9 posts categorized "Reflections"


I Dream of Nene: The Wedding

My girl is back!  I tuned into “I Dream of NeNe: The Wedding” last night and loved every second of it.  It’s not that often that you have a second chance at love and my girl, NeNe has just that.  NeNe keeps it real and we all can learn from her.


As one of her bridesmaids, I was up close; but it’s not until you sit down, reflect and see the show that you can truly appreciate the whole reunion of Greg and NeNe.  There’s so much more to come, and you bet I’ll be watching as this love story continues to unfold.

 Next week is interesting, fabulous and so much more …

 Stay tuned!


Twice the Cause for Celebration


Our president will be sworn in as this country's 45th on Monday, January 21st.  This is a historic moment for our nation.  I imagine it will be an amazing experience for the president to be sworn in on the holiday of another great man while facing the Lincoln Memorial.  Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech at the memorial 50 years ago.


King was a man who through nonviolent means, fought for black Americans to have the same rights as their white brothers and sisters.  President Obama worked with citizens as a community organizer to help neighborhood people bring about change in their community.  Both men were strongly influenced by people or experiences during college.

Born almost a decade after the assassination of Dr. King, my experience is a lot different than that of his contemporaries.  The holiday, for me, was a chance to get a new outfit and hang out at the parade on the south side of St. Petersburg.  And really, it wasn't until middle school that I began to study the life of this man and to grasp the significance of the sacrifices made by both him and his family.

And now on this holiday, that was so long coming, the president will be sworn in with the Bible that King used to carry; sworn in with the Bible of the first lady's paternal grandmother.  Incredible.



A Family Story, Part II

Me + 4 kidsFrom r to l: Mike, Ryan, Jasmine & Kiki

I was 11 when I left my mother’s home.  Before then, my older sister  would come check on my little brother and I, making sure we had food.  And when I left, moving between 4 different foster homes until landing at the last one at age 14, it was me who who looked after me, me who did for myself.  

So family, is for me an interesting word.  What is family if it does not offer the protection and nurturing it should?  And who decides what you owe anyone, especially when not anyone feels they owe you?  

At 16, I started working, first fast food - you know what it was, Mickey D's - then retail, even bartending.  I was blessed to meet a gentleman or two along the way, who truly helped me.  But family never took care of Marlo.  And Marlo did take care of family, even at 17 driving to different Foster Homes, visiting my nieces and nephews, always helping them, loving them, taking them out to amusement parks and to have fun.  I did for my mother; she could always count on me, I would always look after her.  Her house is paid for and furnished by me, and she could always count on me to give her money.   

But none of these things brings family together - if anything, it only tears them apart...


A Family Story, in 3 Parts

TerrellVia AP

 The stories all have the same plot lines.  They may start with a lottery win, a professional sports contract, a platform in entertainment.  One person creates for themselves the opportunity.  One person makes sacrifices and works very hard for opportunity to come their way.   One person carries the weight, the pressure, the expectations, yet everyone feels they deserve the spoils.  The one who is working, struggling, and sacrificing, they want the opportunity so that they can share.  But simple math does get in the way. 

If only one person is earning and one person is dividing, giving as much if not more than they receive, eventually there is nothing left to divide.  The stories teach us that all money can come to an end.  All resources can be drained. 

I choose not to be that story. But that's only the beginning.  What happens after you make that decision, and how those around you react, is what comes next.  I will tell that story in 3 parts...



Looking Back


The photographs tell my story better than the things I hear.  I looked at a lot of them recently, from all different moments in my life.  There were valleys and there were peaks.  The photographs remind me of the times when there was laughter and the signs of who I would become.  The sunflower on my straw hat - an early glimpse of a fashionista in training!

I will share more of them with you as well as stories from my earlier life.  Mine will be the official record, the full picture of Marlo...


From me to you...

It is with great disappointment in myself and sincere regret that I would like to issue to my friends, my most ardent supporters, and my followers, this statement:  

I would like to offer from the bottom of my heart the fullest and most heartfelt apology for my recent use of an anti-gay slur.  When I used this word, I was not mindful of the demeaning connotation that this has in the gay community.  My speech was irresponsible, thoughtless and said with the intention of conveying anger rather than as a statement on my feelings towards the gay community as a whole.  

My first action, after the incident was to contact my closest friend and assistant of 8 years and to confess what I had done, to express my sadness and regret, and to ask him for his forgiveness.  I was devastated at the thought of having hurt or embarrassed him as well as any member of the gay community and relish this opportunity to publicly apologize.  My friends have embraced me, supported me, withheld judgment of me and have meant a lot to me over the years.  I would never abuse their kindness and friendship and would never want to hurt them or demean them in any way.  

I applaud and admire this community for their triumph over a sometimes harsh, mean spirited society that discriminates and even violently attacks those who are different.  These are obstacles that I relate to and that I have been inspired by them to overcome.  I celebrate this community and am saddened by any indication otherwise, that my actions may have caused.  

I look forward to continuing to build my strong relationship with you, my followers and supporters, and those of you who do not yet know me and my heart.  I look forward to work to regain your trust, respect and your love which has so empowered me over the years.  I also thank you for allowing me to address you personally and to let you know how deeply sorry I am.


With Love,



Aggression and its lasting Influence...

She said to me: thank you for setting back the women's and civil rights movement 100 years.  I thought about that and about the women; amazing women, powerful women, inspiring women who are all, every day, making a difference and moving us forward.  I would not dare think myself capable of having enough impact to undo any of their hard work.

What did have impact was my life with Emma.  My mother did always give us the best.  She always kept a nice home, and she always had us in nice clothes.  She also liked to drink and get high and she liked to gamble.  She and my step father would stay out late and if they won, they were happy.  That was a good day.  They would wake us up and take us to IHOP to eat.  But if they lost, they would quarrel.  And quarrels would sometimes lead to fights.  Things would escalate quickly, and the reasons for why could be as simple as: she told him not to cook her steak. 

In the early hours of that morning they had started quarreling even before they got home.  She wanted to stay out and drink, he was ready to come home.  Once home, the quarreling continued.  He was hungry and wanted to eat.  She did not want him to make the steak.  He did anyway.  And when the steak was cooking and he got in to the shower, she went after him...

Eventually, I was taken away from my mother and the chaos that was our lives.  But the impact of those details, of the events that were a part of my life, that stayed.  It stayed even after I left home, after 7 foster homes, after becoming independent and finding my way in the world. 

The impact of my earlier life is the wounds that have not fully healed.  For those, I still need time and still need to do more work to not expose them.  If I continue to work on me, maybe you will see how much I want to move forward,  not that I want to set us back...


Happy New Year!


I hope 2011 was a wonderful year for you and that 2012 tops it!  I hope in 2012 we get much better acquainted.  You have seen my closet, heard some of my musings and asked many questions.  You have offered me a place to put down my thoughts and to really introduce myself to you.   And y
ou are coming into my life at a wonderful time, a time of transition and a time of self-development and growth.  A time of reflection too.  

Recently I found an old picture.  It reminded me of who I was then; a young girl, responsible and motivated, already enrolled in college, and quite strong to be so young.  I had already seen so much!  I had already celebrated many holidays without my own family.  I had already experienced foster care and 
never being raised by my father.  I remembered sometimes seeing members of his family at the local stores - he lived in the same town - and they would recognize me because I have his nose.  I remember the days of 
wishing that we could be a family, but knowing that would not be possible for us.  That young girl in the picture, she would be scared to know some of the obstacles that would lie ahead, but then she would be happy to know the joys that would come too.  Moving to Atlanta, becoming a stylist, then an entrepreneur and now this truly big leap to a stage that is new to me; strange, and a little bit scary.  

I have thought about what I need to change this year, what will be important for me to stay true to, in this year of brand new possibilities.  Listening, is what I came up with.  In listening I can best see what is being revealed to me.  In listening I will hear even that which goes unsaid.  In listening I will have the opportunity to be thoughtful.  In listening I will choose the right path...

I am sure there will be times that I will need you to hold my hand.  Thank you for taking this journey with me...I imagine it will hold some unexpected, but blissful things too.


Money is the best deodorant....

..said Elizabeth Taylor, but it does bring the stench of hatefulness.  "Where do you get your money?" is such a crass and distasteful thing to ask. It reeks of jealousy, envy, and insecurity.  It is even less attractive than a bad weave and too fitted clothes on an unfit body.  It makes me wonder, what about that is important to you?  What will those details do for you?  Are you looking for more information to judge and criticize?  Have you somehow drawn the conclusion that I do not deserve what I have but think that you do?  Or is it that you are disappointed in your life and resent the fulfillment in mine?  Many of my friends own bigger homes, more clothes, more jewelry, more cars - I celebrate them.  I love it that they are happy, that they are well taken care of, that they live exciting lives.  I want it for them, and I want it for those that do not have it.  I share with others what I have.  I am generous, I give easily, I take care of many people, I give anytime I can.  That is what God has blessed me to do!  I ask you, is how I live with my money - generously, selflessly, joyously - not more important than how I receive it?