A New Day a New Antwon

In 2016 our world as we knew it was turned upside down when we learned of the death of Antwon Shumpert.  Being from a small town in Tupelo ,MS it would appear that we would know everyone . And though it may be true in some respects is not always the case . When they first mentioned his name on that rainy Father’s Day morning , my heart dropped as I figured out that not only did I know him, I knew his family very well.

I knew his mother, his sisters and his brother. His mother was a faithful client of my mother’s hair salon  , she was a fixture in my life for more than 30 years.  His sisters and my brother attended the same college and we sang in that college’s gospel choir together.   Antwan   , or Ronnie as we knew him  , was murdered in cold blood in my City in my hometown .  Right in the neighborhood where  I grew up  just two streets over from my family home. Being from that neighborhood and riding my bike through the neighbor so often I couldn’t understand the validity of his murder. I had questions, we all wanted answers.

That Summer we marched, talked, yelled , cried,  prayed and screamed for justice not just for his wrongful death , we were marching for Justice for his children, his wife and those who could experience the same fate . Unfortunately our cries were not heard, the marching stopped, the rallies ended . The scale of justice was not balanced in our favor. Days after I read news story after news story of individual black males who have had the same fate. My heart and mind was grieved , not just because its another death  , its the fact that again its at the hands of those who are there to protect and to serve. In 2016 1093 individuals were killed at the hands of police , 6.6 percent of them were black.

One day as I was scrolling down facebook I saw a lone post about another young man who’s name happened to be Antwon Rose. This young man who was killed at the hands of the police just because he was running. What struck me with interest was his age. See he was born in 2000. My son, the one who just graduated from high school was born in the year 2000 as well .  I was allowed the opportunity to shower Peyton with love and attention  during his graduation and now we are preparing for his first semester of college. Antwon could have been my son.  And unfortunately his mother couldn’t celebrate with him as he graduated from high school ,instead she prepared his funeral. He was shot for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Are we guilty by association…maybe . But should our lives be taken just because of the association?

In this year alone 237 blacks have been killed by the hands of the police. This years  457 whites have been killed so it seems like they are the one’s who should be protesting and marching , but look at the statistics of our nation , there are over 247 million white people in the United States and only 37 million black /non Hispanics in the US. What does this mean? It means that there is either a problem with these numbers or there is a problem with our criminal justice system.

In many of these cases these individuals are shot either at close range or in the back . Which is how Antwon was shot,  3 times in the back as he fled the car in fear of what could happen to him  . He was not the driver , he had not committed any crime , they found nothing on him . Shot three times for no reason.  His only wish in life was that he wouldn’t become a statistic and that  his mother wouldn’t have to bury him young .  Why was he running …he was afraid.  We are always painted in a picture as a thug, a misfit , a threat to our society but in the words of Antwon Rose sometimes we are just, “confused and afraid.”  Basically…Tesha

The Fairy Tale of Love

So after my nightly walk. I walked into my house to take a bath and  my husband walks into the bathroom with me . I needed some time  as I was about to take a bath , and of course I shuffled him out because sometimes a girl needs her privacy. As he turned his back quickly he said something that just stuck with me…is this the fairy tale you had in mind when you thought of marriage? I couldn’t help but laugh because in all honesty I never had a fairy tale thought of marriage. I had a wonderful example of marriage with my parents so I never even gave much thought on how I wanted my marriage to be or what expectations I had for marriage.  As a sat and thought about it I see this all the time …people have a fantasy of how they want their marriage to be and when it doesn’t work out the way that they want it to work out they are done with the marriage. Or with that  particular marriage or relationship.

Where do we get these fantasies from ?  Really its simple , all you have to do is watch one or two Disney Movies and your world is shook . You think that this gentleman will sweep you off your feet and you will live happily ever after.  Or you will marry this person , who will always be dressed and always smells wonderful . You will always exchange pleasantries , like good morning love and have a nice day sweetheart. We don’t realize that he may stink , he won’t pick up after himself. He will make decisions that you don’t like and there will be plenty of days that you will not like him and he will feel exactly the same way about you .  He won’t realize that the size 2 body he married will grow to a size 12 after babies. With that growth , underwear grows and hair scarfs are found.  And guess what that’s okay. Its called the evolution of life .

Although those things happen its actually  very normal and very okay . And then  there are some rare moments where you are in the wrong marriage and maybe you need to reconsider marriage altogether or do some extra things just to make it work. Chances are when you get married you plan to be there for better or worse. And divorce is not an option , so just in case you missed all the red flags while you were dating and you didn’t realize you were unequally yoked, check out your states laws concerning annulment. But remember with that ,  you will add in other feelings and ,”what not,”  that you had not already considered during a divorce.  Allow divorce to be your last option. Needless to say those are sticky situations that I don’t want anything to do with. Here is the deal , romance is not a daily option when it comes to marriage. You have to figure out how to make things work with or without daily romance .

The first advice I would give to someone who is looking and longing for a relationship is don’t ignore the red flags.  These are things that could make you step out of your normal character and act like another person.  If there is something that you cannot deal with for a lifetime , go ahead and make a move before marriage and not after . People always say …well I didn’t pay attention to that while we were dating. You did , so many times  we see things and we don’t see it . Dating is so much fun and sometimes you’re having so much fun that you don’t pay attention to the fact that they make noises with their mouth and its annoying.  It happens to the best of us and it can be handled . Don’t ignore any sign , there is always counseling to help you cope .

Stop looking for happiness that you can provide for yourself. Its nothing like seeing two miserable people in a relationship with each other. Or one fulfilled person trying to be happy with someone who is unfulfilled and looking for their spouse to make them happy. It just doesn’t work that way.  My husband can purchase me the Western portion of the United States but if I’m not happy with my own life , I’m going to hate the fact that he thought that much of me to make such an amazing purchase.  So learn how to be happy on your own clock.

I love a RomCom ( romantic comedy) just like any other person .  And as much as I would love to have a breakfast at Tiffany’s moment every time my birthday rolls around , it’s not going to happen every year.  And though it may not happen every year it should happen every once in a while . I’m not by anyway giving someone an excuse to not be romantic and funny but its not a habitual thing.  Make romantic moments weekly or daily. At this stage in life , its romantic when my husband puts gas in my truck without me asking him . It does something to me to get in my truck and see the gas hand on FULL. Find what makes your spouse happy and make them happy. In my case food makes my husband happy,  I can go to Kroger and buy him a nice steak and he’s excited for weeks to come . That works for us.  Find what works for you .

Sometimes we just need hobbies.  Years ago I took up this hobby of writing . I never knew that I would be a full time blogger but that’s just what happens after you spend years jotting notes down in notebooks would turn into a passion , then a hobby and now a business. But its something that makes me happy and something I look forward to doing daily. With this passion for my life it has distracted me from thinking that I need all the extra things in life, well that and the fact that my parents were such a great influence growing up.  Finding something that makes you happy , makes everyone happy .  Set time in your weekly schedule to select something that you love to do and commit to it .

Lastly,  don’t give up so easily . Especially if you are already married   You won’t see everything working for you immediately but you have to learn how to keep quiet, trust , evolve, relate , communicate at the proper time and relax.  After all a fairy tale isn’t written in one day …Basically !