The Light is Green – Lets Go!!

Okay, so everyone, or at least everyone should know that today is Veteran’s Day. It’s not just a chance to have a day off from work or school, but it’s a day that should be taken seriously and revered with all the importance that it so rightly deserves.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been intrigued by an ad for “Greenlight A Vet”. When I learned more about it, I discovered that this is one of the coolest ideas and gestures ever when it comes to our veterans, both past and present. It’s such a small thing to ask, for as many of us as possible, to change one visible light on our respective properties, to ‘green‘ to show our support of our veterans in a lovely and glowing way. I am certainly on board with this idea and can’t wait until my porch light is switched over to ‘green‘ later this evening.

How awesome it will feel to the many veterans that are out there driving and walking around, to look around them and see, all the green lights shining outside the different homes and businesses across the nation, that will pay homage to their courage and bravery, along with that of their fellow service men and women. I can’t imagine the sense of pride and accomplishment,that the simple color ‘green’ will ignite in these uniquely selfless individuals. I am so happy to be able to show my support without saying a word. Never has it been truer that ‘action speaks louder than words”.

So often, in our everyday travels, we rub elbows with so many of these awesome folks, without even knowing it because they blend in with society and cannot always be easily identified when not in uniform. In the same vein, they have no idea who is in support of them as they travel throughout their days and rub elbows with us, civilians. But this simple ‘green’ light will act as a kind of citizens or civilian uniform that will speak volumes. So, I encourage you all to put on your uniforms, by shining your green lights along with me, to show your pride, love and support for these fearless defenders of our nation, who have placed and continue to place themselves in harms way to ensure and secure the continued freedom of this great nation. Won’t you join me?

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

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Is Support M.I.A.?

Every now and then people do really nice things for one another. Some people are blessed enough to have this happen more times than they can count. Then there are those of us that have a hard time recalling when a gesture was made on our behalf that just blew us away. Well, I’m happy to say that I now know what that feels like.

A very good friend of mine knows all too well my struggle and is often on the receiving end of my ranting. Little did I know that she was gathering information to do the ultimate “good deed”. My friend took the time to research and set up a Gofundme campaign on my behalf and titled it: Hearts Connecting for Sylvia/shortlink: http://bit.ly/1ecBS8O or gofundme.com/heartsforSylvia. I don’t know who was more excited, her or me.

Aside from a handful of very giving people, the most peculiar thing is that the response has not been what we had hoped for. The campaign has been posted numerous times via social media. I am disheartened, disappointed, and down right sad to find that the people I expected to be supportive, are the ones that are quiet as a mouse. It costs nothing to share the link and make others aware of the cause, but that isn’t happening either.

When I view the campaign, it is astounding to me that there have been hundreds of visits to the page, but where is the support? Don’t people realize that a little goes a long, long way? A donation counts whether it’s $5.00 or $25.00, $50.00 or $500.00. Every bit helps and every bit counts. I would never have imagined I would be writing a post like this to express the urgency and the need. I have come to the aid of others on numerous occasions without a second thought. I’ve always been taught that if you’re blessed to give and show your support, than you should pay it forward.

I am trying so hard not to lose faith in people but this instance makes it very difficult. I feel like I’ve been walking a tight rope, slowly and cautiously, all the while thinking supportive people are behind me and there to catch me should I fall. But instead, I look over my shoulder, and not only are they not walking on the rope with me, but they they seem to have left the building. Many of these people I’ve known for many, many years so they know the strength of my character. The life battles that I am now fighting, have inspired me to be more transparent about my life than ever before. It’s not easy to be this open, but it does provide a kind of therapy to release my thoughts. I just need some support to carry the load. I may not be dying or on my last breath, thank God, but it’s a fight every day just to survive. So, I’m appealing to the goodness and selfless nature that I know must exist in most people.

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

Goodbye To My Girls….

Don’t you just hate goodbyes? Just as you get to know someone or get use to the way things are done, the person leaves or the situation changes. I think this has been the story of my life. It seems like I’m always saying goodbye to someone or something. Sometimes the goodbyes are bittersweet, in that people are moving on to bigger and better things, while leaving me behind. At other times, the goodbyes are just bitter, leaving me feeling like I’ve lost a part of me.

Well, I’m about to embark on the biggest goodbye of my life. The time has come for me to say the dreaded two words, that come together to mark the ending of an era. But this is no ordinary farewell. Honestly, even as I’m writing this, I still find it hard to wrap my head around it. How hard would it be for you to say so long to friends that you’ve known your entire life? These girls have rode with me through thick and thin; true ‘ride or die’ chicks. My girls have been there for me even when I didn’t seem to notice or unintentionally took them for granted. When the chips were down, they stood with me in solidarity, while lending there silent yet powerful support. They made me proud and instilled in me a confidence that made me honored to be represented so well by them. I can only hope that I’ve done them the same justice. Yet, the time has come in my life where I’ve come to realize that things can change, even my girls. My ‘ride or die’ crew is no longer what they once were. They’ve become a danger to me to me that cannot be ignored.

Even as I sit here, writing and sharing about how good my girls have been to me, it makes me so sad to think about what my life will be like without them. Of course, there will be newbies that will rise to the occasion I’m sure, but there will never be another pair to replace the originals, in my heart. I know that they would remain if they could, after all, they’ve been with me from the beginning. But I’ve got to let them go and it hurts in a way like nothing I’ve ever experienced before.

So, fellow bloggers, please keep me in your prayers and turn up the volume on Wednesday May 20th, as I undergo radical surgery and once and for all, say goodbye to my girls.

Sylvia Porter-Hall

Family First!!

Why is it so hard to share crucial news with family? These are the people we’ve grown up with our entire lives. Yet, it is often extremely difficult to disclose unfavorable news when these unexpected times arise. I know for me, the reasons vary widely.

I never want to feel like I’m burdening my family with any issues that pertain to me. I feel like they all have their own lives with respective issues to go along with everything else that they have to worry about. So why would I come along and make their load(s) even heavier? That being said, what’s worse, not sharing important life events or unloading all of our chaos on our families?

I chose to share my latest health crisis with each of my siblings, one by one. Each of them is so very different. It was so hard to say the words without choking up. These are the same people that I used to run, jump, skip, get into trouble at home with, defend from punishment until the end. Being the oldest of my siblings, sometimes holds me to a higher level to be emotionally and physically strong. So, when illness started visiting me more often a few years ago, I felt like I was somehow letting my them down. It was as though I was somehow damaged and that they could no longer look to me as their solid pillar of strength. Illness had chipped away at the ‘rock’ that they’ve always known me to be. So, here I was again, showing them that transparent and most revealing side of my vulnerability with this latest health interruption.

My family has been there for me through some very rough times. As I sit here writing this piece, I don’t recall them ever making me feel like I was weighing them down, in terms of giving them one more thing to worry about as a result of sharing. They’ve always been gracious and willing to jump in wherever and whenever I needed them and that is priceless. After all, that’s what family is for right? I guess I would feel pretty bad if there was something going on with any of them and they made the decision to not share with me, no matter what their reasons were.

It is sometimes very hard to look at things with the shoe on the other foot. My family has a right to feel like they don’t want to burden me further with their problems. I certainly have felt like that before, as I touched on earlier. At the end of the day, we are all blessed with the love of family for many reasons. They are the glue that helps to hold things together when the going gets rough. The load often gets to be a little too heavy to carry alone. So, God blesses us with siblings and parents that are down here with us on earth to provide the all-important emotional support and love that is so necessary for survival.

For me, the word family exudes togetherness, love, friendship, support and strength. It’s so easy to take it for granted when you have a supportive family. Unfortunately, not everyone does. Have you told your family lately how much they mean to you? When is the last time you told them how much you love them, or encouraged them in their life endeavors? If you haven’t done any of these things lately, maybe it’s time to do that. Let them know that you appreciate them always being there for you when you really need them the most, and even when you don’t. Now, obviously I can’t ask you to do that without doing the same myself. It’s an unwritten item on my daily list of things to do. Even on those days when I don’t speak to my family voice to voice, simply because of busy schedules and time demands, I send them love through my prayers, thoughts, and hopes for each of them. A quick text works well too, just to say, I love you and I’m thinking about you. Family first I say!! What say you?

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

Not Knowing Could Kill You!!

We all have routine things that we have to do and revisit from time to time. For the most part, we can often expect the same outcome. So we go about our business, not expecting any different results. For example: a routine medical appointment. You’ve had several follow-up appointments in the past and usually they have been uneventful, thank God. But then comes a time, maybe two, when you are caught completely off guard.

If you are anything like me, you may tend to do the majority of things in life on your own, flying ‘solo’ in most cases. Now, this may be for any number of reasons. It may be personal preference, or the fact that your usual support system is unavailable at the times when you could really benefit from their physical and emotional presence. For me, it’s a combination of both.

Yesterday, I went to my annual mammogram screening. Actually, I was overdue for my screening which is still a mystery to me. I could have sworn I had a screening in 2014, but records show that I had not had a screening since 2013. Wow! I really missed the mark on that one. I’m a real stickler when it comes to following up on all of my medical appointments, or so I thought. Yet somehow, this one escaped me. Forgive the old cliché in this instance, ‘but better late than never’.

As I sat in the lobby and watched people come and go, I noticed that quite a few women arrived in pairs. I’ve often heard of this ‘buddy’ system when attending mammogram screenings. The emotional support must be priceless. I’ve seen this many times before but for some reason, it really stood out to me yesterday. How I wished I had someone with me, if for nothing but to pass the time away.

I observed quietly while a pair of women would emerge from their testing, receive their favorable results and prepare to leave. They always seemed to be in such high spirits. After all, a clean bill of health in this instance is reason to be jubilant. I couldn’t help but wonder as I watched numerous women come and go, if they would go some place nice for lunch once they left the facility. Did they meet up with other friends to celebrate their favorable outcomes?

I continued to catch up on some reading while I waited for my results. I expected to be called from the left side of the room where those that have been screened are called into a specific room to receive their results. For some reason when my name was called, it came from the right side of the room; where people are called that still have to have their screenings done. My heart started pounding as I contemplated why I was being called from that side of the room. A technician greeted me with a wonderful demeanor and an infectious smile while advising me that a few more images were needed. If only she knew the bullets I was sweating and that she stood directly in the line of fire – an unsuspecting target, much like I felt as we made our way down the lengthy hallway.

This immediately took me back, a kind of de ja vu.  The year was 2001. At that time, I was again waiting patiently for my results when a technician informed me that the doctor needed a few more images. Unfortunately, I was diagnosed with breast cancer during the Breast Cancer Awareness Month of that year. Imagine that! Thankfully, it was caught in time. As a result, I am a survivor – a title I only want to hold once as it pertains to this potentially deadly disease.

As I followed the technician down the seemingly never ending hallway, I heard my heart beating loud and clear. I was convinced that the technician could hear it too. Several more images were taken at which point I was directed back to the waiting room. I noticed a few women noticing me return back to the same seat I was in before. I could almost see the questions within their kind facial expressions. There was a silent camaraderie that we all shared and that was both understood and appreciated. We were all there for the same reason(s), whether in pairs or alone as I was. I realized then and there, the beauty in this kind of unspoken sisterhood where no words or conversation is necessary.

Again, I was called from the right side of the room and asked if I was able to stay for an ultrasound. Oh my God! This could not be happening. Of course, I agreed as I couldn’t imagine leaving there without any and all necessary testing being performed. The doctor that performed the ultrasound was a breath of fresh air. He was very kind and thoroughly explained the images to me and the importance of looking deeper into his findings to ensure my health and safety. He even gave me his personal cell phone number to contact him if we miss each other concerning the results which should be available some time today.

By the end of a visit that began at 11:00am on yesterday, I had completed a needle biopsy in addition to all the other testing. I was able to finally leave after 3:00pm with many thanks from staff for my patience. Evidently, some people get really upset when they find they need to stay far beyond what they had originally planned for. I wasn’t happy about spending my whole day there, but I am very pleased and thankful for the prompt and thorough attention that was extended to me. I would much rather allow all the required testing while I’m there, rather than come back and forth at a later time. For me, it’s a no-brainer. Sometimes, we have to be inconvenienced in order to get to the bottom of red flags that we are made aware of when it comes to our health. After all, it’s the not knowing that could kill you, right?

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

2014 in review

Thanks so much to all visitors and fellow bloggers for taking the time to visit my blog. A special thanks goes to my most interactive and frequent comment makers: D’aller Naturel, Levi Thetford, connorphoto, Viktoryarch, and ubecute. Your constant support is invaluable to me! May I continue to bring you solid and entertaining content in 2015!! 🙂 🙂

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,300 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 22 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

My Blogging Family…

Hello all. I will just get right to the point. You may or may not have noticed that I’ve been pretty quiet or “off camera” lately, if you will. Life is happening to me so quickly lately, that I can barely keep up. Lots of fires burning; some big, some small. But I am can only put out one at a time, even though many are raging.

I basically want you all to know that I am still here, but very much under the weather. I am thankful for all of your readership and support and apologize for the lack of posts, but I simply haven’t been able to. One thing is for sure, out of all the rubble and ruin, some beauty and inspiration must emerge. I hope that it will be worth the wait. Again, thank you all for the tremendous love and support.

Sylvia Porter-Hall

Did You Know?…(8)

 

 

    • A great number of teachers are ‘unhappy’ in their jobs.
    • Harris Interactive conducted a survey for Metlife that found that public school teachers’ job satisfaction has reached plummeting levels as reported by the Metlife Survey of the American Teacher.
    • Teacher satisfaction is the lowest it has been in 20 years. The proportion of teachers that had been satisfied with their jobs decreased by 15% in only two years.
    • Out of all the teachers surveyed, only 41% allege being very satisfied in their profession as opposed to 59% in 2009.
    • Layoffs over the past several years have negatively affected the sense of job security that teachers once had.
    • Many other factors contribute to teachers’ low satisfaction for their jobs including: staff layoffs, elimination of after-school programs, lack of updated educational technology, deteriorating conditions in school buildings and grounds, witnessing students coming to school hungry.
    • Forbes ranks ‘teaching’ as one of the unhappiest jobs as reported by Jeff Dunn on April 4, 2013.

 

All of this is very disappointing and disheartening. Teaching is such a crucial and invaluable piece to the development of our young people. It would seem that some of the things contributing to teachers being ‘unhappy’, could be significantly decreased, but how? What can parents do to help stop the elimination of after-school programs? What can be done to help schools update educational technology? How can teachers, parents and students play a role in helping their schools with this? How unfair it is that students and teachers suffer because of deteriorating conditions in school buildings? Is there anything that teachers, parents and students can do about that? Sadly, some families are on the brink of starvation, if not already there. What can be done to ensure that more students receive breakfast at school, when they are unable to eat at home?

Teachers often face danger when they come to work. They shouldn’t have to, but they often do. Especially in this day and age with all the school shootings.(which could be a whole other post) How can teachers be expected to come to work and be ‘happy’ about it, when they often fear that danger may or may not happen? Police officers use to reign supreme in terms of a profession that ‘fear’ was and is an eminent part of. Unfortunately, teaching has now joined that rank. I’d say teachers have a lot to be dissatisfied or ‘unhappy’ about. All these are very tough questions and to answer any of them is definitely a daunting task, but we have to start somewhere. Maybe it should begin with you and me!

 

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

 

 

“Big Boy Pants” – One Leg at a Time

 

I thank the heavens for small favors. My one and only son has been showing some real signs of maturity lately. I’ve rubbed my eyes on several occasions to make sure I wasn’t seeing double or something but my eyes did not deceive me. Slowly but surely, he’s coming around…or so I thought.

He just purchased his first car a couple weeks ago. It’s seemed that this was a blessing in disguise. Along with the new responsibility of having a vehicle, came what appeared to be a more grown up attitude. Now some of you out there may be reading this and saying to yourself, my goodness, she sure doesn’t put her son in a very good light. I assure you, though it may sound that way, that’s not it at all. Just sharing some real life honesty with you.

Admittedly, I wish I could feel a bit more confident with his driving ability. The few times I’ve rode with him have been quite the adventure to say the least. He takes off from a standstill much too fast and his turns around corners….oh my! For some reason, he feels he needs to speed into the turn. I just don’t get it! Why do new and/or young drivers feel like they have to drive fast when they haven’t been driving very long? I would think they would feel safer going a bit slower until they are a little more experienced behind the wheel. But this isn’t the case with my son. And heaven help me if I say anything about his driving. You would think I asked him to hand over the keys! Sometimes that’s not a bad idea but anyway….I try to give constructive criticism when I see him doing something like taking off too fast or speeding into a turn and I do this amazingly without the parental panicked demeanor that I could have. Oh, and let me not forget the booming, vulgar rap music that he likes to blare from his new vehicle.

My son insisted on taking me to the store one day and as we were pulling off, he pressed a button that turned on the cd player, and the most explicit nonsense exploded through the car speakers. In this particular song, the rapper kept repeating the same obscene line….over and over again. As this racket hit my ears full force, I felt as though pure venom was being spat at me. I looked at my son like he had at least 2 heads, because I don’t know which one was in charge, but he needed to turn that darn crap off! He had the nerve to be mad that I looked upset! Seriously?! I vowed right then and there that I would rarely ride with him in the future if this is what it was going to be like! Then I had to hear about how it’s his car and this is the music that he listens to. Okay…that’s fine. I’m well aware that it’s his car. After all, I was with him when he purchased it. But where’s the maturity to realize that he could play this music any time being that it is rare that I am riding with him? I just grinned and beared it for the rest of the ride and I’m sure anyone that saw us that day, also saw the steam coming from me and pouring out through his car windows along with that horrible music!

It’s like someone lifted a veil from eyes one day and everything is crystal clear now. You see, I have been my son’s source for everything in his life…for all of his life – from day one. In the process of being there for him, I’m sure I’ve hindered him in many ways and with that comes regret. I can clearly see how dependent he still is on me.  Sometimes I am in awe about the things that he asks me or the way he views things. I am floored sometimes by his behavior when things don’t go his way. It’s like rewinding back at a high speed to when he was 4 or 5 years old. This may sound mean but it’s the simple truth. I’m down right scared for him at times because he feels he has a good handle on life but he really has no idea.

A lot of his naivete can be blamed on the fact that he still resides with me and has not experienced life on his own yet. (See recent post – Failure to Launch) I feel like the longer he lives with me, the more stifled his growth becomes. We’ve been together like two peas in a pod since the beginning of his life. He now has a hard time picturing me living all alone in a big house without him. Sometimes I want to scream, PICTURE THIS…I want my peace,quiet and solitude! Little does he know, life will go on for me, even when he moves out. I just hope and pray that he wakes up soon and puts his big boy pants on…even if it’s one leg at a time! Just put them on already!

 

Sundae, Fun day on Sunday Marks Memorial Day Celebration!!

This is an awesome post from my friend lucylula who is new to the blogging world. This is a beautiful piece that commemorates the Memorial Day holiday! Feel free to welcome her and show her some love by commenting. Enjoy!

Lucy Kool!!

Image

Correct me If I am wrong but I always remember that Memorial day was the last day of the Month. This year 2014 marks Memorial day to be celebrated on the third week of May. A little confusing I must say. Although I know what Memorial day represents, I admit I do take if for granted as much as a majority of Americans do,I suppose. If it weren’t for a Facebook status I created on marking Sunday as fun day to enjoy and have as the name implies, a delicious Sunday,fun day, sundae I would have truly not thought of the true meaning of Sunday or any other day of the week for that matter.

A friend replied with a  comment on my status stating  the following message:” Don’t forget to take a moment to honor those who have sacrificed so much for our freedom to allow us to have a sundae on…

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