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Category Archives: women

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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Welcome to Bedside Baptist

Research on the religious views of Millenials (ages 18 – 33) revealed that a big chunk do not report a religious affiliation: about 29 percent. This is a huge shift from older generations. Younger Americans link organized religion to war and unrest in the world. Obviously they’re paying attention. Most of these young people believe in God but don’t need permission to speak to the Supreme Being and consider it a personal relationship. They identify as being “spiritual” versus “religious.”

These young people also cited intolerance, especially with regard to issues such as same-sex marriage…

I am not in that age bracket (I’m a Gen Xer) however I concur. I have been very vocal about my views on religion, blasting the Catholic church when inspired. I was raised in Catholicism and let’s just say, it doesn’t work for me.

But to be clear, if you practice a religion that fulfills you, strengthens and nourishes you, Be blessed. I’m here for it.

My relationship with God is just that, mine.

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2022 in Politics, religion, women, Youth

 

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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Two years and counting

Breonna Taylor, her mother and her sister smile for the camera.

Twenty-six year old Breonna Taylor was killed in her apartment on March 13, 2020. She and her boyfriend were sleeping when plain-clothes police stormed in with a no-knock warrant. Her boyfriend thought they were intruders and shot one in the leg.

Breonna was shot six times and died on the scene. Never mind the shady circumstances of the warrant… Nobody has been charged with her murder, however one officer was charged with three counts of “wanton endangerment” of the NEIGHBORS. He was found not guilty.

Two jurors have spoken out and said that the jury was never presented with homicide charges against the officers. Other jurors believe that the Kentucky Attorney General (and yes, him being Black makes it worse) and police department are covering up the truth.

BTW – many jurisdictions supposedly outlawed the no-knock warrant since the killing of Breonna Taylor. However, another young, Black person, Amir Locke, was asleep and killed in his Minneapolis apartment while police raided with a no-knock warrant. The Minneapolis mayor had issued a moratorium on such warrants prior to his killing.

I believe that police have the authority to do whatever they want. There are no consequences for killing civilians, especially when they are Black. The use of lethal force is the initial response be it bullets, hands or knees, no matter the circumstances. And it keeps happening.

There is a systemic problem that nobody is truly working to correct. Let ’em march, cry and keep saying their names.

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2022 in Civil Rights, Race, Real Talk, violence, women

 

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Heads Up

Last night, my children and I were playing Heads Up and we stumbled upon a Black Excellence stack. I’m not sure if it was a special, limited to Black History Month, or what, but we decided to check it out…(it was awesome by the way, hope it’s still there).

One of the cards/answers was Dred Scott. It was my son’s turn and I knew he didn’t know it, so my daughter and I started explaining it to him. I mistakenly started explaining Plessy v Ferguson and my daughter fact checked me! 😊 She looked it up and read the details of the case to us. As she read, my personal reading and African American college studies started creeping back.

In 1857, Dred Scott sued the United States for the freedom of his family and that of himself. His suit was based on a law that said if an enslaved person lived in a state for a period of time where enslavement was illegal, they could gain their freedom. He lost.

The Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that neither he nor any other person of African ancestry could claim citizenship in the United States. I repeated that to my son. Neither he nor any other person of African ancestry could claim citizenship in the United States…

The highest court in the land made that ruling. It was long ago, but it is upon this foundation that all of its systems, institutions, policies and laws were built. That is the foundation of the house known as the United States.

You can redecorate a house, but does that change the foundation of said house?”

Me

I told him, the spirit of that decision is why we now call Costa Rica home. ¡Pura vida!

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2022 in women

 

Passion Project

Many people don’t know that I am the executive director of a non-profit based in Delaware called Empowering Single Moms, Inc. I am that behind-the-scenes person who maintains the website, conducts intakes, brainstorms, creates content and strategic plans.

Dr. Crystal Edwards is the face and personality and my long-time college friend. She is a brilliant educator and speaker who is all about public service. We were both Single Moms at a relatively young age who leaned on each other when it got rough, which was often. We needed an organization like ESM.

We were both Single Moms at a relatively young age who leaned on each other when it got rough, which was often. We needed an organization like ESM.

We create a network and community for Single Moms who often feel (and sometimes are) alone. Our programming is developed to support them in their journey to create better lives for themselves and their children. It’s alot of work and we sometimes take two steps back for every one step forward. However, the reward is transformative for all involved.

Check us out and share with a Single Mom who could benefit. (Our service region is limited to Philadelphia, PA and a few counties in Delaware and Newark, NJ). We could always use volunteers and donors!

empoweringsinglemomsinc.org

 

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For the Love of the Game (and kids)

chris long

Philadelphia Eagles’ defensive end, Chris Long, is playing for free. Good for him.

And he was part of an important meeting about racial injustice and NFL players’ right to express their frustration with that injustice. Good for him.

 
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Posted by on December 29, 2017 in Career, Civil Rights, Education, Race, Sports, women

 

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Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission

pink-rose-cascade-cakeSCOTUS will hear this case today. If you haven’t heard about this case, then Google it today and pay attention to the decision when it is handed down.

A cake shop refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple because it violated the religious beliefs of the owner. This violates the state’s civil rights law.

The fact that it made it to the Supreme Court is telling of our social climate. This is the epitome of a legal “slippery slope.” Stay woke!

 
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Posted by on December 5, 2017 in Civil Rights, Family, History, Politics, religion, women

 

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Dear FLOTUS: Various ‘Love’ Letters

michelle-obama-slide-3g05-superjumbo

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

Thank you New York Times.

 

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