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Thursday, December 4, 2014

Blue Christmas? Nah, I don't think so.

Oh baby, its cold outside. No, seriously. It’s cold. I guess that is to be expected during the Holiday Season. November and December seems to be the perfect months to fill with cold weather, holidays, love, happiness and economy stimulation. Just in time for the New Year, I guess. But this time of the year means different things for different people. When you hear ‘Holiday Season’ you may think about spending time with loved ones, eating whatever your heart desires, and gifting. The Holiday Season reminds so many of us that we are loved and allows us the opportunity to show our love (especially if you’re not the type of person that expresses your feelings on a normal basis). For some, however, the Holiday Season could bring uncharacteristic sentiments.

In 2005, my Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year was spent with my mother in the hospital. My memory of Christmas that year was filled with anxiety and uncertainty of what the next second would bring. My mother was at the Moffitt Cancer Treatment Center with my aunt, sister and grandmother in Tampa, FL, while me and the rest of the family were in Miramar, FL trying to have a ‘holly jolly Christmas’. That night, we got word that things weren’t looking good for my mother, so we had to take the Grey Hound to Tampa the next day early in the morning. Once we made it to Tampa, we spent the next few nights with family, a few nights at a hotel and even slept at the hospital in order to stay by her side. My mother died at 3:45 AM on January 2, 2006. I remember being at the hospital the night before she died and receiving ‘Happy New Year’ text messages when the clock stroke 12 AM on January 1st. In my mind, I thought these people didn’t even have the slightest clue about what I was going through but they are mindlessly texting me to have a Happy New Year'? (This is why I don't send mass text messages anymore.) And ‘til this day a lot of people will never know. 

My mother always tried to make the Holiday’s special for me and my siblings, and it was devastating to know that for 2 years, Rhabdomyosarcoma cancer placed her in the hospital during the Holidays instead of having her home with us.

After my mother’s death, I thought that I would hate the holiday season. I was actually very nervous when the end of 2006 approached because I didn’t want to experience the Holidays without my mother. I didn’t want any reminders of what we experienced the year before. So Thanksgiving after my mom passed, I didn’t go home. I stayed in Tallahassee (where I went to college) and had Thanksgiving with my mentor Mrs. Inge and her family. And while I was with Mrs. Inge and her beautiful family, I couldn’t help but think about my family. And I realized then that my family needs me and that I needed them. So when Christmas approached, I went home to be with my family. And ever since then, I try not to get sad around the Holiday season. I try to appreciate the people in my life while they are alive on this earth.

As I get older, I am starting to feel a new void. I am getting older (but your girl is still YOUNG, don’t get it twisted) and I one day hope to have my own family. I want to sprinkle powder on the floor to make my children think that Santa visited and dragged snow in, similar to what my mother did for me and my siblings when we were kids. I want to make Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner and see my family around the dinner table. I want to teach my kids about giving back and that giving is better than receiving. My mother made the Holiday season special and I want to be able to pass that on. I guess my experiences have only made me appreciate my family more. And in return, I do my best to bring my family together for the Holidays.

So while you are with your family, forget about the credit card bills you racked up during Black Friday. Forget about your drunk Uncle eating all the mac and cheese and spilling wine on your carpet. Forget about the fact that you were skipped over for a promotion at work. Forget that the iPhone 6 keeps causing you overages on your monthly bill because it uses too much damn data. Forget that FAMU waited until you graduated to finally get a Chick-fil-a on campus. Forget about the fact that Miley Cyrus ruined twerking, as we know it. Yes… forget about all that shit!

No matter what is going on in your life, try to enjoy the Holidays. We don’t get enough of them as it is. Celebrate the time you have with the people you love while you can. Make memories. Life is short.

For more information about Rhabdomyosarcoma Cancer, please visit:


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  2. Shellz that was such a great post. I feel like a sucky friend for not knowing about how your mom passed. This let me know I must do better as a friend just checking in. But back to the post…you never think of the people who have lost people around the "happy" holidays. I can't even imagine the feelings you felt. But I'm glad you were able to gain a lesson about how important family is (no matter how crazy they may be) and cherishing those whom you love (not just around the holidays but all year round). *Sends E - Hug*

    -Love ya,

    1. I haven't told many people about the night my mom passed away... mostly because people shy away from those type of questions, which is understandable. I am glad that you know know a little more about me and one of the hardest things I had to go through... but I am still here pushing through.

      I love you, Ali! You are a great friend.


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