Martin Luther King, Jr. Observance Day

Today, we took time out to honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. A lot of people think this is his birthday but his actual date of birth was January 15, 1929. I never understood why we couldn’t celebrate this day on his day. But nevertheless, he deserves much praise for launching and dedicating his life to The Civil Rights Movement. As a poet, I am honored that my first poetry award was for a poem I wrote in honor of this great man at only eight years old. I have tried to find it online but I have not had any success.

My question is, has Dr. King’s legacy lived on or did his mission for equality slowly die through the generations? In my personal opinion, I honestly believe it didn’t die but it hasn’t grown any either. We are reminded each day of the alarming number of young black men and women dying at the hands of white police officers who police communities from which they do not come. Police are placed in areas where they don’t understand the way of life. Therefore, they are automatically afraid due to stigmas and stereotypes to get to know the people they should be serving instead of killing.

Also, in my opinion, there are people who notice our differences but aren’t threatened by them and can have a friendship with anyone regardless of race or ethnicity. Then there are people who would notice our differences and be threatened by them. These people refuse to believe everyone is equal and made in Gods image. The hate that they were taught to have, feel and express toward others unlike them outweighs any ability to perceive the world any different than through hateful eyes.

Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. your mission may not live on throughout this world but it does live in me. We all have the opportunity to raise our voice and continue the work of Dr. King. We can each contribute daily to his legacy by being kind, helpful, loving, godly and prayerful toward our fellow man.

He was about freedom, equality, desegregation, an end to hate, nonviolence, and etc., therefore we should remember that without him, we would not have the privileges we have today. Still, I feel as if his dream is a dream deferred somehow simply because we don’t have the leaders they had back in their day. There’s no one in our communities for our children to look up to.

During Dr. Kings era, black communities had leaders who met with other leaders, community heads, pastors, and elders at the church Mother’s home. They aired out grievances which were met with solutions that were done and not just talked about. We need these type of leaders now; those unafraid of strife, who stand tall and strong, who make a name for themselves by following Dr. King’s footsteps. Only then will the dreams, legacy, and mission of Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr., truly live on.

It’s All in the Eyes

A few months ago the Facebook biz was the ‘how have you aged’ challenge where you post a picture of yourself in your first FB post ever and another of yourself currently to show how well you’ve aged. Everyone has been doing this challenge with little alterations to it. It’s been fun to look back at my schoolmates, family, friends and my own old pictures.

So in suit, I decided to post some of my pictures from the past in a collage on my IG. But as I gathered them I noticed something very sad. In each photo, the look in my eyes was that of complete misery. At the young age of 19, 20 and 22 years old, when your pictures are supposed to reflect a happy, fun, and beautiful life, mine only showed sheer exhaustion and the disparage of pain. I remember it well.

Even then, I was taking care of everyone but me. Boo hoo woe is me, right? But I’ve come to even bigger realizations. One, if only I had stopped to take care of myself, my life may have turned out differently. Then two, and more importantly, it’s time to stop complaining and do something about it! I need to be able to say SO WHAT my life wasn’t what I planned it to be. But it’s everything I’ve ever wanted now. What difference does my past make? I can’t change a thing except for my present and hopefully my future.

I have the power to finally do something different, to get a different result. I CAN’T CHANGE that I became sick! But I will do whatever necessary to feel better. I did nothing to change how poorly I coped with my situation back then because honestly, sometimes ignorance leads us. But I have the rest of my life to be better and do better.

Most importantly had things not happened exactly the way it did, I would not feel the freedom I feel right now writing this tonight. I would not be the strong, kind, loving, respected, and determined woman I am today. I would not have realized that this is life. A sweet journey, my journey; the road I had to take with its twists and turns, storms and obstacles, bridges and burned bridges, good and bad, failures and victories. It was made, set up, ordained and destined for no one but me, Valerie Marie Furr-Collins.

Everybody has a past, but I choose not to look at life like that anymore. Saying the words, ‘a past’, can add a negative connotation to what simply was a part of your personal journey. The path was given to you the day you were born leading you to where you are now. Of course, we all have choices to make along the way. That’s what life is all about.

I’ve made plenty of bad choices. But God! I will never allow myself to be as unhappy as I was in those photos; nor my son. No longer will misery live within me. I am overjoyed with the journey God has blessed me with. This is why I love to write. It opens me up until I am completely vulnerable not only to my readers but to myself as well. By the way, I am not fooling myself about the lack of readers I have gained since beginning my blog last July. I know my audience will grow. Right now, I am simply speaking my readers into existence.

Back to these pictures. There’s freedom in seeing yourself from the outside in or as others see you, but you really have to look. Some don’t want to see their own faults but there’s no other way to grow. So they’ll never see what they need to correct in order to change. We can hear a thousand times what are doing wrong or being done wrong, but until we decide enough is enough, we will not change!

Growth is the key to changing the path of your journey toward happiness and living a beautiful and fulfilled life. My daddy always told me when you talk to someone always look them in the eye. I never understood that more than I do right now. Thanks, Daddy for that advice. It’s proven for the most part that who a person chooses to be is always in the eyes.

Me thenπŸ‘†

Me now! πŸ‘† It’s all in the eyes!

#itsallintheeyes #mypoeticlifebook #vfurrmstheblogger #mypoeticlife #valthepoet #my_poetic_life_

Monte Carlo

Riding around last night, actually on my way home, I spotted a mint condition (maybe late 80’s) dark brown vintage Monte Carlo. You know how certain songs on the radio or a particular scent can take you back to a carefree time in your life when you were your happiest. Well, tonight the sight of that car, in that color, rewound time and made me smile. So, of course, I had to share the story with my nephew.

The first man I ever truly loved came to me with nothing. At least none of the things young girls look for in a mate today. At only 19 years old, he had no money or house of his own. But he did have a job and his own car. It wasn’t new and you had to climb in through the windows to get in, but it was his. None of that mattered to me anyway. I’ve never been materialistic. What was important to me was that he was sweet, kind, unique, funny and had swag, Y’all!! Because it’s all about the eyes for me, his pretty unique brown eyes captured my heart!

As if that’s not enough, he was a familiar face. See, God allowed me to go to high school with this young man, have several classes with him throughout our four years at puberty hell high, but NEVER have one conversation. Here we are two years later meeting again as my sister and I visited our ill father at the nursing home (a whole other story) where he just started working. Once we looked into one another’s eyes it felt as if we were seeing each other for the very first time. I knew immediately he was it for me. I knew that this man was this Mrs. Right’s, Mr. Right.

That day we talked and exchanged numbers. Soon we set our first date, a family dinner at my house. The evening of the dinner, he was so late I thought he wasn’t going to come. My sister-in-law (oldest brothers wife) cooked and everybody was ready to eat. The food had been re-warmed a few times, still, thirty minutes later, no date.

As soon as I had cried a puddle and was ready to give up, a thumping melodic mix of hard base and rap filled the night air from at least three blocks away. The neighborhood could’ve been a stage for a Snoop concert as ‘laid back, with my mind on my money and my money on my mind‘ thumped closer until it stopped, blaring, ‘Sipping on Gin and Juice’, in my front yard. He was finally here. My sisters seemed to be excited for me. The four of us were scurrying around, giggling, trying to make sure my hair and lipstick looked ok after the forty-minute wait.

Our house was an open layout with a 30-foot ceiling, speculated to be one of a few standing old slave houses. We had a long hallway stretching from the front door to the back door. Leading to the front door was our sitting room where two small love seats, a few corner tables, and a dim ceiling lamp strategically furnished the small space like the waiting room of a small lawyers office.

When my date knocked on the door, my mom nudged for me to open it. I didn’t want to look too eager, plus I was so scared. I stood there as she answered. But tell me why when the door opened there were two young men on the other side? Who brings their cousin to a first date at their potential girlfriend’s house? It could’ve been a very strange moment. But for some reason, the minute we saw the two of them standing there, we all looked at one another and laughed. Instantly, it felt as if we already knew both of them for years. It helped to know he was so nervous that he had to bring support with him. And it worked out well. His cousin instantly fell in love with one of my sisters. “Love at first sight”, he said.

When dinner was over, there was a little daylight left. We resigned to the wooden porch which surrounded our house guarding all for sides. He and I sat on the front, and his cousin and my sister, the side. He turned his car radio on 92.9 WTUG and we danced, laughed and talked for hours. I never felt more comfortable and completely myself around anyone like that before. Our first date didn’t end until the early hours of the next morning. That night is fondly etched in my mind. A great memory of how opposites quietly attract. I was his church girl, he was my bad boy. The date ended with my first kiss, our first kiss on the front porch, in the darkness lit only by the headlights of his epic, dark brown Monte Carlo.

Cheers to the good old days and this piece of my journey! The puzzle pieces are falling into place.

#vfurrmstheblogger #montecarlo #vintagecars #1960s #mypoeticlifebook #mypoeticlife #instagrampoet #IG:my_poetic_life_

Overcoming My Fears: Mental Health’s “Quiet Storm”

I’m really surprising myself these days. I’m truly invested in becoming a better version of myself. That includes overcoming my fears by checking off some of the things I have on my “bucket list”. These, however extreme, aren’t really things I want to do before I die, but more like things I have always wanted to do and will if ever given the opportunity. A few things on my list are skydiving, zip-lining, doing a stage play, and singing on a (gospel) album ( I know, but I’ve always been a big dreamer).

Well, I’m excited to announce that I have been blessed with the opportunity to act in my first stage play. I found my love for the stage while on a sixth-grade field trip to the Bama Theatre to see a production of Earnest Hemmingway’s Scrooge. I loved it. I loved each character, the way they stepped out of themselves to become this new person. I loved their interaction with the audience and the audience’s reaction to them. I loved being swept away into their world of characters, imagery, detail, storyline, and fairytale. But after getting sick so early in life, I never got a chance to fulfill that dream.

Luckily, I have an amazing cousin, Sheila Furr, who’s friends with a wonderful, gifted playwright. She writes and produces her plays right here in our small town. I wanted to attend one of her brilliant- message based plays with my cousin but I never got a chance to go. I made Sheila promise to tell her friend that I wanted to be in her very next production.

I friended the writer on FaceBook and a few weeks later saw where she was looking for actors to be in her next play. I was much too scared to actually say something to her or even leave any type of comment. There reared fear’s ugly head again. So I made baby steps. I summoned up enough courage to like the comment. I know right? Blew my big chance!

But God!

That night, I actually heard from the esteemed play write Shawna D. Moore of Mor-Shy Productions! When I got off the phone with her, I screamed with excitement! I couldn’t believe it! I was going to be able to finally grace the stage. By the way, she hadn’t even heard from my cousin yet. Thanks ShielaπŸ˜‰! Of all those who liked her post, she chose to call me. Look at God. She came by, gave me a copy of the script and here we are weeks into rehearsals and set to hit the stage on March 9, 2019. I am very blessed and humbled to be a part of this wonderful play.

Coming home from rehearsal tonight, I just had to think about the topic of the play, mental illness. No one wants to admit they need help, especially in the black community. To most of us, a person is considered ” crazy” once they’ve seen a shrink or had to be hospitalized. What we don’t realize is that this negative stigma is what keeps people from reaching out and getting the help they need.

We need to change the face of mental illness into that of support and completeness instead of shame and ridicule. One way to begin to achieve that is to try to reach our community through venues such as this production. Shawna Moore touches on real-life causes of mental illness, the effects of delaying diagnoses and treatment, and how the world can be a scary but wonderful place once you take the necessary steps to achieve mental wellness.

At the risk of sounding “crazy”, no pun intended, I saw how that stigma made me afraid to speak up tonight. I wouldn’t dare tell anyone that I had two nervous breakdowns in my twenties. I had to see a psychiatrist for a few years afterward and was hospitalized around the same time. If anyone knew just a tenth of all I’ve been through!

But God!

You can understand now why this play means so much to me! Among other things, this has been a bit of therapy for me. Due to depression and stress, I struggled with social anxiety. I thought I had overcome it. But as recently as last year, I was re-diagnosed with agoraphobia or the fear of leaving my home. It made me realize just how much power your mind has over your body.

I learned that I wasn’t afraid to actually get in my car and drive, that I could do. I was afraid of being around other people that I knew I’d encounter once at the store, the doctor’s office, and etc. I’m determined to regain everything I lost. I owe it to myself to overcome all my fears for good!

Being a part of this production is helping with that. It doesn’t hurt that this is the coolest group of people on the planet. Everyone vibes with and encourages and supports one another. The night before my second rehearsal, I had a seizure which means I’m medically restricted from driving for six months. Willingly, cast member(s) take me to and from rehearsal. These people inspire me to be a better person.

Even though I have issues with my memory, they make me want to not only learn my lines but feel them because they’re so good already. Our leading lady is amazing!! She had me in tears the first night. My mom is the best too. She’s really helping me to become my character.

I’m really looking forward to opening night. It’s so beautiful and enlightening to see this play come to life with each rehearsal. Everybody brought their ‘A’ game from day one!

By the way, the play entitled ” A Quiet Storm” is about a daughters journey through mental illness after losing her mother. If that were to happen to me, I don’t think I would ever be able to be okay again. But Shawna Moore’s script helps me see that, although I don’t ever want to think about it, help is available.
I never knew this number below existed until I researched it for this blog just now. But I know when going through tough times, looking for or googling anything is the furthest thing from your mind. Of all the blog posts I have written, this is the one post that I hope people will read. Let’s be kind to one another and pray for one another. You never know what someone else is going through. I’m praying for us all and saying a special prayer for our Veterans and soldiers tonight.

The Mental Health Help hotline is: 1-866-299-4987

The website is:

Or for immediate help go to

Writers unblock

I’ve been trying to write on the beginning of my book about Fibromyalgia and as usual, I get stuck on editing and re-editing details concerning my marriage. It’s like I get so lost in the details, I never get around to telling the story. I constantly overthink what I should and shouldn’t say about the causes of the disease and my beliefs concerning my particular case. I believe that, like a lot of diseases, this disease is somewhat genetic, can lay dormant, and can be triggered by stress, tragedy or depression. Knowing this, what was the ultimate cause in my case. Was it the difficulty of my childhood? But it lay dormant. Was it the stress of my marriage that caused this disease to come and ultimately destroy my life? Was it purely genetic? Does how I became one of its victims really matter? Well, in the huge scheme of things, no it doesn’t matter, but it would be very nice to know. I want to know because it’s like finding out who committed a crime against you even though you know they won’t be prosecuted. It’s a need that won’t change anything except how you feel on the inside. The type of life-altering event that will let you know that you are not the crazy one!

Nothing is as great a detour to creative thinking as a past that you would be better off not thinking about, or better yet writing about! I want to be as honest and candid as I can possibly be. I’m not the type of a writer that’s organized with my thoughts or writing. I don’t even do outlines. I tried that once and as far as I got was my outline. So I won’t put myself through that again. I do know writing about my marriage exhausts me and causes me a few hours of being in my feelings. So I need to find the quickest way possible to get through this part of my book.

Any suggestions??

Growing Season

For years all I wanted to do was let people know I was a nurse. To me, that, other than my children, was my great accomplishment in life. I settled for that as if when I die, the words “used to be a nurse” was all I wanted people to remember about me. I can just about pinpoint the moment I gave up on myself, but at this point, although it’s good to know, it’s no longer important. So I’ll just say, I stopped living and begun to simply exist. I didn’t even realize it. I used to be so hungry for life and learning. I always wanted more out of life, even if I allowed the need to lie dormant within my heart. Be careful to actually live and not just think about it. It’s so easy to lose yourself in silence.

Last year, shook me up. I really thank God for my growth since beginning this blog in July 2018. For years, I became content with being stagnant. My depression was at its worse, I was passing out, my migraines were intensifying, my anxiety was out of control, my pain level was off the charts and I was so unhealthy physically that before the end of 2017, I would almost die twice. Good thing that my momma taught me if it wasn’t for your hardships, you would never know there’s a God to bring you out. But God!

This past summer, several people were put in my life whose only purpose was to reignite my passion for growth; my passion for living. I probably would have never been able to claim just how far I had really come in life. Nor would I have seen that my hiatus from living my life had to come to an end. Also, I learned to never allow others to use your past against you to try to make you feel small, get at you, belittle your growth, or take you back there. I absolutely refuse!

In my past, I had been drained of all I was and felt as if I was nothing but an empty shell of a woman. I suffered and struggled through illness, heartbreak, breakdowns, sadness, manic depression, unhappiness, and despair. It took me over a decade to rebuild myself, then rebuild my life. I fought, scrapped and struggled to be the woman I am today. I didn’t know my own strength. Therefore, this situation only made me believe in myself again, my abilities and especially my gifts/talents.

Never before has my time meant so much to me than it does now. I have dedicated so much of it caring about what others thought of me. But I must give him his props for reigniting my fire for self-preservation! I can’t believe all the opportunities that have come my way since I’ve dedicated my time to my life. Dr. Maya Angelou wrote, “Do the best you can until you know better, when you know better, be better”. It’s ok to be selfish when you need to work on yourself.

I have not been this happy in so long that I keep waiting for the feeling to disappear. But every morning I wake up, it’s still there and I thank God! Praise breakπŸ˜‡ I have been happy before, but sadly, it’s been so long ago, I can’t remember how it felt. Sometimes, I’m even scared to say the words, I. Am. Happy. But today I am standing in my truth, stumping on my fear, rising in my hope, holding on to my faith and I am declaring, I. AM. HAPPY! I’m speaking joy over my life. It’s so freeing to grow Y’all. I feel free just typing the words. I am in control of my happiness! It’s my growing season.

Licensed Practical nurse is just one of my hats and it’s not the only thing for which I wish to be remembered. Professionally, business owner, Poetess, and writer are a few other titles and before this year is out, Author, MUA, Actress and Spoken Word Performer, will be added to the list. Thank God there’s no time stamp on becoming woke. It felt so good to add to my resume a few days ago; to visually see my growth. I thank God for my contentment, love, hope, peace, and joy. As the Word says, Lean not on your own understanding.

This post is about overcoming and moving on. My intent is to encourage those who have gone through or are going through that when life’s storms appear relentless, stick it out, pray, lean on your support system and stay true to yourself. When the storm is over harvest your growth, use what you need and store the rest for when the next storm comes. You’ll be glad you did. Always remember to take time to rebuild, reinforce and plan for life’s emergencies. Brace yourself, my loves. By no means, be fearful; the storm is just growth in disguise.

So laugh, love and live your best life, finding comfort in knowing that you are prepared for all life has to throw at you. You are forever growing, never fleeting, and always moving, even if you have to move in silence, remain strong in your growing seasons.

Love and hugs, Val

#vfurrmstheblogger #mypoeticlifethebook #mypoeticlifebook #growingseasons #moveinsilence #lifestorms #stormsoflife #growth #poetry #instagrampoetry #instagrampoet #my_poetic_life_ #valmy2kids #icrochetnotknit #valmarie_aspiringmua #ButGod

My 2019 Vision Board

As you can see, my 2018 Vision board list didn’t quite get accomplished. But I’m proud of myself for beginning some of the things necessary to get a few of them accomplished. I found out I will have to pay out of pocket to finish my last two credits for my BA in Healthcare Management. So researching and attempting was all I could do. My blog began as a launch for both my books but has taken on a life if it’s own. It has practically written out a complete outline for my book about my life living with Fibromyalgia while containing more poems for my poetry book. I’m so excited about the progress it has produced for both books!

I believe that one of the mistakes with my 2018 vision board was the fact that I didn’t visualize my goals. I didn’t even list them in order of importance. This year when I look at my Vision Board I see my granddaughter and I am motivated to take a trip to see her and my daughter. I see how thin I am now compared to where I was two years ago at the beginning of 2016 and it motivates me, the list goes on.

At this point in my life, I feel like saying, “I am going to do these things”, is not enough anymore. It’s now, I am doing these things. Before the ball drops for 2020, all my short-term goals listed on my 2019 Vision Board will be accomplished or attempted to the best of my ability.

If you are going to do something, do it right the first time, is something my mother has told us as kids, many times growing up. I see the importance of that statement more now than ever. I’m getting ready to work on my long-term goals Vision Board next. I pray someone is inspired to create and follow their own Vision Board for 2019. Just remember trying and failing is better than never trying at all. I wish everyone much success in all they do in the New Year!

Things I want to do 2018

clear my credit started
start saving πŸ’°
move from Alabama
see my granddaughter grow up
finish my degree
visit Italy
read more (started)
write/publish books (starting)
stay thin (doing)
live on a farm/not farm lol
get off meds (starting)
cleared from CPAP
fix up the house and start with
β€’ Kitchen (started)
β€’ Living room (started)
β€’ Bathroom
β€’ my door

My Short term goals for 2019:

Write and Publish:







With Credit Karma and Credit Sesame πŸŽ“πŸš™πŸŽ“πŸš™πŸŽ“πŸš™πŸŽ“πŸš™πŸŽ“πŸš™πŸŽ“πŸš™πŸŽ“πŸš™

4. Start Saving Money through Rushcard


_____Visit Avianna twice this year____

_______Dream Vacation to Italy_______

__________ Things for Zy__________

5. Perfect My Makeup Game/Promise myself at least 1-3 looks per week!


Makeup, My Poetic Life (the book), (I’m an ambassador/they support wonderful causes), my personal IG, Val’s Gifts of Warmth IG in order. I will increase (πŸ‘†) my followers by…
1. @valmarie_aspiringmua
2. @my_poetic_life_ πŸ‘†500 FOLLOWERS
3. @valcreativecause15
4. @valmy2kids
5. @Icrochetnotknit







9. Begin a Fibromyalgia NonProfit

#visionboard #2019 #2019visionboard #mypoeticlifebook #wordpress #happynewyear

New Year’s Resolution for 2018

As the clock nears 11:59:50 tonight, many will have their minds made up to stick to their New Year’s Resolution. Regardless, if it’s to lose weight, finally ask for that promotion, get engaged, visit another country, etc., we all know that for the majority of resoluters (sometimes we have to create words), January 1, 2019 will go as planned but by February, we are back to old routines as the repetitiveness of life kicks in. Most of the people I know do not embrace change well. Isn’t it odd that we think of these great things that will help us and improve our lives but then just stop or talk ourselves out of doing them before the month of January is up? Crazy right?

I used to make resolutions I’d never stick to all the time. This year I resolve to not make a resolution. Instead, I decided to just continue working hard to check off some of the things that are already on my vision board. Improving my credit score, working to get rid of diabetes completely and high blood pressure, beginning a YouTube channel and start saving money are just a few things on my board I’m working on. Beginning this blog to promote and launch my books was at the top of my board.

In 2016, my New Year’s Resolution was to lose weight. Although I began on my own, becoming ill helped that along. But I stuck with it for the past two years. So I’m not knocking resolutions. I’m just choosing to continue to do what has been working for me personally. Placing the things I wanted to achieve in some type of order on a vision board made those things tangible, appearing reachable for the first time. It makes your dreams and goals into something you can touch. I hope that makes sense.

So tonight, like every New Year’s Eve, I’ll be at home with my family bringing in the New Year. After we count down 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, I will say Happy New Year feeling for the first time since I was a kid that I actually will have a happy new year to come. And when we go around the room to tell what we are thankful for, I’ll have many things, the greatest of which is the God we serve, my family, my children, my granddaughter, friends near and far, and the gift that writing all my life. I know I don’t have many readers right now, but I’m thankful for the few and the outlet this blog has been for me. Writing is the best therapy.

I believe we all have something special inside of us that once we tap into it, it will completely change our lives. We don’t really need resolutions to improve our lives or make necessary changes. All we need is to recognize the greatness within ourselves and build on it. Remember as this year ends, another brand new year will begin giving you another opportunity to live your very best life. Take advantage of it! Live each day with the knowledge that each tomorrow is another chance to get it right, to start anew, to see the amazing person you are! Speak this next sentence into existence. This WILL be MY BEST year yet!






Much love, Val and Family