We Are One

Christmas Eve is my great grandmother’s birthday. She had five children and would make breakfast for her children in the morning. Her kids and family would be busy during the day. Quite often, they did not get a chance to eat the breakfast until the evening (at least that’s the story that was told to me). All my life, the tradition has been that my family would get together on the evening of Christmas Eve and eat breakfast. People are assigned foods to bring/cook and we just enjoy fellowship with one another. Over time, however, the family tradition has changed…

My name is Bridgette. My name is a tribute to my grandmother’s maiden name “Bridges”. She was one of five, and all but one of them have passed on. Those people were the heads of our family units and when my great aunt passed during the holiday season in 2016, we as a family had to rethink a lot.

What happened to us?

Why don’t we spend enough time?

Why aren’t we coming out to the events we traditionally have?

My cousin Carlton (or Cowboy or Orrustus or insert other family nicknames we have for him) put a stop to the “what ifs'” and “why’s'” over the summer and coordinated a family reunion for us during Mother’s Day weekend. The picture you see above is the family shot. It felt really good to see us together– laughing and dancing and playing cards. Things started to feel better. I remember telling Cowboy that I can’t wait to visit him in Miami since I have never been before. He told me anytime I wanted to visit, his place was open. I never took up the offer.

October 2018, my cousin, Cowboy, transitioned.

The questions. The “why’s”. The “what if’s”. The “I should haves came to play”. Cowboy was older than me and we didn’t have the closest relationship, but the impact he had on our family was so strong and deep. Our family continues to mourn heavily his physical absence. We are still trying to figure it out.  I know I am trying to be more intentional about communicating with my cousins. We are calling more. We are making time to try and seeing one another more frequently. We are trying to celebrate each other in small and big ways. I recognize it, and I am praying we continue it.

Christmas Eve came and brought some laughter into our lives and love in our spirits. My aunt texted everyone and instead of just eating, we also made our annual breakfast a game night as well. We danced and laughed. I introduced the family to For the Culture (the black version of Heads Up). We had such a good night of fellowship.

So, basically the story goes my great grandmother decided to change up her birthday just so that she can be around her family. I often wonder if she knew that the tradition would continue years after she passed. Did she think of how much her grandchildren and great grandchildren would cherish this day because of the feeling it gives them?

As the night settled, we agreed that we need to make game nights happen more. We need to schedule bowling outings. I plan to keep my word and take them up on that offer.

We are One.

#FlyHighCowboy

Let tomorrow worry about tomorrow

Hey #CiteASista family! My name is Bridgette and I’m a newly minted MPA with a focus on Nonprofit Management and Higher Education. I’m the newest addition to the Cite A Sista family and I couldn’t be more grateful.

That said, this is my first Cite a Sista post and I am pretty hype! LOL. I hope you’ll follow along as I work through love, faith, womanhood, and much more through spoken word and poetry.


This season has been all about transition.  From graduating and moving to actively seeking a new professional opportunity, I’ve found myself time and again working to stay encouraged. This is especially true of my current job, which I love, but leaves much to be desired as it relates to my long-term goals.

 To be honest, it has been draining.

Things have built up so bad that although I’ve found myself in venting a few times to my friends, I continued to feel I had not truly shared my feelings about my life transitions.

-Enter my aunt-

My aunt and I have a special relationship. She has always been someone I could confide in and has always been patient, understanding and of course one of my greatest prayer warriors. Since this month was my tipping point, on the day she called “just to hear my voice and catch up”, made a normal conversation an opportunity for a breakthrough.

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As I cried and talked and talked, I realized she was quiet and had been nonresponsive for a while. I understood this was her way to allow me to get it all out. Once I finally took a breath, she said “Today was meant for me to listen” and let me talk some more. My aunt went on to share with me one of her last days with my grandmother before she passed away (another story and another poem for another day). I learned from my aunt that one of the last pieces of wisdom my grandmother imparted upon her was, “Corliss, let tomorrow worry about tomorrow.”

Since my grandmother passed away (or Nanny as we called her) I often pushed a lot of my memories of her aside. I made a choice not to visit her grave although sometimes it feels as though I don’t remember a thing about her. But in moments like these, where my aunt is present for me in the flesh, I realize my grandmother’s presence and spirit had come full circle. I get this feeling of her telling me, “chile you ain’t gon ever forget or lose me”. My Aunt, by way of my grandma, has reminded me of the importance of dealing with things as they come but also taking a break for myself.

The poem below is all about that experience. I hope you enjoy!

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Let Tomorrow Worry About Tomorrow

Tomorrow’s to- do list keeps getting longer

  1. Create this
  2. Send this email
  3. Call about that
  4. Connect with so and so
  5. Don’t forget
  6. Make sure

At this point I am at #20 so I ditch the numbers and try bullet points

Adding to this list that never seems to get anything accomplished

Just additions.

I switch up the format I create it on, maybe that makes a difference

Separate items by categories, try a different stationary, use different colors

But tomorrow becomes a daunting task in itself

So much that today is all about counting down for tomorrow

Trying to get a leg up on tomorrow

Because in some way, maybe I can beat it

The opponent is clever

Another bullet point is added before I can even put on my fighting gloves

My phone rings

A calm soothing voice on the other end

Immediately putting me at ease

Something about the magic of black women elders

Able to work wonders without laying hands on you

No their voices are the potions

And their spirits are the antidotes to ailments doctors fumble over

Her words did their thing “Let tomorrow worry about tomorrow”

And she prayed over me

“Let tomorrow worry about tomorrow”

I took those to heart and let my energy bask in today

So today, I will smile

Today , I will practice gratitude

Today, I will savor the moments I have neglected

Enjoy the people I dismissed thinking beyond them

Enjoy the moments of the now and here, today

Because tomorrow, well

Because in reality,

Tomorrow may not come

  • BCB 9/1/17

Welcome to the Mental Health & Relationships Column!

Greetings Cite A Sista Family,

My name is Shaquinta Richardson, and I will be the mental health and relationships columnist for CiteaSista!I am a marriage and family therapist, marriage and family therapy supervisor in training, doctoral candidate, disability studies scholar and activist, and mental health and self-care advocate.

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As a systemic couple and family therapist, I practice from a contextual family therapy model which emphasizes balance, equity, care, and responsibility in relationships.  My approach focuses on the interactions between people in relationships and their perceptions of the love and care they receive, as well as ways they feel their needs have not been met.  I also consider the contextual, social, and historical aspects that impact couple and family relationships.  That’s me as a professional therapist.

As a Black woman, I am focused on the healing, uplifting, and empowerment of my sisters in every area of their lives, be it family, cou47f1641b7cf2a96d8493ac275b55be82.jpgple relationships, friendships, or career.  I believe that we have been taught to take care of everyone but ourselves. Part of our liberation is through caring for ourselves first.  As such, I will be sharing with you ways to improve your personal well-being, ways to rethink self-care and mental health, and simply sharing the journey to healing our wounds as Black women.  I hope this column will challenge you to rethink how you show up as a daughter, a mother, a sister, friend, partner, colleague, and overall individual.  My message is not meant to be all encompassing, but I hope you will be able to find something valuable for your journey.  I look forward to sharing a little piece of me in hopes that it will help you be a happier, healthier version of you!

SR