In light of the new normal, burial is set for 12:45PM on Tuesday, 5/5/20 at the Pinelawn Cemetery.
“Mama, If I knew you were getting ready to leave me, there is so much I would have said and done with you. Yes, hindsight is 20/20 for sure!
I would have braided your hair everyday, ridiculous though that may sound. For I will never forget your expressions of satisfaction each time I did your hair.
I would have “fixed” a Scrabble game so that you could “flog” me just in case it was clear that Jim or I would be the winner. I promise, I would. For your gleeful expressions after you had “flogged” us were second to none!
I would have made you smile so many more times by asking God to make it possible for me to entertain you by spontaneously bouncing on your bed a lot more times.
I would have, again, taken the risk of preparing you a dish I thought you might have absolutely enjoyed; “knowing” that you would have dismissed it as being not up to par…for after all, you wereonce “a domestic science teacher who should know what food should look and taste like”. Believe me when I say that would I would have received that as water off a duck’s back! I would not have been offended that you preferred your bread and rotisserie chicken instead of my culinary delight.
I would have joined you one more time as you recited your favorite Psalms which you had asked Jim to read the other day – not because you could not see those bold letters in the book, or because you could not recite them word for word, but because you were on a mission as the ultimate Mother and Teacher, to instill the word of God into the spirits of your grown kids.
You might find this hard to believe, but I would have eased up on my role as your “Dr. Pepper” – the one committed to making sure your bonafide primary care physician’s instructions were being followed to the T so that you could live a long and enjoyable life and impart wisdom into the psyche of your grandchildren.
I wrestle with the most hunting “IF” at this time, I can hear your rebuke: “what is wrong with you?” You did your best, I was the medically delicate one who ended up outliving your Father by almost 6 years. You were my “Dr. Pepper,” remember?
Yes Mama, I hear you, and as hard as this is, I promise I will remain consoled by your reminder which thankfully, is just a tip of the iceberg of a most meaningful Adult Daughter – Mother experience from close proximity that God afforded us for over 20 years.
Rest In Peace Mama, even though I know you are not through with us yet. It wouldn’t surprise me if you and Papa along with Christian Jr. have already petitioned God for healing mercies for my other half, and your Son-In-Love, Jim. We will miss you as we attempt to recognize Papa’s 6th year in heaven today. Please give him a big hug for us.
I will sign off for now with your most favorite ‘anthem’ which we will continue to sing every first Sunday as has been the practice for years now. Except that is time it will be sung in your honor and memory. Needless to say, the lyrics mean much to us now.
Every October, in honor of National Arts & Humanities Month, local arts and community leaders partner with Americans for the Arts to host Creative Conversations.
In 2011, My Time Has Come Program invited Long Islanders to participate in community engagement by hosting a free “Creative Conversations and Artistic Expressions” event at the Merrick Golf Club House. Each time I stumble upon this picture, a narrative other than that which describes the obvious pops up in my mind. 8 years later, my reaction to a picture that captured a lot more than that which might be obvious to the naked eye is still the same. Hence my decision to share!
What on the surface looks like a man, possibly a workshop facilitator, lending a hand to a workshop participant is, to me, a true reminder of how unstoppable one can be as they follow their bliss. In reality, this picture captures the esteemed Mr. Waldo Cabrera (also a professional Graphic Artist) who was on the scene to conduct an interview for his My Long Island TV Program in action. When Mr. Cabrera, without hesitation, picked up a linocut tool to assist a participant with carving out her design for printing, I knew he was the “Real McCoy”.
For, one thing I know about creatives is that they gravitate toward doing what they are cut out to do and to be with no hesitation – the facilitators of problem solving! I knew that 10 wild horses could not hold him back from giving of himself and subscribing to the solution of the moment. Assisting folks who had no prior knowledge of the print-making was an act of selflessness that will never be forgotten; particularly since Mr. Cabrera’s “job” was to conduct an interview and not to be a co-facilitator.
A Madonarism on Artists as the facilitators of problem solving
“This ‘making lemonade out of lemon’ frame of mind incidentally, keeps one grounded, relevant and empowered – even in times of adversity and in the presence of obstacles.”
I am proud to be a member of this creative solution-focused society, thank God! And yes, he still had time to conduct an exciting and informative interview which was aired on My Long Island TV. Thank you Waldo Cabrera for being your best self without even trying!
I thank God for sparing my husband’s life for one more year as he celebrates his birthday today.
This is a concept I do not take lightly as I dedicate this day – with a warm embrace – to everyone who has at one time or the other made the RIGHT DECISION and COMMITMENT to join their loved ones in their fight to stay alive.
For those who have not as yet experienced what I am talking about, I respectfully ask the following of you:
1. That you navigate this day (and everyday if you can) with unconditional love. Do not show “love” in anticipation of what you will get in return.
2. That you add Compassion to your ‘how to’ list in your dealings with others who are “going through”.
3. That you develop the willingness to gain understanding when in doubt about a situation or an issue. Ignorance as an excuse has gone out of style!
4. Show kindness towards your fellow human being; for your day will come when kindness from others would be worth a lot more than all the gold and diamonds in the world.
5. Take time out to imagine how you would like to be treated by those with whom you have broken bread if you were fighting for your life and working at fending off physical and mental fatigue – two by products which are generally overlooked by those in denial.
6. Please refrainfrom telling yourself that you bring no value to this equation for “they appear to be strong and have it all under control”.
“Strengthis only relevant to the equation when the weight bearing elements are healthy, well-oiled, in place and ready to subscribe to the task at hand.” -A Madonarism by Madona Cole-Lacy-
I end with wishes and prayers that my husband will celebrate more meaningful moments with me and others who love him.
These words for the wise are quite sufficient. Or are they? It depends on who you pole. For me, it is a resounding ‘yes’. I thank my parents for inculcating in me, a sense of respect and for modeling just how that was to be used in my lifelong interactions with them, my grand-mother and great-grandfather.
The awareness of how my behavior impacts them and their legacy will forever be on default mode for me!
In recognition of Father’s Day 2019, I respectfully salute all fathers and father figures who do their very best to have a positive impact on the lives of children – theirs or someone else’s. Thank you for a job well done. In case the fruit of your labor is not as yet that evident to the naked eyes, do not be discouraged, for the time will come when they will acknowledge the seeds of honor you have sown. I extend these sentiments to all mothers and all parent figures too!
Telling It Like It Is
Another perspective that begs for examination places the onus solely on the children. In today’s society, some mothers and fathers have unwittingly placed their children between a rock and a hard place as they play mind games with these unsuspecting and “needy” young people. This is found most often in contentious relationships between parents who are engaged in what I term, “DDPD -dangerous distant parenting dynamics” – one which does not necessarily imply physical distance.
This dynamic inevitably pits a child against one parent for the disgustingly sick sense of gratification or revenge of the other parent, while the children are left operating “on empty” when it comes to the integrity side of life.
Questions to Ponder
1. How then can these children develop an appreciation for the targeted parents when they have fallen prey to the antics of their own flesh and blood?
2. How do they pass on the Honor Barton to their own children if they decide to take the risk of bringing children of their own into this world after all this?
My Humble Advice…to children of all mothers and fathers who are indeed deserving of honor:
1. Hold on to your God-given pure sense of integrity – the sense of right or wrong that you displayed when you had no idea of how flattering parental manipulation could be.
2. Be your authentic selves – see your parents for who they are as individuals – pray for them and wish them well.
3. Do not get caught up in being used to inflict one parent’s vandeta on the other. Their flaws are not yours to fix or to bandage, neither are their subliminal or not-so-subliminal narratives yours to promote.
4. Remember that parents/adults are not infallible. They make mistakes too. If it does not sound or feel right, do not engage. Don’t allow yourself to be used in this way even if you think you are in control of how and what you do.
Honor your Father and your Mother..and while you are at it, honor yourself too. This is an order with implications that are pretty loaded.
Folks, it is time to pray most fervently — regardless of whether we are guilty as charged or not. Our time has come to consciously contribute to making this world a much more pleasant place for us and generations to come.
This is my take. What’s yours?
As I sign off, I would like to give credit to Dr. Lizette Wright-Polk for the Facebook post below which inspired me to write this blog post.
I think I can say without hesitation that what most people want for Christmas is indeed relevant to what they consider to be of utmost importance to them at the time. By now we know that wishes for “mytwo front teeth” rather than a toy had to have been of paramount importance to a child who might have been constantly subjected to ridicule, if not bullying – not just by his or her peers, but by adults who might have unwittingly done so by simply commenting on the missing teeth.
It is with this in mind that I take to the keyboard to ask for a rare, most expensive, and elusive gift this Christmas. Someone must be asking by now why would I want to be so demanding, so unreasonable, so unrealistic at a time when most people accept gifts with as much gratitude as they can muster. To clear the air, let me tackle this by saying; as a practicing Christian, I believe that there is no other model of gift-giving that tops the gift of Jesus to the world. I say this with the hope that all other spiritually-minded readers would insert the name of one who in their respective faith-based belief, corresponds to the role Jesus was born to play in this world.
I can already hear the following questions: “Are Christians not supposed to be humble, strive for righteousness, be considerate and Christlike in their dealings with their fellow men and women?” I would say “yes…and more” to that. “Why then would you be so inconsiderate and demanding?”
I am glad you asked
As I stated above, expressed desire is borne out of a place of great need and when it comes to what it is that I want for Christmas 2018, it is no different. Even though my expectation goes way beyond the beautifully-wrapped gifts that are under the Christmas tree, it is my hope that the benefits of this demanding Christmas gift will flow to the four corners of the earth, with Nassau County, Long Island being the starting point.
If you are planning on giving anyone including me, a Christmas gift, please consider the following package that keeps on giving…way after Christmas.
The gift of love that is kind, gentle, thoughtful, and does not keep scores.
The gift of sensitivity that is innate in all human beings who care to use it.
The gift of kindness that can be so readily consumed when dished out to us with no expectations of reciprocity.
The gift of understanding before we choose to be judgemental of others – a valuable “know before you go” concept;
The gift of acceptance and tolerance of all God’s children – regardless of how they sound, what side of the track they are from, or what cultural attires they put on.
The gift of self-fulfillment that comes with resisting the temptation to use social media as a tool to emotionally, and subliminally bully and reject people we erroneously regard as our rivals.
The gift of a mindset to “do unto others as we would have them do unto us.”
What is so good about this Christmas gift is that it is not designed to go under a Christmas tree. The contents are most accessible, and once delivered to their destination – our respective minds – they release a consciousness that gives us the ability to share the same with everyoneweencounter in a way that makes the world a better place.
This gift is also one that is neither unobtainable by the giver, nor likely to be rejected by the receiver. Why then are our homes, communities, the nation, and the world seemingly in such a turmoil? I beseech each reader to do their very best to delicately handle the challenges thrown at them by people they know, and in some cases, people they love.
Surely, you catch my drift by now.
Please stay in touch and tell me how your gift is manifesting itself in your life and that of the people around you.
When on August 3rd, I announced, “Our Celebration of Life Together Continues”, in my thank you message to all our thoughtful friends who had acknowledged our anniversary celebration, I had no preconceived notion of what form the celebration would take. I just knew that my husband and I were committed to celebrating our union on an ongoing basis – come hell or high water. Before I go any further, I want to thank everyone who has since extended sentiments and love to us. We thank you, for placing a smile on our faces as your contribution to our ongoing celebration.
When a delivery from 1-800FLOWERS.com was made a few days later, we were alerted to the reality that we might have to make room for other unexpected contributors to this celebration. As if this mystery package was not enough of a spirit booster, it was the elation that ensued when we set eyes upon the contents that stepped up the experience to the level of a rather successful attempt to minister to us.
This was not just a move to send us flowers to help us celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary. Sarah of Capital One Bank, who according to the accompanying note, I must have connected with recently, had chosen to mark our anniversary with a bouquet of our most favorite flower – purple dendrobium orchid that is symbolic of royalty, admiration, and respect.
As Sarah addressed my banking needs over the phone, it was obvious that she did so with a passion to serve her Capital One clients, and that she had paid attention to my every word and made a decision to reach out to me and my husband in this surprising and exciting way. In case you are wondering, ‘No,’ I did not discuss my love for orchids with her….and ‘Yes’, my husband and I happen to be a couple that does NOT believe in coincidences!
As we extend our gratitude to Sarah (of Capital One Bank), We want to acknowledge the spirit of humanity that Capital One Bank promotes in its workplace. For our suspicion is that in the absence of a culture that significantly touches the lives of their clients, Sarah might have experienced a roadblock when she planned to embrace us in such a sweet way.
As a couple who strives to awaken the spirit of humanity in all areas of our life, we fully appreciate this and say a big Thank You to Sarah and Capital One Bank for touching our lives in this special way.
As can be seen from the pictures below, this special connection which gave us the opportunity to quickly get into gear for an impromptu photo shoot – with selfies and all – was properly savored. A moment we know was initiated by love, compassion and appreciation for humankind that will surely outlast the flowers even as they receive the tender and loving care that they deserve from a place of prominence in our showroom!
On this first day of our 15th year together as husband and wife, and 17th year as friends who built our relationship on a firm foundation of respect, I want to shout out to my husband and to the world at large, my elation for having been given the opportunity to have James A. Lacy as a partner-in-growth.
To my darling husband, I say, “ The Lord above” is at work 14 years after having blessed us with the abundant spirit of mutual love, respect, camaraderie, and satisfaction. Little did I know it would be you, who would personify the Angel that I knew “God had not as yet given birth to” – one that was deserving of, and most capable of reviving a half-way broken spirit, thus causing me to release and share all that was good, kind, gentle, respectful with another; one that would see the importance of dutifully assuming the role of the absolutely exceptional “Dad” you have been to our children who undoubtedly have benefited from interacting with you as an effective male role model.”
Still Smiling and Thankful 2 Years Later
It is an understatement to say that my other half has far exceeded the expectations of my then skeptical self with the manifestation of his understanding of love, legacy and commitment to family. That my parents embraced him as the son they “never birthed”, speaks volumes of this gentle giant who in turn has done nothing short of live up to their expectations.
The Lessons of this Love Affair
What a wonderful thing it is to be able to be so connected that we effortlessly finish each other’s sentences! This closeness, in addition to the exceptional courage my helpmate exudes in the midst of health challenges each and every day, has made our personal trials and tribulations less about us, and more about what we must do when it is our time and our turn to face the challenges of life with full awareness that “it” does not discriminate, and that “it” will stop at everyone’s doorstep sooner or later. This is a fact of life which, once embraced, changes perspectives on how we must conduct business in the Lessons of Life Department.
It is because we both know and appreciate this, that “woe is me” does not exist in our lexicon of life. That we have chosen to use the challenges of our life’s journey to inspire, empower and personify the spirit of gratitude and appreciation, will help keep the “for better or for worse, in sickness and in health” flame burning- not just for us, but for others who care to adopt this mindset.
I also dedicate this to other couples who are experiencing their share of adversity, and, again, here share the following tips that we developed for “When Adversity Strikes”:
THE PERFECT SOLUTION – Madona Cole Originals Dignity Headwear™
When it comes to addressing the fashion and emotional needs of women and girls experiencing hair-loss due to chemotherapy treatment and alopecia, it is without question that there is a lack of user-friendly, functional and stylish head-coverings that are readily available to meet these needs. As this underserved segment of our society deals with their medical challenges, the desire to look and feel intact becomes a matter of necessity. With that in mind, Textile /Fashion Designer and Educator, Madona Cole-Lacy, designed and added the Carolyn Series Turwrap™ and the Rinde´Wrap™ to her Madona Cole Originals Dignity™ Headwear Collection. The Swarovski crystal on each Turwrap™ bought for or by someone who is going through chemotherapy treatment signifies the light that will illuminate the way to victory and the cure for breast cancer.
Madona Cole Originals Dignity™ Headwear are items of wearable art that are designed to bring comfort, flair and dignity to women and girls of all ethnic, social and religious backgrounds. They are also ideal for hat-lovers who simply want to enhance their wardrobe and for those who need help on ‘bad hair days’. Since Madona Cole Originals creations are synonymous with quality lifestyle, there is one to suit everyone’s lifestyle. They range from casual to upscale and from simple elegance to ornate.
“Since every situation is unique, my custom service gives me the opportunity to tailor headpieces to the needs and preferences of my clients. Serious thought goes into each hand-crafted headwear to make it versatile enough to be worn with the ease of a turban/hat or as a head-wrap. My Carolyn Series Turwraps™ and other head-coverings in my collection also come in a wide range of natural fabrics. They are available as one-of-a-kind, custom-made, as well as limited editions. I apply my own original fabric designs so that no two pieces are alike — my way of ensuring that clients never see themselves coming or going as they continue to enjoy their headwear even after treatment”, says the designer.
Through heprograms, Madona Cole-Lacy offers workshops to support groups and community health organizations. These include free workshops that introduce Madona Cole Originals Dignity™ Collection as a viable solution. Other workshops, offered for a fee, serve to: a. boost the self esteem of the participants; b. facilitate hands-on head-wrapping techniques; c. demonstrate practical ways of making a fashion statement with participants’ own accessories.
Currently, a percentage of the sales from Dignity collection™ is donated to Your Time ForCreative Empowerment, Inc. to defray the cost of conducting free workshops for community youth to create original fabric designs on turwraps™ for children and adolescents who are cancer patients. Madona Cole Originals Dignity™ accessories are perfect for gift-giving, and are also ideal items for hospital and hotel gift shops, as well as specialty boutiques. Madona Cole-Lacy is available for cause-related collaborations and fund-raising events.
I would like to share a press release and related pictures of an artistic expression which was designed and assembled in collaboration with students of Bellport High School through My Time Has Come Program.
The Coat of Many Cultures™ is a personal development artistic statement that is designed to reflect multicultural pride, self-esteem, respect and appreciation for self and others, and also to, celebrate the common thread that runs through the fabric of mankind – as experienced by all participants.
It is my hope that you will find a way to use the narrative that the Bellport High School Students I worked with have expressed through this Coat of Many Cultures™ to stimulate dialogue around cultural pride/identity and the visual arts through your network.
My Time Has Come Program offers youth and adults The Coat of Many Cultures™ Workshop as one way art and culture can be used as a confidence-building tool that fosters and celebrates multiculturalism, heightens awareness of diversity and promotes inclusion.
While this work of art is scheduled for permanent installation at the Bellport High School in the month of July, 2018, you are welcome to view and or photograph it at my showroom in North Bellmore. I may be reached through e-mail or my cell if you have any questions about the Coat of Many Cultures™ or My Time Has Come Program.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Madona Cole-Lacy My Time Has Come 516) 965-3242 firstname.lastname@example.org Long Island Teaching Artist and Students Connect the Dots of Multiculturalism and Inclusion with a Coat of Many Cultures™ (Bellmore, New York, March 28, 2018) Madona Cole-Lacy, Long Island Teaching Artist and Creative Director of My Time Has Come Program has collaborated with students of Bellport High School to create a Coat of Many Cultures™ that embraces and celebrates cultural heritage through art. The Bellport Coat of Many Cultures™ – a work of art funded by The South Country Education Foundation – will be on permanent display at the Bellport High School following installation in July 2018.
The giant Coat of Many Cultures™ depicts creative ways students have incorporated various aspects of their cultural identities in a series of theme-based textile designing and print-making workshops at the school. With a focus on heightening the students’ sense of pride, belonging and accomplishment, Mrs. Madona Cole-Lacy, motivated students to connect with their roots to create panels of original art inspired by their cultural heritage and countries of origin. These panels and elements of the artist’s own cultural heritage and her original textile art have formed the foundation of the work of art for students from Mrs. Barbara Gallagher’s art class and Mrs. Monica Tetuan’s ESL class in the residency.
The Coat of Many Cultures™ which is currently at the Artist’s showroom in Bellmore, New York, is scheduled for permanent installation at the Bellport High School in July 2018. “What is so exciting about designing a Coat of Many Cultures™ is my encounter with participants who have never given thought to the role art and culture play in their lives. To see them delve into the task at hand once they ‘get it’ is simply priceless! Another element of excitement for me is brought on by the anticipation of what each coat will look like. The enthusiasm and resulting work of my workshop participants determine the nature of the end product. It is an ongoing visual, emotional and cultural response to what they offer me that makes the creative expression authentic and satisfying.” -Madona Cole-Lacy-
Bellport High School Contact: Mrs. Barbara Gallagher BGallagher9@southcountry.org
About Madona Cole-Lacy Mrs. Cole-Lacy is a Teaching Artist registered with Eastern Suffolk and Nassau BOCES. She was born in Sierra Leone, West Africa, to parents who were instrumental in giving her a broad educational experience by making it possible for her to study art and design in both England and the United States. Madona Cole-Lacy takes full advantage of her multi-cultural and professional teaching experiences and skills gained from working with youth and adults in schools, colleges and communities to passionately motivate, educate and inspire her workshop participants as she acquaints them with a variety of art-making techniques.
Through My Time Has Come Program Madona Cole-Lacy uses “art, culture and education as a vehicle with which society can develop and maintain self-esteem, as well as, cultivate racial/ethnic and generational tolerance.”
“Our goal is to foster a sense of belonging, accomplishments and pride for all participants.” – Madona Cole-Lacy- My Time Has Come is the second “dot” of creativity in Madona Cole-Lacy’s quest to take ART and CREATIVITY beyond the confines of the studio to impact life in a number of positive ways through her concept “I Connect the Dots of Creativity”. Please visit: http://www.iconnectthedotsofcreativity.org for more on this philosophy.