We Are Family!

We Are Family!

But he lifted the needy out of their affliction and increased their families like flocks. Psalm 107: 41 NIV

Last night, I was reminded of the importance of family at a reunion at which I was reacquainted with family members I had not seen in years. To say, it was a bit emotional for me would be an understatement. Not only was every person there recognized for something, but a presentation was made about all who are no longer with us.

This reunion was about our genealogical connection, “blood family” and all connected by marriage. Our family matriarch–as far as anyone could remember, was Polly McDowell–born in 1848 into slavery. Her son, my great grandfather, James McDowell was born in 1867, just a few years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, freeing the slaves.

Because of a desire to know more about my ancestry, I recently had my DNA tested and discovered I am a descendent of people from 8 different countries in Africa, Scandinavians who migrated to Scotland, and Indigenous Native Amazonian–who migrated from North Asia and then to North America (Native Inhabitants). What a heritage! But let me get back to James McDowell. He was the only grandfather I had known and he died when I was 12 years-old. But I was told something last night that I never knew. He was coal-miner in Powellton, WV and raised his 8 children with this thought, “If you don’t do anymore than I’ve done, then you haven’t done anything.” That struck a particular chord within me because I remember my great aunts training me to do day work when I was 5 years-old. Some might think that was child abuse now, but at the time, since there was very little opportunity for a Black woman to do much else, they did what they thought was needed in order to prepare me for life.

I’m sure, Polly McDowell would be proud of her descendants and I’m equally sure that my grandmother–Isabelle Woodson and my mother, Mary Mosley, would be just as proud of me. Without knowing what had been instilled in them, I have always wanted to explore my potential in a number of areas. Academically, I have exceeded the expectations of many and I can’t imagine what Polly would have thought if she knew there would be a writer in the family since she had been denied the opportunity to read and write. All of this was brought home to me last night–the importance of knowing family. The last surviving child of James and Isabelle (his wife) is my Aunt Maxine McKinney–who is now the matriarch of the family and is 89 years-old. She narrated our family history and it was recorded by her daughters to share with the rest of us. While I can’t speak for the rest of the family, I was moved to a heightened awareness of pride in family and inspired to keep motivating others to pursue greatness.

It’s not just the “blood” family that we need in our lives to keep us connected; it is the Blood of Jesus Christ family that we need to keep us connected and moving forward in this life, being a comfort to others, encouraging others to be all that God would have them to be, and to remind each other always of this great heritage we have in Christ.

I had not planned to make an announcement about my potential candidacy, but after hearing more about Polly McDowell and what my grandfather said, I couldn’t let the opportunity get past me. I’m absolutely sure, great, great-grandmother Polly would be surprised to know one of her descendants had the audacity to seek being the President of the United States–when she was born a slave in this country.

Now, it is more important than ever for me to succeed in my quest because this is not just about me or what I think I can do for Everyday Americans, but it now becomes the motivation that fuels me to show the world that how we arrive in life, should have no bearing on what we can accomplish in life.

So, to both “blood” families I thank you for the opportunity of being connected and in the hope of seeing all achieve all that God has put into your hearts to achieve, no matter what your age is, no matter what obstacles have attempted to impede your progress in life, when we know we can depend on family, we can make it.

Remember the name–Mary Hall-Rayford and be prepared for the run to the White House in 2020–honoring family.

eda

Deceptive Storms (excerpt 1)

She sat with a glass of wine in her hands, swirling the burgundy liquid slowly, reflecting, contemplating her life.  Taking a luxurious sip, she sighed and wished for more than what she had.  More money, more house, more of a man, more happiness—just more of everything.  Leaning back on the black leather chaise in her living room, she closed her eyes, glass still in hand.  Her thoughts vacillated between what was and how she was going to fast forward.

“If I could just shake the past and move on, I’d be alright,” she thought.  “I just need to shake the past.”

Her past was a multicolored debacle.  One misstep after the other.  She tried hard to think about the last time she had actually done anything right.  She couldn’t remember.  Brain cells only seemed to recall the squirmy situations she had created or fallen into.  Fallen into—with deliberation.  She shook her head at her own recriminations.  Deciding to traipse down memory lane, she focused on the first real love of her life—the love that had left her dangling for years and finally cut off her emotions to the quick.  She had loved the wrong man as so many before her had done, but she just knew—Brian was the only man worthy of her love.  The real tragedy was that Brian was from Loser Street—and just didn’t know how to get off of it.  Appearances can certainly be deceiving.  Hefty and handsome as any movie star, Brian strolled into Charleston Café with his friends, easily the center of attention.

She had seated them at the best table in the house—near a window so they could keep an eye on the object of their discussion—the latest fast car purchased by the racing car company that was based in town.  Sleek, low to the ground, shiny black with yellow pinstripes and the company sponsor listed on the side, it was something to behold.  Apparently, the three men discussing the car thought so, too.  She heard someone say something about the most “horsepower that was legal” and that was as much as she needed to hear.  She really wanted to meet the man behind the smile and the talk.

Standing at their table waiting to take their order, her eyes shifted from one to another.  The other two men were slightly older than the man talking and she could quickly detect that the younger man was trying to convince the other two to do something.  After taking their order, she deliberately brushed against the younger man, knowing he would have to pay attention, but he didn’t.  He moved slightly and kept talking.  After she had placed their drinks on the table, he glanced at her briefly and nodded.  She perceived the nod as recognition and invitation to something later.

When they had finished their meal, the younger man eagerly picked up the check while the older men smiled, shaking each other’s hands, ready to go their separate ways.

“Brian,” she heard one of the men say, “you’ve got yourself a deal.  Come into the office tomorrow and we’ll sign the paperwork.  It’s nice doing business with you.”  They left Brian in the Café.  She had asked if he’d like for her to take the payment to the cashier, but he said no and ordered a cup of coffee.  He leaned back in the chair and openly appraised the woman in front of him.  Heat began to crawl from her toes to her face under his scrutiny, but she smiled as he apparently decided he liked what he saw.

He rose from the table and left her a tip with a note.  A telephone number.  A number that would eventually lead to more heartache than she could have ever imagined.

She had called him after her shift ended and they made plans for dinner and a movie.  The dinner and the movie were good, but his conversation was mesmerizing.  She couldn’t stop listening to him and encouraged him to keep talking.

He was one of eight children, his mother was not very healthy and his dad was a truck driver, always on the road.  When he finished school, he decided that he did not like his life and was determined to recreate himself.  He left the hollow that he had grown up in and went to Texas.  There he attended college, but became more involved with racing than books.  When he discovered that he had a knack for driving fast cars, he quickly adapted by attending the races and eventually got a chance to show what he could do.

He left ten experienced drivers in the dust during his first race.  No one watching understood how he had managed it, but he had easily won the race and a few hundred dollars.  The race itself was addictive, but the money was the jolt that kept him going.  He thought he had finally found his niche in life.  Not only was he good at racing the cars, he was an expert at finding investors to sponsor him in races.  He loved the feel and the smell of the cars, but he loved the stench of the jumpsuits after a race.   More importantly, he loved the attention he got wherever he went.

“Oh yeah,” she remembered, he loved the attention.  In the three years they dated, she could barely keep him focused on their relationship because of all the attention he received by racing.  Every where they went, people wanted to talk to them.  Alone time was seldom, but he seemed to enjoy her company and she was totally lost to him.   Lost—that’s a word she would remember for a long time.

She thought they were on their way to a march down the aisles when she discovered that he was on his way—to another woman.  She didn’t see it coming.  Never had a clue.  The connecting line had been cut and she fell with a clump, thump, and a bump—heartbroken and hell-bent on revenge.

Available on http://www.amazon.com and http://www.smashwords.com  Enjoy and review!

Book Trailer for Deceptive Storms

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