One day at a time!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Ties that Bind…straight talk

Love is vast, encompassing in most its passages. It goes beyond life and death, and could wallow in pity, swell up on every emotional whim and drive. It will thrive on hope, and then shatters when doubt propels it. Like night and day, love could turn to hate, and the erstwhile good-natured mote of awesome contentment dies off as if it were a novelty. In short, love has a life span…and a delicate one at that.

I bet when you were younger, you had a vision of love…a vision of how you wanted your love life to turn out. Well, it is natural for us to wish for great things, and then pray to God that they do come true. For starters, He puts the dreams and wishes in our hearts. However, no matter what we finally do achieve, it would amount to nothing if it were devoid of self-love, and that one solid essentialism; love for others!

In this one aspect of love, God’s plans for the union of marriage is a promise of a lifetime of love and co-habitation between two people; a man and a woman. Well, that point is no longer customary. Not anymore, it isn’t! The ties that bind a couple in today’s marriage are not the vows. Vows are cheap and easily pronounced. The questions abound: Is love enough to sustain a marriage? Would you rather you gave up your happiness, even your life, just so the vows stayed unbroken, and you remained in the union made in hell? 

One thing that many couples often do is fight. And, what they do not do often is pray! I am not recommending prayer as any kind of panacea for troubled marriages. It is not clear if it helps at all. When couples do not talk to each other; and when the rare gem that is communication finally happens, they shout and scream at each other. Shouting has become a common household noise. The foundation of a family that stays together is a family that prays together. Famous last words! Good tidings! Words in an empty vessel tend to echo loudly, and have blast waves as accompaniments. The prayer part must therefore go with forgiveness and forgetting. It is the only way prayer works for the faithful and the generously big hearted. Well, time has continued to prove that there is power in praying, but not lying to oneself about one’s determination to make this near-sham of a marriage work, is the binding force. Take that to the bank; it is hope and longevity in your pocket…purse!  

Do you ever imagine the kind of husband/wife you would want your son/daughter to be married to? I bet it would be the kind you had fashioned right after you had had your private moments with God. Say it is so. I know it is so. Think about this: You want your child to have the kind of blissful marriage you yourself had missed. Right? And you would prefer such great love affair for your child, even while you yourself are abusing someone else’s child in your relationship. What type of humanity do you think you are propagating in your children? Do you then think your children should forget the unhealthy relationship they had lived under, and not try to emulate you? Well…monkey see, monkey do. For those who gloat by oppressing and those that have submitted themselves to wanton cruelty rather than vacate it…you are both nurturers of future cruelties in family homes.

Many married couples have forgotten how to love and appreciate each other; how to smile, and how to live! They have no relationship with each other whatsoever. Not even feuding roommates would trade places with these two!!! Some wear makeups including smiles, to cover up their pain, shame and hopelessness. While others wear misery like a hat, and would prefer to remain in the marriage, nothing short of a paranormal visitation would force them to leave. One of the reasons many stay, especially among the women folk, is the fear of being alone. Ironically, the fear of getting killed by the men who had vowed to love and cherish them until death did them part comes a distant second.

Remember this: The marriage you are trying to save isn’t worth the paper you had signed to cherish him/her. If this situation applies to you, you should change course. So, what would you do if you knew death could visit you in your marriage, through the hands of the one that was supposed to protect you? Would you run knowing it would keep you alive? In every bad marriage situation, what doesn’t kill you, if you stayed, could put you on life support. And that could be worse than death! Would you change the world starting with yours, if you were given the power to do so? I bet you would! So, what’s stopping you? Do not be the obstacle delaying your wellbeing. You have the power to change your destiny. Everyone has a purpose in life! What’s yours? Be the tie that binds you to everything good.

Now, here is a brief situation that may apply to you or someone you know...

Boy meets girl. Sex probably happens on the first or second date, even before they had the chance of knowing each other. Now, they think they are in love or at least, so she thinks. As soon as the bliss begins to wear off, the abuse starts; his fists rise and fall on her as he would against a punching bag. If she is stupid, and nowhere near livid by his actions, she would stay and prolong it. She would lie to herself constantly, and to everyone around her. The beginning of this kind of clumsiness would be her undoing.
In her heart, she assumes or rather, believes he will change eventually. And if he were savvy and in control, he would find the right time to pop the big question every girl wants to hear. Of course, she says yes, bruises and all! A new chapter begins for the two of them. A baby is born. Two or more children after that…the battering would resurface; only it is meaner and packs a wallop. Years go by, and she is still at the receiving end of his fists. The man has won, because he had remained unchallenged. The children who see daddy treating mommy unashamedly and how mommy succumbed to it, internalize the abuse as thing men do to women. That is the evil that any spousal abuse begets.

One spring morning, he finally kills her, in cold blood, in the presence of her children. The dead don’t speak. They cannot tell the rest of the world their side of the fracas that led to her demise. We know what becomes of this man. The question is; what becomes of the children they left behind?   

Unhealthy relationship is toxic…always is. And those that find themselves in it are inadvertently thrust into that quicksand you could never get out of known as death row. The hangman would eventually stare you down. You may want to ask yourself why it is that you have stayed married to this man/woman, given the odds against you. I have never been one to grant any benefit of the doubt to a careening situation. Oh, I know…it’s the kids, Stupid! That excuse comes up on the Richter scale all right, but doesn’t wash up on sanity beach. Simply put, ‘Get out’. If you did that, you would have nailed the puncher with your own right cross. Let him reel, and careen and flail for some time, while you take that front row seat you had paid for with good common sense, and watch him squirm and welter away. Lend no hand…if you have to proffer a hand, throw another haymaker to floor him. Yeah, thanks! Don’t you ever forget that your happiness and safety are equally important as that of your children’s well-being.  

From then on, the rest of your life starts with the dawn of each new day. You have now chosen not to live your life half asleep. You will no longer feel unfulfilled, confused and hopeless. The new lease on your life should have great, fresh, encompassing, and compelling stories. Not the haggard, evil-lurking-behind-you-always tales from the dark yarn. If this calls for a drink, call me over. I would like a tall one; uncut, no chaser, that is. Remember, in the midst of every new challenge hounding you, you possess the power to change directions, and then rewrite the quotients that make your story a miserable tale.

Be the architect of your life. And according to Russell Simmons, ‘Do You’

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Life Lessons

Behind every smile and/or every tear, lies the truth in our hearts. True, the man that lives in a glass house should NOT throw stones. A greater % of the world's population lives in a glass house. We all have closets, therefore, we need to focus on cleaning OUR closets, rather than digging into others in search of... 
A true friend is indeed an all-weather kinda friend, and NOT the seasonal kind. Some friends come into your life for reasons; to nurture something good or release toxins in your life, hoping to destroy you so that they can benefit from their intended mishap 4u - for instance. The evil that men do is nothing new under the sun, though it lives with them - everyday is for the thief, & one day is for the owner. 
True, we should NOT judge others, yet we all are guilty of it one way or the other. So, when someone commits 'evil,' and is remorseful and asks God for forgiveness, God forgives because He is NOT like us, while we are busy still pointing fingers. However, we need to be careful of the kinds of friends that come as camouflage, yet with a smile, & the word of God is used as a backup. 
Everybody has a secret... well, God sees it all. When you think you hold others' secret, others hold YOUR secrets. The worst you can do to someone (not a friend) you supposedly or think you know their secret(s) is to blow your horns - that's it. Afterwards, what? You are no better than that someone. 
It really still baffles me how people esp those ones we call our 'friends' sit & just think pure 'evil.' May God protect us all from such toxins.

Here & Now...

At the dawn of each day, life happens, & so does death! As each passes by, things change, people change too, either for the better or for the worse. Almost every decision we make, is either made willingly, forcefully or out of desperation. 
Chances are... there will be good and/or bad outcomes. Just like the past years, 2011 will be remembered, for there have been tears and/or smiles, even miseries . Regardless of each emotion, we ALL have been blessed, PERIOD. 
When tomorrow comes, & it will... we are given new hope. Now, that's the reason to wear smiles like a shawl & be gracefully thankful. Hope should be like a love song in your heart. Remember, 2012 is a continuation of the amazing grace of God in our lives. 
No matter where you are or hope to be, you have the most memorable gift with you each day; the gift of LIFE. And God is Life Himself. Enjoy today just the way you would love to enjoy tomorrow, making each day the best day of your life. You know why? You are worth it! God made it so.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11: A Day Not Forgotten

We remember every now and then; September 11. We sigh. Tears are not far from many eyes.
Today especially, we reminisce even more....
How many innocents lives were lost;
Many hearts were broken,
And many nations stood still.

However, their souls were not lost on this day;
The angels were right there, in their last unexpected moments.
Therefore, their souls are neither lost nor forgotten.

We must not focus on how they died per se,
But the lives they lived;
The differences they made;
They love they gave;
And, the good they did while here.

We must also remember that things happen for reasons.
We should not have to wonder if God was aware of this evil act before it happened.
And, He was, always.
He is God.
We must not keep asking why, and why!!!

Let each of us remember today.
Therefore, remember each day...
Knowing that we are not guaranteed the next moment.

So...appreciate and love yourself;
This way, you will love and appreciate others.
Never focus on the miseries of life itself.
Or live in fear.
We are given the best gift each day;
The gift of life.
We should smile and look on God.
For He is Hope and Life.

May the souls of the faithfully departed, RIP.
Premature death; be not our portion.
May we each live life to the fullest just as God intended for us.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Language of my Mother

I remember a few weeks ago while on board back to Houston, one of the passengers heard me talking with another passenger. He starred at me for a while and finally said to me:
"Hello young lady. How're you doing? Where are you from? I can hear an accent. I like the way you speak."
"Thank you. Yes, I do have an accent just like you do. I am from Nigeria. I am Ibo."
"I have an accent?"
"Yes Sir, you do. You are American so, you have an accent. I am African, I have an accent."
He paused for a second then said:
"Hmmm, you are right. We all have an accent."
He introduced himself. When I told him my name, he said;
"Oh, my granddaughter's name is Kem too; short for Kimberley." Ifukwanum eshishi. How did I go from Nkemdilim to Kimberely? LOL. We had an interesting conversation. I learned a thing or two from him.
When I speak in my native tongue; The Igbo Language, I LOVE IT & I am PROUD. I speak it to my kids, sometimes they understand it and most times, sadly they do not. My kids are definitely aware of the fact that they are Ibos, and not just because of the food they eat. They know the language I speak, but not literally sha. I am of the millions of parents guilty of not being consistent with communicating with their children in their Mother Tongue. Now, I am on a mission.
It is interesting how my kids are able to sing gospel songs in the Igbo language. They know the songs are worship songs, yet the meanings they do not comprehend completely.
This summer, I decided we go back to the basics. I started to teach them: a, b ch, d, e, f g, gb, gw....; One = Otu; The parts of the body and more. The first day was HARD for them especially my older children. Chima aka Igwe who is 4 years old was able to pronounce every word like I would. The fact here is the age differences. Kids tend to assimilate languages faster at a young age. However, it does not mean that the older kids cannot learn as fast. It was also interesting how they are becoming aware when and where to put the dots under letters like: o & u...the difference between 'Ukwu;' Waist and ' Ụkwụ;' Leg. I know how hard it can be though I was nurtured in Igbo. However, when you put your mind to what you want to achieve, sky is the limit.
Anyway, each day, I give them Igbo homework. I also have a reward for not just the effort, but for when they fully understand what they are learning. So far, it has been awesome. It is getting so exciting for them especially my first three.
Though they were born, raised in the States and have not yet been to Nigeria, they know where they are originally from. They understand and appreciate the meanings of their names and who they are.
I remember in the early spring, my 8yr old son came back from school feeling not so good, because of an incident that had happened at school. His friend had made fun of his name; Chinedu. He was feeling bad because he forgot the meaning of his name. So...I reminded him. When he came home the next day, he said;
"Mommy, I told my friend what my name means, Chinedum means: God guides me. Then I asked him the meaning of his name. He did not know and he also said his parents have no clue. Thanks mom."
Just like many Nigerian kids home and abroad, they are aliens to their native language. Many parents are proud when they say: 'My kids understand my language, but they cannot speak it.' How about the kids born and raised in Nigeria, yet they do not speak in their native tongues because mom and dad want them to speak and be like the oyibo? Oyibo nwanu ekwero ha osusu. However, the Asians, Hispanics & even the Indians make the English Language their second language instead. They are proud of their native tongue.  
Uhhhh... How about this? 'My parents are Nigerians. I am American.' This is classic. Who is to be blamed?
Anyway, when it is noisy in my home, I tell my kids to speak in their mother tongue. And, all of a sudden, the house is quiet. Not funny, but it works. Then, they make every effort to communicate with me in the language. If they are not sure how to say it in Igbo, they ask for permission to say it English, for me to translate it to them. Today, they wanted to know what's for breakfast in Igbo. I said, "Fresh croissants and akwa." The next question was: "What are croissants in Igbo?" Anyone??? HELP!!! LOL 
This morning, my 6 year old daughter was practicing ONE, TWO, the Igbo language. When she pronounced the numbers, some of the numbers in Igbo were sounding more oyibo than Ibo. My 9 year old said to her;
"KeleChi, it is like a rubberband, so you stretch it. Each word has a tone. Remember that word "Akwa? It has several meanings because of the different tones." I am glad and proud that they are beginning to understand that my language; their language is a tonal language therefore, unique. It has a ring to it. It is musical.
The bottom-lines:
·         It does not matter where you were born or where you live, teach your kids your native tongue (If you know it).
·         If your spouse is non-Ibo, it does not matter, teach your children your native tongue (If you know it) and if you do not know it, learn it together.
·         No matter how much you try to be more like the oyibo, you are who you were the day you were born and not who you are trying or hope to be.
·         Some of us yearn to learn other languages like French, Spanish, Chinese....but NOT our native tongue. Now, that's a shame.
·         Even if your parents made the mistake of not teaching you, do not make same mistake.
·         When you teach your kids, they teach their kids and this cycle continues.
·         No matter what, CULTURE MATTERS.
·         Be proud of who you are and not who you are trying to be.
Oh, in the last few days, when my kids see me in the morning they say:
"Good morning Mommy. Ilarukwa ofuma?" Now, that's a start.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Love: The Language of the Heart ~ Nkem DenChukwu

Originally written: July 11, 1996

The kind of season that sets a familiar tone for an indescribable yet, amazing unique pathway to one's destiny, is the season of love. Every season is meant to be the season of love...

The air is crisp. And the flowers seem to be doing a slow dance. She hears rhythms of a song but, it is only the birds tweeting. In a bit, there is a sudden calmness. The mood is simply magical. In the midst of this tranquility, she giggles like a child being tickled. She can only imagine all that her heart has come to know!

All of a sudden, only she could feel the calmness in the crowded room. She feels his eyes gazing at her. She turns to see and, he is not in the crowd. She knows his aura is not distant from her. She is not hallucinating. Her heart knows better. Then, a subtle voice says to her; “Hello!” There is a breath of fresh air and sunshine in his being. “Would you like to dance?” He asks. Her feet could barely carry her but somehow, they are on the dance floor.

He gently moves her body towards his and holds her so very close. They dance to a slow song. He smells sweet yet, very manly. His voice is warm & tender; the kind of voice that radiates one’s heart like a gentle breeze. He looks at her, and she knows he could only see her. In that very moment just like almost always, her heart does a break dance.

The music stops but their feet are still moving. Again, he looks at her as if they just met. He holds her as if tomorrow would not come but, with a gentle grip. He leans towards her. And whispers the three most beautiful yet familiar words; words he says to her moments before now. Then he says, “I love you.”

Her heart could only feel what it has always known. She knows that nature has given her one of her rare gifts of a lifetime; her one true love. She stops dancing for a moment. His arms are still wrapped around her, lovingly. She looks at him just like his heart looks at her. She gently lifts up his face and kisses him the way he would love her to. Seeing him looking at her, she knows he only could see her. Then, she says; “I love you more.”This time, his lips completely embraces hers. They are where they need to be; in each other's arms. They are home in each other's heart; home at last.

Ask yourself: Is my heart in sync with the one I love, the one that I am with or hope to be with? Love is never on a one-way street.

Fact: Loving another is by grace. Knowing that the one you love, loves you the same, is by grace therefore, a rare treasure. Love is the greatest gift. Love from your heart, with all your heart & let your love not be seasonal.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Your Familiar Stranger!!!

For many, life on earth is or could be as sweet as the sound of heaven. And for many, as sour as they did not bargain for but, live hopeful with joyful hearts or wear the miseries of life like garments...

A peace of mind is joy in the heart. The sound and feel of love in one's life is a dream come true for some or many, just like he or she hoped and envisioned. If the heart had a voice, heaven will echo as many times as the heart beats.

What could be greater to know than to experience love in its fullness? Yet, many claim to live in love when they live in misery and die in silence, literally! Behind every smile and/or every tear, lies the truth in the heart.

The storms of life can change situations and people, to certain extent. Nevertheless, people don't change with the season, for reasons. They are who they are. Either, certain behaviors or traits are hidden or that the eyes are clouded or simply, that many choose to be ignorant of the "red flags" on sugar-coated yet, toxic characters. Six feet under, the victims never envisioned!!

Many couples are just legally married or joined by the "common law." That is all. Many married couples co-exist, have casual sex and call it "marriage" while simultaneously having sex with "A" or "C" or with "B" & "J". Many couples have no relationship with each other. They see each other but, are blind. They hear each other still, they are deaf. Men have better relationships with their "buddies" and women have awesome time with the "girls." Your spouse becomes what? Take your pick from the list of your thoughts.

When a man hits a woman; it is not an accident. WATCH OUT. When a man is verbally ABUSIVE, pay attention to details.When a man threatens his wife, be ALARMED and not ignorant. When you sleep with the enemy, what do you think could happen? What could go wrong? With the choices you make or not make, life has a way or rather, ways to tumble God's plans and lead you to an unplanned destination.

The choices we make deter or lead us to a place. To have a peace of mind is to know that your spirit is home. And again, that is joy. Many women (Men too) in abusive relationships are in the battlefield of the mind. They lack the vision to see and the knowledge to know the depth of their own strength until, they decide to take the first step to the road of being cage-free.

Take time to think about or google how many women in your community that have been MURDERED or brutally injured by their husbands.

Homes, though may be hit by the storm; it can and should be built on foundation of wisdom and love. Instead, many homes are built on deceit, greed, fear, lack of mutual love and more. Because the foundation is weakened by these flaws, they are destroyed by the very contractors that built them. They are forever destroyed when men decide to take the lives of their wives by remodeling their homes with bloodshed. Or when a woman (And a man too) makes the choice of having multiple personalities of playing a wife at home, a lover at the motel or...

My mind is just wandering... & I wonder how many people live in misery, hopeful for some miracle in their relationships and lives. I do believe in miracles. I also believe in asking God for guidance and wisdom to know the difference between "black and white."  A man sits, thinks, decides and acts on taking a detour on God's plan!!! In a bit, anger, jealousy or his thought overwhelms him and he takes the life of the woman he shares his life and dreams with, for reasons in a season.

For a second, imagine digging a hole to trap your prey then suddenly, you see yourself into the hole, mysteriously!!! God has not given us the power and the spirit to take another life.

Your familiar stranger becomes your greatest enemy. The difference is that; YOU are become another story in the picture.

Today's marriage is a joke! How can our children; the younger generation believe in the union of love when "husbands" physically hurt their supposedly wives, and wives play outside of their legally assigned fields? It is my, your and our decision to be wise and help change the notion that "Marriage is life imprisonment and a death row." We need to make love what it is meant to be; the greatest gift of all.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Sweet & Sour: The Journey of Life

Life is the reason that you should have hope. The storms of life can weigh you down if/when you allow them to. It can be hard sometimes even, most times still, dwelling in the misery of the things you have absolute no control of, can and will only do one thing... It will take away your joy. So, make the choice to not let it.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

It Could Be Me!

Caring for another individual is beautiful. It is a sacrifice. It is a gift. Not everyone has the grace to care for another, especially the sick, the disabled, needy or anyone for that matter. Caring for another individual is more than work per se, it is an innate trait. It is a blessing to be able to have the opportunity to do so. True, we cannot change the direction of the wind but we sure can adjust the sail.

Different individuals choose Medical profession especially “Nursing” profession for different reasons. Reasons like job stability, money-making profession that one can acquire zillion over time hours but most importantly, to care for those who need the help of medical science and all its providers to be healthy and have a better prolonged life.

I have always believed that it is a good thing to always be good to everyone we meet because our situation could change in a heartbeat and our life could depend on another individual. If or when it does, I always pray for God to also give me a caring nurse during my time of need in a healthcare facility. For many years, I have researched to understand the basis people choose this great but tasking profession. I have come to understand that when you are a selfless individual that have an unconditional love for another regardless of the reason for the “chosen” profession, the best part of you will set in when the time comes.

As a HealthCare Administrative Intern, I came to appreciate “Nursing” even better, after having seen nurses at work, at the Texas Medical Center. Nursing profession requires a lot of patience, care, devotion, trust, time, selflessness, but most of all, the spirit of God to be able to render such a generous service.

There is saying that goes like, “When one is mourning for the dead, he is also mourning for himself.” I believe this to be true. Things can go wrong in our lives at anytime regardless. In the healthcare industry, there could be medication error, equipment malfunction, medical record misplacement, wrong patient data, job burnout… you name it. No one is beyond mistakes but, certain mistakes can be avoided in a lot of ways especially when we, as individuals do our part, most effectively.

I observed dedicated nurses at this hospital, an outstanding healthcare organization and I admire them. I love their enthusiasm. I love their devotion. I also observe the way they care for these patients as if they are caring for themselves or loved ones. I love their patience regardless of long hours or work overflow. I love the fact they chose one of the most selfless professions to make our lives even better. Not every nurse is a great nurse but I have seen the best and the best personally and professionally.

I believe every nurse should always say to him or herself when they are caring for patients especially, “…I will be the best that I can be to every patient, in the best possible way, to change or make their situation/outcome better regardless of my obligation because, it could be me.” When I see a patient, I talk to God on his/her behalf. I realize that it could be me laying up there with or without any hopes then my heart is full of gratitude especially for my life and health that I am blessed with each day. Truly, it could be me.

Nursing is indeed a skill well sculptured only by the best; the gentle givers of all.

Nurses are Angels here on earth.

Originally written June 8, 2009

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Let's TALK about "LOVE."

Practicing it or not, many do not and many do know and understand the biblical teachings of “LOVE”!!!
I am not talking about romance! What does "LOVE" look like? Do you know it? Do you see it (Not if) but when it comes and when you give it or receive it? What does "LOVE" feel like? Can you touch it and hold on to it? 

Now, let's talk about romantic "LOVE!!" 

I am not taking about "S..X!!! Do you have a vision of how romantic love is or should be like? Are you with the one that makes your heart pop (Emotionally & physically in sync) or do you have "the" special someone, somewhere (In your heart) that you are fond, like, or love & in love with? Are you living in the kind of "LOVE" you dreamed and hoped for?

Well, we have to talk about “Sex,” it is part of “LOVE” (Romantic or not)!!! It is the name of the game in many arenas.

Sex (Physical and mental attractions of lust) is part of what makes “LOVE” confusing and in chaos. It is what many think about without really thinking. It is toxic in many lives. It is what many think or assume that they need to get ahead for whatever reason. Sex has different basis but, it is without passion. It is all about “Banging, tapping, quickie, hitting" & all that fade away after minutes of a meaningless act.

This, I prefer to “Sex;” “LOVE-making.” It is filled with absolute passion. It is beautiful and fulfilling when it is made with the one your heart does “TANGO” with. Like a breath of fresh air, your heart is home and your face glows afterward still, “LOVE” is where it was before, during, and after “LOVE” is made.

Really, what is "LOVE" to you? 

Well, I do know one thing 4sure. “LOVE” does matter. Because life is “LOVE” and God is LIFE. We are meant to compliment "LOVE." Naturally! ~ ND