On February 22 Lovie M. Jordan turned 86 years old. Lovie is my mom and I feel blessed to still have her around. Although her mental capacity has diminished, you can see in her eyes that determination to live life to the fullest.

Lovie is a painter. She has spent the bulk of her life working to expand her creativity. Most of her recent work was done in water color but she has explored other mediums such as oil and pastels.

It wasn’t uncommon to see her sketching the outline for her next painting. Her love for art was what drove her. She ate, slept and drank art.  She wanted us to feel what she felt so there are times that she would take my sister, brother and I to art shows and museums.

One of the shows I distinctly remember was one held in Washington Square. This is part of the West Village area of Manhattan. Every year around Labor Day she would take us there to look at the various presentations done by artists from all over city and the world.

We would spend the day there looking and critiquing what we saw. I really enjoyed that show and maybe this year I will take time to visit the show again. It’s now called the Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit.

Every artist wants the ability to show his/her work and I was able to organize such a show for my mom. It was her only show and it took place just before her health started to decline. The show was held in one of the buildings I service and it was a joy to watch her as she stood amongst her best work.

She enjoyed that so much that I was in the process of organizing another show but her health declined and the emphasis had to be placed on getting her well.

My mom felt that it was necessary for her kids to be exposed to the arts. When she was a young girl, having a career in art was frowned upon. Now everyone knows that art is important in everything we do.

I hope that some of her creative spirit has rubbed off on me because I think about her each time I get in front of my laptop and begin writing a new post.

Happy Birthday Lovie!!

This has been a very cold winter but on her birthday there was uncharacteristically warm weather. Perhaps God was smiling down on her in acknowledgement of her positive parenting skills.

A week later it snowed. It got a little warmer and I was hopeful that spring was ready to begin and I could finally put away my winter gear.  It seems that here in the North East we have had more than our share of winter weather.  Cities like Boston have set snow fall records. We may have also set a record or two but I think I speak for all New Yorker’s when I say we are tired of winter.

I like everyone else is looking forward to spring. March 20 couldn’t have come soon enough. Even on that day, winter showed its’ ugly head by dumping 4” of snow on us. I hope that will really be the last appearance of winter.

March begins the birthday parade. Deshawn, who is my middle son, will turn 21. He is the second to make it to adulthood.  Wendell, who is the oldest, will be 32 in June. Jonathan, I can keep in baby mode a little longer, will turn 11 in May.

As these guys are getting older, I find that my parenting techniques have changed.  I have always based my approach on encouragement and positivity.  By and large these kids have a good idea of what is wrong and right in life and I have chosen to place my energy in trying to help them find their niche.

I feel that everyone has received a gift from God. It is up to us to find out what that gift is and exploit it.

We see people who have found their niche. It’s obvious with certain sports figures and those in the music field. I feel that Lovie understood what was driving her.

Everyone can’t be a LeBron James or a Derick Jeter or a Henry Lundquist.

Everyone can’t be a Denzel Washington or a John Coltrane.

Everyone can’t be a Lovie.

As a positive parent, my job has changed from mostly giving instruction to that of a counselor. I feel it is my job to help these kids find that thing that drives them.

Wendell Jr.’s niche is his people skills. The way he interacts with people is very natural for him. We both agree that this is what he was born to do. We are always talking about ways that he can improve his skill set. I think that although God gives us talent, it is up to us to develop and expand those talents to their fullest potential.

Deshawn and Jonathan still have a way to go to find out what drives them. The one thing I have learned from my experience with Wendell Jr.is that the earlier they find their niche the earlier they can find enjoyment and peace in their lives.

In this day and age it is important to be happy as well as to make a living.  We all know people who have had long careers but are miserable. They can’t wait to leave their professions. Some leave early, before retirement, to pursue their dreams. Other’s retire and never spent any time to find out what really drives them.

I think I have found my niche. I really enjoy writing these posts and I equally enjoy all your responses.

I turned 62 this past November and someone got me a very nice rocking chair. I’m not ready to fold in my tent. I will use my time in the chair to relax. I’ll also use that time to think about what I want to say in my next post.

I’m the guy whose glass is always ½ full.



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