Happy Birthday Gregory

Dear Greg,

I can’t believe it’s been 10 years that you’ve been gone.  Yet it seems like only yesterday that I got that call.  I still think about you all the time.  I wonder what your life would have been like.  I can’t even imagine how many more memories we would have made.  You were my best friend.  You wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve wished I could just pick up the phone and tell you about my day.  What I would do to hear your sweet voice of reason.  There was a time when you were the only person who could calm me down. You were the only one who I could vent too, the only one who understood me – or at least you made me believe you did.

Grandma and Grandpa are gone now too.  I know you all are together up in heaven.  Losing Grandma was excruciating. That loss totally took my breath away.  With you all gone the family is so different.  Each time we loss one of you a piece of our family was broken off.  I never knew we could be so distant when we all use to be so close.  Time has really taken a toll on us.  Life has hit us with some tough blows.  You all were like the glue that sealed us together, now we are all just floating a drift.  I know for sure I am not the same.

Your daughter has grown up so beautifully.  She looks just like you and Leslie. Don’t you worry she knows who you are. Ashley made sure of that.  I love her for not letting your memory fade.  The rest of us are ok.  I won’t dare complain to you because at least we still have our lives.  I struggle sometimes but I promise I am going to work my hardest to make the best out of this life for us.  I remember the dreams that we stayed up so many nights talking about.  I’m still chasing mine and as long as I have air in my lungs I promise you I won’t give up.  I’m doing this for us.

I love you even more today then I did 10 years ago.  You know they say absence makes the heart grow fonder.  I didn’t know it was possible for me to grow fonder of you.  You were already my favorite person in the world. I love you Gregory. I miss you and I wish you could be here with us, flashing your big smile and keeping the peace in the family.  I guess I will just have to take comfort in the fact that I know you are watching over me.  Now, I’m going to let you get back to dancing the night away with Grandma in celebration of your birthday. I’ll wait for you to visit me in my dreams.

Happy Birthday



Love Is All We Have

Force your pride down to the floor, wrestle your ego down to the mat…and tell them that you love them.

-T.D. Jakes

I was watching T.D. Jakes 35th anniversary show on TV and he made a statement about the importance of telling the people in your life that you love them.  It really made me think because my family has been going through a lot lately with my grandmother being sick.  It seems like when it rains it pours and I swear it has been pouring for my family.

What’s really sad is that my family acts out the most in a time of tragedy.  Instead of everyone sticking together, being supportive and helping out one another they choose to argue and tear each other down.   I got a very negative phone call at six o’clock in the morning from one of my family members that through my whole day off and as much as I hate to admit it I found myself feeding right into the negativity.  I was not even angry I was more hurt of what had been said but it made me just want to distance myself from the situation.  The problem with that is if I distance myself from the situation then I will also be distancing myself from my grandmother and that’s just not an option right now.

So after all that I watched the T.D. Jakes celebration and he made the statement about forcing your pride aside and wrestling your ego down and just tell them that you love them and I felt myself gasp for breath.  I have to remember at the end of the day no matter how annoying my family can be they are still my family and unfortunately you can’t pick them.  I have to believe that all of this anger and animosity is coming from fear and frustration.  I have to focus on the great things about my family right now. I know that we all love each other.  We are a supportive family, an encouraging family and a very close-knit family that would do just about anything for one another.

I could psycho analyze this situation one hundred different ways but at the end of the day we are all in an extended grieving period right now. I just have to continue to pray for God to give us all strength and do the best I can to be supportive of my grandmother because she is the one who is hurting the most right now. Plus she raised us to love each other and that’s what I am going to do.  I am going to push my pride to the side, wrestle my ego down to the mat and love them with every ounce of love in my body. I’m just gonna love them.


I write from the heart

When I originally decided to start write my short stories it was because I have been feeling anxious about my writing.  I have some major things going on that I have not been able to share about my work so I needed to find another outlet thus I decided to publish my short stories online.  I put a lot of thought into what kind of stories they would be and in typical Shireal Renee fashion decided they would be love stories – a series of love stories that were all connected through the use of the same characters.  As I began writing, You Better Breathe, like most of my writing my hands took over and created something I totally didn’t expect.   The story of London’s grandmother being sick is directly related to what I am going through right now.

I never intended to write about this situation with my grandmother.  I just sat down and started writing and she was all I could think of.   So I let it out.  As I was writing my emotions took over me and I started bawling in tears.  I was crying so hard that I began to lose my breath. As I was typing the words my hands were shaking to the point that I had to stop and compose myself.   I didn’t even know how much I had been holding inside of me.  I tried to push everything that has been going on to the back of my mind because I choose to remain optimistic, accepting what the doctors and my family have been saying is not how I operate, I operate by faith, that is the only way I know how to survive.

I was afraid to publish this story because it is so close to me and frankly I have no idea how I am going to end it.  I guess I am going to have to just write blindly and let my hands lead the way.   One thing is for sure; this is my ultimate love story!  Anything dealing with my family is coming from a place of unconditional love, love without measure, all-consuming love – that is how we love each other, hardcore.

I look forward to sharing the rest of this story with you and as always I pray that you can relate and find hope and healing in my words.


Saturday – Off the Wagon

I’ve had a tough week recuperating from the show. Starting on Monday, I have to start back at day one. Back on my workouts, back on my eating right, back being focused–it’s like I’ve been on vacation. The toughest thing about taking a week to decompress, is getting back on the wagon.

Why is it so  easy to fall off the wagon but so hard to jump back on it.  I have to stay committed though. Luckily I have a great support system.  My wonderful cousins are in my corner like crazy.  Shout out to my bestie Tena, Ashley, Toya, and Dareena I love y’all.  We are gonna hit our goals.

2014 year of #transformation!

Super Bowl Sunday!!! (My Favorite Holiday)

Denver_BroncosToday is my favorite holiday!  Even though I had a disagreement with someone about today not being a holiday.  I won’t mention his name so that I can spare him the embarrassment since I thoroughly proved my point.  In my family it is tradition that on Super Bowl Sunday all of our friends and family gather at my FAVORITE Uncle/Father Robert’s house and we cook and we fellowship and enjoy the game on his 70 inch 3D flat screen media entertainment system.  It’s awesome!

Now if I recall this is exactly what happens on other named holidays i.e. Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Years just to name a few.  The great thing about Super Bowl Sunday is that at least the name is honest to what we are celebrating.  We are gathering together as a unit to watch the greatest game on earth.  Now Christmas is disguised as a day of giving when bratty kids just want gifts…and so on and so forth.  I digress.  My point is Super Bowl Sunday is in fact a holiday and I LOVE IT!

This year my beloved NY Giants will not be taking the field so I will be rooting for the Denver Broncos.  I usually go for the underdog but I loves me some Payton Manning (I worshiped him when he was with the Colts) and after that neck surgery I want him to overcome with a big victory.  Lets hope he finishes one of the greatest offensive seasons in NFL history with a humongous Super Bowl XLVIII Victory!