The 17 Years that Wasn’t…A Love Lost to Cancer

mcmretreat08 (8)It took me a minute to get this post together because I was sobbing through writing it. January 10th would have marked 17 years that the amazing man I called MY husband would have kept me as his wife. I say “kept me” because he was just such an amazing soul that kept ME in line. Sure I am a powerful mind but I have to say that God brought us together for our minds to be powerful together. He listened, he provided guidance and he was a true friend that never left my side. When he made his transition 3.5 years ago, I was devastated. I internalized most of my pain and kept busy to mask the shear fear of living life without him by my side. I consumed myself with work, tried dating too soon and just kept my mind busy because I did not want to accept the real truth that he was no longer here.

 

He was a good Christian man and we prayed together daily. As I reflect on how life has been without him, it still sometimes seem surreal. He was such a peaceful man, didn’t like to argue and kept the rooms of our home filled with praise music DAILY! While he didn’t really bring me flowers, he grew some of the most beautiful flowers I have ever seen and that I haven’t seen since he passed away. We didn’t always go out to dinner at fancy restaurants because he loved to cook and was always cooking dinner for us at home. We both loved cats and he developed a love for dogs that got me loving dogs and cats now! We both wanted to save the world and make it a better place. He loved focusing on the family system and marriage ministry. I loved marriage ministry, animals and helping women. We were a perfect match.

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I still keep busy with things that matter to me, which just so happen to have mattered to him as well. God knew what he was doing when he brought us together. I honestly miss him and thinking about The 17 Years that Wasn’t I know we would have still been going strong. He came into our marriage with the notion that “divorce is not an option” and he lived by that every single day. While neither of us were perfect and we had our various challenges, we worked through them because we both believed that the family system matters so much.

 

So how did I spend the day that would have been my 17th year anniversary?

  • I didn’t get to cook him an anniversary breakfast and he didn’t get to fix me one of his creative dinner meals
  • We didn’t get to hold hands and pray for our marriage and thank God for another year of marriage
  • I didn’t get the anniversary card under my pillow or the sticky note on the mirror
  • I did however get to reflect on the amazing man that he was and how much he taught me about marriage, life, love and patience
  • I got to reflect on how much I still value marriage, listen to praise music; and even pray with my dogs and for others
  • I got to reflect on mistakes I have made since his death and to think about WWJS “What Would James Say?”
  • I got to humble myself before God

I am so thankful for my time with God and time to reflect on what I need to do to continue pressing forward and healing. I am looking forward to what 2016 will bring in the form of financial, emotional, spiritual and health miracles in my life and others. I can’t wait to share with you what God is doing!

 

Cheers!

 

Dawgelene (Dawj)


FRIDAY FOCUS: 10 Tips For Single Dads

Khalid

Khalid and Anayah

(Guest Blogger) By Khalid B. Scott, LCSW, CADC, MISA I, CWEL, LPHA

As I sit back thinking about the “Power of a Single Parenting Father Figure,” so many thoughts come up!  I reflect on how the impact (both negative and positive) my life has taken by not having my biological father around. However, I am grateful to have had my mother’s boyfriend (Mr. Lee), my uncles, grandfather and male mentors around in my life for me “manhood” development!  I remember being a young boy and hearing my mother and maternal grandmother telling me that because I was the eldest grandchild, that I had a big responsibility to show my younger cousins what a strong, smart, focused and determined young male should look like.
I remember at 17 being asked by one of my best friends (Darnelle) at CVS High School to be his unborn child’s God Dad. My initial reaction was shock that my 17-year-old buddy was about to become a father. My next reaction was wondering what the role of a God dad was but I answered the call. In December of 1987 my 1st Godson (Brian) was born but then 2 months later in February of 1988, my best friend Darnelle (his dad) was killed by a drunk driver!  My world was turned upside down because I really had to step up and be a true God dad at the age of 18!
As I look at myself now, they would be proud to know that I have truly answered the call!  I have spent my entire life trying to be the best example of a “good guy”. I was a top notch student in school (elementary to graduate school), I was God fearing, I respected my elders and women and more importantly, I showed myself respect!  I struggled with (being my own person) at times because I have never really been a “follower”.  I have learned that walking your own path takes bravery and not many of us choose to do so.
We are ending 2015 soon and I now have 11 God children because for some crazy reason, my close friends saw something “Fatherly” about me. My biggest joy is that I have my own on 13-year-old daughter Anayah who has made my life worth living in every way.  I didn’t know what “gut wrenching love” was until Anayah was born in August of 2002 but now I do.  I ABSOLUTELY love being a Dad and God dad, as well as a mentor to over 20 youth in my 22 years as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.  I even have some mentees who are now in their 30’s (which makes me feel old).
I remember asking myself after my divorce in 2012, “How was I going to raise a daughter alone? How would I do her hair, buy her clothes (including undergarments), feed her (I don’t know how to cook), teach her the importance of being “ladylike”, making sure she does’t have chipped nail polish, make sure she excels in school, encourage her, wipe away her tears when she misses her mom, tell her when she’s wrong without taking her confidence away, etc, etc, etc!?” But I did it and I did it well!

I got my “village of family and friends” together and got busy!  There were many moments that I was scared but I learned that “fear” was not a option!  My daughter recently won 8th grade homecoming queen and after the ceremony, she hug me and said “daddy, you’re my HERO!” I wanted to break down because I needed to hear her say those words. Far too long I’ve felt judged, misunderstood and disliked by so many critics who came in the form of friends!  To all “MEN” who have fathered children and feel that you can’t truly contribute as mothers often do…you can!

My “kids” as I sentimentally call them, remind me that a “father” doesn’t have to be the man who impregnated the mother, but that he is the guy who cares and shows it!  I remember how impactful my mom’s boyfriend (Mr. Lee) was in my youthful development and how I, to this day, treat women based on what I saw in his overall treated towards my mom (lovingly!)  Our children (both boys and girls) need positive male influences around in order to have what I call a “balanced perspective!”  My mother in her best efforts taught me to be a Phenomenal person but it was the positive male father figures who taught me what a “Phenomenal man” looks like!

As of today,  my ex-wife and I co-parent Anayah as we were eventually awarded 50-50 joint custody!  I am now a strong advocate for men’s rights and especially fathers rights. I go around now to let other fathers who love and want to protect their children know that if they use the judicial system to their advantage and in a positive manner, more than likely they can get the positive results they desire.
REMEMBER: God made you, BUILT you and Blessed you with the ability to be your child’s HERO, so put on your cape Super dads!  As always, keep Anayah and I in your prayers!

Below are 10 tips as a single father that I have put in place for my daughter:

  • Be deeply ”  In-Love ” with yourself (if you love yourself then you won’t and can’t tolerate MESS!)
  • Thank the  Lord for everyday you exist and tell him that you love and honor him.
  • Be “  Beautiful ” internally and externally (The world loves a beautiful woman).
  • Value your  loved ones (family and friends) genuinely.
  • Don’t ever “BEG” for someone’s love….if nothing else, your Daddy loves you.
  • Keep you hair done and no chipped nail polish on your finger and toe nails  (a unkept woman ain’t cute).
  • Conduct your entire life in a orderly fashion  (to the best of your ability).
  • When you make errors in your life, it’s how you  fix them that shows what kind of woman you are
  • Apologize if you treat another human being wrong.
  • Keep your heart open to allowing a Great Man like your DAD to come into your life.
Khalid B. Scott, LCSW, CADC, MISA I, CWEL, LPHA, is an award winning 22-year licensed case management/clinical social worker manager who work has provided mental health therapy to everyone from IDCFS-affiliated clients to foster and biological family members for over 16 years. Khalid is also a contractual trainer for CASA Cook County Juvenile Courts as well as a contractual college lecturer at Westwood College, Olive-Harvey College, Columbia College, Chicago State University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and DePaul University. Khalid has one daughter, 11 God Children and has mentored children throughout his career!
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