I don't even know where to start.... Hi! Once again, I'm sorry it's been so long. Life... (you know!) Ramon used to say that :( Whenever you asked him a question he didn't want to answer, "you know" was his response :)
The last couple of weeks have been Kingda Ka (the world's biggest roller coaster)! I had the absolute, most wonderful day in life on June 3rd, becoming Mrs. Tamika Brawner. It really was the most beautiful day, with the most beautiful weather, with the most wonderful people feeling like the most beautiful girl marrying the most wonderful man... imagine all that in one day! AMAZING! I am so happy, I can't even explain it. I already feel the blessings flowing having sealed our relationship in marriage. God is good and to Him be all the glory! Being Mrs. Brawner feels good... AMEN! :) And there I was living my marital bliss for a solid week when I found out a dear friend of mine had passed...
I am going to cry and vent here because I have had to be strong every other moment. I cant let Ikaia see my every hurt as I'm telling her to be strong. I allow her to feel what she feels, but I don't need her feeling for me too. Ramon Ingram was my high school sweetheart and best friend. We were young and we made mistakes but we were and always remained friends. There is so much history in that relationship, so much growth and learning, so much laughter, some tears. But our friendship survived alot. Having to tell Ikaia that the dad she knew and loved passed away had to be the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. Even now, I cry just thinking about all she's had to deal with in life and all she'll have to face. I thank God for his constant, never failing cover over her. I thank Him that she is still sane, smart and beautiful. I thank Him that despite all she has had to live through, she is still amazing and strong. I thank God she still smiles, she still feels and she still has a slither of innocence. I thank Him for protecting her from things I could not protect her from. I know He is preparing her for a life of greatness! There is nothing she will not be able to handle. I thank Him for giving me the strength to be her mom, and I pray I make better decisions to guide her future. Lord, help me raise her in Your will for her. I can not do this alone.
More than anything, I thank God for his timing. I thank Him for J. I know there is no replacing Ramon in her life. But I thank God for Jerry who is there and willing to fill the void for her. God's ways are not our ways, His plans may seem foreign to us, His timing confusing... But He is still in control, He still sits high and looks down low. He knows the plans He Has for us. “plans to prosper (her) and not to harm (her), plans to give (her) hope and a future." And as I think about how unfair it all feels, and how much it hurts and how sad I am, not only for the loss of someone I loved so much, but for the sake of Kai... I am still trusting God. I made a deliberate, out loud promise to God 3 or so years ago, that I was going to trust Him no matter what. I trusted him to deliver me from an abusive relationship, I trusted him to give me peace after a miscarriage, and I am going to trust him to heal this situation. No matter the situation, He has always been the provider of peace in my life. He has never failed me and I trust He will do the same now. I do not expect the pain to go away right away, but I thank Him for the moments when it passes. I thank Him that I can sit and still laugh with J and Kirk (someone called me the other day, thinking I had not heard about Ramon because I answered the phone laughing hard!) That moment will help me remember that God still gives me peace and laughter even in times like this. I thank God for those moments! I thank God for the memories, I thank God for Kai and I thank God for Ramon. He was an amazing friend, full of jokes and laughter. And that is what I will choose to remember. R.I.P. Ramon Ingram!
I will continue to remember him, and hopefully soon I will be to a place where the memories encourage laughter instead of tears. And I will continue to pray for my sweet daughter and her healing. And I hope that we will be in your prayers as well.
I am working on always trying to find the good in situations and learning to be grateful. Remember God is still in control! I thank God that no matter what His plans are, He still offers His peace to go along with it. :)
"Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." I am praying for every one's peace in this situation. Hopefully by offering you a little of mine, it will help you tap into your own.
Here is the Peace of Tam... take as much as you need!
Love, Much Peace and a Big Hug to all that knew and loved him, Tam