Welcome to Day 15 of #TheLoveLetterProject Writing Challenge created by Marie of The Notion Of Love! If you’re just joining me, you can catch up on the rules here!

Day 15

To Your My Mother

Dear Mommy,

By far the strongest woman in my life.

I still remember the night you sat my little brother and I down to explain why Daddy wouldn’t be coming home. First and third graders hearing wailing cushioned by the sobs of those surrounding you…surrounding us.

And this time the cruelest of Brooklyn streets were not to blame.

Heart failure bending his 34 year old 6′ 5″ frame.

It was at that moment our lives would never be the same.

Daddy; a true gentleman’s King on earth.

Our loss. They say Heaven’s gain.

I love and respect you so much Mommy.

Your unwavering fortitude and class is why I carry with me every story you’ve told and example you demonstrated before our then impressionable eyes.

I remember you working full time and finishing your college degree full time at night. Though I rehearsed the romantic stories you told of Daddy surprising you on your college campus; as an adult I now understand you put your life on hold for the dreams of others.

I remember you coming home exhausted to two teens blaring music, dishes in the sink and occasionally mediocre grades. I can hear your voice booming from the core of your chest, “If I can work full time, go to school full time and be on the Dean’s List; you have no excuse!! All you have to do is keep your room clean and give me good grades!!”

Mommy you always carried yourself like a such lady. The wisdom that you exercised, positive words and blessings you constantly speak over my life; give me life.

What you’ve sacrificed to give – forever stays with me.

I remember you saying there are things I just won’t understand until I get older or until I’m married or until I have children.

Mommy you were so right.

And I’m so glad God chose you to house our potential.

Thank you Mommy…to infinity.

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

IG | @authenticiteespeaks

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Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018. 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 speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Photo Credits: Ericka Arthur – Mommy Daughter Selfie. No copyright infringement intended.


Season 1 Episode 6 | Finale
Episode Description


Welcome to the “Inspiration With E” Radio Show with Ericka Arthur! “Inspired to inspire and healed to do the same”, is the self proclamation that fuels “E”. Each show she strives to encourage others while sharing different genres of great music, interviewing amazing guests and raising awareness about matters close to her heart! During this Season Finale “Ladies Night” episode, “E” along with Guest Co-Host Kamilah Cyree interview singer/songwriter and single adoptive parent; Tasha Montfort, writer/journalist Imade Nigobun as she discusses her in-progress book “Depressed While Black” and Forbes.com featured brand strategist; Crystal Z. Perry. Presented by: GRINDHARD RADIO

 
Thank you for your support! Please feel free to comment, like on Facebook and share!

REPLAY: iTunes Podcast, BlogTalk Radio, Stitcher, TuneIn. SEARCH “GrindHard Radio” then “Inspiration With E”!

Blessings!💫e of @authenticiteespeaks
Host of the Inspiration With E Radio Show

IG | FB @InspirationWithE

Twitter | @EAInspiration

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

IG | @authenticiteespeaks

Twitter | @authenticitee

Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017 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 speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. 

Photo Credits are property of original owners. No copyright infringement intended.

Sharing is Caring!


As one who bores very easily, I love a challenge. I love…different. Ramel Steede is just that and his pen does more than sustain my interest. As a matter of fact if we listen closely, we can hear his heart.

One of my favorite pieces:

And then there was our first dance…

In his own words…

A native of Brooklyn, NY Ramel Steede became a lover of expression at a very young age. Ever active and sometimes awry he spent his early years with his mother, siblings and grandparents in small town Florida, while spending his summers in Brooklyn where he was born. This made for a great mix of northern exposure and southern hospitality.

Even as a child he enjoyed music, movies and the arts.

After college Ramel spent a few years in Stuttgart, Germany working for an American based technological company. He became fluent in German and traveled through much of central Europe, including Denmark, Italy, France and Spain. He later fathered a child, his only daughter, Qiana, who is American born, yet shares citizenship with France.

He continued to travel globally for many years while working. He found inspiration in every opportunity, before finding other employment in 2007.

A life long lover of reading, writing poetry, rhythm and rhyme. He is very close to his daughter, family, and a small circle of friends. Ramel also has a passion for martial arts. He holds belts in various disciplines and is studying to be a Tae Kwon Do instructor.

He currently resides in central Florida.

Honored he would share two of his favorite pieces…

e Speaks…

Thank you for joining us here at http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com and stopping by the #WriterCrushWednesday series Ramel!!

SUPPORT RAMEL ON LINE!

@pensandpavement (Instagram)

https://m.facebook.com/ramel.steede.9 (Facebook)

Purchase his book here!



Poetry, bio and photos included in this piece are the exclusive property of Ramel Steede. No copyright infringement intended.

*CLICK BELOW TO SHARE THIS ON SOCIAL MEDIA & VIA EMAIL! ENCOURAGE ANOTHER TODAY!! BE SURE TO SCROLL DOWN BELOW TO SUBSCRIBE!!*

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

IG | @authenticiteespeaks

Twitter | @authenticitee

Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017. 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 speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Shynon Barnayha

I am a mother of 3 children; 2 boys and a daughter. In 2007 I was diagnosed with epilepsy. I never wanted to believe it. I was trying to figure out how this happened. I had never had a seizure as a child. My family doesn’t have any signs of having seizures. I called my heart out and I remember looking at my kids thinking I’m going to die before they are even grown up. I was depressed and a million thoughts were running in my head. I was trying to reflect “Why me and how?”

Then I remembered my ex-husband (kid’s dad). He and I were always fighting. He was very abusive; verbally, emotionally, physically; an alcoholic and on drugs. When I had my major first seizure, it was on my birthday. I remember riding in an ambulance dripping in blood and my face burning. When I was able to check my face, I looked in the mirror once I had arrived to the hospital. It was burnt up on one side of my face from scraping against the carpet, blood everywhere, couches, puddles of blood on the floor. It had taken me 3-6 months to heal from all the injuries. I knew my face and my life would never be the same again. I couldn’t help but feel ugly and useless. My kids wouldn’t see me raise them.

Living with epilepsy has only made me get stronger and gain strength. I had learned to stop feeling sorry for the mistakes I had made when it came to my past. I had to learn how to concentrate on my future. I hated feeling like I wasn’t going to accomplish what I wanted to do within my life. All I had pictured my whole life was having a strong family, actually getting married to someone that will NOT abuse me or my children. I wanted to live in peace and happiness.

I have to thank my family and friends who have supported me in making sure that I don’t let this get me down and that I still grow as a person; by telling me that I will always have their support. To my kids Pharrel, Asiah and Jarell, they had supported me through thick and thin. They had seen me have epileptic seizures and they took care of me. I love my children for that. I thank God every day that I am still alive.

 

Contact Information:

Email: barnayhashynon1984@gmail.com

 

*November is Epilepsy Awareness Month. For more information visit: http://www.epilepsy.com/make-difference/get-involved/national-epilepsy-awareness-month

**October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. For 24/7 help & more information visit: http://www.thehotline.org/

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016 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 speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

IG | @authenticiteespeaks

Twitter | @authenticitee

Remember YOU MATTER!

Photo Credit: Shynon Barnayha. No copyright infringement intended.


If you’re not familiar with the Oprah Winfrey Network reality show Raising Whitley (Actress Kym Whitley pictured above with son Joshua), here’s a brief synopsis according to ^an online source:

Raising Whitley chronicles the daily life of actress-comedian Kym Whitley and her group of friends—whom she refers to as “The Village”—as they raise baby Joshua, the child that Kym unexpectedly gained custody of.”


I’d always been a fan of Kym Whitley’s work. She was pretty, donning deep dimples and a million dollar smile. As a comedic actress who just happened to be plus sized, she seemed warm and relatable. I knew nothing of her personal life until the story broke about her becoming a single mom overnight. I found it fascinating and quite commendable. I had no idea that one of my best friends would find herself in those same shoes! Hers is an untold story of thousands all over the world; without the cameras rolling.

This post is dedicated to my beautiful, sho nuff, Ride or Die Sistah Friend, Singer/Songwriter Tasha M. whose life became a real life Raising Whitley saga overnight.

Here’s Part 1 of her story in her own words…

TASHA SPEAKS


MAY 15th 2013…my world changed.

That sounds so dramatic, but it did. At the time I didn’t know that my life would never be the same again. My phone rang around 10:00pm and I was already settled in for the night. Mom called and said my brother had a domestic dispute with his girlfriend and the police were called. Ok. (What else is new?) Well, my niece was somehow hurt and if a relative didn’t come to get her, she would be placed in a group home or temporary foster home. So I went and got her.

I had to wait, she was being questioned. Then I had to be questioned. Finally, 2 hours later we were in my car and on our way back to my 1 bedroom apartment.
I thought, “This will blow over in a couple days”. I was so wrong.
There was a steady stream of calls and visits from social workers and the District Attorney. One week turned into two years and counting.

What?!!? No you don’t understand, not me. Out of all my friends, I am the least motherly.
I have said since the age of about 15 yrs old, that I don’t want the husband and kid life. I truly loved my freedom. Now, I’m a mom overnight. Looking for childcare, staying up late when she’s sick, doctor’s appointments, child friendly restaurants, censored conversations with friends, and animated movies. SMH!

You see, my brother was supposed to take some time and get his life together enough to raise his daughter. *Malisa’s mom left her when she left my brother years ago. He seemed like he was going to make that change, but when he saw how Malisa was flourishing in my care, he stopped trying. She had never gone to school before, she needed glasses, and her motor skills were underdeveloped. My niece, at 5 years old, did not know her colors, shapes, letters, numbers, or anything a child her age should know. However, she knew all about Kevin Hart and all the latest raunchy dances you’d never want a little girl to do. I felt totally unprepared and overwhelmed with all these challenges.

With all of this going on, my family and friends rallied around us. I had a great support system. It was just so rough, but I decided she needs me to do this. There was nobody else able or willing to step in. I couldn’t see my family left with strangers. At the same time, I just wanted my freedom again. I know that sounds so selfish. It’s how I felt. Even though the therapists and social workers kept telling me I had a choice…I didn’t see it like that.

Anyhow, here we are two years later and things are starting to even out. Not because, her parents have stepped up. Not because the situation has gotten any easier. But Malisa and I have come to an understanding. We have each other now. As much as she needed me, I need her just as much. Oh don’t get me wrong, I haven’t changed my mind about marriage and kids. She has taught me lessons about life that I don’t think I could’ve learned had she not dropped into my life.

Funny, so many people who know me and the situation, tell me how honorable and brave I am for doing what a lot of people would not do. Now I see how brave the both of us are! She has decided to trust me with her life and care, when her own parents wouldn’t do it. I don’t know what I’m doing! I feel a tremendous amount of pressure to make sure she grows up and becomes everything her parents are not, even more…than I am.



++Stay tuned for Part 2 where Tasha takes the time to field a few of my questions!

*Name changed
^https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raising_Whitley

© 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: zap2it.com and Tasha M.