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Deep breaths. This is only part of your life. Pt. 2

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Apparently, I liked this Facebook meme on this day...last year? Two years ago? Three? I don’t remember now. But I still feel the same way. Especially about the partner in crime part. Not LITERALLY in crime, but someone who has a little mischievous streak in him, and great love for finding a bit of humor in everyday life. And I have to add something else: an enormous amount of PATIENCE, and an equal amount of EMPATHY.



Here's why: this nearly 60 year old woman is recovering from an extreme amount of physical, mental, emotional and yes, sexual abuse from my ex-husband. (#MeToo)  I divorced him 1987, and since I firmly believed I was one of those "strong Black women" who had inherited the strength of her ancestors to endure and overcome all pain and suffering, I  "soldiered up", raised my three kids with the help of my parents (thank you so much, Mom and Dad) worked at various jobs that were mostly mentally stressful and physically draining, and finished my Bachel…

Deep breaths. This is only part of your life. (Introduction)

Over three decades ago, I made a mistake that nearly cost me my life, not just once, but on several occasions. Looking, back, there were reasons why I made this particular mistake. It was the usual suspects: insecurity (Even though author and star of the HBO's show Insecure, Ms. Issa Rae, is young enough to be one of my daughters, I identify with the basic issues she discusses in her book, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl), low self esteem that was based on my issues with food addiction (I LOVE the combination of flour and fat, such as homemade macaroni and cheese, deep fried chicken, and...the list is endless); and my food addiction's ever present partner, obesity, which has fluctuated between being slightly obese to super morbid obesity. Seriously. At one point, I couldn't buy clothes at Lane Bryant because they don't carry size 5x and 6x in their stores. I had to either order my clothes or go about my daily business naked. The second option was not morally o…

"Sometimes, y'all make my BEHIND hurt!"

The title of this particular blog has a source, and that is my beloved mother, Mary Ellen Graham Shortt. Mom was born and raised in Leesburg, Florida, although technically she lived even farther out into the central Florida wilderness in a place called Wildwood. (Which is so difficult for a "burb" baby like me to understand; Leesburg wasn't exactly a huge city like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, or even Sacramento). Just reading that fact should be justifiable cause for raised eyebrows. I used to think that she had a natural talent for malpropisms, but that wasn't it, either. She spoke Wildwood, which, in my opinion, is a very unique Florida accent that was peppered with all kinds of confusing terms like "Y'all make my behind hurt!" Go ahead. Try to make sense of it. I grew up hearing stuff like that, and I remain unconvinced that there is a logical way to explain what it means.

And this brings me to the point of this particular entry. I'm on …

"War. Huh. What is it GOOD for?"

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The title of this blog comes from one of many protest songs that were popular during the Vietnam War. The song is "War", which was sung by Motown artist Edwin Starr. As you can see in the video, there are scenes from the Vietnam War accompanying the song. I remember those scenes. They were broadcast nearly every night on every network channel. Even though my father was a load master in the Air Force on the C-131s and C-141s during the Vietnam War (dropping troops, supplies, guns and ammunition in country, taking the dead and wounded out), I rarely dwelled on the possibility that he might not come home one day. That was simply too much for me to handle at that time.

At the height of the Vietnam War, my family, which consisted of my parents, Richard and Mary Shortt, their oldest child (me), my sister Tamara and my little brother Ricky, were transferred to Clark Air Force on Luzon Island, the Philippines. I was eight years old when we arrived, and ten years old when we left. H…