Best Thing I Never Had — 7/31/11

This song is just the best thing since sliced bread!

How many times have you looked back in our life and remember something was just so painful that you thought you would die. Perhaps it was young love that ended prematurely in your eyes and you wished you had died when it was over. The beautiful thing about those experiences are they are the PAST! You grew up and you got over it. It wasn’t easy but you lived through those moments and they became hours. Those hours became days and those days became weeks. Those weeks became months and your heart healed as those months became years and you realized that the very thing you thought would break you, gave you the strength to go forward.

Its funny how the things we just had to have in our youth often turn out to be the BEST THING WE NEVER HAD!

BEST THING I NEVER HAD — lyrics
What goes around comes back around (hey my baby)
What goes around comes back around (hey my baby)
What goes around comes back around (hey my baby)
What goes around comes back around (hey my baby)

There was a time
I thought, that you did everything right
No lies, no wrong
Boy I, must’ve been outta my mind
So when I think of the time that I almost loved you
You showed your ass and I saw the real you

Thank God you blew it
Thank God I dodged the bullet
I’m so over you
So baby good lookin’ out

[Chorus]
I wanted you bad
I’m so through with it
Cuz honestly you turned out to be the best thing I never had
You turned out to be the best thing I never had
And I’m gon’ always be the best thing you never had
I bet it sucks to be you right now

So sad, you’re hurt
Boo hoo, oh, did you expect me to care?
You don’t deserve my tears
I guess that’s why they ain’t there
When I think that there was a time that I almost loved you
You showed your ass and I saw the real you

Thank God you blew it
Thank God I dodged the bullet
I’m so over you
Baby good lookin’ out

[Chorus]

I wanted you bad
I’m so through with it
Cuz honestly you turned out to be the best thing I never had
I said, you turned out to be the best thing I never had
And I’ll never be the best thing you never had
Oh baby I bet sucks to be you right now

I know you want me back
It’s time to face the facts
That I’m the one that’s got away
Lord knows that it would take another place, another time, another world, another life
Thank God I found the good in goodbye

[Chorus]
I used to want you so bad
I’m so through it that
Cuz honestly you turned out to be the best thing I never had
You turned out to be the best thing I never had
And I will always be the, best thing you never had.
Best thing you never had!

I used to want you so bad
I’m so through it that
Cause honestly you turned out to be the best thing I never had
Oh you turned out to be the best thing I never had
Oh I will never be the best thing you never had
Oh baby, I bet it sucks to be you right now

Goes around, comes back around
Goes around, comes back around
Bet it sucks to be you right now
Goes around, comes back around
Bet it sucks to be you right now
Goes around, comes back around
Bet it sucks to be you right now

Dance With My Father

On July 26, 2002 earth lost a GIANT! My Dad passed away after a eight hour workday, and he was 1-1/2 blocks away from his doctor’s office. My Dad never made it for his annual visit that year. He had been briskly walking and had a massive heart attack. A kind stranger saw him collapse and tried to revive him but couldn’t.

When we were contacted from the medical examiners office to come and identify his body, it was a surreal experience. Initially I was distraught at the thought that my Dad had died alone with no family present. I really had a hard time with that for many months and then one day I thought of that wonderful stranger that went out of his way to try and save my Dad. That wonderful stranger that didn’t walk away and stayed with my Dad as he made the transition from earth to heaven. I never found out who he was but every year I celebrate him, he was my Dad’s Angel and I believe that GOD sent him there for my father.

I didn’t get to say goodbye to my Dad and I often think about him. I see him in my children’s eyes. I hear him in my oldest son’s laugh. I feel his love when I hug my daughter. This Tuesday, I remembered my Dad fondly and placed flowers at his grave with my Mom and I smiled when I remembered my wedding dance with him. I was blessed to have him as a father and I know that we will have one more dance in heaven Until then, I’ll listen to Luther and remember my last Dance With My Father!

Panic Attack

It has been a pretty hectic week for me and I am recovering from a panic attack. It is strange to have so much work stress on my mind but it is what it is and I had a panic attack. This is a new thing for me and I thank those bloggers that reached out to me this week. I am beginning to feel better and I wrote a poem about how it feels to have a panic attack. I’ll keep you updated as I begin to heal.

Panic Attack

My heart pounds in my chest.

My mind’s full of unthinkable thoughts.
I thirst for peace from chaos.
Turn it off already ~ panic attack!

You clutch me by the throat.
Leaving me unable to move myself.
Ragged breaths, spasms in my chest.
Endless tears, I try to gain control.

Anxiety my prison ~ lost my vision.
Suffering away from the worlds view.
Overwhelmed by fear ~ choosing FAITH instead dear.

As featured in MomMagazine.ca

After forty-two years I am finally comfortable enough with my life’s experiences to embrace all of my scars. Scars that hurt me to the core of my being to remind me of what has happened or what could have been.

There are two types of scars. Those that are visible and those intangible scars that live within me but are hidden from public view. It is these type of scars that could have mentally crippled me for my lifetime or help me to form who I have become.

My life has been tragic to some or triumphant to those who know my story. It has not been easy but no one ever said it would be! I battle with my feelings and emotions everyday but at the end of each day I know that my scars are my testimony that I am a cancer and rape survivor.

At the age of forty-one, my left breast waged war against me. The same breast that nurtured and nourished my three children planned a coup d’etat to overtake me. An irregular mammogram required me to take a second mammogram, which revealed a calcification and a suspicious mass that required me to have a surgical biopsy. Upon selecting my surgeon and meeting with him, I informed him that I wanted any and all suspected masses removed from my body. On the date of my surgical biopsy, I awoke to discover that a lumpectomy had been performed. I was relieved to have the surgery completed but I truly was not mentally prepared for what that actually meant. I had gone into surgery prepared to have a small circular scar from a needle aspiration and awoke with swelling and a four-inch scar across my breast. Three days later when my test results came in my surgeon called my home at 9 PM to inform me that all of my Stage One cancer had been completely removed. “Whew” I thought, “I’m glad that’s over.” But as I removed my bandages the following morning I realized that healing from this scar had not yet begun.

The visible scar on my breast was unsettling to me, and I couldn’t even imagine if I were to have lost one or both of my breasts. While I was thankful that I was okay, I cried each morning as I put on my bra. I had always loved my rack. It had been my favorite body part and my most treasured asset and now it was scarred. I became self-conscious about my clothing. I avoided all of the v-neck t-shirts and blouses I had with low plunging necklines. My husband being the amazing man that he is, looked at me no differently and loved me even more than before but I became sad and withdrawn as I suffered silently becoming angrier and angrier at my scar.

Around this time my intangible post-rape scars began to resurface. The thing about being raped is all though you learn to cope with the trauma certain things can trigger an emotional response and within seconds the mind can take you right back to that terrible experience. All of the insecurities from my past, my distorted body image, emotional eating, Post-Traumatic Stress, sexual expression and sexual repression resurfaced with a vengeance. I silently grieved my scars and suddenly I mourned for the nineteen year-old girl that I’d lost when I was raped. I mourned for my lost innocence, for my lost security and for my uninhibited desire to truly love someone with my entire being. I’d never known or felt that I lost so much until I stared at the scar on my breast, so I did what I had always been good at — I pressed on.

Faking it until I was making it.

I looked so put together. My work life was successful. My family life was doing well, but inside my scars had reopened into gigantic craters that engulfed me, and the sense of happiness and pride that I had established with therapy over 15 years ago was completely gone. I never looked in the mirror. I pulled back from hugs. Compliments all felt insincere. I couldn’t sleep. I was completely broken by my deep-seeded scars. I became mechanical. Going through the motions functioning on 2 to 3 hours of sleep and the rest of the day I ran on autopilot.

Determined to snap out of my Post Traumatic Stress funk, I pulled my copies of The Courage to Heal by Ellen Bass and Laura Davis and One Day My Soul Just Opened Up by Iyanla Vanzant back off of my bookcase and re-read them. I started journaling about my feelings, writing out my dreams, and creating short stories, blogged about my walking journey to better health and then one night when I was writing I wrote an erotic story that inspired me to reclaim my sexual power. A dear friend read it and said, “This is good.” He submitted the story to a website and within an hour, it was accepted and published as an online story. Talk about being shocked! I went to the site and set up a profile and joined a writer’s community within that site. I met an amazing group of friends. I read stories that were posted and I decided it was time to heal.

How my online life helped me heal

Accepting my scars began with a conversation with a new online friend. There’s something about the anonymity of speaking to someone online that allowed me to voice my deepest fears without self-imposed judgments. He asked me, “What do you like?” Sadly enough, I couldn’t answer! I’d become so disconnected from my own thoughts and desires.

I couldn’t answer that simple question. It wasn’t just about my hobbies; it dawned on me that wasn’t even in touch with what I wanted from my own husband in bed. I had never thought about what I WANTED! I know this sounds strange but most of my sexual “firsts” occurred during my rape. The involuntary nature and violation of it all left me in a less than adventurous state of being. There were and are things that I still do not enjoy, things that still freak me out completely and things that I have learned to love. I had discovered yet another area of my life that needed to heal and I began writing erotica to explore my desires and I began to finally connect with myself sexually.

My husbands love and support helped me to put my desires into physical actions and we made a pledge to make love everyday for ninety days. It might sound crazy but the intimacy and connections that we shared during that time is something that I will always cherish! The unconditional love that I’ve received from my husband and online friends during this difficult reawakening process has been phenomenal and so much more than I could have ever expected! My sexual re-awakening has been both a blessing in my relationship with my husband and at times a curse that required us to look long and hard at our relationship and our expectations of each other. But with the encouragement of close friends and my family, I returned to therapy to help me process some of my unspoken needs and to help mend some of my reopened wounds.

There was only one thing left for me to deal with and that was my scarred breast. So I took a shower and took a long look at myself in the mirror. I didn’t just look at my face as I had done for the last fourteen months. I looked at all of me! I sat in my bathroom and looked at my scar and reminded myself, that I am scarred but not dead and right then and there I embraced my scar! Not just that one, I decided to embrace them all! I cried and celebrated my scars as I looked at the mark on my breast.

Later that week I called my dear friend Chloe Jackman, a professional photographer (www.chloejackman.com) and I decided to reclaim my feminine power, embrace my scars, and celebrate my life by having a professional naughty girl set of portraits done for my husband. The highlight of that shoot was the photo in this article where I am embracing my scar.

I am not healed from my past but I am embarking on a new path towards a happier future, embracing my scars and enjoying who I am right now. Tomorrow is not promised and I have been given the chance to start over again! I acknowledge that everyone does not survive all that I have been through. But whether you have or have not experienced my life circumstances, I ask you to embrace your scars because they are what make you uniquely you. Reach out for help if you feel like you are sinking. You might be surprised at who is ready to help you heal.

For more exciting news about Mom’s check out MOMmagazine (www.MOMmagazine.ca)

Be brave and be well,

Sammie Love


RIP – Amy Winehouse

I know everybody has something to say about the passing of Amy Winehouse and it certainly is sad to see such a musical talent leave us so soon. She joins a list of talented 27 year olds that couldn’t beat their addiction and met the angel of death too soon.

I’d like to say I was surprised that she is gone, but I am not. It was never a question of if she would die because of her addiction, the question was when would she die of her addiction. Again, I’m not surprised — I’m pissed! I’m pissed off that this tiny woman with this large voice that touched so many souls was stolen from us by her demon of choice called drugs.

Those of you who are callous quickly started singing, “Tried to make me go to rehab but I said no, no, no!” The media paraiahs have made this weekend unbearable for her fans by clamoring over each other to talk about bits and pieces of her life and speaking of her talent and pain as if you actually cared! Amy died of addiction and part of the reason she was addicted was because the cost of her fame was too high for even the average human to handle. She was a media darling when she ascended up the charts and she became disposed of like garbage when she could no longer control her addiction. Did you know pictures of her high were worth more than her smiling and enjoying her life? How sad is that? I’m not implying that the media killed Amy, but I am saying the tabloids and the publics constant, incessant desire to be like the stars and know about them has become a bottomless pit of despair for those in the entertainment industry. In sharp contrast to Amy Winehouse’s death, there has been minimal coverage of the massacre in Oslo, Norway. Children were killed in the country that gave the world the Noble Peace Prize and yet the world wide media is still dissecting the life of Amy Winehouse and trying to be the first to report exactly what drugs did she die from. Frankly, I DON’T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT WHAT DRUG KILLED HER! Amy Winehouse is gone and I pray she has found the peace and rest that she was unable to obtain here on earth!

The purpose of this post is to ask each one of us to stop feeding into the media and their frenzy. Stop buying the tabloid and reading them because our desire to consume entertainers is the very thing that breaks them. Do it in memory of Amy! Do it for PINK and Mariah that just want to enjoy their children and keep them out of the spotlight so that they can be kids. Do it for all of the up and coming stars.

Rest in Peace Amy! See you on the other side.

The Photo Session of Sammie Love (#trdc)

I entered my favorite local hotel with my bags. Checked in, and entered my room. My nerves were beginning to get the best of me. I pulled out the champagne bottle and strawberries that were set up in the room to try to relax.

Knock, knock, knock!

I breathed deeply and thought ‘What am I doing?’

I went to open the door for Chloe and Margo and my heart was palpitating.

“Hi Darlin’,” Chloe squeeled, as she gave me a huge hug and a kiss. Her hand lightly touched my hair and the room suddenly turned electric. “This is Margo but her friends call her Voila!”

Chloe, Margo and me spent the next three hours together with a camera, lights, and make-up creating The Naughty Girl Session Of Sammie Love, a set of intimate photos as a gift for my husband and a final picture entitled Embracing My Scars, which was used as a photo for an article that I’d written about being a rape and breast cancer survivor.

“Smile for me Sammie!” Click.

“Tell your hubby to come here!” Click.

“Make me wonder what you are thinking right now.” Click.

What Chloe revealed through her camera was the beautiful me that I had never really seen. This version of me was youthful, carefree, brilliant, sensual and sexy. I hadn’t seen that image of myself in quiet some time. I’d lost her after getting caught up in my life as a survivor, wife, mother, friend, employee, student, boss, writer, parent advocate, champion of children and lover of all things sweet!

The beautiful woman that Chloe captured on film was the woman that I was rediscovering on a daily basis, and this woman had spent years caring for others but finally decided to make it a priority to take care of herself.

When the Naughty Girl Photo Session of Sammie Love ended, I had bonded with two new friends, discovered the sensual woman that was hidden deep within me, and I walked away with one hundred and five: fabulous, amazing, sensual, thought provoking, reflective pictures that captured moments of my life for myself and my husband. I am inspired by my photos daily and the photo in the header is one of my favorites. Special thanks to Chloe Jackman and Margo Cristein of Lovely Me Photography – San Francisco www.lovelymephotography.com for helping me find my sexy!

Waiting on the World to Change

A few years ago when I completed my Master’s degree I was ready to set the world on fire! My graduate school experience was an exhausting process, but I did it. I worked hard to balance being a wife and mother, keeping up with all of my readings and assignments, working full-time, and completing my thesis. I was proud of myself. I had completed my goal of of finishing my studies before I turned forty.

When I gave my Valedictorian Speech I chose not to focus on the struggles I had gone through to get to that day, I choose to reflect on a quote from Mahatma Gandhi, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

Grad School was the beginning of creating the change I wanted to see in the world. I was hungry to create change for my family, economically speaking. I was compelled to create change in the ways that children were taught. I was driven to become a catalyst for change within my community. I worked hard to change things around me and I tried to leave things better than I found them, but in all my hard work and efforts to create change around me, I neglected the most important changes that needed to occur — those that began inside of me!

As I begin my unemployment, I’m reminded of all the hopes and dreams I had when I graduated. I completed the goal to finish school but I accepted a “job” and I was waiting on the world to change instead of BEING THE CHANGE I wanted to see in the world. Well, now I’m looking forward to the creating the opportunity to find balance between my life, my work and my community. One thing I know for sure is all lasting change begins and ends with me. Change can’t be instructed — it must be applied in thin layers in order to survive. I’m ready to put in the work and BE the change I want to see in the world. I can’t wait to see what my future holds!

SO AMAZING by Luther Vandross 7/20/11

On this day many years ago I walked through a beautiful Art Gallery to a chuppah made of flowers and stood below it as my Pastor joined my best friend and me together in holy matrimony in an interfaith ceremony.

It was a beautiful wedding that joined two people into one family. One family joined our guests and became one community. That one community joined us and became our extended family and have been with us for better and for worse, in sickness and in health and forever they will remain in our hearts until death do us part.

As beautiful as our wedding was, our love story continues in spite of our differences and our life together has been so amazing! We never dreamed when we chose SO AMAZING as our song for our first dance at our wedding reception that our love would create such an amazing family, complete with three beautiful children, two amazing godchildren and four additional “adopted son’s.”

Married life hasn’t always been smooth for us. There were arguments, life stressors, births and deaths but through the triumphs, bumps, joy and bruises we are still together and that is simply a blessing!

Happy Anniversary J — here’s to you!

So Amazing Lyrics

Love has truly been good to me
Not even one sad day
Or minute have I had since you’ve come my way
I hope you know I’d gladly go
Anywhere you’d take me

It’s so amazing to be loved
I’d follow you to the moon in the sky above
Ooh…ooh…ooh…ooh…ooh…ooh…ooh…ooh…I’d go

Got to tell you how you thrill me
I’m happy as I can be
You have come and it’s changed my whole world
Bye-bye sadness, hello mellow
What a wonderful day

It’s so amazing to be loved
I’d follow you to the moon in the sky above
Ooh…ooh…ooh…ooh…ooh…ooh…ooh…ooh…I’d go

And it’s so amazing, amazing
I could stay forever, forever
Here in love and no, leave you never
‘Cause we’ve got amazing love

Truly it’s so amazing, amazing
Love brought us together, together
I will leave you never and never
I guess we’ve got amazing love

Ooh, so amazing and I’ve been wondering
For a love like you

It’s so amazing to be loved
I’d follow you to the moon in the sky above
Oh, and it’s so, it’s so

It’s so amazing to be loved
I’d follow you to the moon in the sky above
And you know, it’s so

It’s so amazing to be loved
I’d follow you to the moon in the sky above
Hey…hey…hey…yeah…it’s so

It’s so amazing to be loved
I’d follow you to the moon in the sky above
Hey…hey…yeah…hey…yeah…yeah…hey…it’s so

It’s so amazing to be loved
I’d follow you to the moon in

SEATTLE (delayed post 7/18/11)

I’ve always loved Seattle!  It’s a beautiful city with beautiful people and all, but the thing I love most about it was the time I spent there for a one week family vacation that turned into a three-week journey to truly meeting my Father.

My Father was always in my life.  My Mom and Dad were married and he lived with us until his death. But he was the quiet type.  He quietly supported me.  He quietly disciplined me with a look that stopped me dead in my tracks!  Even though we lived together I never really knew HIM until that trip we took to Seattle and then Vancouver.

I was 18 when we went to Seattle and I had just finished my freshman year in college.  I hadn’t wanted to go on the trip but my Mom said I was going and staying with friends for that long was out of the question and our family all lived outside of California.  I grudgingly went, I cried as I said goodbye to my boyfriend and off to Seattle we went.

I learned so much there about my Dad I could write his biography!  He really opened up there and we found forgiveness there. The trip really made me think about my life differently and my faith differently. I truly began to see all of the struggles that he’d overcome, and I understood the determination that he had to do things differently for his family. GOD opened our hearts on that trip revealed a masterpiece to me and it was my Dad!