In Full Bloom

My mother has always had a green thumb. When I was a kid, I loved being in the yard with her at the first sign of spring planting buds in her flower bed. For the petite woman she was, my mother had no problem pulling up weeds and hedging the bushes on any given Saturday afternoon. You would think I would’ve inherited this crafty skill, but not so. While I enjoyed spending time with my mom running through the sprinklers after she mowed the lawn, putting in the work was never my strong suit.

As I got older, it seems as though my mother was subconsciously trying to pass this trait on to me. Last year for Mother’s day, she got me yet another potted plant, as if I didn’t still have the empty ceramic dish from the last one she bought me that I fatally neglected. “It’s a hosta fragrant, DeJ,” she insisted, “Those are hard to kill.”

In the “white room” of her home, it’s practically a nursery. She has greenery for days. Vines and blooms like you’ve never seen before. Aside from the empty vase that once contained flowers I got for Valentine’s day, my home is also aligned with beautiful flowers, albeit they’re all artificial. And I prefer it that way. I barely have time to nurture things I do care about in life, let alone some…potted plant that’s bound to die, anyway.

“Kaye got a new bloom, I noticed,” she called me one day to declare of the plant she so lovingly named after herself. “It’s like whenever I’m coming out of my struggle, DeJ, she gives me a sign that something new is in bloom,” she continued. My mother has always been one for symbolism, so perhaps, this is where I get it from.

Gardening tips aside, I love the symbolism that springtime brings, too. Especially lately since I’ve been in somewhat of a slump. This week, I decided to do some spring cleaning. I’ve always felt like decluttering my home helped declutter my thoughts. After tackling my 2 biggest obstacles, my kitchen & my closet, I decided to give my fireplace one last cleaning of the season. As I gathered up the firewood to take to my outside storage, I stumbled upon the hosta plant that my mother gave to me last year. “Since I’m going outside anyway, I may as well put it out too,” I declared of the plant.

The next day, I made somewhat of a comeback to social media after a bit of a hiatus to clear my head. I explained how I’d hit a roadblock & needed time to reset. Before getting in bed that night, I closed the blinds to my patio doors & noticed a small shadow on the porch. When I went to investigate it further, I noticed it was leaf that had sprouted overnight. It reminded me of something my mother said, “Those are hard to kill.” And it gave me hope.

Don’t be jealous of the rose. You’re a hosta fragrant bouquet who, despite being deprived of sunlight & water, refused to die but instead decided to bloom. And after all, roses come by the dozen.

-TheRealBlackCarrieBradshaw

My actual hosta plant.

#LoveLettersToLouie

9-year old, Louie Schneider requesting letters from every state

A coworker of mine came in the office last week describing the scene on the highway of something compared to a royal escort. She said there was probably every law enforcement officer in the Pulaski county area present & that she didn’t know what was going on, but it was big.

Immediately, I got on “the Google” to see if we were being visited by a dignitary here in the state. I knew it couldn’t be the President. He happened to out of the country on some kind of expedition with someone in North Korea that day. That evening, I’d learn the tributes were for a little boy named Louie.

Louie Schneider is a 9-year old boy who’s currently in hospice care at an Arkansas hospital. He’s been diagnosed with a chromosomal abnormality and only has a short time left to live. As a final wish, of sorts, Louie requested one thing. He wanted letters from every state in America.

Hearing his story, it made me realize this, too was a #RealLifeLoveStory , but a love story of a different sort. And I wanted to send Louie a love letter of my own.

Often times when we set out to make a difference, we feel like we have to make grand gestures. But hearing the story of this sweet little boy made me realize the impact of something seemingly so small. As of this week, Louie had received letters from all states except New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Vermont and West Virginia.

Join me in sending #LoveLettersToLouie and be sure to share this story so that we can make his wish come true.

Mail letters to Louie here:

#LoveLettersToLouie
C/O Project Zero
10 Kings Court
Little Rock, Ark. 72211 

Happy Freakin’ New Year

new-years-eve-package-at-daytona-beach-top

I honestly didn’t expect it to happen this year. But on the eve of New Year’s Eve as I drove home, on a cold, rainy night no less, I felt the pressure rising up in my chest. To be honest, I felt it early Saturday morning when I woke up in a beautiful suite that overlooked my city, all alone. Continue reading “Happy Freakin’ New Year”

Daily Affirmation

I’ve always believed in the power of words. I’m a writer, after all, it kinda goes with the gig. My life is filled with hand-written inspirations of yellow sticky notes in my home, in my car, in my office. In my purse.

For no apparent reason yesterday, everything was going well when suddenly, I felt uninspired and overwhelmed. I wallowed in it for a moment before quickly deciding to change my own mind.

I woke up this morning, unsettled. For whatever reason, he was on my mind. My thoughts almost held me hostage again until I said this aloud, “If it brings you happiness, then it brings me peace.” I like the idea that whatever is bringing joy into someone else’s life brings me a sense of peace, despite the fact that it may hurt or inconvenience me. I’m choosing to put my feelings aside for someone else’s happiness, creating a peace within that. To some people, that may sound extreme. It may seem like I’m choosing them over me. But I find profound strength is choosing to be at peace regardless of someone else’s choices even if it hurt.

-TheRealBlackCarrieBradshaw