Embracing Me is an opportunity for us to connect with ourselves...learning to embrace the God within. The post that I share with you are very real. The experiences of my life (whether good, bad or indifferent) sought to develop me into a Woman who honors the God that dwells inside of me.

For over 10 years I fought against sharing my life's experiences with the world but I also neglected to fully share my gifts. You may ask why I denied myself to live and the answer is fear! After relinquishing the fear of my own thoughts as well as the thoughts of others I have decided to do and be all that God has ordained. He chose me to share my testimonies through songs, poetry, short stories and encouraging words.

I invite you to travel with me as I journey into yet another fearful place, seeking to please the Father while providing healing, restoration and inspiration as chosen. It is my hope that these words will improve your daily living.

My charge to you: Think Well. Do Well. Speak Well. Be Well. Live Well.

"For as the rain and snow come down from the heavens, and return not there again, but water the earth and make it bring forth and sprout, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it." - Isaiah 55:10-11

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Hell & Heaven at 8: Chapter 3

Chapter 3 - Close Call:
Stealing an Angel's Life That Won't Die

With squinted teary eyes, I looked at my parents and when they spoke to me I responded yet again with cooing, giggles and even laughter. Life seemed normal for my parents, all appeared as if it were well. As far as my mother and father were concerned they shared in the experience of giving birth to a perfectly healthy baby girl. I had all ten fingers and all ten toes. My lungs worked and my heart beat was normal. Little did my parents know, chronic illness, sickness, disease and even predators lay waiting and lurking for an opportunity to steal their baby girl’s life.

My parents were ecstatic to take their beautiful baby girl home but my big brother, well, let’s just say he was not a happy camper when I came home from the hospital. Time passed rapidly but somehow moved slowly at the same time, for I no longer wore infant apparel but instead I grew quickly, barely fitting 6-9 month baby clothing.

One day while my dad was at work, my mom laid me and my brother down for a nap. According to my mother, he was just about two years old and was still having issues coping with me sharing his space so he climbed into my crib with me. Mom says when she came into the room and didn’t see him in his bed her heart began to race. Immediately she ran over to check on me in the crib and found my brother in there with me. His pillow was completely covering my face and he was laying on it. My brother looked up innocently with his big brown eyes as mom reached in to pull him off of me. When she took the pillow off of my face, there I lay with a huge smile, never realizing my brother almost killed me. To this day, I say he was just trying to take a nap with me. He figured if he could share his space, I could share mine – However, auntie and mom noted otherwise.

After a few years I was mobile. My big brother learned to love me and to protect me. He also taught me how to get into plenty of trouble. One day when I was about two, mom went to the front door to talk with a neighbor. She left me and my brother sitting nicely in front of the television. In a brief moment I was up exploring the house, specifically, the kitchen. Somehow I decided that cooking would be a great idea and turned on the eye of the stove. I don’t remember all the details but what I do remember is burning up the stove, almost killing me and my brother with smoke
inhalation, a spankin’ and well, I never did receive any food.

By age four, my mother had seen more hospital visits for me than she cared to or even thought she would. Tonsillitis and strep throat were the culprits. With body temperatures exceeding 102.8 degrees and persistent nightly cries due to pain, my mother dragged herself from her bed heading to the nearest emergency room with me toddling beside or straggling behind her. Each occurrence was followed by isolation from my siblings and other family members, crushed Tylenol, cups of jello, scoops of ice-cream and loads of Kool-aid in its assorted flavors. The doctors suggested surgery to remove my tonsils many times but my mother declined after reading the possible repercussions; cutting vocal chords, bleeding to death as well as the possibility of needing a blood transfusion.

If tonsillitis and strep weren’t enough to contend with one night my mom had the wonderful pleasure of finding me at my grandfather’s house laying on the back porch with the dogs, Trip and Misty and what I thought was our new cat. She found me delusional with a fever of almost 104 degrees petting our new house rat. I was immediately rushed to the emergency room. Thinking back, I can easily see how my brother was frustrated about having this new sister around but now he had two other new additions he was forced to share his space with.

Upon arriving at the hospital, I was completely lethargic and was rushed to the back having intravenous tubes inserted, blood drawn, given antibiotics, Tylenol and placed in ice water to bring my fever down. Later my mom learned that I had developed several childhood diseases all at the same time. I had mumps, measles and chicken pox’s. The doctors told my mother that it was a close call, they could have lost me.

Somehow, I lived, but my mother had no clue what other experiences sought to pick this peculiar flower from life, leaving only thorny bushes with pricked, bruised hearts.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Hell & Heaven at 8: Chapter 2

Chapter 2 - An Angel is Born

From the day I was born, eventful and often chaotic moments sought to overshadow the gifted jewel I am and would eventually become.

It was a cool Monday morning with brisk breezes and crisp air. Leaves blew along the streets and the aroma of bacon frying upon stove tops flowed into the nostrils urging saliva glands to prepare for intake. The women chattered in the kitchen while cousins watched cartoon after cartoon. Suddenly without notice, a sharp pain reverberated through Barbara’s pelvis. She grumbled something like a growl and a yelp between her teeth, gripping the side of the stove. Pat jumped to her feet and asked if it was time.

My mom went into labor while participating in three of her favorite things; cooking for the family, spending time with my Aunt Pattie-pooh (that’s my pet name for one of the favored women in my life) and eating, however, she did not get to enjoy what she prepared.

As told by mom and Pattie-pooh, they were on their way to the hospital in a cab when it began spinning out of control. Yes, you heard correctly, mom was in labor on her way to the hospital and the cab she was riding in got into an accident. When the car finally stopped spinning it landed in front of a fire station.

The firemen rushed over and found my frightened aunt and my very pregnant mom in the car. They immediately rushed my mother to Johns Hopkins hospital. Moments later a frantic man stormed into the emergency room asking for Barbara Whitaker. You guessed it, that man was my dad Edward. The nurse escorted my dad to my mother’s bedside. When he saw her he immediately began apologizing for a fight they had the night before. Aunt Pat walked over to dad and told him to leave her alone with all that mess until after she recovered from giving birth.

Since dad respected his big sister he immediately turned his focus to the well-being of my mother by asking the nurses and doctors a thousand and one questions: Is the baby alright? Have you checked to see if there is any damage from the accident? How long before its time to push? And so the questions went on and on until finally one of the nurses informed my dad that everything was fine. As they moved my mom to her room, the nurse went on urging him to try and make my mother as comfortable as possible.
The nurse advised him to pat her head with the cool towel, to hold her hand and to massage her lower back.

After several hours of hard labor the doctor came in to see how many centimeters mom had dilated and found that it was time to push. Although mom had done this before she was scared. She wasn’t sure if I had incurred injuries from the accident. Mom also did not believe she had enough energy to birth me through the vaginal canal.

PUSH the doctor yelled. Come on Barbara, you can do it! Dad rubbed moms head and kissed her gently, encouraging her to push. Mom pushed one last time and with that, I slid into the world almost falling out of the doctors’ hands. The doctor introduced them to their beautifully healthy baby girl. I opened my eyes and that is when my singing career began. I belted out a loud cry and when my parents heard my cries they too were filled with tears of joy.

Dear Mom and Dad,

Angels aren’t always dressed in white gowns with rosy red cheeks, smiles upon their faces, twinkles in their eyes and wings glistening upon their backs. In fact, Angels come in different shapes and sizes. They sometimes touch you with their tears. They change lives because of their pain. They purify with their innocence. With gentle hands they warm hearts. With kisses they heal. Their laughter chases things that restrain bringing joy to all they encounter.

Messy and dingy with dirt upon their faces yet warmly they embrace you!

These are our earthly Angels living amongst us as examples of success and failure, victory and defeat, triumphs and downfalls but it’s up to each of us to capture the lessons, take our eyes off the Mythical Angels to see the ones we have surrounding us, giving guidance with every step made.

Be well My Angels...

With Tenderness and Love,
Your Angel,


Monday, February 9, 2015

Hell & Heaven at 8 - Chapter 1

Chapter 1 - Reflection

Sitting here by the water enjoying the lush green scenery, watching the children run and play, listening to the ducks splash, hearing the birds chirp, catching a whiff of the fall air as the wind blows across the ponds water sends my mind rippling back to my early childhood days. I close my eyes and breathe deeply allowing my nostrils to fill with the combined scents in the air. My ears equally absorb all the noises as they harmoniously synchronize and again, I find myself remembering conversations my mom and I had years earlier. Memories of stories told and the things I remember seeing and hearing all come rushing in. Some moments I find myself happy, smiling as I reminisce and other times I find myself almost at the point of tears as I consider how all of these activities have brought me to the place where I sit today, in this moment, at this time.


Precious Little Girl

By Stacie J. Whitaker-Harris

I bat my big pretty brown eyes with my lashes quickly opening and shutting

I coo, giggle, laugh and smile reaching out for your ear, your nose and for your eyes

Gently I graze your cheeks with the warmth and the softness of my finger tips

I can see in your eyes that you are proud parents but still, you are afraid

As you cradle me, your baby girl in your arms, I look at you and fear nothing

You smile, realizing that someday soon I’ll grow up,

Learning to crawl, stand, walk and sometimes stumble

But then you see me stand with little bow legs as I learn to run to you

I remember your warming, gentle touch and I see that spark in your eyes

No matter how much I grow you still call me "baby girl"

And that same look resonates in your eyes from when I was a baby

There is no love to replace what I receive from you

No matter the length of my days,

I will never quite explain what I’ve gained from having you in my life

Even if only for a moment

No matter how many years go by, I will always be your precious little girl


Hell & Heaven at 8 - Introduction

It is presumptuous of any man to assume the mantle of speaking for all men, or any segment of men. However, most men are able to speak concerning issues endured by women as a result of male figures; manhood. From sexual abuse and molestation, to physical abuse and drug addiction, to neglect and abandonment, men are more often than not the precipitating factors which placed women in these very damaging situations; I’m sorry for this, and ask for your forgiveness on my manhood participation.

There are always "whys" and "reasons" that such actions are perpetrated upon women, the nurturers of humanity; however, they are never justifiable. Mental illness, sexual addiction, pornography addiction, esteem issues, relationship dysfunction, being abused, neglected, abandoned, mistreated by women, or just being raised with a zero sense of morality - all inexcusable reasons for men to mistreat the sustainers and nurturers of humanity, women.

All of that being said, the reality of such abuse cannot be denied. While no man can apologize for another man, or for all men, all men can apologize for the insensitivity of manhood. No matter how "in tune" we feel or believe we are to the pain, and trauma of women, our insensitivity is evident in our daily interaction with women. From our unwillingness to give up our seat on the train or bus to a woman, to our insistence that women "know their place," to how we treat (or do not treat) our wife or lady, or mother, or sisters, or daughters, our duplicity is glaring.

All abuse is abuse to the abused. Abuse of neglect, abuse of personal space invasion, and mental abuse, is all abuse to the one being subjected to the abuse.

Yes, apologies are in order! At the same time, acceptance of apologies is also a needed conduit if the abused is really going to find healing. Women must never allow themselves to place their life on hold because a perpetrator has not offered up an apology. Seek independent assistance to do the reaffirming work needed, and then move forward with your awesomely wonderful and beautiful self!

I’m confident that with all of the women each man comes in contact with throughout the course of his life there is any number of women who has felt some level – along the wide spectrum of abuse labels – of abuse as a result of some action on his part. So, all men owe womanhood and some specific woman as well, an apology. Again, I offer my sincere apology to any, and all women wounded as some result of my action or non-action.

Women, when the apology comes, either accept it or reject it, but then move forward. Don’t allow yourself to be stuck in bitterness, hatred, or vengeance. You deserve better than to give a man power over your happiness simply because he was too: vicious, sick, careless, hateful, mean, or any number of the other maladies that can be named, to apologize.

I am sincerely sorry for any and all hurt and pain caused to any woman as a result of any action of mine; real, imagined or over-stated. I hurt at the thought that I have hurt any woman and have not offered my sincere apology for it. Me hurting you was never an intentional act, but had to have been an act of ignorance.

From my: long deceased mother, to my wife, sisters, daughters, mother-in-law, god-daughter, and female friends, I am confident that I have wounded each in some manner. I have always been quick to say "I’m sorry." I take this moment to repeat that refrain; I am sorry!

Please be overwhelmingly aware of my love and respect for yours, and all womanhood. Women, you are the best that God has made. No issue and no situation can change the beauty that is uniquely you. You are strong, loving, and nurturing; you are woman!

In her book series, "Embracing Me," Stacie Harris not only shares her own poignant, painful, and victorious story, she also attempts to use her story, and the letters of apology dispersed throughout the series from men, to inspire, encourage, motivate, and direct other women to, themselves, embrace healing.

Through the letters penned here, and in her other books in this series, it is hoped that this project ushers in a cathartic era for many, if not all, women who find themselves stuck in their pain as a result of never hearing "sorry" from the person they believe caused their pain.

Take this journey! Travel through the pages of this book! Read the letters! Read Stacie’s personal story of her "Hell & Heaven" from book one, and about her "Tears" in book two. Mourn her "Death at 24" in book three, and then share her "Awakening" in book four. I’m confident that not only will Stacie’s personal memoir touch your heart, and prod your instincts, but you will also find one, or many, letters in the series that will strike a powerful chord within your spirit that will provoke your emotions to react. Don’t be afraid of reacting, and of acting; it’s the non-action that has kept you stuck.

Be healed! Be set free from the issues of your past that has held you in bondage. You are not the product of abuse. You are not the offspring of destruction. You are not the memory of a mistake. You are the chosen of God. You are called to do wonderful exploits in His name. You are strong, beautiful, nurturing, and amazing; I am sorry for anything I have done to make you feel otherwise. I am sorry for anything manhood has done to hinder your growth, or blind your view.

Forgive me! Forgive manhood! Embrace your womanhood! Make the declaration today by screaming with your loudest inner voice, "Today, I am "Embracing Me!"

Go Master The Day,

Dr. Allen C. Barham, Sr.
(Dr. B)