Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I got a testimony.

Okay. I know, I know. This is getting nauseating. But alas, there is more.

I was talking on the phone to my dear friend Tracey H. today and she reminded me of something special that I had forgotten from my wedding day. Though I'm sure you are still dry heaving from the ridiculously effusive love fest I've been having on this blog this week, I couldn't let this day escape me without adding this.

And before I forget to say this, let me tell you what has run through my head. I tell myself that it is quite indulgent and a bit kooky to go all into my thoughts and feelings about Harry on this blog. Because seriously, a bunch of people come here because they heard it was a medical blog. Then they arrive and are all like, Huh? As well they should.

But the thing is. . . .the Harry part of my life is very much intertwined with the doctoring part. My peace of mind on this front helps me with the work front and honestly-to-goodnessly, a substantial part of my reflections involve things that are not happening at Grady Hospital.

So this is what that's all about and I would apologize but I would just be disingenuous. So. . uhh. . .yeah.


Tracey and I trained together in Cleveland and have remained close friends since that time. When the time came for Harry and me to get married, I knew I wanted her to play a formal part in some way. I asked her to do a special reading and lucky me she readily agreed. I searched high and low for the right poem or words; I even tried to pen a few things myself.

No dice.

And then. . .and THEN! Yes. I remembered this super-rare Stevie Wonder song that I used to listen to way back in the day before I met Harry. The lyrics and the melody never failed to make me super-ugly-cry because back then I really, truly, honestly-to-goodnessly believed that it wasn't possible for me to ever achieve the kind of love that Stevie was singing about in that song.

No exaggeration.

Anyways. I would listen to this song over and over again and just weep and weep. (Feel free to gag again here.) Then I'd pray for the remote possibility that I might actually sing those words about someone and. . . .and mean them. Really, really mean them.

Yeah, right.

So I asked Tracey to read an excerpt of those song lyrics as a part of my wedding ceremony. No. Not sing them. Read them. Which reminds me -- if you are planning a wedding, consider having someone read meaningful lyrics to one of your favorite songs because it goes over quite well. Anyways,  I wanted to hear those words and relive those moments before our family was officially "born" because back then? Man. I was feeling real, real discouraged and disappointed. Hearing those words reminded me of exactly what I'd told Isaiah last Friday:

"Without disappointments we wouldn't appreciate the good times as much."

No, we would not.

So, yes, Tracey reminded me of that reading and those lyrics and sure as I am typing this, I can see the big smile on her face and that twinkle in her eye as she read them. And at the end, for emphasis, she added a little extra umph to that smile and you know? I could have sworn it had a sound effect that sounded something like this:


What's the rare Stevie song, you ask? Man. It's one that's so rare that I couldn't even find it on YouTube to embed for your listening pleasure. And that's rare since you can find just about anything and its mama on YouTube. But that's okay because just like on my wedding day, instead of hearing them sung I want you to read them and let them marinate. Then I want you to picture me weeping and wishing and praying for a love for my soul.

A pretty pathetic visual, right? But that Stevie Wonder ministered to my sorrowful little heart back then. And if you read those lyrics, you better believe that he will minister to your heart, too, whether it's sorrowful like mine was or something else altogether.

I love this song because it's hopeful. And it has a testimony in it that can uplift you.

Especially if you've felt discouraged because you've convinced yourself that you don't have a chance at a real true love. Or if you've sat around with a group talking about how every single person that you could possibly be with is either already taken or a scumbag or immature or batting for the other team (regardless of your team of choice) or only likes the race that you aren't or doesn't have a job or isn't the same religion or is the same religion but is like on a way different page or is a cheater or . . or . . or. . .

Yeah. That.

Look. I talk about Harry and me and how we met and how we love because, dammit, I have a testimony. Just like that song, I have a real, true testimony. Like many single women who've been disheartened at some point, I could not see myself with someone that loved me like this unconditionally. No way, no how. Nor could I get my head around being with a mate that allowed me to feel so safe and alright with being my most authentic and flawed version of me.

I mean it. I couldn't.

I believed that eventually I'd settle for end up with some person that I could tolerate or that we'd eventually grow into some smoldering love match even if there weren't too many flames to fan at the beginning. I figured that before that happened, though, my eggs would get too old, shrivel up, and do all of the other things that women sit in dark rooms worrying that they'll do.

Yes. I did all of that.

So what was the secret? Uhhh. . . .hello? There wasn't one. The only thing I can say I did (besides fervently praying) before meeting the BHE was that I stopped hanging out with, talking to, or dealing with anyone who made me feel like I had to try too hard. If I had to pretend like I didn't really like them or like I could care less about marriage or monogamy or commitment or motherhood then I decided to K.I.M. --which is short for KEEP. IT. MOVING.

Sure did.

So at the time that we met, I had NOTHING else going on. Nada. No random straggler calling my phone or popping by my house to confuse the situation. And not one single encounter with any throwback dude in the spirit of black history.


Oh what do I mean by black history? Well, in the context of dating, that's when sisters unearth ghosts of boyfriends past. And let me tell you--nothing can sabotage a woman (or man) more than a throwback ghost. And for the record--I call it "black history" because I think that's funny, but not because that kind of stupid decision is limited to black folks.

If you want, you can call yours American History Ex.

(Thank ya very maaaach! I'll be here all week!)

Wait! I just realized in my late night flight of ideas and ramble-ific testifying that I never told you the name of the rare Stevie Wonder song. Whoops. (See? This is what Harry has to live through every single day.)

The song is simply called "I'm new."  And no, I am not saying that I was some old and wretched mess when I met Harry but really? I had longed for a love that would make a part of my soul feel new.

And that is exactly what came to me on the day we met.

Yes. I got a testimony!

I sure do. And whether you are full on retching now or not, this is my sho' nuff testimony. And if I have this testimony, then there is no reason in the world that it can't be yours, too. Not one single reason. Now that's something to shout hallelujah about!

Yes, people. The doors of the church are now open!


"I'm New" by Stevie Wonder

Try to envision you as the oldest living someone
Being every night and day all alone
Going through ages and ages, places and spaces
With never finding that someone to call your own

Like a treasure chest of dreams long forgotten
Hidden for good in a stolen lost and found
But just when fate was calling quits
Love appeared in the midst 
of despair, came and turned your life around

I'm new, new like the first day of spring
New like a nightingale that's just learned to sing
I'm new, new like the very start of dawn
Like a child that's first born with your love, I'm new

You're standing amongst a crowd of six billion people
Crying out for help, but no one understands
Cause much to your dismay, you've been taken far away
To a land where joy is pain and sorrow's a happy man

Where an aching heart's the sign of the mighty
And a love-filled heart looks down with fault and shame
But at the very instant all was through, 
lady luck appears, says "love can do"
And changed you like a Christian who's been born again

I'm new, new like the fresh morning dew
New like a work of art that's finally through
I'm new, new like a first flight of a dove
So safe and secure with your love, I'm new

Love took a long time coming to me
But I've gotta say
I owe my thanks to Him for sending you my way, hey

Cause I'm new, new like the first winter snow
Like the start of forever, with infinity to go
I'm new, new like the birth of the sun
Forever young I will be

Cause with your love, I'm new
New like from a restful night of sleep
New like a starving man that's had food to eat

I'm new, nothing compares nor can compete
Sharing with you the sweetness of your love. . . 

I'm new

Yaaaass!! You betta preach, Stevie! (I added that part.Heh.)

Now playing on my mental iPod. . . . since the doors of the church are now open. . .
(Now pardon me while I shake my tambourine and do the "happy dance.")

P.S. You can find "I'm new" on iTunes. 


  1. You better be right, Soror! While I haven't given up...it's sure is hard to be patient. LOL. And everytime I dismiss I guy... I certainly hope I made the right decision.

    I remain prayful, hopeful, steadfast... and I love reading testimonies like yours, when "settling" doesn't seem like the worst idea.

    Thanks. :)

  2. This put a lump in my throat. I am glad you thought to share it. I am curious (for some odd reason that I'm not even aware of) what was the part your friend read? Your testimony and knowing what a lovely family you have created along with the song words ARE hopeful. I love that you are so in love and that you shout it from the roof of your blog for all to hear. Whoever is looking for medical reading will surely get something very important from this post as well as all the other varied stories you tell. You are the (f'ing) best Dr. Manning. Joanne

  3. Dr. Manning -- I don't really know what I am doing or what I've done but I believe I have a blog now called.... Anonymous Jo! I am going to sign out that way and we'll see if that works! I'm so stupidly excited to be doing this!

  4. Soror Jamie -- Good heavens, sister,I know! It's so hard to be patient!! But trust me, if it worked out for me--like I said--it can and will work out for you. Just focus on what your testimony will be someday. . . . .

    Anonymous Jo!! -- You are SO the f'ing best! And! And, And, AND!!! Yes!!! Please start your blog and just talk about whatever it is you want to talk about! I will come and read faithfully! Your comments give me wings, sister. . .so I know that your blog will make my day. I say GO FOR IT! (Can't you see that I'm stupidly excited, too? And loving the name, too!)

    You must drop f-bombs though. Just out of the blue to keep us on our toes! :)

    Before I forget, here is the part I had Tracey recite:

    "I'm new, new like the fresh morning dew
    New like a work of art that's finally through
    I'm new, new like a first flight of a dove
    So safe and secure with your love, I'm new

    Love took a long time coming to me
    But I've gotta say
    I owe my thanks to Him for sending you my way, hey

    Cause I'm new, new like the first winter snow
    Like the start of forever, with infinity to go
    I'm new, new like the birth of the sun
    Forever young I will be

    Cause with your love, I'm new"

    :) She totally did it justice, too.

  5. Oh hon, don't even apologize for talking about your BHE. Lord, he's fine and a good husband and father too. Yes, you have a testimony and we all want and need to hear it, and i love your happiness in this post, because when we talk about the love of our lives, we should feel the heart-skip-a-beat giddiness that the fates smiled down on us and we sure do know this is something wonderful and true. Yeah. I love this post.

  6. I was waiting for the part of this post where you said you prayed for a man like Harry (and you didn't let me down)... or as we like to relive it:

    "I PAH-RAAAYED for this man!" ~Kimberly Manning at her wedding reception.

    LOL! I love you, Miz. It's not easy, but I'm always trying to live by your example & never give up hope :)

  7. Girl, ( this post somehow made referring to you as such warranted-hope you're not offended !)

    On the very cusp of my 37th birthday as I type, and never did I think finding a meaningful relationship would be my most difficult task.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post. As always, you are right on time .

    Maria, fellow Meharrian

  8. What a great idea, having the lyrics of your favorite song read at your wedding!!!

    Loves it!!!

    And feel free to talk about Black love ANYTIME you want, there's certainly NOT enough about it on the web!!!

  9. I love your link to, "I've Got a Testimony" and the visual of you with the tambourine. Testify!

  10. I'm a pretty regular commentor, posting as Anony until I'm ready to "out myself" as a soon to be twice divorced, fabulously well adjusted woman, lol!!

    I just had to comment on the ladies hinting about not having a BHE in their lives yet. Not now has NEVER meant not ever, but you gotta BELIEVE that, and better than that, you gotta LIVE that until God's time for you to have a BHE comes along.

    Okay, I'll dismount my soapbox now and leave you with this. If my life love life ends up looking like Liz Taylor's, I'm perfectly okay with that, lol!! I'd rather "go out" swinging for the fence, than riding the bench!!!!

  11. Happy anniversary to you both!

    Wishing you the best of health and peace, and time to savour it all.

    What beautiful thoughts, words, photos. The wedding photos are gorgeous, and the porch photos are awesome. I love that photo of you and the BHE on the porch together. "This is the day our family was born." That must be the sweetest thing I've ever heard!


  12. Happy happy anniversary to you and Mr. Manning! I love how much you integrate he and the boys into your blog. It's natural because you're happy, so please don't apologize for it. I'm shocked by the Stevie song. I consider myself a serious Stevie fan and I've NEVER heard that song before. **heading to my dad's house to look through his vinyl**

  13. I randomly found your blig but not really. I'm 35 and still waiting. Lately I've been praying over the feeling you described so well you had before you met Mr. Manning. This accidental stumble was God's way of reminding me of two things. The PhD will come and the love. Until then I'm living my life like it's GOLDEN.. starts to weep because He loves me so much to send a note that He's thinking of me through one of my fav avenues (blogs). Oh how I love Jesus!! I'm pleased to meet you and your family Soror. Off to listen to this song on repeat :))


"Tell me something good. . . tell me that you like it, yeah." ~ Chaka Khan

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