Quantcast
Beauty For Ashes: The Powerful Truth This Crisis Has Taught Me

Beauty For Ashes: The Powerful Truth This Crisis Has Taught Me

I'm thankful for the beauty we've found among the ashes.

Her Voice

Morning fell, and I rolled over to the exaggerated movements of my baby. Twisting and turning, he stretched and yawned. I stared at him in amazement that he was flesh of my flesh.

Five months had passed, and I was still in awe of my body's ability to create a living thing.

Eventually, he opened his eyes – locking them with mine before smiling the type of smile that made my heart sing. Today we took our time. There was no rush to hurry him off to his grandmother's before I scurried into the office. I would skip the parts of my day where mom guilt taunted me for leaving him and bypass daydreams of real time kisses that came before 5 o'clock.

He sat between my legs as I grabbed my laptop and logged on to work for the day. I smirked at his captivation as my finger strokes quickly pecked away at emails and instant messages.

A calendar reminder sounded off and my husband walked in. His usually stern face showed forth a wide smile as he rhythmically danced toward the bed, winning himself a laugh from our son. "Hey big boy!" he proclaimed to the baby. "How's daddy's man?"

My husband swooped up my son ready to take over his shift as I logged on to my conference call. I loved him more for it. He was a present help, a partner – the type of man I was proud to have a baby with.

Kandice Guice

The sun was flowing into our room. I looked at its rays illuminating everything it touched as I whispered thank yous to God for more time with the people I love.

Today my husband was home, free to help with the dishes and the baby. He was knocking out tasks around the house and periodically checking in to see if I needed anything while I worked. This was a pleasant change from the weeks before.

We'd both been busy with life. It may have been hormonal, but I'd missed him in passing. The heavens seemed to notice, reimbursing us with time.

I took call after call. Although I was handling business as usual, it felt different. There was a sense of compassion oozing through each conversation. We worked but something about the circumstances made us all a little more human and a little more bound together – even if we lived hundreds of miles away. "Excuse the background noise," our VP said in response to the sound of his son rumbling around in the background.

Oh, he has a son, I thought, realizing that there was more to him than the persona we carry of those in high positions. He was a person like me with a son who made occasional background noise while he was on important calls. How cool? How…human?

A manager sent out a funny picture that started a dialogue. Next, a colleague sent a picture of his workspace, the splendor of majestic mountains visible in the background.

We were learning little pieces of each other. Bonding together in ways we'd never tried before. I liked it. I liked them. I loved work more.

The day had been good. Homemade lunch with family and a strong finish to some projects. The sun was still smiling, inviting us outside.

Kandice Guice

"Let's go for an evening walk!" I proclaimed to the baby. His juicy bubbles spurting everywhere as I imagined him responding that the walk was a great idea.

Even outside was different. "Look at the families," I whispered.

Husbands and wives were planting gardens together. Sisters were drawing intricate chalk art in their driveways. Grandparents were listening to music as they sat on their porches. Young couples did workouts from their garages. It was as if we'd all slowed down enough to do the things that mattered most. They too were reclaiming their time. Neighbors I'd been too busy to meet waved with friendly smiles and through a simple walk, I felt the love of community.

As was a part of my usual custom, I logged into Instagram. My brother had created a group named "siblings". I chuckled at the cute and corny title, happy that all of us had a new space to check in with foolery.

Again, I was thankful. However slight, this was the beginning of a closer connection to my loved ones.

Next was a video chat with my dad. We hadn't always seen eye to eye, but we'd always found our way back to each other with renewed love. He made funny faces at the baby as he switched between calling himself pop-pop and granddaddy. Multitasking, I cooked dinner as we discussed baby milestones and cracked jokes. His laugh was contagious, and I was just as giddy about our time together as I'd been as a little girl during summers in Alabama.

There are more stories like these. They are moments that will be forever etched in my mind – a silver lining to the fear and devastation caused by COVID-19. Though I cannot minimize the effects of this virus, I cannot ignore the restoration, healing and renewed hope for humanity it has brought along with it.

Kandice Guice

It is visible all around us, sweeping over our lives in the quietest ways – begging us to be still enough to see it.

Fashion designers are shifting production to protective medical gear. Grocery cashiers and postal carriers are now everyday heroes. Old friends are mending odds. Young people are serving the elderly. Medical professionals are risking it all to save us all.

Even through death we are learning a new appreciation for life and the importance of legacy.

Like everyone else, I am praying that God will heal our land. But in the meantime, I am thankful for the healing power of COVID-19 and the beauty we are receiving in exchange for ashes.

Wherever you are in the world. I see you, I acknowledge you, and I send love to you. Your story may be light-years away from mine but no matter the difference we are all in this together, navigating a new world. I hope that during this time you find the time to love yourself and those around you a little bit more. I hope for you healing of your mind, body, and soul - a rebirth that elevates you like never before.

Featured image by Kandice Guice

Real-Life Teachers Share Their 'Abbott Elementary' Experiences

There’s an embarrassment of riches that comes with being a fan of ABC’s hit comedy Abbott Elementary. The show, which stars Quinta Brunson as Janine Teagues, Sheryl Lee Ralph as Barbara Howard, Tyler James Williams as Gregory Eddie, and Janelle James as Principal Ava Coleman, is about a group of mostly Black educators at a predominately Black elementary school in Philadelphia and has captured audiences for its tender, hilarious, and lighthearted depiction of what it's like to be a Black teacher to young Black students.

Keep reading...Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.
10 Travel Destinations For A Perfect Winter Escape

Is the snow getting you down? Traveling during the holiday season could be the perfect winter escape that you've been looking for. According to a report by Business Wire, 53% of Americans are preparing to travel between December and February. Traveling during this time of year might be the reset your body needs before taking on the new year. From popular destinations to underrated locations, there is no shortage of places to visit and experience during this time of the year.

Keep reading...Show less
How To Answer Tough (But Common) Job Interview Questions

Landing a job interview is already a feat in itself, but actually getting through it feeling like you've won is a whole other issue. Whether it's a dream job that you want in order to take your career to the next level or that promotion at your current job, it's likely you'll be thrown a few curve balls by way of tough questions. They're often common and a tad basic, but they can bring about feelings of uncertainty, anxiety, or confusion.

Keep reading...Show less
Don't Miss These Epic Cyber Monday Deals By Black-Owned Brands

Many of us, at some point during this year, made it a point to be a bit more frugal and devote more dollars to that savings account in the name of adulting. But today isn't one of those days, sis! Cyber Monday is here, and the deals today are something serious! As we all know, Cyber Monday is the last opportunity to grab hold of the tremendous post-Thanksgiving sales right before the Christmas shopping season goes into full swing. It's the perfect time to take the plunge on pricier items that are finally on sale or to get the bulk of your end-of-year shopping in for a steal. The only thing that could be better than scoring an epic price slash on a dope haul is knowing you're supporting hard-working Black woman entrepreneurs in the process. After all, what's better than buying Black?

Whether you've got the bulk of your holiday gifts accounted for, or have barely made a dent in your shopping list, we can't stand to see you miss out on these incredible discounts being dished out by some of our favorite ElevateHer brands. From Uoma Beauty's epic 80% off sitewide discount to Forvr Mood's very rare candle sale, here's a list of all the best deals to get your hands on before Cyber Monday is out!

Uoma Beauty - Get Up To 80% Off The Entire Site, No Code Needed



Melanj Hair - Get Up To $60 Off Hair Extensions



Ami Colé - Use code "Holiday" for 20% sitewide.


Peak + Valley - Enjoy 25% off all products with code "blackfriday"


Salt.xo- Shop 40% Sitewide No Code Needed


Grace Eleyae - Buy One Get One Free on Apparel, Products, and Select Accessories

Milano Di Rouge - Get 25% Off Select Styles, No Code


Aseye Studio - Take 30% Off Sitewide For Cyber Monday



Sucré Couture - Up to 45% Off Sitewide


Andrea Iyamah - Take An Additional 25% Off


Forvr Mood - Enjoy 30% Off All Candles With Code "CyberMonday30"


Kingston Goods - Enjoy Free Standard Shipping + 50% off duvet covers with code COZYSZN


8 Kinds Of Sex Every Couple Should Have In Their Rotation

When it comes to sex, you can never have too many tricks up your sleeve. A long-term relationship can quickly become boring, and nothing kills desire faster than boredom. When people get comfortable in long-term relationships, they often lose their spark. Relationships are like monthly subscription services. You get the first month for free, but after that, you have to actually start investing in order to continue to reap the benefits.

Keep reading...Show less
Exclusive Interviews
Latest Posts