Celebrating Your Significant Other

In the wake of last week’s massacre in Charleston, South Carolina where 9 people were murdered I still want to talk about celebrating. At first I was hesitant, never mind that last Monday on the blog we talked about celebrating those who have passed away. I was hesitant because the undercurrent of celebration is joy and how does one insert joy in the wake of tragedy? Yet as I have read the snippets of who the victims were in the attack I am reminded they were humans, real live people who bought joy to the lives of those with whom they were in relationship. They were significant in the lives of the people who knew them and that is certainly worthy of celebration! So here are a few words from a few women as they talk about how they celebrate the significant others in their lives.

Photo courtesy of Kristin Vining Photo Blog.com

Photo courtesy of Kristin Vining Photo Blog.com

“My husband is such a blessing to me and our children . I celebrate him by taking time to recognize his gifts, encouraging his growth and supporting him in all ways to achieve his dreams. I show him how much he means by telling him and affirming it with planning special times for us to enjoy his favorite things. Planning things to take part in with the family is a big one for him as well.  We spend time with each other and our children as my husband counts that as one of his favorite things. Celebrating my husband means many things, but most importantly as long as it’s based on love and fun family times, that’s a winner for us all.”- Shakirrah R.

“Privately sitting down together and with eye to eye contact and listening and taking in the entire story of the accomplishment to celebrate. Then, the next time our family gets together, talking about it with them as we enjoy dinner together.”- Dale S.

“I celebrate my husband by cooking his favorite meal which is teriyaki salmon and surprising him with a gift.”- Kresence C.

So how do you celebrate your significant other?

LIVE-ing for the Weekend by Celebrating With Friends

I firmly believe friends are the family you get to handpick. They make life so sweet and are some of the best people to celebrate with. Here’s what a few friends and readers had to say about how they celebrate with friends. And…there’s no time like to weekend to get together and get to celebrating. Until Monday! xxoo

“I love to kickback, talk, and have food and drinks. Food and drinks are very much involved. If it’s an extra special celebration- we’re going dancing.” -Silvie

Photo courtesy of James White

Photo courtesy of James White

“I love everything from getting together over drinks and appetizers, having dinner in the city or hosting dinner in my home, or doing something together like bowling, skating, or movies. “- Stephanie

“I love to host a good party, especially a theme party. Some of my favorite themes are 80’s, Legoes, or a pink and gold themed brunch. I also love when celebrating includes something we can do together like make pizza for the pizza party, or paint, etc.”- Amy

How do you like to celebrate with your friends? #DaretoShare

Simply Celebrating Life

marleneWe’re continuing the conversation about celebrations today by talking about the ways in which we celebrate the life of those who have passed away. I count it a privilege to have been able to interview the eldest daughter of a woman who was nothing short of amazing. She truly was grace in the flesh and teaching those around her, aka me, how to be a person of grace, a person who seeks the best in others without blindly ignoring their faults but not being blinded by them. Here’s what Adjoa Idun, Founder of Tasty Buds Catering in Philadelphia, PA had to say about celebrating the life of her mom Marlene Kay Agustas Idun .

Me: It’s been a little over a year since your mom passed away from respiratory failure. Tell me a little bit about her.

Adjoa: My mom was a gift to myself, three sisters, Abrina, Ewure-Aba and Nana-Mbra and our dad. She worked for Head Start Learning Tree here in Philadelphia as a mental health specialist, specifically supporting children under five years old. When I was just in preschool she and another parent created the preschool curriculum for our first church and ran the program until each one of her four children where no longer of preschool age. My mother was incredibly industrious. There was a time she made the decision to stay home with her children as a stay-at-home mother she also opened up a daycare called Marlene family day care for over seven years. When I was in my first year of high school she opened up her own African export business called Afias Afrocentric Market. She sold African art jewelry and clothing for four years.

Me: Wow. That is a lot and quite a legacy to leave. How do you still celebrate her life?

Adjoa: By actively being who she believed I was and could be. My mom was a huge supporter of my gifts and talents and I continue to use them the way she would expect and encourage me to.

Me: How does she live on in you?

Adjoa: To be very literal sometimes when I’m laughing or in a heated debate; I hear my mother’s voice, I mean I sound just like her and its oddly comforting to me.

Me: What is your favorite way to celebrate and what was hers?

Adjoa: As long as I can celebrate with family I’m cool. My mom was the same way. As long as there was family and lots of laughter, it was a celebration and just a really good time.

Me: What is your favorite memory of a celebration with your mom?

Adjoa: My favorite memory of a celebration with my mom was her 50th birthday bash. We put together a long weekend with all her sisters at a hotel where each day we had a different surprise for her, a pottery class with a catered lunch, mani pedis, jewelry making, movies and a huge sit down dinner. She was so happy the entire weekend.

Me: How did your mom celebrate you, you sisters, and your dad?

Adjoa: On our birthdays she would always make these gift bags of stuff she had been buying all year that were specific to the things you enjoyed or where your hobbies. It was her way of expressing she knew us as individuals and loved us.

Me:  Your mom was a woman of faith, how did she acknowledge or celebrate her faith and or the thing she saw/believed God was doing in her life or the lives of those around her?

Adjoa: She always acknowledged God as the basis of anything worth celebrating. She made sure we understood that all good and perfect gifts came from him and the love that we had as a family was the most priceless gift we had from God.

Me: What if anything makes celebrating or the idea of celebrating your mom challenging?

Adjoa: One of the biggest joys of celebrating is that everyone is there who you want to celebrate with. Celebrations now are bittersweet because her absence is always felt. We carry-on in the spirit of the love that she showed and the joy that she gave, but it’s still different you know.

Me: What if anything makes celebrating your mom or the idea of celebrating your mom exciting/hopeful?

Adjoa: To be honest nothing yet. I hope to be able to celebrate when I have children the way that she celebrated me and my birthdays and accomplishments.  I hope to live out that relationship of celebration with my own children.

Me: As you engage in future celebrations in your own life whether it’s marriage, birth of a child, buying your first home, your creative talents landing you on some great television show, how will you incorporate your mom into those moments?

Adjoa: I guess the reality is that she’ll always be a part of me. She’s in me and like I said sometimes I sound like her and I behave like her.  Wherever I go and whatever I do in the future celebrating my mom is naturally there.

Me: What words of encouragement would you give to others who want to celebrate someone they have lost but don’t know how?

Adjoa: I guess I would have to be honest and say I’m still figuring all that out.  I encourage people to remember, recall, and reminisce whenever you can because great times are memories that both celebrate and heal the heart.