I Am Here! Week 6/52 #52essays2017

I Am Here 6/52 #52essays2017

This essay is written as part of the #52essays2017 challenge  initiated by Vanessa Martir. Currently we are on  week 10 and I am on my 6th essay because life happens and I am happy to share of myself with you.

I was Here by Beyoncé is a song that I have been listening to on repeat since I took the Momentum Education (I definitely recommend it!) training a few weeks ago. I heard the song at some point during the training and it stayed in my mind.   The words of that song are the epitome of how I would want to go down, when I go down and by down I mean die or perish.  Although I don’t expect that to happen any time soon as I believe that God is not through with me yet.  

My favorite lines are:

“I was here, I lived, I loved, I was here

I did, I’ve done, everything that I wanted

And it was more than I thought it would be

I will leave my mark, soul, everyone will know, I was here” (Beyoncé, I Was Here)

I challenge you with a question.  If you were to die  suddenly and reviewed your life in hind site, what would you discover?  What would people say about you?  Would people notice you were gone? Were you engaged in your life; living versus surviving? Did you say good morning to passersby? Did you call your siblings to tell them you love them? Did you do your best to make sure that everyone who was in your presence got to experience the God in you? Did you give 100% to everything that you did? Did you love unconditionally?  The night before my father died he was going on a trip and I had the wonderful opportunity to hug him, tell him I loved him and say good bye.  I told him, I will see you when I get back.  He said, “If, I get back!” And he was right.  There was something about the way he lived his life those last two weeks that lead me to believe that he knew he was leaving us soon, but that’s another essay.    Lately I have been thinking a lot about where my life has brought me up until this point and where I am being led to next.

About five years ago I asked my friend Ancy Lewis to join me on a journey.  I had a vision of having women in my home and sharing with them a tool I used to achieve my goals that was very successful – a vision board along with intentional goal setting.  Ancy and I invited our friends and mostly family to my living room, every year for the last four years.  We also did a mid-year check in and truly enjoyed the time with the women and hearing about their successes and their obstacles.  It wasn’t until last January when I saw Ancy deliver a powerful presentation that I imagined us doing this as an income source.  A year and two months later we had our first Create the Life You Want to Live: Vision Board Workshop and we were sold out within two weeks of posting on Facebook.  Prior to confirming a date we consulted with the very generous and powerful Nancy Ruffin who herself conducts vision board workshops amongst other things.  She donated one hour of her day to discuss with us the process and offered to be available to support us through the journey.  Serendipitously, she had just written a new book,  Live on Purpose, which she allowed us to reference during our workshop.  We were so touched with the love that she shared with us prior to and on the day of the event.  We are forever grateful.  After we spoke with her we moved forward with the event, booked a space and began planning.  Ancy and I met a few times before the event and realized that there was a higher power orchestrating us and the event and what we wanted most was to empower, enlighten, educate and inspire women to go for what they want in life, no matter what.  The event exceeded our expectations.  Although I knew many of the women there, the most intimidating person there was my writing mid-wife and  instructor,  Iyawo Alicia Anabel Santos because in her presence I had always been the student and it was unnerving.  She later posted a comment about the event that left me without words.

She wrote, “Sometimes you need a reminder that there is a plan for each of us. That with a vision things that seem impossible become possible. Thank you Cindy Bautista-Thomas and Ancy Lewis for providing such a powerful workshop. I really loved the science behind it. You both reminded me of why seeing my vision every morning and every evening is beneficial to me. Thank you for giving so much of yourselves. It was wonderful being surrounded by so much love.”

As if the infectious optimistic energy encircled with hope and intention wasn’t enough, my dear friend Vanessa Day shared the gift of her very inspiring and uplifting song, “My Time”, which was so perfect for the moment.  The women were cutting out pictures for their vision boards while she blessed us with her voice.  I loved that women from different backgrounds and different generations were together in one room, working on their vision boards, while bonding.  Needless to say, we are glad we followed where we were led to go and were able to be a part of such an experience.  We look forward to hosting another event on June 25th. Details to follow.



The other day I was folding laundry and the boys were in my room waiting to pray. We pray at night as a family, before the youngest goes to bed. It was a lot later than usual and we were waiting for Nyilah to finish taking a shower. Folding laundry is one of my least favorite household tasks and I always do something I enjoy while doing it, like catch up on my favorite shows like This is Us or Jane the Virgin.   

As I folded each item, one by one, I asked the kids about their day at school.

“Tell me about your day guys,” I said in that mommy voice.

I have learned that you have to ask very specific questions.  Asking them how was your day would only give me a one word reply. The boys just looked at each other and laughed so I asked another question,

“Tell me about something funny that happened in school today?”  

“Ok, I have a funny story,” Amiri giggled when he said that so eager to tell me the story.  He reminds me so much of myself the way he laughs and giggles even before he begins to tell the story, making the listener even more engaged with the conversation.

They took turns, first Amiri, then Demetrius, each story more funny than the last.  By the time they were done, I was laughing my hollering laugh.  My laugh was so loud that I think my neighbors across the street heard me.   It occurred to me that I hadn’t laughed that hard in about a month. Why was that? I was busy, being too busy.  My husband’s work schedule had just changed so there was some rearranging of household expectations and I had been somewhat stressed out.  This.  Moment.  Was.  Everything.   I wish I had a camera to record it.

Nyilah joined us and  we continued to laugh for 10 more minutes as she shared a story. Before I knew it my laundry was folded and the room was filled with so much joy and laughter. I reached over to my cell phone when I heard an email had gone through. I skimmed it  and it was an email by the kids’  school informing the community about the death of a parent.  Nyilah knew the family and said she had heard that the dad committed suicide.  The conversation grew somber but it was a very important conversation we had about depression, about mental health, about seeking help, about faith, and about love, about what they should do if they ever felt depressed and about their friends, and about life.  When I looked up at the clock it was 11:15 p.m. and it was ok.  I was so glad that I was present for them.

What if I would have cut the boys short and waited for Nyilah and prayed and sent them off to bed?  What if I scrolled through my timeline instead of initiating a conversation.  I wouldn’t have experienced the joy I did with them and I wouldn’t have had the very important conversation with them that every parent should have with their children, about love, about pain, about feeling hopeless, about seeking help.  It’s moments like this that make me feel so fortunate to be a mother of these three amazing children.  I am blessed beyond measure.

When I go down, whenever that is, I want to know that:

“I was here, I lived, I loved, I was here

I did, I’ve done, everything that I wanted

And it was more than I thought it would be

I will leave my mark so everyone will know, I was here” (Beyonce, I Was Here)


2 thoughts on “I Am Here! Week 6/52 #52essays2017

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