Hanukkah: The Hidden Truth Teaching Review

Hanukkah is nearly upon us!!  Read my Archived Teaching Review BEFORE you purchase any Hanukkah paraphernalia. I can get easily distracted by adults and children in front of me at the teachings, so I like sitting near the front.  I am usually in the second row.  That way I am assured I won’t miss a bit of the verbal and nonverbal message.  Read more

Choosing Sides

A situation with Floyd during the 2017 Basketball Finals made me think of repentance.  Repentance means to turn from sin and turn to righteousness.  Floyd was sitting in his favorite stuffed chair, with snacks on the table, waiting for Game 5 of the NBA Read more

What is the Reason for the Season?

As a child, only once, did I question the honesty and integrity of my maternal Grandma. Even then, when I reflected on all the facts, Grandma was absolved. I remember the incident as clear as if it were this morning. I was playing in the front room (living room) and our German neighbor, Mrs. Raymond, came up on the enclosed Read more

Faith Means Action

The six weeks between June 22nd and July 30th 2013 were loaded with change, chaos, miracles, and a lot of stepping out in faith. For two years, Floyd and I had been hoping and praying that Yehovah would make a way for us to move from Alabama to be near Charlotte, NC. We wanted to be a part of the Read more

Pet Enticed into the Arms of a Neighbor?

In the fall of 1995, Floyd and I (before children) purchased a home on 5 acres in Ypsilanti, Michigan. The house needed cosmetic work: vinyl siding and repairs to the upper porch. Early one morning, a construction worker found two abandoned kittens on the road and brought them to me. I immediately took them in and gave them food Read more

Secrets in the Buffet Drawer

My father's mother, Grandma Berry, as we called her, was born in 1909. Grandma was divorced when my dad was about five and later married Gerald Berry. He was a kind, easy going man that worked at one of the Ford plants in Detroit. I remember his metal lunch pail. It was black on the outside and shiny metal gray on Read more

Children

Who had the greater FEAR? Me or my children?

Old World Italian FuneralIn every parent’s life you come to the point of deciding when to take your children to funerals. Sometimes this decision is made for you if the deceased person is a close relative and the child needs to go in order to have closure. Sometimes the choice to take the child to the funeral is optional; the deceased is not related and there are no close ties with your children. However, eventually, a close relative will die and the children need to be prepared to deal with death.

For our family, the scriptures dictate the parameters of the “hereafter” and the “state of the dead”. But I was apprehensive about dealing with my children’s emotions of standing in front of the casket. I had been protecting them from what I perceived as a “dead body” trauma. So, I did not take them to funerals of non-relatives and even some relatives. My Mom kept telling me I was wrong to shelter them because they were five and six years of age and death was a part of life. Read more

Posted on by Shar in Children, Death, Family Life, Parenting 12 Comments

That Was Funny!

One year, Floyd and I were homeschooling our cousin’s very smart and alert four year old son, T.J, in preschool lessons during the time our children were in the fifth grade. We had many days when Floyd and I would have to leave the room and just burst out laughing.

 When T.J. first started coming to our home, Floyd would keep calling him Joel, our son’s name. Floyd was constantly calling T.J. the wrong name. One day, T.J. said, “What’s the matter Mr. Floyd? You forgot to take your medicine?”

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Floyd had to smile and scratch his head!!

 That was FUNNY!!

Another day, T.J. And I were in the house alone. The rest of the family were doing some yard work. Floyd’s helper, Vic, had one of his arms amputated just below the elbow. Vic was strong and a hard worker. He could do as much work as two men with four arms between them.

 The doorbell rang and T.J. ran to the open door before me. As I was coming, I yelled, “T.J., who is it?”

 “MISS SHAR, IT’S THAT MAN THAT GOT HIS ARM CUT OFF WHEN THE TRAIN RAN OVER HIM ON THE RAILROAD TRACKS!

The one-armed man from the television series “The Fugitive”.

 That was true, embarrassing and FUNNY!!

 I have also observed that kids do not have a monopoly on saying the “darnest things”. I’ll share a very infamous incident.

 Now, some things come out of our mouths because we are under stress. Sometimes the stress is predictable, you see it coming, but you can’t do a thing to stop it. That is what happened to my Mom.

 My sister, Laurie, who lives in California, often sent her daughter, Annette, to spend a week or two with my Mom in Detroit. At the time, I was living in the same four family flat. In New York City, it would be called a brownstone building. Floyd and I lived in the two flats upstairs and Mom lived in the two flats downstairs. We had both knocked out the adjoining wall of the two 6-room flats on each floor and then we each had a large 12-room flat.

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Annette and Grandma, Zelina.

 Now, Annette was about 4 or 5 years old. She was fine during the day. She played and was in good spirits. But, as soon as Laurie called each night, Annette went into a crying fit to be with her mother. My Mom would have to console Annette for at least 30 minutes to get her to calm down.

 One particular night, my Mom had reached her limit. Mom couldn’t take it anymore, her last nerve was shot, disintegrated, plum-gone.

 That evening, Annette started crying and crying and crying. The conversation went something like,

 “I want my Mommy! I want my Mommy!! I want ta see my Mommy!!!”

 “Girl, you better be quiet. You’ll see your Mommy in two days. My Momma is dead, I’ll never see her again!”

 That was honest, but shocking! At that point, I took Annette upstairs with me.

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Auntie Shar and Annette

 That scenario didn’t get to be FUNNY until Annette was grown!  

Shar

Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.  Benjamin Franklin

Posted on by Shar in Children, Family Life, Mistakes, Schooling 8 Comments

The Saga of Trying to Have Children–Part 3 of 3

Read The Saga of Trying to Have Children – Part 2 of 3 here

Aunt Mamie (Southerners pronounce it Ain’t Mamie.) hustled the four of us into Uncle Richard’s car and we headed down in the country. Now, I already thought we were in the country. We went down some dirt roads and stopped in front of a dilapidated house that was leaning at least 60 degrees to the right. For non-mathematicians, it was worst than the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It was nearly covered with brush, vines and kudzu. I sighed heavily at the thought of going into that house, but I had kinfolk in there and my curiosity was overwhelming. Besides that, Aunt Mamie was on a mission and she would have pulled me in there at my least hesitation.

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Aunt Mamie

Inside was Rev Sam (short for Samuel; he was a former preacher) and his wife, Betty Mae. They both were 90 something. Rev Sam was dressed in an insulated hunting outfit that went from his neck to his ankles and he had on long johns underneath. He was sitting in front of a kerosene heater that was on full blast, talking to his 70’s something brother. I was about to pass out from the heat because the temperature outside was at least 95 degrees. Betty Mae had Alzheimer’s and was sitting in the kitchen while a neighbor was combing her hair.

This is my cousin with Betty Mae in 2005; she’s 103 or 104. She lived in the Greene County, AL Nursing Home. Rev Sam had died some years earlier.

When we left, Aunt Mamie started in on me.  “That’s what happens when you don’t have children to take care of you. Rev Sam’s brother is the one who comes to make sure they have food and he’s old himself. You better have some kids, or you’ll end up the same way!”

I was too stunned and respectful of Aunt Mamie to start explaining the reasons why I didn’t have children. I just agreed and said I’d better get some kids soon.

When I returned to Floyd in Detroit, I remember sitting on his knee, crying and stressing out about how we were going to end up like Rev Sam and Betty Mae.  Floyd, the poor man, couldn’t do anymore than he was already doing. And I know he was probably making a mental note, “Last time she’s going to visit those crazy relatives!”

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Shar and Floyd.

Well, miracles of miracles, I got pregnant the next month.

After six weeks of elation and lots of doctor ordered bed rest, I miscarried at 10 weeks. That was the last time I got pregnant.

A year or so later, my Mom and I went to visit some elderly friends, Edgar and Emma. I hadn’t seen them in years. We were all sitting around the kitchen nook and Edgar started with the questions.

Family friend, Edgar

You married?”

Who did you marry?”

How many children do you have?”

No children!! What’s the matter?!! He can’t pitch, or you can’t catch?”

I laughed, and in a flash I answered, “He pitched, I caught it, but I couldn’t hold on to it!”

We all laughed!!

Looking back on the highs and lows of our journey, I am so grateful to have had the experience of pregnancy. I wanted so much to feel the unique blessing of a woman to carry life inside of me.

Some years later, Floyd and I adopted two children. In 1989, Joel, at 5½ months old, became a part of our family. We brought Ruth home from the hospital at 10 days old in 1999. 

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Ruth and Joel!

I love my children and our family is whole.

 

Mama, Aunt Mamie and Ruth in 2006.

 

 

 

 What was your favorite part of this story?

Shar

 

“Is she your real daughter?” they asked me. “Real?” I questioned. “What do you mean real? She is a child not born of my flesh, that’s true. But she is a child truly born within my heart….within my soul. Yes, she is real.” An adoptive mother

Posted on by Shar in Children, Marriage 5 Comments