For You, Daddy

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage” – Lao Tzu

The “Lawson” Smile

Dear Dad,

I was not prepared for the phone call at 1:30 am August 3rd, where my sis Michelle told me that you had just flatlined. When I found out that you weren’t feeling well days prior, I started to make plans to travel to Texas. I spoke with my sis Monique and I text my brother Freddy but I thought that you would need some days to recover and all would be well. The picture above is the last time we were together at 1140 in The Bronx. I didn’t know that would be my last time hugging you and talking with you. Hearing my mom tell me that the diagnosis is Stage 4 Lung/Liver Cancer was a sharp blow and I tried my best to make sense of it all. When did this start? Would chemotherapy help or hurt? Why, God? I was heartbroken when I received the news that you had transitioned. It felt unreal. I was shocked and numb. I just sat upright in my bedroom and kept thinking to myself “What do I say/do now?” I drove down to Texas the next day but didn’t arrive until 26 hours later. I had to be with mom. I am afraid of planes but I am working on it 🙂 I needed to make sure she would be OK, at least as best as she can be emotionally. We all spent time together, went out to eat, got in the pool and bonded during this difficult time. Going to the funeral home to view you was mandatory for me. I had to put my hands on your arms, your hair and head, just to tell myself that this was reality. You looked so peaceful and your hair had fully grown, we have the same hair texture and I could not stop touching you. Your wishes were to be cremated and we made sure that all arrangements were in place. Fast forward, I’m back home in New York and still feel numb. Fall semester started @DCC and I tried to attend but my heart and mind was elsewhere. I found myself spending more time in bed just listening to music. I could not attend the memorial in Texas and I was so disappointed. I was not feeling well physically or emotionally so I made a decision to stay home. I started to view the tribute video my sis Michelle posted and I felt all these emotions come to the surface. I started to shed tears and slowly accept that you are in a better place.

“I Can Only Imagine”-Tamela Mann / “Scars In Heaven”- Casting Crowns

Growing up, you were like a superhero to me, always present, showing love, providing for us and making us laugh. Holidays were wonderful occasions and when you were busy with work, you always made time to show how much you care. We always sat down together as a family to eat meals. You and mom were strict in a sense but it was only for our protection. Of course, we didn’t see it at the time lol but I am grateful for the watch over us as we matured. One of my favorite memories is the pinball machine! I was ecstatic, Freddy couldn’t stop smiling as you brought the game in our room. An actual old school pinball machine where we could play for hours, no quarters needed. You guys gave us the best of everything, from slumber parties, rollerskates, Remember Freddys electric truck? He was one of the first kids on the block to have one; trips to City Island, Rye Playland and the list goes on. I remember my blue thriller jacket that I wore daily with my karate shoes. You couldn’t tell me I wasn’t stylin’, I’d walk around with my long pigtails with Freddy following behind me. I love my sisters but Freddy and I were thick as thieves. We’d sit and listen to old records on the record player, Prince, Michael Jackson, watched Hot Traxx and we shared the same love of cartoons like The Chipmunks, He-Man, She-Ra, Pacman and lets not forget The ThunderCats! Dad, I know you weren’t perfect but you tried your best to give us all a sense of stability and security. To know that we could come to you or mom with any issue and it would be resolved. You would always say ” We do things as a family” and it always stayed with me. You had an impressive work ethic, whatever you set out to do, it was at 100 percent. I admired your skills as a tractor trailer operator, driving those big rigs around takes precision and I can say that I am a driver and love it, because of you.

Deborah & Fred

Mr. Lawson

Dad & Freddy

When we headed to Baltimore for the Lawson family reunion in 2013, we were both sitting in the car and you told me that this was my chance to meet all the successful people in your family, like the lawyers, doctors and so on. I remember looking at you and saying “You’re successful too Daddy” and you just smiled at me. It was a moment that expressed just how much I loved you. You didn’t get the chance to finish school but you were so intelligent and witty, no one could get over on you and you were quick to tell someone exactly what was on your mind. Nothing was ever easy for you. I realize this now and all of the anger from dealing with racism, the economy, hatred may have been alot to handle but somehow you kept pressing on.

It rained yesterday, pouring for awhile and I was in here sorting our clothes for the laundry. When we decided to open the door, there was this rainbow that extended from one side of the sky towards the other. I had seen rainbows before but this one was complete and intense. I had Nia take pics/video and a guy stopped in his car to tell me he had never seen a rainbow like this before either. I smiled to myself and thought about you.

“The rainbow is a promise”- Mary Clark Dalton

You are my father and I will always hold you dear to my heart. I know that grief comes in waves and I have to learn how to cope so that I can be my best self for Nia and I. I am also dedicated to be a source of comfort and support for Mom, you guys were the best of friends. Rest in perfect peace Dad and I smile through the tears because I recognize that little by little, we let go of loss but never of love.

Your babygirl,

Mel

And If Today All You Did Was Hold Yourself Together, I’m Proud Of You

I saw this post on social media and I had to share it here. Always remember that you have the power within to overcome anything that comes your way ❤❤❤

DEPRESSION TIPS:

Shower. Not a bath, a shower. Use water as hot or cold as you like. You don’t even need to wash. Just get in under the water and let it run over you for a while. Sit on the floor if you gotta.

Moisturize everything. Use whatever lotion you like.

Put on clean, comfortable clothes.

Drink cold water. Use ice. If you want, add some mint or lemon for an extra boost.

Clean something. Doesn’t have to be anything big. Organize one drawer of a desk. Wash five dirty dishes. Do a load of laundry. Scrub the bathroom sink.

Blast music. Listen to something upbeat and dancy and loud, something that’s got lots of energy. Sing to it, dance to it, even if you suck at both.

Make food. Don’t just grab a granola bar to munch. Take the time and make food. Even if it’s ramen. Add something special to it, like a soft boiled egg or some veggies. Prepare food, it tastes way better, and you’ll feel like you accomplished something.

Make something. Write a short story or a poem, draw a picture, color a picture, fold origami, crochet or knit, sculpt something out of clay, anything artistic. Even if you don’t think you’re good at it. Create.

Go outside. Take a walk. Sit in the grass. Look at the clouds. Smell flowers. Put your hands in the dirt and feel the soil against your skin.

Call someone. Call a loved one, a friend, a family member, call a chat service if you have no one else to call. Talk to a stranger on the street. Have a conversation and listen to someone’s voice. If you can’t bring yourself to call, text or email or whatever, just have some social interaction with another person. Even if you don’t say much, listen to them. It helps.

May seem small or silly to some, but this list keeps people alive.

* At your absolute best you won’t be good enough for the wrong people. But at your worst, you’ll still be worth it to the right ones. Remember that. Keep holding on.

* In case nobody has told you today I Love you and you are worth your weight and then some in gold, so be kind to yourself and most of all keep pushing on!!!!

***People don’t fake depression.. they fake being ok.

Find something to be grateful for!

US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Hours: Available 24 hours. Languages: English, Spanish.
800-273-8255

Even on your worst days you are always worth love and respect. Don’t ever settle for anything less

Prepared – Jill Scott

I been reading my old journals
Checking to see where my head has been
And I been apologizing to some people
Some bridges I needed to mend
And I been eating more greens
Getting my body alkaline, oh
I’m gonna be super fine
And I been lettin’
Been lettin’ some old ideas go
I’m making room for my life to grow
I just wanna be prepared, yeah

I just wanna be, I just wanna be prepared
I just wanna be prepared
Getting myself ready
For what’s comin’ for me yeah yeah yeah
I am (I just wanna be, I just wanna be prepared)
I just wanna be prepared
(Prepared)

Hear me now
I been getting recipes off the internet
Most times they be banging
I realized they’re only good when I put
My lil’ spices all up in rices
I’ve been
You know I’ve been enjoying people who love each other
Husband and wife
Sister and brother
Father and mother
I let the queen inside
I let her shine
I been listening to God more
I been doing my chores

I just wanna be, I just wanna be prepared
I’ve been gettin’ myself together
For what’s, for what’s comin’ to me yeah
I just wanna be prepared yeah yeah yeah yeah
(I just wanna be, I just wanna be prepared)
I just wanna be prepared
(Prepared)

For when I see him at the end of the isle
With that true heart and that real smile
Intentions pure
A love that will endure
I just wanna be prepared
I, I’m gettin’ myself together
For what’s comin’ to me comin’ to me yeah
I just wanna be prepared hmm
Oh
I just wanna be prepared

I just wanna be, I just wanna be prepared
Prepared
I just wanna be, I just wanna be prepared
Prepared
I just wanna be, I just wanna be prepared
Prepared

Let’s Wait Awhile

NOTE TO SELF:

Patience is a virtue indeed. Take the time to slow down, even stop for rest and reflection. Life is about balance. Being successful requires both persistence and determination but it also requires self-care. Your mental health is of utmost importance. You can only advise, inspire and support others when you are at full capacity mentally. Do not worry about your speed or pace. One day at a time leads to months of growth and eventually years of accomplishments.

I want to be free. This may sound silly to some, perhaps even idealistic but I want to move forward into the life I am destined to live. As I look within, there are many areas that need work. This journey is a process and it is not easy by any means. But, I GOT THIS. I’m never giving up or quitting on myself. Even when I shed tears and feel down, I have to remember that I am loved and there is so much in store for the future. It is so easy to get distracted by social media, material things, celebrity news and end up in comparisons about your own life and success. I choose to live in gratitude. It’s the only way I know how to survive and thrive. I have come a long way and it is honestly just the beginning. I am preparing myself to look forward to the rest of my story.

You Got This

I forgive myself and I release all the things that do not serve me now. One of the most difficult things to do in this lifetime for sure, especially considering how complex it can be to set apart things that may feel good but may not be good for you. Having your own voice will become a treasure for you once you realize that it is your right to speak and defend your thoughts. Im sure so many can remember the old saying that children should be seen and not heard. That saying has always rubbed me the wrong way as if no matter what is going on around us, if you are a certain age, it should be kept bottled up inside. Its OK to be you and to say how you feel. Knowing that others may not agree with you is just fine. If you can manage to get across a point in a respectful yet assertive manner, you may often be surprised that you gain more listeners. Having someone tell you they’ve never thought of it in the way you have expressed can be so valuable.

Im still working through “Unlocking The Queen Code” by Moseley Crawford. It is more like a personal workbook and at times, I had to put it down because it brought up intense emotions. I can’t stress enough how important it is to acknowledge any feelings as they come to the surface and process them, by yourself or with a licensed professional. One thing I am learning, even now, is that when you’re in a process of healing, you have to surround yourself with others that are optimistic and encouraging. “There’s hope. Are you a pauper or a superstar? So you act so you feel so you are”..one of my fave lyrics. It is truly based on your perception. You cannot go any further if you are stuck in repeating the same bad habits or behaviors. They feel comfortable but will cause more harm in the long run. Maybe no one has ever told you so, but in order to make progress, you have to be willing to listen to advice from those that you feel may live a successful life or somehow managing to go with the flow with hardly any drama. Seems impossible but it isn’t. I was recently given a book. It is called the W.R.A.P. and in it details instructions that many of us would call basic but very necessary in mental wellness. Simple acts of writing down a daily schedule can make all the difference. I really like how it breaks these tasks down so that you understand how to recognize when you’re having an off day or need to check in with someone else. Now I know you may think Oh ok I know when I’m not feeling good but what do you do about it? How do you handle it so that you can immediately change the course of events or feelings that have you down? We get so caught up in our lives that we have forgotten to truly take a moment to assess our wants and needs.

When you feel like you need to speak up about something that may be bothering you, go right ahead and do so. If you don’t feel like you can verbally express yourself at the moment, I would write it down. I am at a stage in my life where I voice my feelings and express my discomfort when need be. You should never feel ashamed to speak your mind. We , in our own unique ways, have so much to offer and we should never have to shrink ourselves for anyone to feel better. It takes time and a willingness to be uncomfortable in certain conversations but well worth the outcome.

Worthy – India Arie

I know exactly what you’re thinkin’
I’ve had those thoughts a million times
I can see the question that’s behind your eyes, oh
You’re searching for your peace of mind

Now listen up to this truth
You are me and I am you
Every one of us is worthy
Baby girl, worthy woman
Every one of us is worthy

I know your life, I felt your pain
I know your joys and your shames
Sometimes it feels like life walks over you, oh
Like you’re a penny on the ground

But either on the ground or in your purse
The smallest piece still holds its worth
Every one of us is worthy
Baby girl, worthy woman
Every one of us is worthy
Baby girl, worthy woman
Every one of us is worthy

Worthy of love
Worthy of life
Worthy of saying no when something don’t feel right
This is a song for you
For all the ups and downs that life will put you through, oh

Now listen up to this truth
You are me and I am you
Every one of us is worthy, yeah
Baby girl, worthy woman
Every one of us is worthy
Baby girl, worthy woman
Every one of us is worthy

Baby girl, worthy woman
(Every one of us is worthy)
Every one of us is worthy
Baby girl, worthy woman
(Every one of us is worthy)
Every one of us is worthy
Every one of us is worthy
Every one of us is worthy

The Garden – Rush

In this one of many possible worlds, all for the best, or some bizarre test?
It is what it is – and whatever
Time is still the infinite jest

The arrow flies when you dream, the hours tick away – the cells tick away
The Watchmaker keeps to his schemes
The hours tick away – they tick away

The measure of a life is a measure of love and respect
So hard to earn, so easily burned
In the fullness of time
A garden to nurture and protect

In the rise and the set of the sun
‘Til the stars go spinning – spinning ’round the night
It is what it is – and forever
Each moment a memory in flight

The arrow flies while you breathe, the hours tick away – the cells tick away
The Watchmaker has time up his sleeve
The hours tick away – they tick away

The treasure of a life is a measure of love and respect
The way you live, the gifts that you give
In the fullness of time
It’s the only return that you expect

The future disappears into memory
With only a moment between
Forever dwells in that moment
Hope is what remains to be seen

Songwriters: GEDDY LEE, ALEX LIFESON, NEIL ELWOOD PEART
© Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, OLE MEDIA MANAGEMENT LP

Perspective

I want to share this special message with you in the hope that it will help you on the days that are not going your way. ..

Today was the absolute worst day ever
And don’t try to convince me that
There’s something good in every day
Because, when you take a closer look,
This world is a pretty evil place.
Even if
Some goodness does shine through once in a while
Satisfaction and happiness don’t last.
And it’s not true that
It’s all in the mind and heart
Because
True happiness can be attained
Only if one’s surroundings are good
It’s not true that good exists
I’m sure you can agree that
The reality
Creates
My attitude
It’s all beyond my control
And you’ll never in a million years hear me say
Today was a very good day

Now read it from bottom to top!