to us or not.  Stay safe, stay protected and if you are in a marriage please don’t ever stop communicating with your spouse.  The minute the talking stops, the connection stops, and temptation might just be lurking around every corner. God Bless you all.

Much Luv,

post signature

Friday, May 3, 2013

When It All Goes Left

It's pretty rare that a Hollywood story grabs my attention the way that the Kordell Stewart “divorce-filing scandal”, from his seemingly lovely wife Porsha D. Stewart has. I typically leave this type of blogging to the Hollywood Gossip Blogger's because there are more than enough of these types of stories published around the world. This touched my heart though because there is something so innocently genuine about Mrs. Porsha. I definitely had to offer my commentary on this one. Since the top of 2013, I've been taking some time out to focus spiritually and I’ve been on a television fast. I honestly missed the majority of the Atlanta Housewives 5th Season on Bravo. I did by far see enough interaction between Mr. Stewart and his wife to develop an opinion of the pair’s union. I think it's important to say that I think Kordell is a really good guy.  I think he has very traditional values in regard to what the role of being a good wife consists of.  The world of reality TV is still somewhat of a blunder for me. I enjoy it at times but my approach to it is simple, detox entertainment when I'm looking to just kick my feet up on the sofa and relax. On the flipside, I have found that it can be infectiously poisonous to our generation. I've even noticed that there are groups/clubs of women watching the shows together and in some ways mocking the lifestyles of the characters. Living beyond our means and failing to appreciate where we are currently at in our lives can be dangerous. Porsha Stewart touched me differently than any of the other characters that I've seen thus far on any of the current shows out. Porsha never took me as anything other than what the show title indicates that it represents an, "Atlanta Housewife". She was Southern, well-poised, polite, filled with class, with just enough feistiness in her to let you know that she's nobody's punk. This young woman has natural innocence to her that I rarely see today. She also displays and earnestness to be a great wife and a step-mom to Kordell’s child.  I really like that! Whether burning food in the kitchen or trying to coordinate matching outfits for a night out with her hubby, Mrs. Porsha always puts in what seems like extreme effort for her man.

The first time I observed Kordell with his wife I remember sensing or slightly thinking that there was some level of insecurity exhibited on his behalf. Having a flawlessly beautiful wife has to be a difficult endeavor for any man. It was one of the early episodes when she was having a fundraiser for her Grandfather's foundation and she introduces Kenya Moore as Miss America versus Miss USA. He kissed his wife sweetly and seemed really enamored by her. That event if everyone remembers was ladies only. A red flag went up immediately with the thought of that concept because the fundraiser would have grossed more revenue had it been co-ed. Why would a husband encourage his wife to have a female-only event? He even made a comment like, “That’s how I like it”. Control issues, low self-esteem and things of that nature crossed my mind but he still just seemed very sweet to me. Controlling men are often difficult to read. They are the men that believe that women have a traditional role to stay in the home and to be the sole caregivers to their children. In a world filled with strong women leaders that are caring for children and still pursuing their own passions Kordell's outlook was a bit much for viewers. It came across as old-school/out-dated. What I think we also got to witness as viewers was that Porsha may not have known exactly how deeply-rooted his traditional beliefs were until she stepped onto the RHOA platform. To be fair, the couple has only been married just shy of two years and there is a significant age difference of nearly 10 years between the two. There's a very interesting twist to this story though and I think it's one that we will find more and more talked about in our culture. Before I could finish writing this post I had to reach out to my cousin Mark. He is the Biggest and I mean the Biggest Pittsburg Steelers Fan that I know! Here's where it all goes left...

In 1997, Kordell Stewart called a meeting with his at the time teammates to address rumors that were beginning to surface that the star quarterback might be gay. Kordell was seen frequenting a local park during that time that was known as a local hangout for gay men. I started to wonder if Kordell was really just suffering miserably in his marriage because he was suppressing his natural desire for men. By no means am I suggesting that he didn’t just file for divorce because he didn’t like the direction that his spouse was moving with the show.  Porsha Stewart found out that her husband filed for divorce via Twitter and I thought that was such a low-blow. Living in the same home he never had the audacity to have the discussion with his wife personally. I asked my cousin Mark, “What were your feelings when the stories began circulating that the star quarterback might be gay?” His response was quite simple and just his own honest opinion.  I decided to continue writing this article because a light bulb of curiosity went off in my head. This Monday April 29, 2013, NBA player Jason Collins became the 1st athlete in the association to announce that he is openly and actively gay.  I thought, “BINGO!” The story broke just 3 days after I started writing this post and I thought, “Wow, what a coincidence”.  I watched video interviews on the internet with Jason’s ex-fiancĂ©e who spent 8 years of her life devoted to him. A compellingly understanding woman, Carolyn Moos stated that she didn’t have the slightest idea that Jason was gay. She went on to say that society needs to take a look at how it treats people and players. She points out the lack of support society offers when it comes to homosexuality. Commendably, she went on to say that she is happy for Jason and that he in turn deserves happiness. 

Luckily, Jason has received an outpour of support from the media, his team members, family and friends including unexpected support and encouragement from President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. Carolyn was deeply saddened in 2009 when Jason unexpectedly called off their engagement.  A hurt that she reports she is still struggling with till this day.  What is happening in the world that we live in?  Have we become so disgustingly judgmental that gay men feel like they have to hide within the walls of heterosexual marriage? Is this the only way they feel like they will be accepted? How many children are being born into homes with gay fathers that are pretending to be straight for the sake of acceptance? I do hope that this isn’t the case with Porsha and Kordell,Stewart.  In the event that it is, I pray that he too find the courage to live in his own skin. I believe that Jason Collins has opened the door for other gay men that are struggling with the fear of coming out and disclosing their sexual preference. It’s only in our personal truth that we find healing and comfort.  We have to stop pointing fingers when we encounter what is unnatural for us.  We are all brothers and sisters and we need to support one another accordingly. Life is difficult enough without having to be what we aren’t.  I’ll continue to bring stories like this to you throughout this relationship series.  Later this month I’ll be interviewing author, B Styliz Ortiz (, who wrote the book, “Pretty Boy with the House in Virginia”.  We will be uncovering his personal experiences with stories just like these; stories that involve men that are in heterosexual relationships but are secretly (unknowingly to their spouses) homosexual.  We’ll be discussing the dangers that some of these relationships can involve; the hurt and rejection that they can cause and how some folks end up being exposed to or even contracting HIV-(the “House in Virginia”).  This series is going to be an awesome journey of eye-opening knowledge.  Let’s Go!

Much Luv,

post signature