gifts and blessings #2

Photo by Ken Tomita via Pexels

The job I mentioned here, I got it! I interviewed for the Central Scheduling Specialist Entry Level I position this past Wednesday with the department supervisor and nailed it! On Friday, I had a second interview, this time–with the department director and did quite well in it and was offered the job on the spot.

The scheduling position is still within radiology and I will continue to have an opportunity to provide “remarkable care” to our organization’s patients, but from behind the scenes. I will be taking inbound calls from hundreds of patients throughout several markets and scheduling them for the hundreds of thousands of imaging services we provide.

The position is completely remote/work-from-home and as soon as I hear from HR (which should be sometime early next week), I’ll be able to begin my 30-day notice with my current job. I already have my resignation letters drafted up and will provide one to my direct supervisor and the other to our center manager.

When my 30-day notice is complete, I’ll begin rigorous training at the business office for scheduling. The duration will be several weeks. When that’s complete, I’ll be sent home with my equipment and from there on, expected to shine as I have for the last 2 years and 1/2 with this organization and I will.

I feel like I have to slap myself. I cannot believe that in about one month’s time, I will no longer be expected to physically screen or come in contact with patients on a daily basis. Doing what I do puts an incredible fear inside me and every day is a task heavier than the one before.

No more asking patients to put on a mask or imploring that they keep it on. No more coming in contact with patients who tested positive and decided to use one of their quarantine days to come and get some X-rays completed. No more advising doctors’ offices of proper protocol and our company’s COVID-19 algorithm. No more reminding people that we are on a no-visitor-rule and no they cannot have their mama’s sister’s best friend’s aunt with them in the waiting area. The list goes on.

I prayed for this . . . for the chance to feel some semblance of peace and safety once again and my prayers have been answered. I am overwhelmed with excitement and joy and I can only hope this decision will prove itself best for me in the future.

I feel as though it will be.

Searching for Balance Away from the New Normal

But not too far away

Photo by Glen Carrie via Unsplash

We have become digital personas trapped behind the screens, typing or tapping frantically away to our loved ones. They are doing much of the same. Many of us are still fearful of sticking our toes into the waters; restrictions are slowly being lifted across the nation (and the globe), but the Coronavirus, COVID-19 still thrives. At every turn, this virus shapes and shifts into something our scientific professionals and honorable doctors cannot get a handle on — it’s much more intelligent in its development than they predicted or assumed.

My mother’s birthday was on Monday, September 14, 2020, and although I slipped some cash in a beautiful card to her, I wanted to do something more. I planned to do something more. I am hoping this event will be an enjoyable one for both of us. I jumped into the AirBnB booking lifestyle and commenced to researching properties and Superhosts — eager to find a safe space for my mom and me to stay for one night. 

I wanted the place to be conveniently located to various eateries, parks & trails, and have a decent to an outstanding view of the mountains. My love for Asheville, North Carolina showed its face and I decided this would be the perfect place to take my mom. She has never been and I had stated years ago, we would go together, but during a global pandemic, was not what I had in mind. The two of us have not been able to be around or with each other, as we are so accustomed and I focused on how we could have fun yet stay safe — this seemed the most plausible. 

I decided on The Pisgah Room at River Row Flats which is an extremely accommodating suite complete with twenty-eight amenities and is also pet-friendly. Jernee is sure to have a ball too. Our adventure will begin on Saturday, September 26, 2020 at my place, then we will drive to Asheville on Sunday, September 27, 2020 and our impending shenanigans will last for one day only.

While, I have had fun video-chatting, sending text messages to my friends, writing letters, and emailing loved ones regularly, my mom does not have the luxury of being submerged in digital life. She is a hands-on type of person and would rather not venture into the world of technology. She doesn’t even own a computer and is still struggling to find her way around the smartphone I gifted her almost two years ago. I wanted to usher in a sense of comfort for her, but one of safety too.

This, I hope will be our adventurous undertaking during what many has called “unprecedented times.” We are sticking our toes in, one by one, but we do not intend on having our entire feet — let alone our bodies completely submerged. 

Safety measures are in place at the suite and my complete itinerary greeted me in my email Friday evening. We will carry our face masks with us, Lysol wipes, our own bottled water, bedding & pillows, and just have as much fun as we can without being around anyone other than a friend or two of mine (social-distancing, of course). 

I’m a bit frightened to get out in the open a bit, but I know how I am. I have limitations and my mom and Jernee are my top priorities. 

But, damn it! We’re going to have some fun. Safely, though. Safely.

To My Unborn Daughter: You Would Have Hated it Here

I’m relieved I missed my chance at having you

Today I thought about your dimpled cheeks, the swollen paunch of a full belly from too much milk, and the midnight coos that morph into wailing demands to be held. I yearn for you sometimes. This . . . this right now moment, is one of those times.

I want to hold you, to feel your tiny fingers sweep over my eyelids, and search for the peace that lives just behind my eyes. I carry you in my dreams — to term — you are brought into this world smiling instead of crying.

“Such a happy baby. It’s a girl!” The doctor shouts. His nursing team whisks you away in the middle of my trying to digest I managed to bring another Black girl into a world that hates her before it even knows her.

I hear hurried voices stretched to their highest octaves as they seek out your weight. You are tossed and turned under luminescence and bound in cloths, swaddled to perfection. They lay you over my lactating breasts.

I am expected to feed you, to pour sustenance into your minutes-old body from a worn-out one and as hard as I try, I cannot.

I wake up from this dream. I lift my shaking body from my bed. I pat my way to the bathroom in the pitch darkness of my room. I find solace in a place that echoes and I cry. I leave my memories of you there.

To my unborn daughter: I am glad you are not here to see the shrinking in parts of this world — to feel constant pain when you don’t want to. I am relieved I did not lay claim to terror for you; an inheritance of depression — a gift you shouldn’t have to unwrap. I know you wouldn’t have liked it here. In fact, you would have hated it.

And I would layer myself in guilt.

Why would I give you red-inked skies, viruses that mutate into unstoppable killers, bigotry at every corner of the world, and poverty nestled under the beds of Have-not families waiting for their moments to have? I knew better. I know better.

But, I still want you.

I am not strong enough to settle into the reality of what this world would have done to you. I am not brave enough to say, “I did it! I gave birth during a pandemic!” or “I’m raising my child in the middle of the apocalypse!” I would steep in blame — fully saturated; bitter to the taste. No one would want me then.

So, did I do this for you or for me? I had a choice. I could have taken the chance of getting pregnant and not succeeding, at least, not naturally or I could have allowed fate to bring you here through tools of misuse sharper than the Devil’s tongue.

They said my body would fight me and I believed them.

It is normal for me to harbor some form of regret — natural to be reflective, but I will admit, I feel this deeply: I did what I thought I needed to and I ignored all urges to try for you. I ignored giving you a chance at life and seeing what my body could really do.

But when I watch the screaming mothers of murdered boys, men, women — all of them wrapped in our skin or hear the violent cries of sisters and brothers demanding justice or smell the lies that drip from the slits of our leaders’ mouths or learn of those believing a price is sufficient for a life, I am thankful I was too scared to take a chance on you.

You deserve better, much better. And this place . . . this world I call home would wolf you down in its fanged mouth and tear your flesh from your bones in five bites. Morsel-of-a-human-little thing: you’d be the perfect dinner. No one’s serving you up on a platter. No one.

My beautiful, unborn daughter. I love you and I am sorry I was too afraid to try.

But you would have hated it here. This, I know.


Originally published in P. S. I Love You via Medium.

Please, Let My Brothers Live

A plea to the United States Justice system

Photo by nappy via Pexels

As an older sister, one who is significantly ahead in years, I fear for the lives of my five brothers. That fear never dies. It lingers in the pit of my belly — boiling over into a never-ending pain. I worry about them; their well-being is a constant focus of mine. I pray, without ceasing, worry, and then pray some more.

I know, as a believer, I am not supposed to worry. Once I’ve given my cares over to my Lord and Savior, those worries are not my own. But tell that to my heart. Tell that to my questioning mind. Tell that to the constant survival strategies that pop up throughout every day as I think of ways to keep them safe from afar.

Our lives are meaningless to the ones meant to protect them.

There is a long list of dangerous encounters and acts of police brutality that layers itself in and around the United States of America. We are losing brothers, sisters, and valuable members of our crumbling nation. The louder we scream in protest for change, the more we are muzzled.

I cannot watch many of the videos that have circulated, leaving us with the vivid details of some of these acts, but I can read about them. I feel a sense of incredible loss when I do.

We depend on a system that claims to act upon evidence presented and provide a favorable outcome. One that is justified. One that states those responsible for these heinous crimes will be dealt with accordingly. However, the system is beyond broken.

Justice is a concept of moral rightness based ethics, rationality, law, natural law, religion, equity and fairness, as well as the administration of the law, taking into account the inalienable and inborn rights of all human beings and citizens, the right of all people and individuals to equal protection before the law . . . — ScienceDaily

For generations, there has been no justice for Black people and people of color. 2020 will be over in four months, and the United States of America is dealing with the same issues that quelled the love for our nation back in the 1950s-1960s. We are struggling to have our voices heard. We are fighting a forever-fight and we are growing tired.

This is the same fight and we’re outnumbered.

I think of everyday occurrences, events that my brothers take part in and I start my prayer with, “Dear God: cloak them in your love. Please keep them safe in their coming and going and let them find their way home when their day is done.”

I know they’re aware their sister has been praying for them since their births, but now I pray because it feels like there is nothing more to do. We march. We organize peacefully. We shout. We speak eloquently. We fight harder. And to no avail.

We are struggling to have our voices heard. We are fighting a forever-fight and we are growing tired.

This all feels like some god-awful dream that plays on a loop, and no matter how hard I try to break free from it, I’m shackled with nowhere else to go. I am being forced to watch the demise of my people and made to fear for the Black men and women in my life.

I want to believe their lives matter just as much.

I have to. Deep down, I know there’s a priceless value to human life. I want to feel like my brothers’ lives matter just as much as their white counterparts. I want to believe that when they set out on a journey around their neighborhoods for whatever reason, they too, will get a chance to go back home . . . alive and unharmed.

Given the history of various police forces across this nation since their inception, I fear more for my brothers’ lives than the actual protection of them, and that should not be.

How many more will America maim? How many more will we see hanged from trees by the hands of their evildoers, then labeled as suicide? How many more cases will the courts treat as meaningless, pulling their weight for the killers vs. the victims? Will we ever have justice?

I want to feel like my brothers’ lives matter just as much as their white counterparts.


There have been so many tears. So many cries for help, understanding, and for our voices to be heard and still . . . there are no impactful results of which to speak.

I hope that if ever there is an encounter soon with “the law” for any of them, they will be protected and served. That there will be no immediate or long-lasting harm. That their character is assessed and the situation for which an officer has stopped them, would not end in their deaths.

I have one plea, please let my brothers live.

Please.


Originally published in Our Human Family via Medium.

I Am Giving Myself This Day

I need it, my body told me so. My mind did too.

Photo by Madison Lavern via Unsplash

I woke up this morning shortly before I usually do to prepare for work. However, I could not move. It was as if my body laid claim to my bed and demanded to stay put. Any other day, I’d peel myself away from the comfort of a pillow-top mattress and will myself to get up and get going, but today . . . today, I listened to my body and succumbed to a day of rest. The tears lined themselves up accordingly right behind my eyes. I could feel it — it would be a day of dealing with extreme emotions — work would have to wait.

I’d felt off-kilter this past weekend leading into this week, and I ignored it. This was probably not the best thing to do given my current circumstance, but a day off is in play. I communicated with our center manager the need for a mental health day and received a prompt response regarding it and its approval. I want to save as much energy as I can for the days, weeks, and months ahead. I have a few writing projects coming up that will require research and getting into character to pull off these works.

Of late, I am drained both physically and mentally and after yesterday’s minor run-in with a patient who wanted to do what he wanted to do, but found out quickly — we follow the recommendations and guidelines issued to us and our entire medical organization, I am zapped. It takes so much out of me to get through an eight to sometimes ten-hour workday, adding privileged and irresponsible people to the mix regularly, is too much.

How kind are we to our minds, to our bodies when we need to be? Do we give ourselves the time off we need or are we pushing through, trying to get past the pull of a crying body and an aching mind?

When you feel like your stress levels have reached their peak, it might be time to take a quick break to reset.

— Elizabeth Scott, MS

I reserved a “mental health day“ to do exactly this — reset. Recharge. Regain some semblance of myself before taking on the world of screening and surveying patients for Coronavirus, COVID-19 symptoms again. I could feel myself fading, unraveling — if I’m being honest and I had to put a stop to it. I still need to get through the rest of this week.


To read the rest of this article, please see it in its entirety at Thrive Global.