I worked in palliative care for many years with patients who had gone home to die. People grow a lot when confronted with their mortality. Each experienced a variety of emotions, as expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial, and eventually, acceptance. When questioned about regrets or things they would do differently, the following common themes surfaced again and again.
SISTER: An African-American Life in Search of Justice Sylvia Bell White & Jody LePage uwpress.wisc.edu
Sylvia Bell White was raised with 12 brothers in Louisiana, a state that didn’t provide schools for African American children through the 1940s. She went north as a teenager, dreaming of a nursing career and a freedom defined in part by wartime rhetoric about American ideals. In Milwaukee she and her brothers persevered through racial rebuffs and discrimination to find work. Barred by both her gender and color from employment in the city’s factories, Sylvia scrubbed floors, worked as a nurse’s aide, and took adult education courses.
Former First Lady Rosylnn Carter said, “There are four kinds of people in the world: Those who have been caregivers, those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers. Cornwall intersperses real life stories from 86 interviews and hundreds of personal conversations with advice on how to approach the critical issues and decisions facing a cancer caregiver.
Dr. Thompson, a psychologist and professional life coach, takes readers on a journey that teaches them how to dissolve Mama’s negative influence while cherishing her positive impact. It is a tool of universal application for self-discovery and healing for women of all ages. It empowers women to discard old resentments that may be locking them into unproductive cycles.
Dr. Doris Woods a clinical nurse, former college professor and author shares how she successfully fought obesity — after she was diagnosed as pre-diabetic — and began living a healthy life. She shares how anyone can prevent and battle pre-diabetes and diabetes in today’s age of fast food and super-sized meals. She lost weight and her health problems vanished. She says, “You don’t have to confine yourself to special foods, just learn to eat sensibly.”
It’s that time again, time to gather with those we love and repeat the valued traditions that affirm who we are, who we belong to and what is genuinely important.
African Americans have always honored the traditions of family, food, song and spirituality. So Thanksgiving and Christmas are ripe with memories that bridge our past to the present. Traditions bind families and friends, creating a connectedness that transitions even life itself. Experts say that it is also during these activities that family beliefs and values are transferred as children witness the importance of friendship, unity and sharing.