Donna C. Terrell

I Was Just Thinkin'

The End–Dealing with the loss of a TV show

Every year you wait with bated breath to see the new television show line up in the newspaper TV section. You eagerly scan the list. “Hey, wait a minute. My show’s not here,” you may think with a sense of panic. Then, as the cloud of evil forebodings rises in your mind, you go online to see if you can get other information. Sure enough, they have CANCELED your show. The Television-Programming-Powers-That-Be have snatched your show off the line up without warning, apology, and even worse, NO CONCLUSION TO STORY LINES!

That’s just wrong. That’s a slap in the face of the faithful. It makes you not even want to get attached to TV shows. They could at least give loyal viewers a two-hour finale movie and tie up all those loose ends. In these days of continuing threads, it’s not right to end shows abruptly or with a cliffhanger. Networks  know they’re not bringing the show back, so they should end the show with some class.

This year, I started watching the mid-season show Awake, a really cool show about a police detective (Michael Britten) who, along with his wife and son, was involved in a fatal car accident. The premise was he lived in two alternate realities–one where his son was alive and his wife was dead, and another where his wife was alive and his son was dead. Every time he would go to sleep, he would wake up in one of each reality. He really didn’t know which world was real, nor did he want to let go of his wife and son. He also would get clues in each reality that would help him solve crimes. Michael’s partners would always be baffled about how he would get those leads, and of course they would never buy the truth. I thought this show was great, myself. Well-written and an imaginative concept.

Apparently, Fox didn’t care about my opinion and they canceled Awake. But I guess they were going to try to end this show the right way and give us viewers a finale. So I’m geeked up for this. The show was rolling along pretty well until we get to the end and it turns out…


A dream!!!!???? Seriously? C’mon, that’s the best they could come up with? After Michael solved the crime of who was trying to kill him (which was done well), he wakes up and both his wife and son are alive and well and in the kitchen eating breakfast. That is a cop-out at its highest level!!!! That is so early-days-of-TV scriptwriting! They could have at least said he was in a coma. He could have awakened and his wife and son were there at his bedside, looking like they had been in an accident. I’m sorry, a DREAM doesn’t cut it.

Fox also canceled Alcatraz, about the inmates who were supposed to have been transferred to other prisons after Alcatraz closed but now are back and still in their 1963 bodies. We’ll never know where have been for the last 49 years.

My advice to you who love TV and get hooked on shows–don’t fall in love. Accept that your heart may be broken. Always have a back-up plan, because The End will always be near.


Pulpit of Poison

I didn’t know anything about Charles L. Worley’s incendiary comments about gays and lesbians until I read talented fellow blogger Juwannadoright’s post the other day. He’s the pastor of a North Carolina church, and his rant went viral and made national news. Juwannadoright wrote of how she read C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity and the profound effect it had on her–basically not being judgmental of others.

However, when she found out about that empty-headed, judgmental pastor and his “Christian” views, Juwannadoright concluded that maybe she read the wrong book.

How sad. This is not about that pastor or about homosexuality, although I have strong views on both, this is about certain individuals who have their own stage and built-in audience and use it to spew out poison, all in the name of Jesus, thereby giving Christians a bad name!

When pastors and preachers fall into some type of sin or say controversial things, it gets big news time.  It paints a dim scene of being a Christian. No one wants what we have to offer because of this. No one talks much about the good works that the good ministers do. Those who truly have a relationship with God do accept people for who they are and can act in a non-judgmental way towards them. True Christians can “hate the sin and love the sinner.” Jesus didn’t grab the woman caught in adultery, shake her and call her a wanton woman. He called all the other folks into question. He didn’t condemn her. This would have a more profound effect on that woman and help her to get on another road than locking her up with other adulterers behind an electronic fence. And I’m sure Jesus was interested in knowing where was the man she was with, cause the woman wasn’t in that bed by herself!

Some of the most judgmental people in the world can be Christians, I’m sorry to say. Many of us do not walk in love as we should. The word “love” in this case means how we treat people. Jesus always treated people right. He would free those contained in Worley’s electronic fence.


(To read Juwannadoright’s post:)


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On Laflin Street

Paradise Lost

I cut my teeth and skinned my knees in a time long ago on the far southern fringes of Chicago. Maple Park—yes, Maple, not Morgan, or West Pullman, or even Calumet Park—was a fresh off-the-press neighborhood marketed exclusively for blacks in the early 60s. We’re bordered by Halsted Street to the east, Ashland Ave. to the west, and 115th and 119th streets to the north and south. We still don’t get any props, but it was a nice place to grow up then. It’s still pretty quiet. Maple Park was actually built over swamp land, and the vestiges of that swamp would rear their ugly heads every now and then in the forms of grass snakes and crawfish, sending little girls like me screaming into the house.

My friends and I lived idyllic lives on 117th and Laflin, back in the days when there were standard 2-parent homes and the moms were home all day cooking breakfast, lunch and dinner. We got called in from playing outside to eat lunch. Soon after lunch, the smell of chicken frying and cakes baking permeated the air, all for dinner and the return of hungry fathers from work.

We had lemonade stands and built clubhouses and tents in the backyard. We played the standard games of Red Light, Red Rover and Hide-n-Seek. We drew hopscotch grids on the sidewalk and played many variations of jump rope. My best friend Linda and I were really excited about our new bikes with the banana seats, and we would go on “bike hikes”, which consisted of riding around the bike 14 times. What significance the number 14 had, I have no idea.

I was an only child, so all the older kids on the block looked out for me. My mother was well-liked by the Laflin kids, so there was always somebody on our porch either playing with me or talking to her. Having all these surrogate brothers and sisters came in handy the summer Derrick Cruthers terrorized me.

Derrick Cruthers was a goofy boy from my third grade class whose elevator didn’t reach the top floor. He never did his work; he would just sit at his desk and draw pictures of 45 rpm records. He would talk out in class and basically just exist in his own little world in whatever galaxy that was. Then came the day Derrick decided to put my name on one of his drawings. He also included Linda’s name, as well as our friend Carla’s. I don’t know if we were the singers or the songs on his stupid 45s, but we didn’t like it one bit. Derrick also knew the way the three of us walked home, and he would hide behind one of the garages and jump out at us as we walked by. Why we were his targets of choice is beyond me.

There was a class field trip coming up, and Mrs. Shayfer, our teacher, said that the only way Derrick could go on the trip was if his mother accompanied him.  My mother, social butterfly that she was, actually befriended Mrs. Cruthers while on the trip. They got along like two old college roommates. So in turn, Mommy was nice to Derrick. My mother, in her sweet, non-offensive manner, straight up asked Derrick why he looked so ugly on the class picture. On that picture amongst all of our smiling 8-year-old faces was Derrick, fists clenched and facial expression contorted. He told my mother that he was pretending to be a fireman. Oh, mystery solved. Mommy also told Derrick that he could come over to play or have lunch sometime. This was not new to my mother; she always extended hospitality.

But Derrick Cruthers?! Who, this side of wacko-ville, would want to break bread with him?? I was mortified, and more than a little annoyed.

Now it was because of this little love fest with Mrs. and goofball Cruthers that a door probably was opened for Derrick to feel that he could venture over to our side of Maple Park and dare set foot on Laflin. This boy lived closer to Halsted, yet he would get on his orange banana seat bike and come way over west to our block, ride past my house and yell out strange babblings at me.  He started doing this a few times a week.

Enough was enough. I told a few of my friends and also some of the “big kids.” We lay in wait for ol’ Derrick to come breezing by. Derrick and his orange bike soon showed up. As soon as he rode past my house and turned the corner to ride down the alley, we cut through my backyard to catch him. The big kids pushed Derrick off his bike and threw rocks at him, and probably got in a few well-placed jabs too. I didn’t lift a finger; I just ordered the job. Needless to say, we never saw crazy Derrick Cruthers again. Laflin and my world returned back to its idyllic state.


About Mommy

I’ve never eulogized my mother. She suddenly died on a Wednesday, two days before my tenth birthday. Monday was a school holiday, Columbus Day, and I’m thinking I may have gone to the show with friends. She was fine. That Tuesday, Mommy was sick and she couldn’t even comb my hair. That had never happened before. She sent me down the street to a neighbor to get my hair combed. When I came home from school for lunch, she was still sick and in the bed. My father was home by then; he may have been working on a second shift. He was trying to help her. That evening we took her to the hospital.

I remember the phone rang in the wee hours of the morning. My father came into my room and told me he was going to the hospital and would be right back. I went back to sleep, and I awakened to voices downstairs. I thought my mother was home. I happily went back to sleep. When I woke up later, I got myself dressed for school and went down for breakfast. My mother always fixed me breakfast.

Dad was there alone. Apparently, my aunt and uncle had come over, but they were gone by that time. He sat me down and gently reminded me of when he said I needed to be prepared just in case the angels came. He said that a couple of years prior when Mommy went to the hospital. Dad said the angels had come. I cried all morning.

Later, I remember making a decision that I had cried enough, and I got out of the bed that early afternoon. I remember going with my father back to the hospital and the nurses being very sympathetic. Neighbors were coming in and out. That Friday was my birthday. I went to school. The class had bought me a cake.  I didn’t go to her funeral. I was very emphatic about not wanting that to be the last way I saw my mother. My father honored that request.

I remember a ton of stuff about the ensuing days, weeks and months following her death. Years even. In fact, I was 17 years old before I could actually say the phrase “My mother died.” I could go and on about that, but here are some things I remember about Mommy.

  • Mommy’s name was Allie Mae—she went by Mae. She came up north from deep south Mississippi.
  • Mommy was an excellent cook. I guess she’s where I get it from! I still have her cookbook—it’s a year older than me. She also liked to bake. I do, too.
  • She taught me how to cook bacon and scrambled eggs.
  • She was very sociable—all the neighbors liked her. Going to the bus stop 2 blocks away would take forever because she stopped to have so many conversations.
  • She was a registered nurse.
  • I once asked her why was she white when Daddy and I are colored. She let me know that she, too, was colored. (Just of the “high-yellow” persuasion.)
  • She always bought me Little Golden Books. I had so many of them!
  • She didn’t want me to let go of belief in Santa Claus when my detective work on the dude started. She said all those guys in the stores were Santa’s helpers. I wasn’t buying it.
  • When I was five, the power went out on Christmas Day. Mommy said Santa tripped over some wires outside. I opened my gifts by candlelight.
  • She went on a lot of my class field trips.
  • She and I took a Greyhound bus ride to Springfield to see the Abraham Lincoln exhibits.
  • She took me to swimming lessons at the Y.
  • She gave me a whipping on a bus stop in front of a crowd of people because I was being a brat.
  • She always fixed me breakfast, lunch, dinner, and an after-school snack.
  • Once Mommy cooked huge pancakes for our dinner. That was so cool! Dad, who wasn’t home, would have frowned on that!
  • For my ninth birthday, Mommy cooked my favorite meal—fried chicken and rice.
  • She liked soap operas, R&B music and the news.
  • She loved to sew and would make all my play clothes on her Singer sewing machine. Sometimes she would make a little outfit for my best friend so we could match.

I could go on and on. I’m glad I have so many great memories of my mother.


Cell Phone and Bible Behavior

This courtesy of my friend Brenda Moore…

Ever wonder what would happen if we treated our Bible like we treat our cell phone?

What if we carried it around in our purses or pockets?

What if we flipped through it several times a day?

What if we turned back to go get it if we forgot it?

What if we used it to receive messages from the text?

What if we treated it like we couldn’t live without it?

What if we gave it to kids as gifts?

What if we used it when we traveled?

What if we used it in case of emergency?

This is something to make you go….hmm…where is my Bible?

Oh, and one more thing.

Unlike our cell phone, we don’t have to worry about our Bible being
disconnected because Jesus already paid the bill.

[And with Him, there are no dropped calls, you always have enough bars, and He can always hear you!]

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