Life

Hello Sunday

Happy Birthday Momma!

Today’s Hello Sunday is dedicated to my second mom, my bonus mom, Jewelstine. Today’s her birthday!

Here’s our story:

We met when I was only a few weeks old. She was my first babysitter, first Girl Scout troop leader, and my first employer (let’s just say I was her little teacher’s assistant). She took me to my first movie (E.T.), my first theme park (Libertyland), roller skating rink (Rollerworld) and softball game (she was a softball coach for decades). She also gave birth to two of the kindest, giving, compassionate and hardworking people I know – my siblings – the late Alton Sutton, Jr. and my sunshine (which is what my sister calls me), Kisha. If I had to choose a bonus mom for my children, without hesitation, she would be it. She loves unconditionally and gives selflessly. I am so blessed to have her in my life and absolutely honored to call her Momma.

Happy Birthday Momma! Wishing you as much love as you give as well as many, many blessings. Love you always!

Shaun

Life

Love

Or until you read old journal entries. Lol!

I have been writing a lot lately. Guess you can say I have had a lot on my mind. Those darn journal entries! Lol.

Last year during quarantine, I found a few journals I had forgotten about. Well, last night I decided to read one from a couple of decades ago. Have you ever been in love with someone who did not feel the same? I’m not talking about being in a relationship where love is clearly one sided. I’m talking about being in love with a friend. A friend who, from what I read, sent out so many mixed signals. From everything I wrote, one would assume he was somewhat in love with me too, or was he just teasing me – if so, how cruel! The reason I say this is because of some of the things he did and said were not things you would do and say to a friend, but to a lover. Eventually, I told him I loved him. Y’all, I don’t remember doing this and cringed while reading it – how embarrassing! The only reaction from him, that I recorded, was him ghosting me for a week or so then he was back like I never confessed my love for him. And we carried on as usual – late night phone calls when we couldn’t sleep. Going places together. Him cooking for me. Teasing each other. I mean, nothing changed except I learned to keep my feelings to myself.

Eventually, I left that duty station and we remained in touch. After I found myself missing him like crazy, I decided to find someone who would make me forget about him. Boy was that a mistake – a big one! Word of advice, don’t listen to people who tell you the best way to get over someone is to find someone else. From my experience, that NEVER works. Believe me, more than likely you will end up regretting it.

Today, I still talk to my friend, who is now happily married. Until last night, I honestly had forgotten about how in love I was with him. Years ago, when we reconnected, I felt like I had found an old friend. Never once did I think, “I was in love with him.” Now, I will say, I always told people he would have been the one I would have married had he asked. Honestly, I would have done it without hesitation because he was my best friend. I loved being with him and everything about him.

Side note – Y’all, I was really in love with this guy and completely forgot about it. Hilarious!

Anyhoo… talk about transparency. I’m pretty sure if he were to read this, he would know it is about him. It’s okay, though. Those feelings are long gone. I am just happy to be his friend and so happy he found love. One day, the same will happen for me.

Okay.. I believe this is enough transparency for today. Maybe for the year. As usual, thanks for reading my ramblings. Wishing you a fabulous week!

Shaun

Life

My September 1st

I really don’t know where to begin. Yesterday, September 1, was surreal. I am still trying to process it all, but I really don’t want to. Last week I shared that my Aunt Beaulah had passed. Yesterday morning we learned of one of my mom’s younger stepbrothers passing. Then hours later, her aunt, my great aunt and late grandfather’s only sibling, passed. Marvin was in Georgia and Aunt Deloris was here in Mississippi. Neither were COVID related.

My Aunt Beaulah (dad’s sister) had been suffering for years. Over her adulthood she’d had multiple strokes and heart attacks. We always joked that she was like a cat with nine lives. However, this last time she did not bounce back. My dad had three sisters, two of which passed nearly forty years ago. So for years she had been his only baby sister. Up until last year, it was my dad, two uncles and Aunt Beaulah. Last summer my Uncle Sam passed. Now Aunt Beaulah is gone. There are only two of them left. My heart aches for my dad and Uncle Bob. Neither are in good health. I can only imagine what it must feel like to be the last ones standing. As I said, I am still trying to process it all.

My Aunt Deloris (mom’s aunt), who actually read my blogs, was my girl! Now she could tell a good story. The last time I visited her, I told her that I was going to record her stories about her childhood. I explained how I wanted to capture her voice as well as her story so that future generations would be able to hear her speak. My plan was to do it this weekend when I visited for my Aunt Beaulah’s burial. I guess you could say God already knew it would never happen the way I had planned. He knew I would not have time to do things “just right.” Last year, as we celebrated her 75th birthday, I recorded her reciting names from our family tree dating back to the late 1800s. Perhaps that was all I needed to record. I also took pictures of names and dates of births and deaths that were kept in a bible her mother handed down to her. She was all about family. She loved us and we loved her dearly. She will be missed.

Marvin, my mom’s little brother, one of my first playmates, will definitely be missed. Words cannot even describe how I am feeling about his death. He was only a few years older than me. No one knew this but Marvin was the first person I told about me contemplating my divorce. I needed to tell someone and that someone happened to be him. Although I did not ask him to keep it between us, he did. That was the kind of person he was – loyal, a true friend and confidant. I am forever grateful for the time we got to spend together. Earlier this summer, he was diagnosed with cancer, which had already progressed to stage 4. During my trip to Atlanta, we had planned to visit but opted for FaceTime instead. That was the last time I actually saw him. Our last text was almost two weeks ago. He will also be missed.

Y’all, I’m in a daze. I don’t want to feel. I don’t want to cry. I feel like I’m tiptoeing around my own feelings trying not to reminisce too much. I was so excited about this new month of September. Said I wanted to do something different. Little did I know this month was going to start off like this. I am still optimistic that this will be a wonderful month full of opportunities and adventures even if I have to intentionally make them happen.

Y’all be blessed.

Shaun

Rest well, Aunt Deloris.
Rest well, Marvin.
Life

Hello Sunday

Today’s blog is composed of two Facebook posts from June 6, 2019. When I first began sharing my Facebook memories and excerpts from journal entries, I felt like a lazy blogger. Then it finally dawned on me that I’ve already put in the work on the backend so why not share them.

The first post is Be Ready, and the second, Forever A Princess.

Be Ready

If you’re like me, you ask God for things praying they come to pass. However, after facing numerous setbacks you begin doubting things will ever work out in your favor. But in the back of your mind you know God is ALWAYS working behind the scenes. You’ve actually witnessed His work through others’ blessings. You don’t hate. You rejoice with them and tell yourself, “One day that will be me.” Well, while you’re watching and waiting, are you preparing? If not, you better be because when God starts moving, He moves fast! #BeReady

Forever A Princess

Happy Thursday! Here’s today’s social media find. As I celebrate my 46th birthday month, I’m still trying to figure out what I truly want to do in life. I just can’t see myself doing the same exact thing for the rest of my life.

Although my life is forever evolving, the kind of woman I’ve always wanted to be hasn’t changed. I am the woman I envisioned as a little girl– strong, loving, compassionate, empathetic, passionate, spontaneous yet cautious, adventurous, love challenges… The list goes on and on. Honestly, I love who I am. I know 5 year old Shaun would be proud of her 45 year old self. Yeah, she would love me!

Oh, and I’m still a princess even though everyone around me believes I should refer to myself as a queen.🙄 No… I’m a princess.

Hope you enjoyed my memories. They always make me smile. Wishing you a wonderful week. Stay safe and be blessed.

Shaun

Life

Remembering Chef Leah Chase

Two years ago we lost one of culinary’s finest, Chef Leah Chase. Here’s the Facebook post I shared on June 2, 2019.

Feeling some kind of way. I became a culinary student in 2000, and the two chefs I wanted to meet the most are in this picture, Marcus Samuelsson and Leah Chase.

In 2014, my dream came true. I remember sitting and making a list of people I wanted to meet one day. Then, a couple of weeks later I came across a flyer for a rededication event honoring Chef Chase, and the guest speaker was none other than– Marcus Samuelsson! Yes! I knew right away it was meant for me to attend. God had lined everything up so perfectly. Y’all know I love watching God work.

Of course I had to deal with a few setbacks before attending the ceremony. Nothing ever works the way we envision it. Lol. The day before the event was to happen, I was hit with an unscheduled meeting at the same time I had planned to leave for New Orleans. Y’all, I immediately became disappointed. I felt like it wasn’t meant for me to go. But God! After my meeting ended, I told myself if God put both of them in the same place at the same time, after I had asked to meet them, I’d better go. I was so worried about getting there late, and guess what– it didn’t even start on time. Lol! I also thought she would be too busy for a photo. Well, to my surprise, we actually had time for a conversation.

Yes, I’m in my feelings right now, but I said all of this to say, when God is in it, the ONLY person who can stop things from happening is you! Don’t talk yourself out of God’s blessings. I’m so grateful He blessed me with the opportunity to meet Chef Chase. She will be missed.

And she is definitely missed.🙏🏽🕊

Marcus Samuelsson, Leah Chase, and LaShaundrea (Fall 2014)