Sunday, April 27, 2008


In general, I hate bugs. In fact, bugs are one of the few images that I don't miss seeing. I know that God created them. And I figure that they must have some kind of purpose. But really, what's the purpose of a roach, a wasp, a scorpion, a moth, or a silverfish? And that's only mentioning a few of those annoying creatures...

When I get to heaven--And when I get there I'm sure I won't care... But if I remember, I'm going to be sure to ask God what was up with sprinkling our planet with so many bugs/insects/tiny creatures.

The only insect that I miss seeing is an ant. And that's only because I admire their dilligence and strengtth. I got a chance to see one ant carry a bedcrumb 10 times its size, and I knew then that an ant was a bad mamma-jamma. Plus, my experience with ants as a little girl,
taught me a very valuable lesson.

Although I don't really like bugs, I'm like this... If they don't bother me, crawl their way into my space, fly within my zone, bite me, or invade my home, I'm cool with them. As long as they are over there, and I mean waaaaay over there, I guess I don't mind them sharing the planet with me.

But here's why bugs freak me out so bad now that I'm blind. It's because I cannot see to identify if they are within my space. You know, I can't see if a spider is walking by my foot. I can't see that a wasp is flying straight at me. I cannot see that a ant has decided to mistake my foot as dinner, until I am a victim of his mighty jaws.

If I could see, I could at least kill or run from them. I don't care how it's done, I don't like bugs in my space. So, if that means that I have to exterminate them with spray or my foot, that's cool. And if I have to use my feet to run from them, that's also cool. But not knowing that they are there does not afford me with the skill that is needed to kill them, or the knowledge that is needed to realize that I need to break out in a dash when these bugs have slivered in my direction.

What inspired this post? Well, like I said when I started this post, I really, really dislike bugs. But aside from that... Today, I was standing outside in my yard talking to my daddy. Some kind of flying bug was flapping his wings all around my head, flying with great speed past my uncovered face.

I was freaked out. I would swing my head, trying to shoo it away. But when my hair would slap me in the face, I would get creeped out, thinking it was the bug brushing against my cheek.

I tried to move in another direction to get the heck out of the bug's flying zone. But my sister alerted me that I walked over to where the bug had flown.

What kind of mess is that?

Here I am trying to get away from the bug. But I was too blind to know which way to go.

**Rolling of the eyes**

Anhd I want you to know that I really did just roll my eyes as I am writing this.
Yes, these blind eyes of mine still have attitude and girlish expression. But that another topic, another post, another rant.

Well, I guess I will sign off now. Y'all have a blessed week. May God be your teacher, your friend, and your provider. May He be mine as well.

Much love and peace,

Miss Angela

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Yay!!! It finally came!

Although I turned in all of my final papers to my professors, as well as all of the paperwork to the graduate office for final processing, I was still a little nervous that my graduation in December would not be set in stone. I've heard all of these horror stories about people thinking that they have graduated, even walking across the stage, only to find out that they need one more class or need to turn in one more sheet of paper to be included in their graduation packet.

Finally, three months after the date I was told that I graduated from the graduate program at TSU, my degree finally came in the mail. It was so exciting!

Even though I couldn't see it, I held it in my hand with pride. I felt the seal on it, the raised lettering, and the thickness of the paper. I asked my sister, Frances, to read it to me. She read it as I sat in the car grinning from ear to ear.

It was my degree and my confirmation that I did indeed graduate from Texas Southern University on December 15, 2007. What a blessing.

It's official. I have a BA and a MA. Now, let's see if I'll ever get that PHD that I always wanted. We'll have to see about that.

I would like to thank God for His blessings in my life. Yeah, I can't see, but I can think. And thinking has opened the door for so many opportunities for personal and professional achievements. Thank you Lord for my mind. I don't take it for granted.

I also want to give a shout out to my sister, Frances, as well as my father, Thurman. They hung in there with me the whole time, driving me back and forth from my house to TSU. I love y'all for that!

And to my mother: Mama you've always encouraged me and prayed for me to finish what I start. I thank you for your loving and continual support.


Alumnus of University of North Texas and Texas Southern University

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Recommended Blogs

Y'all, I have a bad case of political/social news burn out. I have to admit it. I am a news hound. I love to read articles on the net, travel to some wonderful political blogs, and watch CNN and MSNBC. I even watch the news when I work out.

But as of late, I realize that I need to take a break from political and social issues, even if it’s only for the rest of the week. I didn’t even watch the debate tonight.

I guess it is because I am so extremely tired of the unfounded attacks on Senator Obama, the free pass that the mainstream media has given Senator Clinton in regard to her lying about the so called assassination attempt, the polygamist camp in Texas, and the capture of the murderous marine.

So, while I’m taking a break from some of my regular political blogs, I am going to spend some time with some of my favorite “breeze to read” blogs. I say that they are a breeze to read because the content is nice, personable, well written, and a break from all the stories that Anderson Cooper gets paid by CNN to sensationalize every night.

I thought I would recommend a few of the blogs that I love to read to the few folks that stop by my blog.

Excerpts from the Diary of a Diva, written by a very close friend of mine. She's kind of blogging anonymously, so I won't call her out. And even though I talk to this sista almost everyday and know pretty much everything about her, this blog still gives me a closer, more intimate look at my friend. Plus, it's good reading. It's well written, insightful, and a sneak peek into the diary of a mack diva. Check her out.

Divalicious Opinions is a wonderful, wonderful blog! This sista just celebrated her blog's one year anniversary. But you wouldn't know it though... She blogs like a vet. Plus, her writing is cheerful and sassy. I like that.

African American Dad Y'all, I love black men that take care of their children. Praise God for an African American man, who has stepped up to the responsibility of doing the hardest job in the world, loving and rearing a child in today's society.
Anyone that reads this blog, knows I love my daddy. Like I said, a black man that loves his children is some kind of special.
Well, this brotha out of NYC writes about his experiences as a responsible, committed father. Check him out.

The Jose Vilson is a blog authored by a black man that is a middle school teacher. This brotha writes about his experiences as a teacher in today's schools. Yes, he writes about other things as well. But I really enjoy his essays on teaching and education.
I'm the child of a teacher. I got teacher blood running in my veins. Perhaps thats the reason why I love to present and train. It's just in me. I'm looking forward to the day that my entire career will be devoted to training and development.
My hat is off to a black man, who decided to be brave and compassionate enough to go into our schools and invest in our African American babies. It's quite a testament to a man's honor and faith.

And finally...
Lovebabz: A Life in Transition
The other day, a friend of mine told me that he was a people person. He went on to say that he loves meeting new people, and hanging out with people. Well, I'm not sure how much I just love to be around people. Honestly, I somewhat value my alone time. Right now, silence is the most beautiful sound to my ears. But that's a different post all together.
Although I dont get a big thrill out of spending a lot of time with people, just for the sake of being with people, I do love to hear and read beautiful stories about the human experience. I love to encounter the jewels that are birthed as a result of many of the hardships that people rise from. This sista, Babz, does a great job at detailing some of those life experiences that many of us have faced in life, and will continue to face before it's all over with.
Here's the truth... I guess when it all boils down to it. I do like people. I am just not impressed with the shallow part of a relationship with others. It's depth, intimacy, openness, and honesty that I connect with. That's why I like this blog.
I also want to thank Babz because she helped me shake the ashes off of my head after the house fire. I was still grieving, sad, blowing up baloons for my pity party, and even neglecting my blog. Well, Babz, a sista that doesn't even know me, thought enough of me to challenge me to shake off the ashes and rise above the destruction of my tragedy.
She challenged me to stop writing about the fire, and to start writing about topics that best represent the theme of Nuvision for a Nuday, life, love, and healing.
It took me a quick minute, but I came around. I still think of her as I'm writing new posts. She's my inspiration.
Thanks Babz for helping me to not stall too long. You really are a God-sent. May the Lord richly bless you.

Well, happy reading. I hope you enjoy these blogs. I know I have, and I will continue.

Love and peace,


Monday, April 14, 2008

The Color of the Walls

Nope, the title of this entry is not some kind of creative lead into an entry about something deep. This post is really about the color of the walls in my house, that is.

Before we had the fire, the walls in my house were white. No problem imagining that... White is white. Even if it is an off white, it's still white for the most part.

But now, after the reconstruction of our house, we had the walls painted... Um, I'm not sure. I think the walls are supposed to be some variation of cacky, cookie crumb, peanut butter, or something like that. I don't know.

And that's the problem.

I've been trying to figure out what color the walls are so that I can have a good picture in my imagination. But I'm having difficulty. Simply because anytime I ask someone to describe what color it is, each person describes it differently.

Perception really is in the eye of the beholder.

But how does a blind eye perceive what color it is?

I guess my imagination will just have to elect a shade of what color it is. Perhaps the color my imagination chooses will be wrong, but it don't matter though. As long as the color is in my mind, it's always right. How can it be disproved or checked against the facts?

It can't.

So, I guess I won't worry about it. I'll just pick a color in my head, stick with it, and declare it to be pretty nice.

I guess I'll do the same when I'm trying to imagine what colors the ceramic tile, wood floors, carpet, and kitchen counters are.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

A Fish in a Tank

Last month, I traveled to Austin for a training event. In one of the training sessions, one of the employment specialists for the blind, gave a nice presentation on living life with blindness. Although there was nothing she said that was new to me, the other participants in the training, all of who were sighted, thought that the information was fresh and enlightening.

There was something that she said that I always knew, but I had never really thought of it that way. She said that being blind in a community of sighted individuals is like being a fish in a tank, someone is always watching you.

Oh, how I identified and agreed with that description.

When I go out into the community, people watch me, whisper about me, and demonstrate that they are in awe of me. For many of these people, they have never seen a blind person in person. So, they don't mind being rude and staring at me like I'm a five-legged cat.

A few years ago, I went to a Tavis Smiley event at Texas Southern University. Do you know I actually heard people whispering:
“Is that lady blind?”
"She's blind." "Get out of her way. She can't see."
“That’s so sad that she can’t see. Lord, help her.”
"That's so nice that they brought her out."

That last statement pi$$ed me off the most. But I will reserve a blog entry to deal with that statement real soon.

My friend Alicia often tells me how people stare and point when we are at the mall, at restaurants, and at church. And honestly, no matter how much I try to shake it off, I get so tired of that. I hate feeling like a zoo exhibit.

The other day, I was walking down the sidewalk to the nail salon that's a few offices from my place of employment. For some reason, quite possibly paranoia, I felt like someone, somewhere was watching me. I felt like I had to make sure that I walked to the nail salon without making one wrong step. I felt that I needed to walk like I was the baddest blind chick in the world. I felt that I had to make sure that I opened the right door, did not trip on the cracks in the sidewalk, and to walk like I was extremely confident, all because I felt that someone was watching to see how this blind woman was actually walking by herself. So much pressure at times...

I am learning everyday that I can't worry about my blind life being on display for all the sighted world to see. If I took the time to focus on all the stares, oohs, and awes that I get throughout the day, I would be nuts.

My Little Rabbit

My sisters' children are so incredibly perceptive. They, without us sitting down and explaining it to them, realized that their aunt could not see before they even turned two-years-old.

I'm sure they realized my blindness made me unique, being that everyone else in the family can see. But they never treated or saw me differently from the rest of the family. They never treated their blind antie like she was a circus animal to be watched and marveled over. They never treated their auntie like she was a weirdo that needed to be kept in the closet. Instead, the kids have taken to me with love, understanding, and respect.

So far, they don't even try to take advantage of the fact that I cannot see in order to do things that they know I wouldn't approve of if I could see them. They are so funny. If they are quiet and doing something they have no business doing, and I, for whatever reason catch a clue that something is up, and ask them, "What are you doing?" They, in all of their badness, admit their crime to me, knowing good and very well that they are getting ready to get it.

But with that being said, I'm sure that as they age, they will understand the benefit of their auntie's blindness. They will begin to understand that me not seeing them will give them the power to lie. But I'm hoping that if I continue to build a foundation of trust and respect, unseen deception will never be an issue. Sure, the temptation to deceive their auntie will be there. I just pray that they will not take the bait.

I loved the way that my nieces and nephew understand that while I am certainly an independent woman, I still need assistance from time to time. They are very sensitive to my needs, never overstepping my boundaries. When they notice that I'm looking for something, they quickly say, "To the left." or "To the right." They sometimes take my hand and guide me to what it is they know I'm looking for. And they do it with so much love.

Lately, I've noticed that Jasmine, my 4-year-old niece, has been acting kind of unusual when it comes to my blindness. I don't know what it is, but when she comes over, she has been asking me, "Ann, can you see?"

I don't know why she's asking me a question that she already knows the answer. Jasmine, my little rabbit, knows that her aunt is blind. So, why is she starting to ask me that question so much lately?

I've began to wonder if she is starting to realize the "real" impact of blindness. Perhaps she is now starting to understand that blindness is serious. And maybe, just maybe she cannot believe that her aunt really cannot see, and that condition is not changing.

Then I also wonder if my supposed ease in how I move and function as a blind woman is throwing her off. Maybe Jasmine cannot understand how her aunt can move around, water the grass, clean the toilets, cook, vacuum the floor, work on the computer, curl her hair, put on lipstick, make up a bed, start the washer machine, and dial on the telephone. (You get my point?) Perhaps the rabbit really can't understand how a blind woman is so like someone that can see.

Today, I don't have the answers of why Jasmine is starting to not understand her auntie's condition. But one thing I know for sure is that I love Jasmine, Gabby, and Joseph.

They are the apples of my eye. (Can I say that when I can't see through my eyes? LOL!)

**This post is dedicated to my three superstars. They, in their own ways, embody the essence of life, laughter, joy, forgiveness, and love. May God continue to protect, enlighten, shield, energize, and elevate them.**

Angie Braden

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Footprints in the Dark

When I can't see clearly,
I know you’re still there
When darkness swarms around me,
I know you’re still there
When evil hovers over me,
I know you’re still there
When pain and sorrow fill me,
I know you’re still there

You are there to protect me
You are there to caress me
You are there to guide me
You are there to hide me
I know you’re still there

You are there to replenish me
You are there to refinish me
You are there to feed me
You are there to teach me
I know you’re still there

I feel your power
Even when I am weak
I hear your voice
Even when I cannot speak
I feel your peace
Even when confusion is all around
I feel contentment
Even when happiness cannot be found
I feel your love
Even when I have missed the mark
I see your footprints
Even in the dark

By: Angela Braden, 1998

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Something I wrote a few months ago...

**I'm not really into posting negative pieces, but I wanted to share something I wrote a few months ago. I was all out of tears, so I sat down and cried on paper. The inspiration of this piece was the phantom pain that I experience in the spot that I used to have a real eye. Apparently, I'm not supposed to feel any more pain there. So, I'm one of the percentage of folks that get the lucky draw of not having a limb and/or an eye, but still feeling the pain that was there when the limb/eye was there. Ain't that a trip?
Yes, I had my left eye removed in 2004. This is my first time speaking of it so openly on my blog. The removal of my eye is a source of pain that I choose to hide from. But now, I feel is the time to start dealing with it head on.
So, take a look at this piece of what I guess I will call poetry. Perhaps in the coming days, I will write more extensively about the reason why my eye had to be removed, the way I felt about getting it removed, and the way I feel now about it being removed.
I know that this piece is pretty depressing, but that's how I was feeling when I wrote it. Don't worry, I'm cool now. I was just hurting that particular night.
I love ya. And God bless.
Peace out,


Heart shattering
Mind Battering
Emotions Clattering
All in my head
All in my body
All in my brain
I feel so clouded
I don’t know what’s worse
The physical pain or the emotional pain
Maybe if I could take some medicine to numb the pain
I would feel differently about the pain that rapes my body and emotions
But there is no sab
There is no pill
There is no anesthesia
There is no surgery
There is no cure
To help the pain disappear
It’s there
Stronger and more clever
Every time I think I grabbed it at the root
And pulled it from the ground
It springs back up
Sometimes in a different form
And sometimes more potent
But always the same
Physical pain or emotional pain
I’m so sad that I’m so acquainted with it.
I’m so sad that my familiarity with the pain is so high
Even when I’m not supposed to feel pain
My brain sends a signal to the empty place to hurt
How could something that’s not there hurt?
How can something that is basically useless experience so much pain?
I used to think that my mind was my best asset.
So, what is up with that?
Why can’t my mind erase the feeling that it knows far too well
Yeah, I know it can’t get rid of the memory
But that’s what it’s supposed to be
A memory
The memory shouldn’t turn into reality
What is it?
Why is it?
How is it?

Angela L. Braden
01/28/2008 at 11:13 P.M.

Can't String Them Together

In the last week or so, I’ve had a real desire to post on my blog. I have stories I want to tell, and opinions I wish to share with my readers. But I’m drained, emotionally and physically. Getting up at 5:00 in the morning, submitting to the hour commute to my job, dealing with the many, many issues on my job, getting back on the road to commute to my house, and to finally get home to be forced to listen to the noise of my family’s constant drama has left me exhausted on many levels.

I’ve even been troubled with headaches in the last few days, so much, that I’ve been taking Advil to manage the pain. I’ve even thought about making a doctor’s appointment. These headaches remind me of the headaches I used to have when I had high blood pressure. (God, I hope that’s not the case.)

I’ve sat down at my computer to write a post a few times each night, but can’t manage to string the words together to write something that makes sense. Again, I have stories to tell, but my stress has made it difficult to write. I’m not like other people that I know, who write to distress. I write to give, to share, to inspire. I guess that’s why posting on my blog has felt like yet another chore, another responsibility, another thing to feel like I need to do and do well.

I’ve decided to shift my thinking a little. As long as I see writing as a chore and not something that’s enjoyable and relaxing to me, I will always run from it when my stress gets too high. The same for getting on my elliptical machine in my room... If I look at exercising as a way to distress, then it is likely that I will run to my work-out machine when I am stressed, rather than running from it when I feel overwhelmed.

Tomorrow, I will push past my stress and anxiety and start posting. I told Miko that I want to make a commitment to post twice a week. I think it would be good for me. I need the verbal exercise.

I guess I need the physical exercise too. In the morning, I will hit that machine as well.

Here’s to the task of distressing,