Two Years.

No matter how much my head tries to prepare for the day, my heart knows what it means and feels the full weight.

April 16, 2016.

Two years ago everything changed. Two years ago today three cars took me from a wife to a widow. Two years ago today I left the movies with my husband and ended that typical Saturday with the need to bury that beautiful man a week later.

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Happy 41st Heavenly Birthday, Baby

Balloons, cake, laughter and love. They are elements typically required to celebrate a birthday. Last year I incorporated all of those into my husband’s 40th heavenly birthday party.

Yup. I threw Rasheed a party nearly a year after he had passed away.

I mainly did it because that man never wanted me to make a big fuss over him, but a few days after his 39th birthday (and a few weeks before he was killed) he agreed to allow me to throw him a big 40th celebration where he could see all of his frat brothers, high school, college and business school classmates, and colleagues from throughout the years.

He never made it, but our friends and family did.

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In Returning and Rest

Sometimes you need to take some time to simply breathe.

It’s easy to feel the heartache, the difficult job, the sickness, the disappointment we’re feeling from whatever ails you in life is your sentence. Don’t.

Trials will come, but they won’t last – at least not with the same weight.

Those difficult times are merely seasons, and like all seasons they won’t go on forever. Rest and the simple act of unplugging for a bit will help you make it to the other side.

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Just Breathe.

Sometimes I give myself permission to just… be.

No smiles. No sparkle. To breathe deeply through the good moments and the bad. To love hard because that’s all this life is about. To fiercely protect my family from the fools of this world and my own inner child, as well, because we all need a warrior, and baby, I’m up to the task.

2017 wasn’t easy, but I’m grateful for the growth it brought me. I can start to see the light that permeated even the mundane moments we shared when my Rasheed was by my side. If I’m honest, God allowed my heart & my spirit to break more times than I thought I could survive in these last 21 months, but He’s also taking the time to rebuild me. Continue reading

Finding the New Me in an Old Body

‘tis the season to reflect, right? I mean, this time of year, you can’t help but look back on what you accomplished, what you didn’t, and what you’d like to do in the new year. A recent conversation with my bff made me realize how much I’ve physically changed this year.

A few weeks ago I had posted something random on social media. She asked if I was eating. I thought she meant at that moment because she was about to tell me something gross. She meant in general. To be honest, I’m no skin and bones and I’m happy with that fact. I’m a grown-up who has curves and I’m proud of them. However, after my text exchange, I hopped on the scale and was surprised by the number staring back at me.

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When the Color Starts to Return

It took a while.

And things aren’t perfect.

But the color is starting to return to my life.

The sadness still lives there in my heart, my world, but as I’ve been told, grief doesn’t ever disappear. You don’t get “over it”; you simply get through it – one day at a time. You learn to live with it.

But the good thing is I can start to feel good things again.

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My American Quilt

“Mom, can I have fries with my shawarma?”

My American experience is unique. Born in Houston, my parents moved me to the Middle East when I was four years old. My dad’s job transferred him. The move changed our lives. It wasn’t just the food we ate, the roads we traveled or even the fact my mom could no longer drive those roads because women weren’t allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia. That move opened my eyes to opportunities. My world literally became bigger.

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International Widows Day 2017

It’s difficult to believe that nearly one year ago I embarked upon a remarkable journey with my good friend: we planned a trip to India’s City of Widows in only a few weeks.

It’s only fitting to take a look back at that journey today, June 23rd, which has been declared “International Widows Day” by the United Nations.

XO

Original video posted on HuffPost: Samosas, Soy Milk & Sadness