Category Archives: Death

Dear Stacey,

Rocked to my core! The wind knocked completely out of me! I have spent the last several days stuck on a couch in an emotional pendulum swing between shock and grief. And although my faith has always been strong, this, this thing, your not being on the earth anymore, has shaken me to that core, down to my very faith. It’s like I want to ask the Lord, did You get this one wrong? My niece who embraced me from the very moment she met me after marrying into her family. The one who called me Auntie, thus calling me family when my heart ached from the loss of my own family. In those days when the passing of my mother was fresh, and my support was thin, Stacey had no idea how she blessed me with her very presence, with her acceptance, with her embrace. She had no idea how she made me feel loved without even trying, I can only hope that I made her feel the same. And all the countless qualities she possessed that others experienced through her that I don’t even know about, but so many that I saw for myself. Vibrant, beautiful, talented, creative, warm. The beautiful young woman who smiled with her whole face. The special young woman who radiated of positivity, who was a beacon and example for other young people on how to do this “live your dreams” thing. The one who radiated Black Girl Magic in exquisite and rich dark chocolate skin. With all of this, her young marriage, and babies not yet in grade school, her life budding of newness, is it possible that You got this one wrong God? I know You can’t make mistakes but this has got me stuck on this couch, the wondering if maybe for the first time in history, that this was in fact a mistake. Please help me to comprehend.

And then it occurs to me. A word is dropped in my spirit, this word is seldomly taught in churches. That word is… sovereign. It is the understanding that God You have all power, that You have all authority. And regardless of my little human brain to comprehend what has taken place, You are sovereign. Yet with this understanding we still grieve our great loss, the loss of a child, a mother, a wife, a sister, a cousin, a friend, a niece. We grieve the loss of the phenomenal  deposit of Your likeness in her.

We also honor the utmost privilege of knowing that she is now in Your full presence… again. For we know to be absent with the body is to be present with the Lord, and that she belonged to You from the beginning of time. She has now only returned to that place which was her home all along. She is gloriously draped in love, and is now ever abounding in You. Thank you Jesus for taking all of her pain away, she will not again know struggle, illness, weakness, nor despair.  She was a woman of God on earth, and now she receives her reward in every moment remaining in eternity.  She ran her race, and while we desire that she had more time to run it, she did indeed run it well. 

So now Holy Spirit, be who You are, be our Comforter. Be our strength. Be the bearer of our grief. For those who knew her for the full course of her life, and cared for her most directly, be their strength. For those who are now redefining their lives with the inconceivable thought of being without her, be their strength. For those who were touched in personal ways by who she was, be our strength. Comfort us oh God, let us feel Your presence near.  And let us have a glimpse of and take great console in the assurance of where she is today. It is an honor to have this knowing and this peace. That she is ever abounding in paradise with You. How glorious she is, how magnificent is that place. Let us be honored by the moments we had with her beautiful spirit as we attempt to accept that she has returned home.  

Dear Stacey, thank you for embracing me. Thank you for making me feel loved and accepted. I know now as you are in the full presence of God, that you now understand how special you were to me, are to me. As I grieve loosing you now, I’m just now starting to understand that I am also grieving the loss of you after my divorce, I’m grieving the family I had in you. But I truly thank you for the honor and privilege of knowing you and loving you.  It’s amazing the work that was completed in you in countless ways. Your parents did a fabulous job in molding you into this ray of sunshine that lit up dark places. The crevasses of my heart will always be filled by you. Thank you for being my family. I love you niece, until we meet again. 

Your Auntie Tiff  

(Thank you cousin Jeannie Bates and sis Donyia Burnett for allowing me to grieve and celebrate with the family.) 

(SOME SPECIAL PICS OF STACEY)

My sweet Stacey came out to celebrate my birthday.
Always full of smiles, Stacey, me and her Auntie Gale.
Thanksgiving day at Aunt Sandra’s house, sister Courtney, cousin Krista, me and Stacey throwing up some peace. This was the day I met my beautiful niece, we had an immediate and instant bond.
Beautifully radiant! We came out to support Stacey as she’d choreographed a play that her cousin Steven starred in, and sister Courtney danced in. She was incredibly talented and creative.
I took this picture of Stacey and her Auntie Gale during Stacey’s celebration. I loved how easy she was to love.
With Grandma Helen, and all of the family who came out to celebrate Stacey’s accomplishments. She was heading off on an adventure to be Princess Tiana on a Disney Cruise ship. Amazing! I had to capture this moment. Stacey was later featured on The View with Whoopi Goldberg playing the princess. I was doing backflips watching her on the tv screen.
Mommie and Sis watch a dance performance at Auntie Donyia’s Thanksgiving bash.
I love this picture! This one isnt mine but the love between hubby, baby girl and Stacey jumps off the page.
One of my faves, this one also doesn’t belong to me. But I shared it on social media as what the definition of sisterly love looks like, Stac and Court.
The last time I had the honor of being with Stacey, this was our housewarming party, anniversary, and the celebration of welcoming my son into the world held at my home. The family gathered and individually spoke blessings over my son Caleb. I was very moved by what Stacey shared and spoke over him, stating that he would always be a man of God, that he would soar and go on to great heights. Alongside cousin Eryn, and Uncle Steve, Stacey is in the center here talking to Daddy Gary. I’m sure he was sharing some wisdom. The camera peeks over cousins Donovan and Steven, while our guest Barron J shares.
12
Uncle Steve, Auntie Donyia, Baby Caleb, Cousin Eryn, Auntie Gale, and Mommie Paula enjoying the day.
14.png
Amazing how Stacey’s own words comfort us now. But that’s who she was, overflowing with encouragement and love.
IMG_4782
Stacey Parker Wells you are forever loved and as our hearts are broken you will be deeply missed.

It’s a Wonder

4thofjuly

#Transparent

Today is a hard day for me, it always is. I got married on the 4th of July back in 08. In this pic taken on the 4th of July in 2013, I held a very bothered by the 98 degrees, 2 years old Caleb. I was just about to turn 40 and I was going through my divorce. I had also just lost 60 pounds. I was motivated to do that because my ex-husband told me that I was fat and that no one would ever want me.

I look at this picture in wonder now. It’s amazing how much my heart was bleeding and I was still going. Amazing how attacked I was by my ex, and by those who I once called family. I look at this picture with pride. That in spite the heartbreak, I was still handling my business, and I’ve been doing that ever since. I’m proud that I still had the courage of heart to wear a smile on my face, and that I have not darkened my heart towards people because of my experiences with a few.  I’m encouraged when I look at the girl in this picture, that I can return to that weight, while still dropping the weights that so easily beset me.

I am now proclaiming some things on this very difficult day. I will have good things in life. I will love again, (I’ve never said publicly that this has been something I’ve questioned). Caleb will continue to shine and grow. And I’m not only going to be alright, but I will have a glorious end.

I’m not sure how I got though all that I’ve been through, but I did. Sometimes when I can’t quite find words that suffice, all can say is “Lord you’re a wonder!!” Thank you for keeping me then, and keeping me still.

#NeverWouldHaveMadeIt #EncourageYourself #4thOfJuly #GonnaBeAlright

Philando Castile, Close to Home

Philando

There are the times when police shootings of innocent men hit us harder than others. It’s all tragic, it’s all loss, but because we’re human sometimes we’re affected with one story more than another. We have to be because taking in too much tragedy is not good for the soul.

For me it was Sean Bell, Trayvon Martin, Eric Gardner, Sandra Bland, all for different reasons, these tragedies hit me in a deep and personal place.

Now Philando Castile affects me in that same place, with the legacy of all the others behind him.

Every person who knew him called him kind, sweet, generous. I have had to go to the Father so regularly in fighting the urge to fall into a low place over his senseless death. That tragedy can strike because of an assumed threat, based on the color of your skin, even though you are kind, generous, AND innocent, is an overwhelming notion.

The boy with the disability holding the sign in the picture, says more than what is written on his board. Losing someone special to him surely hits him harder than it would most. When someone is kind when you have a need that is outside the norm, you are dealing with an extremely dear person. #Tears

Praying for his family, his friends, for our nation, and for the hearts of many like me who have been hit hard by this loss. #LetTheKindAndGenerousKeepYourHeadUp #BlackLivesMatter