My Nana, My Friend

Featured Photo above courtesy of Pexels

March 10th would’ve been my maternal grandmother’s 97th birthday. I had 4 wonderful grandparents but there was something special about Nana.

I was her only grandchild so you can just imagine all of the love and attention I received.

When I was younger it used to drive me nuts the lengths Nana would go to show her affection. The loving stares, the frequent love pats. After a while I was like, “Ok, Nana. I got it. You love me. Geez. Enough already!” Mom would say, “Amy, she is only showing you how much she loves you.” And I would say, “Well, does she got to do it so much!?”

Image Credit: Gif/Bing

Due to my low self esteem and issues with bullying, discrimination, rejection and harassment I received while in school due to having a learning disability. Looking back, I think I didn’t feel worthy of having someone love me the way Nana did so I would act inappropriately, hoping she would come to understand that I am not worth loving and just move on.

God bless Nana, as she never quit showing me love and attention. No matter how many times I’d take my dissatisfaction with myself and life out on her, Nana was always right there with her big, bright smile, continuing her display of affection.

As I got older, I began to finally understand just how lucky I was to have someone love me as much as Nana did. And how very much we needed each other.

I needed someone to show me that I was worthy of having someone love me and after my grandfather passed away unexpectedly, Nana needed to know that it was all right for her to get as affectionate as she wanted.

I came to understand that by rejecting her attention, I was rejecting Nana as well.

And Lord knows I didn’t mean to imply that. I was so caught up into my own world that I failed to see just how fragile Nana truly was.

She was perky and fun-loving but underneath all of that was someone who felt lost… very much like me. I needed love to be shown I am worthy and Nana needed to give love so that she herself would feel worthy.

In 2011, I got a call that Nana was diagnosed with esophageal cancer… and it was terminal.

Image Credit: Pexels

Upon learning this, I immediately went to visit Nana at the nursing home. This was Nana’s home now in which she was placed after having a series of other health issues.

As I walked up to the front door, to my surprise – There was Nana sitting right by the door in her wheelchair flashing her big famous, bright smile.

Outside of being at the door that day, Nana mostly stayed in bed. When I would come, I’d take her for rides in her wheelchair. There was this little hill by the Physical Therapy wing that she loved for me to take her, whether going up or down – I’d always go reallyyyy fast!!

Nana would put her hands in the air and shout, “WHEE!”

It was during this time that I wholeheartedly apologized for my unkindness so long ago. Nana, without hesitation. Forgave me instantly…

She said, “It’s ok, You were young.”

Man, that did me in! after hearing those words, I just lost it..

Image Credit: Pexels

After Nana died, I began what was going to become a 7 year long journey of finding my true self. I knew I had to do some serious soul-searching. I was 34 years old and I was still feeling the effects of all that I went through.

I am happy to say that I am finally there and I would not have gotten here if it weren’t for Nana. She showed me just how worthy I really was and am. It was during the difficult times when I felt like giving up that I reminded myself that someone believed in me, even when I didn’t.

Nana’s been gone for 7 years now and there are still pieces of her all over our place. She’d  spent the winters with my family and I. She and I shared a bathroom.

In the top dresser drawer, is where Nana kept all her combs and brushes. I hadn’t even touched them. They’re still there.

I remember her every time I watch NCIS, she truly enjoyed that show as she was a huge fan of Mark Harmon and whenever I hear the song “Everything I Do, I Do It For You” by Bryan Adams, I would think about the time we all, including Nana went to the movies to see the film “Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves”

I remember Nana saying to me one day, as we looked up at the clouds together, how fun it would be to ride on one those. Now, every time I look up and imagine which cloud she might be on, going “WHEE!” with both hands flailing high in the air.

Image Credit: Pexels

I was without a doubt so blessed to have had her as my grandmother and I know without a shadow of a doubt, she would say she was blessed to have me as her granddaughter.

After all, She was my Nana. She was my friend.

May 2017, she self-published a memoir titled “I Am Not Stupid” which is available through Amazon.  She writes for seethegoodinfo, an inspirational website and the Learning Disabilities Association’s newsletter LD Source.

Amy is a resident of Florida.  Since 2006, she has been self-employed in the dog care field.  In May 2017, she self-published a memoir titled “I Am Not Stupid” which is available through Amazon.  She writes for seethegoodinfo, an inspirational website and the Learning Disabilities Association’s newsletter LD Source.
Amy Temple

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The Proper Way to Handle these Pimples

the photo above and below courtesy of bing and pexels

Okay, Okay – I know what you’re thinking. No, this is not Health Class 101 but I thought I would bring up the subject because I’m in my late thirties and have acne prone skin, in which I honestly thought was going to go away when I turned 20 – but sheesh here I am about to hit a century-year-old and I still get occasional pimples and besides – I have a teen and a pre-teen whose bodies are changing like the unpredictable weather we’re having, so in order to keep them from going through the horrors of having a spot-filled face like I did when I was in school, I thought I would write this post to not only help us, adults, but our kids too, so let’s go back to the good ole days…my teen years.

When I was growing up and going through puberty, I had no idea at the time how important acne really was, I knew I would get embarrassed when; out of nowhere, an ugly pimple would pop up and seem to ruin my life. I always thought that when you got a pimple it was okay to pop it, because then it wouldn’t look so bad; but what I ended up getting was a face full of dark spots that took forever to go away; in which made me want to say “SAYONARA” to the rest of my school years.

As I grew older and got wiser on how to handle my acne prone skin, it was a little too late as I felt I had already messed up my “good face” due to my lack of knowledge. But as life would have it, all that knowledge didn’t go to waste as I now have a daughter who’s in high school and experiencing the same issues as I did when I was her age.  While my ‘puberty’ years were not the best for me, I can now make her school years her best years.

Maybe you have a daughter, son, niece, nephew or friend whom may be dealing with the embarrassment of pimples. Listed below are a few simple things that I’ve learned from my own experience that hopefully will lead to a ‘good’ experience for everyone. I even have a picture below of the facial washes I’m using right now to keep my acne prone skin under control.

Clean, Clean, Clean

The best gift you can give your face every day is to keep it clean, it’s a good practice during puberty and beyond to wash your face day and night. This keeps germs at bay and allows all the dirt and/or make-up accumulated from the day to be cleaned off using a light or sensitive skin cleanser. It’s also good practice to wash your hands after you eat or do any other activity that may cause you to get your hands dirty If you’re like me – I have a bad habit of always touching my face, not giving thought to the fact that I had just touched something else.

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Astringents too Harmful? Try this…

I used to love astringents and thought they were the best thing; according to the teen models on the television when I was a teen, but what I came to realize is that astringent is not for every face type and because it contains mostly alcohol, it dried out my face. So I made the switch to witch hazel, it doesn’t contain alcohol and gets the job done without harmful side effects. Neutrogena also has an alcohol free toner in which is great as well.

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When it’s Time for the big POP!

“Don’t use your Fingers!” Most of the germs we accumulate throughout the day are on our hands and under our fingernails. If you pop a pimple then you’re not only getting those germs on your face but will cause dark spots to form later on. So, instead of your fingers, put a little witch hazel on a cotton ball and pop it. This keeps your fingers from touching your face and reduces the risk of unwanted spots.

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Food, Exercise, and Water

Eating right is a major part of our everyday living and while fried, greasy or salty foods are okay sometimes; it’s can be harmful to our bodies, especially our face. As much as possible, opt for healthier choices such as veggies, fruit, and whole grains. Drink plenty of water and stay away from sugary beverages as sugar is a breeding ground for your pores and exercise. If you give your body the right tools; it will definitely do right by you.

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When all else Fails, See the Dermatologist.

Sometimes you could be doing all the right things and still get out of control acne, that’s when it’s time to see the Dermatologist; they have a way of determining what’s going on and can prescribe you the correct dosage of medication that can help aid in you having the best skin while puberty is moving in. I have to say, this year was my first time seeing a Dermatologist ever and it was a great experience. Seeing a Dermatologist is not just for pimples but if you have moles a.k.a skin tags on your body, you might want to make an appt, just to make sure those skin tags are good and not something serious.

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Here are my two staples in which I love – I use the wash in the morning and the wipes at night before I go to bed. I love the exfoliating beads in the wash as it makes sure that all traces of dirt, makeup and etc are washed away and their not harsh either, which is another reason why I love this duo. Now I know they’re not your name brand, but they do just as good a job as those expensive brands. However, while this set works for me, it may not work for you, so find ones that work for your necessary skin issues.

My Staples

My Name

Author, Creator, Motivational Speaker, Blogger

 

 

Have you placed your order yet?

There are people ordering this book and they don’t even have kids! Let’s take a stand against Bullying and let’s put the power of speaking up back in our kid’s as well as adults hands! #silencekills #speakup #victimnomore

Order your copy today!

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Back to School Money Safety – How your Credit Card Can Work for You & Not Against You

Recently, I was contacted by a site called Credit Cards (a.k.a creditcard.com) who reached out to me in lieu of a post, posted  a couple of weeks ago entitled “Back to School Savings” – since July was “BTS” (Back To School Prep) for me and every other parent in the U.S. I thought I’d offer a couple of saving tips, affirmations to get my and other kids (as well as parents) off to a good start and end it up by detailing some “family” time/fun outings that parents can do with the kiddos before school starts back (in which were suggestions by my own rambunctious two! =)

Continue reading “Back to School Money Safety – How your Credit Card Can Work for You & Not Against You”

FUN Activities to Do Before Kids Go BTS!! (Per my Kids =)

photo above courtesy of bing/activitiesforchildren

Well, if you’re a parent anddddd if your kids were home this summer like mine was; then I know for a fact that you’re more than ready – you and your refrigerator that is; for the kids to GO BACK TO SCHOOLLLLLLLLLL!!!! Please!! – I mean I honestly feel like starting a protest at each one of my kid’s schools to demand that they not only stay open ALL. YEAR. ROUND. but that they’ll also provide breakfast, lunch and a snack while they’re at it. The reasoning for their “at home stay” is really my fault because I literally feel as though, I’m always the last parent on earth to try and get my kids into a camp every year – well, not really…..it’s just that they’re either:

Continue reading “FUN Activities to Do Before Kids Go BTS!! (Per my Kids =)”

Back To School Affirmations

photo source above: bing/backtoschoolaffirmations

Now that the 2017-2018 school year is over, kids of all grades are going to be entering the 2018-2019 year in about a month and a half from now. While most will be hesitant to step back into the school world; others will be excited to go back and get the year started – YAY!!…..But what type of mindset will this year be for our kids – while us parents will have some responsibility for that; it’s up to our kids overall to decide if they will push themselves to success or as the song says “lean back” and let the chips fall where they may.

Because after all, we all have CHOICES!!! & So does our kids!!

Last week for our weekly bible class talk, I began to talk to my children about “Affirmations” and speaking things that they feel they are not into existence/a belief that they could be. (Romans 4:17), now whether you’re religious or a believer or not; I feel as though our kids have the ability to speak “good things” over their lives or situation no matter how small or tall they are.

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I began to tell my children about Octavia E. Butler – in which I talked about in this video. She had a mantra “So Be It, See To It” Google, did a doodle of Butler on June 22nd to celebrate what would have been her 71st birthday.

Octavia E. Butler Google Doodle
Octavia E. Butler (June 22, 1947 – February 24, 2006)

Curious as to whom this African American woman was (please don’t judge me if you’re a Butler fan) – after a little research I came across a journal entry that Butler penned in which she “manifested” “I Shall be a Bestselling Author”, “My books will be on the bestseller lists of the Los Angeles Times, New York Times and etc.” she went on to declare and state that “This is my life, I write Bestselling Novels” “My books will be read by Millions of people” notice that she didn’t think or say “I want to or I believe” she made it known that those words weren’t in her vocabulary as they were replaced by [ctt template=”8″ link=”H5564″ via=”yes” ]”I Shall & I Will. So Be It, See To It!![/ctt]

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And this was before she became famous! She knew what she wanted and stuck to her guns – this Affirmation of course didn’t come easy, she worked diligently on her craft daily before the crack of dawn until she went off to work, in which she labored as a dishwasher and then a potato chip inspector; all while working on the career she so desired in the background. Needless to say, Octavia E. Butler; whom suffered from dyslexia – went on to become the first African American science fiction author whom was very well respected in her field. Butler produced over a dozen novels, received numerous awards all ranging from 1980-2012. Her books were indeed read by millions of people, just as she penned in her journal.

Now you may be saying – “What does all of this have to do with back to school?” well, to get back on track – I began to tell my kids to manifest what they wanted their school year to be like. If they felt as though they didn’t have the best year last year; then to “declare and speak” what type of school year they wanted to have this year. As I told them, there really is power in the tongue – whatever they speak or think about themselves, their school year or their life will either move them into success or push them backwards.

Related Post: How We Can Instill An Attitude of Gratitude In Our Children

Just as Octavia Butler penned, we too can pen our destiny – declaring what we want our destiny to be is one thing – working on it is something different. In order for Butler to manifest what she wanted; she had to “See To It” being done.

So, I gave my kids a homework assignment for our next talk and that was to write down a couple of Affirmations they wanted to see for themselves going into this school year. An assignment that once completed, they’ll read aloud to me. What they don’t know is that, this will be their morning anthem for the rest of the school year.

Would you like to do this activity with your children?

This can be a fun project for all to get involved and do, including the parents as you may have a couple of affirmations you want to write on your own (it’s never too late!)

If you have small kids, ages 5-8

Then you can get them some construction paper and let them write out what they want their school year to be like, they can color it and/or make it their own piece of artwork. You can get it laminated and hang it on their wall or a place in which they’ll have to see or pass by every day.

If your children are older, ages 10-17

Then they can write out their mantra on notebook paper or however they want. The thing is allowing them to be creative with their own project as they’ll be more apt to look and/or follow through with it because it’s what they created. Same thing as above, they’ll place it where they can see it every day.

The goal of affirmations is to speak them over your life every single day, but we know kids and that may not be a practice that they’ll get used to doing overnight. However, keeping them hung in a place where they can see them will help them stay focused on their goal and the positive choices they want to see during the new school year.

Listed below are some affirmations to give them a head start, but feel free to allow them to come up with their own…(that’s what makes it really special)

  • I am a leader
  • I am a great kid
  • I can make healthy choices
  • I will be a great student
  • I am one of a kind
  • I will succeed in school as well as life
  • I will make good grades
  • I have the knowledge to pass every test
  • I am smart
  • I am handsome/beautiful
  • I love ME!
  • I MATTER!
  • I am good enough
  • I am unique
  • I can and will make friends
  • I will make a difference
  • It’s okay to not know everything – I’m still smart!
  • I am Brave
  • I am Strong
  • This will be the best school year yet!
  • I will not let fear keep me from being great!

 

Roshonda N. Blackmon

Creator of A Blog, A Magazine. It’s JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

 

 

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