You A’da Know What Love Is…

When my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, my mom did what she does best. She circled around him and lovingly became his staunchest advocate; she became even more powerfully the backbone of our family; and she rolled up her sleeves and got to work. That work locally with our branch of the Alzheimer’s Association led to her being asked to serve on a federal council. At the time she was nominated to the NAPA Advisory Council, my dad alerted her of his knowing and approving of her accepting that great honor.

For two terms, totaling six years, my mom would travel quarterly to Washington DC to attend meetings and work towards changing the trajectory of Alzheimer’s disease while giving other families hope who deal with this devastating diagnosis in the future.

Late this July, just one week after burying her cherished sister, my mom returned to Washington DC to attend her final meeting after terming out. She has been an important voice on the national stage and, as always, we are extremely proud of her.

These were her closing remarks to her colleagues. It is worth a listen. On this day of celebrating the love that my parents shared (this would have been their 51st wedding anniversary), I can’t think of a better way to demonstrate how deep that love flows.

Congratulations, Mom! You are my shero, my angel, and my ultimate role model.</p>

#ENDALZ

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You A’da Know That I’ve Missed You!


Hello out there in blog-land! I know it’s been a minute, but I’ve been on a short hiatus due to unexpected family medical emergencies.

I’m working on some exciting new features and will be back real soon.

In the meantime, you A’da know I ❤️you!!

xoxo

You A’da Celebrate Friends!

I believe that in this life you are nothing without your community. So, when your friends do amazing things you need to cheer them on.

Today I celebrate my friend, Jeremy D. Howard, who debuts tonight as a cast member of the brand new MADtv revival television series on the CW!

Jeremy has a blessed and beautiful story that I will be bringing to you real soon here on You A’da Know. We had a blast chatting, if you can’t tell from the snaps I took of my computer while playing back footage of our interview.

Be sure to watch Jeremy, and the rest of the amazing cast, tonight and every Tuesday night, on the CW at 9:00pm EST/PST, 8:00pm Central, or check your local listings.

Congratulations, Jeremy D. Howard!

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Shaking Up The World 

 

 

Watching Muhammad Ali’s funeral procession last Friday was quite a remarkable and beautiful experience. All along the 23 mile route, there were thousands upon thousands of people lined up cheering, crying, mourning, chanting, throwing flowers, touching and kissing the hearse. Thousands, wanting their own moment to honor, thank, offer expressions of love and say goodbye. Poignant images, first a young man, and later on a little boy, ran alongside the hearse. Each in an Ali training stance next to the slow moving vehicle. Another was the shower of flowers being thrown. So many that the driver had to turn on the windshield wipers multiple times to regain visibility.

The greater beauty of this moment was the diversity of people who participated and shared in this ritual. People of all colors, races, religions and walks of life gathered in one accord to honor a man who touched their lives. A black man, a man of Muslim faith. A man who literally shook up the world and made it better. There was no fear, no hatred, no venom or vitriol, no divisiveness or ugliness lining those streets; just an energy of love and peace. This is the America that I grew up in and the America I want to see again.

The election season has kicked up a negative and hateful spirit, creating a scary time in this country. It seems we are at a tug of war for our values and what we as a people will stand for moving ahead. After seemingly taking steps forward in the election of our 44th President, there are some who would prefer to take us back to an uglier time in America. A time that many of our greatest voices stood against and fought with all they had to shake up America and the world to make the culture change. Some sacrificed their lives to do so, but America became greater because of it. Like Ali when he would take to the ring to fight his toughest and meanest opponents, we are in a serious battle for the very nature of who we are as a people. It’s time for this generation to come out fighting and, like Ali and other strong leaders in trying circumstances when up against the ropes, shake up the world. And make no mistake, the world is watching.

Ali extended his great legacy through what he accomplished outside of the ring once he hung up his gloves. A once controversial figure for standing up for his convictions, Ali became a symbol of inclusion, peace and love throughout the world. At home in America, he became a hero. A legend. An icon elevated even more by the grace and dignity with which he fought Parkinson’s disease for the last 30 years. He truly was The Greatest. And he is a product of America, who in spite of some ugly and shameful bruises in our history is great.

Seeing such a diverse group of Americans come together in such a seemingly disheartening time gave me hope. This is the America I grew up in and the America we need to fight tooth and nail to preserve. Not one person can be absent, or apathetic in this election cycle.

Muhammad Ali’s interfaith service was representative of his inclusive, peaceful and loving nature. There were many beautiful statements and remembrances to encapsulate the life of such a special man. Billy Crystal’s statement was markedly appropriate for such a time as this.

“Ali forced us to take a look at ourselves, this brash young man who thrilled us, angered us, confused and challenged us, ultimately became a silent messenger of peace, who taught us that life is best when you build bridges between people, not walls.” Billy Crystal at Muhammad Ali’s funeral service on June 10, 2016

You A’da know I am for tearing down the walls that continue to try to divide us. We certainly don’t need to build any more. Instead it is time to continue building bridges. Only then can we finally achieve our greatest good.

Where are my world shakers?

 

 

When The Greatest Loses The Fight …

My heart is really with Laila Ali, her siblings and the entire Ali family this morning.

I know all too well what it feels like to see your daddy who had always been your hero and a symbol and figure of strength for your entire life fall victim to a horrible illness that ultimately makes his body betray him and the image of that physical strength.

To see your dad deteriorate over the years is a horrible thing, but to see the fight that he musters to come against the illness that is doing everything to overcome him and in that to see your father fight it with dignity, beauty and strength of character makes him even more heroic ultimately.

Even under those circumstances, maybe especially so, to lose your father totally takes the wind out of you, makes you lose your footing, catches you completely off guard and grounds you to the mat. I guess that is very much what a knockout feels like in the boxing ring, only you never recover from it.

Whenever I hear of someone that I know my dad admired or loved passing on, I wonder what my dad says when he sees them walking through the Pearly Gates. This morning I imagine my dad seeing Muhammad Ali walk in and I know he got that twinkle in his eye, made that special grin, chuckled and walked up to the Champ and welcomed him home.

Rest in power, Muhammad Ali. Strength and love to the Ali family.

I miss my dad, my Champ and Greatest of All Time, so much. Continue to rest in power, Dad.

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The Diluting of the Birthday Wish…

I used to be the birthday queen! I can remember people’s birthdays like it is a superpower. To this day I remember a couple of ex-boyfriends’ birthdays that I wish I could forget, believe me.

prince-side-eye

I would always make a visit to drop off a gift, send a card, or make a call, drop an email, or sometimes a text. It was significant and it made the birthday person feel special, important, and cherished. People frequently wondered how I could always remember. I don’t know, I just do.

Then, Facebook came along and the art of the birthday wish became cheapened, base and anti-climactic. Anybody and everybody could now remember a birthday because they had a cheat sheet courtesy of Mark Zuckerberg. Gee, thanks.

That special crown I imagined on my head as the undisputed royal birthday wisher became as common as the paper one that you could get from Burger King with the purchase of a kids meal.

More recently I’ve taken on a new persona – The Birthday Grinch. Don’t get me wrong, I still remember birthdays. Within a week of the actual day, the designated person and their birthday will come to my mind. However, I find myself slacking more and more in making the effort to get online, go to the appointed page and type in the words. It’s become too much of a chore. As a result, I’m not as diligent on the empty, drab, obligatory “Happy Birthday” anymore. Sometimes I do it, but more often these days I’m likely to skip it.

That’s not right. I know that I need to dig deep down, break this new bad habit and find the birthday magic that I always loved to spread around to those I love. It’s time to  begin to renew that personal birthday connection that always brought so much joy to those who were on the receiving end of it.

Oh, and to the ones whose birthdays I’ve missed in my new rebellious phase let me take the opportunity to say:

Happy Birthday, (insert your name here)!!! Wishing you a (insert meaningless platitude here)!”

I’m sure you will eventually weed through the overindulgent birthday posts from the multitudes of people you don’t even know to get to my genuine greeting. A greeting from someone who you mean something to and who actually knows you. I’ll be looking forward to your general thank you to everyone who took the time to remember you. Most whom only did so after the notification popped up on their screen.

But, hey, you got three hundred birthday messages on your page! Love you…mean it!!

Tuesday Musings…

I’m definitely on a particular theme in this last week, but stay with me for a while if you will…

Sometimes the hardest thing about moving to the next level in your life is actually doing what you know needs to be done in order to propel you forward. You are fully aware of the exact steps that must be taken, you promise yourself that you will do them, but then…you drag your feet.

Maybe it is fear and insecurity that causes procrastination in accomplishing what needs to be done. Fear that you are so powerful that once you start on the path to doing what is required you will succeed past what even you thought was possible. Insecurity that you will be ill equip to handle it when that level of success and manifestation of your dreams actually comes and what it will all mean. It’s safe to stay where you are because you know what it looks like and what is expected of you there. Moving from that comfort zone means uncertainty, it means change and it means unfamiliar terrain.

I admit to being a bit complacent and allowing myself to get too comfortable and stuck in what seems to be a “safe” place for me right now. However, it is costing me too much to stay here and not do everything that I need to do to step into my full destiny. I was reminded of that in a very big way last night. The message was crystal clear…”A’da get going! You know what you need to do, so DO IT!!!” The directive was definitely received.

Sooooo, I’m restructuring and making room to do what needs to be done to get me to where I want and need to be in my life moving forward. It will take a lot of sacrifice, but I’m ready to do it. I’ll get by with a little help from my friends, as they say. That means holding me accountable and taking no excuses when I want to give them or don’t want to “adult” that day.

The worst that can happen is that I will fail. Then I would just have to pick myself up and start again. But the best that can happen is that I will soar and receive all that I am meant to have and more. I’m betting on the second option.

What have you been dragging your feet on? What steps do you know that you need to accomplish to get where you want to be? Let me know!

 

Lenahornethewiz

“Everything you were looking for was right there with you all along.”

Dorothy, you had it all inside yourself from the beginning!