blessednbabbling











{May 16, 2012}   Internal guilt

Mother’s Day.

A day that hasn’t been the same for me since 2005

that’s the year a very close friend of mine lost her mother.

and it seems as if every year (or every other year) since then someone else I know and love (friends and family alike) has lost their mom

Most recently,  my favorite painter

I spent half of this year’s Mother’s Day thinking about those two friends of mine.  Thinking about how they’d never again be able to do the very thing I was doing at that moment.  It made me cry

2005 was the year I stopped “publicly” celebrating Mother’s Day. Part of it was a conscious effort while some parts were unconscious. It was the year I stopped posting statuses and pictures leading up to the holiday. It was also the year I unconsciously stopped making Happy Mother’s Day calls to all the mothers I know.

At times I feel guilty that my mom is still here while the moms of people I know and love aren’t. I start internally asking myself questions about what makes me different from them. What is it about me that I got to keep my mom and they didn’t. Or, what is it about them that their mom gets to see God before mine does.

I’m very careful about mentioning  ANYthing regarding my mother to these friends. I feel as though saying anything about her is another reminder to them that theirs is gone.

Last year I lost my cousin.  She was the mother of two. I was visiting with the family and wanted my mom’s attention. I called out “mom” and immediately wanted to kick myself.  How dare I make it known that I still have a mother yet I was there to mourn with two people I love who had just lost theirs.  These were the thoughts running through my head as I grabbed a soda for myself, my mom and aunt.

What do you say to them on Mother’s Day? that they haven’t already heard?

2005 seems like a long time ago and just this past weekend I felt compelled to speak on  these feelings

I know and understand that I have no control over who dies and when. That has never been my job nor will it ever be my job. But,  that doesn’t change my feelings. I am human you know.

I did a video blog about this thinking it would be easier to get my words out that way. Wrong.  I cried through pretty much the entire video.

Will these feelings ever go away? I don’t know, they stay buried in the back of my mind and come to the forefront on Mother’s Day or whenever I hear that someone I know has lost their mother.

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{February 19, 2012}   Whitney Houston

I was wondering what I’d blog about next b/c I was really at a loss for a topic.

And then Whitney Houston died.

I found out while I was at a homecoming basketball game . My best friend tapped me and told me. I didn’t believe him and told him to get off Twitter b/c they love to kill off celebs. But he said he was on CNN and you know that when CNN reports something it’s real. A mutual friend said that he’d seen it on CNN too.

I called my other best friend and she screamed at me through the phone. She didn’t believe me but I told her to go to CNN. She told me she’d email me and hung up.

I’d said that I wasn’t going to blog about her death b/c every other blogger was doing so.

But I changed my mind

There’s really not much about her that I can say that hasn’t already been said. You know, how great of an actress and singer she was.  Her life as a wife and mother. Her ups and downs and lastly, her impact on music as a whole. It’s all been said in one form or another. I will just add that I think she had one the prettiest smiles ever and such pretty teeth.

A friend of mine said something I hate that I can’t remember verbatim. It was about how a lot of people’s favorite Whitney Houston songs were remakes. (Greatest Love of All and I Will Always Love You).  She also mentioned how quite a few people (myself included) have forgotten about the originals.   I do know that Dolly Parton sang I Will Always Love You but I will admit that I have no idea who sang Greatest Love of All before she did. Whitney Houston made those songs her own

Some bloggers discussed who they felt was worthy of doing tributes to her.

Here is my dream list

  • Monica
  • Christina Aguilera
  • Jori
  • Tamar Davis
  •  Adele*
  • Mariah Carey
  • Celine Dion
  • Tamia
  • Chante Moore
  • My church/childhood friend Janae

It really doesn’t matter to me which songs of hers they sing though I’d prefer Monica sing You Give Good Love and Christina Aguilera sing Run to You. I’ve seen clips of them sing these songs on YouTube and they did wonderful jobs.

Jori has done snippets of  You Give Good Love and I Love the Lord. I want her to do the whole songs.

*Adele is still growing on me, very slowly I might add, but I think I’d want to hear her do a Whitney Houston classic.

The funeral service was beautiful. I cried so much my head was throbbing when it was over. I almost couldn’t take it when they lifted her casket in the air and carried her out to I Will Always Love You. This was when I learned that not only do I snort when I laugh hard but I also do it when I’m crying hard.

And now whenever I hear that song I will think she’s singing it in regards to her passing.

Everybody pretty much has that one song by her that will now bring tears to their eyes. I have 3 and this was before she died so imagine how I feel now when I hear them. Those three songs are Jesus Loves Me, the intro to I’m Every Woman and Joy to the World.

Someone tweeted me the link to her funeral program. 11 pages and on the last page is a letter her mother wrote to her. Read it here.

Whitney Houston has now joined that choir of legends entertaining God in Heaven. I hope she rests in peace.



{December 19, 2011}   ‘Til Death Did They Part

58 years. That is how long my great-grandparents had been married before Friday, Dec. 16, 2011. That is the day my great-grandmother was taken from me. She was 86. She’d had Alzheimer’s since 1999 and on March 8, 2007 (my birthday) we put her in a nursing home.

I was told that she’d died early Friday morning, a little after midnight. When I found out I thought about what it was that I was doing while she was taking her last few breaths. I was on Twitter talking about how I was going into my last day volunteering at the middle school.

When my mother told me I remember shaking my head and grabbing her as the tears fell. I believe the image of that moment will forever be somewhere in my head.  We went to eat shortly afterwards with my grandmother and great-grandfather. Well, they ate, I wasn’t hungry. Halfway through the meal my great-grandfather tells me that he has nothing else to live for. She was his world. He wears an old, dirt red colored picture of them when they were younger on a chain around his neck. He took it off and gave it to me telling me to keep it so that I could always keep them together. He told me to fix it up if I had to which meant get a new chain for it if need be. I promised him that I would.

Today, Sunday, we went to view Grandma Grace’s body. She looked good.

It was heartbreaking to be up there looking at my lifeless great-grandmother. But what was worse was watching her husband grab the edge of the casket as if he was unsure if it would’ve been okay to touch her. He and I both had begun to cry even before we’d walked into the room to see her body.

I wanted to scream upon seeing her but nothing came out. I only spoke a word of thanks to the lady who handed me some tissue. At the time I couldn’t put what I was feeling into words so I just stayed quiet.

I wanted to yell at her to wake up so we could go home. I wanted to kiss her with the hope that she’d open her eyes, start complaining and calling me Kissing Kate (the name she gave me b/c I was always kissing her).

I also wanted to shake the life back into her or at least breathe it into her nostrils which were wide open. But, my name is Ashley, not God.

Even in the state of having a lifeless body you could tell she was a well endowed woman. She is where I get my monsters from, as they’ve been called.  Her nails were long like mine yet unlike her daughter and granddaughter’s, so maybe I get that from her too. They had her hair nicely curled and her make-up was good although I did want to take some tissue and wipe just a bit of the lipstick off her lips. I studied her body as though I was being given a test on it later. I noticed a mark on the side of her face that I’d never seen before.

I’ve been close enough to touch the body of a dead loved one before but I’ve never wanted to, until today.  I touched her hands and the flower she was holding. It was real which kind of shocked me. I even touched her hair which is grayish-white.

I’ve experienced death before but there have only been 2 people close enough to me in lineage to where my opinion on the funeral arrangements would matter. The first was my daddy but of course I was way too young to understand the entire process of planning a funeral. This is the first time I’ve been asked my opinion on what the funeral program will look like, what they’ll be buried in, which pictures will be put in the program. I’ve even been asked to read a passage or two from the Bible.

This is also the first time I’ve heard the classic phrases people use when someone has died and they not be enough comfort for me. They normally work but not this time. I mean I appreciate them of course but this time they just weren’t enough.

I wanted her suffering to stop more than anything in the world. But I wanted it to stop while she was alive, here on Earth with me and the rest of us. That’s selfish I know and I have to keep telling myself that God is the only one who could give her the peace I badly wanted her to have. I also have to keep telling myself that Heaven is the only place she’s able to get it. Deep down I know these things but it doesn’t mean I don’t want her back.



{July 19, 2011}   Life as a 25 year old Virgin

This is, so far, the hardest piece I’ve ever written although I was SO sure it would be the easiest. It’s the complete opposite. How hard should it be for me to write about my life as a 25 year old virgin {{emphasis on the word “my”}}? It shouldn’t be hard at all, but *sigh* it is.

I’ve been a virgin my whole life but this year, well the months between my 25th birthday and my next one, I’ve actually embraced it and sort of, begun to flaunt it more. I’ve always been proud of this but I’ve also felt that {{esp. during my late high school, early college years}} a lot of women think I’m bragging about it. Some have even told me that I think I’m better than women who aren’t virgins by this age. Believe me, I don’t. My sister says that I am better because I’m waiting and they didn’t. Uhm, okay, but I just feel that they made a choice and I’m making one as well.

Being this age and still having my virginity is not as fun as it seems/looks. Aside from people constantly asking about what I do whenever I get horny or asking me whether or not I masturbate (neither of which are ANY of their business, by the way) you also have those who ask if I’m gay. {{And if you are one of THOSE, I’m not, have never been, never will be.}} Then there are those who try to figure out what it is about me that keeps me from getting a man that either wants it (and for the record I feel some kind of way about my virginity being referred to as “it” but anyway) or has enough game to convince me that they’re “the one”. Game won’t work on me, saying no, in this instance, comes naturally to me.

This, among other things, has made me keep this information to myself for so long. So, why be proud of it and talk about it now, you ask? For the first time in a long time I told someone about it and they responded a lot more positively than I expected. He actually called me an alien and I think by that he meant women like me don’t exist. But, we do, we’re just {{as I like to call us}} an “endangered species”. He told me I shouldn’t hide it or be ashamed of it. I agreed.

My best friend called me “pure” once and I laughed. But, he’s right.

I’ll admit that I get this “glad it’s not me” feeling when I hear of or see women who have had to deal with unexpected pregnancies, being judged for having a certain number of partners, etc. I unintentionally hurt some feelings when I asked my friend if she actually thought about what kind of father the man she was sleeping with would be if she were to get pregnant. She didn’t consider it and though she loves her son, she’s not very fond of his father. This feeling also comes when I see women who become attached to a man (or fall in love) ONLY because the sex is good.  Please take note that I’m not judging these women, I’m just “glad it’s not me”.

I also decided to be more “open” about it when I answered a twitter question about when was the last time I had sex. My answer shocked a high school friend of mine who then kind of put me on blast on twitter (in a good way though). She said that if I have sex before marriage I’d hurt her feelings, lol.  And then I answered a question from Raheem DeVaughn (who follows me) and said “still in possession of my virginity so I can’t say”. To my surprise he RT’d it to his followers which resulted in me getting mentions of how honorable that is and how proud these women (who don’t know me) are of me. I also got mentions telling me to keep it and that I might as well since I’ve waited this long. I even got one from another virgin who’s in her twenties and she said {{because I’m older than she is}} that I give her hope that it’s possible to continue to keep her virginity this far into her adulthood.

Another reason I don’t like telling people is because they think I’m lying. How am I supposed to prove something like that? Am I supposed to carry a doctor’s note that says “she’s been checked and I confirm that she’s still a virgin” and show it like it’s some kind of ID?  All I can tell you is to get confirmation from people who know me. A college friend said that if you talk to me long enough you’ll see that I’m telling the truth about being a virgin. I didn’t (and still don’t) get exactly what she meant by that but okay. And I hate being asked why I’ve waited this long? Does it really matter? I don’t think so but, if you MUST know, for the first 24 years I was on the “I’m waiting until marriage” train. I’m now on the “if the RIGHT man {{and ‘right’ by my standards alone}} comes along” train.

People and their misconceptions of what a virgin is supposed to look, think, and act like make me laugh. I’m supposed to be COMPLETELY clueless about sex and not participate in conversations on it. I’m also not supposed to be proud of having big boobs. Quote from a complete stranger who overheard me conversing with a friend “so what’s the purpose of you being heavy chested when no man has ever been able to enjoy them”. Really dude? That’s the ONLY thing my boobs are good for? I beg to differ. I’ve heard {{from friends}} that I do indeed have an inner freak and I’ve just now realized that they were right. But, I’m not supposed to have one because “you won’t know until you’ve actually had sex” right? I think that thought process is stupid. I’m the exact opposite of what I’m supposed to be as a virgin. I can’t speak on the specifics of sex but I can give you my thoughts on what I WANT to get from it. I’m guessing that big boobs and a large butt (which I don’t actually have, my butt is super small) are to magically appear the day I decide to lose my virginity? Yeah, that’s stupid as well. As far as the freak in me, am I not allowed to dream/think about what I want to happen in the bedroom? The worst thing that can happen with that is for me to at least try it and THEN discover that I don’t like it.

I enjoy living life free of the stresses/emotions/feelings that come along with sex. If I’m EVER to change my mind about it, it will be MY decision and no business of the rest of the world. I wish to not be judged on this decision because I didn’t judge others on the age they were when they decided to relinquish their virginity. That probably won’t happen but I can still hope. And despite being told that I will be unable to hide the fact that I’m no longer a virgin I will do my best to keep it a secret.



{July 18, 2011}   3 Years Old

*this is my most emotional piece yet, I cried myself to sleep  when I finished this piece. It was after 3am and I BADLY wanted to call somebody but I didn’t want to interrupt any of my friends’ sleep. I sobbed uncontrollably until sleep overtook me*

I looked at my desktop background (which is a picture of my 3 nieces) just now and realized that two of them are the age I was when my daddy (their granddaddy) passed away. That age is 3, my other niece is 5.

I think about their comprehension level and figure that I had that same level when I was that age. I think about how they look at me and probably believe that I’ll live forever because at 3 they don’t know any better.

They have yet to experience death. {{Well, the 5 year old has, she lost her grandmother last year}}

Which ultimately led me to believe that I had absolutely NO clue what was going on around me when my daddy died. I’ve heard stories about how I almost got left at the daycare and how I only cried because my mama and brother were crying. I’ve seen pictures too. But that doesn’t mean I understood what was going on.

I had no idea that the man I called daddy would be physically gone from me forever. I had no idea that from then on he’d only live in my heart and the hearts of those who knew him.

I can only imagine how my mother explained to me that I’d no longer be able to SEE my daddy and I often wonder what EXACTLY it was that she said to me. How did she start the conversation and when she asked me if I understood, what did I say? I’ve yet to ask these questions because I can’t bear to hear the answers. Maybe when I’m 30.

I look at the picture of my 5 year old niece and wonder would I have understood it a bit better had I been 5 instead of 3? Her level of comprehension is more advanced of course but she looks at me the same way the other two do, as if she’s sure that Auntie Ashley will be around forever.

So I know I looked at my daddy and was absolutely positive that he’d be around forever.

And now I’m starting to wonder what my mama said to me the first time I asked about my daddy after he’d been buried. Did she remind me of whatever talk we had during the days leading up to his funeral? Or did she simply re-explain the situation to me?

How many times did she actually have to explain the ENTIRE situation to me before I got to the point where I understood and stopped asking about him?

Thinking about these questions bring tears to my eyes and even wondering what answers I got to these questions bring them on.

But the last question I must ask myself is, how would I explain this to MY child if I had to?



{July 13, 2011}   Love and Hate Relationships

I have a love and hate relationship with quite a few of my personality traits. What amplifies these relationships is that these traits are here for an eternity, they’re not going ANYwhere no matter how many times I try to change. I’ve actually given up trying to change and will tell people who have issues with it, “You know me, or you say you do, you should know this is just how I am”

They are but aren’t limited to:

  • being overly emotional
  • being overly sensitive
  • my inability to get (and stay) mad
  • being too nice to the undeserving
  • caring too much
  • treating people the way I want to be treated
  • having detailed and intimate dreams

Now, don’t get me wrong, these are all WONDERFUL characteristics to have and I do love having them until I get overly emotional or too sensitive about something really petty or something NOBODY else would understand. Until I start hating how someone can hurt my feelings and within 24 hours I’ve forgiven them and gone back to loving them. Until people start taking advantage of my generosity, or when I can’t STOP caring about someone who has obviously stopped caring about me. Being nice and treating people the right way when they treat me like crap. Having these dreams and not being able to act on them for whatever reason.

And then I go back to loving these traits when I see that some people appreciate them.

It really is a never ending cycle.

So, in essence, I have a love/hate relationship with my personality. This is just who I am and though I don’t like it at times, I’ve accepted that I will never change.



{July 12, 2011}   the natural hair thing

*and no, I’m not debating ANYTHING in this post with ANYBODY*

this whole natural hair thing the black community has going on is starting to get on my nerves. Yeah, I said it.

I call my hair “natural” b/c EVERY strand on it, the grey ones included, is MINE and not store bought. (this is why you’ll see “chemical free” all through this post)

If you disagree, oh well. this is MY head, not yours

I’m tired of hearing the comparisons between women who have chemical free hair and those of us who don’t. Tired of hearing both sexes say how a chemical free haired woman will forever trump/look better than a woman who chooses to put chemicals in hers. If that’s your opinion, fine, feel free to speak it, just don’t act like your opinion on the matter is better than mine. It’s not. Different, yes, better, no

to the women whose chemical free hair is two different shades, what are you using to get it that way? Chemicals, right? *I could be wrong on this one and if I am, sorry*

and to be honest, I think a lot of women have gone chemical free b/c it’s the “thing” to do right now. If you aren’t one of these women, my hat goes off to you, I’ve heard how hard it is to start going chemical free and keep it that way

If you like women who have chemical free hair, fine, but DON’T put down women who choose to put chemicals in theirs.

If you are a woman who has chemical free hair, fine, but DON’T act as if you’re better than permed hair women b/c you don’t add chemicals to yours

I’m so tired of hearing “women who have chemical free hair can go out in the rain and not worry, yada yada yada”. I don’t worry about the rain b/c I have an umbrella and more often than not I’m wearing some type of jacket with a hood on it. I also carry, on days it might rain, those plastic caps that were popular back in the day. So trust, rain doesn’t bother me either.

I unwrapped my freshly permed hair and I must say it’s beautiful and I love it!! I love that it’s starting to grow, how I can it feel it on the back of my neck, see it sitting on my shoulders when I look in the mirror and how, when I do actually let someone get close enough to me, they run their fingers through it.

My hair has also been pulled and he enjoyed it

I’m also tired of hearing the “what’s natural vs. what’s not natural” debate

Yes, I THOUGHT about what I’d look like having chemical free hair and how much money I’d save from not having to pay to have it permed. Decided that it’s not my thing and will continue to get my perms

another thing that’s like a 5 out of 100 on the importance factor, I’ve seen, either in person or via a picture, less than 10 women who have made me say “her chemical free hair looks wonderful on her”.

*natural hair and all that it entails has now gone on my ever growing list of things I don’t talk about*



{June 29, 2011}   Settling in a relationship

TP (TwinPisces) sent me an email with the following question(s):

Is there a thin line between settling and being flexible/realistic? What is settling?

My answer was:

I think that to a woman who’s unsure of what she wants there’s a thin line between the two. But to a woman like you or me, there’s a solid difference between settling and being flexible

to me, settling is being with someone just to say you have someone. It’s lowering your standards because you’re either tired of looking or you’re not sure how to change the results you’re getting in the dating pool and you feel that what you’ve found is all there is out there

being flexible is being with someone who may not have all the qualities you’re looking for but they have most of them. It’s learning to live with the little things (like he leaves his socks on the floor, something minor like that) because the big things are way more important. He may need a reminder to start the dishwasher but the trash is always taken out, he cooks on occasion, he’s working, providing for himself (and you) and a bunch of other stuff that REALLY matters.

A woman will take a man in, do everything for him just to be able to brag to her single friends that she’s with someone. the only time a man will take care of a woman in a similar manner is if that’s his wife.

I do believe that women settle more than men do though. Men grow on women, but if a man isn’t interested in you in the least bit, there’s pretty much nothing you can do to change that. Yeah, he may date you b/c the sex is good but everything else you’re NOT doing is going to outweigh the good sex and he’ll leave.

I asked a male friend of mine what his take on settling was and this is what he said: I think especially black women are forced to settle more than men simple because of the numbers game and the fact black men aren’t where we need to be mentally. We all should be flexible b/c nobody is perfect. 

TP also asked me to make a small list of what matters and what doesn’t. I did

Would you rather nag your man about leaving the toilet seat up (when you can spend less than 10 secs putting it back down) or be happy he cleans the entire bathroom every week?

Would you rather nag him because he constantly watches porn on the Internet or be happy his income (combined with yours) is able to pay the bills, one of which allows you Internet access?

Would you rather nag him because he forgot your birthday or appreciate the “just because it’s *insert any given day of the week* flowers on rare occasions?

Which is more important to you? His imprint on a church pew or the fact that he knows (trusts and believes) that whoever he prays to will be with him through ALL things, good and bad?

Which is more important? Him driving a fancy car or the fact that when you hear a funny noise in your own car he either knows what it is and how to fix it or takes it to the mechanic for you?

Like my friend said, nobody is perfect so figure out which of your “must haves” for a mate you can live with and the ones you can live without. Also, keep in mind that someone out there will be doing the same for you.



{June 13, 2011}   Weight Loss (for me)
I realize that I’m the type that can eat a lot  and not gain weight.
However, that doesn’t give me the right to continue to abuse this trait. I reluctantly agreed that this “eat whatever I want and not gain weight” thing may not last once I either enter my 30s or give birth
I am more than fairly small for my age, hell my almost 12yo nephew weighs more than I do. but at the same time I’m not in the best shape and I could stand to be healthier. being thin/small does NOT equal healthy or in shape.
So, I came up with a plan of sorts.
I no longer eat after 6:30pm unless I’m out somewhere and even then it’s something light. When I’m home which is almost all the time, if I get hungry at night I eat either some fruit or pop a bowl of popcorn. I also walk the back part of my neighborhood in the evenings.
it’s not much but it’s better than what I was doing a month ago which was no matter what time it was if I was hungry I ate whatever I wanted.
With this new plan came rapid and unexpected weight loss. and when I say rapid I mean so fast I actually had to stop with the neighborhood walks b/c the pounds were dropping way too fast

see? and that picture was taken about 2 weeks ago. I have since picked up my walking and 3lbs! But just as quickly as those 3lbs came, they left again. :0(

I’ve also noticed that some of my clothes have gotten a bit too big now. I have 3 or 4 pairs of jeans that used to fit just right around the waist but now, the smallest thing being put in my back pocket (i.e. my cell phone, keys) makes them fall down. and my pj’s are starting to fall off my hips too. you may laugh (and I did too at first) but it’s kind of sad when you think about it.

I did NOT plan on this happening, like I don’t pride myself on being under 100lbs. Actually the weight range that makes me comfortable is between 103lbs and 106lbs.

I’d like to think I’m in better shape. and with changing my eating times I’ve slightly altered WHAT I eat.  I eat more salads and I’m SLOWLY getting away from burgers. Don’t worry though, my love for french fries isn’t going anywhere.  I was never really a junk food/sweets person but I will have the occasional brownie or cupcake. I’ve unconsciously stopped eating fish and I’m not even sure why that is, I just stopped. I also eat even more fruit than I used to.

I have always said that diets aren’t for everybody (and neither are gym memberships) and that people could possibly lose weight with their own plans if they’re serious about it and keep at it.

It works for me (a little too well actually) so I think that someone making and keeping with their own weight loss plan could work for them too



{June 12, 2011}   Prayer

I’ve been told all my life that when you pray for something you have to have faith that God is going to work it out for you. Well, as a child I didn’t know that meant that the answer from God wouldn’t come within a week after me saying said prayer. Back then I also didn’t know that God’s answer wouldn’t always be what I wanted it to be.

But I grew up and my faith got stronger. I now know that God’s answer can be in the form of telling you “No” because He has something better in store for you, it can be in the form of you having to wait for what you asked for, etc. Having to wait doesn’t mean you just sit there waiting on the day God answers your prayer. God making you “wait” is really Him preparing you for what you asked for.

He’s preparing me now for something I asked for.

True story

I asked God for something I thought I wanted so badly. I prayed and prayed for this thing not realizing that God was telling me “no” in ways other than Him just flat out saying “No, Ashley, this isn’t for you”. His “No” meant he had something better for me (and He did). He was also preparing me to be ready for that “something better”.

And for that I’m SO thankful.



et cetera