I Hate This Part Right Here …written by Bessie Gilliam

I Hate This Part…

The silence in the room was deafening.  Stacy couldn’t believe what had just come out of her mouth.  She had asked Bryce, her husband of 15 years, for a divorce.  She was afraid to even look him in his face to see his reaction.  She could feel him staring at her. “You can’t even look me in my face and tell me that you want us to be done, can you?” said Bryce.  Tears began to well up in Stacy’s eyes as she looked up at Bryce and saw the look of shock and disappointment on his face. Stacy finally works the knot out of her throat and says, “I love you Bryce, but I can’t live like this anymore.”  I want more for me and you and our children. They see how we don’t communicate, how we argue all the time, how we don’t show each other any affection.  I don’t want them to think that this is what married life is all about.  I don’t want them to equate marriage with misery. You have to understand that.”  Stacy looks at Bryce with tears starting to stream down her face.  Bryce, appearing defeated, pierces his lips and looks at Stacy.  He faintly whispers, “Stacy, we can work through this.”  He moves closer to Stacy, who is sitting at the foot of their king size sleigh bed. “I love you too, Stacy…more than you know.  I want to fix this situation that we’ve created.  I think we just need more time to work through our problems.” Stacy stands up and shakes her head interjecting and says, ‘No. No, I can’t do it anymore.  There is nothing left to save in this marriage, Bryce. We have grown so far apart these past few years and I… I don’t think that there is anything we can do to salvage it.” Stacy nervously plays with her hands as she contemplates how to tell Bryce she is leaving him.  Stacy takes a deep breath and just like she rehearsed in her head a thousand times, she says to Bryce, “I’m going to be moving in with my mother temporarily until we can finalize this… situation…and if you don’t have any objections, the kids will be coming with me.”  Bryce looks down at the floor and then back up at Stacy and lets out a huge sigh looking like he lost his best friend.  “Stacy, baby, I don’t want to lose you or my kids, but if this is what you want right now, then I guess there is nothing that I can do at this point to change your mind, is there?”  Bryce stares at Stacy with a twinkle in his eye.  Bryce wants to hold on to any glimpse of hope he can with his wife.  Bryce slowly approaches Stacy and Stacy sucks in a quick breath unsure if she should scream or faint.  Bryce places his hands softly on Stacy’s cheeks and says…“ Look at me, baby.  If this is the last time that I’m going to see you for awhile, is there any chance that I can make love to you just one more time, before you go?”  Stacy looked Bryce in his eyes and said to herself, “Girl stay strong. Don’t let him do this to you. No. Don’t look down at the bulge in his pants. Don’t reminisce; don’t have a flashback about the good loving that you got from this man.  It’s not worth it! Don’t give in. It’s never going to work. You’re not going to be happy.” Stacy finally spoke and said, “As long as you understand that my mind is made up… and that this will truly be our last time.”

copyright 2012 by Bessie Gilliam

to thine ownself quote

Inner City Blues

Sometimes I wake up feeling blessed, energized, ready to exercise, write and start my day.  Then there are days when It’s a struggle just getting out of my bed.  I start to worry about things that are going on around me or I get anxious about the things that I need to get done.  Anyway, I try to push through the best way I can because only people can make the world go round.  I usually turn my radio on because music helps to motivate me as I get ready for my day.

I laugh and smile as I listen to the local radio station and sometimes a song will stick in my head.  I love old school R&B and Hip Hop music and I recently heard an old Marvin Gaye song called “Inner City Blues.”  Although when I was a kid I thought the song was called “make me wanna holler” because sometimes that’s what my mother felt she had to do at times. Now as an adult with a family of my own, I can understand how my mom felt.

I had a recent epiphany while shopping in my neighborhood.  I wished that owners of stores in inner city neighborhoods actually took the time to patronize them as customers.  I was told by one store clerk that I would have to “check in” my bag from a previous store I visited before I could shop.  I was told as soon as I walked in the door of one establishment that I was “under surveillance” by their video camera.  I don’t feel like I’m a suspicious looking person, but there sure was a suspicious looking clerk following me down every aisle that I was perusing for household products.

To top my shopping experience off, I was not allowed to push my grocery cart full of groceries to my car in the parking lot due to two things: 1.The long pole attached to my cart and 2. the steel barrier or “cart jail” in front of the store.  I would have to carry my bags two at a time by hand in the cold from a store where I had just spent $150 of my hard earned money.  Do you think families in the suburbs have to shop under these conditions?

I share my shopping experience with my readers not just to complain but to let them know what it really feels like living in a predominantly poor and minority inner city neighborhood feels like.  I work, I pay my taxes, I take care of my family, so why am I being treated like a common criminal. I understand that businesses are concerned about theft, but why let a few bad apples that exist in every neighborhood, poor and affluent, cause those hardworking patrons to feel so humiliated when they are just trying to take care of their family’s needs.

I found myself growing complacent myself with these store policies and procedures.  I would start to leave my bags in the car, I would avoid  lingering in aisles in the store too long, I would go out of my way to speak to the store clerk to seem less suspicious.  But then I started to think, why am changing my behavior to accommodate these unfair practices? I am spending my money here, and therefore I should be made to feel welcome, not like a common thief.

So I have decided, from now on, if I feel like I am being disrespected by an establishment that I am patronizing.  I will not be defensive or disrespectful, I will politely ask for a manager, calmly express my concern and ask for the corporate address. Through experience, I have found that the Pen is mightier than the sword.

In the interest of my community,


Dear Dream Reader:

Don’t live your life with your foot on the brakes

Go after your dreams

Do whatever it takes

Don’t worry about what others will say

Do Believe in yourself

God will make a way

Don’t Say you’re not worth it

You have everything you need

Do trust in your Spirit

The world will take heed

Lift up your foot slowly, allow the momentum to rise

Do keep moving forward

Even with tears in your eyes

Don’t succumb to the pain

Stay focused on your goals

Rise above all the drama

Go out and feed your Soul

That negative voice in your head

Lay it to rest, put it to bed

Don’t mold yourself to fit the frame

Do your work and change the game

Be the change that you want to see

Do talk to yourself with positivity

Use your Talent, Skills and Personality

Do bring them to the forefront, before they are taken away

What a shame that would be, an awful sad day

I don’t have an ideal audience, I just want to spark a fire

under my

Dream Reader

or anyone

I can Inspire


Good Morning…

The weather outside is frightful and I just want to curl up in my bed in a big warm blanket and watch my soaps all day.  Unfortunately, like most people, I will have to venture out in the cold to make a living and take care of some other business. There is some comfort in knowing that I am not alone as I travel to work or to the grocery store.  Life goes on no matter what the weather is outside.  I am not a very outgoing person but I am friendly and I always try to speak to my neighbors in my community or when I’m at work.  Like my mother used to say..”speaking is due to anybody.”  I will say “hello” or
“good morning” as people walk by or sometimes I just nod and smile.  I find at times my speaking may seem a little forced or I may be a little apprehensive when I see someone a little “unsavory” walking by, but I speak anyway.  I don’t always get a response back, but that’s okay.  I don’t let it deter me.  I will keep my head up and continue to speak to the cashier at the corner store, the mail carrier, my supervisor, the janitor and even the vending machine guy who keeps my cinnamon rolls stocked.  Sometimes, just acknowledging another person’s existence with a simple “Hello,” “Good Morning”  or “Thank You,” can help them get through the day. Sometimes strangers seem a little surprised when I speak.  They look at me as if to say “Do I know you?” They may not know me but I can only hope that by me speaking to them, they realize that we are all in this world trying to make it together.


Say my name, say my name…

I have always had a love-hate relationship with my name; “Bessie.” It has a lot of history, some good and some not.  I’m not sure of the origin of my name, but as a kid, I felt like it was an old lady’s name. It is an old southern name, though. In fact it was my grandmother’s name. I was teased about my name in school. Anyone ever heard of the “Betsy Wetsy” doll?  When I went out with friends, guys would think “Bessie” was my “club name.” No, it is my real name, but take it as you will. My name does not stand for something else. It is what it is. I have found that certain people actually love my name because it evokes a fond memory.  I speak to different people every day and I always hear “Bessie” stories.  “Bessie was my childhood best friend, my family cow, my first car, my favorite aunt or my dear wife who passed away.” I thought at times that I had to be the last Bessie left. Surely my name is a dying breed.

Today, “Bessie” may not make it on the most popular baby names list, but I do now appreciate its uniqueness and all the warm feelings it gives to people who hear it. With that said, I think I have a new title and tagline for my blog.  How about:

Back in the days:  Comfort, Understanding, Strength and Excellence from a black girl blogging in the “cuse”

I was here!

Wow..who am I and why am I here?  The question seems simple enough but it is so difficult for me to answer.  I guess I am still trying to figure out who I am and what God’s purpose is for my life. So much of how I define myself depends on how others view me.  I am the responsible partner, the reliable co-worker, the caring sister and the loving mother.   Many times I feel as if I fall short in many categories in my life.  I feel that I can  be a better friend, a more committed partner and a more involved parent but I don’t always know how to juggle it all without breaking down.  Sometimes I feel that I already give so much of myself physically, financially and emotionally to others that I don’t have enough left over for “me.”   I even feel selfish when I think about doing something strictly for myself or by myself.  Well, I think the reason why I want to start blogging is because it is something that I get to do for myself without feeling apologetic about it.  I get to express my opinion and share my worldview with others.  Yes it’s a little bit scary, but it is also freeing and will allow me to do something selfish for a change.  I just want to let the world know that I AM HERE…

Why The Outrage Over Gun Violence Now?

My Proposal to Reduce Gun Violence    

I have had a few days to digest and reflect on mass shootings of innocent children and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Connecticut and it still leaves an ache in the pit of my stomach.  When an innocent person, particularly a child, is killed in such a fashion, no amount of analyzing by the media and experts in the field of mental health can help the general public understand why a person would do this?  In the wake of this tragedy, which is becoming all too familiar in our society, it is interesting to see how some of our elected officials, some who have been staunch supporters of the NRA and other organizations that defend our constitutional right to bear arms, have begun to have a change of heart.  Why is this happening now?  I live in the inner city and unfortunately, the massacre of our young people due to senseless gun violence happens way too often, although the deaths may occur one or even two at a time. Of course killings in the inner city don’t garner as much national attention to the issue of gun violence such as the mass killing of those innocent children in Newtown, CT.   But it still hurts just as much to those inner city families who have to bury their children one at a time due to senseless gun violence.

President Obama has taken a stance and asked the congress to come up with a proposal to help prevent gun violence.  See, the reality is that we are never going to completely stop gun violence or prevent guns from getting into the wrong hands legally or illegally. But there has to more stringent measures in place to give better protection to the public particularly our children.

Guns and violence have been a part of the American culture since its inception and no one piece of legislation will change that, but I hope that these recent horrific events in the news will be the impetus to change our culture of violence and our ideology about gun ownership to some degree.  With that said, I propose that we start treating gun ownership as a privilege instead of a right.

For example, in New York State, where I live, citizens who choose to own a car must have the car registered.  In order to drive your car, you must obtain a license and insurance. Car insurance is required to protect drivers and the public in case of an accident.  I am not that familiar with gun laws, so if registered gun owners want to educate me, please do.  Is a legal gun owner required to register his gun when he or she purchases one?  Are gun owners required to obtain additional homeowner’s or other insurance in order to use their gun? If not, why not require it?  Having a gun should not be a right, it should be a privilege.  Having affordable healthcare for physical and mental health issues should be a right.

When you go to get a quote for car insurance, the agent will ask you if there are any other drivers or teenagers in the home who could possibly access your vehicle.  This helps to determine what type of risk you are to the insurance company and the amount of coverage you should obtain.  Are gun owners asked if there are any children or persons with mental illness living in their home that may gain access to the gun when they go to register it?  Are registered gun owners asked to show proof of insurance? Are they told how to properly secure a weapon from children and the public alike?   Is the gun owner asked how they will pay for the recovery or funeral of any person or persons that may be shot “accidentally” by their gun? Are they told that statistically, a family member, including themselves will more likely be shot and killed with that same gun they are buying to protect their family with?