Today marks the 22nd anniversary of my second open heart surgery. Of course I am beyond grateful to witness this.

Last year my phone rang. On the other side of the line was my daddy. ” Happy Anniversary daddy’s big, old baby! Your daddy will stay with you for as long as he can.” I swear, through my tears, all my teeth were visible from smiling. My daddy had a way of making me believe that everything will be alright. Those words remain embedded in my heart. I didn’t know that he would depart his earthly vessel almost three months later. I wish our time together had been longer. God’s will superceded my wants and wishes and I remain sojourned in the valley of grief. I find solace in knowing he is at peace and reunited with my mother.

In full disclosure, there are some days when surrendering seems plausible. I’m tired and I’m human! Once those moments pass, I forge ahead knowing that God and my parents are carrying me through. Visible are their footprints along the earth and their imprint in my heart. I see their reflection daily in every feature and trait I possess. I have been engulfed by so much love and wonder from the moment I was born until the day they took their last breath. That love endures.

My world has vastly changed. While the earth continues to rotate, and life goes on, I feel lost at times. There are unbecoming moments. Growth is allowing myself grace and permission to experience those unsightly, uncomfortable feelings. In surrendering for the moment, the hour or the day(s), I inherently know that my battle is not over. The victory is in mustering the strength to re-engage life. Its beauty offsets the ugliness, purpose demands perseverence and an intentional, well lived life is the sweetest gift.

I fully comprehend legacy, prophecy and the manifestation of miracles. I am one in human form. I know, in the deepest part of my soul, WHY I must go on. I am needed here. I still have work to do. My parents prepared me for life after their transition. There was a spoken and unspoken troth between God, my mother, father and me. It obliges that I remain steadfast in faith.

Daddy, I repeat and affirm your words. “You are my daughter. You’re a Survivor.” I thank you for your love, devotion, protection and sacrifice. Although that call did not come this morning, I still hear your voice. I will not let the sun set on this day without honoring how special it is and how incredible you and mommy were.

So on today, I thank you God for keeping me. Thank you for your unchanging hand when circumstances and people falter. Your love is constant and steady. Thank you for clarity over my life. Thank you for preparing a table for me and for the plans YOU have for me. Thank you for my village.

To my husband, family, friends and everyone that truly remain on this journey with me, I value you more than you’ll ever know. Your encouragement, prayers, support and love strengthens me. Thank you for holding space.

I hereby avow:

I will live and not die. Grieve and count my blessings. Sit with sadness and relish in the joyful moments. Be useful and not used. For my life is not a conundrum and I am undeniably me!!

“She had so many lessons to learn, life experiences to endure. She had to reach down into her soul to realize, there, was her cure ” (Revelations-TWJ)

Happy Anniversary to me. To anyone who reads this, please know that faith and hope abides. 🙏🏾

Teresa and her mother dressed to the nines