*ROMANCE Q & A*| MARRIED TO A MAN IN PRISON | EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW | FINAL SEGMENT

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Click Here For Part 2

How do you end a book that’s still being written? You don’t. You simply turn the page. Turn the page with me as *Dear Him and *Dear Her of Married Behind the Glass Wall, graciously yet scrupulously open the floor for dialogue! Here’s their responses to a few of your finely tuned inquires below…

What do you admire most about your spouse?

Dear Her: His Joy in the LORD and his freedom that he walks in; he does not have an incarcerated mind. His smile (that is encased with deep dimples omgosh). His touch, yes his hands are wonderful (Lawd have mercy,his amazing touch), his hugs are oooh wee good and safe!

Dear Him: The fact that she is sold out for Jesus, the way she treats people (even other than myself), her tenacity, touch, and BAM!!! That walk!!!


How do you handle disagreements?

Dear Her: Just like the typical married couple. We talk, we pray…I get mad (yes I do, I have even slammed a phone down). But he stayed calm and reminded me that I was not his girlfriend, I was his wife and he was my husband. When this reminder came I regained my composure. Oh yes we do get the chance to make up too (the best part).

Dear Him: I try to keep our goals as a couple in mind, respecting her feelings and point of view. I try to be assertive and pragmatic and listen to what’s being told to me and not necessarily what’s being said to me. I have to keep in mind that men that she has dealt with in the past, have possibly had ulterior motives (read self-serving) which makes her have knee jerk defensive reactions. So I try to do my best to ground and remind her (and myself) of our purpose, goals and that even though we may have a different perspective we are both striving for the best for our team. Outside of that, I say “Yes dear” and then walk it out.


Though your situation is not uncommon, it is untraditional. Would you recommend this path to others?

Dear Her: I recommend to follow whatever the LORD is leading you to do in Jesus Name! Marriage for man and woman has always been traditional. I read a story about a couple who got married in a garden years ago (hint: the book of Genesis) and guess what? The only person that we heard attended was God. So perhaps our location was nontraditional but honey our marriage is more traditional than most these days.

Dear Him: I would recommend that you don’t have any preconceptions as to how God will work in your life.
 As a result of your not being able to express your love physically, how would you describe intimacy and how do you attain it?

Dear Her: I am sure y’all want the scoop but in an effort to guard our marriage (as we all should be doing) I will leave HOW we do this for our knowledge only (sorry you’re not invited to this area). I will say this; couples who KNOW how to express their love understand that true intimacy NEVER starts physically. I will leave it at that and hope that it will encourage readers to study this subject to find out what TRUE intimacy and physical expressions are. With this understanding your physical can be off the chain!! (An excellent book to read is – Song of Solomon)

Dear Him: I believe intimacy is something that you achieve before you attempt to relate on a physical level. See so many people go from relationship to relationship and in this they lose themselves. They can’t share on that intimate level until they take the time to know themselves. Once this occurs your intimacy will have substance and it will be effective (this brings out the intimacy in a natural way not forced).

Upon being released, there will be several “firsts” that await both of you. What do you most look forward to? What are you most apprehensive about?

Dear Her: I look forward to no interruptions in our shared time. I am most apprehensive about wearing the right outfit during our “praise and worship session” so he does not ruin it trying to get to me! (oops was that too much? It’s just real talk).

Dear Him: I look most to the time we have to talk and share without the rules and regulations. Time to be intimate together, in regards to sharing the same time and space, No, not necessarily doing the first thing that crosses everyone’s mind, because there is no rush. Some things just can’t be rushed, i.e. a fine dining experience, good Merlot, and an honest lovemaking session. I would be apprehensive about not savoring every moment of our intimacy, and not allowing me to blow her mind so she can see herself, love, and sexual expression in a new light, giving her a refreshing perspective.


Have either of you been married before?


Dear Her
: Nope

Dear Him
: No


Do either of you have children? If so, how are they handling your marriage?


Dear Her
: Yes we have children, they handle it well. The marriage is not the challenge, they are ready for him to be home and they enjoy his qualities just as I do.

Dear Him: My wife answered perfectly.

How do you keep the romance alive?


Dear Her
: Always surprising each other with something; he is VERY creative in all situations.

Dear Him: I think romance and a happy marriage are inseparable. If you love someone you want them to feel it, when you are a considerate person, spouse, and lover, you are going to want to give. So I give to her as much as I can even in this temporary circumstance. Now if you are stuck thinking that what you have going on between your legs are the end all and be all of a romance, then you are always going to be lacking. So you need to see your spouse as an instrument and pay close attention so that you will understand the music that they are making. Its a beautiful thing. These are just a few of the little ways that I show her that she is love and desired.

 

What does your support network look like?


Dear Her
: It has been built over time as people have realized that this is real. But its not a very big circle which is not a bad thing either. Our church has always supported us. Our true friends stood out during this time, you can tell because they are the ones still standing with us! I am glad for the shaking up because it reveals who really has your best interest in mind. The praying folks are the best supportive network we could ever ask for!!!

Dear Him: My wife jockeyed that answer, thank you baby well said.


How does your faith play a role in marriage?


Dear Her
: HUGE!!! Can’t do marriage without my trust in the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. If you are free or locked up…gotta have faith no matter what.

Dear Him
: This is probably my favorite question thus far because without Christ, there would not be us (for real). I want to give HIM all the praise right now!!! Thank you Father!!!!!


Do you plan to have a wedding ceremony upon release?

Dear Her: Yes we are planning it.

Dear Him: Yes.


How have you changed or perhaps grown as a person since being married?


Dear Her
: I have grown deeper in my faith and I “see” people now for who they are by looking at what they do not just what they say.


Dear Him
: Wow, I have learned how to listen better without defense. I can see how I have become more compassionate, empathic, and patient. I can honesty say marriage is NOT FOR BOYS. This is a grown mans lane. Believe you…me…wifey will remind me (If I happen to forget).


Did the type of infraction Dear Him was convicted for play a role in your decision to marry him?

Dear Her: No, I married him for similar reasons people get married for (prayed about it, loved him, wanted to spend my life with him).


Was there correspondence with other women prior to meeting Dear Her and if so what made her different?

Dear Him: Yes there were two others that I knew before being locked up. We tried for a while but it didn’t work. However after Christ impacted my life I really became so deep in the word that I honestly saw myself following the foot steps of the apostle Paul – no wife. I had been wrung out by the women I had been trying to work things out with. It was like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole situation because see, she (they) were not my wife, so they didn’t work because they didn’t fit.

There is a Bible verse in Joel chapter 2 that speaks of God restoring our years. What comes to mind when you think about the phrase “restoration of years”?

Dear Her: I will let my the head of my home answer this one for us.

Dear Him
: Sacrifice is for purpose!! Wow, many others verses come to mind for cross reference in the terms of struggle and renewal also. There are a few things that come to mind. First it exposes the position of favor. Second, the struggle that we had to endure was to season us so we can travail in our renewal in a more profound way. Finally after the struggle, we are new people with a new dynamic in life.

 

Is there anything else you’d like to share?


Dear Her
: I again turn it to my husband.

Dear Him
: I would like to thank Mrs. Ericka Arthur of authenticitee for the opportunity to share (speak) on not only my struggle but my blessing (marriage). It is my hope that by chance someone reads these words and perhaps find God, sees God in a new light, and or allows God to reveal his Son in a new and abstract way in their lives. I pray that you will read the light (of Christ) in between these words. That you will be renewed, encouraged, and restored. Thank you.


+++ S E L A H+++

e: Whew! (Exhales) Talk about authenticity?! LOVED IT! Honored, humbled and again beyond grateful to have been entrusted with this real life page turner. Thank you Dear Him and Dear Her for exclusively and transparently sharing your story in this space!

Till next time authenticitee family…

Peace,

e


* Dear Him and Dear Her used to protect their identities.

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee, 2015
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Photos submitted by Dear Her.

Photo credits: https://unsplash.com/

http://www.123rf.com

http://www.fotosearch.com/CSP634/k21315170/

  Our Son of Color


I see how you look at me

Out the corner of my eye

Saying I don’t need the makeup

I’m applying…

Well I see how they look at you

Out the corner of my eye

Thinking you don’t belong

Son of Color

They’re  L Y I N G

===~~~===~~~===

When you hold my hand 

Mine’s so small

Yours is almost

A covering 

Not wanting to let go 

I’m left wondering 

How much longer 

I can cover you

From what’s hovering

  
For 9 months I carried your promise;

Your weight, brown skin and loud 

Voice set the earth realm afire

I remember the first time 

You looked up at me 

Latched on for nourishing

You now look to me for answers 

Discerning times are DIRE

===~~~===~~~===

We’d been entrusted with a gift

A responsibility 

A risk

Raising a Black Male in America

Your Father and I

Accept the honor 

===~~~===~~~===

11 yrs and a half now in this thing 

There are times when I 

Reach for your hand

You recoil and find it embarrassing 

My infant’s now a young man

I hold tears back

The mother’s universal language 

That express e v e r y t h i n g

  

  
Honoring your evolving

I try to relinquish my grip

From Prince to soon coming King

You’re transitioning

At times you’re conflicted  

I feel your stare, admiration 

Nuances of dependency coupled with

Respect unwavering

===~~~===~~~===

I wail at the wall for you my Son

When on the news I hear 

Their names called I stand still

Tamir, Mike, Eric, Trayvon

Tywanza, Pastor Daniel

Pastor Clementa and

Growing up Grandma 

Spoke of Emmett Till

  
Assigned to my womb for a reason 

Aware of the vapor we share 

I can’t help but hold you tight

Assigned to your life for a season 

To love, teach, nurture, pray for

And empower you

On this tumultuous journey 

Called life 

===~~~===~~~===

I try to remember my place

As just a vessel chosen to 

Carry your GREAT 

Sometimes weary trusting 

God Our Creator

Me loving you deeply

Him loving you greater

Us introducing you 

To Him by faith

  
  
Son of Color

Never retract 

Continue to march

Hold your head up high

Be humble 

Yet confident

Of your worth

Never question our support 

With you our allegiance lies

Both in Heaven and on Earth

===~~~===~~~===

I’m proud to be your Mother

You’re our only son in this realm

Seize every opportunity to learn

Then every moment, our story to tell 

===~~~===~~~===

Unashamed of our skin, shades, hues

And stories of survival 

Shaping our stature

I recognize the royalty in you

Your father’s namesake 

Our Son of Color

Whose hand I want to always hold

My dream come true

  
Son of Color

You’ve got our permission 

To THRIVE 

With integrity no good thing withhold

Never forget your roots 

Color outside the lines

Honor God

LOVE ALL

Dream Big 

And

By all means

SOAR 

In

BOLD 

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee, 2015

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Photo Credit: Ericka Arthur except 4th photo (Credit:Twitter)

  

 TODAY’S THE DAY


Good things are coming

Hear me when I say

But I will only be in the way

Though I opened my heart and mind 

Hoping you’d remain and ask me to stay

But today’s the day I wave goodbye

~~~~~~~~~~•~~~~~~~~~~

Started to daydream

Even when asleep

Envisioned your arms 

Always comforting me

Did not want to wake

Though alarms would sound

But today’s the day I wave goodbye

~~~~~~~~~~•~~~~~~~~~~

There were things I wanted to hear firsthand

I wanted you to share and celebrate with me

If I didn’t take the time to self learn where you stand

I’d never know I was in the presence of royalty

~~~~~~~~~~•~~~~~~~~~~

Waited my turn to be put in rotation 

Merry go round 

Spinning out of control 

It stings quite a bit  

When I feverishly raise my hand 

And on me 

You refuse to call

~~~~~~~~~~•~~~~~~~~~~

So many things await you I see

But I’m getting lost in the crowd

As though my voice you no longer need

My silence noticed yet unacknowledged 

Your rhythm uninterrupted housing your signature sound

~~~~~~~~~~•~~~~~~~~~~

No need to guess which of one million

Reasons why whatever this is

Must end

I can’t describe the way you made me feel

Strong mental engager

Wise protecter no stranger

Controlled substance 

Embedded residue in my realm 

Sent with an intent to heal

~~~~~~~~~~•~~~~~~~~~~

I cannot compete with

What’s already in place

Permanent fixtures

Landmarks 

Deep roots

You never asked or expected me too

While always encouraging me    

To own OUR truth

~~~~~~~~~~•~~~~~~~~~~

I flatter myself by trying to wait

When all signs point to

Your moving on

I kept hoping you’d come back for me again

But it’s hurting too much 

To be ignored


So today’s the day I wave goodbye





© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee, 2015

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Photo Credit: Ericka Arthur

  

EYES ON LOCK 


Your secret is safe with me

I’m savoring

Your everything

Alert

For what you’re offering

Eyes on lock

Our rhythm increasing

  ~~~•~~~

Click

Turn to the left

Whir

Tilt to the right

Snap

I see your story

Churr

I give it sight

~~~•~~~

AGFA to Brownies

Nikon to Canon

On my radar

Digitally

Demonstrating

Reciprocity

Silence

Empowering

Our

Intimacy

~~~•~~~

Lights

Capturing

Shadows

Vibrantly

In my world

I give liberally

Indulge me

Unselfishly

~~~•~~~

Still

Motion

Mystique

Meets

Expertise

Your unveiled

Exposes

My unveiling

We blend

In strength

Majestically
 

+++Comment to comment Master Photographer Scott Mitchell stirred & inspired me this morning. I’ve great respect for him and his work. I promised him that if his art, which encompasses his wit, words and wonderment on film inspired me, I would cite my source. Please be sure to visit him at http://www.worldiction.com.

Thank me later…

e

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee, 2015

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Photo Credit: Scott Mitchell for http://www.worldiction.com . No copyright infringement intended

Dad, Meet My Husband, Kevin Arthur



I dedicate this Father’s Day piece to my husband of over 17 years, Kevin Arthur.  


Disclaimer


Being married or in a relationship does not always display rose petals on silk sheets and fireworks above huddled hearts. There are times when times are inexplicably tough. Be it external trauma, a security breach or self inflicted damage, the longevity of exclusivity remains under constant threat. In an ideal world, relationship challenges would not impact parenting, but often does. As a strong woman, I’m not a fan of male bashing and I take great issue with generalizations. “All men are this and all men are that.” It pangs me when children are kept from their father and reduced to pawns of leverage when connections of intimacy deteriorate. Don’t blur the issues. He may not be the best husband or mate, but if he’s a great father, don’t keep him from seeing his children. That’s a shred of evil that ought not be.

Discovery

I’ve nominated my husband for every “Super Dad” award you can think of. From church to TV shows, you name it. I seized any and every opportunity there was to sing his praises as a father. Though he has never been selected to win (his never knowing of the nominations) his parenting has remained steadfast. He’s an incredible father who deserves an award. Incredible is not a relative term and awards are not extended to those who govern themselves as they should. It’s when the extraordinary abounds that one becomes a candidate for acknowledgement. In the category of fatherhood, Kevin Arthur shines. 
 
   
Discourse

My husband never had the pleasure of meeting my father. A man of faith and integrity that far exceeded his 6’4″ 1/2 frame; Dad was a Commodities Broker by day and Harlem Renaissance man via Bushwick, Brooklyn NY by night. He was known for his voice. He sang all the time and was often featured in full concert. He loved music. Mom often spoke of one of the saddest days of Dad’s life. It was the day John Coltrane died. “He was in mourning for a week” she said. When Dad died at 34 years old, I was young and my brother was two years younger. There are still moments of mourning decades later.

Newly widowed after being a newlywed for 15 years of marriage… I still remember the day my mother sat my brother and I down to tell us Dad wasn’t coming home from the hospital this time. With children not being permitted to visit patients in ICU, I remember us going to visit my Dad but having to wait outside. Mommy would park the car on the side of the hospital where his room was. Without fail, Dad would carefully come to the window, attached to cords and tubes but determined to faintly wave to my brother and I with each visit. I recall the last time Dad waved from the hospital window; I didn’t know it’d be the last.

Memories. Just as you remember your favorite Holiday present or your first kiss. Memories. Some linger while others hover as clouds. Some days white in clear skies. Others dark on stormy nights. Memories of my Dad always make me smile and if I cry, their tears of joy and wishing he were still here.  



I married a musician…. who I wish could’ve sat down and heard stories firsthand from his father-in-law; a NYC music connoisseur and vocalist. I wish they could’ve spoken face to face about that Miles Davis concert he took Mom to where Miles played with his back to the audience the entire night. Would love to have seen them together on Thanksgiving Day, in deep discussion about the Black Diaspora and day to day life. Just one Thanksgiving. Just one…

But since that’s a sound I will never hear or a series of conversations I will never overhear, I can’t imagine ever robbing our son and daughter of the gift of being fathered by their father should a strain ever foster division. Never…since I so desperately still miss mine.

Don’t blur the issues. 

Dismount

Happy Father’s Day Dad. I’d like you to meet my husband, Kevin Arthur. 


I married a man who loves music, just like you. He’s a musician Dad and a Grammy nominated, Stellar Award winning producer. He plays all styles of music just as you sang and taught me to embrace all genres. I wish you could’ve met him. He asked Mommy, Grandma, Pop Pop and my brother, your only son, for my hand in marriage. Though my brother walked me down the aisle on our wedding day, and I’m grateful that he did, I always thought it’d be you.

Barren for the first 4 years of our marriage, it was amazing to not only witness Psalm 113:9 unfold before my eyes but my husband’s fatherly instincts as well. You would’ve been proud Dad.
Though he works primarily nights and weekends as a full time musician, Kevin is an invaluable and ceaseless presence in our home. Regardless of how little sleep he may have gotten the night before, he consistently leads us in family devotion before he walks the kids to the bus stop. He covers us in prayer before he leaves for every gig no matter our marital climate. There were times when he had to travel for work, just like you Dad. No matter the time zone, he would use this feature called FaceTime to wake the kids up for school and/or pray with us before we turned in for the night.


Happy Father’s Day Husband. Though you never got to meet my first Hero, thank you for being an outstanding father and Hero to your only children and his only grandchildren.

You may not ever be recognized publicly in the manner that I’ve envisioned but rest assured in knowing, your seed and I see you.

 Thank you Kevin Arthur. Father of the Year to us…every year.

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee, 2015
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Photo Credit Ericka Arthur


The conversation continues. 


Picking up where we left off with my friend Scott Rolfe. In this second and final segment, he speaks candidly about life with Cerebral Palsy.

Click Here for Part 1

Let’s talk about your work as a movie producer.

Well I’ve done The Cinema Zone…it’s a short film that I starred in, wrote and executive produced. It’s about a couple who is so stressed out in their relationship and in their life, that the only way they can communicate with themselves and the world is through famous movie lines.

Yes, loved it…very witty! How’d it all come about?

At the time I was writing for a comedy show, The American Film Institute came out with the 100 Greatest Movie Lines Of All Times, so I did a skit for the show, which is the middle scene in the film, ’cause I just wanted to challenge myself. Sometimes writers do what is called restrictive writing, where you just restrict yourself to…something. For example, I’m only going to use imaginary animals in this story or whatever. But for me using 100 movie lines, I figured I come up with something that was comedic yet practical. So when I wrote the scene people liked it so much and someone said, “I bet you could make a short film out of it”, so that’s where I came up with the idea.

How challenging is it to write a short film as opposed to a full length feature script?

A short film can be anywhere from 3 to 30 minutes. Should still have an interesting story, a clear beginning, middle and end. A good feature has all those elements as well, but a good one is very difficult to achieve. They can run from 90 to 120 pages max, a minute a page on screen. To keep the story moving and the characters compelling is quite a challenge. Much less the challenge of selling it! I have also worked on a full length feature before as an actor. It was called ah… “Strange Adventures of Triangle Woman”, which was Bozo the Clown meets the Twilight Zone…and I was The Lurking Man in that. It was fun to do that film!

Wow…(chuckles). So let’s see, you are Director of Development for Athena Pictures. What is it like to develop someone else’s story?

Jennifer Besser runs Athena Pictures. She has much experience on the production side, is an accomplished TV and film actress, a tireless worker and a fun personality. She was also my director on “The Cinema Zone.” She needed help with her scripts. I just use my vast experience in crafting stories to add whatever I think her script needs. I give her notes. She rewrites it. Then, I will write some scenes based on her scene she has written. She has the final say, but she does listen to me. If I object, she will change it. It is her story, but I must make it good enough to where investors have an interest. Feedback on her scripts have been good, she is talking to investors now. So, we will see. That job is not for everyone. Your ego must be put aside and you must be united in your goals. We are, so it works.

Let’s go back to your acting for a minute….


Well, I’m a trained theater actor. I did plays in college. I played Richard III, for example. I love the stage. However, due to my Cerebral Palsy, my left hip is flat, it did not fully develop. I can not stand for long periods anymore. ‘Causes to much stress. It is sad for me.

Can we talk a bit more about that? How else would you say Cerebral Palsy has affected your work as an actor, if at all?

I was with Linda McAlister Talent for 7 years, based on an audition for NBC. She needed someone with Cerebral Palsy in her agency. However, there is no need for my talent. People with disabilities are seldom used in Hollywood. Most of the time they use an actor who acts like they have a disability, unless in a wheelchair. In Hollywood’s defense, the person with the actual disability must be able to act. I have had 2 eye surgeries for astigmatism, known as “lazy eye”. Otherwise, I would have looked like Marty Feldman, IGor, from Mel Brooks Young FrankensteinIt can show up when I am onscreen if I don’t focus. Makes you look really stupid.

Cerebral Palsy walking on film, is different as well. I wobble some, because my balance is off.  Jennifer, my director on The Cinema Zone handled it very well. I intentionally did not write the character of George Cinema in the movie as having a disability. I’m just an actor playing a part. It is Hollywood and society that puts labels on people.

The XMen series is about people with disabilities and accepting them for who they are. They have powers instead of disabilities. Too bad I don’t have a special power! If I can prove I can make money using my skills, Hollywood won’t care. Just give me the opportunity. I will prove myself!

Wow…just fascinating! Honestly, because I can’t say that I ever thought of it that way. What about directing? When noting your accomplishments, I always want to add that to the list. You seem to have a natural ability to develop and cultivate as a leader.

Thanks. I do not see myself as a director right now. I need to focus on what I know how to do well, which is writing and acting. My acting on film needs work, I know that. I love it, but I know I won’t be called on to do it often on film. Writing and producing is where my meat is.

Impressive that humility and wisdom keeps you focused. I really appreciate your going into depth today. You mentioned your desire to help raise awareness about Cerebral Palsy.

Yes.

I didn’t realize that you were born with it Scott. 

Cerebral Palsy happens during the birth process…always. Me? I got tangled coming out of the birth canal. And some oxygen got cut off from my brain because I got wrapped around the umbilical cord. It cut off oxygen to my brain for an undetermined amount of time. So I can say I’m brain-damaged because I am. 70% of the people with my disability cannot speak. They speak in sounds. And mostly what you are born with…sometimes it’s not diagnosed until your two years old. With me they waited till about a year before they officially diagnosed me. You can go through physical therapy.. I had extensive physical therapy as a child at the Cerebral Palsy Center. Usually what you’re born with is the level you’re going to be at all your life. It is not life-threatening in any way. It’s important to educate people on it ’cause most people haven’t heard of it. I hope to use any notoriety I’ll have in the future to get out the message.

Thank you for entrusting authenticitee as a space to help get that message out as well…

Well you’re Ms. Authentic!

LOL! Wow…I so appreciate you sharing Scott. I didn’t realize that 70% of those diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy do not have the ability to speak. Did I hear you correctly?

That is correct. That is the last bit of information that I saw that was available to me..

So ahh…you are a miracle, trailblazing trendsetter on a lot of levels!

Well, they told my parents that I would not be able to hold a job. I wouldn’t be able to function in society. So that was the pronouncement. I was a preemie. I spent about 6 or 7 weeks in an incubator. But yeah…that’s what they told my parents.

Amazing! 

Understand however, when I was 18 I was very angry with the Lord. It’s not unusual to go through with that when you have a disability. Nobody wants a disability. I don’t care what it is…cause the world is so visual. We live in such a visual world that when people see you, they make up their minds about you within 5-7 seconds. When you go to a job interview, they’ve already sized you up if they wanna see you before they ask you a question. They’ve already made that judgment based on your appearance. Because of that, people prejudged me a lot. People put limits on me that I accepted.

Hmmmm (real loud and church like) “People put limits on me that I accepted”, that will preach!

‘Cause it’s what I was told. If you’re told a lie long enough…you believe it.

Hmmm! (Even louder) “If you’re told a lie enough..you believe it!” Sir you speak truth!

And so that’s what society did to me…and I realized after my parents died and I would read things that they wrote…understanding that it was a different time…I could see that those doctor’s words really stuck with them.

I believe our words have power. That being said it’s an area so many of us, including myself could improve in; being aware of how we talk about ourselves. Would you say that your parents, spoke negatively over you by accepting the Dr.’s pronouncement for your life?

No, not in that way. They were the best. Loving, protective. However, they did not tell me I could do anything. I needed to hear that as a child with a disability. My Dad told me when I was 12, “My hope for you is that you become a store manager.” He said it with sympathy in his voice. I got mad and left the room. I had a temper! (Lol). After he died, a friend told me, that he thought I would be a writer. My insecurity held me back! It was the  Devil’s plan. I woke up, Dad! I know he is proud of me!

“My insecurity held me back”…very powerful statement that I can relate to! Can you touch on what it was like having Cerebral Palsy as a youth?

I was just like Forrest Gump. Everybody’s seen Forrest Gump, the kids with the braces on. That was me. I wore leg braces in an attempt to straighten out my legs.

And I know you mentioned once before having to deal with a lot of physical therapy?

Oh yeah…

Is that something that’s still ongoing?

No..I’ve been working out for about 25 years but not in a medical facility. I stopped physical therapy at about age 12. They had just done all that they can do.

The braces came off at about what age?

About age 7. I would wear them to school and the whole bit so imagine being a six-year-old having to deal with all of that. Bullying.

Bullying…

Yeah

An issue not foreign to many a modern day conversation…

Oh yes it’s worse today with social media

Talk to me…

Well I just got into a lot of fights. I was held back a year for my emotional maturity. I was bigger than everybody else so the tides turned…I fought and it’s how I got respect. I remember my third grade teacher, Mr. Alman, he was great. I told him that I couldn’t take it anymore and that I wasn’t handling it well.

In third grade you had enough sense to have that conversation?!

Yes I told him this is not going well. I’m being tormented. I’m getting into fights every day and it’s not working. I remember he told me to go for a walk and he spent that time talking to the class about how they were treating me. It got better, but years of bullying left me very insecure. The Devil kept me in fear. But, I was unaware of it. Just a low grade fear, below the surface. That is how the Devil keeps us from our calling. Everyone has something to overcome in life. People with a disability, you can SEE ours. That is a major difference. Something is “wrong.”

I might add Cerebral Palsy is not inheritable. I have to stress this. I can not pass it on. I lost two women who I cared for because they could not have children with me out of fear. They could not believe me! Do you know how hurtful that was to me as a man? Wake up people!!

Powerful Scott. Just powerful! Thank you so much for your transparency. I believe this going to bless countless lives. I’m praying that it does!

Thank you e…I do too!

++Connect with Scott on Facebook!

Connect with Scott on Stage 32!

Connect with Scott on Twitter

Ticket Info: I’m Always On My Mind

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee, 2015
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Photo Credit: Ericka Arthur

This true story continues when the husband speaks from his side of the glass wall and its unfolding in real time…


Click Here for PART 1 


e Speaks

On the heels of an overwhelming response to Dear Her Speaks, we now get to hear from the heart and mind of Dear Him! In the first segment of this exclusive 3 tiered true story unfolding in real time, we heard from Dear Her. She used an “old friends catching up” approach in sharing the genesis of their relationship. Dear Him on the other hand, has taken a different approach. His signature style is as though he’s in mid conversation, answering questions I’ve not yet asked.

His voice is a passionate, clear response to those who have formed an opinion about their journey to marriage…in ignorance. He continues the dialogue with the photos (credit noted below) he submitted to be included in this segment. They are wonderful original pieces of his art that also speak volumes!

To have him share here at authenticitee, from the other side of the glass wall, in his own words, is priceless. So without further ado, I’ll pass the mic to him…

Dear Him Speaks

Is a vessel that is filled half way with water really half full? Or is it half empty? Or is there possibly a third option that we often overlook? What would that third option be? Let me explain. There have been times in my life where I felt as if my vessel was completely empty. At times I even wished for my vessel to be even a quarter “full” but even as I was going through those times without me even knowing, there were things at work that I could not see. I didn’t even realize that certain things had to take place in order for my vessel to be “filled up”, like accepting Christ as my Savior.

See all the while the cup was already full. Yep, there was air, one of the three atoms that comprise the molecule water. The air that we easily overlook and take for granted, is the same air that fills up the lungs possessed by the people who are assigned by God to help season us, teach us, strengthen us, and yes love us.

This was the conundrum I was going through when I met my wife; learning about the “air” in my vessel. By the way, it trips me out that my wife knew me and had been praying for me long before I was aware she was even alive! Today I realize everything I had been going through was for a purpose. This purpose is also evident by way of the dynamic my wife and I share. This was all in order to build my “wind” up for what God had and has in store for me (us). Things that I never knew that I would need that I could not see at that time.

Realizing through my struggle, that some things you can’t see are going to be the most important aspects of allowing us to appreciate, understand, emerge correctly into the things we eventually will become. I now understand from all of this that our todays’ are a sum total of everything that we did yesterday for today. Our tomorrows are a sum total of what we did today. Now I realize my true answer to the half full/ half empty question…well it has always been overflowing. I just had to accept it.

Yes, I understand, I get it. Our decision to marry can not be understood by many. I’ve come to realize that perhaps it is (hard to COMPREHEND), because this is not THEIR CALLING, IT IS NOT THEIR STRUGGLE! When we first started corresponding did I think, “I am going to marry this woman”, No! I was at the point in my life to where I know I couldn’t have a paramour, girlfriend, fling or any of those things. Really, I was tired of playing the games people play for the sake of “love”, so really it came to the point where there was an attraction to things I COULD NOT SEE OR even hold. Her mind, her drive, how she inspired me to see myself as more than I ever saw myself.

Dear Her gave me a peek through her eyes and for the first time I saw myself in a light that I never had. I felt like it would be a disservice to us, if I allowed this undercurrent to simmer and come to an uncontrollable rolling boil, so that when I returned to the old cycle and I may have lost her. I may be crazy (as my wife sometimes says) but I am not dumb. So when we were in the cat and mouse chase stage, the LAST thing on my mind was what we have evolved into today.

Most people focus on position, or possessions, but the time was just right. The cold part was, I hadn’t even laid eyes on her yet when I knew! No not even a picture! So ladies if you take anything away from this in terms of relationships take these two things to heart: first if the timing is wrong, I don’t care if you have the looks to make the greatest artists cry, it will not work. A man has to have had enough of what boys do and has begun to look for more from himself, more from life, and more from relationships. I don’t care if he is locked up, in the federal reserve, or if he is free as a song bird. This is what it is and you ain’t changing that – nuff said. 2nd, when he has decided he wants more you will know it. There won’t be any “HMMMM” moments. You will know when you are cherished, loved, and wanted. If you don’t you are delusional.

As for Dear Her and I, I feel we have an advantage to a certain degree. See ours is a courtship that I feel will last until the end of time, due to the fact that we have been given an opportunity to really get to know each other from the inside out, in a way that has been dead for generations. Without the bells and whistles that delude us from seeing people for who they are and not what they have. Knowing and growing with my wife in this manner I can honestly say that I enjoy being with and around my wife. The world stops spinning on its axis whenever she is near. I also genuinely LIKE her as well, as a person. Really I should use a word more intense than LIKE, but because its so simple and uncomplicated in its demeanor, its appropriate in regards to how simply we flow together. Really its crazy, sexy, cool. She’s my BABY!!!  I will give her the “world” with the sweep of her hand!

Do I recommend this for everybody? NO, because it is not for everybody! Everyone has their mental picture of what marrying a “Convict” looks like. I can honestly say that I don’t regret any of this nor my incarceration. It has matured me and helped me NOT to take for granted, what a lot of  “free world” men do. As a matter of fact, my wife tells me all of the time I am the freest man she knows, and everyone in her circle that I have spoken to, say the same. It’s never where you are or what you are going through (unless you don’t plan on moving along) but its where you are going.

I do want to address one other thing. Do we ever really know any body to the degree that we should in relationships? Or do we go on faith that people are who they say they are? Dear Her knows me better than I know myself. Especially with her C.I.A skills. And through all of the crazy questions about my crazy past that she asked before we were married, I faired it because I knew she was worth it. And let me tell you I was sometimes embarrassed by my antics and etc even right now I am shaking my head. She is also assured of where my heart stands (physically, mentally and spiritually). God works in so many ways to make us complete.

I have the most beautiful, God fearing, abstract thinking, smart, driven, caring, and compassionate wife in this world. Man watch out now, I have a blessing called Dear Her, it is a blessing to love her and be loved by her. Guess what? I don’t care HOW it came about, she’s mine. So when you ask me if my glass is half empty or half full, you already know it is overflowing , and when I get home shortly, we will share in getting drunk from our glass!

+++Thank you so much to *Dear Him and *Dear Her for granting me this exclusive interview. Tune in to the third and final segment where I got to ask the questions a lot of you may also have.  Much love & thanks for reading!
e

*Used to protect their identity.

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee, 2015
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Photo Credit: ORIGINAL Art by “Dear Him”. Used with permission. No copyright infringement intended

  Left Waiting By The Window

Will there ever be a day 

When the rain 

Doesn’t make me think of you 

How you reigned in my mind

Ruling royally

Making it rain

Every time internally

Essence responding 

Puddles everywhere 

Proof that I wasn’t dreaming 

You were once really here

You left me waiting by the window

At first I was outside

Occasionally glancing up at the sky 

Hiding tear stained cheeks 

From each passerby

Couldn’t let the world know 

What they already knew

They figured as much 

When from the curb 

To the steps 

I moved

To the porch 

To wait for you

Several moments passed 

My make up is smeared 

And the humidity has done 

Something odd to my hair 

I checked my phone and 

Even peeked in the mailbox

Maybe just maybe

You’d left a note in there 

It’s time to go inside

I pretend it is my choice

I check my phone again

Hoping to hear your voice

Even if it was a new excuse 

You thought 

enough of me to call

Even if it was a new lie

I’d take it

A new trick

For me to fall 

You left me waiting by the window

and through it I can see

My neighbor’s gown

Bouquet in hand

Now a Bride

She waves at me

I faintly smile 

She can’t see my tears

Left waiting by the window 

In love I still believe 

I wish her the best 

She’d mistake my tears for joy anyway 

Can’t rain on her parade

Though I hope

She’s not left waiting 

At 

The 

Altar

Today

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee, 2015
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee with appropriate and specific direction to the original content
Photo Credit Unknown. No copyright infringement intended

With Candor, Humor & Transparency Former Parish Pastor Talks Sober Sermons & Faith in GOD…

If only others would testify…loved this.

Blessings,
e

the pickled pastor

One of my biggest problems when I was still drinking—aside from still drinking—was I somehow had myself convinced that I would be totally unable to write without lubrication.  I can remember, a full two years before I gave up alcohol for good, I had managed to stay sober for about 30 days.  I was on medical leave at the time and feeling pretty awful, so my sobriety was more a consequence of circumstance than a choice.  After a few weeks, I was feeling better and planning to return to work.  I will never forget sitting in front of the computer, trying to write a sermon, and staring at the cursor mocking me from the blank page.  The pressure was on.  I had to write something.  And there was only one way I could imagine making that happen.  I went out.  Procured a bottle of Merlot.  And returned to the computer with…

View original post 701 more words

  

It Was Beautiful Because YOU Were There! | #Blogger Ericka Arthur of authenticitee Thanks International Soirée Guests

I had the pleasure of hosting a Meet & Greet last Thursday that was met with incredible warmth and vibrancy! The attendance, food, drinks, games, poolside fun, reblogging and sharing on Social Media were overwhelmingly special!!!! Seriously…A million thanks to ALL!

I wanted to shout out each country represented and encourage everyone to revisit periodically to really soak in the incredible talent that was there! Visit their blog, take a moment to listen to the songs that were playing in their head…introduce yourself!

In a day and age where differences separate and divide human beings, it was refreshing to gather where guests weren’t just tolerated…everyone was recognized, celebrated and appreciated!!

May God bless you and all that concerns you!

Keep in touch and remember YOU MATTER!

e

PS: Be sure to check the Lost and Found on your way out! I came across some very interesting items while straightening up after the party! You’re absolutely free to guess what the items were just make sure your guess is no more than PG-13 LOL!!!

Countries Where The Guests Were Blogging From (In No Particular Order)

United States  
Australia   
Canada   
Singapore   
Philippines   
Malaysia   
Switzerland   
United Arab Emirates   
Antigua and Barbuda  
United Kingdom   
Netherlands    
India 

 
Japan  

  
Norway   
Fiji Islands   
South Africa   
Thailand   

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee, 2015
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Photo Credit: Flags via Wikipedia