Monday, March 19, 2012

There's no place like home~

Saturday March 17th 2012

onelovejourney2012, one love journey, jojo williams, lelania
Sunday morning up with the sun reminissed over
the day before while cooking my family a big
breakfast Jo Mama style.  Brandon said "mama,
I have missed this, your cooking is the best"
Getting home after a great weekend with family and friends was as wonderful as the time away was.  This must be what a healthy balance of love of self and others feels like.  I am learning the more I value myself and build unconditional love and acceptance of myself the more I value not only others in my life but my time to myself as well.  For me this is a new phase of life as I used to always need people around me to feel complete.  Not today, in fact today I truly value my space and the company of others as two necessary things in life.

Rena picked me up and we enjoyed a nice drive to Sacramento catching up on old times and talking about life and children.  Jessica her daughter who I have come to know as my own daughter of the heart is graduating high school early and going to be attending college early also.  I am very proud of her and support her choice to do so.  Jessica is a wise old soul and far more mature than the average 16 year old.  Staying in High School to simply walk the stage and stick with tradition is not necessary for a young woman like Jessica who breaks tradition and sets trends with her zest of life and all it has to offer.
Jessica and her girlfriend Madison

As we arrived in Sacramento we stopped to pick up Jessica and her girlfriend at Rena's house.  So excited to see each other the car was full of one sentence interruption after another, haha.  We reached Chucky Cheeses in Rocklin, Ca on time for the party, actually a few minutes early which for me is excellent if you know me at all.

My first husband and his wife were already there with my son Brandon.  All three of them were lost in the jungle of games spending birthday tokens as we got settled in.
Andre and Kirsten

Big Bee and Little Bee

The party was awesome.  Seeing everyone I haven't seen in a couple months was nice.  Seeing my sons, his father and his own son together sharing so much happiness was amazing to see.

andre, brandon and brandon, onelovejourney2012
Three generations One smile!

Spending time with my sons, daughters, friends, and grand-kids was needed and reminded me how much I miss them and my own days as a mother throwing their own birthday parties.

Andre and Kirsten shared some old photos with me this morning and I couldn't believe how much baby Brandon really looks like Brandon did when he was little.  This picture speaks for itself.
Memory Lane for Real!

Semaj and Lelania, onelovejourney2012, one love journey, jojo williams
My heart and first born, the mirror image of myself in more ways
than one.  We but heads with the best of them but on this visit
we were two souls of harmony and laughter, such a beautiful visit.

Semaj and his family arrived as did Kim and her family.  We all had a blast taking part in celebrating one very special little Bee's 3rd birthday.  I got a lot of pictures, totally cheated on my diet which I paid for later that evening feeling horrible.  It is amazing how our bodies adjust to healthy and unhealthy eating.  There is an adjustment period for both.  I prefer the adjustment period for healthy personally.

My Baby, my second born.  He has taught me that part of being a
mother is letting go and letting him grow up, make his own choices
in life and learn to go out and live my own life.

The highlight of the visit was sharing some amazing moments with both my Sons.  We all three needed this time of healing.  There was such genuine love between us, the time apart has helped much to heal some of what was lost in the past couple of years between us.

Learning to give up control and let my Sons grow into their own has helped.  My sons not having me to fix things has given them a new appreciation for my role as a Mother.  Both lessons needed for us three.  I think this year will be a good year of healing and us all coming into our own bringing us back together closer than ever before.   I love you both so much, every minute of every hour of every day of my life.  No amount of time or differences can change who we are to each other.

onelovejourney2012, one love journey, jojo williams
Kirsten and Kim
Baby Brandon had a blast and really loved meeting his Grandfather for the first time.  He took to Andre as if he had known him every day of his 3 amazing years here on earth.  Seeing the happiness between the two of them was only matched by seeing him with both his father and grandfather and that was a sight to see.  Being so many years since seeing Andre last, and 22 years since Our divorce I had forgotten how much his son looks like him, seeing how much his grandson looks like them both was pretty cool.  Getting to hang out with Kim and Kirsten rocked!  They both mean so much to me and are true friends of the heart.  We all go  back about 30 years, that is a long time to know a person, we grew up together and as women at a point in our lives that we seek true happiness and change we are all on the same page so to speak in life we are all three searching for a more peaceful place in life leaving behind the ignorance of our youth and the things in life that do not sustain us in happiness with love and peace of spirit.

Sisters, Best Friends, that's me and Kim! Always
Kim and I have been active friends over the past 30 years.  Starting in Santa Cruz and living back and forth between there and Sacramento.  We truly grew up together, shared ups and downs as friends do over the years.  We joke about us breaking up and getting back together because friendships are really like relationships without the sex.  And for some strange reason most of the men in our lives have had their share of silly jealousy over our friendship which has caused us both much laughter and annoyance.  We are truly like sisters and share a bond that cannot be broken even when it is broken.  Ironically we met due to unknowingly dating the same guy.  We both ditched the lying loser and formed a bond for life.  No matter how much time or distance passes between us we always come back to the same place and strangely seem to be on the same page in our own books of life.  Today we are both seeking a higher level of understanding what matters most in life, leaving behind those in our life who bring us stress and unhappiness.  It is good to have a friend like Kim who supports me as I support her in our changes towards being happier in our lives.  Her ex husband told us about 10 years ago we would grow old bitties together and one day be sitting on a porch sipping iced tea still talking shit.  Haha I think he was right.

onelovejourney2012, one love journey, 1lovejourney, jojo williams, jojo, lelania
Kirsten and Me.
Not surprised to be so close, Andre has excellent taste in good women,
he married us both so the man must be a lot
smarter than I gave him credit for all these years, haha!
Kirsten and I have known each other also about 25 years.  She used to babysit for me and remembers my art work on the walls of the kids room.  I had forgotten about my artwork until she recently reminded me she remembered my talents from way back then.  It's funny the things we forget.  I didn't have the money many parents do to decorate the house with purchased wall hangings so I drew and painted my own.  The kids had home made teenage mutant ninja turtle posters, haha and their Halloween costumes were made by hand each year.  Kirsten and Andre have been together for 19 years now, and seem as happy and in love as can be for a couple who has spent so many years together.  Kim and I wanted to interview them for their secrets on a happy marriage, haha.  Andre told us that there are times when you want to kill each other and that's when you love each other the most.  Makes a lot of sense.  It was great spending time with Kirsten who has recently become one of my closest friends as well, one I am grateful to have in my life.
Grandpa helps Baby Bee meet Chucky
Lil B wanted no part of meeting the rat
brandon and brandon, the brandons, big b and little b, big bee and little bee, onelovejourney2012, one love journey

Shawntice put together a great party, we all had a lot of fun.  Especially Baby Brandon who isn't a baby any more, he is a spitting image of his father at 3 years old, with an amazing personality and determination to be heard always, haha

Me and TT, I love you baby, always!
I got to spend time with my nephew and God Son Tre' who I love so much, we are both Aries and he is a wise old soul.  I gave him the book "The Secret" and he read it and uses it to remind me in times when I forget to use my own powers of positive thought.  He is a kindred spirit and I am so proud of the man he is becoming and the level of respect he shows his Mother Kim who is one of the best Mothers I have ever known.

Terrell will always be my nephew of the heart, and a young man
I admire greatly for who he is to all he loves and he loves all he
knows with an honest and open mind.  You Rock!
Another young man who I admire greatly is Shawntice's cousin Terrell.  Terrell is an example of what all young men should strive to be.  He has a devotion to family that is unmatched.  Always the gentleman, hard working and helpful.  He never complains, treats everyone with the same respect and is one of the most loving and caring young men I am proud to consider family.  He has always treated me like family, never once an outsider.  Thank you Terrell for always being a ball of happiness and love.

Seeing and staying with Semaj and Lovelisha was really cool.  I love my oldest sons wife on a level that can make her no less than my own daughter.  She growing up without a Mother of her own clung to me as the years have passed and we have formed a very strong bond.  She is a saint in so many ways and truly an amazing Mother and wife.  I thank the heavens she is part of Our lives and us hers.  I love you Lovey, you are my daughter always.

My family is everything to me.  I am blessed today to be gaining a balance of loving them and myself as well.
 We are growing closer than ever!
onelovejourney2012, one love journey 2012, one love, unconditional love, jojo williams, andre motley
Good to be friends again, I missed his good sense of humor.

There was a time when Andre and I would have believed the only way you would catch the two of us in the same photo was if we were choking each other.  Today we are both in a different place in life and have grown past the drama that so many divorced couples put themselves through unnecessarily.

Today we are growing into friends and I am very thankful for that as we are both parents and grandparents to two amazing Brandon's and love them equally.  Thank you Andre and Kirsten for making this day an extra special one.  Andre' thank you for being there for your son in more ways than one.  I look forward to enjoying Our son and grandson together over the years with both of you.


Two loving parents of one amazing little boy!
I am learning in life that family is what you make it.  None of us are perfect, our relationships rarely are even close to perfect and that is okay, we are not meant to be perfect we are all here living life with the same goals and dreams of happiness and a life full of love.  We are also all here learning as we go.  It is great to be getting to a place in life where I am open to learning the lessons of life and family in a way that I have never before.  Learning to love myself and others unconditionally is the best gift and the truest lesson of life I believe.  Now I have the ability to just love them.  We are all walking our own paths on the same Journey in life and will arrive at a destination of common ground where there is no differences between us.  This is life and I am loving it more each day.

So good to see so much love and happiness on a great day!
I wish Andre and I had not waited so many years to let go of the conditions of love and realized younger that being together and loving each other are not set criteria for sharing love and friendship.  I hope for Brandon and Shawntice to find the friendship and bond Andre and I are now forging at a much earlier stage in the game.  They both truly love each other still and as they learn their own meaning of unconditional love and accept that they are both learning in life and that is okay they will be able to share so much more with each other and their amazing son.  I love you Brandon and Shawntice and know in my heart you two will be okay no matter which paths you take.  Time heals all wounds.

I'm so proud of you Semaj, truly proud.

After the party we went back to Semaj and Lovey's to hang out and allow Little Brandon more time with his father and grandfather.  Semaj had us in stitches with his natural ability to perform center stage and make everyone laugh. He and I are born comedians who have no fear of crowds and always become the life of any party.  Together on this day we bounced off each other in a perfect comedic harmony that reminded me how much alike and close we truly are.  Watching my son warmed my heart, joining him healed it in more ways than one.

brandon and semaj, brandon motley, semaj howard, onelovejourney2012

Seeing both of my sons so happy together, not one disagreement, no sibling rivalry was the best blessing of all.  These two men have been night and day, oil and water most their lives.  On this weekend they were just loving brothers who embraced each other on a new level.  I am so happy to have been there to see that happen for them both.

Andre gives his daughter in law a big hug goodbye, they bonded
in a beautiful way and the love is there already.  So happy to see
so much love and happiness for my family on this day.
After a day filled with many laughs and tears of joy we said our goodbyes to Andre and Kirsten who had a long drive ahead of them.  They dropped off Jessica and Madison along the way.  Sad to see them go while grateful they shared such a great day with us I thought to myself how easy it is to just live life with love in our hearts.  How easy it is to let go of the things that separate us and grow together through love.  Why when I lived my life focused on the differences did it seem impossible to let go? Because I kept focusing on our differences, I see that now so clearly.  I pray for others in my life to find this place of peace I have found and themselves learn how to let go of the judgement, comparing, projections and gossip that only feed into the separation that lets us believe we are anything other than one people.  I pray they too find a path to travel that leads them to learning these valuable lessons in life and discover like I am now how amazing and beautiful life is when you spend it with love rather than fear or resentments in your heart.  It is truly amazing.

Anisah, Renee' and Nevaeh
My God Daughter, Granddaughter and Kims Granddaughter
I love you girls so much!
As the night wound down I snuggled up next to Renee in bed and we both feel asleep giving way to our dreams.  Renee being my first granddaughter shares a very special bond with me, she is my little princess and holds a very sacred place in my heart.  Seeing her and realizing how much she misses me touched my heart.  I look forward to spending many days with her after my journey.  Until then I will make sure and visit often.

Sunday March 18th 2012~

Renee Marie
Renee' and I cooked breakfast while the rest of the house woke up.  We talked about our dreams we both shared dreams of green.  She had a dream about a green frog that said rib-bit rib-bet and I had a dream of a green grass hopper that made chirping sounds.  We both decided we shared a dream together and laughed while she learned how to crack eggs.

Church for Nani and Renee
Then we got ready for Kim to pick us up to go to church at the same church I attended over the past 10 or so years in North Highlands, Ca and considered home for many years.

Renee' got dressed in the prettiest pink dress and flower to match.  I wore pink also so we could pretend we were twins for the day.

Two of my favorite people in the world
Arrived at church and found our seats we enjoyed the singing and prayer together.  Being there with Kim was like old times but different at the same time.  Where just the day before all the energy around us was positive and full of love today for some reason was different.    A few things happened in church that were new for us both.  One I didn't cry.  I looked at Kim and said "wow, it's amazing we used to sit in tears through the entire service.  Isn't it amazing how much forgiving yourself changes that.." She agreed and said "It sure does".  One of the ushers came by to say hi and I asked if it would be okay to take pictures.  She went into a couple minute rant about the pastor and him being a tyrant and some other garbage I didn't care to hear but okay'd pictures.  Shawntice and some of her family now attend the same church and sat apart from us despite our offer to save them seats and join in on some more time together on this another blessed day given to us all.

This part of the weekend is touchy to discuss for me because it involves family and church.  Not wanting to offend or hurt anyone I hesitated to talk about my feelings and lessons on this matter.  However decided that this blog and Journey is about seeking truth in life and love.  It is about being honest with you and myself.  It is about recognizing the silly things that we allow to come in between us being one people and learning to love each other despite our differences and the challenges that conditioned thinking and bad habits has put in the way of healthy relationships in our lives here together as one people on one planet.

Be happy in life and love for yourselves and your son.
Where just the day before we all celebrated the life of a young boy who brings together two families and we celebrated that life as one family.  A day later we were again separated and that saddened my heart.  I used to take part in the sewing circles of gossip and negativity that kept us close and at odds.  I no longer live that way and can see so clearly how damaging it is.  I was reminded of the old feelings I have felt over the years trying to be part of a family who was just that to me, family.  I felt many times an outcast to some of them.  Here we were again and the feelings of separation present once again.  Shawntice went out of her way to say hello to us and I could tell was as many times in the past put in the position to mind her family and their way of staying to themselves for the most part.  The women of that family spend a lot of time talking about everyone else all day long on the phone, over visits, what ever.

They live the same rules that most families do, blood is thicker than water which is ridiculous since I have yet to meet a person in life with water in place of blood pumping through their veins.  They are good people, I love them dearly and share my own responsibility in our issues.  I recognize that now.  I do not think they are at a place of recognizing their own part at least have yet to bare any of the responsibility to date.  Truth told I am okay with it.  My relationships with others even those that choose to smile in my face yet talk about me behind my back are not what define me, my part in the relationship does.  I have always been a person to speak my mind honestly and tell those I love to their face how I feel so I wanted to share this with you all because I know many of you share the same hurdles and pains in life as I do whatever side of the fence you are on in this matter.

When we as a people honestly look within we no longer need to point the finger at others in blame.  Gossip is toxic, separation is toxic to us as individuals and as a whole.

Not only did I feel the saddening separation of those I consider family I also felt it in the church as a whole, a church I used to call home.  The tension in the air was thick. From the moment we pulled into the parking lot, mainly directed at me.  They were not welcoming looks for the most part and this hurt me as this church used to feel like one that belonged to all who came to praise together, and we came as is.  As God intended us to.  While it was March Madness and most were dressed as is, the level of welcoming acceptance was at an all time low I have to honestly say.

There is obviously some serious church politics going on and I feel for the new Pastor who I got a great and positive vibe from who has his hands full with a bunch of church members who have come to believe this church belongs to them rather than a home for all who wish to worship.  He preached about togetherness and you could see he genuinely hopes for mending of the separation the church is faced with.  He has his work cut out for him with ushers spreading gossip and members who have come to claim the church as theirs to govern having little faith in him as a pastor while they preach about faith as if it is subjective.

The level of separation that filled the air with a sense of false togetherness was honestly interfering with my ability to truly worship my God as I know him.  So I excused myself for the last few minutes of the service and went outside to pray in the open air free of the negativity that was hiding underneath the fake smiles of some and trying to work its way around the honest desire to worship of others.

As I exited the doors and stepped into the fresh open air I felt relief.  I also felt pain for what was happening inside those walls.  I reminded myself that Gods love for me knows no separation of families or people.  God intended us to love all equally, ourselves and others without judgement or ignorant comparison.  There is no pecking order in Gods house, or at least there shouldn't be and we as a people are to blame for much of the loss for many who do not find a home in many churches across our lands because they do not feel like a home should.

I said a prayer for the church I once called home and the family I have always thought of as my family too.
Great coffee, great service!

Butch, owner of Java on the go and a new friend of mine
Then I noticed a coffee shop, and not having any coffee yet headed across the parking lot.  Greeted by a really cool young man making coffee who took pride in a real mocha made with Ghirardelli chocolate and real whipping cream I sat down to enjoy my cup of warm goodness on the steps of the shop. The owner arrived to do some exterior repairs and we enjoyed some really great conversation about health, religion, life and love.  Butch is the owner of Java on the Go on Watt Ave in North Highlands, Ca I will be adding him to my Ma & Pa's tab as he is another example of small business and the care and concern that you receive form such businesses.

While I walked out of Church saddened a little I made a new friend in Butch and will also add him to my friends tab.  Thank you Butch for some great coffee and healing conversation.

As church let out Kim and Renee' made their way through the parking lot towards me.  Renee' was crying and wanted to go home.  I asked her what was wrong and she just said I want to go home.  Kim was as confused as I about Renee' crying.

We sat at my sons house discussing the weekend and asking ourselves why we ever took part in living a life where we wasted time focusing on others or talking about others keeping ourselves separated from those we could have just enjoyed life with.  We shared pain over the lost time spent and joy over the new place we both are in life.  We are both mindful of our conversations and make sure we do not talk about others in the way we used to.  Our discussion over the separation we felt came from a place of hopes for it to change and us all to come together.  A place of our own recognition for our contribution to the same attitudes in life in the past that allowed us to sit around all day talking about others and comparing ourselves as if we were ever better than anyone else when we never were.  We were learning life just as others were and still are.  Reality is that we can say whatever we want as a representative of who we want others to believe we are but until we represent the truth in ourselves we will only be pulling a mask over our own eyes and the eyes of those who do the same.  Once you wake from that and learn to start living life as yourself with love for who that is you no longer fall into the blind fake world you once were fooled by.  You begin to live an honest life that brings about positive relationships of love and happiness.  Some relationships and people will gravitate away as they are not there yet and that is okay, think positive thoughts for them to find their way also, as we all do at some point be it here or beyond.
Kim I am so blessed that we share one more thing in common on this day... "CHANGE" I love you my friend!

While I know this entry may cause more separation it is not intended to.  My intent is to be honest with my feelings in hopes that we can all learn from each others honesty.  When we stop being so polite all the time and worrying about what others might think we can start being real with our interactions with others.  At first some feelings will be hurt that is a given.  But aren't feelings being hurt already that we just don't acknowledge in this world we live in that teaches us to say "FINE" when someone asks how we are? I believe if we stop being so "FINE" all the time and get honest with how we are we will learn who we are as well and learn some acceptance of that in ourselves and others.

I wish you three much happiness in life on your own paths
Seeing Brandon and Shawntice together smiling and laughing while celebrating the birth of their child was so heart warming.  Shawntice is an amazing mother who puts her son first always.  She treats my son with much respect and I know loves him still as he her.  I pray they will learn to be friends and love each other without the conditions taught to them by their environments and families.  I also pray for my son to grow as a father and a man.  Brandon is a good man and while he and I take all the blame for the ending of his relationship with Shawntice I honestly look forward to the day that Shawntice and her family share in some of that blame for the beginning of the end.  We all stuck our noses in their relationship, we all set examples for them to follow when we should have been living our own lives and allowing them to begin theirs.  I have made my amends to both Brandon and Shawntice for my wrongs and interference in their young relationship and feel blessed to have been able to recognize my part and share my regrets with two young people who are my children, both of them are my children in my heart.  I love you Brandon and Shawntice, please do not wait 22 years like Andre and I did to become friends.  Set your own example as parents and live your own life for you!  All of us as your family will learn to respect your right to do so eventually.

I am learning more each day that I decide to be happy to let those who rather stay unhappy make their own choices in life and not judge them.  Sharing my feelings and experiences over the weekend with you is the best way I know how to help others who are going through the same things that keep us separated as family as a people.  While it may temporarily bring about more separation in my own life the truth we are already separated we just don't say it out loud and that's one of the problems we face in making changes for our lives.  I hope my ability to be honest about this helps other families to start getting honest also, it won't start easy but trust me it gets so much easier and better along the way.

Lovey has a natural talent for drawing and creating. 

I spent the last part of my visit on Sunday afternoon enjoying some alone time with my daughter Lovelisha and the kids.  The boys ran off to play while her and I enjoyed discussing her artistic talents.  She is in fashion design school and working on a project to raise the awareness of breast cancer.  She is very talented and will go far as she is one person I know who knows how to stay positive and free of meaningless drama in life and always has.  Here is one of her designs she showed me while braiding my hair for me.

Renee expressed to me how much she is going to miss me, and I felt the same.  I went outside to sit in the sun a bit alone and meditate my thoughts of so much activity and cried a little.  Some tears of joy some of regret some of already missing my family.

 Then I said my goodbyes as Shawntice and I made our way back to One Love on a drive full of laughter and great conversation about a better world.  I love you Shawntice I hope you know just how much.  While I know you sit between a rock and a hard place at times due to my and your families involvement in your and Brandon's life I want you to know again how sorry I am for my part in where things went wrong for you both and I pray one day we will all live our lives with love in abundance for ourselves and each other.

Happy Monday my friends
One People, One World, One Love
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  1. This was the most profound reading yet on this site. I am so happy for you. You are truly blessed in more ways than one. You have Family and real friends to write about and share with the world. Unconditional love is the mother's bond with their children. You look amazing and well. You look so happy. I wish you nothing but the best in future endeavors and life's travels. Love D

  2. Im very happy you were abel to go spend time with your family, it sounds like you had a wonderful time. Its nice to see picture of the boy 's they turned out to be such handsome young men and very responsable. Good job mom for raiaing them right. I myself still have a hard time letting go of Jessica but this last couple years has gorten easier.

    Love you