In today's episode we take a moment to celebrate the "Fathering Spirit," and Juneteenth.
In life, and in caregiving, go on and embrace the dance within our journeys.
Enjoy the show.
Be blessed. Not stressed. Why?
Because yours and their lives depend on it.
Aminah Amarachi- Your host
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2021-2022 © JITMOIA Podcast by All Paths Lead Home, LLC/SLE (TM) – All Rights Reserved
S1E17 - To Dance with Our Dede, One Mo’ ‘Gin
Intro Music: Royalty Free
Promo: BuzzSprout Services
Grand risings and runnings, family, and welcome back to our Joy in the Midst of It All podcast show. I am your host - Aminah Amarachi.
Before we begin our journey, I would like to acknowledge the synchronicity of June 19TH. It is the date recognized for offering thanks, with reverence and gratitude, to those who chose to stake their own claim to self authority, agency and actualization after finally receiving the delayed word of their becoming legally unencumbered, i.e. free from enslavement, in Galveston, TX. It is officially known as Juneteenth, which became a nationally celebrated holiday on June 15, 2021.
It is also the date that is nationally recognized as Father’s Day, which was first celebrated on, guess what, June 19, 1910. Now, how’s that for an ah-ha in history moment. There is most certainly something profound about both of these holidays, along with the first date that Father’s Day was nationally celebrated, happening on the exact same date, in 2022. I will leave it to you to wonder and ponder what this might mean for you during this season of your life.
Now, let’s continue our journey…
Father’s Day is a time for those who have been blessed to have what I prefer to acknowledge as one or more “Fathering Spirits” in their lives. We’re reminded to take time out to honor and give thanks for those who were pivotal in me, you and everyone else, becoming who they are today, good, bad, or indifferent - Dad, Uncle, Grandpa, Great Grandpa, Cousin, etc. This includes Bonus Dads, Gramps, Papas, Neighbors, Teachers, Coaches, Faith and Fellowship Fathers, Big Brothers and more. This, also, includes those women who have given the children in their lives the best Fathering Spirit they had/have to offer in the absence of those who one would typically be framed as a Father figure.
Today’s Episode: To Dance with Our Dede, One Mo’ ‘Gin
The year: 2016
The dates: Every Father’s Day since January 10, 2016.
The scene: It’s mostly a blur. I won’t even begin to pretend that I will recall everything that occurred, nor everything that was said, or done on, WHAT? lo-and-behold none other than WHAT?...June 19, 2016. Why? Because just six months earlier our Dede punched his last dance card on this side of life’s journey.
The Story: Since that year was the second most blurry-filled year that I have ever experienced in my life, with the first being the date our Mama went on ahead of our Dede to prepare her dance card for when he joined her, I would like to share the simple Joys of hanging out with and getting to “Dance” with our Dede over the years.
In addition to Waffle House, putt-putt golf, skee-ball, air-hockey, and bowling moments, one memory that still makes me both smile and crack up with laughter is how our Dede let folks know that he was proud of his children. He would tell folks about us by what we did, i.e. he would say, “This one does that thing with their hands, and this one does things with a computer, and this one does that thing with a camera. This also meant that he knew that we, too, as did our Mama, believed that education was of great value in our lives.
I remember the first time Dede was introduced to my second language, sign language, the weekend of my graduation. He saw all these hands waving up in the air, and turned to my sibling to ask, “Why are all these folks waving,” to which she replied, “Dede, they are applauding the graduates walking across the stage. He looked puzzled. She then explained. “Hearing people clap to applaud, yet Deaf people wave to applaud, because they can’t hear the clapping.” Understanding took root, and our Dede raised his hands to “Air-Plaud” for me. We later went out to eat and celebrate, i.e. singing and “Dance,” both literally and figuratively, that afternoon, as a family.
Stay tuned for more right after our first spotlight moment.
Now, for our first spotlight moment…
Spotlight Moment #1:
Our first spotlight moment is for all those ancestors, in the greater Galveston, TX area who have not only re-established their own birthrights of self authority, agency, and actualization, yet who also ensured that their stories of journeying through freedom with faith, grace, wisdom, and perseverance were passed down the lines to their descendants, and shared forth throughout their communities, triumphantly, which lit the match that blazed a trail of transcendence that will prayerfully go down in history, both accurately, and reverently, for the best parts of what it means spiritually, emotionally, mentally, physically, and culturally to be free.
Now, back to our show…
Welcome Back Family
Now, the 360⁰ to the above story, was the day when Dede went with me to one of my career organization meetings. That meeting ran two hours long, yet even while on his own journey, he sat there present, focused, and engaged with all that was transpiring around him in that moment. He was watching hands flying everywhere. Our Dede, who saw education as a doorway to better opportunities, far beyond a given credential or degree, was sitting there with that look a parent gets when they witness the dreams they have held for their child come true, which then, sends beams of loving pride throughout their heart, and leaves them feeling as if their living and their “Charge to Keep,” have not been in vain.
And, to add icing on the cake, after the meeting was over, and in true cultural and linguistic style, our Dede watched as our hands continued flying, i.e. chatting up a storm, and in one sweet moment, he lifted his hands, and patted his tummy, then signed the word, “eat,” to me. He did that to let me know that he was hungry, or as he would often exclaim, “It’s time to eat.” My heart melted and my friends and I cracked up smiling at how easily he figured out how to communicate in my second language, even while journeying through Alzheimer’s. Thanks, Dede.
Now, if you are wondering how this all ties into the show title, i.e. Dance with Our Dede, One Mo’ ‘Gin, consider that life is a dance - figuratively and literally. Sometimes we find ourselves jamming to the electric slide or having a dance off contest, as were some favorites of mine and our Dede, so much so that he even challenged his son-in-love, on their wedding day. Yes, he did. In the hall. Right after the weddings. During the celebration. He challenged his son-in-love to a dance off, on their wedding day…that was hilarious.
At times, as a caregiver, your life’s dance might feel like a salsa, a cha-cha, lindy-hop, jitterbug, a jerk, rumba, foxtrot, break or, square dancing, the twist, a slide or the mash potato (which…by the way was another one our our Dede favorite dances that literally looked as if he was digging up potatoes down on the farm)...hilarious to watch. Why? Because he was so focused and knew he was so fly while dancing.
Regardless of which dance you find yourself evolving through, know that just as each of the dance crazes, above, had their season, so too does your caregiving journey. At times, your journey may feel real jerky, while at other times it may feel jitter-buggy, yet eventually, you will find your groove, and then electric slide and glide along the best way you know how, and with joy. And, when the season arrives that the one you are caring for has turned in their dance card, you will sometimes be left missing, as I have been these past six years, your “Dance” with your “Loved One,” One Mo’ “Gin.
You may not be able to physically dance with your loved one, one mo’ ‘gin, yet you can continue to dance with them, like nobody’s watching, and with joy, in your heart, always, and in all ways, forever. And, that is a gift from them to you, with gratitude.
Take time out of those jerky, swing filled moments, to just dance with your loved one by creating more great memories, taking some awesome photos, creating a scrapbook or your journey together, or simply basking in each others’ presence beyond the seaming junctures along your journey. Why? Because once absent from the body, or grown up and left home from the nest, or they are out on their own and you haven’t seen them in a week or two, the spirit of your love and times together always remains.
Now, it’s time for our next Spotlight moment…
Spotlight Moment #2:
This spotlight moment is dedicated to my second language family…the Deaf and Interpreting communities. As my sister once witnessed, I even signed in my sleep…haha…I thank you for all the friendships, mentoring, culture, and support which I have received all along the way. I would not have made it this far, in my journey without you. It’s been a wonderfully profound dance. Smile.
Now, back to our show…
Here are my take-away, tip, tool, and toss.
We all have a choice as to how we dance through our own lives, let alone our lives as caregivers, or through the lives of those we profess to love. We can choose to jerk our way through, or [and] in doing so jerk the ones we love around in the process, or we can choose to focus on waltzing through in ways that allow the ones that we love and care for to slide up beside us heart to hand and hand in heart building a relationship of ease that will serve as the foundation for the roads you both will travel going forward - parent to child, child to parent, beloved to beloved, peer to peer, employer to employee, employee to employer, business partners, and beyond. Go on, choose not only your “dance” partners, yet also take care in choosing how you will dance how you will dance around/ and or within this life’s journey together. Remember that which your send out into the world boomerangs its way back to you.
Just for today, take a look at your dance card. Make a choice to enjoy a smoother dance with those dance partners that you cherish. Now, those, whose season has waned, inform them. And, if they have gracefully-by God-been removed from your dance card, don’t waste your time trying to fill your card back up with them, again. Why? Because your further dance partners - blessings - won’t have any space or place to invite you to the dance of life.
Music that makes your spirit sing, your heart leap, your mind clear out, your body sway, and your face smile. Boom box, earbuds, or whatever, music video, vibrating dance floor, or the music in your head that no one else can even hear. Haha. Yea, that’s me.
Just dance. Turn off the news. Turn down the noise. Tune out of any and everything that is jerky, jolting, and jitter-buggy, for 24, 48, 72 hours, so that your electric being can just be present to the bliss within the dance of your own being…like nobody’s watching. Without self judgment. Without self correction. Just dance.
In closing, I’d like to take this time to thank you all, both my seasoned and new followers, for spending your time with me on today’s Joy in the Midst of It All journey. Now, take a moment to tap the button on your favorite podcast streaming platform to tune in, follow, subscribe and rate the show. You may have to log into some of the platforms, if you are online, and you may be able to see it if you scroll down on your smart phones. [I] don’t know about them flip phones, ya’ll. I’ll learn that and tell you later, depending on the service you use in order to rate the show.
You will also receive updates when a new episode is released. We release an episode every second and fourth Thursday of the month. OK. So, go ahead and tag a family caregiver, or a few, if you know them, and tell them one thing you have learned today, or from any previous episode, that will support you, and maybe them, in moving through the caregiving journey with more ease, no matter who or how God has chosen for you or them to offer your gift of caregiving to your loved ones.
Then, blaze a trail on over to my podcast website, on Buzzsprout, for the show notes, transcript, and any links, and if your heart so leads you tip me what I like to call a “Cup of J.O.E. (A jolt of encouragement and support),” over at my Buy Me a Cup of Coffee website link. Understand, though, I do prefer a great cup of tea and lemonade...an Arnold Palmer...for sure... You will see the link in the show notes.
I am your host Aminah, and I want you to be blessed and less stressed...Why?, because yours and their lives depend on it. Have a great day.
Outro Music: Royalty Free
2021-2022 © JITMOIA Podcast by All Paths Lead Home, LLC/SLE (TM) – All Rights Reserved