Kim Porter – A Woman Gone Too Soon

 

First let me say that my prayers are with the family, especially the children of Kim Porter. She passed away a few days ago at the age of 47. Her smile lit up every photo and her sweet spirit entered a room before she did. Those are words I’ve seen many, many, many people posting about her even before her death. I’ve always enjoyed seeing photos of Kim with her family, especially those with her four children and the other children who were like surrogate kids to her that were birthed by her lifelong long, Sean “Diddy” Combs. He himself has called her his soulmate and I truly believe that. They may not have made it work as a monogamous couple, but that didn’t mean there wasn’t the kind of love between them that many long to have even a small portion of in their lives.

As I’ve been reading posts and comments about Kim, I’ve noticed, mostly black women, have commented that they find it disrespectful to call Kim a baby mother, mother of Diddy’s children, so on and so on along those lines. They are angry that there isn’t more of a focus on who she was, a model, an actress. I don’t feel that way. Though I agree that Kim was an actress and a beautiful model, I believe what she wanted to be known for most was her love for her four children. That is evident in every picture she took with them, in every statement she made publicly where she always spoke first of her love and dedication to her children. That is what I admired about her most. Yes, with her beauty, she was magic in front of any camera – just look at photos of her. The movie and photo camera loved her. What I believe she took pride in most was how she balanced loving not just her children, Quincy, Christian, D’lilah and Jessie James, but also Justin and Chance, children he had with other women. No one knows how hard or easy accepting other children into the fold is, but she rocked it, even if some of it was for the cameras, which I do not believe. I believe in her heart, she genuinely loved children, even those that were not hers.

I don’t think it’s disrespectful for the way some people want to remember her is that she was the mother of four beautiful children before they throw out credit for the ‘work’ she achieved and accomplished in life. She didn’t put anything, movies, modeling, etc, before her children. She made sure she was their biggest and most visible supporter in anything they wanted to do. She cared for, loved, adored, cherished, doted on, treasured and gave them the spotlight over her taking the spotlight. There can be no doubt that her kids were her first and only priority and that should be praised. I saw a post that asked people wouldn’t you want to be remembered for more than just being someone’s mother or the mother of someone’s children? That’s a large question to ponder, but ponder it, I did and here is my take on my own life and how I want to be remembered:

I love that I’ve done some incredible things in my life so far and I pray that God grants me the chance to continue to build on those things. A week ago, I celebrated 30 years on my job and I have been proud of the work I’ve done over the years, especially my work in doing my part to see that Medicare beneficiaries get the resources they need in order to live good, healthy lives. I am most proud of my Medicare Fee For Service work. I’ve turned myself into an author of, at this moment, 40 romance novels which include, sweet romance, steamy romance and erotic novels (these no one even knows I have these because they are under a pen name), 2 inspiration novels and 5 compilation projects. I’m working on script writing for television and movies. I’ve started my own independent book publishing company. I’ve founded a non-profit which I will finally stand up the way it should be later next year with a kickoff gala in August 2019. I have material things, I travel and plan to do a lot more. I’ve become someone who is now on other people’s radar when it comes to my take on writing and publishing books. I’m spending a lot of time honing that craft and I see the benefits day after day. I hope to one day be what one of my friends calls, “ShondaRhimes2.0”. I love that she calls me that and it makes me proud that friends see my potential. All that and so much more is great, but it’s not what’s important to me. What is you ask?

There is this song that goes, “may the work I’ve done, speak for me.” I have always loved the lyrics and I love that small passage. I look at the work I’ve done as the work in looking after my parents and having a heart to help someone else. I am not perfect and I’m far, far from it. There are days where I am ashamed to admit I still carry hate in my heart for certain things and certain people, but God tells me that He’s glad I’m open to allowing Him to work on me in that area of my life. I’ve come a long, long way, but God is not through with me yet. I haven’t always been the best daughter or the best mother and there were times I don’t even think I was trying to be. I was selfish and only wanted what was best for me. I’m so glad my thoughts and priorities changed and as I said, God has His work cut out, but He’s done great things in my life that have made me take a second, third and fourth look at what is most important.

Getting back to that question of what is it I would like to be remembered for one day. It’s not if I publish a hundred novels, go on to write major network movies or television shows or one day win some of the biggest honors in the entertainment industry. It’s not that I gave many, many years as a public servant or that I had more material things than I needed. How I want my obituary to be crafted has nothing to do with any of that. I want the only words to be that my parents knew how much I loved them because my priority is making sure they’re good. When God said, ‘ honor thy mother and thy father’, He meant that and I stand on that every single day. When people speak of me, I want them to say that I was the daughter of John and Barbara, the mother of Chynae, sister of Brian and John, III. I want them to say that I dedicated a large portion of my life to them. When pictures are shown of me, I want them to be of me with family, smiling and having a good time. I don’t want shots of awards or pictures of book covers or anything that dives into achievements that have nothing to do with my love for my family.

I understand some women who say that Kim Porter was much more than a mother to her children and she should be know for more than being the once love of Sean “Diddy” Comb’s life, but I believe she would love to be known for both of those before anyone worried about what her career was. Not everyone is worried about fame and fortune and making sure people associate your name with that. If that is what makes the world go round for some people, then I say do you, but don’t think for a second that if Kim was asked how she would like to be remembered first and foremost, she wouldn’t smile with that big bright smile she was known for, look at each of her children, including the bonus children, gleam over a Diddy and then tell the world, her desire is to be remembered for the woman who gave life to four beautiful children who will always know that even when she’s not around, she loved them with everything in her and before they remember anything else about her, remember her love for them was her priority.

I celebrate you Kim because your children will live their lives knowing your love, support and devotion to them is why they will one day, after they cry and mourn until their hearts are full, smile and laugh at the good fun times. They will look at pictures and remember every second of their lives because you made sure it was captured. They will forever miss you, but you live on in each one of them. You taught them what it meant to love and to do it unconditionally because that’s how you loved them. I’m happy that when I see stories about you, they say that you were the devoted, loving mother of four before they say anything else. There are so many children who wished they had parents who showed you the kind of love you showed your children. Take our rest knowing you loved so openly that people will flock around your children to make sure they will never be without the kind of hugs and kisses you bestowed on them without caring who was looking.

One day, I want someone to say that outside of everything I may have accomplished, my parents, my daughter and my brothers knew that I loved them and I would do anything in this world in order to keep a smile on their faces. Family first, everything else is secondary.

Cheryl

http://www.cherylbarton.net

http://www.crbarton.com

 

Advertisements

New Romance Novel Release – When I Think of You

WITOY promo (2)

When you love what you do, it flows naturally and that’s how writing is for me. I love writing about love, I love thinking about love, I love – LOVE! In my latest romance novel, there are 318 pages of nothing but pure love – not a lot of drama, no questioning of real love vs. fake love – it’s all about love. For this novel, I wanted to focus on a man, Leo Westmoreland, unlike the men in most of my novels. I usually try to appeal to women readers who love stories of well off men who have money, power and prestige and therefore, making them more of a match for the kind of man they want. This time, I chose to focus on a regular, working, 9 to 5 type of guy and in fact, Leo has three jobs to make ends meet. His purpose in life is to make sure his mother, who had been abused for years by his father, and his two brothers were able to accomplish their goals and live successful lives. He made a promise to his mother that if she walked away from her abuser, he would always take care of her and make sure she could survive without the need to stay in an unhealthy situation. He was seventeen at the time, but mean every single word. Twelve years later, he’s holding to that promise even putting his own dreams on the back burner to give his family what he could. Like a few men I’ve talked to, he’s been in relationships that haven’t gone well because he turned out to be the regular run-of-the-mill guy and women want more from the start. They want a brother who’s ballin’ and can provide them with a lifestyle they don’t want to go out and seek for themselves. Leo tried to show women that there was more to him and other men besides how deep their pockets were, but he always came up against the same type of gold-digger. The day Leo met Raquel, there was something about her that he could turn away from. He had a feeling she had high expectations and from the start, he had reservations about what they would have in common. Little did he know that Raquel had money, power and prestige of her own, achieved through hard work.

Raquel had endured her share of men who were her equal and had deeper than deep pockets, but she found what she wanted the most was a man who would love her enough from his heart that deep pockets wouldn’t matter – hers or his. She was tired of being used, cheated on and taken advantage of. When she met Leo, she felt something in her heart that told her there was more to Leo than just his good looks. Once they had that first late night date at a diner, she had no doubt Leo would be the kind of man she’d longed for and she went into the relationship with her eyes and heart wide open, ready to focus on the love and nothing else.

I love this story much more than others I’ve written because I’m a true believer that if we look beyond material needs and what someone could do for us, we would find what someone can be for us and that could lead to a forever kind of love.

Check out Leo and Raquel’s story and discover real, true love comes from the heart.

Happy reading!

Cheryl

And Then There Was You

And Then There Was You Cover 081718 final

I recently returned from an incredible trip to Hollywood, California and while there, I explored and ended up in Malibu. I enjoyed the beach, drove up Pacific Coast Highway (a dream of mind), checked out a few great restaurants and loved the beautiful homes that lined the coastline. I was inspired to write a Malibu themed romance series from the impact and the majesty of the beauty I encountered. Love can be discovered anyplace, but I wanted to take time to focus on a city that I came to love in a short period of time. I hope you enjoy book one of my new “Malibu Hearts” series and that you will stick around for the four follow-up novels that are coming!

First up is, “And Then There Was You,” a beautiful, sexy love story, set in Malibu, California and focuses on the growing love between Diezel Wilder, an attorney from New York who recently moved to California after a bitter divorce from a woman he married on a whim and Brooklyn Hunter, a sexy Armenia bombshell, who is a late-night, on-air radio talk show host who woos men all over the country with her sexy, sultry, seductive voice. Brooklyn is coming off of a divorce from a man twenty years older, who she thought was helping her escape a dismal existence only to thrust her into the Hollywood spotlight which revealed adultery and out of wedlock children. Seeking a new lease on life, Diezel and Brooklyn are in search of the kind of connection with a mate that leaves you breathless. Little did they know they would find it right next door. Bring on the ice-cold water because you’re about to go on one very steamy ride to love in, “And Then There Was You.”

Happy Reading!
Cheryl

What Would You Do?

75f77a_692ad7c55fcb4762a6543562e5f7ac0d~mv2_d_1875_2850_s_2

Well, another book has been added to my list of published novels and I’m still as excited as I was when I released my first book back in April 2013. I still smile bright when I push the button to release yet another romance novel.

Sometimes when I write, I add a little of me and my story here and there, but not with this one. This new release, “I Can’t Let Go”, isn’t a personal story at all. I’m not married, haven’t been stepped out on and had to deal with whether to stay or not to stay. The only one of my books that has a real personal, me-like touch to it is “Bossy”. When people ask me if any of the stories I write are true or are they about people I know, I always say no, but that may or may not be true. There is always a little bit of someone when an author pens a novel. In my novel, “Bossy”,  she is all me – not her life story, but her personality is pretty much me. I even made sure we had the same initials to keep that connection between Cassidy Bostic and Cheryl Barton, me.

In, “I Can’t Let Go”, I tried to dive into the story behind what kind of love makes a woman stay with a man who has hurt her, not physically, but emotionally. I’m not a believer in any woman staying after being physically abused, but I straddle the fence when it comes to an indiscretion. How far did it go? How long did it go on? Did the indiscretion produce any children that were kept a secret? Was the indiscretion with someone the other person knew? A friend? A relative? These and more are considerations to make in any relationship when you have to decide whether it can survive someone stepping out.

Carter Garrison was a man deeply in love with his wife, Sienna, but he made a bad choice. He got caught up in the limelight of hanging out with and being included in as a friend of a professional athlete who was known for cheating on his wife and in his case, the wife was good with it as long as it didn’t interfere with the life they had together. Carter knew Sienna wasn’t that type of wife, but he went with it anyway. To his credit, his  act of stepping out lasted for few minutes before he realized how wrong it was and how he shouldn’t be in that situation with anyone that wasn’t his wife. He could have done what so many others do that we read about in the media everyday – he could have kept the incident to himself. He decided to tell Sienna and suffer the consequences and hope they could stay on tract as husband and wife. Sienna had a different idea. Any indiscretion is a problem and it didn’t matter the size or length of time, it was wrong. She tried to I’ve with it, tried counseling, but the image of the only man she’d ever loved and given herself to had hurt her in the worse way. She couldn’t shake it and had a hard time forgiving it, so her answer? She packed up, left Carter and divorced him. Her only problem was she did it out of spite and in the heat of the situation. The only way for her to deal with it and be okay with her decision was to avoid any contact with him after the divorce. That worked only for a time.

Eighteen months later at a wedding of a friend, Carter and Sienna see each other and sparks fly immediately. With one glance, they each remembered how deep their love had been and questioned if being apart forever was the answer for them. True, he made a mistake, but was it a mistake that could be forgiven? Some would say yes and some would say no. What are those things that you weigh against an indiscretion to determine if it’s something you would forgive or not? How easy is it to forgive and then live your life wondering if it will happen again? A bigger question is, how deep is your love?

A while back, everyone was up in arms when Jay-Z released an album which alluded to him stepping out on Beyonce. Before that, Beyonce release an album that referenced “Becky with the good hair” and the world went crazy about the possibility of him stepping out on her. Then there was the fight between Jay-Z and Solange on the elevator and the word decided that was because she found out he was cheating on her sister. No one knows for sure what went on at any time other than Jay-Z and Beyonce, but that didn’t stop the tongues from wagging with stories of their own about what it all mean. Even if he did step out, why is it anyone else’s concern if she decided to forgive and move on AND have two more children by him? Why do we care? I thought about that as I wrote, “I Can’t Let Go”. What does it matter if a man or woman decides to stay with a cheating spouse if the only people impacted are the two of them? What about forgiveness? Is there such a thing after cheating? I believe there is and so does Carter Garrison. His hope in, “I Can’t Let Go”, is that he can convince Sienna that the love they one shared is still there and though he messed up, she is still the only woman for him.

Take a look inside of “I Can’t Let Go” and decide for yourself if the kind of love Carter and Sienna share is worth saving and worth a second chance.

Get “I Can’t Let Go” on my website as a download or paperback at www.cherylbarton.net. You can also find a copy on my Amazon author website at http://www.amazon.com/author/cherylbarton.

Social Media:

My Facebook page www.facebook.com/cheryl.barton2

My Facebook author page www.facebook.com/authorcherylbarton

My Twitter page www.twitter.com/AuthorCBarton

My Instagram page – www.instagram.com/authorcherylbarton

Hooray for Black Panther

r_blackpanther_hero_09b05dc9

“Black Panther,” Marvel’s first film directed by an African-American, brought in an estimated $192 million for its three-day debut in North America this weekend. That’s the fifth biggest opening of all time.

For all of my friends who are writers/directors/producers and aspire to be even greater with a wider reach, be empowered, be inspired and be encouraged to stay the path through the ups, downs, doors closing and hearing no time and time again. Somewhere in the past, someone said no to this young director and he still chose to never, ever give up. I have some incredible opportunities that are being placed before me this year and I know that each one is a step closer to my destiny. I will not be hindered by any negative vibes. Come on and dream-chase with me!

I started writing a few years ago and have pretty much stuck to my introvert personality and haven’t really spread my wings like I’d like to. I would like to expand my writing and really dive into the entertainment industry and this year, I’ve found that it’s time to do exactly that. I’ve been inspired by so many great movies and books and the talent of those behind the scenes. I believe that’s where I’m suppose to be and I’m retooling what I’m chasing. It’s not just the dream of writing and getting better at it, but it’s also the dream of writing for major Hollywood projects. Now, some may say, oh, she is dreaming mighty big for someone living a quiet life in Bel Air, Maryland, but all dreamers start someplace. I’m starting.

I never thought that I was meant to be a writer and though it’s still on a small scale, it’s meant for something greater than what I’m giving myself credit for. I have to aim higher, dream bigger and work harder because if I don’t, then who will really take me serious. It’s time for a change and to move to the next level. Look out world, Cheryl Barton is coming for you!!

Check out my websites at www.cherylbarton.net and www.crbarton.com.

Take a good look at where I’m starting from and one day you will join others and say, “I knew her when…”

 

The Death of a Powerful Man: Bishop Eddie Long

long Yesterday I was sitting in worship service and my cellphone vibrated and when I checked, it was a news highlight that Bishop Eddie Long had passed away. I didn’t know if it was true or not, so I took a few minutes and checked a few other sites and sure enough, he had died sometime early Sunday morning. I shared that information with my parents who I was in worship service with and both had a look of total surprise on their faces; I did not. I’m no psychic, able to foretell coming events, but the last time I set eyes via the internet on Bishop Eddie Long, he didn’t look well. At that point, while others checked out the same photos of him that I had seen, I saw a lot of social media posts about what could have been the cause and I remained quiet. I had read stories over the past several years about possible indiscretions regarding Bishop Long and again, I didn’t comment and I decided to not play judge or jury because it wasn’t my place and its not anyone else’s place either. It is our place to pray for a family who has lost a loved one. It is our place to pray for a congregation that is now in mourning over the loss of a man they didn’t hold judgement against. Despite what the headlines had been saying over the years, some did what the Bible said and they prayed and forgave in order for them to be able to move on and continue the work of the Lord. Isn’t that what churches are supposed to do? Its what I thought.

I’ve never been to New Birth in Atlanta, but I had heard about all of the great things they were and are doing for the community. A lot of that started with Bishop Eddie Long and his heart for the people. The things I could see and witness are the only things I am able to give response to. Those crimes he was accused of committing happened behind closed doors and what it did was pit one man’s story against another. People chose who they wanted to believe in based on what they read in the media as if they were actually there and saw it happen. Now, I’m not proclaiming guilt or innocence and I don’t know everyone involved stories, but I don’t need to know. All I need to do is pray for the situation and pray for healing of those involved. Social media though, has allowed people to become judge and jury and as their opinions spread, so do lies that then are exacerbated to the point that someone in another state or country reading the stories on the internet become angry, vengeful and yes, judgmental. I, again, chose not to take that route. I could have an opinion about what I read and share it on the internet helping to fuel the fire of anger that spread across the world. I didn’t because in the quiet of my own space, I prayed that God would heal a people; heal a nation. This wasn’t the first of this kind of story and it wouldn’t be the last. Throwing social media stones at a situation that I’m not involved with or getting angry at the church over it would not be the best decision. I didn’t want to carry hate or hurt in my heart about another person’s dilemma; trust, I have enough of my own issues going on  that I don’t need to focus on someone else’s and I believe we all do.

Bishop Long may have had issues and personal demons, but who doesn’t. Is it our place to judge and jury? No. Lots of people benefited financially from the settlement, but did it take the hurt and pain away? No. Are those who are in leadership positions in churches perfect people without demons and vices? No. Is Bishop Long’s death some sort of karma coming back on him to extract a price for his wrongdoings in life? No. None of us knows what karma looks, feels or acts like. We’re going by what we think and not by what we know. The bottom line is, Bishop Long was a man with a title, held high up on a pedestal and if it were you or I, people would gasp at our secrets as well and then judge and jury us. I believer in God’s Word and I believe that He is the only TRUE judge and jury and I don’t care what any court says. In the end, God will have the final say when we all stand in judgement alone to answer for what we’ve done in our lives from the day God breathed life into us, until the day he took that last breath away and said your will is now done. The life Bishop Long led is more than the bits and pieces we all know about, not personally, but through the words we read on the internet, in a news or magazine article. I understand he did some great things to help where no other help was on the horizon.

There were recipients of cars, houses, bills being paid, prayers and words of comfort that none of us no all about. Those are the deeds of a powerful man. I have had struggles in my life and though I didn’t turn to a church for help, I turned to my parents who have always been there with their trusty safety net. Because of them, I made it through and because of Bishop Eddie Long, there is another person someplace who survived and can proclaim they made it because of his helping hand, words of encouragement and whispers of prayer. Anyone who can touch a life and provide a need is a powerful person and that, too, was Bishop Long. I’m not condoning anything he did in his private life, but we don’t have access to that other than what we hear about third, fourth and fifth-hand. I could believe those or I could believe him, but I chose to not do either. I chose to mind my business, let those people handle their business and in turn, I sat back and prayed that they would all survive and get back some semblance of life. If not, there are other powerful people that God has raised up in the form of doctors and counselors and it is my prayer that those who need it will take advantage of it and begin to heal. There is a lot of healing that needs to take place and it’s not a time to throw stones at a man who is no longer here to see and hear it. Who is left are his wife, children and congregation and what they need from us most right now is their prayers. Pray that his wife finds comfort in knowing that God knew what was best. Pray that she is comforted knowing that her husband of many years is no longer in pain. Pray that she has the strength to comfort her children who lost their father. Did you not have a father that you wished could be around you to console you, place his arms around you, give you advice, smile at you, laugh at your jokes and love you with all of his heart? His children did and right now, they don’t need people playing judge and jury about what their father may have done; they need a people who understand what it means to lose someone and can offer words of comfort and prayer as they go through. There is a congregation that despite the cloud that hung over Bishop Long for years, they still believed in him because they believed that God uses all kinds of people to bring His Word to the masses and in this situation, He used New Birth and Bishop Eddie Long. We may not like what we have read, but were you there? If not, pray for those who were. Find compassion for the situation for everyone involved and not get excited over your chance to jump on a bandwagon of vile words and hatred. You may not have had Bishop Long’s issues, but there are issues and if there was a spotlight shown on the skeletons in your closet, I hope you would want to find comfort in a world of people who understand that none of us are perfect. We al have problems and I’m sure, so did Bishop Long.

Problems or no problems, it didn’t take away from the fact that some people did and still do consider Bishop Long a great and powerful man. He may have done wrong, but he also did good and if one life was blessed because of the life he led, then he did what the Lord told him to do. I know I go about my life everyday and there are things that I do that don’t glorify God and His plan for my life and the lives around me, but I try and that’s all each of us can do. While some sit around and persecute Bishop Eddie Long, someone else is saying a prayer of thanks because they lived another day not starving, not out in the cold or jobless, unable to feed their children. If in your life you touch one person and because of you their lives changed for the better, then I consider you a great and powerful person because you made at least one positive difference. Through his good and his bad, Bishop Eddie Long did that and for that, I consider him a powerful man. I choose to let God deal with the wrong Bishop Long may have done in life and while I can still pray, my prayers go up and out for the family, congregation and friends he left behind. They are the only ones who are left to deal with the aftermath of his passing. I don’t know what he died from and I don’t care. What I do know is that there is a large group of people who need my support and prayer today and I choose to give that instead of spreading hatred because there is already enough of that going around.

Peace!

Cheryl

http://www.cherylbarton.net