I Have a Dream

I Have a Dream

Did you know that this speech almost did not happen?  But fate would not have it any other way.  This speech was meant to be heard, was meant to be televised, was meant to stir hope in people, was made to make people move into action.  Martin Luther King did not come to the March for Jobs and Freedom to talk about his Dream, he had another speech prepared but someone shouted and prompted him to tell us about his Dream.

The Dream was a sermon that he had told his congregation before, but it wasn’t what he was going to share with those people on that day.

But fate would not have it any other way.  At the prompting of that person, Martin Luther King modified his speech and shared with the world his Dream.  A dream of equality and love for ALL, not just for whites, not just for blacks, or Hispanics or Asians but for ALL.  The Dream that someone will be judged by their character and not by the color of their skin.  A simple dream but one that until today we still struggle to bring to reality.

Don’t get me wrong! We have come leaps and bounds from that fateful day on August 28, 1963, but we still have long ways to go.  We are not there.

Let’s use today not as an off day, but as a day to look inside and see how we can bring Martin Luther King’s speech alive in our lives.

Are we teaching our children to love others as oppose to hate?  Do our actions match our teachings?

When we stop looking or referencing at color and instead see each other as humans, that’s when we will truly be colorblind and we will be living The Dream.

When Wishing Happy Father’s Day to a Single Mom Angers Others

When Wishing Happy Father’s Day to a Single Mom Angers Others

Mother and Son

I have friends that on this special day wish me a Happy Father’s Day. I don’t have nor have I ever had a penis, which makes me biologically a woman, so I am not a man, which means I could not be a father, but I am a single mom. 

You see my then boyfriend and now baby-daddy, decided to call it quits after our son reached the tender age of eight months. Since then my Poosky and I have been partners in crime in this thing called life.  

Which is no big deal.  Life has its ups and downs as everyone knows and although there were times when I wondered if we would make it, we did.  Through grace, faith and cheer stubbornness, we are here with a few scars but happy, healthy and alive.

Nonetheless, I carry that scarlet letter S for single mom and I carry it proudly on my armor. Many of my friends acknowledge that on Father’s Day, which always brings a big smile to my face and for which I am thankful for. Yet I know full well that I am not a Father, I am a mother who wishes to fill every inch of my son’s heart with love. Who prays everyday that maybe, just maybe the absence of my son’s father won’t have negative repercussion on my precious angel. 

However I know that there is and will always be a space for his dad in my son’s heart that no matter how much love I give, I cannot fill.

I know I am not a Father nor do I wish to be one, but I am a single mom raising my son in the absence of one, so if someone wants to wish me a Happy Father’s Day they can and I welcome it.  If someone has a problem with it, I understand their view and respect it. Either way, I will continue to shower my son with love and raise him the best way I can with God by my side.

I am writing this from the spa where I took myself out for a Father’s Day pedicure. To all the great dad’s out there who are involved in their children’s life, Happy Father’s Day. To the single mom’s out there fighting against the world to raise their babies on their own, God bless you, Happy Father’s Day to you too. Smile because everyday carries a reason to be happy.
Walking the Steps of Christ Towards the Resurrection

Walking the Steps of Christ Towards the Resurrection

Taken from Patheos.com showing the crucifixion

We have started the Triduum.  It began on the evening of Holy Thursday, and it ends on the night of Easter Sunday.  
We are walking through the steps of Christ, we are becoming like a fly on the wall for those days, reliving, recanting, reenacting the events that happened way back when the world realized that Jesus is the Christ.
Yesterday evening was super sad.  The washing of the feet, the reading of the scriptures, the foreshadowing of Judas’ betrayal, the Last Supper, all brings about a tragic ending to the teacher and the master that Jesus was to his disciples.  When the priest takes the Eucharist away from its house solemnly walking around the church, with incense covering every square inch, a sad hymn playing in the background, and the procession of people following the body of Christ to it’s temporary resting place for the night, it brings about a deep sense of sadness and melancholy.
On Holy Thursday, Jesus was mocked, beaten and tried unfairly.  The Sanhedrin felt threaten by someone who was of humble birth; that knew way too much about the word of God, and someone who called himself the Son of God and a King (although his kingdom was not of this world).  He was not a king, the Sanhedrin thought.  He didn’t dress like one, didn’t party like one, didn’t behave like one.  This man was an impostor they reasoned! So off to crucifixion for him because his uniqueness, his oneness with God was too much for them to handle.

Jesus being tried, a scene from the Passion of the Christ (2004)

Then we are off to Good Friday.  A day of quietness, repentance, acceptance, of mercy and love.  Jesus is crucified and the temple shakes, the curtain is ruptured in two, and when a lance is used to cut Jesus and verify his death only water and wine pour forth.  “Truly he was the Christ!” The guards admit, but it was too late.  His vestments have been divided and won by casting lots.  A crown of thorns had already been placed on his head; he had already been humiliated in front of the whole town, and he had been put to death.  Surely he was the Christ, and we had made a terrible mistake, they feared.

It is finished, he breathed his last, a scene from the Passion of the Christ (2004)

mary magdelene
Mary Magdelene checking on the tomb

Not so fast,  not all is lost. On Saturday evening and Sunday Morning we will rejoice.  We will run behind Mary Magdelene to the borrowed tomb that Jesus was placed in after his crucifixion.  You see the disciples had to rush on the day of his burial because when Jesus was crucified it was Jewish Preparation Day for the Jewish Passover.  So they borrowed a tomb that had never been used from a secret disciple, wrapped him in burial cloths and spices and laid him there.  But they had to leave to prepare for the Passover, so it was a rushed job.  

he is risen
He is risen!

Mary Magdalene came back to finish what was done and behold the body was gone!  The burial clothes laid neatly on the tomb as if someone had folded them.  She fretted thinking that someone had made a sick joke and taken the body of her Teacher, her Master, The Christ away.  Thinking this, she ran as fast as she could to alert the others and they, of course, came running to verify.  Surely the tomb was empty; Peter confirmed it when he went in.  John followed him in, after standing outside for a few and right away he believed.  It was the resurrection! Jesus is risen!

Happy National Single Parent Day (March 21)

Happy National Single Parent Day (March 21)

single parent, single mom
My Pooka and I (courtesy of Sandy Sannik)

Someone at work just told me that today was National Single Parent Day.  I was ecstatic to hear this and of course, I had to write about it and tell you all.  My biggest accomplishment in life is being a mother.  Nothing else can compare to that.  With motherhood came single-parenthood for me, almost immediately after having my precious.

I was scared as shit when I found out that I was pregnant and when my baby daddy left me, I definitely shitted my pants at the thought of doing it all on my own.  But I tighten my big girl panties, reached deep down, stopped crying, and got my shit together.  

From that point forth, my son became my motivation, and I was determined to raise him the best way I could and give him enough love to compensate for the absence of the other parent.  Of course, I didn’t know then, or I refused to understand that the other parent is just irreplaceable, but damn it I sure as hell tried.  I became a super mommy! Cape and all at times.  It was my Pooky and I against the world.
Becoming a single parent made me very focused on self-improvement and career progression.  I needed to be better and get paid more so that I could be a good mom and support my baby’s needs.  I was relentless (beast mode turned the fuck on!) and until this day, my baby (no longer a baby) is my motivation and my drive to keep going.  He is the reason I work hard, go to school, get up every morning and do my best.  I know my little man is watching so I cannot falter, I cannot stop because I won’t want him to stop when is his turn to run his household and lead his family.
Happy National Single Parent Day to all the single parents out there!
Coming to America: A Lesson on Racism

Coming to America: A Lesson on Racism

I was not born in the United States and did not know anything about the division that existed between the races.  I learned all about racism in my 8th grade US History Class, and it was a heartbreaking moment.  Although my teacher made things very fun for us and dressed up according to the decade she was teaching, the news that she gave me made my eyes water.

How dare, someone thinks they are better than the next solely based on the color of the skin?’ I thought.

I could not believe that the American Dream had cracks in it.  As a child, I always heard all these success stories about how people could work and get a fair pay and were able to go to school for free and get a quality education in the US.  To me, this was supposed to be the country that opens up doors for the underdog and that gave the poor a chance to become successful with hard work and effort.  I came here with a bag full of dreams and ready to put in the work to see results.

As the teacher was pacing back and forth, using an upbeat voice and her best storytelling skills she told the class everything about that period, about inequality, segregation, the treatment given to the African Americans, the bullying, name calling, and the deaths.  According to her, all this was going on because someone happened to be born with dark skin.  When she said this, it was as if the floor had caved in under me.  I realized then that this was not the land of milk and honey, and that this land had just recently overcome a very dark period and could still have lingering hate in its crack.  After all racist that were alive then were still alive now, I reasoned.

The lesson culminated with the works of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. his March on Washington and his ‘I have a Dream Speech’.  Hearing such honest and loving words coming from the mouth of this man, who was hated, and spat on by others because of the color of his skin, made me cry.  How can someone who received hate from other, can turn around and return love instead? I thought.

That day a sense of admiration and love grew from the teachings of this God Fearing man, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  I love him for standing his ground, for fighting hate with love and for having the vision that this country can one day be great if it only lets go of its inequities.  He had this vision, and he worked hard towards it and lived his life by a set values that were far beyond his current time.   In the end, Dr. King died too soon as all great men do.  Nonetheless, he died doing something he loved and following his beliefs.  

However, his work is not done, and it did not die with him.  Dr. Martin Luther Kind Jr left the world his legacy and his teachings for us to learn and teach others, he knew “That this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed” that creed being that “all men are created equal”.  In his mind and heart, he could see the greatness of the American Dream if only we could let go of hate.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. came to cash the check, promised to citizens of the Republic and that check was for freedom and liberty of ALL men.  The unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for ALL.  He contested that The Declaration of Independence did not say ‘if you are this color you get this’ and ‘if you are another color you get the other’.  It says ALL MEN.

The creed was that simple, yet so hard for people to understand at that time (and maybe still today) that we are all created the same and should not be treated differently based solely on the color of our skin.  To add to that, that our actions are our calling cards and not the tone of our skin.  Also, that everyone in this great country deserves a shot at greatness with hard work and dedication and not held back because of skin color.

These things are what makes the land of the American Dream a reality; that land where goals become a reality, quality education is given to all children, and jobs for all, that I heard so much about as a young child.  While there are still countries fighting for voting rights, for food, water, electricity, and some still live in a caste system, we have gotten over our biggest obstacle towards fulfilling our creed thanks to Dr. King; thanks to him, this young nation is ahead of most. However, his work is not complete, and it’s still ongoing.

His vision and legacy are something that needs to be passed from generation to generation so that we can educate ourselves and not fall into the same pitfalls as before.  We should use his teaching to strengthen our bond, our love, our tolerance for others and continue to put the fear and hatred that comes with racism behind us.

Let the teachings of Dr. King take you out of your comfort zone and guide you to know others regardless of race.  Soon, you will see that we are more alike than different.  Once we know one another, and we drop our walls, we are less likely to fear or hate our neighbor.

Lets “cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and security of justice,”  said Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Let’s cash it together.

XOXO Johanny