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Tag: Grief Talk Tuesday

Ride the wave 🏄🏾, with a flashlight! 🔦

Ride the wave 🏄🏾, with a flashlight! 🔦

Last week was jam packed with goodies, so let me get straight to it!

Tuesday:

I attended my weekly “Discipleship Class” at One Church Empowerment Center in Grand Rapids, MI.  The four week class has enlightened and encouraged me through this journey of my life.  Learning to embrace abandoning MY PRIDE in order to do the work of the Kingdom.  I arrived home to complete the story for The Final 48 Project #GriefTalkTuesday photo campaign.  Be sure to check it out on Facebook and join the conversation.  AH-MAY-ZING testimony that you don’t want to miss.

Wednesday:

Answering Emails, and ironically I went to sleep feeling quite blah.  I was overwhelmed with the supplies I need to purchase, and truly holding on to faith.

Thursday Morning:

Early morning I began gathering my things for a freelance assignment that I was doing in the evening.  I received a text message from one of my friends.  I’m not sure if I was still sleep because I misunderstood what he was saying in the first two texts.  Until I checked my email.

North Carolina Central University, SLIS Alumni Newsletter
North Carolina Central University, SLIS Alumni Newsletter

My book was highlighted in our ALUMNI NEWSLETTER!!! **tootsie roll, running man, and mc hammer typewriter dances**

What an honor, and I honestly have to give all the glory to God.  Only He could turn my morning around, and produce that type of joy in my heart.  My new hashtag is the #ReviewsDontLie see for yourself on Amazon and our social media sites under @alleykatsbooks

Thursday Evening:

I was working with the Boys and Girls Club Teen Center in Benton Harbor, MI for their annual summer b-ball program.  It was their Night Court – Draft Day.  It was really cool to see so many young men in the community off the streets, and engaging in activities that encourages teamwork and discipline.  The special guest this year was NBA Star from the Denver Nuggets, Wilson Chandler.  Chandler is also a native of Benton Harbor, MI, and was in the area to give back and to remind us all that dreams really do come true.  You have to believe and keep working towards every goal that you have set for yourself.  We were able to take this photo,

Wilson and I
Wilson and I

along with a copy of my book for his children.  Welcome to the Alleykats Club!!! I told you everyone is apart of the Club.  Are you rocking with us, yet?  Grab your copy here!

I ended the week with friends and family, celebrating upcoming weddings, open houses, a BBQ, and Sunday morning church service.

The road may seem uncertain, and you may feel like you’re drowning at times.  I encourage you to jump on that surfboard, pull out your flashlight, and be sure to ride the WAVE!

From me to you, with love.

R.J.

 

 

 

Grief: It’s a hard topic, but let’s talk about it!

Grief: It’s a hard topic, but let’s talk about it!

I’m preparing for a busy week working on the Final 48 project documentary with my fellow classmates from the Doc Studies program at Duke University.  I plan to keep you updated on all social media sites.  So, be sure to follow/like @Steelelens on Periscope, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Every Tuesday on Periscope, I host “Let’s Talk About Grief!” #GriefTalkTuesday 

One of the most popular questions I receive is, “why did you decide to talk about grief; how did it start?”

Well, similar to many of you that will read this I resisted the idea of talking about my journey with grief. I thought this is my road and I must venture alone. No one wants to hear me complain, or listen to my sob story about how I wish things were different. That feeling of what could I have done to save my dad. 

I had to come to the realization there was nothing I could do. The forty-eight hours before he passed was a rollercoaster of emotions. The person that I admired my entire life as a pillar of strength was physically weak, and there was nothing I could do besides love on him. Then it hit me. Maybe that’s all I was supposed to do. Love him into his transition. 

I grieved internally. The grief that I experienced began to spill to my external appearance. My hair fell out, and I gained a lot of weight. The heaviest I had ever been. I was depressed and finally determined the only way I was going to bounce back was to keep the promises that I made to my dad a couple of hours before he passed away. 

My strength encouraged others. The times that I felt the weakest I had people around me that were inspired. I felt broken but I “appeared” to be so strong to my peers. Who knew that my story would encourage or inspire others. 

If my story had an impact on others just think what would happen if I had others that wanted to share their journeys with grief. I became mind blown at the possible outcome. 

I began with my IPad, a few questions, and went to work! As of today I have over 25 hours of footage for the project, and I still feel like it’s only the beginning.  My purpose is to not only provide a comfortable platform to talk about grief, but to inspire and encourage others that the journey is far from over. Keep going!

  

Guess Who?! The #FaveArchivist strikes again!

Guess Who?! The #FaveArchivist strikes again!

One of my favorite board games as a child was “Guess Who?”  You know the one that you tried to guess your opponent’s character by asking questions, and you narrowed it down by process of elimination.  Don’t tell me I’m alone here? Well, I know it well because Granny would play with me, but she would CHEAT!  Good times!

In a sense “Guess Who” is similar to a mystery game.  We ask questions or find clues to solve a problem.  That’s probably why I became an Archivist.  Anyways, let me stay on task.  So, as you know (well I hope you know) for almost two months I’ve been going through my dad’s personal archives, and some of the photos I’ve been finding has me feeling like the board game.  Constantly asking my sister to “Guess Who?”  The plan to have all of his papers sorted by February 2016 is actually ahead of schedule.

As I stated before when it comes to going through a person’s belongings it is important to go through EVERY sheet of paper, pants  & jacket pockets, and address book!

**SideNote: I have something special coming up involving an address book tomorrow.  You don’t want to miss it!

I came across two envelopes with United States Army on the cover.  One of them had never been opened, but the other one had a large dark ring on it.  I was hoping that the contents on the inside of the damage envelope were okay.  I’m not sure what melted on the photo, but it was definitely an Archivist’s nightmare.  A damaged primary document, that happened to be a certificate and a photo.  I’m sure I could request another document but I don’t think I need to at the present moment.  I looked for a familiar face in the photo.

Guess Who?!

U.S. Army Photo
U.S. Army Photo (1970)

Hi Dad!  I’m pretty sure I make that same face when the sun is in my eyes, or when I’m not understanding something.

I shared this photo during my weekly Periscope show, “Let’s Talk About Grief” for #GriefTalkTuesday.  The show has been extremely therapeutic and it’s another way to unpack grief.  If you want to catch last night’s episode you can view it by clicking here. I’m excited to see the project grow, and new viewers every week on the show.

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for my special announcement.

P.S.  I’ve been receiving rave reviews about the first book in the Adventures of Alleykats series.  Do you own it?  No!  What are you waiting on?  You can purchase it now.  If you own it, please be so kind to leave a review.  It truly means a lot, and I thank you for your continued support!

Tomorrow may be too LATE!

Tomorrow may be too LATE!

Hump Day! Today is the day I recap “Let’s Talk About Grief.”  A weekly show that I do on Periscope for #GriefTalkTuesday and it almost didn’t happen.

Yesterday, was a regular day.  I was scrolling through Instagram early in the morning and I came across a photo that seemed quite odd.  I was about to reach out to my friend in Houston and ask if everything was okay, and then I logged into Facebook.  The first status I read ended with the words, #RIPZin.  The same friend that I was about to text, was gone.  He passed away in a fatal car accident in Colorado over the weekend. The first thing I thought was, I JUST TALKED TO HIM A WEEK AGO!   How could this be?  I was heartbroken.   This was the first time in my life that I experienced losing a friend.

When I moved to Houston a couple of years ago I didn’t know many people. One of the people I connected with was Brotha Zin. The first night I met him he was dj’ing an after party.  It was my last night working for a local jazz festival, and I wanted to hear my song.  I wanted to hear D’Angelo or Guy.  Don’t give me that look.  Yes, I go to parties and request 90s R&B.  Don’t be judging. Lol. Zin was sitting on an ottoman cranking out the good vibes, and while requesting my music I lost my balance.  The ottoman he was had WHEELS! He attempted to catch me, but I fell on him and we went rolling on that ottoman towards the window.  We crashed…HARD! I had the bruises to prove it.  That story never gets old.  Our friendship began there.

I remember the conversations we had in 2012/2013 about him starting a radio station, and I talked about writing a children’s book.  He would say, “Peace Sis, we gotta keep building.” He started All Real Radio, and I published the first book in my children’s book series.  On this day I can say, we did it!

We were supposed to connect while I was in Houston during Labor Day Weekend, and he was supposed to interview me on his show.  Well, he left early to go to New Orleans, and I didn’t return to Houston after that weekend.  As far as the interview.  I put it off, I told him, I need a minute, I’m not ready, maybe next week, or tomorrow.  Why was I waiting?  That tomorrow will never come, and I have to take the lesson that comes from it. I can say one thing, if Zin feared anything I didn’t know it.  Stop waiting.  Stop putting things off until tomorrow.  Just do it!

He was always positive, and ready to spread the good word. An activist, hip-hop head, visionary, and a man that loved his Queen and his two daughters!  That’s how I will remember him.  Our last conversation was about his interview with David Banner. I was so proud of him. Man, he was more than a friend.  He was my brother in the struggle. Just trying to spread love, light,  and knowledge. You will never be forgotten Anthony “Zin” Mills. You are apart of my “Final 48 Project” story.

Peace.

Archives 101: Miles is Maintenance – What my father taught me!

Archives 101: Miles is Maintenance – What my father taught me!

Yesterday I hopped on Periscope for #GriefTalkTuesday and talked about what happened on Christmas Day.

It was great to get on there to talk about my frustrations and laugh with new/old scope buddies! We had fun! You can view the original video on Periscope (@SteeleLens) or view the video (without the hearts and commentary 😔) below.


P.S. One of my fave scopers hopped on the scope to talk about my book. Way Cool!

“Archives 101 – No Papers Left Behind” Recap

“Archives 101 – No Papers Left Behind” Recap

Yesterday was Tuesday right? I’m an Archivist that not only writes short stories, but I document journeys with grief too. On Tuesday’s I do a segment on Periscope called, #GriefTalkTuesday

Well, I dropped a few nuggets in last night’s session:
“Archives 101 – No Papers Left Behind”
1. Everyone grieves differently
2. When getting rid of a loved one’s things, what do you keep or toss?
3. Look thoroughly before you toss!

#3 is extremely important because #1 and #2 is up to you, but I suggest everyone take the time and do #3. Do you know what type of treasures you can find from looking? My dad had bills, and miscellaneous notes thrown in a box. First time looking at this stuff in over two years. My mom said to me, “You take them with you, and shred after you’re done going through the box.” My sister instructs, “Don’t throw anything anyway, dad’s filing system is different from ours. There may be photos in there.”
The funny thing is my dad and I have a similar style of filing, from what I’ve observed! Don’t you dare JUDGE! Lol.

My sister was RIGHT! This jewel was hiding amongst old bills! It’s not an original, but it’s a great copy. In this photo I’m pointing at my dad.
Date: Circa Spring/Summer 1951

Periscope Photo - Granny & Kids
Periscope Photo – Granny & Kids

Take your time, grieve, search, and find!

Xoxo,

Fave Archivist