Missed Again 4-14-19

I was on my way home listening to Sirius radio in my car. I love the 80’s station among the 70’s, Motown and jazz. Today I was listening to the 80’s channel. What can I say? I still love the 80’s. Mark Goodman, the announcer on the radio was telling the story of Phil Collins album after his divorce before he played a song from Phil Collins. One of the songs he wrote on his divorce album was “Missed Again”. I love this song!! As I listened I found myself laughing to myself. I thought “missed again?….the story of my life” lol.

Like the song I’ve “missed again” many times. Sadly I’ve been divorced for 17 years. In those 17 years I’ve had three relationships. All of which “I missed again” every time. A friend once told me there are three billion men in the world. Surely, the right guy is out there. I googled how many men there are in the world. Google is so smart. They know everything. Can you believe there really are over three billion men in the world?

According to Google and the world’s statistics, there are more men than women in the world today. The United Nations estimates the number of men to approximately 3,776,294,273 while women are estimated to be approximately 3,710,295,643. Approximately, 107 boys are born for every 100 girls born. Aug 24, 2017

If you ask me, the playing field just got interesting. So ladies if you’re feeling down in the dumps tonight. Maybe you find yourself in a crappy relationship. Or worse, you’re either recently single or you’ve been single for quite sometime. Relax! Those failed relationships have just been learning curves preparing us for the perfect guy we have yet to meet and with over three billion super men to choose from….grab yourself a sukiyaki and stop fretting. Of course if you’re like me and can’t drink. How about a little “Taste of Honey”. Their sukiyaki is the next best thing.

https://youtu.be/xqFkUNqBwMw

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Divorce 7-14-18

I was talking to a friend yesterday who is going through a divorce. For those of you have been through one of those you can relate. Breakups or Starting over is no fun task. I encouraged my friend and reminded her there are 3 billion men in the world. Surely the right guy is out there. A couple of years ago I wrote this blog. I still laugh at myself when I read it. I shared this blog with her. We both found it to be hilarious. My point was, she’s not the first person to go through a break up. We’ve all been there and we’ve all gotten through it. Eventually looking back at the experience, like me we all find the humor in the whole thing, and we’re able to share our experience with someone else and inspire them to keep moving. I’ve since been blessed to find my knight in shining armor. Life is good once again. As for my break up, well it’s just a thing of the past I can poke fun at. I’m sharing this blog hoping to bring someone in need a good laugh.

https://fiercefabulousfunny.com/2016/06/03/dating-sites-what-are-they-good-for/amp/

Another Day In Paradise – Revised 5-24-17 

I wrote this blog two years ago on March 4, 2015. My sobriety date. Today I’m 15 years sober. I’m still climbing out of the pit but my passion for helping those in need or being a voice of hope and inspiration for others hasn’t changed. A friend send me a text this morning saying “Another Day In Paradise”. It sparked this memory and caused me to refer to this blog as a reminder of just how blessed I am. Despite the challenges in my life, I am living another day in paradise. 

Today is my sobriety anniversary. I have been sober for 13 years. It’s hard to believe that 13 years have passed since I woke up from a three day blackout in the back of a police car. I was on my way to jail for throwing a cell phone at my boyfriend. I had spent the weekend consuming an unimaginable amount of alcohol. In fact, my last drunk consisted of three fifths, a bottle of wine, a half gallon of whiskey along with many cocktails at the bar. It was Sunday, March 4th, 2002 when I entered reality. I had no idea what I was doing in a police car, I had cut my arms, legs and and face with a knife and all of my eyelashes from my right eye were gone. I suspect I burned them with a lighter. Who knows. The journey has been long but through the grace of God, I am able to celebrate my thirteenth year of sobriety. 
Between the years 2000 and 2001, my ex-husband and I went through a nasty divorce. It’s amazing how two people who fell in love and raised a family together could become so bitter toward one another. Divorce in any relationship certainly brings out the “ugly” in each of us. My divorce was no different. I find the humor in it all by referring to our divorce as “the War of the Dunkins”. If you’ve ever seen the movie “the War of the Roses” that was my ex husband and I. We fought over everything, however unlike the movie we didn’t have the chance to swing from the chandeliers. The divorce was so stressful and made me feel like such a failure that I found myself drinking every day for over a year. Of course, being the class act I thought I was, I rarely drank before 5:00 pm. I often refer to myself as the “Joan Crawford” classy drunk who never missed a cocktail hour. Looking back, I find myself so embarrassed. 

We all have stories, my story however belongs on TLC debuting as a mini series. The past few years have been a difficult journey but somehow I’ve managed to get through it without the use of alcohol. I have God to thank for that. 
I spent the morning volunteering at my church today feeding the homeless. Rather than celebrate my recovery, I find it more rewarding to give back. My story at times may seem overwhelming and more often than not, I feel sorry for myself but some how volunteering my time feeding the homeless brings so much happiness that even for just a few hours I’m able to focus on someone else’s story. I’m quickly reminded of how lucky and blessed I really am.

I began volunteering last week and since then, my life has taken on a new perspective. I’m happy again and every day I look forward to going back to my new “job” that pays me in rewards and blessings rather than with a big paycheck. I’ve met some wonderful people, I’ve cried many tears, I’ve swept floors, wiped spilled milk from tables, served oatmeal, assisted the sisters in handing out clothes and I’ve hugged people who live on the streets and haven’t bathed in several days and despite their adversities and challenges, they are filled with a sense of gratitude for what they do have that it’s hard for their gratitude to not be contagious.  

I have travelled quite a journey these past 13 years, I’ve been up and I’ve been down but somehow God has seen me through it all. Thirteen years ago I was rock bottom, ironically thirteen years later I’m rock bottom again. The good news is with gods help I was able to climb out of the pit of addiction and all the demise that came along with it, I suspect he will help me climb my way out of this pit too and who knows, in a year from now I’ll be able to look back and say “look how far I’ve come” and once again be able to say God carried me through this challenge too. A good friend once told me “Velma, you’re rock bottom. There’s nowhere to go from here but up”. I may be rock bottom but I’m moving on up!!!

In the meantime I’ll keep moving forward and take this time to ask anyone reading my blog to give back to your community. Whether it’s volunteering your time to help those less fortunate or even donating clothes or money to your favorite charity, please do so. It’s such a rewarding experience. My song for today is “another day in paradise” by Phil Collins. I chose it because sometimes when we feel like our lives are in disarray and we feel sorry for ourselves, remember there’s always someone else less fortunate and our lives really are another day in paradise. 

I Am The Warrior 5-26-17

Dictionary.com defines the word Warrior as follows:

“A person engaged or experienced in warfare; soldier. A person who shows or has shown great vigor, courage, or aggressiveness, as in politics or athletics.”

In my opinion, Velma Perez Dunkin should be listed in the definition.  I am a warrior!  Up until now, I’ve overcome so many challenges in my life. I have taken on those battles and persevered. I haven’t always won however, I’ve always made it to the finish line!  A warrior is a person who shows vigor, courage, determination while persevering through adversities in life. That’s me!! 

I’ve always loved the song “the Warrior” by Scandal. I can certainly resonate to the lyrics when Patty Smyth belts out “shooting at the walls of heartache, bang bang! I am the Warrior”. I’ve experienced heartache more than once in my life. I have the scars to prove it. I am certain I don’t stand alone. There are many of us who face adversity everyday however, as Warriors, we persevere. 

I think the real warriors are those who have been brought to their knees but have managed to pick themselves up. Dictionary.com doesn’t mention the warriors who have battled cancer, overcome addictions, persevered through divorce or custody battles. How about all the single moms out there who sacrifice and fight every day to provide for their children? Being a single mom is hard work. It requires tapping in to that warrior spirit that lives inside all of us. To me, that’s a real warrior. 

I’ve had the privilege of serving those who are homeless. Words can’t describe what they have to endure. It takes a warrior to survive life on the streets!  I remember my friend James in San Francisco. He had been transferred to the Bay Area by his job. Suddenly the economy crashed. He lost everything including a place to call home. He found himself in a shelter. While in that shelter, he was stabbed and spent much time in the hospital recovering from the wounds. When he got out, he found himself living in a tent at a parking lot. His only friend was his chocolate lab.

He finally qualified for housing. However,  he was diagnosed with bone cancer. For those of us who have battled cancer as well as the treatment that goes along with fighting the disease, we can attest that it takes a warrior to persevere. James was a warrior. He fought cancer while living in a tent at a parking lot waiting for housing. That my friends is a warrior!!

There are men, women and children who are being abused every day.  Enduring physical, emotional and/or verbal abuse is tough business. It takes a Warrior to endure!! There are children being bullied at school. People overcoming PTSD, depression and/or anxiety. The list goes on. In my opinion these are real life warriors. It takes courage to persevere and overcome. 

Memorial Day is Monday. We honor all those warriors who have served our country and lost their lives in battle. For me, I not only honor those warriors, but I also honor and respect the warriors who are enduring their own personal battles every day. Life is hard. 

I happened to see a Facebook post one day posted by one of my best friends. She posted “Life Is Like A Box Of Chocolates, You Never Know What You’ll Get”. I pondered that post for several days. After much thought and reflection, I had to disagree. While it’s true, life is similar to a box of chocolates you never know what you’ll get, but we’re talking about a box of chocolate!!! Who cares?! Chocolate is delicious! Who doesn’t love chocolate?! Life….Well it’s not always delicious!! In my opinion life is more like a box of jawbreakers with an occasional box of pop rocks. It’s tough and requires a lot of patience to get to the end while enduring the occasional surprises as well as unexpected explosions along the way. 

I’d like to encourage anyone facing adversity today to put your warrior gear on and keep fighting. Grab your guns and start “shooting at those walls of heartache – bang, bang!”  You’re a Warrior!  I’m a Warrior!!  If Patty Smyth is right the only way those pesky challenges of ours will win is “if they survive….the Warrior!”  That’s you and me! Today remind yourself “I AM the Warrior!! Victory is Mine!”  If you need a little motivation I’m sharing this video with you today as a reminder. I have used this song, among others, throughout the years as inspiration to remind myself “I AM The Warrior”. Face any challenge in front of you  today head on and kick some ass!!! 

Feathers On A Breeze by Gloria Ann Spencer

If there is anything that inspires me the most are the stories of strong women. Especially strong women who have faced adversity yet never give up. My friend Gloria Ann Spencer wrote this. It’s her own personal story. And what a story at that. As women we have all felt like this but how often are we blessed to have feathers land on us from heaven. I am so inspired by Gloria I felt the need to share her story. Like me Gloria’s Dream is to use her story to make a difference in the lives of others. She made a difference in my life today and I pray after reading this she will make a difference in yours. 
The Musing of a Girl that loves Oak Trees and Feathers

Feathers On A Breeze
I arrived late to a memorial service, and I have to admit, I did so on purpose. I slipped silently in one of the very back pews, on the family’s side. The back pews will surely accept family members, even the one with a piece of paper that states we are no longer a unit. From the back pew I can see the back of my son’s heads, as well as other familiar ones.
I sit STILL with my head held high, and my heart open. I listen to the words being spoken. Words of faith, family, love. WORDS.

Memories of a past life visit me, reminding me how the years and life has passed. Some times of heart break, love, happiness, laughter. A Bitter sweet melancholy begins to lower its self on me.

I was drawn back to the preacher’s words, words of belief, life and memories. I stand STILL with my head bowed with others listening to the closing prayer.

I move out of the chapel quickly without a noise. I hear my name being called out. I stop for a few quick hugs and stories from old friends from the past. They are kind and express their love for me, and let me leave.

My green eyes filled with tears. My mind was questioning, why had my life taken the path it had. I thought of the countless late nights and early morning prayers, I have prayed. Asking for my eyes to see, my ears to hear, my heart to be open and filled with his presence. I requested my mouth to be shut unless it was to be used for his glory. So many nights I hug my body tight requesting for his loving touch, a hug.

As I walked briskly to my car a whirlwind swirls around me, blowing feathers of all sizes and colors around me, out of a mighty oak tree. The wind was bending the branches of the large tree, the feathers kept falling around me. The feathers spun around me brushing against my skin, so many feathers that they would have had to come from multiple birds, so many feathers, small, medium, large, and so many colors, white, brown, and black. The wind was kissing my face and lifting my hair. As I took one step at a time towards my car the feathers continued their dance around me. 

A thought came to my mind that I needed to capture this moment on my cell phone, because no one would believe my description of what had happened. The sensation of my God showering his love on me was breath taking.

I have laughed out loud and said that if God was going to show me the way , he was going to have use a large free standing sign with neon letters, and a flashing red arrow pointing me the way to go. Instead HE used my love of the might oak trees and my child like delighting in finding feathers. Feathers that to me meant a sign from the angels. Recently, I had stopped looking for feathers, my heart had become weary. GOD reached out to me and made me see, and feel HIS love for me. My sign was swirling about me. I will continue to thank God daily, and know that as long as I take one small step, He will continue guide me in the direction to go.

Gloria Ann Spencer 2/3/17