Holiday Reflection

My best Christmas memories are from my childhood. Spending time with my closest relatives..the decorations, helping in the kitchen, knowing how hard my parents worked to go beyond my needs and to fulfill all of my wants. In hindsight this is all true and deeply valued. In the moment some of these occasions may have been underappreciated.

As I have gotten older, Christmas and holidays are more about reminiscing, remembering loved ones, realizing true friendships, celebrating life and less about material things. This year, 2014, I have been able to accomplish my goals with my degrees and homeownership. These are the best gifts that I could have given myself. I wish that I could share these moments with my Dad, Grandad, Great-Grandma, Uncle Bo, and others that have passed. I strive for greatness in their memory and honor, as well as for myself.

I have also been given a gift of great friendships. Time and distance has not been able to drive a wedge in between my closest friendships. We may not see each other often or speak everyday, but when we connect it is as if we were never apart. Receiving something when you expect nothing is a great feeling. This includes non-material presents, such as presence. If I have not thoroughly expressed it, I want to say, “Thank you”. This is to everyone that supported me at my milestones this year. To look into a crowd and see familiar faces that came to see me is one of the best feelings ever.

You heard it here first. I am a goal setter and a bar raiser! Work towards my 2015 list of goals begun soon after I crossed off goal #1 of 2014. Keep your eyes open for what I do next.

Smiles & Memories [Reblog]

I originally wrote the following thought on October 3rd. This is the anniversary of my father’s passing.It is also less than one month prior to my birthday.As one could imagine this time of year is rather difficult for me. I was sitting and reflecting on my life at that particular moment. Reflection often helps me to get things sorted and into perspective. Here was my conclusion:

 Trying to think and stay positive, motivated, and encouraged. Today makes 4 years since my dad passed. It’s not any easier now than it was on that day. I’ve had some breakdowns recently but today I’ve been strong. Forever grateful to those that help keep me uplifted and let me cry versus telling me not to. Today my minds been filled with nothing but happy memories.

 There are times when bottled up emotions become overwhelming. Experience has taught me that more harm than good results from allowing this to occur. Depression is real. Depression is something that I have battled and overcome one session at a time. Today I find happiness in the ability to release hurt and happiness when I feel the need. Having understanding friends helps tremendously. Even if it is a single friend that sits in the room quietly as I talk or cry is a relief. Reflecting on where I stand today versus even two years ago brings a smile to my face. One of my biggest goals of returning to school and graduating was accomplished. This milestone was dedicated in memory of my Dad!

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Flashing Lights

My first time in New York City was filled with flashing lights. Lights from story high billboards, cameras, street and headlights. There were people moving in every direction and cars moving in the remaining. Most people passed without a glance at their passerby’s. How could anyone focus with dancing adverts, honks, music, and inaudible conversations taking place all around? This city seems like one right off of the silver screen. It is pitch black out, but one cannot tell from all of the lights. I can see why it doesn’t sleep. Another visit is definitely on the books, but after I get some rest.

Live and Let Live

 Birthdays have not been formally celebrated for me in years. Presents are something that I cannot remember the last time I have asked for. I do love and so appreciate the friends that have bought me cakes, have gotten me gifts and spent time with me during birthdays; more than they probably know. Expressing my gratefulness is something that I am getting better at.

This time of year is harder for me than holidays. I find it hard to smile to “Happy Birthday” without teary eyes. It was around my 25th birthday that I found out my dad was very ill. At this time I also found out that people close to me had been keeping it a secret for some time. The betrayal that I felt was indescribable. Forgiveness is something that I have learned.

That year I decided to begin living the life I wanted even if it meant solo events. My first solo trip across country happened after that. Every year since I have explored this country and others. My goals are stacked high with bits of fun in between. I have spent more days that I would care to admit inside and have missed many events by waiting on others or simply doing what they chose. Everyone is welcome to join but I will not cancel something because others cannot make it…. How does that saying go? ….do not make someone a priority when they only make you an option?

The entire month of September has been set up for me to live and let live. Today is my birthday and there is a year left to live out my twenties. I intend on making it great!

Pile of Memories

With the world of social media and technology I often find out devastating information via text message or Facebook. Sadly this seems to have become the norm over the last few years. Even though this odd means of news travel is a repeat offender the shock has not lessened any. Each time I am left infuriated by the mode of communication that was chosen, lack of respect that is felt, and a hurt heart when the information settles.

A photo in the form of a text message greeted me on Labor Day morning. The caption informed me that a house I spent a good portion of my childhood in; that many spent good portions of their lives in was gone, and an empty lot was what remained. All I could do was stare at this photo and search it over and over with my eyes. I am looking for anything familiar. Looking for any remnant of the familiarity that I once knew.

My late grandmother raised over a dozen children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and other relatives all under one roof. Homemade meals would waft in Saturday morning air. Laundry would be manually rang out before clipped on a line to dry in the sunshine. Humming of hymns were a common tune, as were scriptures with life lessons. Crab apple fights would take place in the yard while crouched behind a car. Late night conversations would be whispered as the sandman was challenged. Stories of happiness and some with tears were shared on repeat. This is what I remember from the two story-two lot, cobble drive, screened porch home that was nestled on the south end of town. All of this was absent from the photo I saw.

If someone was to bulldoze these memories would they not want to tell those connected beforehand? How could all of this be taken away one piece at a time without informant? Seven digits, five seconds, a few words seem so simple. The audacity and entitlement that is self-appointed is mind wrenching.

What I have left is now represented by a flattened earth filled pile of memories…

“Just Because” Pretties

Simply put, flowers make me happy. As a kid my Grandad would drive my brother and I around in search of wild flowers. We would look on many country roads for the perfect ones to create a birthday bouquet for my Ma.

 Times like that were great to have and share. The tradition began out of my brother and I wanting to get my Ma flowers, but we did not have any money. While driving she had made mention of some wild lilies on the side of the road. That was all she wrote!  My Grandad would not stand for lillies alone and that is where our first hunt for wildflowers started. PicsPlay_1406151440193 These roses caught my eye in a local florists walk-in cooler. I love to draw roses, so the shape and color of them drew me in. Fresh flowers sitting on my breakfast bar are something nice to see daily. My entire house smells like fresh roses and they brighten up the room. It really is the simple things in life that mean the most. These flowers were bought by me simply because. No more and no less.

Conflicted Connection

There are moments when I experience things that cause me to take a step back from people. I feel as if I need to reevaluate the connection that is between us and be honest about why it is there. At times it does not seem as if equal reciprocation occurs and I have to question myself and reflect on it.

I am always curious to know if others feel this way. Is it just dealt with, ignored, or are those connections simply severed? There have been times that I have ended friendships because of its lopsidedness. I do not mind helping others, listening, providing a shoulder, etc., but the moment that I feel that I am unable to have this returned I hit the brakes.

Relationship is a word that can be used to express the connection. According to Merriam-Webster (2014), the definition of relationship describes the way in which multiple people are connected.

More times than I care to count, I have taken trips over 100 miles with no car or money to make sure that I made it to birthdays, holidays and just because. There are people that say they are close to me and often ask for me to visit them. I can count on a single hand how many times some of those people have visited me. When I open the door for those events and visits to take place at my home there are 100 reasons why it will not happen. In attempts to be more social I have watched sports, attended events, and went on trips that I did not much interest in. When I suggest a movie, plan a day, or ask to attend a different event it does not come to pass. It gets frustrating after a while.

Should I continue to act selflessly for the sake of a relationship?

Are we friends because we are neighbors? Is there a connection solely because we shop at the same store? Are you around because you are recently single? Solely because we work together? Solely because of something material such as an available car ride? Or because….?

If the relationship is a one-way street there will be a point that I need to park the car and get out, or I need to turn around and go in a new direction, right? I am so conflicted.

Citation: Relationship. (2014). In Merriam webster. Retrieved from

Graduation Snapshot!

A major goal of mine has been to graduate from college. I started out on this journey 10 years ago with the intent of being the first in my immediate family to attend college. There has been many bumps, tears, sleepless nights, miles walked, and other obstacles along this route, but I have made it.

The trip is not over though! Many lessons have been learned and my passions have grown. I plan to participate in several more commencements in the future.

My Dad was a big influence on me reaching for more education. He was not able to witness the day physically, but I know he was present in spirit. I wore blue and the ribbon on my cap in his honor. This degree is for him!

I drove over 100 miles with these rods in for commencement!

I drove over 100 miles with these rods in for commencement!

Three Generations!

Three Generations!

My friends list has dwindled over the years, but my close friends are the best I could ask for.

My friends list has dwindled over the years, but my close friends are the best I could ask for.

Downtown Cleveland is so beautiful!

Downtown Cleveland is so beautiful!

Time to celebrate?!

Time to celebrate?!

Ok ok...I'm done!

Ok ok…I’m done!

4 U Daddy! The blue ribbon is for colon cancer.

4 U Daddy!
The blue ribbon is for colon cancer.

Have you graduated recently? Tag me on Instagram @MzDezy & #NaturallyMzDezy so that I can see your pics!