911: Hello God, it’s me, LaLinda

“911, what’s your emergency?” the operator’s robotic voice still reverberates in my head and intermittently in my dreams.

The life and near-death experience occurred that fateful Friday in February— eight months ago—that feels like yesterday. No, the emergency call wasn’t for me, but my friend who was having a stroke. Through this heartbreaking and startling experience, our lives have forever changed such as being just plain thankful for the things/people/situations/second chances we take for granted.

Emergencies happen. And yet, I always questioned my abilities to handle life-and-death crisis. Adamantly, I always stressed to family and friends, “Don’t call me if there’s an emergency. I’m really not the one,” I said making million of excuses.

Even today, I still ponder, “So, how does one ever prepare for an emergency?” And naturally, the answer always is the same: “Who’s ever prepared?”

Unbeknownst to me, God would test this fallacious notion when faced with calamity.  My mind reels back to that fateful night.

Actually, that Friday, My friend and I were in a great celebratory mood–and rightfully so!!! We were both jovial and excited by new changes/opportunities in our lives.  My friend, who is a Real Estate agent, had two closing and several other offers pending.   As for myself, I was over the moon because my prayers manifested:  I finally found an editor, who just happened to be my son’s girlfriend’s Mom.

We agreed that evening we would go to our favorite Mexican spot to rejoice.

“Click, clang,” our glasses echoed our exuberance. “To our dreams,” we said in unison.

Then, I turned my head towards the singer who was belting out 70s/80s songs. I couldn’t help but sing along while I reminisced about my younger days. “I know you remember this song, remember? I said laughing.

Only Debbie wasn’t laughing. She placed her hands to her mouth, I guess to stop the projectile vomiting that came fast and profusely.

Momentarily, I froze. “Could it be food poisoning or the wine?” I thought but quickly dismissed either possibility.  The situation was getting progressively worse by the minute.

“Where’smycreditcardit’shereIjustsawitwhat’shappeningtomeLauriandthe,” she slurred, totally discombobulated.

I remember vividly, the place was in total commotion. By God’s Grace, three men interceded to help Debbie because her legs were numb, yet wobbly.

How we got home is still a blur. But I can still hear her voice telling me “You can leave me now, I’ll be alright.” I didn’t leave her side. A perceptive neighbor to help.  Yet, it was his wife who made the “insightful, medical call.”  I’ll never forget these words “She’s having a stroke,” and then called for help.

“911, what’s your emergency?” the operator asked again.

       Fast forward to today. My friend’s recovery has been long and arduous for her and those of us who have been her caretakers. She’s had to undergo extensive therapy to regain her cognitive skills, physical therapy, and today has to see many doctors/specialist. Her vision is seriously impaired and she also dealing with neuropathy symptoms in her hands and feet. To combat this condition, her doctors advised she walk as much as possible and that is what we do.

We call our special time “walk and talk sessions.” The other day, she jarred my memory about my “misusing my words.”

“Remember, you said that you weren’t good in emergencies?” she asked.

“Well you are,” she said. “God prepared to put you in place to help other people in dire emergencies. Remember, you played an integral role in helping your mother, your son and then me. He knew you could do it, LaLinda.”

Tears welled up in  my eyes. There were a lot of mixed emotions: sadness, joy and yet, I felt relief knowing that these medical emergencies changed the trajectory of my life—and the words I  now use. I no longer doubt my abilities to step up and step in if needed.

These days, I can confidently say: “If there’s a medical situation, call me. I can handle it.”

Then, I pray for strength and confidence and  then watch how God intercedes.










Abusers, you have been served: Love isn’t suppose to hurt

Love hurts.

Say it aloud

Love hurts—literally and figuratively—to women who don’t leave the men who profess to love them publicly but beat them privately.

The Huffington Post reported this fact: Every nine seconds in the United States, a woman is being beaten.  Sadly,  the morgues are filled with women who were “loved to death” by:

Their husbands

Their live-in boyfriends

Their “friend”

Their “Baby’s Daddy”

Their common-law-husbands

Their exes

Their roommates

Their jealous stalkers

Their oppressors

Oftentimes, abused women are silenced by their abusers. Women often cite they fear their abusers will retaliate by turning their abuse on their children or family members.  In other cases, women will remain silent so they won’t be blamed for provoking their abusers, who in turn will blame them for causing the abuse.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, (NCADV) website, it states:  “Domestic violence is an epidemic affecting individuals in every community, regardless of age, economic status, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, or nationality. It is often accompanied by emotionally abusive and controlling behavior that is only a fraction of a systematic pattern of dominance and control. Domestic violence can result in physical injury, psychological trauma, and in severe cases, even death. The devastating physical, emotional, and psychological consequences of domestic violence can cross generations and last a lifetime.”

“Is this “Love,” “Is this Love,” “Is it Love” that I’m feeling?

An abused woman who has been emotionally “beat down” believes and will make such statements as “When he beats me, I know he loves me.”

An abuser will manipulate women into “forgiving them in the name of love or to salvage their “loving” relationship.”

During the “honeymoon period,”  the abuser convinces a woman he will change and profusely profess his love…..until the inevitable happens and the cycle starts all over again.

Police officers have stated when they arrest the abuser, the victim will beg them not to take the abuser away. And, it is not       uncommon for the woman to bail out the abuser.

And in the name of love, reconcile with them for various reasons.

Stop! Stop! Stop! In the Name of Love…..

     Stop! Demoralizing our Mothers

Stop! Muting our sisters—biological and our sisters in the struggle

Stop brutalizing  our friends

Stop this very second, tormenting women and terrorizing  children

Stop! I command these abusers  to stop, look, and listen to those who will advocate for women who are be victimized.

Love is not supposed to hurt.

Love should not have to hurt to feel “right or normal.”

Make loving you or someone you know a priorityFor anonymous, confidential help available 24/7, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) now.