Monday, August 27, 2007

Blog of the Week: New Feature for Nuvision for a Nuday

I've decided that every Monday, I will recommend to others blogs that I love to read and/or have interesting content available on them. While I might not agree with everything on these blogs, I find these blogs to be wonderful because they incite me to think, to explore, to discover new ideas.

A few months ago, this woman that I work with, asked me what was my greatest asset since I've lost my sight. Well, because I didn't feel like the truth to that answer was any of her business, I gave her the mechanical/expected answer to that particular question. I told her that my hearing is my greatest asset.

But that's not the truth. Yes, hearing is great. But I feel that my greatest asset is my ability to think, to choose, to analyze.

This is why I've always loved to read. Reading forces me to use that greatest asset. In the past (when I was able to see), I've always loved to read books. But now that I'm blind, books are not always available in a format that I can access. But most blogs are in an accessible format. And that's great for me. I'm able to hop all over the blogosphere and read up on some of any and everything until I just can't take no more.

Although I've been a regular reader at a number of blogs in the last year or so, this week, I'm going to recommend a blog that i just discovered in the last 48 hours. I think that this blog should be first in line, simply because the content of the blog is so incredibly needed and critical in its importance to all Americans. Plus, it is something that I've felt passionate about every since the Natalee Hollaway case.

The blog that I'm referring to and recommending to all those who hit up my spot is .

Take a few minutes of your time every day or every week to look over the content and images on this blog. You never know, you might have seen one of these missing persons.

Remember, when the news conveniently does not report about certain people missing, and when even we forget about people that have actually come up missing that we've heard about, the families never forget. So, let's try to transform the forgotton to the unforgotten

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Gift of Strength

During the entire month of August 2003, my little sister, Frances, was temporarily residing in the labor and delivery unit of one of our city’s finest hospitals. She had been in labor for nearly three weeks. The doctor’s were doing all they could to slow the contractions down, so that my niece could stay nestled in her mommy’s stomach as long as she could. Frances was only six months pregnant. The doctors urgently tried to reduce all possibilities of her tiny daughter arriving too soon.

I was worried about her, so I had a friend to drop me off at the hospital after a night of painting the town red. My foxy red suit helped me accomplish that task with great success. When I arrived to Frances room, I wished that I had something to change into, something a little less colorful and looser. But my sister’s discomfort helped me forget how I wished I was in a pair of sweats and tennis shoes, instead of a red pants suit and strappy, high-heel, black sandals. I tried to help the moaning mother to be relax. She was in so much pain.

The hours rolled by and the contractions stomped the wall of Frances’ abdomen. I decided to stay the night with her. The next morning, I was still in my red suit, feeling more uncomfortable than I did the night before. But again, Frances’ discomfort and pain caused me to experience temporary amnesia regarding my discomfort.

I tried to calm her down by helping her pick a name for the wiggling little girl that had been residing in her body. We decided to name the princess, Gabrielle. We had no idea that the name Gabrielle would come in use sooner than we thought.

The baby’s heart rate began to slow its rhythm. The nurses rushed in, checking on the mother and trying to check on the baby that hid behind the veil of Frances’ flesh. Next thing I know, the doctor rushed in and said that they were going to have to deliver the baby. They were scared that something was wrong with the little princess. Her heart rate continued to slow its pace.

As the nurses prepared the frightened mother-to-be for emergency surgery, one of the nurses comforted her by informing Frances that the baby was probably going to be alright. She told Frances that African American baby girls have a greater chance of surviving premature birth than any other race or gender baby. Frances was still afraid, but she was more at ease.

My eyes bucked when I heard the nurse convey that bit of information to my sister. I thought to myself, “God makes us strong soon as we get here.” I begin to think about all the strong black women that surrounded me, all the black women that I grazed by in this journey of life, and all the black women that I would meet. Our strength was so evident in most things that African American women do. Apparently, this strength that helped us endure the seemingly disastrous trails of life was present with us at birth. I thought to myself, “What a gift!”

I wasn’t worried about Frances and Gabrielle anymore. I knew that gift from God, strength to survive the most critical crises of life, would kick in and give them the resilience and fortitude to survive this traumatic birthing experience. And that’s exactly what happened. Frances was okay, and her 1 pound: 12 ounces of love was also okay. Although Gabrielle was extremely tiny, fragile, and very ill, I was certain that the strength that God had packaged deep on the inside of her would help her not only survive but thrive.

I wrote this essay back in 2004. I thought it was appropriate to post it here today, in honor of my darling, Gabby. Today is the little darling's birthday. She turned four-years-old today. I'm so blessed to have this little sistah in my life. She's a bad, bad chick.

Today, I attended Gabby's birthday party. Maybe tomorrow, I will blog about how her birthday party turned out. Yeah, I think that's what I'll do.

Until then, I pray the best for your life.

Much love,

Miss Angie

Friday, August 24, 2007

Living on a Roller Coaster

When I was a kid, roller coasters were my thing. I loved the sudden jerks and turns. Wooh! I loved the speed. So fast, so high, so low, so shaky… It didn’t even matter how fast or high. The faster, the better… The more wild, the better... The most suspenseful, the best...

I really loved the roller coasters that twisted, turned, flipped, and dipped until you were finally suspended in the mid-air, upside down. I can feel it now, blood rushing straight to my brain.
What an exhilarating feeling.

But that was when I was a kid.

I hate roller coasters now,

Especially the ones that ride on the rails of my emotions.

I hate it when my emotions decide to go for a ride. Lately, it seems like I am always on an emotional roller coaster. Up and down. Climbing, climbing, climbing… I finally reached the climax of the incline. What a feeling! Boy, that feels great!

And then suddenly…

Dang it! I’m falling again!

Fast, swift, dangerously…
I can’t stop. I’m falling.

I get so tired of that damned ride.

I grew up hating the kiddy rides. Now I wish I can stand in line to get on an emotional ride that is easy, safe, friendly, unassuming, and protective. How I long to just ride, without protective straps-without worrying if the safety bar is securely locked. I just want to ride and be free. Is that too much to ask?

Mr. Roller Coaster Conductor, You think I’m too big for the kiddy ride? Will you please let me get on?

(Don’t worry… I don’t have Bipolar Disorder. LOL And I got that on good authority. The docs said that I’m just stressed.)

**Oh BTW: I wrote this a couple of years ago. But it closely describes how I feel today. Not exactly this severe… But close enough…**

Monday, August 20, 2007

Questions & Reflections

How is it possible to crave something you've never had?
How is it possible to miss something you've really never experienced?
How is it possible to know something you've never been taught?
How do you love someone you've never met?
How do you trust someone that has given you no reason to trust them?
Is it possible to unlearn all that you've learned?
Should feelings ever be considered facts?
Is fear always our enemy?
Do we live to live or to love?
Do each of us really have a purpose?
What's the meaning of life?
What's the meaning of my life?
Why is faith so easy to acquire, but so hard to hold on to?
Is a missed opportunity truly a missed opportunity?
If something is meant to be, then will it get a chance to one day be?
Are there no accidents in life?
Is there really a difference in reality and fantasy?
What does God really think of me?
What do I really think of God?
If we can waste time, can we gain time?
Do all good things really come to those who wait?
Am I on or off course?
How can I be certain that I'm on course?
If there are lessons in all mistakes, are mistakes a necessary aspect of life?
Do I love myself as much as I say I do?
Do I love God as much as I say I do?
Do I believe that God loves me as much as I say He does?
Is fulfillment possible in this present world?
Is there a quota set on how much pain one can feel in one lifetime?
Does everyone have access to happiness and peace?
Will I get a chance to be truly happy, at peace, and fulfilled before I fly away from this life.

Will I ever find the answers to these questions? Maybe, maybe not... But I'll never stop reflecting on these questions and what I think the answers are.

Lord, help me find my way in this maze that you have designed to be my life. Help me understand how I can maximize my time here in this present world. Help me to understand you better. Help me to understand myself better. Help me to understand life and how I fit in it better. Lord, just help me. I really do need you.

Humbly submitted,

Angela L. Braden

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

My Darling Visitors

It is so interesting to me that my family and friends very seldom visit my blog. I'm not sure why they don't. Maybe it's because some of the content here is old news for them. Well, actually that's only true for a small fraction of my friends and family. But most of the other folks that know me, need to be on this blog learning about me and my blindness. But anyway... I guess if they were interested in learning about me and what it's like to walk in my shoes, they would have sat down and asked me by now. Oh well...

I think it is quite amazing that the people who take the time to stop by here, read, and comment are individuals that have never met me, looked upon my face, heard my voice, or touched my skin. These people that don't know me have agreed to try a little of what I'm offering over here. And for that, I'm an appreciative host. So far, no one has thrown my offerings back at me. So, I think I'm doing pretty good.

Note to my darling readers: Thank you for taking time from your sighted lives to learn about what it is like to live life without sight. Thanks for learning, for growing, and for becoming more sensitive. Thank you for taking this journey to find love, acceptance, and peace along with me. I enjoy the company so much.

With love and appreciation,

Angela Braden

Sunday, August 05, 2007

I'm so sorry that you're blind.

Sunday evening, I went to dinner with my family. I usually ask whoever I’m with to read the menu at whatever restaurant we’re at. But because I had already eaten at this restaurant and liked what I had, I decided to just have that again.

Well, the waitress came to take our order. When she got to me, I looked up at her (turned to face her) and placed my order. She asked me what side I would like with that. I hadn’t considered what side I wanted for my dinner. I asked her what sides they had. Well, she picked the menu up off the table, opened it up, and said, “Here’s a list of our sides.” I thought she was going to read them off. But I quickly realized that she wanted me to review the list and give her an answer. So, I said to the lady, “Oh, I’m blind. Can you please tell me what sides you have?”

Well, the lady acted like she had seen a ghost. I startled her with my news. She started stuttering, and then she started apologizing to me. She apologized over and over. I smiled and told her it was okay. She read the list. I told her which one I wanted, and I thought it was over.

Well, she apologized again. But this time, I could tell that she was not apologizing for not realizing I was blind. She was apologizing for me being blind. She had that sound of pity and compassion in her voice. I could tell that she felt like my pitiful excuse for an existence was so sad.

“You poor little blind lady… How do you live without sight? Life has to be terrible for you. That’s so nice for your family to take time out with you. I bet you like getting out of the house, don’t you? You have such a positive attitude to have such a sucky life.”

I’m so used to that kind of response. I wish that I could simply go out into the community and have a nice outing, without stares, comments, and assessments made by folks that lives our more wacked out than mine.

But I guess that’s just the way it is. No matter what I do, I can’t change what people think about me. But the one thing I can change is what I think about them and their assessment of me. It’s taking me a long time to get to this point. But I’m finally starting to shed off the sensitive skin that I’ve had so long. I’m starting to not give a care about what others think.
I have this little motto that I started living by. If your assessment of me does not translate into the gain or loss of money and influence, then your opinion of me is completely and utterly invalid.

I hate to sum it up to money and power. But it is what it is. Too often we give people that can’t change our lives in any way too much power. And trust me, it is power that they certainly don’t deserve.

Well, you folks have a terrific week. I’ll check back in here in a few days.

Peace and love,


I love this!

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens
us most. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing
small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest
the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Written By: Marianne Williamson

**A friend read this to me the other night. Of course, I was already familiar with it. But no matter how many times I hear or read these words, I am blessed and motivated. My friend said that I need to hold on to the beauty and power of this quote and hold on tight. I think that's a good idea. Why don't all of us do that.

Have a blessed week. My heart and prayers are with you.

Sweet love,