Ashro Women @ Home–Brenda O. from Bowie, MD

I firmly believe my time has already been determined by the Creator, so what I’m living now is what He has given me as a gift And what I do with this is a gift back to Him Good morning Miss Brenda, how are you? Good morning Miss Leslie, such a pleasure to see you this morning and thanks for having me It is indeed, my pleasure I want to thank you for joining us, joining us on Ashro @ Home, Ashro Women @ Home and we want to thank you for inviting us into your beautiful home You’re more than welcome and thank you again So very, very much looking forward to this This is exciting, thank you Well, it is my pleasure I tell you, when I was sent the interview and information I was pleasantly surprised to see them name Brenda O’Neale And I thought surely this could not be my friend Brenda O’Neale and I’d sit and look at the questionnaire and saw the email. And thought that’s my sorority sister, that’s my friend, that’s my mentor, that’s my counselor, it’s was a pleasure having you It’s such a blessing, sisterhood forever, proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority That’s right That’s right And I tell you, we’ve got a lot of good questions for you today But before we get started, I just want to share that it is a pleasure talking to you We’ve got so many wonderful connections, we are sorority sisters Yes. We are friends Yes. She co-founded a wonderful group called The International Media Ladies Yes. And so we traveled the world together. South Africa, this time two years ago, that’s right, this time two years ago, we were celebrating the 100th birthday of Nelson Mandela And we went from Cape Town to Johannesburg what were the other two places? We went to Durban and Port Elizabeth That’s right Durban and Port Elizabeth, as well And it was really a pleasure traveling with you and I look forward to the times that we can travel together again So excited to travel and see the rest of the world with you Yes, ma’am. Such a giving heart, Leslie, such a giving heart you inspire me, It makes me do better So I thank you for that Well, I thank you for your kind words Miss Brenda And I feel the very True words, true words and that’s not kind, that’s true words Well, I thank you so much And I feel the very same way about you Thank you Yes, now how are your wonderful sons and your daughter- in-law’s and those grandbabies doing? Well, I’m here in Maryland with my youngest and his wife and my grandson, who is nine years old We are doing well I have adopted a plant-based lifestyle, since that is their lifestyle, which has been good for me, down 14 pounds and counting We’re gardening The ones in Charlotte, I miss the little girl, but we have FaceTime, which is a wonderful blessing So I speak to her and them once or twice a day It’s a blessing that everyone is still employed and able to work from home So we’re blessed, we’re doing, we’re doing well We’re doing well That is indeed a blessing And you look absolutely marvelous, and thank you for that idea That is something that I can consider, eating fruits and vegetables over the next several weeks It wasn’t, it wasn’t as difficult as I thought because I was a bacon lover but it really wasn’t that difficult once And there’s a video that’s out called “What the Health?” and once I watched that I’m good without meat, I really am So I encourage everyone to take a look at that and determine for yourself what might work, it’s called “What the Health?” Well, thank you so much I will certainly take a look at that and while reviewing your wonderful questionnaire I am so impressed you are such an accomplished woman and I admire you so much And one of the things that you wrote on the questionnaire is that it is important to be a strong, Black woman So why is it important to you to be a strong Black woman? As a matriarch now of my family, and once I was the baby But as the matriarch it’s important to leave a footprint It’s important for others to see that through history we have been strong Black women because we have had to be It’s important to be true to yourself It’s important to know that there is something inside, that will carry you through all of this And that’s why it’s important to be strong and confident

And that’s what makes us Ashro women, is the strength and the confidence And it’s also important to be true to yourself and that’s an Ashro woman, as well Own yourself Be yourself So that’s what it means to me And one of the other things that I saw that encouraged me and inspired me so is that you said, that it is important for us to be patient and to be thankful and this too shall pass And I think that’s so important in light of where we are right now So why do you think those things are important? We have to have hope and hope is that this will pass I’ve learned patience because as you know, I’m normally on a plane several times a month So I have learned, as a matter of fact, I laid in the middle of the floor the other day and just said, I think I am okay now, I think I’m okay now So you’ve learned to just sit outside and appreciate the beauty that God has provided for us So I’ve learned to move a little bit more a little bit slower in my life It was a pretty good pace there for a while Leslie, and you know that because you were moving at that same pace, so we’ve had to adjust So some of things I’ve started doing, I’ve started crafting, my daughter-in-law has a wonderful friend I’ve always been a knitter and a crocheter and I’m not crocheting anymore because I literally crocheted a blanket that’s big enough for me, you, and all of our sorority sisters to be inside, so I will not I crochet again, but I’m making coasters to put drinks on So I’m a middle member of Female Leaders in Travel, so we have a conference in July, so I made these And I am a two time breast cancer survivor and I support the Essence of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation in St. Kitts So since all of our fundraisers were canceled, I created these for our members to encourage them and it says, love, strength, faith, and hope And I have also taken up journaling and I am not a writer, even though I was an English major, I don’t like to write, but I’ve taken time to write And I’ve got this beautiful journal from JoAnn fabrics for $3, it says, “happiness looks gorgeous on you.” So I take time to kind of write how I anticipate this to look once we come out from a business standpoint, as well as, a personal standpoint So that has helped, as well And as I mentioned before, my daughter- in-law has taking up gardening, They’ve built a beautiful greenhouse in the back I go to Leviticus greenhouse once a month, the gentleman shares his knowledge and his plants with me I came home last week with spinach, kale, mustard, strawberries So learning how that piece starts to look, as well So learning to take better care of ourselves, I bought a slim cycle So I ride in the morning and that gets the knees functioning again So I’ll be able to do some of those wonderful excursions when we do come out of this. Well, you are doing such exciting things and I’m loving those beautiful coasters And so I would love to get one if you could send a message to me and let me know how I would order it I love that butterfly It is yours, my dear It is yours, you shall have it, just make sure I have your address but you should have, it’s yours Thank you so much, I will send that along to you You are going to Soror Leslie, ok I love it And that greenhouse, tell me a little more about that That is very interesting Well, I would love to show it to you, but I think moving is something I’m not supposed to do, so I will tell you about it It is actually a greenhouse with a cover and vents on the sides They had the potting soil delivered, planting soil delivered and there’s cabbage, and there’s cucumbers, and strawberries, and there’s squash and there’s peppers and there’s cantaloupe We even have a peach tree, I forgot to tell you that last time I went to visited him, he gave me a peach tree. He gives his seniors, which I’m proud to be now He gives his seniors plants because he wants us to become healthy, he wants us to become more self-sufficient She has string beans, so all of that is growing in the beautiful greenhouse out in the back And we shared with neighbors, so the neighbor across the street is now growing tomatoes and cucumbers So just, and we were in the back the other day, and one of the neighbors she’s trying to start So everybody is outside in a little bit of soil trying to grow something because we understand it’s important to us healthwise, moneywise, and that’s what we’re doing I love it Thank you for sharing that with me And I know you are a member of the Ashro Facebook, the Facebook, Ashro women, Ashro Faith and Fashion Group Yes I am We would love to see a short video clip of the beautiful greenhouse if your daughter-in-love

would like for you to share it with us If you could shoot about a 60 second clip in the greenhouse and tell us about it and post it to our Facebook page, we’d love to see it I will do it certainly as soon as I finish, no problem Thank you so much Now Miss Brenda you have faced an adversity or two in your life Yes. And you have overcome the challenge of breast cancer Yes Can you share that experience with us? Favorite scripture is second Timothy 1 verse 7 And that says for God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power of love and a sound mind And that is the motto I firmly believe, I know cancer is a physical illness, but I also know that it is a mental challenge, as well So that is the verse that I hold onto, that we don’t really have a spirit of fear I firmly believe my time has already been determined by the Creator, so what I’m living now is what He has given me as a gift and what I do with this is a gift back to Him So I think it’s important just to understand that you can heal thyself by changing your lifestyle, changing the way you eat, changing your activities So I think that we have to realize that He’s given us a gift, and we must use that gift back to Him So that is how I battle, and I believe Dr Jasmine Skylark, loves to play the song, This is How I Fight My Battles Yeah, so that’s how I fight my battles Well, you live life to the fullest every day Yes, ma’am Yes ma’am That is certainly an inspiration to me and so many others Now Miss Brenda, you are with your son, your son and one of your son-in-love’s and your son and one of your daughter-in-love’s and your grandbaby How are you facing the Coronavirus? How has your life changed? Well, I’m not on an airplane I’m not hugging people But I am focused on me and making me a better me And I think someone posted on Facebook the other day, the things we take for granted, the conversations, the hugs, the handshakes So what I’ve tried to do is be obedient to the spirit and when someone comes to mind, give them a call, send them a quick message Are you OK How’s it going? What’s the struggle today? Let’s just be thankful So I have a lot of friends who have been loving and caring and sending me messages first thing in the morning, good morning, rise and shine So that’s important That’s important The young man is doing online schooling, which he does in the morning and is upstairs doing it this time Mommy’s in her vision room, she has a conference this weekend so she’s preparing for that Daddy works with the educational system, so they’re working on how the rest of the year will look for that So everyone is doing what they do We try to come together in evenings and play a video game or chat and come together as a family but everybody is still functioning The ones in Charlotte, same thing we try to touch base and make sure all is well On Mother’s Day my daughter-in-law, here, made me a beautiful robe The little girl in Charlotte made me an adorable book and a makeup bag that said Quarantine Mom 2020 So the handwritten things, the small things make such a big difference It’s not necessarily about a gift from Amazon, but something someone took time to care about and to put effort into for you So that’s what we’re doing here This family has always been one that’s appreciated this pace, so they’ve kind of helped me adjust to this pace because it truly is not my pace But I’ve adjusted; I’ve adjusted Sounds like you’re having a wonderful time with your family, and that is certainly a blessing I am, I am. I miss that little girl in Charlotte though, man she’s growing so fast I video chat with her and I’m like, where is the time going You know, when did you get so tall So I can’t wait to give her a big, big, big hug, as well When do you think you’ll be able to see Charlotte? I’m not going to put a date on that I’m really going to have to get to my comfortable place, I’m not there yet I don’t necessarily care to sit on a plane with 150 people, just yet We here in Maryland, are coming out of our stay at home on Friday at 5:00 It’s becoming a safer at home option, so I am going to give it a little bit more time and see what it looks like, no rush, none at all I mean, I want to see her, so I’m thankful for the Facebook Live that I can see her, but don’t want to take anything or take a risk to my health, their health, or the family here, So we’ll just take their time That’s right

And so your guidelines will be relaxed a little Phase one He said, yesterday, phase one, on this Friday at 5:00 PM, I believe that stores can open at 50% capacity The beauty shops can open, the barber shops can open by appointment only So I guess they’re going to try, I have often questioned what the coming out will look like Well, we all of a sudden just wake up one day and say we’re good, and just bolt out I have a friend who is a primary doctor of infectious diseases in Antigua She doesn’t necessarily think we handled this quite properly because now you’ve locked people down with no immunity and you’re letting them loose So it might have been better, yes, people would have died, but it might have been better to just ride this thing because I believe it’s been around for awhile I don’t think it just popped up in February or March So we’ll see what it looks like because how do you ride a metro six foot apart? You know, how do you ride a bus six foot apart? What do you do? The other day, the airlines said they were going to leave the middle seats empty, but people have videos of planes packed full And I think I read an article this morning that says that employees are not going to be requiring them to wear masks, they’re going to suggest So it will be a question of personal comfort and I suppose I don’t know when that is Hopefully not too long from now, but yeah. You’ll know when the time is right for you Oh Yes. But for now how do you stay connected to your church family? Well, I’m a proud member of the First Baptist Church of Glenarden, where pastor John Jenkins and Lady Trina Jenkins, Trina, take good care of us I’m a member of Grace Girls, which is our women’s ministry and Pastor Trina comes on every day at noon and guides us through devotions We stay connected, I’m a member of Grace Girls Usher Board We check on each other: “Good morning, how are you?” “How’s it going?” “Do you need anything?” We have Bible studies on Tuesday nights, services on Sunday Pastor does also bring in speakers from time to time, to discuss the Coronavirus He has made the statement that we will not come together until we can all come together So I don’t know how long that looks like, but we continue to stay connected through those, through those different ministries, yeah Well, you are such a friendly person and a lovely person, so you got your sorority sisters, your colleagues, you’ve got your friends, who are are members of various groups, you’ve got your extended family How do you stay connected to those people? I’m starting to tire of Zoom right now, but it’s okay I’m a businesswoman, as well I own my own travel agency, so we have webinars, We check on each other “Are you okay?” Because some people have been laid off in that industry “How are you holding up?” What do you see the future to be? So it’s Zoom meetings, it’s telephone calls, it’s text messages, it’s Facebook Messenger, it is just doing the best you can and sometimes it’s not saying anything Sometimes it’s just going in that closet and just me and Him You know, what I mean? So that’s basically how you handle it because like I said, I think everybody right now is so Zoomed out of it, that when we come back to real world, they may not want to see zoom again But you do what you need to do businesswise, you do what you need to do to stay comfortable and it’s important to check on each other because it’s very, very difficult for some folks right now and everyone doesn’t handle it the same way And everybody doesn’t have necessarily the coping mechanisms that we do So it’s important that they see how you’re coping, see how you’re dealing and maybe they can glean something from that, again, everybody has to do it individually, but there’s always a playbook out there Maybe you could try this, maybe you could try that and go from there Well ,can you… you just mentioned that you are an entrepreneur Yes. Can you give us the name of your business and tell me a little about it? Sure my pleasure, it is, With this Ring Destination, Weddings and Honeymoons and as it sounds, I do destination weddings We specialize in Indian and Nigerian weddings I’ve been at this for about 28 years now, I have never seen anything like this I did a webinar yesterday where someone asked will destination weddings ever be the same? They won’t be the same; they will be different because anytime you have large groups of people you have to see how that will be handled So I’d advise people to use caution even though destinations are opening on June 1, give them a chance to figure out how this is supposed to look Because as you know, as the mother of a bride,

it’s a very emotional time Antasha was planning a beautiful wedding before Covid-19 came So it’s a very emotional time, and you don’t want to add to their emotions So I think it’s important that we get some correct answers and some guidance on how that’s going to look So for right now, I post pretty pictures and remind you that this too will pass, but there’s no hard selling taking place right now People need time to cope with this before they think about doing something different. Do I have weddings for 2021? Yes, I do But are talking about it right now? No, you can maybe go in and discuss your colors or what you might want flowers look like or what you might But there’s really no need for a conversation at this point, we’ve got to wait to see what airlines will even do schedule-wise So it is the patient season, it is the restart So that’s what we’re doing right now Well, I think you are handling this so well And it just shows what a caring person you are, you’re just more interested in their health and their wellbeing than your bottom line It has to be that way, Leslie, it has to be that way There were a couple of suppliers in the beginning that were putting out specials You can’t come to someone who hasn’t had a paycheck in seven months and say, would you like to go to Aruba No no I had a couple that came back in February from Anguilla, they’ve called, they’ve them sent a gift card We just want to make sure you’re well, we want to thank you for giving us that memory So you have to be human We’ve talked with some of our suppliers, airline partners, and remind them, you have to be human We understand the bottom line, you need money, but in this season it’s got to be a different look, at least for right now And then go back and rework it, but for right now too many people without any source of funding and that that’s difficult again for everyone involved because we don’t get paid until someone travels So yeah, but you have to be human, it’s important You mentioned Antasha’s wedding I tell you, we were so very sad that we had to postpone the big wedding, but we’ll have it in the future And as you shared, we’ll do that when the time is right and when it’s safe I have very disappointed brides for May and June, very, very excited and held on until the very end And then you had to have that reality talk that says And then they say, okay, we’ll do it next year, no problem, maybe we’ll just go to the courthouse and get married and next year we’ll do like a vow renewal and bring our friends So Yeah, everybody has to have that gut check and you have to understand when to have that conversation, as well. And how to have that conversation, as much as, you would like to go, it’s not safe for you and your guests, so we think perhaps you should look at rescheduling the day So you can celebrate instead of worry about because if you go now, you tend to worry, what will take place So give yourself some time to really reset and really embrace sharing time with family and friends But Antasha handled it well Yes, she did, she handled it well Her and Jules, wish them all the best Thank you so much That is really nice you Brenda you care for so many people just in your last response, the fact that you show so much concern for your clients You’re that way about your family and friends, until this pandemic, you’ve always been on the go, on the go Now even inside you’re connecting with everybody on Facebook, you’re connecting with everybody on Zoom How did you find time just for yourself? How do you find that me-time? Well, that’s part of the patience factor, as you know, I used to be that early riser that 5 or 6AM riser. I don’t do that anymore No, ma’am I don’t do that anymore I allow myself time for devotion in the morning to ride my bike There are certain TV shows that I must see, they are absolute nonsense, 90 Day Fiance, has me hooked beyond words And sitting outside just we have a beautiful patio in the back, just sitting out back and listening to the birds sing, things you used to not even really hear because of the noise We’re near Andrews Air Force Base, so every once in a while one of those big planes fly over I can hear the Thunderbirds go by, I didn’t see them but I heard them So you, it’s part of that patience thing again, where you have to take it now Let’s not, let’s keep this straight and real The first couple of weeks, I boomed off the wall, tried to sneak out the house, all of that I am going to own that, but I have found a place within me that says, I’m good Because I’m a people person So my neighbor and I have found ways to have this social distancing connections. We’ll meet each other in a driveway, I have some potatoes, you want some potatoes? I have a hot dog, you want a hot dog? You know, so we’ve learned to communicate that way Her daughter makes Sea Moss which is excellent for your body,

so she brings the aea moss over She the other day I said, I wanted soursop tea so bad She drops some leaves in the back of the mailbox and said, your soursop’s in the back of the mailbox So those types of random things are taking place and they mean, so very, very much My business partner in New York, her husband is taking up baking So she’s like keep an eye out for the post office I have a, I have a package coming for you And he’s making bread, and that’s the next thing Leslie People are coming up with such creative ways I learned how to take my nails off with a video So many things you’re learning to do, people are coming along with their gifts How do I plant? How do you make a mask? How do you do? So many people are using their gifts now, and that’s inspiring to me as well to see that Anything right now you need to know about or know how to make, somebody is out there that knows how to do it One of my, one of our sorority sisters in Charlotte had said that because I have this curly hair here, had said that steam was good for your hair So I look at the steamers, very expensive and out of stock, went on YouTube, put a wet towel in the microwave for two minutes, spray a plastic bag, put it on your head, sit under the dryer for 30 minutes bam, moist hair So we’re learning to do things differently The world will never be the same, but it might be better if we really put our energies into it and look at it as, OK, we need it to stop, pause reset and let’s try this again Well, thank you so much for those wonderful words of advice and your hair looks absolutely gorgeous Thank you, Shinica she took my sides down What did you say? I said thank you, Shinica because she took my sides down yesterday Yes, bless her heart It’s beautiful Now Miss Brenda, what do you miss about your everyday life? I miss my friends, the hugs I miss getting on an airplane going to fabulous places I missed my friends and fabulous places I miss my church I miss the human interaction, I certainly have it here because if I were not here, I would home in Pittsburgh by myself, which would not be a good option So I’m not at all complaining, but to answer the question, those are some of the things that I miss I miss being able to go see the cherry blossoms this year I love riding metro, I found out that there are shows at the Kennedy Center every night for free, all different genres, and I was looking forward it and had to kind of found a pace The last thing I went to see was Beyonce, the Mask So I was looking forward to those things So to me, it’s little things, walking through the farmer’s market It’s not really, really anything major, but the little things that I miss. All of those are exciting, the little things and the big things Tell us a little about the big things, you are a world traveler So where are some of your favorite locations, exotic countries? Well, I’m a lover of Saint Kitts and Nevis, I think it’s the hidden gem of the Caribbean I also love Grenada, certainly, I love Mexico and Jamaica I did have an opportunity to go to Paris, which I found fascinating I’m not a real York girl but those are some places I still would like to see at some point in time, but just wanting my Caribbean family to be safe, because they really can’t afford to open up and have us come and bring this to them when they’re battling to recover from it themselves So I miss my juice man delivery I miss Nurse’s good Sunday dinners in Saint Kitts I miss Sherry hollering across the street, “come get your chicken, come get your fries, come get your ribs.” So again Leslie, it’s really little things that I’m missing because I have all the big things that I need, but it’s those things that you miss, being able to say, you know what I think I’m going to go to Cancun for a couple of days And just have people love on you when you get there, you know Let’s go see this, let’s go do that So those are the types of things that are missing at this point in time And hoping that they are OK too, because it’s a totally different struggle You and I go to the grocery store, they have to wait for a container to come, by ship But the fortunate thing is they’re now starting to appreciate agriculture, as well And how much they actually can grow and become self-sufficient So again, yes, this is a horrible thing, but it’s bringing about good things, as well Now were you born in the Saint Kitts? So where were you born? No, I have a Caribbean background of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and let me tell you this they did the most amazing job in marketing, I’ve ever seen in my life Normally in April, it is carnival time in St. Thomas, and instead of whining and complaining that carnival didn’t take place, they

actually published a carnival calendar and did everything just as if carnival were taking place They had the band set up in the carnival village, of course, no audiences They had the DJs, they did J’Ouvert, I was up in my room at 4:30 in the morning dancing nonstop for six hours He literally was like, the big truck is coming around the corner, if you’ve lost your children, they are over by booth here If you need goat water, it’s in booth number seven They literally did it as if the actual carnival was still running And what that did was say, OK, St. Croix carnival is in December, maybe But if not, I am St. Thomas next year for carnival, literally Leslie, between 5-7,000 people watched those events They rebroadcast the carnival from last year, the adult parade and the children’s parade It was brilliant marketing, brilliant, I was so proud I was like instead of whining and complaining, you turned that into an opportunity for people to say, you know what I think I really want to see that I think I really want to do that So it was brilliant, it was brilliant So I was very proud of that moment, Yes That is a great idea And St. Croix is beautiful, I think that’s where we originally met isn’t it? It was, it was and we had a wonderful time It was a wonderful experience Hope we’ll be able to, you know we should do carnival next year at St. Thomas, we should work on that I agree We should work on that I agree I agree Do you miss dressing up? What I have decided to do is I dress up at least two times a week And I put on makeup because I found myself becoming too acclimated to stretch pants and t-shirts and I didn’t want to stay in that place I have an amazing makeup artist friend, he does all my brides, Styling Trio And we did a makeup class the other day, I haven’t mastered it yet, but we just had a lot of fun, we laughed He was like, just get everything together that you have And let’s practice, practice, practice So he and I have been doing that So yeah, I try to because it’s important for your mindset to not stay I didn’t know, Leslie, I had so many stretch pants So we had to put those… I have my Ashro outfit on today Wait standing up, colorful I’m moving, sorry It’s beautiful Yes, you look absolute beautiful I put on my Ashro today We had an African Sunday at church and I wore my black and white Ashro dress. Actually we did a lot of Ashro shopping before went to South Africa And that was a nice experience because we were able to express the culture, but still look so refined and everything was cool I really, man that trip was good, Leslie That was that was the best trip of my life, It was And we’ve both taken a lot of trips and wearing my Ashro Afrocentric clothes, you were wearing your Ashro African-inspired clothes, Afrocentric clothes It was amazing It really was It really, it really was, something for every occasion And they packed so well That was what was really nice too, they packed really, really well They sure did Now is there, once the guidelines are, once we’re released And once the rules are relaxed What event would you like to go to? What event would I like to go to? I’m holding up hope for a Christmas festival in St. Croix, I really am I really am holding out hope that will happen As I mentioned before, I’m a member of a group of female I always get it wrong, let me get it right Female Leaders in Travel, Female Leaders in Travel There are 40 of us, we’re due together in Cabo July 15 at Le Blanc, to have our conclave and meeting and discuss how we as women and leaders in travel can move forward I’m hoping that will take place, not certain, but hoping, but I think personally for me, it would be Christmas festival in St. Croix that would hopefully happen And that is towards the end of December after Christmas, no, it runs all of December But the part I would attend would be right after Christmas Now has your hair care routine changed? Have you tried maybe hairwraps? Have you tried wigs? Or are you going natural with your beautiful natural hair? I’ve been natural for quite some time now I’ve let it grow a bit longer It’s a bit tight now because I just curled it in But I find I can easily just stand in the shower and start twisting then it comes out as something and I learned that little steamer trick So for me, being natural has been easy

I stand in the shower, I gel, I twist and I’m done So for me, it’s been easy I thought I’d want to be a gray person My neighbor offered me to let me try on a wig to see how that looked, I was not impressed So we shall not be going gray any time soon No… But yeah I’m easy, it’s short it curls itself really And you know, that’s what I do So no biggie there, just moisturize, twist keep it going Well, you and I are way too young to go gray. But my Mama was so pretty with that gray Oh, she was so pretty, but it didn’t work for me So no, I won’t be doing that any time soon Well, you know what I shared with my husband and children when it gets to be salt and pepper When it starts to gets That’s what I want Leslie, salt and pepper And it will not do that I want salt and pepper When it gets to be half and half, I will go But with it being a dot of gray here, a dot of gray there I’m not going for that, but like your mother where it’s beautifully gray, I’m going to be onboard I will, I will I agree Now we mentioned hope earlier, you talk a little, but can you share with us what gives you hope? It’s the God in me Without Him, we have no hope I see the flowers bloom, I see the birds sing I wake up in the morning, I see the sun and the moon still in the sky So that is my hope, that is my belief That’s what keeps me going Again everyone has to find their own way, but I can truly say, Leslie, that He’s been good to me and continues to be good to me Now let me ask you, what does it mean to be an Ashro woman? An Ashro woman is strong, she is confident, she has integrity in everything that she does. And in a way she handles and she handles from a faith-based option as well, knowing from whence our strength comes and it comes from the Lord So that’s what it means to me, being not necessarily the cookie cutter, but enjoying the uniqueness that makes Ashro the company that it is And so proud to be a part of, so thanks for the sharing moment today brilliant idea to just talk and share It’s important for others to see that the struggle is real, but the hope is real too Well, it is our pleasure to chat with you And let me ask you this How does an Ashro woman approach challenge and adversity? With positivity. Am I positive all the time, certainly not But it’s so much easier when you can see the brighter side of something and know that all things are working for our good And that’s the promise, and that is the hope, is that this is all working out for our good We don’t see it necessarily right now, but I do see the small things in me that have gotten better Again, the patience, the appreciation, just being thankful and grateful. I love when I see people use those words online that they’re just thankful and grateful because it could be a lot worse We’ve had friends, who’ve been hospitalized, we’ve had friends who’ve lost family members So you handle it with your faith. Like I said, knowing that all things are working, for our good And seeking clarity when you don’t necessarily see it, and just trusting sometimes blindly that it is happening My friend, I have enjoyed our time together this morning, you have inspired us all You inspire me all the time And before we go, do you have any words of encouragement, any pearls of wisdom you’d like to share with the ladies of Ashro and their family and friends? I just need you all to remember a friend of mine in Saint Kitts wrote a beautiful song And the song says, this too shall pass So I want to encourage everyone to understand this is going to pass It is going to be different, but it is going to pass And on the other side of this, it will be brighter So just you know really take good care of yourselves in this time because I lost the weight without even trying, just by changing the lifestyle and my son and daughter-in-law I encouraged that So really, really start being good to you, you deserve it You really, really deserve it And it’s important to help you handle what’s coming when you’ve been good to yourself Certainly let others be kind to you Sometimes I struggle with that, I always want to be the giver

But I had a friend tell me one time, don’t block my blessing, let me do for you, what I want to do So be receptive of those who are giving onto you, as well And just know like I said, it’s going to be over, it really is I hope not too soon, I hope we will exhibit patience and wisdom as we come out of this Because Leslie I don’t want to do it again OK. I’m good, but I don’t want to do it again No I don’t want to do it again, because we are on week number 11 Yeah I’ll stay at home So you know, am I going to run and jump out on Friday? No, no, I don’t think it’s time yet How will I know, I don’t know, hope I will But yeah, just know that it’s going to pass It’s not going to always… what does the song say, It will not always be like this Yeah, it won’t always be like this. Well Miss Brenda, those are wonderful words for us to live by It has been a pleasure sitting and chatting with you I’ve enjoyed seeing your beautiful face Soror Leslie, I love you so much, it’s so good to see you I can’t wait to give you that hug That’s right I look forward to the time that we can give each other that big hug But right now, we’ll send each other love And I want to tell you that we thank you so very much for all that you do to inspire others And I’m so excited that you will be inspiring all of our friends who are Ashro women, as well as their family and their friends Thank you so much for the opportunity, I really, really appreciated it I really can’t wait to see you and hug you soon. Okay? Love to the family, yeah Well, it’s our pleasure Love to your family and I will talk to you later Talk soon Thank you so much Remember this It’s going to pass, bye This too shall pass This too shall pass See you later Bye, bye