When I was in my 20s, appearances meant a lot to me. I had the appearance of a fashionista. I had to have the latest trends in shoes, hair, make-up, you name it. There were times when I would buy myself a new outfit before I went out to that new club. It was all meaningless! I wish I would have known then what I know now.

You have to be happy on the inside, otherwise all the shoes, make-up and hair extensions in the world won't be enough! I could have saved myself so much stress, money and aggravation! It doesn't matter at all what other people think of you, it is what you think of yourself that really matters. If someone is going to judge you, then they are the one with the problem. Not you.

People like to judge others because something inside of them is lacking. They need to try to be superior to someone in order to make their own lives seem better. I lived with someone that totally understood that all of his life: my father. He always said to me "No one is better than you! They may be better off than you. But no one is better than you!" It took me 33 years to get it! At 33, I lost him.

My father was a very sick man, but he never ever showed it. No one ever knew when he wasn't feeling well until he was ready to pass out, then he might say something. He was in and out of hospitals for various things for the last 15 years of his life. Basically, he had Ulcerative Ileitis, which is similar to Ulcerative Coleitis, but much worse. It is ulcers in the large intestine, which caused the entire large intestine have to be removed. From research I have done online about it, it's basically caused by stress.

He had it before doctors even knew what it was. There was no medication for it. He even had an exploratory surgery, (which they do not do anymore) to try to figure out what it was. He was 48 when it started. He started getting shots of Cortisone three times a day to get rid of the swelling from the ulcers, but they didn't know all of the side effects and contraindications for Cortisone at the time.

Eventually he wound up with an enlarged heart, diabetes and gout which caused him to lose feeling in his hands and feet. Even though he would get out of breath, have fatigue from the diabetes (he didn't exactly follow his diet) and couldn't feel his own feet when he walked, he was out and about every day! He couldn't work but boy, could he shop! He would go to the can sale at Shop Rite and buy like 10 years’ worth of food. (I am not kidding, it literally lasted me and my mom 10 years after he passed away!) I was told by his doctor after he passed away that he was not supposed to be driving for the last two years!

There was no disease or no one person that would ever tell him how to live his life! His attitude was "Accept me as I am. If not, there’s the door, and don't let it hit you in the ass on the way out!"