But I Have Plants

Stacey was looking forward to her upcoming weekend. Her cousin Joy was flying into town to visit her from Michigan.Joy and Stacey were inseparable as children. Stacey enlisted in the Army and was stationed there.

Joy had it all planned out for them. They would paint the town red like they did when they were in their twenties. Stacey would normally be with it. In fact, in the past it would be Stacey’s go to after a break with Eric. She would make one phone call to Joy telling her to round up the crew. Joy would get Michelle and Christine on a three way conference call. She would just blurt out “Welp dude tripping again, so where we going”?They would agree on a date, place and time.

These night out often ended with Stacey drunk, crying and waking up to a massive hangover. If it was a real crazy night she would open her phone to find that while she was in her crying drunken state, she sent Eric a drunk text. And if it was a crazy, crazy night it would often end with her in his bed.

Stacey picked Joy up from the airport. Joy’s party apparently started on the plane. She was already tipsy and ready to party. She hops in Stacey’s truck. As soon as she shuts the door they look at each other and and say “COUSIN.” Joy also had a bewildered look on her face. One of concern. She says “cousin, girl, umm what do you have on, why is your hair not done. I thought we were going out? Stacey had on leggings an oversized t-shirt, a old hoody and a scarf. Stacey looked at Joy and said “Do you mind if we stay in tonight?” Joy say of course we can.

They arrive at Stacey’ s condo. Stacey gives Joy a tour and shows her to the guest room.

After Joy gets comfortable they meet in the kitchen. Stacey grabs two wine glasses, a bottle of Riesling and popcorn. They make their way to the den. Joy was amazed. Stacey’s den was so peaceful. Stacey was very intentional with the space. It had the ambience of a spa. Stacey and Joy sat down and poured a glass of wine. The two catch up. They discussed Stacey’s card line and Joy’s up coming nuptials.

Saturday morning Stacey wakes up to find Joy still sleeping. She does her usual routine of meditation and affirmation. She also decides to workout so she leaves a note for Joy letting her know she was headed to the gym. Stacey grabs her key fob her, water bottle and phone. Stacey worked out for an hour then she heads back to the elevator to go back to her condo. Once at the elevator door, they open and Joy walks out. Stacey asked her where she was headed and she says. I was going to walk to the coffee shop on the corner. She asks Stacey to walk with her. This makes Stacey is uncomfortable. Joy is unaware of the amount of anxiety Stacey feels around people. Stacey goes anyway.

Stacey and Joy walk in the coffee shop. They both order a vanilla bean expresso. While the waited on their drinks. Joy finally asked Stacey about dating. Stacey rolls her eyes and sign. She looks Joy in the eyes with the blankest stare and says “I’m not interested.” In the past Stacey didn’t sit around to long. One man definitely wasn’t stopping any show she had going on. Stacey vowed that things would be different in her life and she meant it. Joy says “for now, but isn’t it someone you have your eye on”? Stacey replies “yes, in fact I do, me’! Oh, and my plants. She lightly chuckles as Joy rolls her eyes.

The barista calls their order number. They grab their coffees and grab a table by a window. Joy asks Stacey to hand her her phone. Five minutes later Joy hands Stacey her phone back. Joy says by the way the code word is coffee. Only go out with them if the ask you to meet for coffee. Stacey looks confused. She looks at her phone and realizes Joy has downloaded a dating profile on her phone. Stacey is horrified. I’m not interested in meeting anyone. Joy isn’t listening. Joy looks at Stacey and says. “Look I’ve been here less than twenty-four hours and this ain’t it. We need to get you out from under your plants. If you cooperate I’ll let you hug a tree while we’re out”.

Doing the Work

Stacey has had it with Eric and his bullshit. She vowed that this was the final goodbye. She has also said that before but this time was different. Stacey was tired.

Settling into her new space Stacey knew things had to be different if she wanted real change in her life. She found a African American therapist that could help her sort out trouble spots in her life. Eric had been a major issue for years. A constant state of fuckery that needed to end. It was time for her to look within to see why.

She also sought out, the help of a reiki healer, self help books, yoga with goats, which she vowed to never do again. She literally did anything to help herself heal.

Stacey set herself on a strict routine. She would wakeup, meditate, do her affirmation, workout, then off to work. She did this everyday. She looked up one day and realized she’d been doing this for six months straight. The more she poured into herself the more she wanted to. she loved this point in her life.

Stacey’s girlfriends were ecstatic that She was finally moving on from Eric. Nobody was a fan. Well, he had one fan on that side, but even she was over him. This also meant they all wanted to hook her up with this guy and that guy. A friend of a friend, their husbands friends. Hell even her mother tried to hook her up with her single pastor. Stacey wasn’t interested at all. She had been through a lot. she was being very selfish at this point in her life. Stacey decided she was to busy loving on herself to entertain anyone.

One day, at one of her therapy sessions. Dr. Goodwin gave Stacey some homework. The homework was to get dress and go out alone for at least an hour. For six months Stacey had been using all the tools the therapist and self help books had given her except going out. She was traumatized. She didn’t want to be around people, especially people of the opposite sex. She told Dr. Goodwin she would do her best to get the assignment done.

As Stacey drove home from her appointment she remembered that she didn’t take anything out the freezer for dinner. She decided to stop by this cute diner near her house. She’s ordered food from there before but she normally orders DoorDash or Instacart . She literally didn’t go outside for anything that didn’t have to do with her healing. Anyplace that offered delivery services was her friend.

Stacey pulled up to Mattie’s Midtown Diner. She pulled into the parking lot and parked. Stacey walks in and walks up to the to go counter. She gave the man her name and she waits for him to return. While waiting, she noticed the diner had a small stage. There was a woman with a guitar and a man with a keyboard setting up. Stacey was a music lover so as soon an she heard the young woman strum her guitar she knew she had to stay. She recognized the song the woman was singing too. Ironic by Alanis Morissette. Stacey tapped her foot and quietly sang along. It was at that moment she decided to stay and eat her food there

Stacey finished her food. She was having such a good time she ordered two glasses of Merlot. Stacey looked up to notice a man standing at her table. An old man that resembles Frank Gallagher from the show Shameless. He says “Hi how are you? I noticed you were sitting here alone. She acknowledged his statement. The man nods at their exchange then goes towards the restroom. As she’s finishing up her glass of wine, she see the same man heading her way again. He say “so I forgot to mention they play the game her on Sunday’s if you’re free you should come down.” As the words left his mouth. Stacey was having a complete meltdown on the inside. She wasn’t ready for that and the man looked like Frank Gallagher. Frank is the worst father She’d ever seen on a TV show. Stacey paid her tab walked to her car. She thought to herself this can’t be life. Frank Gallagher tried to pick me up as she chuckled. She also realize that her homework was complete. That made her feel great.

My Miss. Luma (DRER)

I’m so grateful for my Miss. Luma. I’m not sure how many of you are familiar with the character Miss. Luma from from the show “Cherish the Day” but I love this show. Along with Miss. Luma’s character, there’s a younger woman, a character named Gently. Gently is charismatic and ready to take on the world.

What I love the most about this show isn’t the obvious love story that’s told between the main male character (Evan)and Gently, but the love story between Miss. Luma and Gently. Miss. Luma is a retired actress who has lived a full life. Miss. Luma is full of wisdom and experience. Gently is the caretaker and helper of Miss. Luma.

While this job that Gently has taken on helps her financially, she has no idea how much Miss. Luma is guiding her and helping her to navigate through certain situation in her life. Gently’s character is a little rough around the edges and when I say rough, let me paint a picture for you. A cookie that you may’ve let cook a minute to long but when you bite into it you realize they taste better this way and from here, you decide you want to prepare your cookies this way. Not everyone can appreciate this tough cookie but she’s warm moist and gooey on the inside. Gently’s issue is she’s a tad naive and inexperienced when approaching love but she’s amazing.

It was nice to see an older woman teach and guide Gently. Miss. Luma is loving, caring, stern and supportive most importantly. She is unwavering and stands by Gently. They do this for each other.

Do you know what’s better than watching this relationship play out on a tv show? Living it!!!

My Miss. Luma came into my life at a time I felt was the happiest I’ve ever been. It was an instant connection. When I looked at her I was in awe. This older woman that looked like me had obtained a level of success that I only dreamt about. She was smart, professional, fun, and real. Most people were intimidated by her success. Shit in my eyes she was a rockstar. She lived her life so free and unapologetically. Some of the things she was into people would turn their noses up at or think it was weird but not me. I’m thinking where was this woman when I was growing up…lol We literally just call to check on each other and end up on the phone for hours.

When my life flipped upside down she was there. Outside of my best friend I’ve never let anyone see me so unraveled. Hell, I don’t think I’ve ever felt that way before. This upheaval that was occurring in my life broke me down badly. How do you go from fighting for your life to wanting to take it. (Another story for another time) This woman literally hid me and sheltered me from the chaos. Even from the pitfalls of my own mind. She replaced the negative thoughts I was telling myself with words of life and comfort.

All of my life I’ve had woman around me. None of them have been vulnerable enough with me to share their story. Their hurt and pain. Their bumps and bruises. Not my Miss. Luma. She let me know one, that I would be fine, and two that she saw me. We spoke on another level. Woman to woman but also spirit to spirit. She put herself on the line, and let’s face it, most people ain’t about that life. This woman took me to the water, nurtured me and place my slipped crown back on the top of my head. I don’t know honestly what my Miss. Luma see’s when she looks at me, but when I look at her I see possibilities of what life could be. I see a woman that has been through somethings in life and came out on the other side. I just love her. She speaks life into me whenever I’m in her presence. She’s fun, adventurous, well educated, well travel, a straight shooter and open minded.

I hope and pray you get to experience this kind of connection. We all could benefit from a Miss. Luma

I dedicate this to my Miss. Luma and all of the healers in the world.

Ms. Divine is What They Call Me

You don’t get to tell me who I am when you yourself are a walking paradox. Nobody uses salt anymore so why does it seem to be the only seasoning you use. It’s really not that good for you but what do I know. I know you don’t get to tell me who I am, when illusions are your go to. I’m divinely guided and protected. I see it all without any verbiage. You don’t get to tell me who I am because I only answer to one, and I am one with the only one which means, you don’t get to tell me who the fuck I am.

Gucci Shades

Have you ever wondered why it was okay for you to be down but not okay to be up? Think about it. Reread the question if you have to. Why is it okay to be amongst people in your life, be it your social groups, lovers, or family, down and not doing okay? Have you have ever been super down. I mean down bad. Nothing is going well kind of down. Your life is just totally out of balance. The people around you have witnessed your pain, you’ve shared some of your darkest moments with them. Hell, some of them were there to “help” you out of that place. Then those same people will then look at you differently because you’re in a position where you can help yourself. Then out of nowhere you now feel like you have to defend yourself because you’re no longer down.(make it make sense) In your head it’s just a break from being broken and being able to breath a bit without stress and the heaviness of what had you down. You would naturally think these people would be happy and excited for you. Some of them you may have even looked up to. The hard truth is not everyone wants to see you happy or see you win.

If you’ve ever been down bad, when you come out of it all you can think about is finally being able to be there for the people that have been there for you. Somehow you’re faced with the “oh you’ve changed” conversation. Your response should be “you’re damn right I changed” and I mean that in the most humble way. It’s okay to not be broken or broke anymore. Coming out of darkness and stepping into light is a wonderful change. Sometimes it’s not even a conversation, they just simply start treating you differently. (Thank you Divine) If that’s your story you have some power and strength that make some folks upset.

A lot of times we don’t see our power and strength right away but others do. They see the light that shines within you. It’s the very light that they were drawn to. These people often have insecurities that you’re unaware of. That’s not your problem especially if they’re unwilling to even acknowledge them themselves.

In reality these people never want you to see and know your worth because they already see it and it benefits them in some sick way. The light that shines within you was given by the Divine so never allow it to go dim for a demon. Shine so bright that the imp has no choice but to transform or flee. Walk in your power and truth and don’t go off your path for anyone or anything. Even if you’re forced to walk alone. Hold your head up and never let your crown hit the grown.

Wheel of Fortune

I choose to speak what I hear and see. It comes so abrupt but so naturally. In those moments it’s between you and me. I hear it so clear but I dismiss it like a school day ending. I allow my time to be filled minute by minute. I replace it with self doubt or criticism from others. A black hole of never ending stories. I plead, I beg, and I cry. I promise I won’t do it again. Again happens again. The process starts from the top. I choose to speak what I see and hear. It comes so abrupt but so naturally. Wait wait wait. How does that saying go? I know you hear me but are you listening though.

Justice for Breonna Taylor

As I lay in bed my mind can’t help but drift off to the worlds current events. The killing of unarmed black men, women and children at the hands of the police. The sad truth is, this is nothing new. The only difference is there’s a huge spotlight on it because of technology and the public is demanding that these officers be held accountable for their actions when unjustifiable force is used. One case in particular that keeps running through my mind is the Breonna Taylor case. The narrative is the cops “thought” they were there to pick-up a drug dealer that lived at Breonna’s address.They were wrong. In fact the person they were looking for lived somewhere else and was already in police custody. They were there using something called a no knock warrant. This is where the cops can come into your house unannounced. In most cases they come at odd hours hoping to catch the perpetrator asleep. This tragic mistake was the cause of Ms. Taylor losing her life. How does a mistake like this happen?

When I see the pictures of Breonna, I see myself, my friends, and my family. I see a young woman who had dreams, goals and ambition.A young woman that wasn’t afraid to chase those dreams. She was so full of life and full of potential. I often wonder if Ms. Taylor even knew or understood what was happening at the time of her murder. I wonder what may have been going through her mind as she heard something unfamiliar in her home. I turn to look at my love as he sleeps. My mind then thinks of Brionna’s boyfriend, Mr. Kenneth Walker. As a man, he did exactly what he was supposed to do, protect his home and woman. I’m almost positive this was his only reason for having a gun in the first place. A gun he legally obtained. I know without a shadow of a doubt that if I was in that situation, where I had a unannounced person in my home. I too could’ve been Breonna.In that situation I think we all could’ve been Mr. Walker and Ms. Taylor. I can’t imagine what this has done to not only Breonna’s family but to Kenneth as well. He knows he did nothing wrong but is now being charged with attempted murder of a police officer after they broke into his home and killed his woman. Just think about that. Someone comes into your home unannounced and flips your world upside down . I think about all the many conversations Breonna and Kenneth probably had about their future together. Maybe marriage and starting a family, maybe relocating or just growing old together. What does that do to the psyche? How does one even begin to function after witnessing that.How does one not blame themselves for not dying too or wish it was him instead of her. How does one even begin to process this. I could imagine that Mr. Walker is angry, hurt, confused and traumatized. I would imagine he will suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This is something he will be haunted by for the rest of his life. All I know to do is to pray for him and to fight for Breonna to prevent another person’s life from being lost in this tragic way.

Earlier this month a law was passed called Breonna’s Law. This law requires that a officer would have to have a judge or high ranking officer sign off on the warrant and that no knock warrants only be used to detain suspects that are violent and that cause a threat to officers and or the public. In addition body cameras must be turned on when the warrant is being served.

Kudos to all that fought to have this law passed. It’s definitely one step in the right direction, but how in gods name is a law passed and not a single person has been charged in Ms. Taylor’s death. To pass a law tells me that you see that the approach or law that was previous on the books were flawed. How does a person kill someone and walk away basically saying “my bad” and all is suppose to be well. No, that’s not how that’s supposed to work. If I, you or anyone else for that matter “accidentally” killed someone we would be locked up and charged with something. This is not the case with the cops that killed Breonna. Nobody had been charged. A life was taken and nobody pays for it. A law was passed named after the deceased and still no arrests. This is wrong and all the officers involved need to be held accountable.

If you think this is wrong raise hell and use your voice to create the change you would like to see. Here is some information you can use to help get justice for Brionna.

Contact:

Mayor Greg Fisher

(502)574-2003

greg.fisher@louisvilleky.gov

Attorney Thomas Wine

winejcook@louisvillekyprosecuter.com

Governor Andy Beshear

(502)564-2611

Attorney General Daniel Cameron

(502)696-5300

attorney.general@ag.ky.gov

LMPD Chief Steve Conrad

(502)574-7660