Where have I been?

Published October 21, 2019  

I must forgive myself for neglecting this forum and shortchanging the few that may take away something good from here. My deepest apologies.

Now that that is said, let's get down to what I've been up to.

Last summer I brought my Mom home from a rehabilitation center after having spent about 10 days in a hospital facility just before.   What a blessing. After my appearance on the Tom Joyner Morning Show in 2016 (another blessing) I moved into a huge space (by New York standards) to accommodate a production studio, living quarters and minimal storage.  I decided to create a space for my Mom to recuperate so she would not have to live alone. (She fought this to the end.)  Looking back I wished she had agreed to come live with me sooner.  But like Mother like daughter she was a strong willed independent human. However, the move couldn't have happened at a more perfect time.

When my Mom was in the hospital she developed blisters on her legs from a condition called edema. It's when excess fluid accumulates in the legs, ankles and feet causing severe swelling. I've learned from our stay in the hospital as well as the rehabilitation center that there are many ways a wound can be treated. I also learned that in this day of age medical facilities still use extremely harsh chemicals to treat the skin. These include petroleum, sulfur and a diluted bleach called Dakins.   My question remains, why such harsh treatments when there are so many natural alternatives available...or perhaps let up on the chemicals a little with some less harsh alternatives.     I mean really...bleach?   When  I was helping to care for her the nurses raved over our choice of ointment for her legs, Butter By Keba almost unscented body butter.   They said it was better than anything they had in their storage closet.   My mom would proudly pull out the jar when the nurses were changing her bandages and say "Here, use this my daughter made it"  The nurse would reply, in a heavy Caribbean accent "wow, mom...she made this here?  It's smelling' really good...keep using dis ya hear?  Dat's what ya skin need right now."   So, from that day that's what the home attendants used, my butter, and occasionally some A & D Ointment mixed in just so we kept with the doctor’s orders.   Coming from these nurses, a beyond skilled, emotionally and physically comforting team of women from the African diaspora, it meant everything, especially during a time I just wanted to give up on this hoppy business or whatever all together.  

Flash forward and  I found myself managing (the best I could )  3 roles, broker, butter and caregiver.   I think I have always been a caregiver at heart but when tasked with the responsibility of taking care of my Mom I realized it is something one cannot do alone and so I am extremely grateful  for the community of friends, nurses, physical therapists, and aides that all contribute to my Mom’s care.    While my role as a broker has pretty much been on auto-pilot for the last few months (passion has left the building) my roles as a founder and CEO of a home hobby biz turned small indie brand has become  more prominent as I invest more time energy and money into growing it.  The encouragement my Mom gave me over the last 2 years she was with me kept me going and inspired me to give more of myself to my craft because it was a “blessing”, according to her.     I look forward to what’s in store.   



Keba Guilan 


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