July 3, 2024

Brent Simpson CMPD Officer an Exceptional Human Being

Last night I logged into Facebook to look at E2M Fitness information and saw the below post from CMPD about Brent:  

I worked with Brent at the CMPD training academy for many years. He was such an exceptional human being. He was one of those people that you KNOW when you meet them that you are blessed to have run across their path in this earthly journey. 

In 2012 when I started doing art/pyrography  I sat up a table at a Cornelius art show and Brent and his girlfriend Gina saw me and stopped by my table.  I was just starting the craft, enjoyed doing it but it was a work in progress. Below is the piece that Brent brought from me that day (it is not totally finished here...): 

He was just starting to meditate and wanted to hang it on the door.  I told him I had been meditating for years and told him about the Sangha that I went to in Charlotte

Well after that chance meeting Brent and I connected spiritually.  His office was 2 doors down from my office at the Academy and we would just walk into each others office and say:  "...Reading anything new?..."  We learned that we both were on a self- actualization journey, both seeking the meaning of life and both working to quiet the monkey mind with Meditation. The number of books and "guru's" we shared during those years at the Academy was remarkable.  These were conversations about deeper subjects.  It is HARD to find people in this world who are thinking this deeply about the human condition and willing to share it. 

If you've never been depressed, count yourself lucky. It is not something you can just get out of. It is like a dark dank place where all you can do is go through it to get through it.  I can't even imagine where Brent was mentally to make this decision, but it was a decision that he made.  

When I started doing a little more research I found a couple of things, there was an article in the paper with more detail about his death: 

Simpson was on break off Steele Creek Road when his “e-button” was hit, according to dispatch radio traffic. Police found him at the Steele Creek Presbyterian Church Cemetery, according to the radio communication.

He was a founding member of a non-profit called People of Service Together (POST) to help with mental health challenges. They are working on a memorial shirt in memory of Brent and you can donate to the organization. 

This is Brent's Facebook intro...he knew...he knew we are all just energy and energy returns to energy

It has been almost 10 years since I left Charlotte and CMPD and I don't remember wishing Brent a happy birthday on Facebook, but I did this year.  I saw it pop-up and sent the below little note. I remember when I sent it I WANTED to say more...like..."I hope you are doing well. I miss our conversations".  Something along those lines but I don't like Facebook, it's too high schoolish to me and just not my speed.  I wish now I would have said more to let him know how appreciated he was.  

When I look at his Facebook posts and those posting about his death I was not the only one who appreciated Brent. He touched many, many, many people in this world.  

Dear Brent,

I think you can see me. I think you can hear me.  I don't know this but I just think it. 

But...where are you now?  How are you? Is there still a you as we knew you? 

I know you are not here physically but where did you go?  

You now know about the mystery on the other side of the  frightening door that we talked about.  You have had that experience.  

I think about how you decided to end your journey and can't help but think you died the way you lived, making an impact. You decided to be in uniform, on duty, go to a cemetery in the middle of the day, hit your emergency button so a random person wouldn't find you and did it on July 1.  

I hope that something good will come from your suffering and sacrifice.  

I hope that police departments will take the mental health of officers seriously (not just say we offer "X" hours of required annual training).

I hope that the organization you started will flourish. 

I hope that your family knows that you didn't mean to hurt them and how much you loved them.

I hope that everybody that knew you will not just go on about their lives but stop and think about how you were as a person -kind and caring - and try to be that type of person. 

I hope that you know that many, many, many people are better human beings because of you. 

Where ever you are Brent, I hope that your ball of energy is at peace now. 


If you are in crisis and need help you can dial 988 (even though folks won't do that because this is a "system" and people in mental turmoil aren't going to know what's going to happen if and when they call this type of number).

If you can't or don't want to call a number then reach out to one person that you do trust. 

If you don't trust anyone and you are suffering though this alone just know that you CAN make it another day, and make it another day, and another day and another day until you can see the light again. 

If you have been depressed before just remember that you did eventually come out of it and you can come out of it this time. You are not alone, there are many who have been where you are and many who are currently suffering. KEEP GOING! JUST KEEP GOING!


May 13, 2024

"Made Up" Holidays

 Even before COVID I was over these "made-up" holidays.  

Mother's Day, Father's Day, Memorial Day, Thanksgiving, even Christmas

During COVID I thought finally others will see that every day we should appreciate each other, remember lost loved ones, be grateful and give gifts to those we love. 

Nope.  Here we are with another year of the nonsense. 

Mother's Day just passed and you are suppose to what? take your mother out to eat? buy a card? buy a gift? buy flowers?  All of those things are nice to get and even nice to give but you don't and shouldn't wait for a made-up day to do any of these things. 

I don't like seeing the stress people are under to pretend like these days are special.  They are just plain stressful and filled with buying stuff. 

Just appreciate each other every day and don't get stressed out on these made-up days. 

December 20, 2023

Skip To The Car

 Another year. "Oh Please Let Me Live Another Year Without Cancer."

Another Mammogram.

Another time to hold your breath and now breathe.

Another wait for the test results. 

Another year I got to skip to the car! (Actually I skipped half-way to the car because I didn't get the results while I was still there.  They changed me from diagnostic mammograms to screening mammograms...so it's not as intense.)

I decided; even though I didn't know FOR SURE there wasn't anything found; to still skip to the car.  I'm glad I did because by the time I got back home they had the test results on MYchart. 





Skip to the Car! Skip throughout your life. Just Skip!!!

February 15, 2023

Having A Black Folder Is Needed Today More Than Ever

I can understand why people are afraid to talk about death, theirs or anyone else's.

It's not a pleasant topic.  

It's scary to think we will not exist or that our loved ones will no longer be with us.  But after COVID-19 and many dying at the hands of guns just going through normal life activities we must confront it. 

Many people think just talking about death brings it on. 

I understand that fear. It makes sense.

Having a Black Folder is about understanding one day you will not be here and starting from that day you create your black folder jump starts honing in on the legacy you want to leave behind...for your family...for the world. 

Yes, it is scary but think of the alternative...not facing the inevitable, leaving your family unprepared and not working towards living a life well-lived.  

 The Black Folder Project helps individuals and families have a step-by-step plan to end of life planning. 

December 14, 2022

Hold Your Breath

 Hold Your Breath...

This is what they tell you when they take the mammogram image.


This is what they tell you after they take the image.

Hold Your Breath takes on a new meaning when you go in for a diagnostic mammogram after having breast cancer. They take image after image.  They take magnifying images.  They show those images to the radiologist to review while you are there waiting.  They want to know if they need to take more images.  They need to know if they need to do a ultrasound.  All of those things mean that the radiologist has seen something that's concerning and your cancer may have returned. 

Each year this is the hardest 15 minutes of waiting of my life. 

  • 15 minutes to wonder if I can go on living without cancer treatment. 
  • 15 minutes to wonder if I can go on with "my life plans" or if as my mother put it..."you can't run God's program"...does God have other ideas for my life...you know like time's up.  
  • 15 minutes praying they don't find anything.
  • 15 minutes of...holding your breath.

I promised myself if I could walk out of there without them finding anything that I would skip to the car. 

I got to skip to the car today!  

Another year to be grateful for still being alive, doing what God wants me to do, and being kind to all that  cross my path. 


October 10, 2022

Coming Full Circle with a Synchronistic Moment

This month I came full circle and had a synchronistic moment. 

It was my first day manning the United Healthcare Medicare kiosk in Walgreens.

Many of my previous “jobs” and experiences came into place:

-         NC Credit Union – Setting up booths and tables to market the Credit Union, greeting the public and answering questions

-         VA Credit Union – Creating and teaching a robbery training class…it was a public place and anything can happen

-         -NC Police Department – Keeping my head on a swivel and paying attention even if it looked like I wasn’t paying attention

-         VA and NC Art Shows– Setting up for art shows, greeting and talking to people

A gentleman walked in who was about 35-40 years old, dressed in a nice pair of jeans, a shirt (don’t remember the color), some copper-colored tennis shoes and a hat with the same copper color in the initials on the cap.  He said hello and I responded back.  

I then noticed him in the check-out line which had grown to about 4-5 people.  I don’t remember what he purchased but heard him ask about the flowers and the cashier saying they were for Breast Cancer Month.  He picked up a bunch and continued to wait in line. I thought how nice and thoughtful that was of him to get them for someone who had been through or going through breast cancer. 

August 30, 2022

Another One Gone To Soon - Hollis G. Mason

Another one of my son’s high school friends was murdered. 

He was in town for their 20-year high school reunion.

He went to get some food and someone came up to him and killed him. Shot him while his daughter and family waited for the food to come, instead they got the unthinkable that he wasn’t coming back home, he was not ever coming back home because someone had decided to play God as my son said.

So here I sit, in a different place than the last time this happened to one of his high school friends. I have the black folder project (may need to update the booklet, but I have it and can roll with it) but now I also can provide life insurance if someone needs it…and everyone needs it.

Somehow my heart feels like it is on the floor outside of my body.  It feels kind of hard to breath. Every mother knows this feeling.  At least every “so called black” mother does (another day for why I put so called black in quotes).  It is heart wrenching.  It is not your child but you feel some level of anguish for the mother of that child.   It is just heart wrenching.