When I think of all the troubles and anxieties of this world, a strong belief in FAITH has never been more needed!! From Wars overseas and even right here at home with healthcare and the plummenting economy, not to mention domestic violence among couples and families, our faith gets pretty tested on a regular basis. But I take comfort in knowing that inner peace that will always remain from within. Matthew 7:7-8 states...'Keep on asking and it will be given you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking and it will be opened to YOU. For everyone asking receives, and everyone seeking finds, and to everyone knocking it will be opened.'
Our faith never comes in short supply, but endures everlasting when we take the time to pray and meditate daily when problems arise in our lives. Even in these days of uncertainty my faith will not wane, and hoping yours will not either...here's to ALL of us keepin the FAITH!!
An unknown author once wrote....'one day your life will flash before your eyes. make sure its worth watching.' Indeed as 2010 alone seems to be flying by at the blink of an eye- are you watching the world or is the world REALLY watching you?! Living life to its fullest has never been more prevelant, but is it full of the everyday blessings- that despite the struggles we ALL confront on a daily basis, you still give thanks- or you've decided to 'stay mad at the world' because you feel that you've been singled out because 'bad things' seem to keep coming your way!
I like to say..there are NO bad days..some days just provide a BETTER outlook than others, as everyday of course won't be perfect...but YOUR life continues to have a story to tell..it's just up to you as to whether it can have a happy ending...here's to more of those HAPPY endings than not!!
As a another holiday weekend is upon us, so is the celebration of liberty for these United States of America! But in addition to the fireworks, parades, barbecues, concerts, sporting events, and perhaps a political speech or two, what freedoms are the most precious and valuable that carry you through the toughest of times, yet continue to make you proud to be called an 'American!'
It's that time again and it's been a incredible 8 years to see and hear about the lives that have been saved during the Take A Loved One To The Doctor campaign. It changes just a little bit this year in that now it has officially been extended as a season to take better care of not only our loved ones, but just as importantly ourselves.
For me personally, since turning the big 4-0, I'm starting to see and feel the difference in my body...beginning with getting more than 4 hours of sleep, although I can still function with that amount, it's amazing how well rested the body and mind feel the next early morning before heading into the station..there's the excercise and I've been encouraged by soooo many wonderful instructors, nutrionists, trainers and the like who have made excercise fun and the people I work out with who listen to the Best R&B and Old School...you're the best in keeping me motived!
Even in recent conversation with my own Mamma, she recently joined an area YMCA to keep herself in good shape...way to go Mom..you know I'm proud of ya! So in the season of taking better care of ourselves, which I want to continue to do with better eating habits...a slow process, but one I know I can overcome..let's be each other's support system, so we ALL can make fewer trips to see the good Ol Doc, or if we have to make that visit we walk away(literally) with better health in mind!
We have lost not one but two champions of the Civil Rights Movement in Benjamin Hooks and at the reading of this blog Dr. Dorothy Height who lived 98 years young, along with brother Hooks who was 85 at the time of his passing, and both who dedicated a large majority of their lives in the fight for equality for all men, women and children in our communities.
These losses leave incredible shoes to fill in carrying on not only their legacies, but in taking the lead in ALL communities(not just African-American and other minorities) to ensure equal rights for every human being!And may we not just rely on our local and national leaders to address the issues(and sadly the continued problems) of race, unemployment, the increased need for voter turnout, etc.,but set the examples of being the BEST community leaders we know how to be within our OWN families, churches, the workplace, and the like!
More importantly and lastly, encourage this generation of young persons who can be the future Benjamin Hooks' and Dorothy Height's for their generation and future generations to come, because the flame of equality and equal rights for ALL should never be extinguished!
After a beautiful and blessed Easter weekend, I take this time to reflect on what would have been the 2nd year since the passing of my Grandmother...April 3rd, 2008 and I spent part of the holiday visiting her grave and placing flowers...along with other members of my family that I still miss so dearly! It still comforts me to be able to speak to my loved ones who are no longer with me in the physical sense, but their spirits follow me everyday and everywhere I go.
In fact, and I don't know if you will call me crazy after sharing this with you...but most mornings as I head out the door(still dark outside mind you), I pass by a set of solor lights that are placed along the walk-way of the front porch and one will light right up as if to say...'have a good day and I love you', which my Grandmother used to always say while she was still living...that's my daily blessing and my moment of inspiration that always starts my day off right!...talk about GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME AND ALL THE TIME GOD IS GOOD:)
For those of you (happily) married to your one true love...I dedicate this blog to you! I shared this story Friday morning on the Tom Joyner Morning Show and was just estatic to read that the world's longest marriage on record belongs to a wonderful couple from New Bern, North Carolina..NC represent:) They are 104-year-old Herbert and his beautiful wife of 85 years, 101-year-old Zelmyra Fisher...in fact come May 13th, the happy couple would celebrate their 86th wedding anniversary...God Bless'em and I hope they indeed live to see it and celebrate with family and friends! The were married in 1924 and just THIS past Valentine's Day were on Twitter sharing their love and longevity of marriage to other couples. The lovely couple credits their marital success to their faith in God, a loving family, and a few big fusses over being married for such a long period of time! What a beautiful story to pass along to all of us who have 'loved' that special someone!!
This week I came across an article about two individuals(both women) who lived to be well into their 100's...one was 114 and the other was 113, and both lived in New Hampshire. Reading this got me to thinking what exactly is contributing to our longevity..for some prayer is such a powerful everyday action, or not smoking or drinking or other vices that seem to shorten life. For me personally the oldest person who was filled with such wisdom and much love was my 96-year old Grandmother. Who's the oldest living relative in your families and if you were able to live to the ages of the two Women mentioned earlier in this blog, what would or could you do to add those extra years of life and even become living known history within your own family?
One of the biggest events that highlights and celebrates the creative artistry of Hollywood is the Academy Awards and the 82nd Oscar ceremony is all set for Sunday, March 7th. Now I have to admit I haven't been much of an awards viewer over the last several years, in fact I really couldn't tell you the last time I sat down in front of a television and watched an awards show of any kind from beginning to end...and that very well may be the case for this year's Oscar with the EXCEPTION of a few noted categories.
So before writing this blog, I did a little research, and thanks to Wikipedia I discovered quite an impressive list of Black Academy Award winners and nominees, many of which I didn't realized were included in as many categories. Let me begin with the grand-daddy of the Oscars...BEST PICTURE- back in 1985 the first Black person to be nominated for the category...Quincy Jones/Producer for the movie, "The Color Purple...this year BOTH Lee Daniels and Broderick Johnson represents the first time 2 Black producers are nominated for Best Picture for the films "Precious" and "The Blind Side" respectively.
BEST DIRECTOR...in 1991 John Singleton was the first person of color to be nominated and the youngest person ever at age 23 for his film, "Boyz n The Hood." Now fast forward to 2009 and the honor goes to Lee Daniels- the 2nd Black person to earn a Best Director nomination...BEST ACTOR/LEADING ROLE... started in 1958 with Sidney Poitier, the first Black actor to be nominated for best actor for "The Defiant Ones," and the first to win an Academy Award in 1963 for "Lilies of The Field."...then came 2001 and Denzel Washington won the Oscar for "Training Day"...the honor in 2004 was bestowed to Jamie Foxx for his incredible rendition of Ray Charles in the film "Ray"..Jamie recieved 2 acting nominations in the same year and was the youngest Black actor to win at age 34, and two years later Forest Whitaker was a winner for the movie "The Last King of Scotland and Will Smith was also a nominee for the film "Pursuit of Happiness."
BEST ACTRESS/LEADING ROLE...in 1954 the beautiful Dorothy Danridge made history as the first Black actress to be nominated for "Carmen Jones," but it wasn't until 2001 that Halle Berry(who irconically portryed Dorothy in movie on her life story) was the first and only Black actress to win Oscar gold...now in 2009 nominee Gabourey/Gabby Sidibe is the young Black actress to nominated for her powerful role as Claireece 'Precious' Jones in the fim, "Precious."....BEST ACTOR/SUPPORTING ROLE....Lee Gossett, Jr. won the big Oscar prize in "An Officer and A Gentlemen, and the first Black actor to win in this category...1989 Denzel Washington won the honor for "Glory...1996- it was Cuba Gooding, Jr., the youngest Black actor to win at age 29 for "Jerry Maquire," and 2004 was the last year a Black actor won and Morgan Freeman did it for(as the oldest actor-age 67) "Million Dollar Baby."
And lastly there's BEST ACTRESS/SUPPORTING ROLE...and many of us weren't likely born when Hattie McDaniel won the category in 1939 for "Gone With The Wind" as the first Black person(male or female) to win an Oscar. This didn't happen again until nearly 50 years later...1990 when Whoopi Goldberg claimed the prize for her role in "Ghost." Another 16-years later and Jennifer Hudson was the winner and the first and only Black actor male or female to win an Academy Award for a debut film performance for "Dreamgirls." And other nominations worthy of note...2008 Taraji P. Henson for her role in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," and 2009 with Mo'Nique(and she could take home the prize March 7, 2010) for her incredible performance in "Precious." What a history lesson to pass along, hoping this will inspire and encourage the NEXT talented/acting generation(especially of color) to keep reaching for the 'stars!"
In light of the devastation from the earthquake in Haiti, where so many lives have been devasted and even lost, in makes me think in retrospect how do we find the strength, or a coping mechanism to deal with the lost/death of a loved one. Recently losing someone I cared deeply about who was like a 'third' grandmother to me, and who was blessed and passed on her blessings to others in her life for over 90 years..and what especially inspired me to write this blog and share with you is what a son relayed to me in conversation the other day, is the hardest part of life is now having to adjust to 'not having my mother in my life anymore.' There are no so many other people, including those in Haiti, who no longer have their mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, and other siblings and friends. Continue to pray for all of them, as shall I, and although they are no longer in the physical, their spiritual love will FOREVER remain and thus it is a love that will never die!
You may have heard me speak of wanting 2010 to be the year of being 'healthly', not just in body, but in mind and spirit as well...however I don't want to be the only one to triumph in these multliple accomplishments! If you share in this same sentiment, let's ALL buddy together to be each other's support system..either through phone calls, emails, facebook, twitter, and especially in person with workouts, including my favorite Zumba (I work out every other Thursday at the Central YMCA in Winston-Salem from 6:30pm-7:30pm), walks at our parks, tracks and wherever we can encourage one another to make this the year to be the BEST WE ALL CAN BE!!! I'm just sayin.....
Come January 2010 the kid here turns the big....20/20:) and during the holiday season of 2009, I've discovered that the more anniversaries I celebrate, the TRUE meaning of Christmas comes into play. As a child growing up, sure there were the fantastical stories of Santa Claus sliding down a chimney with a sack full of toys, and if I was a really good girl, Santa would bring the one toy that was a must-have from an already extremely long list! Now fast forward a little bit to Christmas 2009 and it is so NOT about how many presents I receive but the GIFT of life, love, fellowship, family and friends and how Jesus died for my sins so that I may have everlasting life! And finally I've come to realize that I REALLY do like the new meaning that Christmas this year and every year to follow has become:)
I have never worked for a radio station that is sooo community involved than 97.1 QMG...BUT WHAT'S EVEN BETTER is working for a station where the LISTENERS are the REAL STARS of the show!! Case in point the week of our 97.1 Q-mmunity Giving Tour...December 7th-10th, where we were all over the Triad at homeless shelters, adult mental health facilities and even watching first-hand as you gave in such a generous manner donations of blood as the holiday is just one time of year that blood donations are so greatly needed. Whatever the need...it has been YOU that have gone above and beyond the call of duty to give back to those in need, and maybe perhaps keeping thoughts in the back of your mind, that one day, ANYDAY, it could be you! And one day will ALWAYS stand out in my mind...QMG accepting donations of supplies that are greatly needed to aid the Bethesda Center for the Homeless in Winston-Salem, which helps transition men and women and even children from homelessness to housing. Well just as we were about the wrap up our broadcast one special individual just walked up and stated that he wanted to donate a check and further went on to say that it wasn't much, but wanted to contribute nonetheless...that check once Joseph, Phil Allen and myself took a closer look, turned out to be a total of four hundred dollars!! But I don't want to just concentrate on the dollar amount, because ANY donation is priceless..but the concept of GIVING is what seemed to touch his heart the most...and that best decribes EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU who have given from the bottom of your hearts...words can't begin to say how I LOVE OUR QMG LISTENERS who really are Q-mmunity involved! Bless you all not just during the holiday season, but each and everyday!!