Empty Chairs


empty chair

Today’s #TBT story was inspired by a writing prompt about an empty chair and a snippet of a documentary I saw years ago. It’s a bit of a sad story, but I hope you enjoy it!

Originally posted on Nikewrites Blog:

empty chair


I was angry. Even though two years had passed, the pain was still deep. I understood her attempt at an apology was meant to bring closure to me and my family, but I felt like she was just trying to ease her conscience. It didn’t stop me from wondering what kind of animal she raised. There wasn’t anything that she or her son could say to ease the pain. I stopped short of wishing her son dead. I wasn’t cold enough or hateful enough to wish this kind of pain on anyone else.

There isn’t a word that describes the loss of child. There’s simply a void – a painful, sickening,  and overwhelming void. A piece of my heart died. The person that was a physical part of me for nine months, who I nursed and held in my arms, that looked up to me with loving and…

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What’s In A Name

Image by Harry Hook, BCC

           Image by Harry Hook, BCC

She was one week old. In our family, we don’t name newborns right away. We take a few days to observe the child’s demeanor and get acquainted with her spirit, first. On the seventh day, our family gathered for the naming ceremony. Everyone takes part in naming the baby, praying and speaking affirming words over her. We aren’t just naming her body. We’re naming her spirit.

We dressed ourselves and the baby in our finest garb then headed to the church. The rest of the family and the Pastor met us there. I was almost as excited about the ceremony as I was at the thought of meeting her when my labor pains began. I was eager then to seeing the face of the person that caused my body to reject my favorite foods as I carried her, and the face of the person that kick boxed with my ribcage and bladder during the latter part of my pregnancy. I had a name for her when I finally saw her: Xena the Warrior Princess. But I didn’t think that name would go over very well with her father and the rest of the family. My husband and I already agreed to call her Hadassah, because she is one of my favorite people in the bible. We want our daughter to grow up to be brave and have a love for God and her people just like the young lady many know as Esther.

At the ceremony, we prayed and sang. In between people called out potential names for our little girl. The godparents and grandparents touched the baby’s tongue with wine, salt, honey, cayenne pepper, coconut oil, water, lime and kola nut. These flavors symbolized the ups and downs of life and her ability to endure and overcome them. Then, my husband’s great-grandmother took and washed my baby with herbs. She wrapped her in an indigo quilt and examined my daughter’s face carefully. My child opened her eyes and looked into her great-great-grandmother’s face, and offered a quick smile. Everyone watched the exchange between the youngest and the eldest quietly. It was like they had a long exchange of thoughts in that brief moment and they seemed to come to an agreement. Great-grandmother kissed my daughter’s forehead and whispered her names in her ear. She placed my daughter in my arms and whispered the names in my ear, kissed my cheek, smiled and nodded in approval. I stood and, with my husband beside me, introduced my daughter to everyone,

“Her name is Hadassah Olufemi Zaria Eniola.”

Great-grandmother lead the family in affirming Hadassah’s name. They called my daughter brave and compassionate, loved by God, a beautiful and blossoming flower, and they called her wealthy. We name our children according to what we see in them and with for all the hopes and dreams we have for them. She will not recall the day she received her name, but she will know, every time we call her name, that we have great hopes for the type of woman she will become.



Today’s #TBT piece is the first post from 2014’s A to Z challenge. For some people, being alone is a frightful thought! But, it’s not a bad thing to spend some time by yourself. “Alone is not lonely.” Remember that!

Originally posted on Nikewrites Blog:

Alone I arrived,

And the same way I’ll die.

No one for company

While I grew inside.

But alone is not lonely,

Do not be so fooled.

Lonely feels hollow,

While alone is yet full.

Alone with my thought,

My desires and dreams,

I’ve discovered the life

I want and need.

Not introverted or selfish,

In solitude am I.

I’ve just learned to

Embrace solitude

And savor quiet time.

When all others fail me

Or leave me excluded

I won’t fret over the loss.

I will embrace my seclusion.

Alone is not lonely,

Do not be deceived.

For when I’m alone,

I learn more about me.

http://mashat.deviantart.com/art/walking-alone-123309004 Walking Alone by Mashat

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Self-Portrait – STCW Writing Challenge


Today’s Throwback Thursday piece made me smile. Four years later, I can’t think of a thing I would change about this (with the exception of the “new” color dotting my hairline. But even that is of minimal concern!) I guess this is what aging gracefully is all about! Happy Thursday friends!

Originally posted on Nikewrites Blog:

The face is familiar. There are five different faces looking back at me. My mother, my father, my aunt, my child and my grandfather look back at me. Yet, I’m an original. I remember when I was thinner. My skin was smoother. My hair was longer. My eyes were brighter. Now, there is a veil – a thin film over my face. Life was etched around my eyes, across my forehead, on either side of my mouth. The dark circles under my eyes aren’t from a lack of sleep. Maybe they are. I those dark circles are from the tears I’ve cried. That’s what I think. They are evidence of over-dried tear ducts. The parentheses around my mouth are smile lines. They are frown lines. I smiled for every love I thought I discovered and embraced. Then I scowled when the love I thought was real, vanished like no more…

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To Leave You

For today’s Throwback Thursday post, I dug in the archives and found this poem that I wrote in 2013. I’d almost forgotten about it! I hope you enjoy it! Happy Thursday!

Being listened to and heard is one of the greatest desires of the human heart.
-Richard Carlson

To find you

The same way I left you,

Oh, that would be a shame.

Whether you were well

Or down on your fortune,

To be stagnant is a disgrace.

Time is a currency meant to be spent,

Not killed, nor simply passed by,

But it should be spent wisely,

Invested and well accounted,

And enjoyed one moment at a time.

To leave you

The way I found you,

Now, that is a sin for sure!

While, I need not sermonize,

Criticize or scold,

I have a duty to add to your greatness

Whenever we may meet.

It’s my duty as God’s creation

To increase your value

Even if it means I never speak.

If all you require is an open ear,

Then that I will be, for you, with honor.

For to listen,

Is to fulfill your heart’s greatest desire.

Who am I to deprive you of such a treasure?

To live in a box,

Is to regard life as a trifle!

For, to a box we will go

As our final resting place.

When we lay in rest,

Friends and family will recount

Precious moments of our lives.

This audit of time will be marked

By anecdotes of the marks we left on them.

May those memories be kind and true

Whether we receive accolades or not.

You can’t take your treasures with you

When you die.

Don’t exit this world,

Without leaving a deposit.

Beauty is Fleeting


Happy Throwback Thursday peoples!!

Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.

Enjoy today’s piece! :D

Originally posted on Nikewrites Blog:

Young Reflections Young Reflections

“I used to be beautiful,” she said as she looked into the mirror. “Now, I’m old and my beauty is gone.” I studied her reflection as she fixed her hair and put on her earrings. Her skin was dark, and baby soft, without a spot or scar. There were lines across her forehead, around her mouth and at the corners of her eyes.  The skin around her neck was loose, but not lined. I didn’t see any missing beauty. I’d seen pictures of mama when she was twenty. She was just as beautiful today as she was fifty years ago, when the pictures were taken.

“You’re still beautiful, mama.”

“With all these lines in my face? No. Beauty is fleeting. Says so in the bible. Mine faded long ago.”

“But, there’s more to you than your face. You could’ve worn a paper bag over your head from the…

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