Starting from Scratch

Sequoia Houston


I’ve always considered myself an open book…especially compared to some of the other people in my life. I’ve found recently, however, that I’m more of a picture book than a novel. I show what I want, with little detail….and allow people to choose whatever context they want….but hey, that comes from my Marketing background. Perception is reality, and I’m fully aware of that. My acting coach once called me “selectively open”….which I think is a fitting description. That said, I want to take a minute and be pretty transparent…..which is a bit beyond my comfort zone…but there’s a testimony in my story and I believe that it will bless others, so…here we go. (Note: This is going to be a long one so I’ll do it in 3 parts)

wpid-wp-1416367804255.png 2014 has been a crazy year…so much so that I mentally checked out months ago and decided that I’m in 2015, the prequel. In January, I walked into work one day and saw a memo had been placed on all of the desks. I read it with dread. Layoffs. Again. I had already been laid off twice and didn’t know if my ego, my wallet or my credit could handle another one. Low and behold, the “Thank you for your service” meeting came and I was one of 20% of the staff that had been reduced. I was once again a business decision.

I went home and immediately reached out to my network and let them know what had happened. My dear friend, Nicole J. Butler (I will forever sing her praises because she has sowed so much into my life. THANK YOU Nicole!) called me two days later with the coolest possible opportunity. I was going to be a PA for the Dr. Dre Pre-Grammy Party….not only that, I’d be over celebrity credentials. I got paid to do a job that not only would I have done for free, but I would have paid them to let me do it! I got to meet some of my favorite artists and had an absolute blast. I figured, maybe this is what God had in mind. Maybe he was moving me into this place so that I could have the flexibility to really pursue my acting…..

A couple of hours later I received a phone call from my uncle that my grandmother was in the hospital. I let him know, in no wpid-wp-1416367724268.pnguncertain terms, that I was on my way. I lived with her, for the most part, until I was 7…so even though she was my grandmother, she was really Mother # 2. All my life I called her Mama. She literally wouldn’t answer if I called her grandmother or grandma lol. A few days later I was on my way to spend what I thought was going to be a few days telling my grandmother jokes and nursing her back to health. When I got there they told me she had cancer…and had MAYBE 6 months to live. A believer that God has the final say….and witness to that ringing true in the lives of some of my other close relatives, I wasn’t ready to let go. When they released her to hospice, my mind still didn’t comprehend what was really happening. She was in hospice exactly 30 days and I spent every single night with her and just about all day every day. (Thank you so much to my Curlfriends, my family, my bestie and my boo for keeping me sane during this time.) I sang to her. I prayed with and for her. I drove the nurses crazy making sure that they gave her the best possible care…and kicked nurses and doctors off her staff when they treated her like a number instead of a person…I sat there while she slept all day and when I finally fell asleep and she got chatty at 3am, I woke up and talked to her.

In one such chat, she woke up and told me “Well, I guess if he could do anything more for me he would.” I asked her who she was talking about and she said God. We talked more about what she was thinking and how she was feeling. Despite what she was going through, and I’ll spare you the graphic details, she still had total faith in God. Here was a woman, lying there and slowly, painfully dying and she still had total faith in God. Talk about the lesson there!

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