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Courtesy of Wikipedia.com

Last week. Wow. For me, the week didn’t really start until Wednesday, July 18. It was my last day at work before I was to enjoy 5 consecutive days away from that office. Also, it was the day before my youngest son’s birthday. My boy turned 10 years old on Thursday, July 19.

Ten years ago, in Austin, Texas, at 4:30 a.m., I started feeling contractions. My ex-husband drove us (me, himself and my oldest boy) to North Austin Medical Center. My ex called his side of the family (our closest family) and he also called my Dad and Gramma, who live in Irving, Texas, about 3.5 hours away from Austin. Later, he called my good friends, Susanna and Camille to come pick up my oldest boy. And, we called my friend and co-author of the poetry collection I published in 2007, Shai.

Shai and I worked together at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Austin, where most of the women there became my extended family. Shai left the Court to pursue her happiness (I am still so proud of her). I worked with Susanna at the law firm I worked for before coming to the Court. Sanna was my ace. I learned so much from her and I cherish her to this day. My hope is that I can have her guest blog here in the near future.

But, back to the birth. I was in labor for 12 hours. Pop was born at 4:30 p.m. to a room full of family and friends. We had a great experience that day. However, the doctor on duty (my doctor was in Chicago at a conference) was more eager to show a new nurse what a c-section was all about as opposed to taking care of me. I won’t get into it completely, but he forgot one major step before sending me upstairs to my private room. This major screwup caused me a lot of pain and a big mess. I’ll sum it up with this: Shai was there to help me when I started erupting and she vowed to never have kids as the result of what I went through.

Anyhow, Pop is 10 years old now and he is really growing into himself. He is an Honor Roll student, an athlete and a compassionate young man. I am proud of him. As part of his birthday celebration, we decided to go see The Dark Knight Rises at its 12:01 a.m. premiere at our favorite local theater.

I don’t need to tell you why I will never see another midnight premiere. I won’t give any credit to the maniacal force which caused me to think differently about supporting my ultra-fave superhero flicks. Nope, he doesn’t even warrant a link.

But, what I will do is share my condolences with the families of the precious lives that were senslessly taken.

For the family of the 6 year-old, whose mother is still in the hospital, to the family of the Navy veteran who served 3 tours of duty in Iraq, to the family of the aspiring sportscaster, to the family of the 27 year-old newlywed who was celebrating his birthday, to the family of the gentleman who dove in front of his girlfriend and her brother to shield them from the gunfire, and to the others who transitioned on Friday – and to those still in the hospital and/or out of the hospital dealing with mental and physical wounds, I pray for comfort for you all. I pray for the peace of knowing that your loved ones are in a far better place. I pray for healing for you all.

For the family in San Diego who had to have felt transported outside of their bodies when they received the call that their own loved one allegedly caused such turmoil, I pray for your comfort and security as well. I pray that any guilt you might feel would be cast out of your minds. I pray for healing for you all as well.

While I’m praying, I also send super-special parent prayers for Tameka Foster and Ryan Glover, who decided to let their son, Kile, go on to be with the Lord. I cannot imagine how you must feel and I pray for peace, comfort and healing for you all – including Kile’s siblings and friends. God bless you all.

I have always been a compassionate person, often battling feelings of wanting to save the world. A church test on what gifts I possess showed that I have the gift of showing mercy, which explained a lot of why I often feel the way that I feel. I always have this awesome feeling of needing to “help.” Often, I feel powerless because of my surroundings, what I don’t have, what I can’t offer, etc. But, what I learned last week is that when I am overwhelmed with emotion and have no clue what to do, prayer works.

I really cannot add much more to this post, except to offer the following advice. Hug your children today. Tell them how much they mean to you. Cherish the time you have with the people God has given you.

Shanice

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