It isn’t a coincidence that this next story is being published near Mother’s Day. It is one that is near and dear to my heart, this is a subject matter like menopause, one that is whispered about behind closed doors.
We do hope that you will be engaged, encouraged and empowered to learn more about mental illness. Thank you Aleka (aka my cousin) for sharing, you are a Woman of Excellence.
“It is hard trying to find some semblance of normalcy, while waiting to see what might happen next.”
I just love this first chapter. You have no idea how hard it is to write a review when you are privy to only one chapter! But the first indication that it was going to be good was that I did not want to stop reading, I even requested to read the next chapter!
From the first paragraph, Sheri has fashioned the female lead as relatable and warm. She nervously jokes with her husband and goes on a short time later to pray for a safe flight home even though she knows there may be disaster to come from a looming storm.
“Though she found him, her father was still absent. Her sorrow remained and the void had ‘no name.”
“Before I begin to read Chapter Two “None Given”, I’m overwhelmed with emotions as I didn’t know what to expect. It’s been 10 years and 2 months since “Ma” passed, and I’m saddened by the fact that it’s been that long, yet excited for the chance to revisit her existence as she was such a phenomenal woman whose light shined so bright.
As I began reading, the words on the paper were a blur from my tears flowing like a faucet. I had to pause and ask God to help me make sense of the words that I wanted to share…
“As I was going through her belongings, I found a birthday card that she never got to send me. I opened the card and it read.”
This chapter starts with thought provoking questions about how well you know your mother. It closes with questions that inspire a mother and a daughter to take off the mask, be deliberate about getting to know one another.
Sheri and her mom had a relationship that blossomed over time. Her mom was encouraging and continued to speak even after her passing; in the cards and letters that Sheri discovered.
Sheri was blessed to witness her mom grow in the Lord. But it was the journals that her mom left behind journals that revealed things her mom’s heart that she maybe didn’t get to all-together see. This chapter made me curious, I’d like to get to know a mother figure like hers.
Thank you, Sheri, for letting me read this selection. Your truth really touched my heart.
“Despite your praying and your encounter with God, are you still afraid?”
I find myself, almost daily, reflecting on the many similarities I share with my older relatives, and how much my personality has been shaped by them. Whether for the good or bad, if we are not careful, we will live our lives through their shaping, and not that of the Lord. We can take on traditions and ways that are in keeping with family, rather than within the borders of God’s Word.
Sheri’s book helps us stay, or for some return to the place where we fully identify with the Lord and recognize the differences. Reflecting is good and helpful; “remove not the ancient landmarks” according to His Word. With that said, our eyes are set on what lies ahead and taken together we can better live a fuller life. No more fragments; no more limits or uncertainties. Sheri’s book will help clear that path, for many.
“There are a lot of traditions that are passed down from one generation to another that are worth preserving.”
Three little words, such volume spoken here. What a blessing to have such sweet insight into one’s mother’s heart. A legacy of her love and faithfulness for the Lord, in her valley or on the mountain top experiences.
Every now and then, we look back and wonder what will our legacy will be? Have we made an impression upon our children’s hearts. This chapter makes one consider writing down some thoughts or being deliberate about making memories that will outlast us?
Even though it’s years later, it is profound to see where the spark started. Three little words, “I love you”, “A mother’s love”, “A Father’s (God) love” and “A Daughter’s love”.
DeLorise had that figured out and passed it on to her precious daughter, so she would pass the baton to the next generation.
“When Mom was finished, she stayed awake while I read my notes from the beginning to the end.”
What a warm and touching display of love and loyalty. Not only to the Lord, but within a mother & daughter relationship. I think it was a wonderful idea to parallel the story of Ruth and Naomi. Your writing is teaching the Word and life experience. Not only did your mom display her loyalty through her faith, but your relationship with her exhibited the loving heart of Jesus. One that stands beside us through all things.
I am reminded that we never have to be alone. Both, your mom and you displayed a sacrifice that is contagious. You devoted your time and love to her and she sacrificed her life to care for you. This memoir shall birth love and I pray reconciliation.
If that doesn’t sound like Jesus, I don’t know what does. By and large, this chapter grips at the heart strings and made me anxiously desire to read the next chapter. Well Done!
“…each of us will become all we were created to be – Woman of Excellence.
“Wow”, “wow” was my constant exclamation as I read through this. I am touched by your mother’s heart for others, despite her own pain and struggles. I am also touched by how much Jesus suffered to procure for her eternal life in Him. Amen, what a witness!
I can identify with the shaping process outlined in this chapter and my spirit jumped and leaped when I read the conclusion of the matter – my God, beauty for ashes! What an exemplary example of answered prayer, when a mother ‘s and a daughter’s prayer is heard.
There is a poem by Teresa Mahieu that I choose to help give you a snippet of my mom, Lula Alexander. The beauty of a woman is not in… the clothes she wears, the figure she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman must be seen from her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides. The beauty of a woman, is not in a facial mole, but true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows, the beauty of a woman with passing years—only grows.
My mom left an imprint in our hearts, especially during the years as a stay at home mother, which was sometimes a blessing and then other times a curse. My misfortune was when I decided to take my own personal day (without permission) and when she was home to intercept those phone calls from the school. The blessing was that she was there to take care of us. She didn’t stay at home because we were rich or well of, by no means; but she knew that these years were a priceless sacrifice that she was willing to pay.
During my adolescent years, there was a time when I felt that I was the black sheep in the family and that I was being treated differently by my mother. The light came on as I was raising my own kids. During their upbringing, I reflected on and pulled from how my mom reared me. She in her own way was teaching me how to be a strong, independent, God serving woman. One of the best things she has ever said to me, which I tell my adult kids and grandchildren to this day is, “I can show you better than I can tell you”. At the time, I didn’t really understand what that meant. I thought that meant it’s spanking time. No, she didn’t spare the rod, but what mom really meant was that she showed us love, strength, wisdom, loyalty and to trust God in everything you do.
She is a beautiful woman, inside and out. She does know how to dress and how to carry herself. Her soul reflects her true beauty that is still sown from her love of God. She doesn’t share with just her own family, but it is for whomever she has an opportunity to share with.
She is my foundation and my rock. I’m blessed, so thankful and honored to be the daughter of Lula Bell Wiggins Alexander.
Aging has given me a clearer understanding of the ups and downs of being a mom. I know that I could never have walked in her shoes. The strength I have as a woman, mother, friend and Christian, is rooted and fueled from Sylvia Dowdy (my mom). As I reflect at the challenges that she has experienced in her life, I am amazed how she made it through and overcame with such dignity. Even though I am 50+ years old, I still get them. The calls, voice messages and texts. “Where are you, it’s dark.” I chuckle because I’m reminded that she loves me just as much, as an adult, as she did when I was a child. As I reflect at the challenges that she has experienced in her life, I am amazed how she made it through and overcame with such dignity. Even though I am 50+ years old, I still get them. The calls, voice messages and texts. “Where are you, it’s dark.” I chuckle because I’m reminded that she loves me just as much, as an adult, as she did when I was a child. I still enjoy our talks, our laughs and even our tears. Thank you, God, for my lil lady, meddling as she may be I wouldn’t change this journey or the many more to come!
As I reflect at the challenges that she has experienced in her life, I am amazed how she made it through and overcame with such dignity. Even though I am 50+ years old, I still get them. The calls, voice messages and texts. “Where are you, it’s dark.” I chuckle because I’m reminded that she loves me just as much, as an adult, as she did when I was a child. I still enjoy our talks, our laughs and even our tears. Thank you, God, for my lil lady, meddling as she may be I wouldn’t change this journey or the many more to come!
I was born on November 30, 1974 in Bridgeport Connecticut to teenage parents who met each other at Harding High School in Bridgeport, CT.
My mother, Linda Evelyn Moore, was only fifteen and my father, James Edward Jennings, was seventeen.
My mother’s parents divorced when she was 2 years old and she went to live with her paternal grandparents. Her father worked a lot and although he didn’t live far from his parents, my mother saw him only once in a while. My mother’s mother chose to “move on with her life”, having other children and visited my mother only occasionally.
Standing in the gap for her 8 beautiful children and grandmother to twenty of the most joyful and jolly rugrats is our matriarch, Angela R. Tunsill.
My siblings and I are close in age, but this never seemed to be a challenge for our mom. We all felt and still know that we are all equally loved. Growing up, mom made sure we were well dressed and feed ‘really’ good. Our home was filled with laughter, it was an environment where we were able to talk about anything.
As a twenty-eight-year-old, married mother of three; I am proud to say I still seek my mother’s approval, as well as advice. My mom has been the example and set a standard which I implement as I fashion my own family.
Our mother has had her fair share of challenges. Dark days where she lost hope, wanted to give up and frequently asked, “Why me?” Strangely enough, these seasons of her life, motivated and strengthened her.
Our mom always said, “When you all grow up, I want you all to be better than me.” She knew we saw her struggles, the abuse and trying to make ends meet with little to nothing. I know what she meant, as I find myself struggling from time to time, having a family of my own, while assisting the upbringing of my nieces and nephew.
This year has been a frustrating and exasperating one for her. Two of her children, who went astray are now incarcerated. In addition, all in the same year; three different grandchildren passed away. But in the midst of her tears, her questioning why, what did she do to deserve this, where did she go wrong, she remains the backbone for our family.
The trauma and the loss of a loved one has the ability to break anyone, but not my mom. When you look at her, she doesn’t look like what she is going through. She continues to stand with her head held high and a smile on her face.
My mom means the world to me, and if I could give her the world, I would. She deserves it all and so much more. Angela R. Tunsill, you are a Woman Of Excellence, I love you mom!
For most of us as adolescence we were told about puberty, menstruation and pregnancy; but not about menopause. It’s humorous that it took us almost 12 years to get to puberty and only 12 consecutive months to confirm that we are menopausal.
Menopause is the time when a woman’s menstrual period ends. Menopause is considered complete when a woman has been without her period for one year. Menopause can occur any time between ages 40 and 60. On average, it occurs at age 51.
By the year 2030, it is expected that there will be 1.2 billion women who are 50 years of age or older. That means there will be a large amount of females embarking on their journey through menopause.
With these statistics, regardless if one is peri (the time in a woman’s life shortly before menopause), meno (the ceasing of menstruation) or post(the time after which a woman has experienced twelve (12) consecutive months without a period); it is in our best interest to connect with as many sister-friends as we can.
I suffered in silence for a long time because Menopause in the past has not been a subject matter that is generally spoken about. But in the last 10 years or so it is coming to the forefront and we will continue to pause and share so that women realize that in this season of their lives they are not alone!
It may not seem like it in the midst of the hot flash or night sweat but there is light at the end of the tunnel for Menopause is a season of preparation for the latter part of our lives! My story is shared in Pausing With God A Journey Through Menopause. Available in English and Spanish,, Get your copy here.
It is something to lose someone any time of year, but I say a special prayer for those who have lost a loved one during or around the holiday season(s).
The other day, we were jolted by the news of another childhood friend had passed away. Though we hadn’t kept in touch, it was ironic that a few weeks ago, out of the blue, she sent me a very encouraging message on social media. We conversed, and both probably thought to ourselves, we have to do better with staying in touch. But life interrupted and any chance of that is now gone.
Someone asked what’s the Mother & Daughter Brunch all about.
In 2001, after having been a volunteer at a local Boys and Girls Club for a while, we saw that there was a lot of untapped talent in the youth we were mentoring . We came up with an idea to surprise and showcase their gifts to their parents.
What began as a Mother & Daughter breakfast, started with 25 participants, a toaster and microwave; surprised us the following year with 175 attendees and a full brunch. One of the best parts was because of the support and donations were able to host the event for FREE!
I will assume there are several women out there who are like me who prefer a female OB/GYN. My reason though it is humorous now, was not funny at first. My story began, years ago when I was a KIDS Church leader. It was time for my annual check-up and so off to the doctors I went. After completing the check-in ritual, I was shown to the examination room where put on the designer gown and patiently waited for my doctor to come in.
Pausing to take this opportunity to spread the word and raise awareness. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness.
Breast cancer is the second most common kind of cancer in women. About 1 in 8 women born today in the United States will get breast cancer at some point.
The good news is that most women can survive breast cancer if it’s found and treated early. A mammogram – the screening test for breast cancer – can help find breast cancer early when it’s easier to treat.
Using the pads of your fingers, move around your entire breast in a circular pattern moving from the outside to the center, checking the entire breast and armpit area. Check both breasts each month feeling for any lump, thickening, or hardened knot. Notice any changes and get lumps evaluated by your healthcare provider.