From Whence Cometh My Help…


I don’t know why I thought of my grandmother MaryBelle this morning, but her face popped up in my head when I awakened to start my day. I am up at 6:30 am each morning now that my first-born is in middle school and the bus arrives at 7:15am. I am not a morning person, but I’m glad that he is, because he is up, dressed, fed and on the bus in 40 minutes! I hate getting up so early, but it does give me some quite time for myself before my little firecracker of a kindergartner awakens. These past few days my little one has been sick with some type of stomach virus, and even though she’s the one who’s ill, after a few days it tends to take a physical and emotional toll on me. With no parents or grandparents to turn to, I start to feel so alone doing this all by myself. My ex chooses not to help me since he supports financially, so that door is closed. And though my friends are so kind and helpful, you really can’t ask a friend to sit around and clean up your child’s vomit all day while you run off to work. Sometimes when you’re sick, you just want your mommy. I know the feeling. The really difficult part of being an entrepreneur is that your clients are but only so understanding when you’re unavailable day after day and there’s no one else to replace you. I don’t get much sleep, I’m doing way more laundry than normal and it’s tough trying to juggle work and a sick child, while still recovering from a mild concussion myself. After the day is done, I sit down in exhaustion and look around, and there’s no one else there, and it’s tough not to have a pity party.

So I guess my grandmother (we called her Mom-Mom) showed up to help and to keep me from partying alone. I made it to Whole Foods yesterday to buy an Organic, whole chicken to make home-made chicken noodle soup. Now, this is something I’ve never done, so why I even embraced the idea is beyond me. Must have been Mom-Mom in my ear. After my daughter left her lunch on the floor of the supermarket and we headed (quickly)  for the cash register, I went home to start my project. And yes, I did tell someone there was a cleanup in aisle four! 🙂

For some reason once I started cooking at the stove I turned into someone I didn’t recognize. Now I must say I think I am a great cook, but there are still some old southern recipes that I haven’t yet mastered, and home-made chicken soup is one of them! The chicken smelled so good and as I put away some of it to freeze and use later, the thought came to me to leave some in the pot to make gravy  and serve it over biscuits and rice.  I then reached for the yams I just purchased, put them in a pot and started making my list of herbs and other items I needed and added a bag of  black-eyed peas to the list of things I would make for dinner.

It was as if I were channeling my ancestors and that they had taken over my thoughts and were helping me to take care of my daughter and to remind me once again that they are around. I had to smile and think that if anyone would show up to give me a cooking lesson it would be her. Mom-Mom was the one who showed my mother around a kitchen when Mom was a new bride and soon to be mom at the young age of 19. Mom-Mom was such a small, quiet woman of few words, and I miss her. I used to wash and braid her silvery hair until she left this plane, and I always enjoyed our girl talks and moments alone. She gave me such full seeds of wisdom and was the most compassionate woman I knew. And I’m thankful she’s still around sharing her wisdom. I am still exhausted, still wishing for Supernanny to come do my laundry and wash my dishes, but when I put the chicken soup, candied yams, biscuits and gravy and black-eyed peas on the table for my family to eat, I will smile and know from whence cometh my help. Thanks Mom-Mom.

Do you ever feel your ancestors near?

Just a Little Thank You Note… Original Poetry 5/3/84

 Just a Little Thank You Note….

 [Warning that this was written after my first heartbreak in college, so it is expressing those raw emotions….. ]

I just wanted to

thank you

for the sweet pain of a first love affair

thank you

for the soft melodies that made me forget

that we had no protection

if these three months hadn’t happened,

there would be no Miles, no Klugh, no Spyro Gyra

no Marsalis, no Brubeck, no Franks, no ‘BGO

without this final semester of false lovin’

there would be no jazz

no duets in the shower

no passion at5am

no nights alone

no “real” thing, no “you mean more than”

no “IDO care”

no “sorry but I won’t be home tonight…”


other woman

no heartache, no confusion, no hurt

no faked emotions, no hate, no frustration



no cold, empty nights, no lonely mornings, no sympathy

no apathy, no excuses, no wounded egos, no memories


so thank you

for the missed classes

and for teaching me how to scurry across campus at 1AM

to fulfill your needs and to find my own

thank  you for the use of your towels, your soap, your q-tips, your cocoa butter, your washcloth, your shirts, your stereo, your typewriter

thank  you for using me

for losing me

in your arms, in your kisses and in your thoughts

for losing track of my existence

for having no brain of your own

for loving and leaving me for your best friend’s girlfriends’ girlfriend

for forgetting about our ‘something real’

for the lies

for cutting all ties

sooooo graciously

for not being MAN enough to tell me about her

for making me realize that some men have no right to my loving

and are only out to please


for letting me see the reality of a relationship with a basketball player

who snorts, tokes, drinks, brags boasts and


but really



for the strength to start over again

and to take the time out to love someone WORTH  loving…


Original writing:  5/3/84

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