Like many people, I tuned in to see Oprah Winfrey sign off from her long running talk show. During that eventful week she shared with her audience pearls of wisdom that she gained throughout her life, she put them all in a book called What I Know for Sure. Of course Miss Winfrey started a trend that ask the question, “What do you know for sure?”

At my age, I have learned that what I thought I knew for sure when I was a teen, in my 20’s and 30’s, was based on nothing but a lack of experience, love, and pain, or sorrow – Living. After doing what my mother use to say, “Live a little longer Baby and you see things differently.” I have been living, sometimes carelessly and other times courageously. Today I can say with measured confidence (I am not to make some adjustments)  about what I know for sure.

My mother use to tell me that you do not have to reinvent the wheel, adding that it would behoove you to learn from other’s mistakes, with that being said I would like to share with you the Ten Things I Know For Sure:


  1. When people tell you how they are, believe them. (I have come into the knowledge that Maya Angelou said that so since she is older than my mother I will also credit her with that lesson.) Why do we tend to act so surprised when someone does something to us that may cause us pause or hurt us? If we were paying attention they already told us through their actions, words, or even behaviors who they are and who they have the potential to be. We get stung when we do not believe them.

  2. What goes around comes around Karma. In the church we say, “You will reap what you sow.” I do not think I need to expound on that.

  3. Trust your instincts, especially women; they are given to us to help protect us. Often times before something happens to us we get a “feeling” that is our instinct kicking in, we must learn to trust it and even look for it. I believe it is God’s whisper to us.

  4. If you have to figure out how a man/woman you are seeing feels about you, they are not that into you.  Got It!!!!

  5. Healthy Love brings Joy. Where does the origins of love hurts come from? That is Crap! Love does not hurt. Selfishness hurts and people who do not mean you well or do not have your best interest at heart hurt you but let’s leave Love out of that description.

  6. God Loves Me. I was a child of faith who has grown to become a woman of faith. As simple as this may sound to some. I know God loves Me because God has shown me over and over again.

  7. Everyday is a brand new day to start over again. The thing about tomorrow is that it is a clean slate. When I was leaving my first marriage (a very abusive one) a woman that was helping me move stopped me from taking the broom with me. When I asked her why she said, “Do not bring yesterdays dirt onto your new and clean floor.” I left broom and walked into my new clean beginning.

  8. Learn to Love, Cherish, and Care about the person you see in the mirror Love yourself. We may not be perfect and that is not the point, but we are special. God created each and every one of us and wants us to be well. We cannot become our greatest self if we do not take care of ourselves. Ladies and Gentleman, place the Oxygen Mask on your face first before placing on others. That oxygen is learning love ourselves.

  9. No one has it all together. We all are struggling with something.

  10. Spend time with God daily. Get quite! Find a quiet space or place where you have the greatest chance of drowning life’s noises out. You can pray, which is simply having a conversation with God. You can journal. You can do whatever it is that allows you to relax and center. It is in that space where you can be with our Creator.

What do you know for Sure?






Hi Everyone, In 2017 I started a blog post called “Promote Your Blog” where fellow bloggers could share and promote their blog with the MIU community. This post resulted in 25,000+ views and 4,000+ bloggers sharing the who, what and why behind their blog. I want to create a new directory to even out the […]

via Promote Your Blog in 2018 — MakeItUltra™



A couple of years ago I went to see a movie starring Will Smith called Collateral Beauty. The reviews were not good but the cast was incredible, so I took my chances. Contrary to the critics, I found Collateral Beauty to be a thought-provoking, well-written, and a well-acted piece of work. This blog is not about the movie but rather about a brief scene from the movie that I have given much pause to as it relates to the passing of my mother.

This thought-provoking scene featured an older woman who sits down next to a young mother whose daughter is dying and she gives a strange piece of advice that could even be perceived as insensitive or cruel:COLLATERAL BEAUTY 2

Brigitte: [sitting in hospital hallway] Are you losing somebody?

Madeline: I’m sorry?

Brigitte: Who are you losing?

Madeline: [breath trembling] Um, my daughter.

Brigitte: Just make sure you notice the collateral beauty.

As my mother was transitioning into her place of rest (Heaven), there were memorable and life-changing moments that I now understand to be the Collateral Beauty.

First ~ She was a well-loved woman

My mother only remained in Hospice Care at home for 5 days before her passing and during that time more than a hundred people made their way to our home for the chance to say goodbye, thank you, and I love you. I watched each of them, which included children, women, and men who patiently waited their turn.

Then ~ My friends gathered around me

I am blessed with wonderful friends. I saw how much my friends cared for me as my mother my dying. It was as if they scheduled their days to make sure I was cared for by bringing food, cleaning, entertaining the folk who flowed from the house until the final moments.

Also ~ My Best Friend’s love for me

My Best Friend is a midwife who was living about 5 hours from me. She had worked two very long shifts for consecutive days. She called me to ask basically if my mother was still with us. When I said yes, she got in the car and drove to me. She arrived after 10 pm, which would be the last night of her life. She sat with me and counting each breath with me until we got to 1 breathe every 90 seconds for 3 hours. Then when my mother passed she prepared her body after we left the room so that she appeared to be resting comfortably and not forever resting.

Another Thing ~ I found strength and faith that I did not know I had

There is nothing that can prepare you to say goodbye to a parent-Nothing. My mother passed on a Tuesday morning but the last time I heard her speak was Saturday afternoon. As her guest were coming to sit with her, kiss her, thank her, and just find out a way to let her go, she called my name. I was not in the room but as her caretaker, I had superhero hearing attuned to only her sounds. I went to her and whispered in her ear, I will not leave you until you take God’s hand, Mommy.

After 5 days of her fighting to breathe, on the fifth day, I said, “Thank you, Mommy, thank you! Well done. We are going to be ok. You can go and rest now. You are going to be able to breathe soon and you are going to get out of that wheelchair and walk. Say, hello to everyone Mommy. I will see you again. I love you.”

The child in me screamed, “Please don’t leave me, PLEASE!” My parents raised me to have faith and to trust God, and I did and I do. It was that faith that gave me the strength to love my mother unselfishly until her last breath.

Finally ~ Love Never Dies

While my mother is no longer physically here with us, there has not been one day that has gone by that I have not felt her love. There have been special moments over the last six years that I have heard her voice, felt her presence, and heard her praying for my brothers and me.


Through the tears and during “The Missing,” I have become acutely aware of the Collateral Beauty found in Goodbye. Goodbye comes with its own peculiar gifts and a joy, I dare say. The beauty of it all is having had the experience of a mother, wonderful and giving, who loved me until and through her dying breath.  Rest in Heaven Mommy (March 13, 1945 – January 17, 2012)













Every year I go to church on New Years Eve, it is a tradition in my family. Out of the 50 plus years I have been in attendance at New Years Eve Services, I am only haunted by one.

There was not one minute in the days leading up to this New Years Eve that I did not think of you and since wish for one more conversation with you.

I am your child, adult as I may be, when the doctors tell you that your Mom is terminally ill you both hear it and not hear it all at the same time.  I knew you were tired.  I considered briefly that this would be your last year with us but I had not considered that we would not have anymore conversations.

I rushed home Mommy, to tell you all about the service and never once did I imagine you would not be awaiting my arrival.  I was meant with a note that informed me you had been taken to the local hospital.

I rushed to the hospital.  I found you in a coma and they were not sure you would wake up again or even be the same if you did.  I should have stayed home and bought in the 2012 with you; I should have been there.  We could have had a great conversation.  I could have gotten in a few last questions that only occurred to me as I stood by your grave.  I could have told you about a few last secrets I had kept from you as a teen and we could have laughed out loud about my adventures.  But I was at church…

Instead, I sat next to your bed and I talked to you while you rested, while you slept, while you were in your coma.  Mommy, I am sorry I did not opt for a conversation with you on that New Years Eve.  God would have understood.  I often wonder if you would have preferred for me to stay home or if you saw me as selfish for continuing a tradition that night?

I have had a number of one-sided conversations with you about that New Years Eve of 2011 and I always come back to this – you know your children and you know me.  Then I remember, you are my mother and your love for me crosses through time and space.  I was where you taught me to be.

My definition for conversation has expanded since your physical absence. In the expansion of my definition, I have had sweet talks with you-Conversations!

Happy New Year Mommy (Always loving you),



To the reader my mother would come home to die in Hospice Care January 17, 2012 but she would never be well enough to have a Conversation.

What Do You Want in 2018?

Happy New Year,

I asked myself and my Bible Study group what did they really truly want to see in their lives in 2018.  I am asking you the same question but before you answer, consider these parameters:

  • Dream Big and then Bigger
  • Ask yourself why you are afraid to even consider the Dream, the Wish, the Hope?
  • Ask yourself is this a selfish request or will your Desire(s) benefit others?
  • Get a piece of paper and your Bible

Ready, Set, Dream and by Dream I mean Pray.  God really can and will give us the desires of our heart.   I know sometimes it feels God simply is not listen, not answering, or does not care.  I assure you God sees and God hears and God cares.  So, I am challenging you and myself to try God this year with the Faith of a Child, believing that Daddy and Mommy will not disappoint us.

Get your piece of paper and write down your prayer(s), remember not to limit God.  Write the date and fold the piece of paper and place it near your favorite scripture.  Next year, we will retrieve our piece of paper and see how God has answered.  Keep in mind God requires us to move in faith and to work toward the goals and dreams and prayers that we have.  Faith without Works is dead!

Beloved, Pray for me and I will pray for you.



A New Year Prayer

A Prayer For the New Year


Grant that I may pass through the coming year with a faithful heart. There will be much to test me and make weak my strength before the year ends.

In my confusion I shall often say the word that is not true and do the thing of which I am ashamed. There will be errors in the mind and great inaccuracies of judgment.

In seeking the light,
I shall again and again find myself
walking in the darkness.

I shall mistake my light for Your light
and I shall drink from the responsibility of the choice I make…

Though my days be marked with failures, stumblings, fallings, let my spirit be free so that You may take it and redeem my moments in all the ways my needs reveal.

Give me the quiet assurance of Your Love and Presence. Grant that I may pass through the coming year with a faithful heart.

Author, Howard Thurman

Why Blog ?

I am going to keep this short and to the point.  I hear tell I am great teacher, philosopher, and all around speaker; whether that is true or not, I do not know.  I do know this – I Got Something to Say!  I thought I might end the year by trusting myself and by believing that someone might just benefit from my experiences, many good and some not so great.  I promise as I share with you to be transparent and real.

I have all kinds of stuff to share, from lipstick to faith and from Pop Culture to empowerment, and in no particular order.  I am looking forward to the adventure of daring to Live Out Loud and I hope you will dare to do the same.