It’s not over until…

21 10 2016

DSCN0353 In the beginning of this Widow’s journey I spent a lot of time on the couch, crying and thinking mostly. Did I do everything right? Did I miss something medically? Was I a comfort to Ed by continuing to work and bring in an income or should I have come home earlier?

Today, more than five years later, I know that I did the best I knew to do. I am still doing the best I know how to do as I continue my journey. I still feel the empty ache in my heart but I also experience something like joy when friends share a good Ed story with me. It is a comfort to remember how honestly funny he was and what a compassionate man he was. He was terrible at telling a joke and yet he made us laugh so hard at his attempt to tell it. Sometimes he would laugh so hard at his own awful jokes that we couldn’t help but laugh with him. God, I loved that man so much. Still do. And I know he loved me as deeply as anyone could.

I have had to learn how to manage my life without my biggest fan and best friend. I will honestly tell you that I do not like it one single bit. However, I am secure in the knowledge that God has more for me.

Ed genuinely loved to hear me sing. He would ask me to sing to him often. After he passed, my song changed. I went through a period of time when I thought I had lost my ear and my voice. Nothing I sang sounded right to me and I finally decided that I just would not sing anymore. I lost my song. I left my beloved praise team and hardly sang out loud in the congregation for quite some time. A couple of people really tried to convince me that I needed to be singing but I thought they were just being kind.

During this time, I was invited to sing in a choir that a dear couple was leading but first I made them promise that they would not let me be the old lady warbling out of tune in the soprano section. They assured me I could trust them to have my back. Every time the choir or praise teams sang worship my heart ached and I cried. I attributed those many tears to grief but I also think that God was cleansing my heart during that time. Music has always spoken to that deepest place in my heart. One step at a time, I began to feel my song again.    I am singing again. From my heart. I am a member of the choir now and sometimes I am asked to lead a song or to sing a special solo. I am honored to worship my Lord and Savior with Psalms and spiritual songs. My heart is healing.

I am blazing a new trail in this Widow’s journey. I am stretching myself beyond the boundaries of only gospel music. I have successfully auditioned for Opera Wilmington out of UNC Wilmington. I also have registered to audition for America’s Got Talent on February 1, 2017, in Charleston, SC. I am ready for new adventures and I want to grow in the journey. Here we go.




Coni’s Psalm of Thanksgiving

5 09 2016

At the end of my drinking days, I had a daughter who had just turned 4 years old. I was on Welfare and working in a bar room as a bartender / bouncer. I was fired for beating up the customers and d…

Source: Coni’s Psalm of Thanksgiving

How sweet it is

15 08 2016


August 15 is a special day. It has been since 1982 when I married my soul mate. Ed has not been here to celebrate with me since April of 2011. This makes me sad and every August 15th I feel the ache in my heart and I cry a little, usually a couple of times throughout the day. I have come to accept that it is normal to miss someone so much that it can cause tears. What was surprising to me is the actually ache in my heart. I used to think the term “heartache” was a metaphor but my heart physically hurts when I think of how much I miss him and still love him. This all sounds a bit morbid but if you can stick with me, you will see I am going in another direction with this. I believe all the actions I just described are normal parts of grief. Grief is not a dirty word. I have had to give myself permission to express my sorrow. It only means I have loved deeply.
I have loved deeply. What an honor that is. What a gift to be able to grow and mature in that love and learn to trust another human being. I had that one person that I could count on through all of life’s winding roads. One person who knew I was filled with insecurities, imperfection and inconsistency and he loved me anyway. He couldn’t help himself any more than I could turn my love for him off. We were both far from perfect and we accepted that in each other. If I was mad at him, yes, it happened, he learned to leave me alone for a while until my hot Italian temper had time to cool off. Before the day was through he would put his arms around me and remind me that I couldn’t stay mad at him. He was so stinking cute, and he was right. We practiced the Biblical principal of not letting the sun go down on our anger. There is a free wisdom tidbit for you. it is important to the life of a relationship. Do not leave things unresolved.


Today is a special day. I have felt the familiar ache in my heart and I have shed some tears because I miss my Eddie. But sorrow and grief will not define this special day. I have washed my face, brushed my teeth and put a little mascara on. I have called the florist and ordered flowers to be sent to the house. I will celebrate that fact that I have loved so deeply that I am still in love with one man. I am celebrating the fact that I have been fortunate enough to be loved and understood by a soul mate. I honor my husband today and I feel a touch of pride that I was Eddie the baker’s wife until death parted us. This is a joyous day.

Adoration out of the ruins

30 04 2016

Trying to put into words what this song means to me is much trickier than I imagined. The titled grabbed me as soon as I saw it. Broken Hallelujah. What Christ follower can’t relate to this on some level? God never promised that we wouldn’t go through the valley. Just don’t be tempted to stay there. That’s why it is called going “through” the valley. And He has promised never to leave us or forsake us. He is always in control and always making the way for us. When the way leads to the valley, He is going with us. If it leads us into a fiery furnace, He is not going to be waiting outside until we get out. God will be in the furnace with us.

Knowing and trusting in those things does not mean that I will not experience heart ache. I will feel defeated at times. When times of suffering come, God is with me. He is who He says He is. He is my Father and my King. I adore Him even when I cannot feel His Presence. My circumstance does not change who God is. My God is for me and not against me. He is my fortress and my strength, He is my high tower of protection. He is my sword and my shield. He is my very present help in time of need. Even when I can’t feel Him. See, my relationship with Almighty God has nothing what-so-ever to do with my feelings and everything to do with Who He is. He is my creator and my Savior. He will NEVER leave me or forsake me. He holds me in the palm of His hand and no one can snatch me out. When my heart is broken into a thousand pieces, He is near to the broken hearted. When my life seems to be spinning out of control He is constant and unchanging. He always deserves my Praise.

I am learning a new song right now. Some of the lyrics say:

Even when my only praise is a broken Hallelujah; when my only offering is shattered praise, still a song of adoration will rise up from these ruins and I will worship You and give You thanks. Even when my only praise is a broken Hallelujah.

If you have a broken Hallelujah I would encourage you to give it to God today. It will change you.

This widow’s walk

9 01 2016

2016 might just be the year of the big breakthrough for this widow. There, I said it. Widow. I still don’t like to say it but I am gradually giving in to the  concept. I am not in denial of Ed’s passing. I know in the depth of my being that Ed is with his Savior in Heaven and he is not coming back!  I  wouldn’t  want him to.

I have been in denial of the fact that I am no longer married. It doesn’t seem quite fair that I have no say in the matter. I did not fall out of love. I was not cheated on or angry with or in any way mistreated by my husband. I was in love with Ed right up until his last breath. I am still in love with him.

We talked about some things pertaining to his imminent  passing away but none of our talking or thinking was about the fact that I would no longer be his wife. When Ed died, I became his widow. I hate that part. I could not reconcile it in my heart or in my mind. It has not been a graceful transition, to say the least. It felt all wrong to take my wedding band off and yet it felt like a lie to keep it on. Although, I did keep it on for a long time. I finally found a way that felt “okay” not to wear my wedding band on my hand. I found a necklace that allowed me to wear both our rings around my neck.

This has been my 5th birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year without my Ed. I am coming to terms with the fact that I am not married anymore. On New Years day, I did not put my necklace on. I have looked at it every day since and made a decision not to wear it today. I have tried this before and after a day or two have experienced such anxiety that I had to put it back on. It has been 9 days today without my commitment being worn around my neck. It is okay. I did not break my commitment. I fulfilled it.

I have said it before, grief is different in everyone. We each have to find our own path through the process. Sometimes we can follow a portion of the path that someone else has traveled. Most of the time we have to blaze our own trail. I can still weep with the thought of how much I miss my man. I am on the journey. One step, one day, and sometimes one hour at a time.

Last night, I had a small dinner party with 4 of my close friends. I cooked a pot of marinara sauce and meatballs like I used to do. As we sat around the table in my modest kitchen with full bellies, I took a moment to look around the table. Everyone was at peace and looked contented. Everyone there knew my Ed and were not self conscious to speak his name in a conversation. What really struck me was that we were all laughing, sharing food, stories and talk of movies. Fellowship. My home was alive with fellowship. Ah, but that is for another post.


My summer vacation??

31 07 2015

It is hard to believe I am more than halfway through my one week hiatus already. I head back to Charleston for season two of Vice Principals with Danny McBride and the gang after church on Sunday. So I am trying to find that balance of fun, rest and responsibilities. For instance, today I will meet a friend for lunch after which I will take Bella to the vet for her check up. See? Fun and responsibility.

As far as the rest goes, if there were a camera on me as I go about my household life I am sure I would look like a kindergarten child in the playroom. I know some of you can easily relate to this because I read your posts too. 😉

Coffee and meditation (that closely resembles daydreaming), are how I begin my day. I may log onto my bible app and read some scripture or I may check my FaceBook page. It is important to me to know what my friends are up to. Actually, I often form a prayer list for myself from some of my friends posts. That is my justification.

Next is breakfast and cleaning the dishes… Or listening to some music… Or practicing a new song for church… Or some more daydreaming, I mean, meditation. I find my thoughts quite entertaining and interesting. These should be put down in a blog post.

Okay, WordPress is open and I begin typing. Annnnd, Bella needs a walk. But first, I have to get out of these pajamas. While I am changing I should throw these clothes in the washer and get that first load started. Oops, I forgot to fold the towels from last night. This linen closet is looking bad. It will just take a second to straighten out these shelves. I forgot I had these dish towels. I am going to switch out the ones that are in the kitchen now. If I am quick, I can throw the ratty ones in with the first load of laundry. These towels look so nice, wonder why I ever put them in the closet. Oh! I love this song!

Yes Bella, I see you and I promise we will go for a walk in a minute. Let me find my socks…. Oh, they are in the laundry. Why, look at that, the first load is clean already. I will put them in the dryer and they will probably be done by the time we get back from our walk. I’ll just step out the back door for a minute to check the temperature so I know what  top to put on. I better get the doggie bags and clean that up now so I don’t forget where it is….

Before you fuss at me for putting my itinerary out here for the public to see, my house will NOT be empty. I have a renter and a neighborhood watch and my Mary and Tim next door on one side and Nick and Maura on the other side who constantly monitor the comings and goings for me.

Okay Bella, now for that walk.

Sent from my iPhone

What was meant for evil…

21 06 2015

I believe that my steps are ordered of the Lord. I work in a crazy, talent filled, ADD inducing, creative, grueling industry with all kinds of people. I never sought out to work in the film industry. MY plan was to be a gospel singer/worshiper and travel the country sharing the message of God’s inexplicable love. God has placed me in Charleston, SC for a time such as this. I know that I know that God has a purpose for bringing me here, NOW. I have had the privilege of praying for several co-workers in the past 9 weeks. I have also found myself at the foot of the cross on several occasions confessing my failures and feelings of inadequacy. It is a great comfort to know that there are people of faith who pray for me. I need every single prayer that has been offered on my behalf.
Along with the rest of our country, I have witnessed the power of God at work in the hearts of His people who are suffering an unimaginable loss and heart ache. And yet, they stand before a young man who killed their loved ones and say these words, “I forgive you.” We are witnessing a supernatural act of God. He is working in the hearts of His people. He is close to the broken hearted and He binds up their wounds. These people are living out their faith as they have been taught to do by their Pastor who was taken from them in a violent act. Pastor Clementa Pinckney taught his congregation well.

Today, I am reminded that this world is filled with evil, BUT GOD! God can bring good out of evil designs. By his own words, what this young man meant for evil, God is turning it for good. This young man has stated that he meant to cause a race riot. Instead, people of all races are standing together to rebuke this notion.
Lives have been tragically ripped away, hearts have been torn in two and people are walking out their faith in a God who loves. People who are broken in the face of hatred and violence are living out of the abundance of mercy that a loving God has poured into their hearts.
I know my steps are ordered of the Lord. He has ordained that I am in this great city right now. I am learning from the people of Emmanuel AME church. And hoping that, on some small scale, I can make a difference.