Faith Walk

LaVette: Never Forgotten

When did we become best friends? I can’t even tell you the day. What I can tell you about is the day she showed up at Busbee Middle School and I saw her from afar in the cafeteria. I remember April, Vickie, Shelia and I asking each other who was the new girl? Myra told us her name and that they were neighbors. Somehow we all connected and it was history from there. We would go on to be friends at BC High school. As her circle of friends grew, we still remained tight. She could stay out later and I had a curfew. It would be her, Susie, and Satori who would hang out in Columbia having fun and meeting new people and I would be stuck in Cayce looking at my bedroom walls imagining all the fun I was missing. While being forced to live vicariously through them, I never felt left out because LaVette and Susie always made me feel like I was there with them partying, meeting people, and having just plain old fun.

We had goals and dreams yet to be achieved as we graduated and began the next chapter at Clemson University.

To Clemson University we went and we were determined to get our degrees, have careers, and one day a family. LaVette and I were roommates until our last year. We met many new friends, joined a sorority, and achieved our academic goals. Graduation was a month away and so was my wedding. She was to be the Maid of Honor and that meant her being with me every step of the way. LaVette helped me pick out my dress and she made sure that I was not going to be “too conservative” on my big day. Yes, she was right there until a month before and then she was gone. Just like that! My dear friend lost her life in a car crash and for decades we all were devastated and crushed.

There were times when night and day looked and felt exactly the same.

Part of me died the day she passed. It has taken over 20 years for me to grow again and bloom in that same place. The seeds she left behind in myself, Connie, Susie, and our sorors may have taken a while to grow, but in that time we all had to experience a metamorphosis unique to each of us. After all, I’m told it takes 30 years for an oak tree to become fully grown from a tiny acorn. We were just twenty-one and twenty-two year olds dealing with the unfathomable, incomprehensible, and most tragic event that would change our lives forever.

I’m told it takes 30 years for an oak tree to become fully grown from a tiny acorn.

Fast forward 26 years to present day, I can see the roots deepening and stretching across the country. Every seed she planted has birthed a tree which has produced fruit. From Cayce to Clemson, all throughout the Carolinas the roots have spread. From Chandler to Atlanta and up to the Northeastern States, they stretch far and run deep. Her family and her friends will never forget her. The children she worked with while completing her Education Degree will never forget. No one will ever forget LaVette. Her smile and laughter lives in our hearts and memories. I can hear her now saying my name, “Denise”. I see her eyes bright with adventure and I feel her presence like a feather floating in the wind. I miss you, LaVette. Happy 48th Birthday in Heaven!

Sleep in Peace my friend ❤️

DeWanda LaVette Jones
Gone but not forgotten

Empty Nest · Enjoying Life Without Guilt · Needing Some Me Time · Parenting Young Adults · Taking Time for Me · Uncategorized

A Free Saturday But Why I am feeling this way? 

Today is Saturday and it actually felt SO good to NOT have anywhere I HAD to be, to NOT have any schedules, to NOT have to drive or fly to participate in my kids’ extracurricular activities. For the first Saturday in a very long time I have either been packing, purging, moving from one house to the next, unpacking, taking someone to train athletically,  or to get a hair cut, or to attend a function. Hopefully you are beginning to get the message I’m trying to send. 

Life has been so complicated as of late that it has forced me to condition myself to NOT knowing any other way but busyness, schedules, and fatigue. So today I should have kicked backed, listened to some music, relaxed,  or ate a favorite meal to celebrate this day. Instead, I was tired, achy, kind of somber, and not at all in a celebratory mood to enjoy my free Saturday. Somewhere  on the inside of me, I felt like I should be doing something. You know I could have went to the grocery store, walked around and shopped until my cart was too heavy to push. I could have went to that huge SAMs and stocked up on drinks and food. That would have been productive, but instead I chose NOT to “do SAMs”. Today I chose NOT to rip and run and wear myself out, only to be tired and exhausted later. 

That decision made me feel like I was not taking advantage of the time I had to “get things done”. I knew the famous and most popular question would come, “What’s for dinner?” I am a wife and mother and that’s what we do right? We make sure there is food on the table just waiting for someone to grab a plate and a fork to eat it. Well today, I chose not one of the most healthiest places, but by popular vote, Popeyes Chicken to be the chef!  I figured I killed more than two birds with that stone: 1) no grocery store trip 2) no prep work and 3) no cooking for me. All I had to do was get in my car and drive 15 minutes to the nearest location, order, and then return home. 

Why The Guilt? 

Part of me writing this post is to say that sometimes we don’t enjoy our free time because we don’t know how to enjoy it. We feel guilty for just taking a day off and doing absolutely nothing. We allow ourselves to work as machines and then when our bodies start to fail us, we wonder why and how did this occur? 

For me, I have to learn it’s okay to relax. That, in itself, is hard for me because after being a wife for 23 years and a mother for 20 years, that’s pretty much all I know is “doing”, “serving”, and “‘making it happen”. Today I switched things up. I did somethings I normally don’t do. The part I have to work on is being at peace with my decisions to not be the race horse or the “go to person”. I have to learn to say “no” and by now everyone in my household is capable of doing for themselves. In fact of the six persons, five of them can drive and take some of the load off me. 

My Prayer 

My prayer for me today and for others like me is to understand that God created rest for us all. It is written that even He rested on the seventh day. Let us not feel guilty or less of a person for taking time to absolutely do Nothing. 

Side note: I did take longer time on my hair and I put on makeup today which is something I usually don’t do. I went to the mall and exchanged an item and invested some dollars on myself. All of these are huge wins because for one part of my day, I took care of me and did something as minute and simple to some, For Me! Oh and I can’t leave out the fact that I treated myself to an ice cream cone! 

Yes, it started off rough but my day ended quite selfishly and I don’t feel guilty at all!