Urban Mama, Abuse & Trauma, Lifestyle of the Average, Christian Walk, Adolescent and Adult Parenting, Grand-parenting, Marriage, Weight Loss, Career, Womanhood
My name is Chana. I grew up in South Sacramento, the northern part of California.
I am a Christ follower (work in Progress) and have 5 children and one grand-daughter, named Joi, but we call her Yoshi. I'm an educator, writer, essential oil enthusiast, foodie, and self advocate.
I enjoy reading books, listening to audio books, podcasts, and music, practicing yoga, ecstatic dancing, participating in Bible study groups and book clubs, gardening, walking, dining, and writing during my free time.
My lifestyle blog includes various life topics, such as, relationships, family life, parenting, social justice, religion, spiritual transforming, education, healing and thriving from trauma, personal development, and health and wellness.
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In His Grip,
Sunday, December 3, I decided to not attend church and instead went to Starbucks to blog and catch up on some reading. They have this new drink called the Sugar Cookie almond milk latte. I reduce the four pumps of sugar cookie syrup for the grande to two pumps of sugar cookie and its delicious! I make this work for me in my pursuit of a healthier lifestyle. On my drive there, I was wondering if there would be enough tables to sit down because some of the Starbucks are changing, and looks as if, its not intended for folks to stay awhile.
Coffeehouse Kinda Day
The music reminded me of something I would hear at a bar or a club. It was fast tempo, blaring, and not conducive to holding a conversation over a cup of coffee. If it were not for the abundance of Starbucks gift cards, I would patron some other place. I proceeded to ask the barista who was cleaning if she could please turn the music down. She said, “after I finish sweeping.” I said, thank you. Of course, after she finished sweeping the entire store, it was still blaring loud. Reminded me of Dutch Brothers, but that is their culture. Don’t get me wrong, I love September by Earth, Wind, and Fire. I waited 20 minutes and after the crowd left to ask again. She stated, she mentioned it to the manager. The manager told her that some of the songs are louder than others. That was the solution, I guess….ookay. Thank God for my AirPods, its helped to cancel out some of the loudness for me. Another reminder, I am legitimately getting older. Loud noise go away.
I finished my drink and go back up to the cashier and request a water, then asked about the refill on drip coffee to see if that still existed. It does still exist —yay! The barista was really kind. Natomas Crossing Starbucks continues to serve up a decent portion of customer service, that many other stores lack. By the way, did you know Starbucks stop brewing the Blonde Roast after 11:00 a.m.? Its my favorite! I had no clue.
As I was enjoying my drink, I noticed two mothers with their babies in strollers. I was checking out these new strollers and the earth tone color schemes they fashioned their babies/strollers. What a stark difference from when I was a mother in the 90s. We had loud bulky strollers. They were standing next to me waiting for their drinks. I overheard their conversation because they were standing right next to me, so it was difficult to not listen. They talked about their woes of being a new mom, trifling family members, and fussy babies —haaa, can totally relate! I was impressed that they made time for self care — to exercise outside and be with friends during postpartum — so important. I felt a sense of sadness wash over me as I was listening to their trials. I am now nearing the end of the childbearing stage of life and seeing young mamas with their babies, reminded me I am aging. I gently reminded myself that motherhood is not over for me, but just looks different because my children are older now. I also reminded myself, this is not something I should feel sad about. I should be thankful for those memories of being a young mama toting my babies everywhere and appreciate that I am still living to see my children age, and that they are here to see me age as well. Its all about the reframe for me.
Aging is not lost youth, but a new stage of opportunity and strength – Betty Friedan
I do not understand death. it’s so excruciatingly painful. The grief comes in unexpected waves by surprise. It rocks me and is indescribable. My heart aches, and can’t even grapple with the depths of it. I hate gun violence— violence of any sort! I hate murder. I can make sense of natural illness, body deterioration, natural causes— but never senseless violence.
I can never be okay with the violence of black on black crime. Generations of stolen fathers. Generations of fatherless children. Generations of widows.
Although, my grand daughter has her Papa, he will never replace her father. Her uncles will never replace her father. My daughter will forever not have the support of Joi’s father. I can never be ok with this. I feel like my family was robbed of something invaluable and irreplaceable. I’m angry. I’m so saddened. It’s so heart breaking. I grieve for my granddaughter, and his family.
God is righteous, just and faithful. He hates violence. Sons, please be careful about the women you let in your life. Seek God’s wisdom! Hearken to your mother’s voice.
Dalonnie loved his children. He came to our house for refuge. We took him in. I seen him as a son. He needed guidance and direction. He was not violent. He was caring. He was humble. He acknowledged Charity’s efforts and her parenting. He loved Joi. Unfortunately, he was a victim of his environment. He trusted the wrong person.
Sons, be careful! Hearken to wisdom. Trust your instinct.
I visited Kaiser Permanente hospital on Morse Avenue in Sacramento, California on Thursday, January 27, 2022. I was experiencing chest pains, shortness of breath, light headed, high pulse rate, fatigue, and radiating pain from upper back around to my right arm. My son drove me to the hospital and rolled me into the emergency room and pushed me to the nurse counter. Its where I sat for at least 15 minutes, even though another staff member told the RN I was experiencing chest pain and shortness of breath. As the pain intensified and I realized I was not being evaluated, I tapped on the window next to me, barely able to even speak. I just didn’t feel like I had any strength. I finally got the nurse’s attention.
He proceeded to talk down to me, in a disrespectful and demeaning way, and snapped at me by saying, “I can’t just stop what I’m doing with my other patient to see you.” Other words were said, that made me feel humiliated, but I didn’t have any strength to advocate for myself. My son could not stay because of the COVID policies. At that moment, I felt like a victim. I couldn’t believe I was experiencing such behavior from medical staff in the situation that I was in. I felt my issue was life threatening.
He put me on a pulse reader, and only then did they begin to care for me, and then requested an EKG. His tone only changed then, but it was all too late. I immediately felt my blood pressure and pulse rising even higher at the type of treatment I received.
Several minutes later they took me back to get an EKG. I was lying there for another 15 minutes, before someone hooked up an EKG. Again, I didn’t have the strength to request help or find out the status. I felt like I couldn’t breathe and needed a pillow to elevate my head. The nursing staff were chatting up, talking about dates, life, etc all while I thought I was dying. It definitely was not a place for healing to occur. I thought, if I could say something, I would say I am not interested in hearing about your dating life. I am dying here..people. I mention this because it was a distraction to timely care. The nurse who was putting the sticky tabs and preparing for my EKG, was talking and distracted. Let’s just say, she could certainly improve on her multi-tasking skills.
After my EKG was finally done, they took me around to a chair to sit in and wait for care. I overheard they were supposed to put me in a room. I told them I didn’t feel comfortable walking because I thought I was going to lose consciousness and felt dizzy. They made me feel as if I didn’t deserve a wheelchair. Someone asked me, “can’t you walk?” I said, “I don’t feel comfortable walking because I feel unsteady.” So, only then did they get me a chair and wheel me to another seat. The nurses drew blood to test and see if I was having an actual heart attack. The nurse drawing my labs also had a nasty attitude. It was obvious by her eye roll when I asked for a blanket because I was freezing. She looked at me as if, I had the audacity to ask for a blanket.
Next, I got a chest x-ray. And that was another degrading experience. The way the RN placed the IV in my arm, was uncomfortable, but also to the point that I could not bend my arm. The x-ray tech is telling me to take my shirt and bra off. I asked for help, and she said, “you can’t do it yourself?” I said, I wouldn’t have to ask if you allowed at least one family member to be in, and proceeded to explain the way the IV was placed, it was painful if I attempted to bend my arm. I needed to be able to bend my arm to wrap around to undo my bra and pull my shirt off. Mind you, I was not steady and felt my balance off. She reluctantly helped me.
I writing this post to shed light on the way I and another man were treated on this day at the Kaiser on Morse hospital. My treatment was nothing compared to what I will share next. Every time I share or think about this event, it literally makes me sick.
There was this older man, whose home language is Punjabi. There was a language barrier; but you don’t need to be interpreter to know he was in dire emergency need. This man was gasping for air and vomiting blood. The care he received was something I would expect to see in a movie, not in United States, nor a prison health care system, or a communist country. For at a minimum, this man was seeking help, crying, “doctor, doctor, can’t breathe, doctor!” He was begging to be helped and not one person came to his aid. They gave him a vomit bag and was mad because he dropped the bag a couple of times. He was literally grunting, wrenching, and dropped his bag all while holding his stomach. The grimace on his face, the sounds he made made me think, I was going to witness him die in front of me. I immediately began to pray for him, asking God to breathe air into his lungs, and to spare him.
He dropped his bag a couple of times, and there were two nurses standing near him, but not helping him. One did hand him a bag and started cleaning up the vomit, but the other nurse was vicious. She started scolding him- several times over the course of 30 minutes. She yelled at him, “stop dropping your bag. You’re making a mess. Hold your bag!” He would cry out, “doctor..doctor…” And she would again, scold him and say, “we hear you already. Stop asking for the doctor.”
Eventually, at some point they moved him to the bed. He laid there continuing to grunt. No oxygen was given- nothing. They then start to ask him what happened. Apparently, he was hit in a vehicle accident. The doctor says, let’s get a translator. After, all this time they decided to call for an interpreter. Meanwhile this man, someones father, grandparent, sibling is struggling to breathe.
I am calling for the personnel who did not assist him to be terminated. No human being should be disregarded, ignored, humiliated, and left to suffer without timely medical intervention. I seen the doctor before him, and he was gasping and vomiting blood. It was obvious he was in excruciating pain.
She should be terminated from employment immediately. I don’t know what pledge she recited during her pinning ceremony, but she should revisit that and offer amends for all the people she has harmed by creating mistrust for the health care field. Her behavior/actions should be immediately investigated.
As I blog about this, I am reliving that traumatic night. I felt helpless for this poor man. I was afraid to speak up for him. I barely had the strength to even speak up for myself. I know my God is a God that heals and hears prayers. I can only hope that he survived. I can also only hope the day my brother was brought in from the ambulance on June 17, 2021, to Kaiser (the same hospital), that they did not ignore his dire need for medical intervention. He died in the Kaiser hospital emergency room.
On a side note, I recognize not all humans behave like she did or the nurse that checked me in, and that most first responders don’t have the same character. However, these type of behaviors must be addressed and stopped immediately. It is one of the reasons why people do not trust the health care system. Please change COVID policies so that families can advocate for their loved ones.
In honor of American Heart Health Month and Black History Month as we still fight to pursue heath justice and equity for all!
While I was going on my walks in Florida, I perceived, not feeling my normal self. Everything was beautiful around me, but I felt a little empty. And I kept trying to shake it off. This past month I noticed I was aching for companionship and a desire to connect with my ex-husband. I was trying to figure out the reasons why, and also trying to make sense of my feelings by identifying my emotions. I pondered: Is it the change in season? Is it the holidays approaching? Is there something about the weather that is causing me to feel this way? Then I began to ask myself, is there something particular or an event in the past that occurred in October to stir up any memories. I even went as far as examining, is there something happening right now that could be triggering this need.
I did not dare share with anyone how I was feeling for several reasons. 1) I did not want anyone to get the wrong message or impression. 2) I did not want those who care and love me, to worry. 3) In general, people lack understanding. 4) Just because I am processing my feelings, does not mean I would change anything in my life right now. Yet, here I am I sharing with you. Smile.
Divorce grief is real, painful, and sneaks up on you at unexpected times.
Being conscience and aware about my feelings is healthy and keeps me moving forward, and not stuck in the past. He was apart of my life for 28 years, more years than in my childhood. There are parts about him that I miss. I enjoy dining out at trendy local restaurants on Saturday mornings, before everyone wakes up. Admittedly, I miss hearing his loud, contagious, and corny laugh – sometimes. I always called it his “fake laugh.” I miss shooting the breeze and sharing my work day with him. I also miss making him laugh. People closest to me, know that I am actually a jokester. I always made him laugh, not the “fake laugh.” I think I miss the camaraderie we had, absent of the arguments about our relationship, faith, or the kids. We had good times too. I carry no shame for feeling this way.
“Autumn whispered to the wind, I fall but always rise again.” – Angie Wieland-Crosby
Autumn is my favorite time of the year. I miss cooking and baking for my family. I miss the annual family trips and fall traditions. Decorating my apartment is not the same when there is no one to share it with. Nevertheless, I decided that I will pull out the fall decorations and embrace the season. Literally, as I write this post, my aha moment just came to me. I am thankful to God for what he just revealed to me.
“And lastly, remember that it is okay to cry.” — Richard Kauffman
Oh boy, “goooooo eaaaaaasy – on me.” The song, Easy on Me by Adele came on while I was doing my cardio on the elliptical machine this morning. I was listening to the Apple music Pop playlist for “working out,” and this song came on. Awww shux!! You already know what happened. I was an absolute mess in Planet Fitness. So much so – that I had to put my mask and hoodie back on. Guys, I call that real therapy. I am still unsure how this song made it on a “workout playlist.” Seriously though, I think Adele wrote that song for the both of us. I am apologizing in advance to my poor neighbors who will probably hear this song on repeat for the next week.
Identity can be linked to Partnerships
My brain is still reorganizing what my new life is beginning to look like, and it may take a couple more years to fully process. My grief is not isolated to an individual, but to other aspects of my life over the last 28 years. I just wanted to be a good wife, good mother, a good Christian, and have a happy normal family life.
Friends, I leave you with God’s word, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26Amen!