Southern Gentleman Wordsmith

Where Do I Begin?

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It’s always hard for me to write a post after a hiatus because I struggle to fill you in on everything that’s happened with me during the absence, and it often tends to turn into a lengthy exposition.

Such is the case when you no longer blog daily, but who has time for that?

All jokes aside, I fully intend to commit to publishing something here at least once a week, so that should help until I take another hiatus. LOL

I hope you and yours are well and staying safe.

It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

It somehow feels both shorter and longer than that.

My maternal grandmother died on January 9.

Grandma Doris was 87 years old and one of the strongest people I’ve ever known. She tested positive for the coronavirus before Thanksgiving, and it did a number on her.

At first, her doctor thought a heart attack had occurred at one point, but that wasn’t the case.

She had a kidney transplant over 30 years ago, and her kidney function decreased drastically following her COVID diagnosis.

Even after she tested negative, she still didn’t have much of an appetite and started having conversations with her mother, who died when she was a child, and her husband of 67 years, who died a few years ago.

I knew it wouldn’t be long, so I tried to prepare myself.

I’m not sure whether I did a good job.

We held a graveside service for her, and my immediate family stayed in our vehicles. There are quite a few immunocompromised individuals in the family, and Grandma Doris would not have wanted us to put ourselves at even greater risk.

I came across something a few days ago that said to “take the bouquet off my casket at my funeral and throw it in the crowd to see who’s next.” I think Grandma would have gotten a kick out of that.

Oh, she was something else.

We called her Annie Oakley because her shooting skills were top-notch, as was her cooking.

Buttered rice and homemade biscuits will always be a favorite meal, although I don’t partake much since my Type 1 diabetes diagnosis.

Summers with my grandparents as a child are among my most cherished memories, and I’m so grateful for them for the time they made for and spent with my brother and me.

When I began baking cakes, I looked forward to giving them to my grandparents as birthday gifts, and Grandpa SJ, who would previously always say he didn’t eat a man’s cooking, looked forward to, loved eating, and bragged about the cake his grandson prepared.

I miss them both so much.

I am so much of who I am rooted in the character traits they helped instill in me as a child, like respect, both for myself and for others, honor, and integrity.

I’ll continue to live in a way that would make them proud.

I say I’m not sure about my preparation because it feels like I’ve been grieving for a while now, even before Grandma died.

I’ve been thinking about everything going on in the world, and, quite simply, it’s A LOT.

I don’t want to belabor that point, but one thing that grounds me is knowing I’m still here.

I recently stumbled upon a Tumblr post that caught my attention:

I don't think suicidal people get enough credit for not acting on their suicidal thoughts.

This post is for all of you who have survived the urge to end your life, either coming out the other side or still fighting to stay alive.

I noticed how when someone has a physical illness such as cancer, and they come out the other side or even remission, they are able to celebrate surviving. I think all of the survivors of being suicidal should too.

Congratulations, and keep on fighting.

Regardless of what’s going on and everything I’m dealing with, I’m so grateful to be here.

When someone asks how I’m doing these days, my response typically involves mentioning “I can’t complain” because I honestly can’t.

I’ve spent a lot of time focused on becoming the best version of me I can, investing in myself — health (mental and physical) as well as wealth — and others.

Life is about personal mastery. Who can you become? And how many people can you help?

Robin Sharma, The World Changer’s Manifesto

I’ll detail how I’ve kept occupied and leveling up in future entries, but how are you?

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Southern Gentleman Wordsmith

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