Hi again friends & neighbors!  While we are all celebrating OUR history, Black history this month & always, I am reflecting on my family’s personal history, legacy, and future.

First a little backstory…

2019 was a year… I mean it was a MUTHA of a year.

You may already know that we lost my dear sweet & sassy Grandmother Feb. 1, 2019 & laid her soul to rest on Feb. 8, 2019.  It was fast (literally 3 weeks), it was unexpected (she was in the garden just days before), and it was so very heartbreaking for us all.

For me it was also a time of reflection, life was suddenly different.  VERY different & we were all forced to adapt to a new normal.

Only it wasn’t. Normal. At all.

Grandmother (literally everyone called her that) was our family historian, master chef, gardener, shopping maven (My GOD she loved to shop), homemaker, caregiver, and she definitely had the gift of gab.  She was our “glue”.

For several generations, our families lived in extended family homes. In fact, my grandparents helped raise my sister, brother, and me – I actually grew up & shared a room with my youngest uncle for a while.  It was like I had 2 Mamas.  And as an adult we all became really great friends.  The best!

Ultimately I think that’s why it hit us so hard.  For me personally, life pretty much stopped – but not on purpose.  I didn’t work, didn’t blog, didn’t go on SM, didn’t go out.  Missed friends’ birthdays, kid’s games, family gatherings.  I was missing out on life for real because…

My already deeply rooted depression hit an all-time low, anxiety an all-time high.  And then my blood pressure, which I have NEVER had issues with, followed suit.  To the point where medical pros were saying I “should be in somebody’s ER”.

I just thought everyone else was going loonballs!

When I wasn’t “over it” after a few months, my doctor diagnosed me with grief.  How funny is that?!  Did you know that grief can cause health problems?  I dern sure didn’t.

I mean we all know about Broken Heart Syndrome, but that’s for surviving spouses right?

Anyway, after years of coping extremely well with mental health issues, back on meds I went.  But not without a fight because it felt like a step backwards, a failure that I wasn’t ready for. (Please don’t ever feel that way y’all, PLEASE)

The blood pressure… well that never stabilized.  It was all over the place.  Then came the threat of leukopenia, then the {still} unknown mass on my sternum.

And of course all these things come full circle to further intensify the anxiety & depression.  Eerie how that works.

It’s funny because I hit 2019 READY!  On a personal & professional high when the bottom fell out.  When I finally woke up, I found I’d missed so much, been left behind so to speak.

A lot of my virtual friends were still around, some were not, & clearly I didn’t make more because I wasn’t “there”.  But the ones still hanging in were wondering what happened… I just kinda disappeared and never said anything.

It’s not you.  Trust me.  Every time I thought I was ready to say/write something, ANYthing, I got all choked up. Angry. Sad. Scared (of judgement).

But now… as I sit here reflecting on the past year…

As I reflect on the past few weeks of an emotional roller coaster where I’ve

  1. celebrated my 49th birthday
  2. acknowledged & mourned celebrated the life & death of my grandmother, my mama, my friend
  3. spent the day we laid her soul to rest in reflection & remembrance
  4. welcomed her 5th great-great grandchild (OUR 1st grandbaby!!💓💕), Isaiah Nassir, into this challenging & exciting world of our’s

Let’s just be real…

It doesn’t matter how good you are, how focused you are, how determined you are… shit will knock you out & knock you off your game.  Know that’s it’s okay to feel what you feel.  Know that it’s okay to get mad. As. Hell.  To shut down.

Just make sure you get back up. PeriodT.

Sometimes it takes something big, other times you get a subtle little nudge.  For me it was realizing that my guys need me.  And that I have a new little guy… who will need his Yaya.  And that I have a legacy, some traditions to carry on & to teach.

Most of the things I do – cooking every day, growing my own food, making cleaning products, living sustainably – are because of my grandparents & great-grandparents, knowing my history – black history.  And where I come from.

I’m happy & proud to do it.  It brings me to tears thinking of what they might think, and of what we are capable off.  What all of us are capable of.

There’s so much more to this story but that’s the long & short of it.  There’s so much more to all of our stories & lives.  Where we come from, where we’re going. 

As we’re celebrating BHM, let’s not forget that Black history is everyone’s history.  And that every single one of us has a family history that in some way contributes to the state of our very being TODAY. And every day is an opportunity to carry on (or in some cases to break away from) legacies, to teach, & to honor.

Blessings y’all!  Blessings.

NCkyola "Nikki" G

Oh wait… 1 more thing…

This is something I wanted to share with y’all last year when I thought I was ready to tell some version of my truth. Kae Whitaker is a digital marketer & entrepreneur that I have been following for a while now. More importantly, she is a wife, mom & woman of God… just so happens she started a podcast last year & has been going through her own season(s) of change.

If you are going through changes in your life, in your business, in your experiences… I encourage you to check her out at https://kaewhitaker.com/

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