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Category Archives: Reflection

I’m a Bibliophile

I’m just gonna say it. Ebooks are not the same! Yes, they are convenient and are getting me through right now… english titles are hard to come by here in Cahuita, Costa Rica.

The current book I’m reading and I’m thankful, even though it’s on my screen.

There’s something about turning a physical page, the weight of the book in my hands, pretty bookmarks and the smell of books that I crave…

I think, as people begin to visit, that will be the toll: books!

Do you have a preference? Ebook or physical book and why?

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2022 in Reflection, writing

 

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Who is Tica Ayoka?

No se. I am unsettled… perhaps that is a poor word choice because I feel amazing! I simply don’t know which direction this new me will take.

I seldom know what day it is and those days speed by in technicolor. We continue to homeschool and my son has now started boxing lessons, twice per week. My schedule is dictated by his activities which is not unusual for a Mom. However, this is the time to carve out my place…

My goal is to truly lean into “pura vida” and know that all is well in time.

 
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Posted by on April 8, 2022 in Family, Motherhood, Reflection, women

 

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My Son is 14 Today

Today is my son’s 14th birthday. I have mixed feelings… Of course I am joyous that he is celebrating another year of life. I left the states to ensure that. However, he is a teenager and all that comes with it!

He is a young 14 and still finds joy in simple things. Thank you! And the girl obsession hasn’t kicked in yet, another blessing. But I think as a parent, especially Mothers, we get very nostalgic for their younger, adorable years. SIGH…

 
 

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My Grandma Has Alzheimer’s

This year she will be 94 years old. She is in great health, albeit a bit thin. Amy Scroggins is the matriarch of our family. She is the only surviving child of her parent’s 11 children. She raised nine children (seven boys) with my Grandfather in southern Maryland, outliving him and two of their children. She was an avid reader and seamstress and the disciplinarian. She is the great grandmother of 14. And she has Alzheimer’s Disease.

My Grandma and my son last fall.

She was diagnosed in 2020 at the height of the pandemic and shortly after unexpectedly losing a son and granddaughter. There was a rash of erratic behavior then, but then it vanished.

There are moments when her mind slips and she is in another time, detailing the one-room school house that she attended. Or she is telling me that she had a good day except for the spanking that she got… then her mind shifts and she is quiet, trying to reconcile it all.

Grandma and Granddaddy at an event.

My mother and her siblings have a rotating schedule. They stay with her a week at a time so that she can be in her home. It has been rough on them, seeing their mother slip away. Having to help her with the basics as she once did with them. However, she remembers everyone and can walk, talk, eat, breathe and bathe on her own.

There are moments of regression, but they don’t last. Sometimes, she is far away and sad. She knows something is wrong but cannot understand or repair it. She repeats herself frequently in a conversation, but I just listen and agree as if it’s new information.

Grandma at age 20.

I love my Grandma. I am glad she can’t recall some things because she is a strong, proud woman and she would be frustrated and ashamed that she needs this level of assistance, especially from her children.

I know the disease can and will progress. Being so far away from her is my only regret for relocating. But thank goodness for technology.

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2022 in Family, Health, Reflection, women

 

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Stranger Fruit

In 2022, our fruit doesn’t hang from Southern trees. It lies rotting in streets, alleys and fields. We seldom know who plucked the precious fruit… or it goes unpunished.

 

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Mist Rising

I was in the sea when I first felt the connection.
The teal water surrounding me…
And everything in its wake.

Mist rises
and disappears into
Palm trees and verdant jungle.
Peals of children’s laughter break through the
Call and response of the waves.

The tide rose
And lapped the shore.
It climbed
Still higher
Threatening our temporary encampment on the sand.

As the clouds descend
A brown man casts his line for the sea’s bounty.
The water is meditative
It matches my breath
Providing calm.

It is home.

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2022 in Poetry, Reflection

 

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Be the Match

I found this draft post from 2015.

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About two weeks ago, I received devastating news. It’s taken me this long to process it and finally, share. I learned that my teen-aged stem cell recipient died. She rallied after a year which is an important milestone for transplant recipients. She was even able to return home and resume normal activities, so we were extremely hopeful. About six months later, she was hospitalized with respiratory issues and I stopped receiving updates.

I’ve thought a lot about the upside, the silver lining if there is one to find. Here’s what I have:

  1. Health: Protect it. Be thankful for good health.
  2. Life: LIVE it…seriously.
  3. Children: If you have them, cherish them. To lose one must be unbearable.
  4. Donate: Time, blood, organs, marrow if you are able to do so.
  5. Share: We can not make it alone. If you have something to give someone else, please do it.
 
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Posted by on March 2, 2022 in Health, Reflection

 

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The Water’s Fine!

I’m slowly dipping my toe back in…

It has been many months, longer if you count consistency. I haven’t been able to write. And it’s made me off- balance, not myself… There’s just been SO MUCH NOISE, I couldn’t. This is not something that you want to admit as a writer. But there it is, I said it!

And so I’m testing the water.

A few things changed that have freed me. I quit my job a year ago. (A job where I was attacked by microaggressions on a daily basis, not to mention ignored by the director of our group.) Then, and this is a big one, I moved. My son and I relocated to Costa Rica. Right?!?? I said it was big. It’s what my soul needed. The United States stopped working for my family years ago: its racism, violence and frenetic pace were crushing us.

Now, I’ve joined a Black Writer’s Group. I revived my blog. I’m dusting off my four, copyrighted poetry books…

And I’m feeling goooood (nod to Nina Simone).

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2022 in Career, Family, Reflection, writing

 

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Have You Seen My Mojo? 

I lost it somewhere between August when my 8 year-old started asking me questions about Trump and December when I still had a real-life Michael Scott (fictional character of The Office) as a director. Good news is Scott is gone! I think you know the bad news.

I have not posted in a long time. I have not written (aside from work) in a long time. For me, that’s a bad spot… I managed to  eek out a poem to my love, David, for his birthday but it was a struggle. 

I am uninspired. Not surprising, but no less disturbing. Oh, there are plenty of constipated thoughts in my head but they want to stay. I almost posted after I finally made it to the National Museum of African American History and Culture this month, but even that never happened. 

I don’t like this mental space. It’s unhealthy and I don’t know the cure. Ideas are welcome. 

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2017 in Health, Real Talk, Reflection, writing

 

Dear FLOTUS: Various ‘Love’ Letters

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A beautiful dedication to the First Lady of the United States.

Thank you New York Times.

 

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