Day of Inspiration

Today was definitely a day of inspiration for me. Not only because I received an honorable 2013 BlackAchievers award from the First Christian Association of America and sponsored by Baptist Health of South Florida but also because I had an opportunity to meet other recipients of this prestigious award as well.  During the luncheon I spoke to a gentleman who definitely wanted advice on how to present his resume etc. He is a current student at Miami Northland Senior High and a member of the FCAA Youth group. It is wonderful to see young men such as this ready to face the challenges of succeeding in America today. As I drove home,  I wished I could have had an opportunity to talk more with this young man … To let him know that his success in life is based on not only his faithin achieving but the work out into making it happen for himself.

I feel that if we put our heart into something,  God will see us through it.  Honestly, I would never have thought ten years ago I would be where I am right now. I spent my whole life drilling into myself I want to be a graphic designer … I want to be a graphic designer … And even though I’m in school now for 3D animation and Web Design … I find myself more focused on mentoring and motivating others to follow the dreams and to aspire,  seek and obtain their own rewards. My graphic design is taking a back seat to make way for what I now see as the reason I am here … To inspire and motivate others.

Thanks for reading, 

Dade

 

Oh The Irony

You know … two days ago, I created a blog about child molestation and how uncommon it is.  This rings ironic because yesterday, one of my employees experienced a terrible situation that reflects back to my topic.  Her cousin, a 42 year old man took upon himself to touch her 16 year old daughter while she slept.  Some might think rubbing a 16 year old on the ass while she slept and did not know it was occurring is nothing compared to the extent pedophiles go through to manipulate our children.  Well how about this for a kicker.  He had the audacity to message her on Facebook telling her what he had done and to not tell anyone.  *Hears a record scratch somewhere* … Now, her mother is Bahamian and very protective of her children .. her life in general.  She reacted as any mother would.  She grabbed a gas can, a rolling pin and a knife and headed across the street to the cousin’s house to burn his townhouse down.  Of course, no one let her get that far but it shows her rage.  This is a short blog but I just wanted to mention that child molestation is in fact .. too damn common.  The child deleted the message (which in my opinion was a stupid thing to do) .. so the police took the entire situation as hearsay and had no grounds to move on anything.  The cousin walks free and the child remains devastated.  The mother, to say the least, is still angry about the matter.  I brought her back to my office and spent some time talking with her.  I explained to her that she has her children to think about and to do something drastic that could land her behind bars with be a stupid move as a mother.  Think of the kids.  Even though they have a father, no one can raise our children like we would.  She agreed … eyes red from the tears … heart racing from the rage.  I told her to go home and get some rest.  Be there for her kids.  Better to know now before something happened that would be much worse than touching her daughter’s butt.

 

 

Thanks for reading,

♥ Dade ♥

A Terrible Uncommon is Definitely Common

Something that has been on my mind for awhile is the fact that lately, since I’ve been interacting with so many different women from all walks of life, I’m finding that there are a lot of us who have something terrible in common.  This is a touchy subject so I’m asking your forgiveness in advance.  I just feel that there are actions in this world that cannot be ignored.  If it was happening 30 years ago, I’m sure it is still happening today.

When I was growing up, I found myself in a horrid situation.  I was being threatened by a man who was supposed to be my mother’s boyfriend at the time.  I was a skinny-minny 11-year-old.  A tomboy at heart.  I loved to wear my older brother’s clothes, play football and kickball in the street until the street lights came on and we’d race each other home before we got in trouble.  This man who was supposed to care for my mother so much took it upon himself one day to molest me.  He threatened me by telling me that if I ever told my mom that (a) she wouldn’t believe me (because my mom felt everything I said was a lie) and (b) that he would kill all of us.  You would think it would sadden me by talking about this but I’ve become so much stronger due to the things that occurred in my life growing up.  You may wonder why am I bringing this up.  It is because lately, I’ve talked with so many different women who were molested by someone in their lives when things like this should never happen to any child.  Look at it this way.  Consider this post as an eye-opening attempt to bring awareness to child molestation.  There is no one today that can convince me that this is not still happening to our daughters … our nieces … our granddaughters … our cousins … young ladies who should be enjoying life, not be in fear of their lives each time a “monster” walks through the door.  I need us to protect our children … our family members … because sometimes suspicion by another family member is all we have to save ourselves from this terrible uncommon event that has turned out to be so common. 

I have a friend who asked me to post one of my recent posts on my blog that she wanted to state to the world.  The horrible factor is that her daughter, who is forced by the courts to spend time with her father (as her parents are divorced), had to experience her own father taking pictures of her with his camera phone inappropriately.  Now, police reports were filed, the courts were involved and at the end of the day, this father was given MORE days to spend with his daughters than removing them from his care all together.  These are true facts.  Now, if this can happen in open court, what do you think happens to our children who do not have anyone fighting for their protection?  It saddens me to know that the young girls I see walking home from school could be victims of molestation.  Don’t think this has an impact on your lives?  Allow me to take you a little deeper into the situation or should I say the outcome. 

How do women become prostitutes?  How do women remain in abusive relationships?  How do women end up destroying their own lives?  There is a story behind every incident that occurs in our life.  Believe me when I say this.  In no way am I an expert, a psychiatrist, a psychologist or a social worker.  I am a mother, a graphic designer, a sister, a life coach, a cousin, a supervisor, a daughter, a mentor, a friend.  I am also someone who cares about what goes on in our society today.  Someone once told me that I was too lenient on my children … that I didn’t discipline them enough … that I cater too much to their needs instead of my own.  Well, I don’t spank my kids because I grew up being abused physically, mentally and emotionally and I was so afraid that I would do to my children what was done to me that I stopped spanking them for things they did wrong.  Spankings, in my opinion, are ineffective.  It affects them more when you take a way things they love to do.  But that’s another chapter that we will not get into at this moment.  History is always known to repeat itself and I did not want that to occur in my household.  No, I was not an alcoholic.  No, I was not a wreck.  Yes, the environment I raised my children in was so much different from the environment I grew up in.  But I still had those fears in the back of my head that I would have the same tendencies my mother had. 

Women tend to destroy themselves because of a lack of proper love, care and concern for their well-being.  That’s why my daughters were raised with me telling them every chance they got how beautiful they were, how much I love them, how much I care about them.  I said these things so that when a stranger said it, the words would fall on mute ears.  So many of our young adults are looking for love in the wrong places that they end up in the wrong places thus destroying their lives.  Do not allow our children to be raised by the street and by strangers.  Save them now while they are still young.  Show them that you care and love them more than anyone.  Teach them that any inappropriate action by anyone should be reported … IMMEDIATELY.  Take the time to listen to them and if they are not talking to you, it is time to start talking and listening to what your child has to say.  Most child molestation incidents occur and go on without knowledge because that little girl or little boy is in fear of telling what has occurred.  Whether it is via a threat by the molester or the concept that the parent(s) won’t listen.  It is time to show our children that we are here to listen and understand any problem they may have.  Don’t feel as if you have time?  Make time.  This is so very important and something we need to educate ourselves and our children on.  Do not allow the acts of one to become your child’s worse nightmare. 

Thank you for reading,

♥ Dade

Torn

There comes a time in all of our lives where the decisions we make can either make us or break us.  It is hard to live a life where you are unhappy and you wonder to yourself if you do it just for the sake of someone else being happy or if you are happy and just don’t know it yet.  Sounds like quite a dilemma huh?  This is the crossroad in which I have reached.  You know the point where conversation becomes emotionless and your emotions become motionless?  It is like striving to be happy but never reaching that point of where it used to be.  Now I know what crackheads mean when they say they destroy their own lives always trying to seek that initial high that will never come. 

I sit here and ponder the aspects of my life and wonder where did that initial happiness go.  The happiness where you can’t go to sleep not one single night without making love with the one you love.  The happiness that makes you hurry home because you’ve missed them so much.  The happiness that draws you to smile just looking in their eyes because the love you have is so overwhelming.  *Checks my pockets then checks my mind* … I have no idea what happened.  Well actually … let me rephrase I do know what happened.  I tried for so long to overlook those things that irked me because I was so in love that I could let these things slide.  But as reality has set in more and more each day, those “irking” moments have decided to compile themselves in a corner of my mind and now they’re overflowing from that space and coming more and more into reality.  I’ve come to not like reality .. it’s no fun LOL.  But it is where we live and must always reside otherwise we lose sight, or should I say touch, with the here and now.  Such a pity.  Guess it is time to give myself a reality check.

So you may be wondering why I haven’t approached the situation with the advice I’ve been giving so many people for so long .. through communication.  It’s easy to give advice to other people.  It is hard to take your own.  But in all honesty, I’ve tried.  I’ve sat down and attempted to talk about the things that make me unhappy.  We talk .. it goes through one ear … out the other.  What is a poor woman to do?  I mean, I firmly believe in drastic measures but why should it be that way.  I know this person loves me and I love them too.  It is the “in love” part that is the problem.  Have I let things build up so much that my “in love” button has deteriorated?  This definitely has me torn.  But I’m a champ so I’m sure I’ll figure it out … hopefully sooner than later.

Thanks for reading,

♥ Dade ♥

A Mother’s Anguish

A wonderful friend of mine shared something with me today and gave me permission to share with you all.  Keep her and her beautiful children in your prayers please!

________________________________________________________________________________________

My dear family and friends,

If we cannot speak about the unspeakable, we are bound to have it happen again.

I want to thank my dear friends who have supported us and who have constantly reminded us to stay strong over the course of the last 24 months. Your support has been an immeasurable source of strength to us. I don’t want any family or little girl to have to go through what we have gone through over the last 24 months and I want you to know that I stand in awe of the courage and strength my young daughter has shown in the face of terror and evil.

One of my daughters was the victim of a man she knew forcing her to take inappropriate photos of her genitals and nude body. This man has an extensive history of domestic battery and alcohol abuse. He is known to those who try to keep order in our City. He has a history of arrests and is married to a convicted felon.

My child reported this incident immediately to me and I in turn did the same and notified the appropriate authorities. They investigated and confirmed that indeed, this man had taken inappropriate photos for reasons unknown. In the lovely State of Florida there is certain criteria utilized to establish what is considered criminal with taking such photos and what is considered distasteful. I am a mom. Any photo of this nature is criminal and disgusting, especially when you have a young child come to you crying, telling you how the man posed her and how she begged for him not to take photos of “her privates”. How she tried to cover herself and the man grabbed the towel from her and yelled at her to hold still. This is disgusting to me and as a mom who had to sit through 3 hours of a detective testifying to this and having to view a video of your baby telling in graphic detail what she had to endure at the hands of this animal is heartbreaking. But the courage I saw in that child was unsurpassed, as was my love and admiration for her for the person she is and the person she is becoming.

During the course of these proceedings, my daughter was forced to continue having contact with this beast and ran away from him twice, only to be re-captured once by her captor and second by 4 men who were strangers and thought they were doing a kind deed by returning her to someone they thought she belonged to. I petitioned the court to help us by ordering that this man not contact her and the order went unaddressed, unsigned and ignored. We spent the greater portion of this past summer in trial. I listened to professionals use phrases like: “he is a danger to children” and “the children are petrified of this man.”

This monster torturing my child(ren) is their biological father.

Yesterday, an indifferent Judge called us back to court. Upon arrival, he asked us why we were there.

“You summoned us,” we replied.

“Refresh my memory of this case,” he said.

Refresh my memory?! How could you forget such a horrible debacle for a child?

His ruling didn’t restrict access to my girls; it doubled it. My family and friends all looked around at each other in disbelief – like we weren’t hearing what we were hearing.

And the predator walked out smiling, as if he just renewed his license to prey .

I tried to explain this unexplainable system to my daughters and they just wept…inconsolable and unwilling to get into my car for fear that I was taking them to him.

My children are being picked up by him tomorrow at school to spend Christmas and half of winter break with him.

Pray to the God you believe in for the safety of my girls and that the Family Court system gets their heads out of their asses and sees that children have rights. This is a travesty for all children who have to suffer at the hands of an abuser.

 ________________________________________________________________________

This has been going on for quite some time and every day I pray God brings her resolution to this because her children deserve to be safe and we as a people deserve for our justice system to work with and for us .. not against us.  I stand firmly behind her and I just ask that you keep her in your prayers. 

Thanks,

Dade

 

 

Putting the “Love” Back in LOVE

I am sitting here waiting for my class to start and just a lot of things from the past few weeks are floating in my head.  The one that is sticking with me the most is me wondering to myself how come people settle for contentment instead of making sure they are truly “happy” in their world of happiness.  I know you’re sitting there saying in your mind that it doesn’t make much sense for me to say it that way.  Well how else can I say it?  Every day there are women sitting back settling for whatever piece of a partner they have in their lives because they rather be a little miserable than lay in bed at night staring at the ceiling wishing they weren’t so lonely.  Well I’m here to tell you that instead of sitting there daydreaming of past sensual moments from the ex-boyfriend you kicked out of your life a month ago, you should be trying to find that happiness that got away from you during that extended period of time that he or she sucked the “happy” out of your life.

I know many of you have friends, whether girl or guy, that have had some pretty intensely imperfect relationships and you wondered what kept them holding on so long.  I wonder it myself at times as I too have friends in similar situations such as this.  Well, I’m here to tell you.  If you got that girlfriend who just can’t seem to let go of that deadbeat boyfriend, you should hand them Steve Harvey’s book, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man.  

Steve Harvey's Book

Published in 2010, a must read for women with relationship issues.

I won’t say it will change your friend’s life but it will definitely give her something to think about.  I read this book back in 2010 along with a group of co-workers.  We all were going through our own little issues and needed some advice in many different aspects.  One friend was (is) in an eight year relationship with no sign of a wedding ring in sight.  Another friend was in a five-year relationship with someone who had commitment and trust issues.  I was in a long distance relationship that I was pretty content with at the time (that’s even better now since it’s no longer a long distance relationship).  We were all giving each other advice and not following our own.  It was rather interesting table talk to say the least.

Table Talk

At the end of reading this book, I found myself with a better understanding of how men think, where “I” failed as a woman in past relationships and even in my marriage.  My failure?  I tolerated too much.  I was unwilling to accept the things that I cannot change.  You know the Serenity prayer that has followed us from generations to generations?  

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Amen.

I did not have the courage to step outside the relationship and leave all the terrible things that was wrong in it behind for the sake of keeping someone who was not worth keeping.  But one cannot truly understand what a failing/failed relationship looks like if you have not accepted that you are/were experiencing one.  Of course, NOW I know what happiness is because I am in a relationship that has me extremely happy and not just satisfied or content.  I can only sit here praying that the love of my life feels the same way.  I do ask by the way.  But if I asked two months ago, it doesn’t really mean that the situation is still the same now.  So be sure you are asking the right questions and not just assuming how the other person feels.  When they walk out your life and you have no clue as to why, only you are looking like the fool in the end for not knowing what is going on in your own relationship … which brings me to my next point … Questions.

 

 If I could give you one piece of advice that will stick with you throughout your livelihood, it would be NEVER BE AFRAID TO ASK QUESTIONS.  If you do not ask the questions that surround your thoughts, you will never know the answer.  Now, there are pros and cons to this because you can drive your significant other up the wall asking the same question over and over again.  You should know when you are being obnoxiously skeptical or when you are genuinely concerned about the answer you received.  If you do not BELIEVE your mate, you cannot TRUST your mate.  If you do not TRUST  your mate, you cannot truly LOVE your mate.  As the formula goes, the beginning starts with COMMUNICATION and ends with LOVE.

COMMUNICATION = BELIEF = TRUST = LOVE

It may not be a perfect formula but a formula nonetheless.  Your relationship should contain at MINIMUM these four traits.  Communication is one of the hardest to achieve on a consistent basis.  Women tend to talk to their girlfriends about their problems before they truly address them with their mate.  Well, let me rephrase.  We address the issue with our mate.  They blow us off.  We run to our girlfriends.  Makes more sense?  On the guy’s perspective, they don’t see the problem.  They rather have sex than talk or rather talk you into sex if they have to do any talking at all.  I laugh while I say this because most men will say this is not true … *gets all dramatic and mimics the male species*

… I love my wife .. I love my girl .. We can talk about any and everything .. I love to hear the sound of her sweet voice (while imaging she’s moaning my name) .. okay, I’ll stop but you ladies get the picture right?  Well, it’s time to put the lovin’ back in LOVE.  As I’ve stated to many friends and fans in other social media, fix it how you want it or move on from it.  Talk to your mate about what’s bothering you and ask them for their feedback as well about what is happening in your relationship.  Find out what it is they want out of it .. from you .. with you.  This is important so you don’t sit back and waste another half decade of your life holding on to hopes, prayers and dreams when all they want is a cutty buddy to do their laundry or snuggle up with to keep out the cold at night.  I surely wouldn’t want to be wasting my time.  I’ve had the relationships in the past that have given me everything but what it is I truly wanted … to be loved.  Now I have my soul mate who can finish my thoughts and sentences, can give me what I want before I even ask, and who can walk down any grocery aisle or mall with me without looking at someone else with seductive thoughts ballooning over their head.  Love comes in all shapes, sizes and colors and cannot be differentiated by any human trait except what is truly in one’s heart.  Put the LOVE back in love and get what you deserve.  Once you settle, you will continue to settle throughout the relationship until one day your SETTLING meter explodes into confetti and you walk out with time wasted and a broken heart. 

Thanks for reading … Take care of yourselves, your hearts and those you love so dearly.

~Dade~

 

Movie Critique … Madagascar 3

 

All I can say is if you have not seen the movie … please by all means, take your kids to go see this.  I think I loved it just as much … so much I had to see it twice!  This is the best Madagascar movie DreamWorks has made in the series.  The happiness I felt brought slight tears to my eyes.  From the beginning to the end, the movie was a definite hit.  I give it five stars hands down.  I’m not going to go into details because some may not have had an opportunity to see the movie but it is so worth it!  Go see it!

~Dade~