Song Of The Day ~ Magdalenha by Sergio Mendes

My daughter is participating in Carnival this year with her dance troop LOCO BLOCO it has been a great time seeing her friends from last year and her friends her performing arts summer camp as they prepare their routines for Carnival 2012

I woke today and felt a little anxious about the days ahead of me.  I had terrible cramps and was preparing to do blood work this morning but I decided to get on home to give my aching body some relief.

Song of the Week ~ Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Ah, I remember a time when my life was so much simpler. ;I dreamed of being a writer in living in Paris. ;Drunken nights after hours of dancing with my friends. ;Learning about life according to my schedule. ;Absorbing beautiful rays of sun and living life and having fun!

This song came out in 1983 when I was in high school. ;I danced with abandon whenever I heard Cyndi squeal, “They just wanna, they just wanna!” ;Well its 29 years later and I am claiming this as my anthem for the week. ;CHANGE IS COMING I can feel it and I am gonna live each day as if it was my last!

LYRICS:

I come home in the morning light
My mother says when you gonna live your life right
Oh mother dear we’re not the fortunate ones
And girls they want to have fun
Oh girls just want to have fun

The phone rings in the middle of the night
My father yells what you gonna do with your life
Oh daddy dear you know you’re still number one
But girls they want to have fun
Oh girls just want to have

That’s all they really want
Some fun
When the working day is done
Girls – they want to have fun
Oh girls just want to have fun

Some boys take a beautiful girl
And hide her away from the rest of the world
I want to be the one to walk in the sun
Oh girls they want to have fun
Oh girls just want to have

That’s all they really want
Some fun
When the working day is done
Girls – they want to have fun
Oh girls just want to have fun,
They want to have fun,
They want to have fun

Song Of The Week ~ STAND by Donnie McClurkin

I wrote a post about Whitney Houston last week and I believed it would serve as my final farewell.  But one of my favorite gospel singers sang a song that was so appropriate as a farewell to Whitney Houston.

Pastor Donnie McClurkin’s lyrics truly saved me at at time in my life when I felt all hope was gone when my life was at its most difficult and all the lies I told myself to try and cope with being raped rapidly began to unravel.  Pastor Donnie McClurkin was raped at the age of eight by his uncle, his family was ravaged by domestic violence and drug abuse, but he went on to do great work to help people with healing their lives.  I found strength in these words and it reinforced what I knew in my heart but couldn’t reconcile in my head — “You just stand when there’s nothing left to do. You just stand, watch the Lord see you through.  Yes, after you done all you can, you just stand!”

Whitney Houston’s life was full of ups and downs just like everybody else’s, her down period was more notable than most but she stood and held onto her roots and her love of GOD.  There s a lesson for me in this song.  There was a lesson for her in this song.  Sometime in your life there may even be a lesson for you because after you’ve done all you can — you just STAND!

STAND ~ Lyrics

What do you do when you’ve done all you can

And it seems like it’s never enough?

And what do you say when your friends turn away

And you’re all alone, alone?

Tell me, what do you give when you’ve given your all

And it seems like you can’t make it through?
Well you just stand when there’s nothing left to do

You just stand, watch the Lord see you through

Yes, after you done all you can, you just stand
Tell me, how do you handle the guilt of your past?

Tell me, how do you deal with the shame?

And how can you smile while your heart has been broken

And filled with pain, filled with pain?

Tell me what do you give when you’ve given your all

Seems like you can’t make it through?
Child, you just stand when there’s nothing left to do

You just stand, watch the Lord see you through

Yes, after you’ve done all you can, you just stand

Stand and be sure

Be not entangled in that bondage again

You just stand, and endure

God has a purpose, yes, god has a plan!

Song of the Week ~ The Greatest Love Of All by Whitney Houston

I am sure that the song of the week will touch your heart just as the life and times of Whitney Houston has touched the lives of Americans and dare I say the world. THE GREATEST LOVE OF ALL has become an anthem for children’s graduations and weddings because the sentiment of the song is so simple. Her love of children, family and friends was evident as she sang this song and that is just one of many reasons I chose this song.

In a world full of joy, pain, love and loss — there was Whitney. She was the songstress whose melodies were the soundtrack of my life. I grew up looking at Whitney as she graced the cover of SEVENTEEN Magazine as the first African-American to occupy the cover by herself. I LOOKED TO YOU, Whitney to be my role model of beauty. Your beauty was not the beauty that was projected in the media for young girls. Your short curly hair and big wide smile taught me about self-acceptance.

When she sang, I WANNA DANCE WITH SOMEBODY my heart leapt for joy and I joined the Soul Train line and waited to strut my stuff for my special guy. I’d get SO EMOTIONAL whenever I’d hear one of your new songs on the radio. I asked myself HOW WILL I KNOW? if he really loves me as a teenager in love and Whitney made that alright for me. Her voice and success laid the foundation for Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys, Destiny’s Child, Britteny Spears, Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Hudson, Jill Scott and a litany of other women who joined the musical ranks.

Whitney’s rendition of I’M EVERY WOMAN became the anthem of womanhood and women of every race joined and sang along with her as we celebrated her pregnancy with her. Her sultry vocals transcended race, class and politics. Her message was carefully crafted and universal and it became clear that WHEN YOU BELIEVE miracles truly did happen. Her Olympic Anthem, ONE MOMENT IN TIME captured the world, as did her version of STAR SPANGLED BANNER. Whitney’s solo work and musical collaborations continue to be favorites world-wide. Just days before her death she shared the stage with Kelly Price and sang JESUS LOVES ME, that would be her final public performance and what an appropriate song this is to have ended her storied career with.

A few of my favorites that held me together through a really terrible break-up were:
SAVING ALL MY LOVE FOR YOU,
HEARTBREAK HOTEL,
DON’T WALK AWAY FROM ME, and
WHY DOES IT HURT SO BAD?

I will not reflect on Whitney’s personal demons because it is not how I chose to reflect on her life. We all have our crosses to bear her’s was addiction and it is not my right to judge her. I conclude by saying I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU Whitney Houston and I thank you for the influence and contributions that your music has had on my life.

MY LOVE IS YOUR LOVE,

Sammie

Song of the Week ~ Wind Beneath My Wings

By the time you read this scheduled blog. I will be sitting at my twenty-one year old “son’s” funeral. The last few days have been an emotional roller coaster to say the very least. While I am so grateful for Richard’s love and presence in my life, I have found myself angry. Bitterly angry! Angry at CANCER. Angry at lost moments. And dare I say it? Yes, I was even angry at GOD.

This week wasn’t all sad. I know GOD has been here with me carrying me through. I have stopped being mad at him and I continue to ask for his peace that transcends all of my human understanding. There was an ebb and flow to the week. It was rocky, it was joyous. I celebrated life and I celebrated death. I remembered “my baby,” @whymommy (Susan), and all of the other folks that have struggled and fought with Stage Four Cancer and I felt guilty as I remembered my miniature non-invasive battle. It was you who fought the good fight. It is both of you that will always remain my hero as you smiled and took your chemo, educated the masses about invasive cancer and always tried to make others be alright with coming to terms with your life coming to an end.

Saturday was a consistent ride on a wave of emotions. Our family woke up early to begin the difficult day and my daughter unfortunately still had painful hives on her feet, arms and torso but the first thing she said was, “This game is for Rich and my team, Mom.” My daughter’s soccer team went on to win their soccer championship. This was quite a fete because they are now undefeated for two years straight! We celebrated their success, just like we knew Rich would. He loved to win! I celebrated with my daughter and I was astounded that she managed to play in such pain. Smiling and defending the goal, helping her team to victory, just as Rich had done so many times. Yesterday he truly was the wind beneath our wings. A few hours later I found myself sitting at Cypress Lawn for his Rosary. Staring at Rich in his casket, wedding ring on his finger and his son’s favorite blanket at his side. He is at peace finally. No more pain. No more meds. No more suffering. It is those of us that know and love him that will continue to rely on the rays of sunshine that he provided in our lives.

Farewell my handsome Prince Rich ~ you are gone too soon.

Midnight Sun, Lofoten by William H. Johnson

Song of the Week ~ We Found Love (Cover by Boyce Avenue)

I love music and it touches me in the strangest ways and at the strangest times sometimes. The melodies evoke emotions and memories of times long since passed.  Music is the pulse of my life.  I love popular music, acoustic music, gospel music.  Honestly, I love a little bit of everything!

I am always attracted to the words of a song.  I wonder what the writer was thinking when I hear it.  I often try to avoid seeing a video to a song until I have gotten a grasp of its lyrics because I find that video treatments often don’t match the song.  I had the pleasure of hearing WE FOUND LOVE by Rihanna as an acoustic cover version of the song by Boyce Avenue and I am so glad that I did!  This stripped down version truly touched my heart.

I had forgotten all about Boyce Avenue’s version after Rihanna’s synthesizer infused original version hit the airways and the seductive drug reference filled video hit the video channels.  I watched a behind the scenes show about the making of the video where she said,  “Love is unexplainable, intoxicating and illicit just like a drug.”  She went on to talk about the good and bad sides of love and the feeling of being out of control and how sometimes we need to release the very thing that we value and love in order to love ourself.  To say that I was dumbfounded was an understatement!

Flash forward two months.  It is Sunday morning. January 29, 2012 at my Church’s Bring A Friend to Church Day.  The theme is the “Power Of Love.” The message was about finding a place of love during difficult times.  It was full of hope for the hopeless, spiritually broken, and those that needed to reconnect to the power of the cross and reconnect with GOD.  The message spoke of promises of forgiveness and new life.  Communion was served and the chords of the piano began to play and my favorite soloist began to sing:

“Yellow diamonds in the light and we’re standing side by side”

By the time she sang, “Because the way I’m feeling I just can’t deny. But I gotta let it go.”  I was in tears.  I never thought of this song in this context but it was a beautiful call to the altar to restore people’s hopes and dreams.  A call for people to release addictions or hurt and pain from their past.  I was uplifted in a way that I have never been before while listening to this song.  It took on a whole new meaning and its one that I am going to keep in my heart this week and beyond.  Like I said, music can soothe the soul, convict the heart, and release the past.

We Found Love LYRICS:

Yellow diamonds in the light
And we’re standing side by side
As your shadow crosses mine
What it takes to come alive
Because the way I’m feeling I just can’t deny
But I gotta let it go

We found love in a hopeless place
We found love in a hopeless place
We found love in a hopeless place
We found love in a hopeless place

Shine a light through an open door
Love and life I will divide
Turn away cause I need you more
Feel the heartbeat in my mind
Because the way I’m feeling I just can’t deny
But I gotta let it go

We found love in a hopeless place
We found love in a hopeless place
We found love in a hopeless place
We found love in a hopeless place

Yellow diamonds in the light
And we’re standing side by side
As your shadow crosses mine
What it takes to come alive
I because the way I’m feeling I just can’t deny
But I gotta let it go

We found love in a hopeless place
We found love in a hopeless place
We found love in a hopeless place
We found love in a hopeless place

Song of the Week — WTF by Elle Varner

Ever had one of those kinds of days where you throw up your hands and say WTF (What the f*%^)? Well then you can totally identify with my current vibe. I am just 6 weeks out post-op and still having some troubles with digesting my food, not feeling a 100%, I have a garage full of boxes that still needs to be unpacked or otherwise disposed of and I just don’t have the mental or physical energy to deal with it.

I woke up with another song in mind for today but since my girl crush (Elle Varner) snuck into town last night, performed at Ruby Skye and dropped a Mixtape CD this morning, I had to get my grove on and test out the eagerly anticipated songs.

Much to my delight — CONVERSATIONAL LUSH does not disappoint and this song in particular titled WTF, just kinda captured my mood today. It captured the irony I am currently calling my life and although the circumstances of her song are unlike any that I have experienced before, I am still sitting here contemplating WTF!

WTF am I gonna do to get my “get up and go” back? WTF am I gonna do with my future, am I really gonna stop teaching and settle for an office job? WTF? I am really not sure what’s gonna happen but right now I am gonna enjoy the ride and sing along until the dust settles!

Have you ever felt like life on the road less traveled is full of bumps and bruises that are insurmountable? How did you manage to get through? I am choosing humor and music. How about you?

Happy New Year

For those of you that are reading this, thank you for stopping by and welcome to 2012!

It has taken me two days to really focus on something to blog about. I wanted to do a year-end recap but the end of 2011 was not really enjoyable and it’s after effects are still being felt. In spite of having surgery and a minor setback with my recovery, moving to a smaller home and still trying to get rid of the excess “things” that have cluttered my families life, the final blow came on Christmas Eve when we were told that one of my son’s friends who is 21 years old and a new husband and father is dying of cancer. Needless to say 2012 is now all about perspective.

So instead of the traditional resolutions I usually make, I am compelled to really look into myself and into my heart this year to make things better for not only myself but those around me.

MY TEN RESOLUTIONS FOR 2012

1. I resolve, to help develop faith in GOD in my friends and family that are running low.

2. I resolve, to live my life to the fullest in spite of PTSD and my Anxiety Disorder. I resolve to be forthright about my struggles and no longer hide in the shadows.

3. I resolve, to work hard to maintain happiness in my life! I know that I am the only person responsible for my happiness. I am NOT responsible for the happiness of others, I am only responsible to make sure that my actions do not cause others to deliberately become unhappy.

4. I resolve, to continue to bring attention to affects, fight, and research of cancer in honor of Rich, my Mom and me.

5. I resolve, to continue to uncluttered my mind, my heart and my home of useless emotions and things.

6. I resolve, to concentrate on my physical health and I will shed the mental and physical weight that I have hidden behind. My time is now and I have no time to live in the past!

7. I resolve, to focus on things that make me a better person so that I can become a better friend, parent and partner.

8. I resolve, to push forward with my blog writing and novel writing. Being disciplined in my approach and stretching myself to write in genres I have never written.

9. I resolve, to continue to grow and learn something new daily.

10. I resolve, to live my life my way in 2012 and beyond!

Song of the Week: Jennifer Hudson – I GOT THIS LYRICS

I am really feeling this new Jennifer Hudson song! I love the strength of this song and it stands as a testament for all that she has had to endure to become a professional singer. Her story echo’s so many of our own if you stop to think about it. How many times has someone said that you couldn’t achieve one of your goals? How many times have you heard that your dream is an impossible one? Am I striking a nerve yet?

Was there ever a time when those closest to you doubted your ability, or talents? Did their nay-saying motivate you or did you second guess yourself?

Well, whatever happened previously, I hope that this song will give you the encouragement to press forward and follow your dreams and reach for your goals!

Love,

Sammie

JENNIFER HUDSON – I GOT THIS LYRICS.

Song of the Week ~ Officially Missing You by Tamia

This has been a week and I truly consider myself blessed to have made it through. I lost a friend this week to gunfire. I know that random killings seem to be an urban problem but I am so sick of loosing friends at the stray end of a bullet. This event has really caused me to reflect on my past, my future and of course living my very best life in the present!

This song is dedicated to loves lost and memories that lead me to the love that I have found! I’m officially missing you Kiese – REST IN PEACE “LITTLE BRO”