Friday, September 22, 2023

Managing Memories - #mySUGAHFoote

 Good morning, beautiful souls. Today marks a tender milestone—five years since my grandson, my heartbeat, Zephaniah, flew on ethereal wings to join the ancestors. He was a tender age, just 13 months in this realm, yet he remains timeless in my heart.

In the dance between sorrow and joy, we find ourselves pirouetting on the edge of tears and smiles. Beloveth, grieving,  is not a straight path—it's a labyrinth of emotions, each turn a new facet of love, pain, and remembrance. So if today, or any day, you find your spirit heavy, know that it's alright to carry that weight while still finding moments to soar.

In this never-ending dance, let's pause and ground ourselves with a meditative embrace:

1. Seek sanctuary in the quiet corners of your mind, eyes closed.

2. Breathe—inhale the love you've known, exhale the pain that grips you.

3. Envision a celestial garden, where the blossoms hum ancestral lullabies. Your loved one is there—a flower glowing with ethereal light.

4. With each deep breath, let your souls converse. Share a smile, a tear, an unsaid word.

5. As you open your eyes, let this heavenly tableau accompany you, softening the edges of your earthly journey.

Let us not wane in our pursuit of life even as we honor those who have transitioned. For in our living, their light finds resonance. Through our tears and our laughter, they live on.

Today, I honor my grandson and your angels, too. May they twinkle in the celestial garden above as we strive to make our earthly gardens below worthy of their legacy.

#ZEPSGarden #mySUGAHFoote

#ZNAourDNA #myFIRSTbornFIRSTborn #daZepofdaGarden #mySONSson


Thursday, August 24, 2023

Unlocking All The Pieces 🔓🧩

When I say to you .... BUT GOD!!!! Whew I am so full I could burst! I am UNLOCKING all the pieces! That moment when you FINALLY realize you do DESERVE to have the DESIRES of your DREAMS! When you look into your eyes, see behind the image looking back at you and you welcome the truth behind the lenses! When you know your hard work is paying off. When  you NOW wake up every morning giving God the glory and fulfilling  your dreams more ENERGY than you ever have before! When you replace EXCUSES with EXECUTIONS! When you say "NOPE NOT TODAY" and serve "EVICTION NOTICES"  to all the freeloading unhelpful voices in your head who have lived rent free for years. When you get out of your own way and tell the pieces of your past selves "Hey either get onboard or get lost!" When you decided to believe it when God said "It's your time", When you develop a nothing and no one will stop you from reaching your next level ATTITUDE! That moment when you realize you've spent more time in private developing yourself and healing! This is that moment!  So if you've missed me, couldn't get in contact with me, or noticed my absence just know I have been over here UNLOCKING ALL THE PIECES!!!! 🔓🧩 #BeFreeBeloveth💖 

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Good Bye Jan 1st Good Morning Jan 2nd

It's 3am in the morning and I can't sleep. This is much to my dismay most late nights / early mornings. My mind is like the opening data programming screens of any well written software or app. 

I spend countless hours reviewing, and rewinding sometimes in  regret of the choices I made the day, week, month  or even the moment before.

I hunger for success as a plant hungers for water. It keeps me up at night and makes my pen empty from drawing and scratching and scribbling over, over, and over again.

I stay in prayer asking, crying, pleading, with God to grant me access into a space where I stop finding myself guilty of failing  from my missed steps but gleaning from the ones I got right.

I am not perfect nor do I want to be. I know I have everything inside of me to conquer this new hill in this valley of hills and mountains of my life. 

Tonight as I sat with God in prayer crying inside and listening to my playlist a new song came through my headphones .... the lyrics pierced my internal cry and made me begin to cry out loud!

Music is the iambic pentameter of my soul, it is water for my thoughts and fertilizer for my growth.

As the words sifted through my soul I leaped up to see who was this guest liturgical maven … her voice carried my tears down my cheek and caressed my hand and I penned these words from my thoughts. 

The song …. You Say by Lauren Daigle searched me out and I found a space to feel humanity to be honest, to be vulnerable, and to believe. 

This may be the last thing I scribble but at least I didn't let the beauty of the moment live only inside of me. 

Good Night January 1st and Good Morning January 2nd.

The Queen Has Spoken from @ZepsGarden 

#BeFreeBeloveth #GrowthlivesHERE

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Be Kind and Lead with Love

It's become so easy to point at what we consider others shortcomings. We have outgrown the polite society i.e. the polite communities i.e. the polite neighborhoods we grew up in. 

Nope none of what many of us experienced was perfect (heck far from it) nor was it without harm or residual interwoven mental malaise. 

 But what it was - FAMILY! BUT what it was - COMMUNALBut what it was - LOVE! 

 So many youth, young people, young adults, young parents don't have a fighting chance to get it (whatever it is) together because the community has turned into 1 or 2 things rapidly these days. 1 either it's me and mine or 2 stop by, drop in, photo opt, post it, check a box, move on to the next "community" you are helping with your "presence"! 

Yes. Assistance is often met with resistance but who here amongst us came out the door trusting an outsider? I am exhausted cause we that are they whom are them who have given their complete adulthoods and part of their childhoods for the betterment of the communities we have resided in see this slippery slope of selfishness, one sidedness, and greed preventing Wholistic Health and Healing for our families and our communities. 

When was the last time you got out of your comfort zone and just gave someone a compliment? You will be surprised how much you can infect the chemical makeup of the culture in your community simply by making someone smile or laugh. 

I am not asking you to be fake or phony. Just give off some good positive vibes. Stop projecting your lens onto someone else's lifestyle. You don't have to agree with it. But find a different way to encourage and foster change without being so negative. 

We are so caught up in likes, posts, and reels no one cares to be genuine, to be real, to be kind. And if someone is, they get JUDGED harshly for doing so! 

You know we are living in an upside down world when being kind is suspicious behavior but a scripted reality show making millionaires from falsities is the norm and "goals" for so many. 

I am always be kind. I am always talk about God. And I am always lead with Love! 

 I am the Queen Has Spoken from @ZepsGarden 

Monday, December 7, 2020

EYE Loved His Glass


When I was a freshman in college I met one of my best friends. He was too funny. We'd have sooooooo much fun doing silly simple stuff, like going to the movies all day. We'd take a break go grab a bite to eat and then go back. We'd rent videos from RAO and binge watch them. We’d go riding and see how many numbers he could get from women.  We would take his uncle with us to the store just so we could watch his eyes light up when he'd see pretty women. We'd play cards, and dominoes. We'd barbecue, try to go fishing, etc. We had so much fun. 

When I met him he was sickly but that never stopped him from doing anything. He had his good days and his not so good days. He never really let me know the severity of his illness until he started to push me away after being home bound for a week. He wouldn't answer my phone calls and didn't call me. So I decided I am not going to lose my best friend like that. I went to his house and after he cursed me out for a good five minutes (but seemed like hours, he was a good cuss-er) he let me in. Once in the house I could see in person why he'd been so distant. He was in some serious pain and this pain was doing him badly. He explained to me exactly what was going with him and how in the past he'd just push people away because he didn't want people to see him like that. Oh we cried that day.

His illness began to take a real toll on his body causing him to have to quit work. We could no longer ride out like we used too. So we changed how we hung out. When he could handle a car ride we rode and when he couldn't we didn't. Eventually his illness caused him to be completely confined to home and most times in his bed. Before he gotten this sick he tried to be a good best friend slash uncle to my son by trying new stuff. He attempted to baby-sit. He attempted to cut my grass in 100+ degree weather.  He attempted to barbecue. He was not good at many of those attempts but I loved the fact that he tried.

My best friend lost his battle with his illness. Although I miss him so very much knowing that he didn't have to suffer no more was ease enough to accept him being gone. Here is what I had to learn and make adjustments to having a terminally ill best friend. Every time he got sick it wasn't like with me where I could just either wait it out or go to the doctor for some meds to get better. For him every moment he got down sick it was a chance that he may not recover or that his standard of living may change. While I knew death is inevitable for everyone, he lived with the fact that his days to death ratio were closer than most. He pushed people away not to be selfish but because he didn't think he deserved to be loved due to his illness.

He never saw the glass half empty. He always saw the glass half full. He taught me a meaning (l have learned others ) of carpe diemSeize the Day” or better for him “Seize the Moment”. As I have been blessed to reach what many would say mid-life I say holla at me when I am fifty then we can add mid-life. I am humbly blessed to have lived past forty and I am sneaking up to that fifty gracefully. The tapestry of my life-long friends keeps changing as well as my socio-geographical pinpoints of those I knew when. It seems that every month now I am either learning of a home going service of a loved one, peer, family member, or friend. Also I am watching the many behind the scenes stories being unveiled of those who have been suffering in silence for long periods of time.

We own our stories and that knowledge should prompt us to want to share them but for so many we don’t we hold on to them.  We often leave our left behind ones with the solemn responsibility to grapple with how to share our stories or our memories. If you have/or are battling an illness terminal or chronic let people in and trust that you can share of yourself on your terms. 

If you are chosen to be a part of the last moments of someone’s life make them lasting moments. Consider how you would want to be treated if you knew that your days to death ratio is drawing nigh. Even if you’re not suffering in these manners and consider your life to be better than the next do know that your days are numbered as well. We have to learn to treat people daily how we want to be treated not just when the chips are down. Show some empathy for the consistent changing mind set and mental framework of someone who is suffering a chronic or terminal illness.  True enough no one wants to be treated in a manner they are displeased with no matter how the person that is treating them that way is fairing in life. All I am asking is that we move beyond tolerance and shift into a space of understanding others plights albeit same or different than yours.

So today let’s move to a unified communal space of embracing the fullness of life.


Peace and Bountiful Blessings,

The Queen Has Spoken


Salute Best Friend EYE Miss You!

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Ode to Self: Owed to SELF - Written 9.18.18 at 10:03am

Here's the truth I have been struggling to find a pace that merges my passion with my space as well as monetize it. I know I have all it takes to WIN but it seems like I am constantly winding up at a fork in the road and seemingly choosing the direction of MORE directions AHEAD! I recently looked at my blog posts and realized that I hadn't posted in over a year but had a few unpublished posts from within that time frame. Ever get so busy being BUSY? All while complaining about being too busy to do the things you really want to do for yourself? Well that's me if I am honest. If I am still using my lie as the truth then EVERYBODY ELSE is more important and EYE (I) can wait till THEY have what they NEED! I really thought I had graduated from this way of processing ... from this way of operating but I hadn't. Every day I find another VALIANT reason to put me on the back burner. AND! I am doing this while parts of each BRILLIANT idea slowly dies inside of me! At this point I don't know how to BREAK this cycle but I am determined to WIN at ME! I have been winning at OTHERS and for OTHERS all my life! Yes I concur I am a servant leader and this is not a woest me tirade but merely an ODE TO SELF to remind me EYE MATTER! I owe myself the chance to exhale without breathing in the laments of others. I owe myself the chance to see if the next bricks in a wall I build are upon the strong foundation where I have already done the groundwork. I owe myself the chance to LIVE out LOUD and on PURPOSE! Even with the knowledge of knowing that I am all many around have I still owe myself the chance to see what I can do next outside doing so much FOR OTHERS and attaching it to my RIGHT to SERVE in EXCELLENCE as I suffer and die in SILENCE! I owe myself the sight of seeing my books published and not still as files on my drives stored up for safe keeping until the right TIME! 

Today is November 17, 2020 and I found this in one of journals not knowing it was also sitting in a draft box unpublished on my site. Today I am in search of finding the SELF that is ME who will know WHO am EYE and who I am trying to BECOME! Being closer to a HALF century doesn't MAKE this process any easier just more INTENSE! My head hurts constantly from headaches I have no idea the root of but no amount of pain will keep me from FINDING ME. FROM activating MY VOICE and reconciling with my PASSION to share my GIFT of WORDS with this cruel WORLD! 

It was become COMMON PLACE to FORGET all about ME but it has become my TRUE PLIGHT to kill the DESIRE to FORGET ME!! I will land on the other side with best seller's and publishing deals but until then #EYEwriteNOW! 

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Coach Charles Ripley: The Pied Piper of Second Chances

Coach Rip

When someone leaves this physical life we are left with the juxtaposing of enshrining their legacy against our lived experiences with them. It is a dichotomy everyone will deal with in death. The things you least liked about someone in life are the things you least think about them in death. The toiling tug-o-war and malady of memories cause you to really reexamine the totality of their presence in your life.

As a child I can remember numerous faith leaders exploring the bounds of living processes and how the bounty of those experiences could be qualitative or quantitative. Once a faith leader said this “If you are praying for patience do you think you are just given patience? Or do you think you are given tests where you develop patience?” Clearly as an adult you know that patience is gifted through battery of tests proctored by numerous of persons passing through your life.

As we meander to and fro through our lives we strive to accomplish goals and dreams. We see others doing what we want and we begin to emulate them. Some of these only became what we desired to become because of exposure. As a child who sees their local hero shooting that winning shoot; scoring that winning touchdown; killing that last serve; etc.,  you become absorbed with the idea of this what I want to do. We even see our favorite professional superstars on TV or in person adding more enthusiasm to our desires to become our version or better of them.

The process of becoming is twofold. You have to do the research of what makes this superstar (in our minds) become who they are. Then you have to develop a plan to obtain our goal of becoming just like or better than them. We put our plan in motion. Getting up early to get that extra workout out in before your regular team practice would surely give you the edge you needed to get a better position on the team.  But what happens when your best isn’t good enough? What happens when you fall prey to your happenstances and the victory of becoming you so desperately seek is now aloft?

Enter Coach Rip! Coach Rip was that guy who would see a D1 player being a gym rat at the local community center and invite him to try out for him. Total transparency here … that player didn’t have to be a D1 player he could just be a young man with a zeal for competition, a good jump shot, quick up and down the court, and not attached to another team. Coach Rip was infamous for finding dynamic athletes. He would find those who had either failed other attempts at collegiate play, let life alter their sound decision making, never considered playing collegiate ball, or just needed a second chance in life to get it together and of course some just found him via his legacy or others were referred to him.

When you walked into a gym with Coach Rip there was an immediate expectation from you. As an athlete you did not want to let him down. I watched many athletes who struggled with their personal hang-ups fight to show Coach Rip his choosing was not in vain. Although some would succumb to those hang-ups many went on to accomplish the goal they set out. Coach Rip was tough on the court and courtside but funny off the court. He had the heart of a servant when came to putting young men from all walks of life in the best situation possible for them to compete for him. I witnessed him open his hands, his home, his wallet but especially hisheart to sow seeds into the lives of so many athletes.

If you were his assistant coach there was a love/hate relationship as to be expected as many mentor/mentee relationships are. The toggle of his genius and methods made fodder for a good reality show. As assistants we’d often toe the line but he was the obvious elder statesmen in the gym with an impeccable basketball coaching pedigree to prove why he was who he was. His Basketball IQ was unparalleled and if you worked with him long enough it would rub off on you. Once we were down by 5 points in a game with 1:50 left on the clock. Coach Rip called timeout; pulled us in a huddle and said this is a three ball possession game now. He gave the strategy for our athletes to execute and what we the assistants were supposed to focus on in those last moments of the game. His plan of execution worked and we won the game.

As an assistant men’s basketball coach who happened to be a woman working alongside Coach Rip was quite the experience. Under his tutelage not only did I get to improve and enhance my coaching skills but he allowed to me cut and sharpen my athletic administration teeth as well. Truthfully Coach Rip gave so many of us assistants or athletes the foundations we needed to GROW ON to be better in many other areas in our lives within ATHLETICS and outside of it. One of the funniest moments I will ever cherish about him off the court is his love of food. We were at a restaurant and he wanted a steak. Unfortunately the restaurant didn’t have steak. He said, “Dang that’s no good! Guess we’re not gonna eat tonight Coach …. and looked at me.” We all laughed. He had chicken that night. 

Coach Rip was incapable of convalescing quietly while the GAME WENT on! If you went to visit him in his latter days you’d see him sitting with his assistants or on the phone with them doing the only thing that gave him true joy and pleasure prepping for the next GAME! Basketball was Coach Rip’s DNA. He lived, breathed, and died for BASKETBALL. Cancer may have taken his life but not his LEGACY! Coach Rip had his own way of doing HIM and what he LOVED to do but all LEGENDS do! I can only imagine how the GAME is looking in HEAVEN right now. He’s probably trying to convince Kobe to start a summer league. Coach Charles Ripley we all carry your LEGACY on and on. You will forever be missed but forever be loved! Rest Easy Coach Rip you deserve it!

Dedicated to Coach Charles Ripley 

June 12, 1946 – June 28, 2020

Coach Rip and FCA@ABC 


Back Row: Coach Jackson, Coach Abdullah, Coach Cross, Coach Brown, Coach Williamson
Front: Coach Rip