Wednesday, January 21, 2015

What I've Learned from Andrae Crouch's Life

I'm watching the homegoing celebration of Andrae Crouch today. My history with Andrae goes back to when I was a child. My mom was a new Christian, and she LOVED his music. We'd listen to him in the car on the eight-track, and I was completely enthralled with it.

One memory that stands out to this day was when Andrae was supposed to be in concert in Shreveport. In the days before GPS and cell phones, we drove around for HOURS looking for the venue. Finally, my mom just gave up and went home. It would be years later before I actually got to see Andrae live and in person. He wasn't performing, but it was so good for me to be in his presence.

Now Pastor Crouch is gone, and I watch this celebration of his life, I'm humbled by the lives he touched all over the world. I'm moved by the way these people are paying tribute not only to his music and ministry, but to his love for Jesus and His people. It's a blessing to see that.

Beyond that, it gives us all a roadmap to follow for our own lives. Humility gets you much further than arrogance ever will. Your gift will make room for you, but it's your character that'll keep you in the room. And you want people to remember not only for what you did, but how you were as a person.

RIP Pastor Crouch. We thank God for allowing you to be a part of our Christian experience,

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Venting...

I'm supposed to be deep in the throes of entertainment news, but I'm in my feelings this evening and I want to vent.

For one, I am so happy with New Boo that I could scream. He's been on vacation since last week, and I've really enjoyed having him around. He goes back to work tomorrow and while it'll free me up to talk to my mom and my friends, I know I'm going to miss him.

We went to the laundromat today. While we were there washing our clothes, a girl came to the door fussing at her lover. We were both taken aback because her loud, brash tone shattered the calm of the place. We looked at each other like, "Dang...really?" We decided to let the clothes do their thing while we shopped around. As we ambled through the aisles, he said to me, "One thing I've learned since being with you is that it's not necessary to be with someone if you're angry all the time."

In case I haven't stressed this enough, both of us came out of awful situations. He doesn't really talk about it much, but I'm getting more and more out of him. Let's just say that I'm as welcome in his life as he is in mine.

I really don't think my friends understand how happy we are. My mom summed up what I think they're feeling a few weeks ago. We were talking about something, and she said, "You're gonna have to let him see the real you one of these days. You know how you like to hang out and stuff." And don't get me wrong -- I'm the quintessential social butterfly. But since we've found each other, my whole outlook on life has changed. I LOVE being with him, and when I'm with other people, I miss him. It's a mess, I know.

So this is where I am today -- in love and happy about it, but wishing I could share it with my friends. Since I can't, I guess you, dear reader, will have to do.

Monday, January 12, 2015

No Settling Allowed

"He must really like you."

Huh?

Some saleswoman came to the door trying to get me to switch cable companies. When I opened the door, the scent of the food New Boo and I were preparing hit her square in the face. She said, "Oh wow, something smells good. What are you making?" I told her we were doing pork chops. She was like, "Are you cooking or your husband?" I said, "We both are." The girl -- she couldn't have been more than 25 -- looked impressed as she said, "He must really like you."

Mind you, she'd called him my husband and I didn't bother to correct her. So in her mind, the man I've chosen to spend the rest of my life with has to really like me for us to be able to cook together.

As I thought about what she'd said, I got sad. What has this child seen that would make her think it was okay to marry a person who didn't like her? Was her life that devoid of love? It bothered me at first, but then I had to consider my life.

When I first got with The Man Formerly Known as the One, I honestly thought he was the best I could do. As a woman of a certain age, I thought that his brand of abuse-infested love was all I could hope for. I figured I'd just find a way to work around it and hold on to the fleeting moments of happiness I could find.

Then New Boo came into my life and changed everything. He made me see that it was possible to love someone and have them love you back. He's shown me the true meaning of reciprocity in relationships, and for that I'll be forever grateful.

Thanks to NB, I now know what it is that I need AND want. And even if we don't work out, I have to be forever indebted to him for the way he's expanded my horizons and made it impossible for me to settle for for foolishness.

If I could speak to that girl again, I'd tell her, "Yes, he does. Don't marry anyone who doesn't like you."

In other words, no settling allowed.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A "Sudden" Slow-Motion Suicide?

"He died suddenly."

That's one of the lines from the obit of The Man Formerly Known as The One. Yes...the guy I dated earlier last year. The guy I left to date New Boo. He passed away Monday night. His sister found him slumped over in their bathroom. The paramedics worked on him for almost an hour, but he was already gone.

To say I was shocked would be a gross understatement. I was completely floored that a 50-year-old man would die. When I thought about our last interactions, I was sad. I wish there was something I could've said that would've turned him around. Alas, I won't get the chance now.

As I told you before, The Man Formerly Known as The One was moody, aloof, and sometimes surly. And from what I'm told, he was like that until the very end.

His brother was the one who broke the news to me with a simple Facebook message that said, "FYI, [The Man Formerly Known as The One] died tonight. No details. No trauma."

Huh?

Note to self -- that is NOT the way to alert someone of a death. Never. And call me crazy if you must, but if there was death, there was DEFINITELY trauma somewhere. Fortunately, I got the story from his sister later.

His brother wrote a moving obituary for his baby brother where he talked about how much he loved him and how he'd be missed. I concur. When TMFKATO was good, he was really good. However, I took issue with the assessment that he died suddenly.

Alcoholism is an ugly, wretched disease that robs a person of everything that matters. And while it may look like TMFKATO's death was sudden, it really wasn't. It was a slow-motion suicide that took years to complete. I know that everyone becomes wonderful in death. I get that. I also know that TMFKATO's family has the kind of prominence that won't allow for anyone to know the real truth of his passing. But I wish he would've said, "He suffered from an illness for several years before he died."

My heart hurts -- not only for his family, but for him. I wish I could've been the salve his heart needed. Maybe if we had worked out, he would've had the strength to get off the bottle. But we didn't, and while I could waste time working out scenarios in my head, I decided not to do that. After all, I wasn't the cause of his drinking, and there was nothing I could say or do that would've stopped the inevitable.

RIP, The Man Formerly Known as The One. I wish you could've found what you were looking for outside of the bottle.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Man Training 101 & Other Things...

"Now that you've been with New Boo for a while, you've got to train him..."

That's what one of my girlfriends told me during a conversation about my love. She said that once you've dated a guy a while, you have to train him to be the way you want him to be.

Huh? Train?

Call me crazy, but the only creatures that need to be trained by me are children and animals. And New Boo is neither. He's a man. Not necessarily perfect, but way better than most. Honestly, I don't need anyone I need to train. I want a fully formed person.

In my friend's defense, she prefaced her statement with, "I'm no expert on relationships." It should also be said that she's not the first woman to mention "training" to me. What IS interesting to me is that both women that mentioned it to me are completely single.

I love New Boo just the way he is. We spent our first Christmas together. I gave him a few things I thought he'd like, and he gave me something I needed. We had brunch with my friends, and crashed out for the evening. Then we got up and finished cooking the dinner -- cornish hens with dressing, roasted cauliflower, and eggnog sweet potato pie. It wasn't much, but it came out great. Normally when we say grace, we hold hands. This time, because it a holiday, I hugged him as I prayed. In addition to thanking God for the meal, I thanked God for him, for our situation, and for being able to be together.

And my period finally came. Merry Christmas to me.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Life Matters: My Take on All This Madness

I am vexed beyond words about the situation with the two police officers being shot in Brooklyn. What bothers me is the blatant disregard for life -- on both sides. The man who felt like it was okay to take the lives of two police officers CLEARLY had no disregard for life because he took theirs and his own.

And then there are the situations with Eric Garner and Michael Brown. Both situations show a disregard for life. For humanity, really. And it's painful to me that all of these families will have holes in them because someone felt like it was okay to take a life.

There was a time in the not-so-distant past when people could fight and disagree -- and everyone went home to fight another day. When did it become okay to kill a person for whatever reason?

As quiet as it's kept, by NOT indicting the police officers for killing those guys, it shows that life doesn't really matter. And it's easy to say Black life (and believe me, I do believe that it's open season on brothers), but the police shooting adds another dimension to it, in my opinion. And before you get started, YES, I realize that it was the random act of a deranged man. But I think that if the correct officers had been indicted, maybe those cops would alive to spend Christmas with their families.

At this point, I almost feel selfish wanting to bring children into a world like this. (And to update you, I'm not pregnant...just late.) And I'm kinda scared for my brother, New Boo, and all the rest of the brothers who have targets on their heads. Our world makes me sad right now.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Uh Oh...

My period is late.

What does that mean? Well, since New Boo and I have been trying to get pregnant, it COULD mean that we've been successful. Of course, I'm also 44 years old. It could mean that menopause has come early.

Since it's only been a week -- and my body sometimes switches up -- I'm not overly worried about it. At least not yet.

Stay tuned...