Happy Birthday! GOD-Given Niece

As suggested by Random Acts of Kindness to acknowledge people who I am most grateful for having in my life (I call them My GOD-Given Family), I am posting Thank You Notes to them on their Birthdays.

Today I want to acknowledge someone who is not blood-related to me, but has grown and lived in my life as a Niece; Jasmine Nicole Nauls (affectionately called Jazz)
on her 28th Birthday!


With Her Dog, Laila

Jasmine is the Daughter of My Long-time and Good, Good GirlFriend, Ellen Hartley-Nauls.  We have been friends with since 7th Grade at Hughes-Quinn Junior High School; which makes her my GOD-Given Sister and Jazz, my GOD-Given Niece!


at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas

We are Sisters in the Greek World;
Jazz is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
I am a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.;
which displays our individual uniqueness and does not disturb our love.


Jazz,  On your birthday I want to tell you how grateful I am to have you in my life.  Thank you for being who you are!

I am most inspired by your ability to not only find your passion, but to follow it!  Your patience and determination gives me the impression that you have accepted the never-ending cycle of self-discovery and self-creation.  Knowing that I was 33 years old before I realized the importance of this journey, 46 years old before I obtained the courage to embrace this journey and to see you jump right into it at a young age is both mind-blowing and inspirational to me.

As I watch the way you care for Laila, I know you will be an even GREATER Mother to your children one day!  It was confirmation that you had the “midas touch,” when you were one of the few people my GrandDaughter Mink would come to; even though it was her first time meeting you.


Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico


Your Mother and I made you and my Son, GODSiblings and it touches my heart to see your relationship grow into a real kinship.  I do not take it personal, whenever I tell Magic anything about the Nauls, what we have planned with the Nauls or what to know about the Nauls and he ALWAYS call you for confirmation.  I smile to myself, when he follows up with me saying, “Well, I talked to Jazz and she said…”

Because Magic is an only child, I have always worried about him maintaining a healthy support system.  I am grateful to know that when I am no longer around, he has a Sister in you!  I am most proud for my GrandChildren; especially my GrandDaughter to have you in their village as another promising woman!



THANK YOU for being in Our GOD-Given Family!

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Happy Birthday! GOD-Given Uncle

Remember this year, as suggested by Random Acts of Kindness, I will be acknowledging people who I am most grateful for having in my life (I call them My GOD-Given Family) by posting Thank You Note to them on their Birthdays.

Today I want to acknowledge another blood-related Maternal First Cousin, 1x removed, George Cary Jackson, Jr.
on his 85th Birthday!


in Chicago, IL

Though he was born into my life as a Cousin, he has lived in my life as an Uncle; which is why I consider him to be My GOD-Given Uncle!

 Uncle George,  On your birthday I want to tell you how grateful I am to have you in my life.  Thank you for being who you are!

I am most inspired by your determination to go to college and pursue your Bachelor degree in your later years.  You were one of my inspirations to do the same!  I really connected with you, when you shared your mistake in pursing your degree with a focus “to make money” instead of “following your passion.”  You now know that you should have been a Counselor.  I can tell you today, you were a Counselor for me and want to THANK YOU for being so!  I will always treasure all of the conversations we’ve shared and your honesty earned the utmost respect for you!


I was honored to watch My GrandDaughter Mink get to know you and build a foundation of who you are in our Family.  It touched my heart to see her go from being shy and scared, when you spoke to her to her going into your room to talk to you.  The times when she did not see you and ask, “Where is Uncle George?!”


Uncle George and GrandDaughter Mink

From you to her is four (4) generations

THANK YOU for being Our GOD-Given Uncle!



Happy Birthday! GOD-Given Niece

Today I want to acknowledge my blood-related Maternal First Cousin, 1x removed, Elizabeth Kayla Williams
on her 31st Birthday!


Kayla, Her Mother Felicia and I

Kayla has grown in my life like a Niece; which makes her My GOD-Given Niece.  As a child, she appeared to be quiet and shy.  Today she is a confident and driven woman!


Kayla,  On your birthday I want to tell you how grateful I am to have you in my life.  Thank you for being who you are!

I am mostly inspired by your resourcefulness to get things done!

When you believe it, you achieve it!

I’ll never forget how you came to my rescue when I had purchased Six Flags Season tickets in the wrong location.  You had that problem resolved in a snap!!


You’ve touched my heart when I’ve witnessed you display your ability to


You are a classic example of the South African saying,

“Wathint Abafazi, Wathint Imbokodo;” which means


I’ll always remember all of our family gatherings, where we’ve analyzed the past, discussed the present and prepared for the future!  Though we are currently living 11 hours apart, you’re ALWAYS in my heart!  I want you to know that



in Phoenix, Arizona



Happy Birthday! GOD-Given Sister

My orphaned and nomad lifestyle has has provided me with Special People who are and are not blood-related.  They have been there for me, whenever I was in need of family support!  They mean more to me than my blood-related family.  These are people that didn’t have to do it, but they did!  These are people that did whatever they could to assist me in being and maintaining in a healthy state of being.  These are the people that I believe GOD sent to me; which is why I call them My GOD-Given Family; Extra Special People in My Life!

As suggested this year by Random Acts of Kindness, I want to take time to acknowledge these people with a Thank You Note.  I have decided the best time to do this for each of them is on their birthday.   I want to use this opportunity to give them their flowers for being instrumental in My Healthy Life while they live!

The first person I want to acknowledge is my blood-related and

ONLY Sister, 
Doreece Devone Lawrence.

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First, I want to tell you a little about My Sister.  As far as I know about our parents, they were opposites.  Our Mother was very quiet and an introvert.  Our Father was very talkative and an extrovert.  Ironically, my Sister adapted my Mother ways and means and I adapted my Father ways and means.  Because we were orphaned at a young age, we both learned to be assertive (like our Father).

Notice:  Her Facebook Profile Page is a picture of our Mother and My Facebook Profile Page is a picture of me and our Father.

Because we are different, most times we have different views and opinions about things.  Yet, we are able to do it in LOVE!  There has been times when she has hung up the phone on me and I would call her the next day and talk just like nothing happened.

I distinctively remember there has been several times, when we were talking on the phone and I’ve said, “Doreece, I’m going to call you back.”  And she would respond and say, “You don’t have to.”   I am like, “Dang, maybe I want to?!”  And she would say, “Well, have something to talk about!”  Like I had not been talking?!  It’s all good; I accept and LOVE her the way she is and hopefully she accepts and LOVES me the way I am!  So, to My Sisi, I want to say:

Dear Sisi,

I want you to know how grateful I am to have you in My Life.  THANK YOU for being an SENSATIONAL Sister, a Mother (when I needed one), providing me with a HOME, an AWESOME Aunt to My Son, a RHOYAL Roommate, becoming My SoRHOr in Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., a TENACIOUS Traveling Companion and a GRACIOUS GrandAunt to My GrandChildren.  You have been an inspiration for my confidence in stepping out on FAITH and living a nomad lifestyle!

I could never THANK YOU enough for opening your heart and home to provide me with the opportunity to change my scenes (from East St. Louis and Chicago, IL).  Each time I’ve been able to kick start my life into something BETTER!  I THANK GOD for You everyday!