Jamie Mayes, AOE

Posts Tagged ‘motherhood’

Motherhood & Gardening: For Mother’s Day

In Culture, life, motherhood, parenting, Uncategorized on May 13, 2017 at 3:35 am

 

easterA seed was planted

I nurtured it

Started off nervously

Unsure of the process

Worried about the results

Hoping I was doing everything the right way

 

Plenty of water

Plenty of sunlight

Plenty of love

Plenty of time

Plenty of faith

Plenty of patience

 

I prune you continuously

Cutting back the excess

Cultivating your roots

For full, bountiful, abundant

Stems that reach far out and up to the sky

And bask in the sunlight

 

The pure joy of seeing my seed blossom

Of seeing the fruit of my harvest

The blessing to share you with others

Who are so happy to see you grow

Who pluck not your fruit

And break not your stems

 

What a wonder you are

Bringing beauty to my life

Giving me joy once undiscovered

Good for my heart and my soul

Before my very eyes you grow

Fruitfully, wonderfully, perfectly made

 

©Copyright 2017 by Jamie Mayes

American Injustice for Black Men: Part II

In Uncategorized on December 30, 2014 at 8:26 am

Lady-LibertyIt’s funny how a young white male killed 14 people and wounded 50 in a Colorado movie theater and there was more focus on his mental illness than the dead and harmed. It’s funny how a young white male killed 20 children and 6 adults at an elementary school and repeated stories about his mental illness struggles were the main headlines for many news websites and stations. However, when black male Ismaaiyl Brinsley went on a spree killing his ex-girlfriend and two NYPD police officers, it was hardly mentioned that he too had suffered from mental illness. Brinsley had a history of suicide attempts as recently as last year. Yet, he has been tattooed as a cop killer and murder, and little focus has been given to the unfortunate loss of his estranged girlfriend. Instead, media and society have used this incident to claim that the protests in New York and across the country have sparked this unfortunate situation. Brinkley’s mental illness issues and history have been used as ammunition to make it seem that black Americans are unruly and uncontrollable. Henceforth, the deaths of black men are justifiable in attempts to hurt them before they hurt others. I laugh, but not in a comical way. I laugh in a sick, demented, this-joke-is-too-dark, darker-than-my-too-black-for-America-skin way.

I have struggled for the past two years to control the anxiety and anger I feel towards America as it allows its racist face to show. It has been hard to accept that America has made no progress at all. Yes, laws were created following the death of Dr. King. However, what I have learned is that these laws were written on paper in attempts to pacify blacks, not to actually correct a problem or force American society to change. For that is a much bigger issue. One cannot unteach systematic racism or force individuals to stop making their offspring feel that they must remain separate to be superior. Therefore, the result of individuals teaching racism at home is the development of an unjust neighborhood which leads to a biased community which creates partial leaders which infiltrates an unfair country thus creating a divided society leading to a broken world.

Brinsley’s case has not justified police actions across the country; it has confirmed what I suspected. Black men who commit the same crimes as their white counterparts are presented in different manner and portrayed as beasts, thus creating an automatic sense of fear in society. Purse clutching and unwarranted deaths will be at an all-time high as America continues to paint images of Trayvon Martin dressed as a hoodlum who created fear in his own neighborhood, Mike Brown as an overly beastified pit bull who could not even fall at the shot of a bullet, Eric Garner being so large that his very voice overpowered a cop, and Tamir Rice needed no questions asked because 12 year-old black kids should not play with toy guns. Our own community leaders will continue to turn their backs on the youth who are ready and radical enough to fight by using the weak excuse that “blacks kill blacks every day” as if whites do not kill whites also. My fear has become that those who hold the real power will not work to make impactful changes.

Writing these posts has become painful to me, for it seems that this is an issue which has no beginning or ending. I struggle to find a solution for a problem that has existed for so long. I do not think America truly wants a resolution because to destroy the image of the black man is to destroy the black family. It is not a point of pride to draw this conclusion. It is disheartening to know that the struggle of a black man in America is so serious and scary to realize that I have no answer to change it. The only power I truly hold is to pray and train my son to be a fighter, because one day he will be a black man in
America.

Embracing the Blessing

In Uncategorized on May 20, 2014 at 4:26 am

ImageI have not shared this story with too many people, but it’s a testimony that changed my relationship with God and the rest of my life. I cannot deny that I am a private person who finds it important to be relatable to others, and just as important to maintain privacy. Yet, I have reached a point where I feel that my failure to share my miraculous experience is a flaw in my walk as a true believer in God. The initial content of this article may make some men (even a few women) cringe, but if you are praying for a miracle, I advise you to read on.
For many years I was a sufferer of severe menstrual pain. From the time I was about eleven years old until I was fifteen, I suffered horrible abdominal pains, sweating, fevers, the chills, nausea, vomiting, headaches, severely heavy menstrual flows, the inability to move, and cycles that lasted anywhere from two weeks to over a month. I was due to miss at least two to three days of school each month; my mother would wait on the phone call, walk to pick me up from school, and then I would suffer miserably on the walk home. (Unless I had a relative who happened to be off from work that day.) I suffered pain so severe that I am sure that on some occasions, what I thought was a nap, was actually black out spells. We tried everything from heating pads to hot baths and pain pills, still nothing would help my pain. By the time I was fourteen, I was already convinced that I would probably never have children. There was no way possible I could, it seemed.
Finally, at the age of fifteen my mother told the doctor something had to be done about my situation. We explained my problem to him in detail and he gave us a basic solution that was given to most people in my situation- birth control. He said my issues were normal and that plenty of females faced the same issues that I had, but he was sure everything was okay. The doctor did not suggest any additional tests or a more extensive exam. I cringed at the thought of birth control, because for a fifteen year old girl, birth control was usually a sign of sexually active teen and I did not want my mother to think that I was having sex. It did not seem to cross her mind though; she was looking for a solution for a daughter who could not even get her first pap smear that day because her cycle had been on for two months. My doctor scheduled a follow up appointment for two weeks later, and I received my first birth control prescription. At last, I had relief. My cycles were regular and my pain had been drastically reduced. I had not felt better in years.
For the next six years, I appeared for my regular doctor’s appointment and received a renewed prescription of Desogen with the understanding that I could not miss any days of my meds. Missing a day meant another month long cycle experience would occur no matter how many pills I took to try to catch up. While I no longer suffered with menstrual issues, other problems seemed to arise. I was gaining weight and finding it increasingly difficult to lose. After intense “healthy” eating and working out, I would lose around ten pounds, but could not seem to lose the last fifteen. Though I was the healthiest eater in my house and seemingly out of all of my friends, I was still the biggest. Battles with my weight caused me deep feelings of depression. My uterus also felt heavy and my body always felt as if it was weighed down by something. I had no doubt that the birth control was the cause; still, I felt I had no options.
During my third year of college, I talked to the campus gynecologist about my issues and being conformed to birth control to regulate my cycle. However, since my pap smears always came back normal, the doctor would not order any additional tests. The following year, I decided to visit an off campus doctor who said, like the others, that my experiences affected many women. My pap was normal. No additional tests were ordered.
In spring of 2006, I decided I would have to make some changes. My weight had ballooned. The birth control pills seemed to help the cramps less and less, even though they were still keeping my cycle regular. Still, my body was miserable from what I felt was hormone overload. Shortly before leaving college, I decided to quit taking birth control. For the first three months everything seemed fine. My cycles were regular, I had re-established a work out regimen, and my body felt lighter. My victory would be short lived. After the third month, the heavy, overwhelming cycles I had avoided for six years returned. This time, they were more extreme. While the pain was not as serious, I lived with a non-stop menstrual cycle for four months. I was going through a bag of maxi pads and a box of tampons in about three days. I was miserable. I was sick. I honestly thought I might die.
I refused to return to the doctor. I had been disappointed by them over and over again, and I knew they would give me the same useless solution- birth control. I hated the pill, what it had done to my body, and how it made me feel. I had not figured out what to do, but I knew that time was ticking. I could barely perform my job as an assistant manager in a clothing store; I was dizzy and sick every day, and I was losing weight at a rapid speed. I knew I was running out of time and options, but as I look back, I think that even my ability to function correctly and make sound decisions had been affected by my loss of blood. I was delirious. No one knew what I was going through because I had chosen not to tell them.
One day, I was sent to a three day training session at a store in La Place. The hour long trip took me hours as I struggled to focus on the drive there. Upon arrival, I met three women who worked in the store and a lady who seemed to be somewhat out of place in this store. Though I spent time talking to her, even rode in the car to lunch with her one day, I have not been able to recall her name since our final moment of contact. She reminded me of my mother and my stepmother; she was a strong Christian who was a little quiet, and she had worked in the Wal-Mart photo center before she came to her new job.
On my second day at my training site, I was having a rougher day than usual. I was even more light headed and nauseous than I had been before. I struggled to keep up with the demand of hanging clothes, re-arranging shelves, and breaking down boxes. I was moving in slow motion and the room was spinning out of control. I felt the room falling and I heard the shelves falling down, too. When I opened my eyes, two women were standing over me shouting that they thought I had the flu. They told me I needed to go home immediately. I had no strength to argue. After managing to drag myself from the floor, I went to the back of the store where I sat down at a desk in the corner. With my head in my arms, I prayed to God for strength to make the drive back to Baton Rouge. As tears slid down my face, I felt a hand on my shoulder. It was the Christian woman. I could hardly look at her, but I heard her words so clearly. “You have been sick for a long time, but today you will be healed,” she said. Unfamiliar with her religious practices or what exactly she might say, I was hesitant. Yet, I was so tired and sick and desperate, I needed anything anybody could offer to help me.
She told me to stand up. She lifted my hands and placed one hand on my stomach and the other on my lower back. I automatically closed my eyes. As she began praying, tears rolled down my faced. I cannot remember what she said; I can only remember feeling a sensation going throughout my body and the rise of energy that I had not felt in months. By the time she finished praying, I knew something was different already. She told me to go to the drink machine to buy a bottle of water. I was to drink it; water is a cleansing agent. It restores and renews. I obeyed. As I drank the water, I felt each swallow as it flowed through my veins; and only moments later, I had to go to the restroom. By the time I went to the restroom, my four month long menstrual cycle had already started to dry up. By the time I made it to Baton Rouge, my cycle had completely gone away. I was in disbelief. I spent the next week trying to call and thank the woman for the miracle she had performed. I could never reach her.
This life changing experience was eight years ago. And while I never had a problem with my monthly visitor again, I still was unsure of whether I could have children. I had no idea when I would start a family, but I always hoped that the chance to have a few little ones around would be in my future. I was even willing to adopt children. However, my doubts and worries were laid to rest in February of this year when a home pregnancy test revealed that I could, in fact, conceive a child. A mixture of emotions ran through my mind as I considered the circumstances of my situation; I am not married. I was not planning to start a family. I was not sure how my companion felt about a baby. I was completely unprepared. Yet, I could not deny an even stronger emotion…I could not believe that I could have a baby.
After finally getting over shock, disappointment, and fear, I have embraced the blessing that is a baby growing inside of my belly. Each morning I anticipate feeling the balled up knot stretching out in my stomach. I try to keep busy so that the next months will not seem so long, because I cannot wait to meet my baby. I try to follow all doctors’ instructions and I pray each day for the health of both of us. I cannot deny it, I am actually excited. When I find myself feeling overwhelmed and worried I think back to years ago when it seemed hardly possible that I could ever have a child. I remember that I am favored, I am forgiven, I am blessed.

Life for Life

In Culture, Uncategorized on April 4, 2014 at 4:12 am

I had been hoping for something new

Hoping that tags and stickers would feel my desires of a fresh start

And no matter how lost I was in the crowd

I could have never imagined I’d be the next one chosen to carry the torch

 

The fear of a demand so great brought sleepless night and worries

Feelings of guilt plagued me for I had predicted a different picture

Promising myself that I’d break the chain of unwed motherhood

Struggling for years to control the urges that seemed to come so naturally

 

I down played and delayed love in efforts to assure that my plan succeeded

However a lesson God had been teaching for years was so clearly whispered my ear-

I have no control over this life, nor the one within

I can only eagerly embrace the experience that lies ahead

 

Slowly the anticipation of something new is growing

Like the round small bump beneath my loose blouse

And each day the hope of holding a little body is becoming real

Each night prayers are solicited for tiny digits and organs that fit together perfectly

External worries have diminished to internal frets to do everything right

No longer for the world but now only for the one who will matter most

For despite the unknown and unanticipated changes that await

I am I honored to carry within the blessing of life.

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