Find Your Bobbette

Just like most of you, I recently learned about Luton Shelton’s illness.  Our star footballer has been battling Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) since 2016.  As per http://www.als.ca, ‘ALS is a disease that gradually paralyzes people because the brain is no longer able to communicate with the muscles of the body that we are typically able to move at will. Over time, as the muscles of the body break down, someone living with ALS will lose the ability to walk, talk, eat, swallow, and eventually breathe.’

A young man in his prime (only 32 years old) facing this life threatening disease…let that sink in.

Since he went public with his illness, I’ve been seeing several posts on social media pertaining to him.  Today it was one of his own posts that really made me stop and think, and it was because of the caption.

bobbette Taken from Luton’s Instagram page (@ls_21)

Luton and Bobbette have been together for over thirteen years, and are about to celebrate five years of marriage.  When they met, he was a healthy man ready to take on the world.  She could not have possibly foreseen what the future would hold – that the love of her life would be diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease, that his speech would become almost unintelligible, that her husband, the legendary footballer would get to a point (very early on) where he would rely on her for his every need; taking her from not just his wife and mother of their three young children, to primary caregiver.

It made me think about how the choices we make now impact the rest of our lives; how important it is to ensure that we look for more than just a pretty/handsome face and a little spark in a partner.  You need a fire, someone of substance; someone who will stand by your side on the field when the crowd has left the stadium.  Do you have a ride or die, and if you do, do you appreciate him/her?

I’ve had my own ‘Bobbette’ at different points throughout my life and not acknowledged it.  I have been fortunate to have a few good men cheering in the stands for me.  They’ve had a sign with my name, they’ve been shouting the loudest…they were my number one fan…and I didn’t even stop to give them an autograph.  Let’s be real – we have all had a ‘Bobbette’ and not appreciated him/her, and sometimes as a result of that, they’ve ended up walking out with the rest of the crowd.  Luton looked in the stands and saw value in Bobbette, and today she is by his side, sitting on the bench with him and seeing him through his darkest hours.

This couple really got me thinking that you may be scoring goals now, but will you always be?  When all is said and done, you want to know that the person you settle down with will have your back through the good and the bad, and literally through sickness and in health.  You want him/her to see all your flaws (yeah we are all FAR from perfect) and accept them, to appreciate and love you for…YOU…no matter what challenges life throws your way.

At the end of the game will you be alone on the field or will you have your number one fan by your side?

Click here to watch an interview with Luton, his wife and father – Courtesy of The Gleaner

To donate, please go to https://www.gofundme.com/luton-shelton-fights-als-disease

 

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The Parkland Shooting – More than a Hashtag

PkPhoto credit: http://www.waaytv.com

The massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland brought tears to my eyes – thinking about all these innocent persons who were just going about their day, and all the families who are now mourning the cruel and sudden loss of their loved ones. Imagine parents standing outside the school, frantic and distraught, waiting to hear if their children are okay.  Imagine the ones who received tragic news. Valentine’s Day will never be the same for them.  We celebrate love on this day, but for these families it will now be a reminder of sadness and pain.  It was particularly sad as I was in Miami at the time so it felt extra ‘close to home’.  Every television channel and radio station was broadcasting updates on the horrific tragedy.

The shooter, nineteen year old Nikolas Cruz had a twisted fascination with guns, even posing with them on social media.  Records show that the police had been called to his home thirty-nine times over a seven year period.  Thirty-nine times!  He had also been expelled from school last year for disciplinary reasons. He clearly displayed signs of being troubled.  Neighbours and peers echo this sentiment.  It begs the questions – Were warning signs overlooked? Could more have been done? Could seventeen lives have been spared?

According to reports, the FBI received a tip from a source close to Nikolas. As per www.time.com, ‘In a statement, the FBI said that a person close to Cruz, who has allegedly confessed to killing 17 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., called the FBI tip line with concerns on Jan. 5. The caller gave the FBI information on Cruz’s “gun ownership, desire to kill people, erratic behavior, and disturbing social media posts, as well as the potential of him conducting a school shooting.” That information should have been forwarded to the FBI’s Miami field office for agents to investigate, but it was not.  “We have determined that these protocols were not followed,” a statement from the FBI read.

How do you drop the ball on a tip as serious as that?  That boggles my mind. The FBI has of course issued an apology to the families, but that is absolutely no comfort in a situation like this.

Sadly, mass shootings have become an all too real reality in the United States – Columbine, Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, the Orlando night club shooting and the Las Vegas shooting come to mind immediately.  While typing this it occurred to me how difficult it must be for the families who lost persons in these shootings. Each time a mass shooting occurs it must feel like they are reliving their loss again and again.

I’m wondering how the survivors of the Parkland shooting will return to school, even if it is that they transfer elsewhere. With all that has been happening, if I was a parent living in the United States I honestly think I would be so paranoid that I would homeschool my child/children. Not to say that would totally eliminate the possibility of harm, but I would feel better having them home.

What I am anxious to know now is what measures will be put in place. For one, I think gun control legislation needs to be re-examined.  More restrictions need to be put in place as it relates to gun ownership. For example, there are currently only five states (California, Connecticut, Indiana, Oregon, Washington) with legislation that permits relatives, guardians or law enforcement officials to request that judges temporarily strip gun rights from individuals who are deemed a threat.  According to www.chicagotribune.com, ‘Florida, where Cruz is accused of using an AR-15 rifle to kill 17 people at his former high school, does not have such a law. He was able to legally own the semi-automatic rifle even though his mother, classmates and teachers had at times described him as dangerous and threatening.’

I truly hope that the Parkland shooting won’t become just another incident where all that happens is that we throw some hashtags out and change our profile pictures to stand in solidarity. More needs to be done. We can’t have this happen again.

Sugar & Spice & Everything Nice

 

Sometimes

They say nice guys finish last. Does that go for nice girls as well? Should ‘nice’ be out for 2018? You know how guys get friend zoned?  Well, I’m the girl who gets told a million times that she’s ‘wife material’ but despite that I’ve never even made it out the starter blocks lol.  My friends say I pick the wrong ones and so I’m to blame for that.  They could be onto something.  To be fair to myself, I don’t realize what they’re like initially, but that being said, they do give me signs early enough that should tell me to back up and walk away.  I think you have to be careful of what you put out there though. There is perhaps such a thing as being too nice and thus allowing yourself to be taken advantage of. Funnily enough, men seem quick to give effort to females who aren’t quite sugar and spice and everything nice though. Go figure.

Let’s take a walk through what I will refer to as my series of unfortunate events, or at least some of them.  They certainly weren’t funny at the time, but now I can look back and have a good laugh at them. Side note before you get going- my definition of ‘talking to’ does not equate to boyfriend/girlfriend status. It’s just the initial phase where you’re interested and getting to know each other. None of these made it past that.


But I Told You
A mutual friend told me that the guy I was talking to had a girlfriend.  Well, imagine my surprise.  I of course asked him about it and was told, “But I told you.” You know I hit the roof, right?  First of all he had told me diddly squat about having a girlfriend and then had the gall to lie and say he did.  Come on, how would I forget something like that? To add insult to injury, HE went off on ME about it. Huh?  Despite that, after quite some time passed I was able to forgive (maybe not forget since here I am blogging about it) and we were actually able to be friends.  In his defense, he was young at the time. Well, not that youth is a free pass, but hey…


The Disappearing Act
This guy would call me several times a day, every day.  That in itself is rare, isn’t it? No one calls anymore. It’s strictly messaging.  Anyway, I noticed the calls totally stopped and he wouldn’t pick up when I called either.  That was strange as we hadn’t had any quarrels or so forth.  I tried messaging to ask what the problem was and even that got no response. Well, after a while I saw a friend of his. The person had no idea that there was any interest on either side and so forth, and that we had been communicating.  They casually brought him up and said he migrated to be with his girlfriend.  Migrated? To be with who?  The girlfriend who I thought was just an ex he no longer had any ties to?  Remember though that the person didn’t know his friend had been pursuing me and I wasn’t going to reveal that at this point.  Thank God for my time in the performing arts as I had to act very uninterested and nonchalant and just say, “Oh really? How come?” He let me know that his girlfriend had ‘filed for him’ and that his papers came through so off he went. Can you say shocked?  In case you’re wondering, I never heard from him again. Not…one…word…


She’s Just a Friend
This is another good one.  You know when you get a funny feeling?  There’s just a gut feeling that tells you something isn’t right?  Well there was a guy who was interested in me but there was a girl who he seemed to always be entertaining.  Everything said something was up; my gut and my female intuition.  He would always deny it and insist that they were just friends. I asked about her repeatedly and was always given the same answer.  It just didn’t sit well with me; I wasn’t convinced he was telling the truth so one day I decided I’d just ask her what was up with them.  I figured I could get the truth from her.  Man, I wasn’t ready for her answer.  Her response was, “We’re together”.  Whoa! Listen, if she had slapped me it couldn’t have been worse.  So he’s naming the children he would like to have with me in the future, but is over there ‘together’ with this girl?  Joke was definitely on me because I thought it was her who was ‘the other woman’. Who would have thought it was really me? Dwl. Coincidentally, fast forward to today and one of the names that he had his heart set on turned out to be the name my sister chose for my sweet baby nephew.  I was like, “Lord, you have a real sense of humour”.  But I’m glad that the name now has a special and happy meaning for me, because I love my nephew to the moon and back.

Needless to say, things ended with the guy. Funnily enough, despite the fact that both the girl and I had gotten a raw deal, she still found it in her to give me attitude. She told me that we would just have to see which one of us he chooses. Umm really? To this day I remember my words to her – “You’re the only one in that rat race.  I’ve excused myself from it.  I’m not giving him the opportunity to choose.” Well he ‘chose’ her and that was that.

I won’t even lie. I definitely did my share of bawling and moping for this one. Looking back though, I’m like you know you REALLY overdid the crying on that one, right?  Like REALLY.


I Like your Friend
I was on the phone with my friend one day and she said that the person I was talking to had just sent her a text. It wasn’t a big deal to me because we were all friends. “Oh okay, what does he want?” She nervously explained that his text said that he didn’t mean to hurt me but he was actually interested in her and not me. Wait, wait…I wasn’t ready for it. He said what? Now that one came out of nowhere. I definitely didn’t see it coming because this same boy had been acting like he was interested in me. This one was quite a blow. Well, he started pursuing her and eventually started feeling that she wasn’t what he was looking for so it went nowhere.

A few years later I saw him at a party and I got the most heartfelt apology. It was the usual about me being such a sweet girl who didn’t deserve any of what happened. He really did seem sorry, but what was done was done. This was several years ago. We have managed to salvage a friendship (yup, the nice girl in me) and he’s now happily married. At least someone got a happy ending, right?


Waiting on the Right Time

This one I actually had no interest in initially.  He just wasn’t my type but he worked his charm (serious charm), until I ended up being interested. We got closer and closer, and one day a friend of his said, “You know you two would be so cute together if he didn’t have a fiancée.” ‘This can’t be happening,’ I thought.  I held my tongue until there was no one around and asked him about this fiancée who I had just been informed of.  Yes, it was true. He said that he had been waiting on the right time to tell me. Like really? Really? It perhaps wouldn’t have been so bad if I had been chasing him, but I had been going about my life and he made every effort to get my attention, all the while knowing that he could offer me nothing.

I’m just over here now like Jesus take the wheel, cause clearly I’m not doing such a great job. I met up with a friend recently and she cried.  Cried…like real tears.  She said she wants me to experience happiness and have someone who knows my value and treats me well. “You’re the sweetest person and you deserve to be happy,” she said.  I can’t even remember ever seeing her cry before and I’ve known her since childhood. Must be really bad, huh? Lol. I was talking to another friend one day and he reminded me that I bring a lot to the table.  My response – “Umm yeah, I may bring a lot to the table but what am I supposed to do if no one wants what’s on the menu?” Now what do you say to that? Hahaha. For real though, but you know what? Till then I will eat alone.

 

Have I finally learned my lesson? I hope so, but I can’t promise that I won’t maintain some of my ‘nice girl tendencies’, because that’s who I am and there may just be someone who deserves that part of me and will value it. What I can promise however is that I will be more cautious going forward and take heed when the warning signs pop up.

I can only hope that there’s something awesome in store, because I think I’ve had my fair share of ridiculousness.  Until that comes (if it ever does) I have other things to focus on.  Right now I’m working on self-actualization; I have so much untapped potential, and that’s my own fault to a great extent.  I’d really like to find out what my passion is; what it is that makes me feel fulfilled, because really and truly figuring out that piece of the puzzle is major in the pursuit of happiness. Everything else will fall into place.

Someone Come Get My Grandma

A little while back my grandmother had a far from subtle conversation with me about me taking the person I’m seeing to come and meet her. I had to stop her right there and tell her I am yet to meet him so there’s no way I can take him to meet her. How do I introduce her to a non-existent, mythical creature? Now she’s moved from that to asking me when she will have another great grandson. (My sister had the first and only great grandchild.) Can you tell me why my grandmother is watching my womb? Lol.

Below is a snippet from my conversation with her yesterday.

Grandma: Keep behaving and being the nice girl that you are and make sure you meet someone as nice as you are.

Usually she just tells me to behave and to be a nice girl. This time she had to throw in a little extra.

Me: Yes Grandma. You keep behaving too.

Grandma: And I hope soon I will get to meet my other great grandson. Ehem!

Bwahahaha. Can you say buss a big laugh?

Grandma: (Laughing) This is the first time I’ve heard you laugh like this. It sweet yuh!

Me: Well you’re giving me jokes.

Grandma: God spared me and allowed me to see my first great grandchild, and now I hope to see the other one.

Me: Bwoy Grandma…

Grandma: When are you coming to see me?

Me: Maybe on the weekend.

Grandma: Well, come with joy in your heart, and you can tell me about my great grandson.

Me: I hear you Grandma (more laughter)

Grandma could never begin to understand. I guess she’ll just have to continue waiting to be introduced to this mythical creature and continue watching my womb lol. I’m just over here doing me with no idea how anything will turn out.

These Characters Have Me Like -_-

FaceThe expression I need to work on so characters stay away
(No, this isn’t me lol)

I went to a party in St. Elizabeth, and it seems that me attracting characters is an island wide thing. I’m yet to pinpoint what it is about me that makes these characters make a beeline for me. I hope to figure it out very soon. Let’s refer to this particular guy as Farmer Joe (I promise the name will make sense soon).

Farmer Joe headed over to me and struck up a conversation. Based on my very basic responses and uninterested expression, I thought it was clear as day that I wasn’t interested. Each time he walked away and I thought that was the last of him, he would appear again beside me and continue talking. This happened around five times. At one point his hand made its way to my neck. Total stranger. How is this okay? One, why are you touching me and two, how awkward is that? I stepped away so that it was quite clear he needed to remove his hand. He got the message, or so I thought. Very shortly after, his hand was on my arm. I had enough by then. “I can hear you without you touching me,” I told him. He looked a bit taken aback that I had just called him out. He went on speaking and somewhere in all of it he asked, “Why don’t you like me?” I just looked at him and looked away. Umm are we five years old? ‘Why don’t I like you?’

Next came the highlight of the conversation (I don’t even know if I should call it a conversation since I was barely saying a word). “Where are you from?” he asked. “Kingston,” I replied. “I’m in Kingston sometimes,” he said, and paused as though waiting for me to say something along the lines of us meeting up. When he realized I wasn’t going to break my silence, he said, “I know vegetables can be very expensive in Kingston. I can take tomatoes and other things for you. It would be cheaper to buy from me. I’m a farmer.” He threw in the last line about being a farmer as though trying to impress me. It was one of those mic drop moments lol, like bam! He paused again waiting for my reaction. I think I probably ended up smirking. There’s definitely nothing wrong with being a farmer so that wasn’t the reason for my smirk. It’s just that I’ve never gotten that one before; I’ve had guys try to be impressive talking about money and materialistic things, but never have I had someone try to impress me with farming. It was very different to say the least. By the way, the fastest way to turn me off is thinking I’ll be impressed by money. I’ve experienced enough in my lifetime to not be impressed by any of that, plus it just makes me see you as being shallow.

Anyway, Farmer Joe continued with the chatter and goodness gracious he was touching my arm again. DID HE NOT HEAR WHAT I SAID? “You are touching me…” I pointed out, and said it with so much venom that he removed his hand in a hurry. “You don’t seem like you’re really in the mood to talk. Look like yuh deh pon a different level.” Really? Wonder what gave it away lol. He then held up a tin of Baygon (It’s Baygon that they use, right?), and asked me if I wanted to light it. Mercy…really dude? So yeah, it doesn’t take much to make me happy, but lighting roach spray isn’t really what I had in mind. I shot him a look and gave him a firm “No!”

Farmer Joe wasn’t the only character that night. There was also Mr. Too Cool. On one of the occasions that Farmer Joe walked off, a guy came up and motioned behind us, pointing to Mr. Too Cool standing there with his friends. Yup, the old ‘send a friend to call the girl you’re interested in because you’re too cool to come over yourself.’ I haaaaaaate that. I remember the very first time that happened I was in high school and at a party with my friends. Going to an all girls school you’ll have a few guys whose names float around and girls go crazy for them. Me, not so much. Anyway, it just so happened that it was one of those popular guys who had sent his friend to call me over. I sent him back with a message – “If he wants to talk to me then he needs to come over here.” It’s continued to happen over the years and it irks me every single time. Anyway, back to the story at hand. I gestured to Mr. Too Cool – if you want to talk to me, you come to me. I turned back around and in two twos he was beside me grinning. “People still do that? Send their friends to call girls over? I don’t know what kind of girls you’re used to, but I don’t respond to that.” He gave an embarrassed laughed and then asked for my number. I told him no. “Why not?” he asked. “Listen, it done gone bad already (referring to him calling me over), and I mean come on, you ask for my number just like that? No likkle convo or nutten? No.” Guys, don’t you at least ask the girl for her name first? I mean, something…He tried asking for my number again but realized I was not giving in and took himself away back to his friends, minus my number. *Rolls eyes* Men, you gotta come better than that. Come on now -_-

I ask for a Good Shepherd (see one of my previous blog posts), and I get Farmer Joe and Mr. Too Cool. Bwoy…I can’t win huh.

How The Lizard Stole Good Friday

Lizard Meme

My fear of lizards is here to stay. There’s no getting over it. Somehow one found its way into my room yesterday through a window that the mesh frame needs to be fixed back onto. I wasn’t worried about anything getting in since I don’t open the window. Well, it seems there is a space big enough for lizards to get through. I heard a rustling by my window and from the sound alone I started freaking out imagining that it was probably a lizard. I ran and got the broom before moving the curtain so I could be prepared. With my heart racing (literally), I moved the curtain and there it was on the wall. I immediately started freaking out. I gingerly moved closer to the window so that I wouldn’t frighten the darn thing and slowly slid it open, hoping the lizard would run out. No such luck. I tapped the broom beside it on the wall. All now it nuh move -_- Since it was being stubborn I realized I would need to actually touch it with the broom. Ugh! I barely touched it and instantly the thing flew, yes flew off the wall and ran under my bed!!!! One big chuck off from the wall, similar to when Shaunae Miller dived across the finish line to beat Allyson Felix.

My freaking out reached the next level because now that it was on the ground it meant it could run anywhere in the house and get lost, and ain’t no way me and it living in here together. To make matters worse, even though I saw it go under my bed, when I bent down and looked there was no lizard to be seen. I simply HAD to find it and get it out, but first, serious precautions had to be taken. I closed my bathroom door and ran for newspaper and stuffed it under the door. I was taking no chances, and if it meant I would have to close the bathroom door and stuff newspaper under it each time I went in and out, then so be it. I then rolled up a large carpet I have on my bedroom floor so that if I needed to push the lizard out with the broom there would be nothing in the way. I moved everything that could possibly hinder my mission; shoes, dresser, you name it.

Feeling certain there was nothing it could run behind or into, I did what any person with an irrational fear of lizards would do. Don’t judge me…I removed the pillow cases from my pillows, took the sheet off my mattress and then umm I kinda sorta took the mattress off the bed too. I said don’t judge me :/ With the way my lizard paranoia works, it was a feasible thought to me that since I didn’t see the lizard under the bed, it may somehow be chilling out in my sheet or my pillows or even under the mattress (Yes, I know how silly that sounds). I moved the base of the bed and voila! Out ran the lizard. It ran towards the curtains. They touch the ground so it pretty much got lost in them. I moved the curtain, hoping it would just run out into the open and then I could shove it outside. Nope, it ran over to the curtains by another window. Frisky little bugger.

This clearly wasn’t going to be an easy task. I thought about going for KP to have her put her cat skills to work, but then I remembered the last time she ignored me in my plight with another lizard outside. Clearly I needed reinforcement of the human kind so I made a call, the whole time keeping my eyes glued to the lizard so I would know exactly where it went if it decided to sprint again. “Can you get a lizard out of my room please?” Thankfully the answer was in the affirmative. When he arrived I stayed a safe distance away and pointed to the wretched thing. “There it is!” I said. “This is what you’re afraid of?” he asked. It was on the curtain so he wrapped it up in there, opened the window, put the curtain through it and shook the lizard off outside. He turned to look at me and started laughing. “You really are afraid. Look at how you’re sweating.” Umm yeah, sweating and having heart palpitations. Call my fear of lizards irrational, but it’s definitely real. “I need you to seal me up in here. I don’t care what you have to do. Just seal me up so nothing else can get in.” “I can’t do that. You’d boil up in here,” he said. “I don’t care. I will boil up. Just seal me in here.” My request was met with more laughter.

I thanked him profusely for getting rid of the lizard then took matters into my own hands. I went outside and stuffed every part of the window I could with newspaper. Ain’t no way anything else getting in here with me.  Needless to say, I was exhausted at the end of the day. Moving around a dresser, mattress and so forth will do that to you. I’m just happy the problem is solved. I called my mother to tell her about ‘Operation Lizard’ and despite knowing how afraid I am of lizards, she just couldn’t make sense of it. “You took the mattress off the bed? But why?” “Mommy, I can’t explain. I just get crazy when I see lizards. Even my heart was racing.” “You really need to get over this fear,” she said. Well, I know for a fact I never will. As I started off with – My fear of lizards is here to stay. There’s no getting over it.

The Good Shepherd

SheepMe looking for my shepherd like…

My friend and I were invited to church today. I really don’t go to church as often as I should and I didn’t want to disappoint the person who invited us, so to church we went! It actually was quite a good service. The pastor used the 23rd Psalm to kick off his sermon and then launched into the characteristics of a shepherd and sheep.  Of course the shepherd in this context is the Lord and the sheep would be us humans.  He said a shepherd is supposed to provide for you, protect you, love you, care for you when you are sick and so forth. Sounds like a good man, right? Lol. Tell me that crossed your mind too. Instantly my friend turned to me.

Friend: Shamieka…

*We exchanged knowing looks and laughed*

Pastor: Amen

Me and friend: AMEN!!!!! (in unison)

Yes, we need to get our acts together. There we are in church and totally twisting the lesson for our own (way off) interpretation lol but for real though, aren’t those some great qualities for a partner? I mean, we aren’t asking for too much, right? The Lord sees and knows that the struggle is real for us females. I’m knocking on 30’s door and I’m still in the wilderness looking out for a good shepherd. And trust me, I’ve been out there waaaaay longer than forty days and forty nights. Not to say persons haven’t crossed my path, but, hmm…

Perhaps in this case it’s the shepherd who’s lost and not the sheep (me), so if you happen to see my shepherd wandering around out there, please point him in my direction so we can head to the path of righteousness. Good shepherd, where art thou? BAAAAAAAA!

Not to worry, we paid attention to everything else in the service and took from it the meaning that we were supposed to. I think we’ll be making more frequent trips to church. 🙂