My Uncle

Monday morning as I was getting ready to go to work my aunt called.  I could tell by her tone and the timing that this was not a pleasant call.  I was not expecting what I heard. I expected something but not what I heard. My uncle died. Yes he died in his sleep sitting on the couch in  his living room in the home that he grew up in with my father and the other 2 brothers and 2 sisters. My uncle died. My uncle died. I heard myself scream. I heard myself say no, no, no, no. I cried, I fell on the floor, I dropped the phone. My sons woke up and comforted me. My older son tried to help me off the floor. My younger son was helping him.  My son took the phone and said something. I stared at him. I cried and he did not. He was my knight.  I remember him saying mom calm down. I remember my body shaking. I had to get myself together for them. I had to stop. I got up, went upstairs to my room with my boys on each side of  me. My older son told me that I should go to bed. I listened. He called my boss and left a message. I remember just taking off my pants and my boys were like whoa mom! I said my bad. We laughed. They teased me about it. I cried and laughed. They left.  When they came back I was in my pj’s in my bed, telling them what to do. They listened. I cried some more.

I called my aunt back. We talked and cried. I shook more than ever. I loved my uncle. He was only 55 years old. He was a man who had transformed himself a zillion times over. He began as a young boy with a paper route. He had to be about 12 and I was 7. My grandmother, his mother, got us up real early in the morning to go to the Mississippi Press downtown and pick up the papers that were stacked in bundles tied with white rope. We rolled the papers and put rubber bands around them and then we began the process of delivery.  My uncle would lean out of the back window and throw the papers on the porch (hopefully) of the peoples homes that were in his paper route. I could not roll as fast as him however I rolled.  My grandmother was a pro at rolling papers and at making rosary beads.  Yes, I learned how to make them also.  They were not my favorite thing to do however I could make a mean pair of rosary beads back in the day.  My uncle would collect the money weekly from his clients and that was his very first job. He was a man on  a mission.  A man who I have and will always love and admire. We were more like friends than relatives. Friends you choose, relatives well you just have. I would choose him as a friend. As time went on our relationship grew and he was always nice to me  and I know that he admired me.

He was a man in transformation. A man who was so looking forward to our family reunion that just so happens to be scheduled for next weekend. The 4th of July weekend is when the family reunion will be and it will also be the weekend that my uncle who began the planning of the family reunions will be buried.  I was not planning on going nor were quite a few family from this area due to the cost and due to other obligations that cropped up.  My uncle wanted us there, he said he understood why we couldn’t come  and yet he went and made it so all of us had to come.

After reading the second reading at Mass and helping his brother around the house and then resting and enjoying a good game on a Sunday evening he passed away. What could be better. No long illness, no painful accident – just eternal sleep. His brother, my other uncle, woke up to find him still on the couch. He thought he was asleep. He was not.  God took him because he needed him more?, because we needed to be together as family?,  because his job on earth was finished?, because we needed to learn a lesson?, because he loved him more?, because we need to appreciate each other? I am not sure of what the because is; however, what I do know is that God works all things together for the good of them who love the Lord. I trust and believe that to be true. My uncle was a man, like the David of the bible, who sought after the heart of God. He is there with Him now. With my father, my grandmother and grandfather and my great-aunt and my Mudear. All there together.  I will miss him and according to they (I know, who is they?) he is in a better place.

Retiring at 55 aaaahhh yes it is a good thing.

Yolande Barial
Your Words Project: Speaking on Purpose
Seeks to Enrich the Lives of Women through Spoken and Written Word.
510-589-6445

https://yolandebarial.wordpress.com/

http://www.redroom.com/member/yolandebarial 

 ybarial@gmail.com

“Through her inspirational writings and spiritual poetry, Yolande Barial empowers all sisters, young and seasoned, to become on-purpose for themselves.”

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Sons + daughter

When I last blogged I was in awe of the parents of the son who had graduated from college who was told when he was diagnosed with autism that he would have to be institutionalized. Ha! Well that truth spoken by the doctors was wrong.  

 As I have continued to grow in my relationship with each of my children; the way in which I speak to them and the way in which I believe or disbelief in their abilities has a marked affect and effect on what they will even attempt to try. When I praise them for the smallest of things and then discipline them on the things that are character-builders they move towards the direction of thinking through the praise as an encouragement to try again and their discipline also as an encouragement to try again.  Praise to try to get more of it from me and discipline to try NOT to get more of it from me. I can see their little eyes moving around in their heads when they hear a tone in my voice that lets them know that I am happy with them or that I am disappointed with their actions.  I have always made disciplining them focus on their actions and not on who they are as people. I let them know that I am disappointed in what they have done and always end any amount of hysteria, yeah I really can go there, with the three words  I love you.  I say that and I touch them in some way; either with a hug, a high-five, a gentle push, holding of their hands or even a kiss on the cheek – I seal the love in with the discipline.  It becomes a sense memory for them. One they will not get now; however, when I am gone and they are left to be parents – they will repeat.  The memory is one of complete unconditional love. 

My week at work and at home was one of the busiest.  At the office I worked from the time I sat down until it was time to leave, I rushed home and had to take my daughter to gymnastics on Monday, went to work on Tuesday and came home in time to go to my women’s group bible study and leave there and pick up my daughter and her fellow jr. girl scout from Girls Scout Camp and take the fellow girl scout home and then come home, on Wednesday I went to my doctor’s appt. and then to the office, rushed home got caught in terrible traffic and arrived home just in time to pick up my daughter and her fellow G.S. and take her home and us back to our home, on Thursday I went to work, we had a potluck to celebrate Juneteenth at the office, I came home and the hills near Tracy were on fire so I sat in traffic and arrived again in time to pick up my daughter and G.S. and take her home and us too, on Friday I went to work, got off early to take my son to his first meeting of  his new competitive soccer team in Ripon, left there and got home in time to pick up my daughter at her final day of G.S. camp, on Saturday I got up and went to the church to help with the Father’s Day breakfast, left there and all 3 of the kids and I went to my oldest sons’ basketball tournament from 3 to 7 they played 3 different teams and won all 3.

Today was the first time I was not exhausted. I spent the day with my children and a friend. My children are some of the funniest kids you ever want to meet. We laughed, we talked and we laughed and talked some more. My oldest is an awesome player and my middle son is equally as talented on the field of soccer and my daughter has her own talent however tonight her sense of comedy was perfection!

I tell them I am proud of them. I can see that they know it.  I allow them to be who they are and I sow into each of their gifts, talents and their expression of their gifts and talents. My daughter has taken to reading everything. I told her I was proud of her because she is such a good reader.  She has been reading books, writing in her journals and creating a house out of cardboard and painters blue tape in her room.   She has been asking me to show her how to write words on the computer. I showed her tonight how to access WORD and create her own document.  It is 12 at night and she is typing.  When my sister and I were little we read everything. I drew cartoon characters and loved to be in charge of the record player in our garage. My sister was the real reader. She read all of the time. She still does. My daughter has that talent.

I look at my sons in amazement for the things that I have put them through with a divorce, several moves from house to house to house and now to this our home, to the men that I have loved and dated and to these same men who decided they didn’t want to be fathers and did not want to make us work and left my children (and me however I am a big girl — ha ha ha – right? — I spent the nights crying and screaming into a towel in the shower – however that is another blog entirely- back to the kids and their grief) without so much as a backward glance, to the ups and downs of watching me grow up from a young woman to a wise woman and to an even better mother than even this writer thought possible – they are boys who deserve all of the good that is coming their way. They never doubted me, they never hated me, they never mistrusted me. Where I went they went and now I am through moving and through looking. God has blessed me with this ability to parent in the tough times and in the tired times. My sons and my daughter are three of the bestest things that God has allowed me to have and for that I am eternally grateful.

Yolande Barial
Your Words Project: Speaking on Purpose
Seeks to Enrich the Lives of Women through Spoken and Written Word.
510-589-6445

http://www.redroom.com/member/yolandebarial 

https://yolandebarial.wordpress.com/ 

ybarial@gmail.com

“Through her inspirational writings and spiritual poetry, Yolande Barial empowers all sisters, young and seasoned, to become on-purpose for themselves.”

What is a parent?

He is an autistic child who graduated from college!  Ain’t God good!

http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/video/autistic-students-inspirational-graduation-speech-10935769

This is what being a parent is all about!!    For the past 2 weeks I have been so busy with my children and with my job and with my passion. Tonight I am exhausted. I want to go to sleep and yet this  little video moved me so earlier that I felt that I had to share it with all who happen to read my blog.

If you ever think that your children will never amount to anything because of some flaw that you see in their personality or character remember this young man and remember his parents who really know what the word parent means. It is not just something we do when we feel like it. It is 24/7, all the time, in good and bad, when it rains or when it is dry, when you have money and when you don’t, when you want to give up and when you push through. A parent believes that their child can excel to the level that the child wants to excel to, not what the parent would like.  A parent is ever-present and always in the mind of a child who has been sown into. A parent claps when the child makes a mistake on his first school play or misspells a commonly misspelled word for his/her age group and one who smiles when the child walks into the room. Almost as if the child is you and you are the little puppy so happy to see their master no matter how many times the master comes and goes outside of the room.  Joy cometh. So if you really want to moan and complain take a look at this clip and it will cause you re-think your think.

Yolande Barial
Your Words Project: Speaking on Purpose
Seeks to Enrich the Lives of Women through Spoken and Written Word.
510-589-6445

https://yolandebarial.wordpress.com/

http://www.redroom.com/member/yolandebarial

ybarial@gmail.com

“Through her inspirational writings and spiritual poetry, Yolande Barial empowers all sisters, young and seasoned, to become on-purpose for themselves.”

Education

After we left church yesterday which by the way was wonderful. The message was about education and how important that is to our children and their future. The Rev. who spoke said that the more education you have the less you work.  I think that he meant work as in labor. I had never thought of it that way however it has a ring of truth to me. If you have a PhD you work however most probably with your mind. If you don’t have a degree and didn’t finish school on time or not at all you work however most probably with your hands, your back or your knees. At the end of the day your body is tired which can be far more wearing than thinking all day.   I am just generalizing and I certainly know that there are some folks how have degrees up the wazoo and still may do manual labor working and the one who has no degree could open up a little store and end up being a McDonald’s.  We have to instill in our children the value and the importance to education to their future earning power and to their body.  As we talk and talk I know it is seeping in that little pea brain somewhere. Education, education , education – hip hip hooray!

Yolande Barial
Your Words Project: Speaking on Purpose
Seeks to Enrich the Lives of Women through Spoken and Written Word.
510-589-6445

https://yolandebarial.wordpress.com/

http://www.redroom.com/member/yolandebarial

http://www.redroom.com/member/yolandebarial ttp://yolandebarial.wordpress.com/ ybarial@gmail.com

“Through her inspirational writings and spiritual poetry, Yolande Barial empowers all sisters, young and seasoned, to become on-purpose for themselves.”

You’re Welcome Hair

  I got off work early, I had a few hours built up that I needed to use and had already made an appointment to go and visit my hairstylist. I knew that this writer who will retire at 55 needs to have her gray hair tamed, colored, trimmed, pampered, flat ironed and curled by one of the best hair stylists this side of the Mississippi!  Kim Alexander, owner and operator of  You’re Welcome Hair.  I  have been going to get my hair done by Kim for about 20 years now and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I believe a woman’s hairstylist is one of the most important women in any woman’s life. Definitely in a black woman’s life. Her hair says so much about her to herself and to others.  People judge people so quickly that the minute we see the hair we size her up and already can tell a lot about who we think that she thinks she is.  

 Kim not only creates miracles with that which she has been given (the hair on our heads), she imparts wisdom, she tells stories, she knows everything, she holds secrets and gives advice and the trait that she has that I really do not have is an amazing ability to listen and listen and listen some more. The trait that is so wonderful is that she listens to women who have varied opinions, views  and ways of expressing those views that can be grating and boring and interesting all in the matter of hours.  She stands and works all day, creating a masterpiece for each woman who sits in her chair.  She takes care of our crowning glory. She is fabulous. She loves her job and she has a vision that has always been forward moving. She is a Leo like myself – strong, proud, determined, overly confident and has such a high opinion of her own possibilities. Isn’t it a wonder that I like to be in her presence. All of the ideas that have propelled my visions into reality have happened in her hair salon under the drier or in her chair as she blow dries and presses my hair.  A woman can have many friends in her life that sustain her. A woman’s hairstylist is by far one of the most important and when we find one – we stick and stay. Congratulations Kim for being a trail blazer to all of us who sit in your chair.

Yolande Barial
Your Words Project: Speaking on Purpose
Seeks to Enrich the Lives of Women through Spoken and Written Word.
510-589-6445

https://yolandebarial.wordpress.com/

http://www.redroom.com/member/yolandebarial

ybarial@gmail.com

“Through her inspirational writings and spiritual poetry, Yolande Barial empowers all sisters, young and seasoned, to become on-purpose for themselves.”

Where are the adults?

 I was on the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) which is our version of a commuter train and there were 2 young black girls sitting behind me. I thought they had to be on the phone because they were talking so loud; however they were not. I was trying to read and trying to ignore them. I could not.  The car that I was sitting in was full of all race, ages and sizes of  adults and children.  The girls I speak of were talking to each other.  They were talking about something that had happened between them and their baby daddies. I heard the n word this, n word that, I wish that mf would, sh this, n word, n word and more n words. Again they had this conversation as if no one else was on the BART train. I was shocked.I didn’t say anthing that day.  I was waiting for someone else to and no one did and neither did I.

Around 4 o’clock on Friday I had to go to the store to return something. As I entered the store the usual Walmart friendly greeters smiled and did their job – they greeted me. I went directly to the right and was the last person in the line.   The others that were in the line were a white man, around 40; and his son,around 14; a black man, around 35;  an asian woman and a white woman were being helped at the counters, and directly in front of me was a tall asian kid on the cell phone. He was about 19 or 20. He was having the usual inappropriate loud typical cell phone conversation – he was talking about something that had happened that he was none to happy about. He used the f word, the mf word, the d word, the gd word, the sh word and the mf word again and the mf word again, he was talking and looking as if he was all by himself in the line.  The white man glared at him, the black man turned around and stared at him, I watched and waited for these men to handle this kid.  I knew they were going to take care of  it. Whew relief. Then the white man turned around and looked at me, I  was standing behind the kid and he glared at the potty mouth kid and the black man exhaled loudly and stared at him trying to catch the potty mouths attention as if by staring at him he would feel it. He did not feel it, potty mouth continued to cuss and talk louder and rub his stomach with his hand under his shirt and walk back and forth and turn around and talk louder. I then did what none of these men would do – I said excuse me, I happen to be much older than you and we really do not want to hear all of that.  The white man smiled and turned around. The black man never turned around. By then there was a long line of people behind me – no one even moved.   The kid stopped talking and said I am sorry and lowered his voice.  The line then moved and everyone stepped up to the register.

In church some of the girls wear the most inappropriate clothes – spaghetti strap shirts, low cut jeans, shirts too small and too tight, jeans too tight and too small, skirts too tight, too short and too small and not one of them are old enough to drive, to work and therefore cannot only not buy their clothes they can’t drive to the store nor even to the church.  When I see them on Sundays I get real close to them and I whisper things like girl you oughta know better than that, and pull your shirt down your booty is showing, and  then I kiss them on the cheeck and walk away. Their parents saw them before I did.

We are living in a society that tries real hard to stay to themselves. To hide their head in the sand and pretend that nothing inappropriate is happening to our collective children and the society that we have created for them.  I did this on the BART – I hid my head in my book and pretended I didn’t hear anything. What a coward I was!! No more. We expect these children whose frontal lobes are not at all developed to know what they should or should not do, how they should or should not dress and when they should show respect. They lack the basic skills of the golden rule hecause we as adults have abdicated our responsiblity. We are too tired, too hungry, too broke, too stressed and just too upset to be fully vested in all of our children.   These children that we are not raising will one day rule the world.  And the fact that they lack the basic necessities of  how to sustain themselves both physically, emotional and financially I am not sure what is going to happen. Are you? We are so into ‘it is not my business’  but it is really. It is all of our business what happens to one child does in fact have a ripple effect.

Yolande Barial
Your Words Project: Speaking on Purpose
Seeks to enrich the lives of women through spoken word.
510-589-6445
yolandebarial@wordpress.com
www.redroom.com/member
ybarial@gmail.com“Through her inspirational writings and spiritual poetry, Yolande Barial empowers all sisters, young and seasoned, to become on-purpose for themselves.”

Sunday again — A-men!!

Receiving the gift was the title of today’s message. It was taken from Ephesians 2 :8-10. The gift is free but it will cost us something. If  Jesus who was without sin, bled and died on the cross for our sins it cost him his life.  If  He had to do it, it means that we have to do it too.  Not die on the cross but we have to die to self. Pastor went on to describe the gift like receiving a credit card in the mail.  In order to use the card and to take advantage of whatever the credit you are afforded by virtue of  receiving the card, you have to activate the card by calling a number. God has given us a card and we have to call His name in order to activate the gift.  With Him we can buy anything. Your faith in Jesus will activate your card which is the faith that in Him you can buy anything.

My gift is in writing.  My gift gets activated the minute I put pen to paper and begin to write something, anything.  As I write/type I am often times surprised that my fingers are able to make the pen move and ink flows out and words that are in me come out, almost as if without a thought.  When my fingers touch the surface, that touching and pressing, will create the words that I can see, it is so effortless that the thoughts and the pressure on the instrument that scribes and my ability to get the thoughts out as fast as I think them on the paper, is amazing.  What a marvelous body the good Lord has made for us. This body can guide you to do good; as well as guide you to do wrong. The ultimate decision maker of what the body does is me, is you, is us.  We can think a thought and not act on it.  However, the minute we act on the thought, good, bad or indifferent, it has been solidified and become not only a part of our past also our future. We are forever colored by that action and we are also colored by what is written. The written word is a powerful instrument of change as well as a powerful instrument of complacency. So many just accept the cards they are dealt and go on and ooze through life. There is no contribution and it is a waste; as far as I am concerned, of the gift that is free that God gives us. 

I wrote a poem today while in service.  While in service, my mind actually can feel the words coming and I see something in my head that lets me know there is a poem getting ready to flow from my fingertips to the pen and to the paper. I wrote a poem today about the spoken word and the English language and that just because you can say it, doesn’t make it a word.  My gift is activated the minute I am in an environment of  peace and an open mind. Once I begin writing, I am unable to stop until I am done. I do not know when that stopping will occur. I don’t write in 1 minute or 10 minute intervals, I write until I run out of whatever I have for that moment. Then I look at the words and look at the way they flow and if I am not too tired by the time I finish, I will take the time to edit. If I am too tired I will wake up and fix it in the morning.  It is what it is.  What use to make me on edge all of the times, does not so much anymore. I know, that I know, that I know, that my gift from God is indeed free. I will make this gift work in His favor and to glorify and thank him for all that he has done for me and for my children. I will retire at 55.  As Yul Brunner said in The Ten Commandments … “so let it be written, so let it be done.”  Even back then your word was your bond and if you wrote it, it was going to happen. Mmmmm something to think about all over again.

Yolande Barial
Your Words Project: Speaking on Purpose
Seeks to enrich the lives of women through spoken word.
510-589-6445
yolandebarial@wordpress.com
www.redroom.com/member
ybarial@gmail.com

“Through her inspirational writings and spiritual poetry, Yolande Barial empowers all sisters, young and seasoned, to become on-purpose for themselves.”