Today is my late great father’s birthday. My mom found this picture of my dad (circa 1971) at her parents home.

I decided to share this picture because it tells a story of a time before I was around. And dad, since 2001 you have been on a new assignment, building a story beyond your life here.

I still struggle, these 19 years later since you transitioned. If I would’ve known that your last birthday was going to be your LAST birthday here, in that body, in this life, I would’ve— well, honestly, I don’t know what I would’ve done differently.

We spoke daily and basically saw each other daily. We were gym partners, sports buddies, and business colleagues.

You were and will always be my friend and my first hero (mom’s my first shero). I miss you dad. I miss our talks and even our arguments. I miss you challenging me towards excellence in all things and in all ways.

I wish you were here— like here, here— physically. All I can do is work from my 25 years of memories, look at pictures and mementos, and consider what you would say, do, and ask me. This doesn’t get easier. It just is— an is…

I love you dad. Happy birthday!!! 🥳🎉

Love always,

Natasha

Copyright 2020. All Rights Reserved. Natasha L. Foreman

Happy Father’s Day to this amazing man who gave his all for his family. Thank you for being an awesome father, dad, daddy, friend, coach, teacher, and protector to and for me and my sister. We love and miss you Dad!

We’ve spent the past 19 Father’s Days without you here. It doesn’t get easier. Just a blend of bland emotion.

We wish you could be here to guide, correct, support, encourage, and protect us. The trips and vacations we planned, just to never take. It hurts to think of it.

We wish you could be here to share your light and wisdom with your grandson. Whisper to him, so he knows you will always be here. Dad, we keep climbing, marching, working, and reaching in your honor.

Loving you always and forever!

~ Natasha

On March 21st I quietly acknowledged my paternal grandmother’s birthday, and told myself to share a memorial post in honor of her, but I got distracted 🤦🏽‍♀️🙈🤦🏽‍♂️

My mom told me today that it’s not too late to give a birthday shout out. I’m so used to having flowers and a gift delivered to my grandmothers, and not having them here, makes birthdays, holidays, and special occasions feel awkward.

Here’s my grandmother pictured between me and my sister. My mom is standing with her hand on my shoulder.

It’s amazing how much I look like both women. Both families genes are STRONG! ☺

Happy belated birthday to my amazing grandmother. Missing you Mama!

~Natasha

The link to the above EUR article can be found here. The original Page Six article is here.

Syleena Johnson is a singer and has even worked with R Kelly on a few songs, early in his career, so she financially benefits from airplay of those songs on radio, the Internet, and through DJs spins. She can convince herself that listening to his music is okay and can be done so guilt-free, because she obviously struggles with her internal monitor that questions why she didn’t know she worked with a predator. And she probably thinks that since, “it didn’t happen to me” and “he never was inappropriate with me”, that somehow it diminishes or dabbles away the offenses he has committed for decades.

You can acknowledge a person’s creative genius while also acknowledging the wrong they’ve done. To say we should ignore the latter because the contributions a person makes is helpful or makes us feel good, is plain ignorance.

This predator wrote and sang about his offenses and crimes. He won awards for songs about seducing, manipulating, abusing, enslaving, and victimizing girls and young women. He’s been raking in millions of dollars through royalties earned on album sales and air time on radio.

Why would you continue to support him just because his music made you rock your shoulders or tap your feet?

I can’t listen to Bump n Grind, 12 Play, Trapped in the Closet, and so many other songs without thinking about the girls and women he took advantage of.

When I saw this article posted on Instagram the words I wrote below in the MuteRKelly IG thread, summarizes what I think of the mindset of Syleena and other R Kelly fans and supporters:

This right here…uugh 🤦🏽‍♀️When we knowingly aid the victimization of those we obviously don’t value, respect, and believe should be protected—we then are no better than the victimizer.

Clearly, the slave mentality sees no color of the master, it just wants to maintain the status quo. Because I can guarantee you there would be Black rage 🤬 across the board if the accused was a white man abusing young girls and women.

We would be picketing with signs that “Black women matter” and “Black girls matter” and the media would flood our airwaves and timelines with images and videos of protests.

But, unfortunately, this savagery by R. Kelly is deemed acceptable because he is also Black, like his victims. If the girls and women were white, oh my white America would be singing a lynching battle cry.

But, be calm America, it’s just Black on Black victimization.

No worries. Don’t fret. Because Black on Black crime is supposed to be the norm?!? Status quo?!?

Oh this sickness permeates so wide and deep. How will we uproot it, pluck it out, and flush it into nothingness? 😫

Change starts with you. Change starts with standing up, speaking out, and doing what’s right. Just because something or someone looks good, doesn’t mean it/they are right.

These are my words and thoughts. I stand by them. I won’t financially or socially support a person, brand, or ideology that victimizes, preys upon, enslaves, abuses, brainwashes, manipulates, rapes, molests, and benefits from the tearing down of one person for the gain of another.

And yes, Syleena, this means I won’t spend a penny that benefits Weinstein or Cosby. Predators don’t get financial passes just because they’re entertaining or inspirational.

#MuteRKelly and all predators!

~Natasha

It brings me joy to say happy birthday to my one and only sister, Alexandra. A decade and a half separate our ages, but through the years, we’ve grown to feel closer in age. I love this woman like I love the air that I breathe.

She’s been through a lot, but still she can find peace and humor to share with others. I chose this picture of her because of the hilarious caption she shared with it. My sister can make me laugh so hard that my head, chest, and sides hurt.

She’s caring, sensitive, and hopeful. She’s a hard worker and will give her last to someone, because that’s her nature.

I’ve seen a huge transformation in her, especially since she became a mom. They say that parenthood brings out all sorts of strengths, characteristics, traits, and more. I look forward to seeing how she blossoms as a woman and mother. I look forward to seeing how she pours into my nephew so that he can shine and thrive in more ways that any of us could ever imagine.

I look forward to seeing the blessings, opportunities, and experiences that my sister will seize and make the most of. I pray that this new decade brings her the strength, courage, discipline, and obedience to do big, bold, and beautiful things—while freeing herself of everything that would restrict, diminish, or weaken her.

Happy Birthday Sis!

I love you with my whole heart ❤

~Tasha

Copyright 2020. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

This prayer was sent to me early this morning from my beloved former sister-in-law, Arleen. I call her my sister-in-love. She always has been and always will be. This prayer brought a smile to my face. I received an extra dose of joy.

I pay it forward to you. May these prayers manifest into overflowing blessings. May you bless others even before you realize your blessings. Give thanks before the gift is received.

I love you all!

~Natasha

Copyright 2020. Natasha L. Foreman

Today an amazing woman was born into this world. Her parents didn’t know what her future would hold. They just knew that they wanted her to see, experience, and embrace more than they could ever imagine.

She is a mother of three amazing children. It is beautiful watching her children grow and mature over the years. Her two eldest are now taller than their mom, which makes me giggle because you have to do a double-take to notice that she is the mom in the bunch. As you can see in this picture.

It has been an absolute honor and privilege to work with her since 2014. Our work relationship and friendship is built on honesty and transparency, which has created a level of trust, that is priceless. Our word is our bond. Truly.

If you listen to the Don’t Call It Small…Business podcast, then you know that I mention her frequently. You also know that she joined me for a conversation in Episode 22. She is an awesome woman, mom, friend, and professional.

She enjoys the work she does in the community, her growth as a leader in Toastmasters International, her membership in book clubs and bikers clubs. Yes, she loves motorcycles! One day she will have her own, and then she will be vroom vroom zooming all over the place!

Please join me in wishing Eboni Brown a very happy birthday!

~Natasha

Another person has been promoted. Elevated to his next assignment. His next level of existence. Mr. Stewart is the father of my dear friend, Billie Harris aka @superwife_5 on Instagram.

If you pay attention to my posts and listen to my podcast, then you know I mention Billie a lot. I even interviewed her a few weeks ago. I adore this woman and her family.

Billie and her dad are pictured here.

Her dad has transitioned from this level and although there’s plenty of reasons to celebrate this spiritual promotion, it’s difficult for his loved ones still living on this level. I know this is especially true for Billie.

I know the pain of being “left behind” by a parent. We don’t plan for our parents to transition when they do. Our mental image is always 50+ years later than when it actually happens. That’s how much love we have for them. We can’t see ourselves not celebrating every victory and milestone with them.

We can’t fathom not having the chance to pick up the phone and call them. Holidays, birthdays, and other special occasions aren’t the same when they’re gone. That void can’t be patched up. We don’t want to hear that they’re in a better place. To us, the best place is right by our sides.

Please pray for Billie and her family as they go through their stages of grief and healing. Lift them up with positive words and thoughts. You don’t need to know them to pour love on them! Post a heart in honor of Mr. Stewart. His long legacy will live on for lifetimes!

I salute you sir!

~Natasha

There’s no one in the world like my amazing cousin Princess Chere Peoples, that is her superhuman power!

Today we celebrate her 34th birthday. Although she’s my cousin, our relationship has always been more like big sis and little sis, as I’ve been in her life since she rocked and rolled in her mother’s belly. I gave her the nickname “Retabug” when she was a toddler, and I’ve been calling her that ever since.

For 5 years before my sister was born, it was just me and Princess Chere. It’s weird seeing the two of them all grown up as women.

10 years separate our age, but nothing separates us and our love.
Through her ups and downs, my cousin’s heart has always remained the same.

She smiles through her eyes. She’s often seen at work and at play with a big, beautiful flower in her hair. It is becoming her signature look that she rocks oh so beautifully.

She yearns to do more and give more. She’s eclectic and bold, never understated or to be underestimated.

Since she was a baby I told her she’s a Beautiful Black Nubian Princess, and what makes that extra special is that it’s the truth, not just words or affirmations. But the reminder helps when the world acts ugly.

Our names have meaning and we are guided by them. Her name is Princess and so there’s an expectation that she will live up to the royal moves that her name suggests. I’m proud of her for making moves that provide teachable moments and strengthening lessons, because she will better position herself for the decades ahead of her.

I want Princess to always see herself as God does, at all times, and in all ways—and then nothing and no one can change her, derail her, minimize her, or stop her. Always focused on being the Princess that she is!

Join me in wishing my cousin a very happy 34th birthday. 🎀💝💞💖🎉🎊🎁

I love you Retabug!!!!

~Natasha

Copyright 2019. Natasha L. Foreman.

Happy Tuesday!

Well if you happened to be on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter late last night, then you may have seen my post announcing that I changed my Instagram handle to match my other social media handles. See the post below.

Earlier in the day I also made an exciting announcement…I received notification that I was granted copyright permission to use various Bible translations in my two books that I’m writing. One is slated for release this year and the other one next year. This is great news because now I can proceed with the next steps. Here’s the announcement that I shared on social media yesterday afternoon…

I can’t wait to finally deliver to you the books that many of you have been waiting years for me to commit to write. It has been a journey indeed. Some people started asking me in 2013 to write a book and I just laughed off the requests. I then took the requests seriously and started writing in August 2016. I stopped and started a few times in 2017 and 2018. Now, after yesterday’s copyright approval, I’m one step closer to crossing the finish line.

So I keep marching, praying, pushing, hustling, and believing!

Be sure to tune in and join me for episode 14 of the Don’t Call It Small…Business podcast at 2pm ET. You can listen at ForemanLLC.com/podcast or at Spreaker, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, and Castbox.

Oh yeah, and one last thing…

Yep, text don’t call…and only people who are serious about positively contributing to our podcast should invest time in texting questions and suggestions. I thank you now for your contributions!

Well folks, as I say on my podcast, that’s a wrap. Until next time, have a super awesome day and week!

~Natasha

Copyright 2019. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

Hi family!

I am checking in. Here’s the latest with me…

My Health

I’m feeling better than last week. I still have a slight cough, but it’s mostly when I’m in AC or under a ceiling fan. My cool air humidifier is helping big time! Thanks to everyone who sent prayers and well wishes. I appreciate it and you!

My Business

I’m all over the place trying to wear many hats, while trying to get things done. Feeling loopy at times. Do you know that feeling?!?

I’m sometimes pulling all-day-all-night sessions cranking out curriculum and videos for upcoming business courses through my company, and doing work for clients, and of course doing what I love as a college professor. It’s 2am as I type this. I just finished grading my college students course work, after teaching a 10pm online class.

I said I would break from work, go relax and read my friend DL White’s new book, before falling asleep. But before I can relax I needed to write this message to you. If I put this off, I will forget, like I did last week….😁

My Webinar Trainings

I’ve learned a lot from the last webinar trainings that I hosted through my company. Thanks to those of you who attended and provided feedback. Thanks to those who are registered for my upcoming courses.

Don’t Call It Small…Business

I’m having a blast with my weekly podcast. My broadcasting dreams made a reality. It’s also helping to challenge and stretch me creatively, while giving me great content for books and courses. If you haven’t heard one of the episodes, check them out here. They air every Wednesday.

You can also listen on Spreaker, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, and Castbox. Just search for “Don’t Call It Small...”

My Books

I’m currently outlining two business books, one of which is slated to be released late 2020.

Here’s the latest with my Spiritual books that I’m writing:

  • I’m waiting for copyright approval for using verses from various Bible publishers.

If you didn’t know, most translations that are published, are not public domain and free to use however we see fit. There’s only a handful that are, like the King James Version. However, if you want to freely use NIV, AMP, NKJV, HCSB, and many others—you better check the copyright restrictions before you run amock.

Since my books will be for sale, I’m not going to risk any legal and financial hiccups on my part. So I’m making sure to cover my bases as fully as possible.

  • I had wanted to start the promo this month, but until I gain all clearances, I don’t want to put the cart before the horse.

I want everyone to have the first book in your hands, to use January 1st. There’s optional bonus content that comes with it, and I’m excited to receive your feedback.

  • I’m on my next round of edits.
  • After this round it will be handed over to a group of pre-selected readers to provide feedback on flow, ease of use, formatting, and readability.
  • Since Book 2 picks up where this first book leaves off, I get the opportunity to make moves for the second book sooner, because now I know the process and what to expect.

I can even submit my copyright requests for Book 2 out sooner because I have a rough idea of how many Bible verses I’m using from each translation.

  • I still don’t have an official title for the book.

I’m using a working title, just for quick reference, but it’s a no-go title to place on the cover of a book. I will be turning to my designated readers for assistance, and then turning to my Breaking Bread readers, and all of you to vote on the titles.

That’s All Folks

There’s some other things going on in my world, but I will share some (that I’m comfortable sharing) another time. In the meantime, feel free to connect with me on social media: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn

Of course, I hope you will check out the Don’t Call It Small… podcast. It’s accessible at my company website and almost everywhere you listen to podcasts.

Let’s connect soon!

Warmest wishes,

Natasha

Copyright 2019. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

Today would be my maternal grandfather’s 95th birthday. His name is Elisberry and he passed away in 1995, transitioning to his next spiritual assignment. Here’s a picture of him and my grandmother, Maxine, on their wedding day. I absolutely love this photo. They were married over 43 years when my grandfather passed away.

My cousins and I call him “Poppa” (paw-paw), his children call him “daddy”, my grandmother (his wife) called him Elisberry or “E.L.” for short. He was “E.L.” to other family members and friends, and then to his fishing and hunting crew he was “King Fish”.

When I was a small child he gave me the nickname “Yellow Belly”, partly a tie in to a fish reference, and the other part due to my lighter skin complexion. My cousin Princess still calls me by my nickname. It always makes me think of our grandfather.

He was a devoted husband and a proud father of three children—pictured in the collage below and also pictured above with my grandmother and my mother when she was a toddler. Poppa was a super duper awesome grandfather, and a committed provider and protector, who would do anything to help a loved one.

Matter of fact, the asthma attack that he succumbed to was triggered from working on a family member’s property. He ignored the symptoms, not wanting to leave the work unfinished.

Poppa was a hard worker, who sacrified a lot—as he never attended high school because he had to tend to the family farm and help provide for his mother and siblings. Heck, his asthma was a result of poor working conditions doing paint and body work for a Ford Motor Company subsidiary/affiliate. Lousy ventilation, inadequate safety equipment, and probably a lack of knowledge about the health risks as we know now. But he worked in those conditions to provide for his family, and to give them a life better than he had growing up.

That job made it possible for him to ensure that his children could focus on their education and not on working at a job, and he bought all three of his children brand new Ford Mustangs during their senior years in high school. His children never grew up facing the harsh realities he knew as a child and young man.

He and my grandmother worked hard so that their children didn’t experience poverty growing up. They were a part of the middle class. For him, the sacrifices he made were worth it.

Here’s a picture of Poppa, my grandmother Maxine (known as “Mamacine” by her grandchildren), and three of my cousins: Tia, Shalwan, and Michael (the toddler at the bottom). They, along with their youngest sibling Steven (who was born several years after this picture was taken), spent almost every weekend with our grandparents growing up.

Poppa didn’t have formal education, but my grandfather had a PhD in common sense and life. I’ve learned and recall more from this brilliant man than books or teachers ever provided. I continue to reflect upon and apply the lessons and skills that he taught me growing up. He taught me how to just be myself, how to laugh at myself, how to enjoy the quiet and hectic days, and the importance of family.

My grandfather taught me how to fish, hunt, plant and harvest food, survival skills, discipline, humbleness, patience, and forgiveness. Heck, my grandfather forgave his family members that stole land from him. I’m sure that in his mind he probably thought that if they needed it that much to con and steal it from him, then they could have it. He would leave the details to God.

In addition to all of these remarkable things, my Poppa taught me how to always be mindful of my surroundings and to take the life skills of country living and apply it to city life.

You don’t know how valuable those skills have been for this city girl. Growing up using out houses, running through wild country fields, eating the weirdest foods, climbing through bobwire, being almost elbows deep in dirt digging through his amazing garden for the best fruit and vegetables, learning about cars, and experiencing the joys of life with only the bare essentials. All of this equipped me to travel the world and embrace amazing experiences in environments most people would cringe to be in.

Some other things that he taught me— but I didn’t realize it until recently—was he taught me about being a responsible home owner, and how to rewire after retirement. My grandfather made sure that he and my grandmother’s home was paid off and well maintained, and he also ensured that my grandmother (who was an entrepreneur) would be financially cared for if he passed before her. Heck, my grandfather passed in 1995, and he was still taking care of my grandmother financially until she transitioned in 2017. How awesome is that?!?

Poppa remained active in retirement. He showed me the value of keeping your mind and body engaged and active, exercising both your physical and mental muscles. I truly believe that had that asthma attack not gotten over on him, my grandfather would’ve lived another 20-plus years.

I’m so grateful to be the grand daughter of this amazing spirit, this remarkable man, affectionately known as “E.L.”

I love and miss you dearly Poppa!

~Natasha your “Yellow Belly”

Copyright 2019. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

Yesterday, I shared a post on my Breaking Bread With Natasha blog about some unsettling news that I’ve been trying to process for several days. When you already don’t feel well, getting bad news doesn’t help. It takes a toll on you. Let me share here some of what I shared yesterday, and then a little more. My loving celebration for a beautiful person, inside and out.

One of my paternal cousins passed away last week. Her name is Felicia and she was my big cousin, even when (in elementary school) I surpassed her in height, I still looked up to her.

There she is, at the bottom center of the photo above. That’s her, circa 1978. For the longest, I was the baby cousin in the family, until Valarie (top right) and Felicia had children, and then I got to be a big cousin.

Felicia was always oh so cool to me. As a child I looked up to her. The way she walked, spoke, carried herself, and her smile—let’s just say, this little cousin wanted to be like her big cousin. It was really special that Felicia and Valarie would let me and their younger siblings, Sharmika and Damion (pictured above on either side of Felicia) hang with them even though they were much older than us.

How many teenagers will let their little cousin and siblings hang with them? Not many.

Clearly, Felicia and Valarie didn’t think it cramped their style too much. They entertained us for awhile, especially when our parents would go out somewhere. When it was time for them to go do their teenage thing, the three of us wanted to still hang with them, but we conceded the fact that we just weren’t old enough—or maybe we just understood that arguing with our parents was senseless, so we opted to do what most little kids do, run outside and play, or find something to get into in the house. But that didn’t mean we didn’t yearn to go with Felicia and the crew.

Felicia had this air, this presence about her, growing up and even in adulthood. Quiet but a force. Still but powerful. Subtle but strong. Always a mystery, so you had to get to know her. Her eyes and smile just draw you in. She was, is, and always will be a dynamic woman.

Thanks to social media we were able to reconnect after losing touch for a few years. This then allowed me to reconnect with two of her children, my younger cousins, and peek into their lives while they peeked into mine.

It’s difficult to hear that someone you love has transitioned; even when you know it’s the natural cycle of life. I know I should be celebrating her life and legacy, and the fact that she’s reunited with family and loved ones who transitioned earlier. It’s still difficult to embrace the reality that I can’t just click on her social media profile and say hello. She is missed. She will be missed.

The last time I saw her, in-person, was at our uncle Archie’s funeral in 2017. Here are a couple of pictures at the repast.

Do you see her? She’s easy to spot. Still a ray of light!

I send love to my family, and to Felicia’s extended family and friends. May God comfort and strengthen them. Please say a prayer for everyone that knows and loves Felicia. Thank you.

Love,

Natasha

Today I say “so long” to my Purdue University Global (PUG) students, as it’s their last day in my class. Next week I will welcome my new group. I always get sappy during the last few days of class, especially when I have a great connection with the students. This particular class was super awesome. They shared and they allowed me to share. They taught and were highly receptive to my teachings. I enjoy learning from my students. It’s an intense 10-week learning experience.

Any teacher, instructor, professor, who says that they don’t learn from their students, needs to reconsider why in the world they are doing this day in and day out. Our students have diverse backgrounds and experiences, and through sharing, we can learn a lot from them. I learn about industries and fields that I’ve never worked in, companies that I’ve never worked for, positions that I’ve never held, family experiences I’ve never had, cultures that I don’t know much or anything about, and places that I’ve never been. For them, I share my experiences, adventures, skills, and strengths. I pour into them as much as I can for the time that we have together, hoping that some of what I invest in them has some long-term stickability.

Yes, I invest in them. That’s why I give them as much of me as I can.

I know that some of my students will be finishing their Bachelor’s degree soon, and they are either pursuing a Master’s degree, positioning themselves for a promotion or raise at work, leveraging this knowledge for the entrepreneurial goals, or just equipping themselves for whatever the future holds. I also have some students who pursued this degree because it served as a challenge, and achieving this goal will catapult them to the next big goal, even if they don’t know what that is right now.

In life, we are all teachers, sharing with the world our unique experiences and perspectives. There’s a small percentage of us who are blessed to have virtual and physical classrooms with 10, 25, 30, and over 100 eager students, waiting to learn, be challenged, and to challenge us.

So I’m both excited and nervous about welcoming my Fall semester, Atlanta Technical College (ATC) students to my classes this week. When you teach year-round (basically), you only have about one week before your next class, sometimes I get a two-week breather. There’s not much time to plan and prepare for the next group of students. So you have to be disciplined, create fluid and automated systems, be innovative and creative, and challenge yourself to do something new, bold, and exciting. Every semester I challenge myself to do something different. I don’t want my students recycling my lessons across campus. I don’t want incoming students thinking that they know what to expect from their time with me. Life isn’t predictable. I like for my classes to mirror life.

I look forward to the next 16 weeks with my ATC students. Every semester I challenge myself, and this semester is no different. I’m not sure if I’m prepared and ready for the ideas that I have outlined. I’m always experimenting with ideas. Some things work and other things don’t. It depends on the method of delivery and the format of the class—if its on campus, online, or a hybrid. Some students are more receptive than others, it has a lot to do with their backgrounds and previous experience. I find ways to bring in technology while also forcing students to think and research without first Googling it. If we’re supposed to prepare them for now and the future, then I have to do my part to bring them the now and the future. When I hear them say, “my other instructors don’t do that” then I know I’m on the right path.

Some of my students have goals of transferring to a 4-year college or university. Some desire to pursue their entrepreneurial or managerial goals. A few are angling for promotions or raises, and these courses, degrees, and certificates help them to get one step closer. Others are soaking up knowledge to be better, think broader, and see more. Some aren’t quite sure what they’re doing or where they’re going. That means that they need the types of learning experiences that will help them to see what feels right for them and their future. I’m glad to be of service.

In less than two hours I will stand before one of my classes, see their nervous faces, and give them a peek into the next 16 weeks, that will hopefully have a lasting and positive impact on them for years to come. That’s what many of my college professors did for me, and that’s my goal for my students. I may be teaching a student who is just like I was. I can’t let them down. So let’s do this!

~Natasha

Copyright 2019. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

I saw this and had to share.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

It hits extremely close to home for me. I’ve had at least 4 family members pass away from heart attacks, and a few others who were thankfully rushed to the ER in the nick of time. Here’s the link to the article shared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Men

Men, please don’t ignore these symptoms. My physically fit dad transitioned at the age of 48 (weeks shy of turning 49), almost one year after having what was clearly a heart attack, but he told me “it’s just indigestion. I just need a little accupressure” yet I knew he had just finished having an argument on the phone over a botched business deal.

My instincts said it was more than indigestion. But I deferred to my dad. He turned to accupressure instead of going to the hospital.

One year later, after a heavy training session at the gym and achieving his goal of benchpressing 400 lbs, my dad had a heart attack a few hours after returning home. He was on the phone chatting and laughing with a business associate and the associate told me days later, “your dad was laughing and then I didn’t hear anything. The line just went silent. I thought we had a bad connection so I hung up and tried calling back.”

I’m the one who found my dad, on the floor of his study, phone also on the floor. I can’t help but to question, “what if I had forced him to go get checked out in 2000, would he be alive today?” The truth is, only God knows the answer to that, and at this point, the only thing I can do is make sure that I’m mindful of the signs and symptoms, and that I share the information with others.

My ex-fiance had two strokes in his 40s and eventually passed due to the toll this trauma placed upon his body. He went from playing basketball to being confined to a bed. If you knew this man you know that he had a zest for life, was always on the go, extremely competitive, and wanted to live a long long life. He hated that he was convalescent. He lived for his freedom. He still had so much to do and see, so many goals and plans, and he was a father—and grandfather. He wanted to be there for his family. He wanted to help open doors for them that took him years to break through. His life here was cut short.

Men, you have family, friends, associates and neighbors who will miss you terribly. Go to the doctor! You don’t want to be poked, prodded and probed. But guess what? You won’t have a say or choice in the matter when your cold body is on the autopsy table. Once or twice a year of doctors examinations is waaaay better than suddenly taking your last breath and never getting to hug, kiss, and laugh with loved ones—in that same body that you keep taking for granted!

Women

Women, as you can see, we have more symptons than men commonly do, and these symptoms are oftentimes ignored as being “something else” when they could be the very thing that can end your life as you know it. Even some doctors ignore the symptoms, so be your best advocate and demand that they scientifically rule out heart-related factors. And when a doctor suggests testing, say yes!

I remember in 2011, after collapsing while cycling with friends, a cardiologist at Emory Hospital (then Crawford-Long), who kept me overnight for testing and observation, because he said he wouldn’t be able to “handle the burden of knowing that I sent you home, you went to sleep, and never woke up. Natasha, we’re seeing this happening more and more with women especially in their 30s…and you are at greater risk because there’s history on your father’s side….let me rule it out and then we can both have peace of mind….

That experience scared the bajesus out of me. But guess what? Until that moment, I had never had full-scale testing on my heart, lungs, brain, etc. The final prognosis was I was extremely dehydrated. Like, I could’ve died, I was that dehydrated. From the tests it showed that I had been dehydrated for several days. Had I not gone to the ER, well you can guess the result. But I want to thank the cardiologist who didn’t just accept this initial diagnosis and send me home with orders to rehydrate. He understood the other less-commonly known symptoms of a heart attack, and he sprang into action. His proactivity has led to my greater awareness.

My paternal aunt, Cheryl, transitioned in her 30s, after a workout at the gym which included weights and laps in the pool. Just like my dad, she was physically fit and loved working out. She wasn’t feeling good when she left the gym and felt worse when she got home. Ignoring the symptoms she decided to take a nap. Long story, short, my beloved aunt passed away that day.

Ladies, I’m not trying to intentionally scare you, but maybe it will encourage you to take this seriously and stop being like we’re conditioned to be—too busy caring for others to care for ourselves. Guess what? You can’t care for others if you’re no longer here. Charity starts first with YOU and for YOU.

Everyone

Don’t dismiss and be casual about your health because you’re not of a certain age. People are having heart attacks as teenagers and in their 20s. When it comes to heart attacks and strokes, age ain’t nothing but a number.

Don’t dismiss this because you’re physically fit. So was my dad and aunt. Heck, I was cycling for goodness sake—and doctors didn’t dismiss the symptoms simply because I was in shape and young.

Don’t ignorantly say, “well there’s no family history, and I don’t drink, smoke, or eat fast food…” because our bodies don’t give a damn about your history and what you do and don’t consume. We’ve learned that just like we don’t openly share our medical history with our family, they too aren’t sharing all of the details of their medical history with us. You only know what you know, and you don’t know much—especially if you have family members like my dad, who never went to the doctor, because either they felt good and rarely got ill, or because of religious beliefs. So that means your family medical history has major gaps in it. Don’t rely upon history to chart your present and future course!

Also, let me add this point: You can have an itty bitty waist, eat a bland diet, and a low body fat percentage, but your mental stress could be taxing your body, causing it to also stress.

If it stresses out over the added stress that you are placing on it: from your ambitious goals, overexertion from working out, and not getting enough quality rest—guess what? Your body is going to sound the alarms and start showing signs that it’s taking on too much stress. If you aren’t paying attention to the alarms and flags, then you significantly reduce your odds of surviving the attack your heart undergoes when it can’t keep up with you and your lifestyle.

We all have dreams and goals. Let’s take the small steps to ensure the odds are in our favor, so we can possibly achieve those goals and see those dreams come true. Let’s do what we need to do to be here for our family and friends. I don’t know about you, but I love spending time with the people that I love. I want to enjoy these moments for as long as possible.

Don’t be embarrassed or prideful about rushing to the doctor, ER, or urgent care, if you feel these symptoms then speak up and get help!

I love you all!!!

~Natasha

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/signs_symptoms.htm

Copyright 2019. Natasha L. Foreman.