Life

Missing Grandma Sarah

My love.❤️

Moments ago, my mom posted a picture on Facebook of her mom with the caption, “It’s been 23 years but it seems like yesterday. Thank God for memories.” Y’all, the tears are flowing! As my mom said, thank God for memories. I have so many fond memories of our time together. I still cannot believe she is gone. Y’all, I miss her so much.

Note: Sarah is pronounced Say-rah. Gotta say it with a Southern drawl. Respect!

Shaun

Life

Authentically ME

Yesterday was so AMAZING! I laughed.. and danced.. and sang.. and ate.. took selfies.. and danced some more. Yesterday I let loose! As the old people used to say, I cut a rug!! LOL! I had no worries or complaints, ONLY laughter and love. Yesterday, I was me– authentically ME!

Before I end, I have to give a shout out to my two. Y’all, I know I say it all of the time, but I truly have the BEST children in the world. They know me so well! They embrace my quirkiness, which allows me to be free. I am so blessed to have children who love ALL of me.

Here are a few pictures from yesterday. Y’all, they made me a selfie wall. Lol. For those who know me, know I am the worst photographer but I LOVE taking pictures, especially selfies.

#Year47

Shaun

Life

Happy Father’s Day, Daddy!

Please allow me to interrupt my usual “Hello Sunday” blog with a tribute to my father. I must say, it is truly an honor and blessing to spend Father’s Day with my dad. After suffering from two strokes over the past two years, I did not think he would still be with us. Y’all, God is so good!

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to get to know my father better. To get to know the man behind “Mr. Sutton.” For as far back as I can remember, all my dad has ever done is work. He was a teacher (now retired teacher), a truck driver, the snowball man, the fireworks man, the Valentine’s Day man, the tombstone man, and now the graveyard man. Yes.. my father has a tombstone and graveyard business. Y’all, he is always working.

On Father’s Day 2016, I interrupted his work schedule. That morning I informed him that I was going to work with him. He was not thrilled to hear it, but allowed me go anyway. Y’all, I was a grown woman going to work with my daddy. Lol! And you best believe he put me to work. He does not believe in people just sitting around talking and watching. If you are with him, you better be prepared to work or be prepared to leave.

Here is what I wrote and posted on Facebook the following year:

It’s amazing how you think you know someone, but in reality you only see what’s on the surface. Last Father’s Day, I discovered so much about my dad. After we made snowball juice and bagged ice, we had a long conversation about dreams and goals.

Throughout the years, we’ve had conversations about his childhood and people, but never about his dreams. After showing me the picture below (the prototype for his first snowball business), he tells me that he never thought he’d go to college. He stuttered constantly and had dyslexia (back then they didn’t know what it was). He was able to go to college on a track scholarship (yes- my daddy could run!). He said he studied so hard to make it through college; while selling snacks from his dorm room (what can I say, it’s in his blood 😁). One of his most prized possessions is his thesis. He said he worked his butt off to complete it.

Prototype for Sutton Rolling Store 1978. He said all he had was a bike and a dream. On that day, he also showed me the concept behind his tombstone/monument business.

He ended our conversation by telling me to go after what I want in life. He told me to never give up on my dreams no matter how impossible they may seem or who doubts me. He said people will laugh, but keep trusting God. It may take years, but it’ll come to pass. NEVER give up!

On that day, he gave me the boost I needed to pursue all of my dreams. So, if you see me reaching for other galaxies, you know where I got it from. Yes- I’m my father’s child. Happy Father’s Day, Alton Sutton!

Y’all, I love my Daddy! I cannot wait to spend today with him.

Happy Father’s Day to you and/or your father!

Be Blessed,

Shaun

Life

Up Thinking

I really need to be asleep. Have to be on the road in a few hours. Today we are honoring my great aunt, Aunt Deloris. She will be 75 next month. She told us that she wanted her roses while she was still here, and ain’t nothing wrong with that! So, today is her day. I cannot wait to see her. Wish I could love on her but with cases of COVID-19 steadily increasing, I will love her from afar. Being in her presence will be more than enough.

Anyway… I cannot seem to turn off my mind. Been thinking about events that have taken place over the past month. Especially events in Mississippi.

In June 2014, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer 1964. I watched the documentary (click link attached to Freedom Summer 1964) a few days before my 41st birthday. Side note: Since the city of Hattiesburg had a significant role in the movement, the documentary was shown at The University of Southern Mississippi prior to being aired on television (which aired on my birthday- Woohoo!). After watching that documentary, my brain started working overtime. I had all kinds of ideas about doing a follow-up documentary about Mississippi, 50 years later. I had so many questions and was eager to find answers.

As I stated earlier, the events that have taken place over this past month reminds me of Freedom Summer 1964. However, this time the white people who are marching and volunteering along side Black Mississippians are actually Mississippi residents. Unlike Freedom Summer, they did not travel here from other states. Many were born here. Some are descendants of those who opposed change in the 60s. In the documentary, someone said, “Crack Mississippi and you crack the whole South.” Well . . .

Hopeful. Very hopeful. Change is here. Change is happening. Mississippi IS Thriving!

Anyhoo.. I need to go to sleep. My alarm goes off in less than two hours. I’ll probably hit the snooze several times before I actually get up. I am so excited about seeing everyone… from a distance, that is. Lol

By the way, I am way too sleepy to proof this. So forgive any errors.

Shaun

Life

Hello Sunday

Hellooooo Sunday! Y’all, in 10 days I will be 47! Like.. really.. almost 50. Like, almost half a decade! WHAT?! Y’all, I’m finally excited!!!

This month started off very depressing. I did not feel like celebrating, at all. All I wanted was for this month to pass. Actually, I wanted this year to hurry up and pass. Over the years, I have always said that I loved adventures. Well, 2020 has been one great adventure, and I am ready for this adventure to end. Honestly, I don’t even think we have reached the apex yet. I believe we are still climbing. I just pray that whatever is to come does not rock this world more than it has already. Hopeful.

Okay… that was getting dark. Back to my birthday. Last year, I spent my birthday volunteering at a summer camp teaching 4th graders about the benefits of choosing healthier snacks. So when asked if I could teach a class on that day, I immediately agreed. Y’all, I was on cloud nine! I felt like a kid again. Like I was a little girl preparing to play school with my siblings and little cousins. It brought out the child in me. I could not wait to start planning.

That was my celebration with the kids. At the end of the week, I celebrated with friends and family. I called it my freedom party– 46 & FREE! Exactly seven days before my birthday, the judge signed my divorce papers! I was FINALLY free!! So I celebrated!

A little over a week later, my best friends came down and we took a girl’s trip to Essence Festival. Talk about a wonderful birthday! I had so much fun.

So, what will I do this year? I am finally excited enough to start planning. My children and sisters have been asking me all month what I want to do. Happy to say I have made a few decisions. I plan to spend the day of my birthday at the zoo with one of my sisters and her children. I really want to see them have fun. Children tend bring out the kid in me. Y’all, they have me acting all crazy and I love it! Then, that weekend, I plan to spend it with another sister and niece. Not sure if I will do anything in between. Will definitely spend time with my two babies.. umm.. I mean– young adults. Lol

Y’all, I am truly blessed. God has blessed me to live this long, so why not celebrate. Oh… before I end, last night I dreamt I had dyed my hair cotton candy pink for my birthday. Hmmm….

Y’all, I might even surprise myself for my birthday! Lol. NOW, I’m excited!

#Year47

Shaun

Life

God’s Favor

Sitting here reminiscing about events that took place in the Summer of 2014. Y’all, so many wonderful things happened that that year. Like the memory I am about to share.

One day, out of the blue, I received an invitation to attend a culinary media training event in New Orleans. It was an all-expenses paid trip. All I had to do was show up. At first, I was hesitant about going because I was afraid. I was afraid that I would not live up to what was expected of me. I was afraid that I would make mistakes. I was afraid I would not fit in. I was afraid of where it could possibly lead me. I was afraid of the potential– my potential. Then, I remembered God’s favor. He would not have presented the opportunity if He believed I could not handle it. I mean, EVERYTHING was paid for. All I had to do was go. So, I went. Here is what I wrote afterwards:

New Orleans was definitely a great professional experience. I came back with a sense of worth. I felt like I could actually accomplish my goals. I now have a different outlook on life & my role in this universe. I am destined for greatness & there’s nothing wrong with it. Thank you God for helping me realize my potential. Please give me the knowledge, strength, courage, and intelligence to do things the correct way. I thank you so much for the favor!

Shaun’s Journal: June 2014

Can’t you hear Donald Lawrence and the Tri-City Singers singing, God’s Favor? I can! The song says, “God’s favor is more precious than life.”

Favor.

Shaun