Inspiration…

I’ve been reading a lot, the words of Mother Teresa, who was always on a mission to help others, teaching us that there is more to life than merely ourselves. Today I share with you a few words of inspiration from her… words which I believe give hope to those in despair and encourage us to LIVE!

“Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.

Life is beauty, admire it.

Life is a dream, realize it.

Life is a challenge, meet it.

Life is a duty, complete it.

Life is a game, play it.

Life is a promise, fulfill it.

Life is sorrow, overcome it.

Life is a song, sing it.

Life is a struggle, accept it.

Life is a tragedy, confront it.

Life is an adventure, dare it.

Life is luck, make it.

Life is too precious, do not destroy it.

Life is life, fight for it.”

– Mother Teresa

Days 18, 19 & 20 – Family, Friends & Life

This is perhaps my final post in the 40 Days of Awesomeness… yes, I’m  only half-way through, however it all seems so shallow to me now, and recent events have shown me, that there is truly so much more to ‘Living & Loving Life’ than tooting my own horn, impressing upon people how great I think I am.

This post is really about things that make us ALL awesome…

FAMILY

I don’t know what I would do without my family. They have been there, supportive, encouraging… whether they agree with my choices or not, whether I’ve made good decisions or not, whether I’ve been successful or not. I give thanks every day for my parents, for my sisters, and for my aunts, uncles, cousins and extended family.

There is a little bit of each of them in me… and THAT is  what truly makes me awesome.

FRIENDS

My friends may as well be classified as my family… because they too have influenced who I am, and have been supportive of me in everything I’ve done – every smile, every laugh, every tear, every disappointment, every broken heart, every success… every experience. And to them, too, I am grateful. They are, as the saying goes, the family I choose.

LIFE

And lastly, I am awesome because I have life. Too easily we forget that this is our greatest gift… and too easily we take it for granted, only realising its importance, its awesomeness, its worth, when misfortune hits others.

This blog post is dedicated to my dear brother, Dave Marks. In the 12+ years I’ve known him, I’ve never seen him upset, angry or sad. He was in my opinion the epitome of happiness… of Living your Life. Always smiling, you could hear his laugh from a mile away… I can still hear it now.

Definitely a young, ambitious, good-natured, pure-hearted soul… gone too soon.

I pray for his parents, his family, his friends… who I know are all distraught by his passing. A special shout-out to my other brothers – Gav, Jabari, Boomsie, Dougie, Heath – be strong and remember the good times… for it is in those memories that his spirit remains with us…

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

photo: Dwayne Watkins

Season’s Greetings to you all!!! And a wonderfully merry Christmas!

God is good. I’ve been blessed with wonderful friends, a family full of personality, and good health – what more could I ask for?

Last night we had our annual Christmas dinner at my mum’s house, with family and friends who are family… I wish that I could invite you all to experience it! We do a potluck dinner… about 30 of us gather on Christmas Eve to eat, exchange gifts and be merry.Ma belly still full!

There was SOOOOOOOO much food, laughter, story sharing… we’re actually a pretty wild bunch!

I’m usually a Scrooge at this time of year… not quite sure why. But, it’s like I’ve had a revelation and I feel for once this season of ‘giving’ has shown me all the things in my life that I am thankful for….

I’m thankful for my parents, who though separated for the past 20 years, still ‘live good’ and can enjoy each other’s company and do nice things for each other. And, they’ve never denied me anything I’ve needed for the past 30 years.

I’m thankful for my sisters. We knock heads often, vex wid each other, malice each other, chat each other, but we always make up… ALWAYS! And no matter what, I know they have my back, and I have theirs. THEY are my biggest supporters.

I’m thankful that I was able to leave work early to make it to dinner with my family on Christmas Eve. Every year I swear that I don’t want to go… that everything seems so hypocritical… but I really enjoy being around them all – we’re all so loud and obnoxious… BUT we’re interesting, and can hold an audience 😀 LOL!

I’m thankful for my friends, who always seem to know what it is that I need before I do… thank you Kim & JD, and Kat for the gifts… They are REALLY what I wanted!

I’m thankful for life… life in general, and MY life. There have been a few moments of weakness, where I’ve felt sorry for myself, and questioned my purpose. But thanks to those who I’ve mentioned above, I know why I’m here. Thank you for reminding me every day (though you may not know it). Again I’ll say, God is good!

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY!!!

Nuff Love! 🙂

PS – SO glad dinner was last night…now I can go eat at all y’alls dinners today!!!! Wooohooooo!!!

Mamachel & her Mama…

The month of October has reached its 18th day, and I can’t believe I’ve not yet written anything about Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

In June 2001, one of my very favourite aunts discovered a lump in one of her breasts. You never realise how serious something like cancer is until you’re directly faced with it, whether personally or through family. Well, I just happened to be in New York at the time staying with her, when she informed me that she was going to do a mastectomy. She made it seem like it was a routine thing to do… and she’d be in and out of the hospital in no time.

Surgery day came and I accompanied her mother to the hospital to check her in and get her settled. A couple days later we visited again and all was well; she was to return home the following day. To be honest, this was not how I had envisioned spending my New York vacation – cooking, taking care of my grand-aunt, frequent visits to the hospital to carry various items that my aunt needed… but you know, family is family.

When she finally got home she was a little sore, but moved around easy enough. Could I now ‘touch the road’ and have fun?

One morning at about 6am is when the bleeding began…

I don’t remember if it was the stitches/sutures that had opened, but something was definitely wrong! She was hot and cold at the same time… she was shaking – I called an ambulance and got a neighbour to stay with my grand-aunt. It was the first time I was ever going into an ambulance… worse in New York! And, for the first time ever in my adult life, I was scared.

I wanted to cry, but couldn’t. I wanted to scream but didn’t. I just knew I had to act swiftly, get her to the hospital, because I honestly thought she was going to die.

Perhaps you’re wondering where my story is going, how it’s going to end.

Today, my aunt is in good health – alive and well. She sees what I’m up to via Facebook, which she’s just discovered. We talk, we laugh, we reminisce – she’s even coming to Lizzy’s wedding in April (which she’s really excited about).

My point is this… she’s one of the people, one of the women who made it – who have survived breast cancer.

Maybe she was afraid of dying, maybe she didn’t want me to worry. But never did she give up or lose her faith. The surgery, the scares, the radiation treatments, the NUMEROUS meds – I’ve never seen such courage or strength in a woman!

My friend Mamachel’s blog this month is dedicated to her mum… who didn’t make it.

I feel that facing breast cancer  (in whichever way) is a tremendously brave act – whether writing about it, talking about it, living it, surviving it… and I completely support her efforts to bring awareness to the disease. She can’t bring her mother back, but she has memories that can never be erased…

From fitness and meal plans, to doing your routine breast exams… Show your support by checking out her ‘madventures’ in Physically Fit-ish at http://mamachel.wordpress.com/

That’s it.

Every day giving thanks…

3.0

I’m DEFINITELY living and loving life this week. After celebrating my birthday on Wednesday, I think it’s safe to say that I am loved 🙂

The outpouring of greetings, gifts, hugs, smiles, EVERYTHING has been truly overwhelming, not to mention emotional.

It has been an honour, having all of you in my life and it is because of you (no matter how small your role may be) my life is so wonderful!

I am truly thankful – for family, friends, friends who are family… AND Twitter and Facebook!  LOL Big up unu self!! You all keep me sane, while still allowing me room to be my ‘creatively ingenious’ self (read: wild and crazy; insane).

This year marks 3.0 decades of awesomness, and I’m happy – honestly happy. I’ve learnt tons about love and life; trust and friendship – yet, I know there’s still a LOT more to learn.

So… while I continue to celebrate, I hope you all will reflect on your lives as well, making note of how good life is, despite minor setbacks.

Give thanks…

Salut! Here’s to 3.0 more…