Category Archives: Marie’s Garden

The Race 2 the Grave


It muses my mind

Mankind is on a race

One so fierce

The fool seems the whistleblower

No sight of the finish line I see

But then again there are seas

Which may make the track

As hard to trace

But the race picks up

Ever so fierce

Don’t ask me I beg

Am only a writer

Our leaders may know more

Wants and needs ever rising

Fears and foes ever adding

A strange race it seems

Cause near the finsh line

Some wish they hadn’t run at all

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In Memoriam: Dreaded Death Dare I Muse


Dreaded death dare I muse

Why you don’t come when we wish?

Or maybe you guess right, even when we do we really mean not

He was some years back very sick

Three heart valves changed at once

We vigiled and wailed and even wished

But not you to respect any one

So now I muse 

What do you order us do

To be better prepared or armed?

Maybe we can ignore you altogether

And live and love to our best?

Say it and send it and savour now and not tomorrow

Cause if you come today, then we regret not

You really seem invincible inevitable and dare I say inviolable?

Gosh: you have stung so close again once more

His daughter & lone seed is just a year

I wouldn’t even dare call his young wife

At least we are still many around

The best to heal is all we can do it seems

Adieu Armstrong: I wish I wish I wish…

I muse no more…keep your dread I beg

———-

P.s: lost a cousin so close we grew up same house and my boys called him uncle, cherishing care free holidays at his home…

24 hrs chrono for Dyane Harwood ahead of her first book talk


Good morning world;

When my special and very brave friend Dyane Harwood asked me if I could keep a flame shinning for her on Thursday as she did her first book talk, of course I quickly bought a big green candle.                      
 Lady dearest, may this flame warm your soul all through this day and especially as you talk.                                                             It is the first, but many are sure to be lined up.  Remember you are a pacesetter for #postpartum Bipolar Disorder.           Whoop whoop whoop!!!  

My Prayer and Affirmation Wall 2 Inspire some…


 

Hello World, am inspired to share something close to my heart which helps me every day, morning and night to stay grounded irrespective of any circumstances. The above is my prayer and affirmation wall just above my bed. The lighting is sort of dim because I have a ‘green coloured’ bulb in there. That colour green, is my favourite and so happens to be the mental health colour lol. It is soothing light to say the least and makes me love my room more – my serene space. Having that wall helps me introspect a lot each day as I wake up or prepare for bed. There you find my personal prayers I have written down this lane, some of my poems, some affirmation, gifts from the boys, and drawings from Gaby etc.

When I read for example the above appreciation note, I know even if I don’t feel so good or up to that day, I have and I am appreciated so I can’t be any hard on myself – I mean I should appreciate myself more right?

Indeed, it is that prayer and affirmation wall which led a cousin of mine to recommend the movie “War Room” to me. That movie is a soulful one and nothing to do with the violent war the world knows. If you have time, it is free on youtube and here is a link.

Be inspired by my journey dear world, and wish you find your own serene space…

Happy Midweek everyone

Advocating for my son and students all the way …


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My special friend and deputy CEO of In Our Home Inc

Hello World, that is my first son Alain (for those just hopping on my blog). He turned 14 years last october 8th and we went to a Chinese Buffet for a first time – they  (all 3 boys I have) had a great time.

Now, Alain is in form 3, I guess middle high in the US or so. Recently, when writing about experiences I had in his brother’s school with two teachers, I also mentionned some I had in his own school over some grade scores he had been removed for some reason I couldn’t understand. He is a very hardworking student, has always been on honour’s roll since primary school and takes a lot of pride in his performance – of course I do too although I try to make him not put so much pressure on himself. One of his teachers gave him a 2/8 in a question because he forgot an element, and yet his friend who gave same illustration forgetting same element got a 6/8. When he went up to ask the teacher showing his friend’s paper, his two marks were substracted and added to this friend’s.

Of course I marched to that school the next day and spoke with the proprietor and dean of studies. I was assured the grades will be reviewed. Ha same afternoon, he comes back home with another paper taught by the same teacher where he gets 3 answers marked wrong which I know are correct. I am getting itchy and go back to the school the next day. The teacher whom I don’t see, had told the dean the previous day Alain was rude in his approach to asking about his paper, and he left out some words (critical to a complete answer it sems) and actually …… I left the new paper and requested for a meeting with this teacher and the dean.

The meeting was arranged for last friday at 7.30 am and I was there of course 15 minutes ahead. I explained the situation again, said my concern was in teacher/student relationship which appeared to still be one of ‘teacher knows it all’ (Alain told me he was adviced by the dean to stop ‘challenging’ his teachers). I said at home I didn’t know it all and we ran the home as a team and I told them I was sorry when at fault. The teacher gave his own explanations; and well all is well that ends well.

Some relationship dynamics have changed over the past century and one of these is students/lectuers or teacher etc. Back home, it may still be a big challenge finding a balance and even letting parents in (in his school PTA’s are once a year only – imagine that) and hmm some parents simply don’t even want to know or be involved anyway.

I therefore advocate that students/pupils be let to express themselves and taught from a young age how to do so politely  (I however doubt Alain was rude – teacher may just have been embarassed he even came up to him in class and brought along a friend’s paper and well in our schools you may not see a teacher after class hours because they teach and go unless they have another class after a while and you are also out of class you know). Students also get a bost by their parents’ involvment and their teachers taking them as human beings and not just people to be taught sort of.

Finally, Alain got his marks reinstated and got good grades overall for this first sequence (he feels slighted he was second in class -but that’s ok by me).

Sharing to inspire parents and advocates, it ain’t easy but often it is worth it.

Have a nice week us all

 

My personal essay of mental health at the workplace


This year, World Mental Health Day was celebrated on tuesday October 10th under the theme Mental Health at the Workplace.

Over at the Gbm Foundation for Epilepsy and Mental Wellbeing, we raised awareness both online and through traditional media. In my capacity as Country Director, I shared my personal essay of mental health as related to me then while I was working in a multinational telecommunications company. You can read that post right here.

WMHD FOR ME 2017

If I were to answer the above question today, I’ll say for me such a workplace is one where everybody feels safe addressing their mental health challenges. And you gentle readers and followers, what would be a mentally healthy workplace for you?

Alain turns a whooping 14…Hurray


22.10.2016 Alain himself
He did that himself last November and he calls himself…

It’s been much more joy than anything else for real

Alain has always done so so well in school regardless of the school he went to; or the circumstances WE were going through like when I upped and disappeared in May 2011.

al&l
A one month ‘visit’ (not planned as such) in July /August 2011 a few months after I left them behind

I am so grateful for him. He loves sciences that I see, but he writes poetry, draws some and enjoys football. I could never thank my God our God enough for Alain. He is for all time the epitome of my sorrow and joy and has a very special place in my life and heart of course…He is my Hero…Thank you so much Alain from my every pore, you know how much I love YOU!!!
.

Sharing some ice cream love over at one they call Ice cream Grandma’s in the cool city of Buea, Cameroon
Sometimes in July on our way for a diiner date just us, brothers were at their dad’s

 

That was on friday on our way to a dinner invitation

 

We are out today having a blast at a Chinese all you, can and then some ice cream hurray.

When I reread this post and what I wrote last year for his birthday, I’ll say although I stumbled into motherhood, am so proud and grateful for the journey.

Dear all, kindly join me in wishing Alain a belated birthday, he’ll sure see all your likes and read/reply to your comments.

Free Fall…Free Rise


Freely Freely you receive Life

Live same freely; be yoked to none

Dare to Feel how Free it can Flow

If you could just aim for

Free Fall … Free Rise

    …

Why restrain my fall?

When I might miss

The treasure at the bottom?

Why contain my rise?

When I might miss

The shooting star at the top?

Nay: Am going all the way for

Free Fall…Free Rise

   …

Ignorance can lead to arrogance

You think below is all but dirt

And so you hold yourself aloof

And pretend no issues u ever get

But I don’t care: no need for flash

I’ll go all 360 for

Free Fall…Free Rise

   …

The best lesson is often

in the depth and height

Feel it all the way

whichever it may

Free Fall…Free Rise

Experiences with two different teachers at my son’s school & related musings


Hello world, I want to share these experiences I had with two different teachers at my son’s school just this week. I share them to express myself, but also because who knows who has had any similar experiences or could be inspired and motivated etc?

My son took a story book to school and some drawings and none came back. I needed some answers more than he was giving so I went to his school last week. He was in a class which had recently been divided into two and he moved again, this means he had started making friends who stayed in let’s say the A and now he was starting all over in the B. Now, this makes two teachers involved and kids in the two classes too. Indeed the story book happened to be with a pupil in the A class who had left it back home, and the drawings were with different pupils in the B class. I was told by both teachers the stuffs will be collected the following day and returned to my son and he’ll bring them home before the weekend.

This week came and nothing was returned home, so I went to the school today because well I don’t know and need to know what’s the real situation. This is where the experiences come up:

  1. Teacher A gets frustrated I come often (this is the 3rd time am going there and well it seems too much), he tells me am overeacting over nothing and he doesn’t know what my son tells me back home and he thinks my son is a ‘brat’ and he’s glad my son is no longer in his class;
  2. Teacher B is empathetic and even glad I come to follow up such issues even if they may seem trivial. Few parents he says care to stop by at all even when PTA meetings are called up (this I know – they are called once a school and last time only 3 parents showed up in one’s class meeting for the one hour I was there). He actually tells me he thinks my son who transitioned sections (bilingual to pure anglo saxon), is coping just fine and he thinks it is also because I help him at home both formally and informally (very correct). Teacher B concludes that when a parent comes to school it boosts both the pupil and teacher’s morale for obvious reasons.

Huh, I was a bit perplexed and you know A class is one row of stairs above B class. So I had gotten the showdown in A up and was brooding as I went down the stairs to meet teacher B who turned out cool.

Well I was back there again the following day because my boy had come back home the previous day without 6 good exercise books. I needed to know if he actually forgot them in his desk or etc. Luckily by the time I got there he had already found them and I didn’t need to see any of the teachers.

What you make of these experiences people?

More Musings

Talking about experiences in their school, one came home in near tears because he had worked so hard but got a very discouraging note. I saw the script, looked at his school lessons and the text book and nothing made sense. Now he showed me a classmate’s script and same answer but 4 notes more. When he had even dared complain to the teacher, he had been removed the mere 2 he had and the other student got added 2. What? How could I let this go? I went there and saw the proprietor himself and explained the situation, he called the head teacher and they said to not worry all was going to be sorted out. They better do because am not one to give in or up any easy.

I mean that same teacher marked two answers wrong again in another subject and I know the answers myself – what the boy wrote. Eg HIV: Boy writes Human Immune Virus and teacher marks wrong saying it means Human Immuno Deficiency Virus (wtf). I don’t even know if to take this other paper back to the school…

Parenting ain’t easy, not to mention single motherhood. But I try my best each day and don’t want my boys traumatised or stiffled because some teacher thinks they are too upfront. I also go these schools so the teachers can tell me directly if there is any concern like I equally learnt about one of them playing wild and taking stuffs not his.

To all parents, single mothers and even teachers in the house, more grease to our elbows.

Happy weekend all

P.s: you remember a poem I once wrote about: “when no one wanted her”. Yes one who had literary dropped out of school is graduating today with a diploma in transport and logistics. How proud should I be of my contributions to the amazing young woman and wife she is now?

How early is it to start having family meetings with your kids?


Family meeting sample David came up with the pyramid of respect, and we use both english and french lol

So this came to my mind because am musing about the absence of dialogue and understanding in my country and many other countries in the world. I may be simplifying stuffs but if we start teaching our children to sit together and dialogue instead of just dishing out orders and making decisions because we are the parents, if we let them know their opinions and voices matter, then I think they grow up learning to treat others same and to disagree and agree civily.

Anyway, as a parenting tool, this works for me so perfect. We have such meetings since moving into our home in February 2016, and the last one was on Sunday October 1st, because we have ordinary meetings every first sunday of the month. 

We had an extraordinary one two weeks ago because following their negligence Alain’s pigy bank was stolen by a neigbour whom they let enter their room in my absence. We all agreed to contribute and reimburse same and the pinch has been felt by all. The decsions we take during these meetings we hold ourselves accountable to, and this helps me more than deciding alone and screaming at them would ever do.

It is also a big bonding time and sometimes I buy popcorn so they enjoy the whole process. On lucky days, Ella sits in for the first 5 or so minutes. David often takes the minutes because he has such a smooth handwriting, Alain is the discipline master and I am the CEO of course hahaha. Sometimes it get thick and I have one on one meetings too lol.

Last Sunday, an obvious item on our Agenda was Alain’s forthcoming birthday as you can see below. We all agreed to treat ourselves to Chinese and although am the biggest donor to the fund, all three chipped in 1000 frs.

Ignore my scrawny handwriting, David was tired yesterday and charged an arm and a leg lol

When they were toddlers and I’ll ask their opinion, my ex will chastise saying they have nothing to say. How sad right? Gabi has made some great suggestions like concerning fone credit and school transportation and he actually loves the meetings more than his brothers of course. All issues are raised, and then solved in harmony. How cool is this? I’ll rather spend time with them like this once or twice a month than regret not relating with them years later.

Be inspired someone in here, maybe too late for our current presidents but not for parents especially starting out the parenting journey.

Any other tips anyone?

P.s: I wrote and scheduled this post before reading about the Las Vegas Shootings. Senseless, Speechless, Sad. My prayers especially for grieving families.