Marriage

A Double Widower’s Journey Through Dating, Healing, And Parenting With Isaac Byrd Jr. Part 2

Widowhood Real Talk with Tina | Isaac Byrd Jr. | Double Widower

  In part two of our heartfelt conversation with Isaac Byrd Jr., a two-time widower navigating life at 42, we follow his journey of single parenting, dating, and connecting with a community online. Discover how Isaac turned to TikTok during the pandemic, not to go viral, but to find solace and companionship, hosting Taco Tuesday live sessions that created a lounge-like happy hour for his followers. He shares invaluable advice on embracing spontaneity on social media and the challenges of single parenting, emphasizing the importance of communication over discipline and the support from his extended family. Isaac also opens up about preparing his son for the realities of life as a Black child, the complexities of dating as a widower, and the powerful impact of keeping his late wife’s memory alive. Tune in for an inspiring and deeply personal look at resilience, community, and the nuanced art of parenting through grief. I am sharing my experience of loving the same man for 32 years, a mother to two adult children, a retired military officer, a breast cancer survivor, and my connections with others. Anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts should reach out to a suicide hotline or local emergency number in their country: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/suicide/suicide-prevention-hotlines-resources-worldwide“ — Watch the episode here   Listen to the podcast here   A Double Widower’s Journey Through Dating, Healing, And Parenting With Isaac Byrd Jr. Part 2 Our conversation is with Mr. Isaac Byrd. If you didn’t catch the last episode, you want to go back because that is part one. This is part two. Our conversation with a two-time widower at the age of 42 is about raising his 3-year-old son, dating, and navigating life as a widower. Let’s get into the conversation.     As we ended the last discussion, Isaac was welcoming enough to come back and do part two. He was gracious enough to join us for part two because there’s so much to talk about. We barely got through that. Everybody wants to know about dating and parenting, but before we get into all of that, how did you get on TikTok? What drove that? TikTok Community Being lonely, being in the middle of a pandemic, having a child, and needing adults or some type of connection with the outside world. You can only watch so many movies and those kinds of things. I was like, “We’re not going outside right now. Let me see what this TikTok thing is about.” That helped me build a community, in a sense. TikTok has become a community. I was then like, “I got to interact with these videos.” I never intended to build like, “I’m going to have this huge platform. I’m going to try to go viral,” because I don’t care about any of that. Somebody commented on one of my videos and was like, “Imagine trying to go viral and trying so hard.” I commented back, “Viral is not a part of the goals that I have in life. The rest of you think that, but no.” TikTok became a community. It was a way to connect with people. I’ve connected with several people that I’ve done music with and other things like that. TikTok has been a level of therapy for me. As a matter of fact, I even talked to my therapist about it. It’s a level of therapy for me. It has been there. From that, on one Tuesday night, I was making tacos in my kitchen. I turned on some music. This was finally when I could go live back when they were really hard-pressed about you going live. You had to have at least 1,000 people or something like that. I finally went live and turned my camera on. My son was probably already in bed. I turned the camera on and I’m cooking and making tacos, and a couple of people have joined. That’s been the thing for two years, Taco Tuesday. Are you still making tacos every Tuesday? Are you buying them someplace? Have they evolved? I still make them sometimes. I do buy them, but because of my living or the way I was at my house back in Florida and in changing, my setup is completely different. The cooking part doesn’t happen anymore on Taco Tuesday. For some reason, on Tuesday, I’m trying to get something Mexican or make it. That’s my thing on Tuesdays. That’s how, over time, I developed a community on TikTok, and it’s been really good. I haven’t had any issues on TikTok or anything like that. It’s been pretty pleasant. This is how I met you. I wanted to expound on that. When they hear TikTok, it’s teenagers or it’s people gyrating on the screen, or it’s doing all this other stuff. You talk about going live. For someone who has no concept of that, can you maybe explain or elaborate on that? Yeah. Being live is basically, you’re inviting people into your home. You’re inviting them into your life. Some people make it very formal. Some people make it informal. I’m somewhat informal but formal in a sense because Taco Tuesday is a whole theme. The concept of when I go live for that is specifically, it’s like a happy hour lounge. First of all, it was for adults getting off work. Most of us are parents or whatever. We are not going out to a lounge or going anywhere to have a drink. You can grab your drink, get on here, laugh, have some good times, and talk with other people. Sometimes, I have questions. Sometimes, I have game night, which is fun. Those are brutal. There is a level of competitiveness on game night. My game nights are typically around some type of music theme. I’ll either have questions or I’ll do Name That Tune. What’s funny about that is they get mad at me sometimes because I pick songs and they’d be like, “Nobody knows what that song was on that album. I know. …

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Faith Tested, Faith Restored: The Remarkable Story Of A Widower Through Grief With James Price

WRT 38 | Widow

  Through grief’s darkest night, faith becomes the dawn that guides us to a new day. In this deeply moving episode, we sit down with James Price, a remarkable widower who opens his heart to share the profound story of his loss, healing, and newfound purpose. Life can be heartbreakingly unpredictable, and James knows this all too well. As he candidly recounts the devastating blow of losing his beloved wife, he takes us through the turbulent waves of grief and the weight of loneliness that followed. But this conversation isn’t just about despair; it’s about resilience, faith, and the extraordinary strength that emerges from adversity. James shares how God’s guiding hand helped him navigate the darkest hours and find hope amid despair. His faith in God’s keeping power became a beacon of light during his darkest days. Tune in to find hope in his words, discover the importance of faith, and learn how sharing your experiences can light the path for others seeking solace. Thank you for viewing this post. I am not a licensed therapist or professional life coach. I am sharing my experience of loving the same man for 32 years, a mother to two adult children, a retired military officer, a breast cancer survivor, and my connections with others.  Anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts should reach out to a suicide hotline or local emergency number in their country: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/suicide/suicide-prevention-hotlines-resources-worldwide — Watch the episode here   Listen to the podcast here   Faith Tested, Faith Restored: The Remarkable Story Of A Widower Through Grief With James Price Our guest is Minister James D. Price. He actually lost his wife the same year that Mark died. We connected, saw him on YouTube, and as you know, I am, unfortunately, always looking for men to be able to share their voices in this conversation. We talked for a long time, and that is the type of conversation I want you to have. I want my conversations with my guests to be like two people sitting in their front room talking about a shared experience so they can find encouragement. Let’s get into the conversation now.     Our guest is Minister James Price. Welcome to the show. Thank you for having me. I appreciate this. Thank you so much. As with everybody else, I’m not a fan that we are having this conversation. You were in the Widowhood before we had this discussion, but now you are connecting with our community. James, where are you now? I’m here in my home in Inkster, Michigan. It’s nice and hot outside. I got finished watering my grass and now I’m in here talking to you guys. I’m excited to be here. You must be cool because that looks like a whole sweatshirt you have on right there. It is a sweatshirt. I’m a huge sweatshirt fan. This is my rapper, actor/entrepreneur because I am an entrepreneur. Doing what? I have a small marketing business. I advertise online for small local businesses. They pay me a fee every single month for advertising on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. I do that for them. They pay me for that and I help bring them customers. How did you get into that? Is that something you’ve done for a long time? I got into it because I was looking at videos on YouTube and saw an ad for these two guys, probably around my age, talking about how anybody can do this. They do it and they make all this money. I said, “Whatever. Everybody says they make all this money.” I continued to skip the ad and look at the video I was trying to get to. One day, I looked at the ad and said, “This might be something.” That’s why I decided to get into it. It cost me a lot of money to get into this program, but I did it and it paid off. I took the time to learn everything that I could learn about business and marketing because I wasn’t into marketing. I didn’t know much about it. I knew what the word meant, but I didn’t know much about actually getting into marketing. That’s what I do. It’s paying off. I’m grateful. What did you do before this? I was a Manager at Walmart. That’s a lot of work. It doesn’t seem like it may be a lot, but for people on the outside looking, not on the inside, we couldn’t understand how people can’t understand how much work we have to do because people will come in. Being a manager, I probably got cussed out at least once a day, sometimes more than that. People weren’t happy with certain things that were going on in the store. We all had these walkie-talkies. They would call me. They call me JP at work, and they would say, “JP, there’s a customer up here. They’re upset. They want to talk to a manager.” I would say, “Where’s your team lead manager? They can take care of it.” They say, “No, they want to talk to someone above the team leads. They want to talk to a coach manager.” I would have to go up front and get cussed out. You expect to go for someone to not be happy with us not returning their item. If you don’t have the receipt, we cannot give you a full refund in cash. We have to put it on a gift card. You can only use the gift card in the store. People will be upset with that. I’m thinking it’s because they needed the money so they’ll be upset with that. It happens at times. We got used to it. It is what it is. That’s retail. How did Minister Price reconcile with Walmart customers? How did that go? The minister came in because what happened is, one day, maybe 6 months after my wife passed and 4 months after my third daughter passed, I was working on some videos …

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My Twelfth Rose: A Story Of Love, Bipolar And Suicide With Pastor James Ford Jr. – Part 3

WRT | Story Of Love

Leave a well in the valley. Pastor James Ford Jr. believes it is his mission to help others who have lost someone they love through his own experience of losing his wife to suicide. In this final episode of a three-part conversation, he talks to Tina Fornwald about the importance of talking about the pink elephant in the room: mental illness. Through his story, he has helped lighten the load of others. Join him as he shares his grief journey, the role of faith in the process, and where he is finding joy now. Thank you for viewing this post. I am not a licensed therapist or professional life coach. I am sharing my experience of loving the same man for 32 years, a mother to two adult children, a retired military officer, a breast cancer survivor, and my connections with others.  Anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts should reach out to a suicide hotline or local emergency number in their country: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/suicide/suicide-prevention-hotlines-resources-worldwide How To Contact Pastor James Ford, Jr.:  Pastor Ford: https://www.facebook.com/pastorjamesfordjr/  Christ Bible Church of Chicago: https://www.christbiblechurchofchicago.org/pastor-ford-s-bio#:~:text=Pastor%20James%20Ford%20Jr.%20has,at%20Trinity%20Evangelical%20Divinity%20School  Pastor James Ford Jr. YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@PastorJamesFord  — Watch the episode here Listen to the podcast here My Twelfth Rose: A Story Of Love, Bipolar And Suicide With Pastor James Ford Jr. – Part 3 This is part three of our final conversation with Pastor James Ford regarding the conversation of the death of his late wife, his love of many years. I want you to know that you are not alone. Let’s get into the discussion now. You mentioned something important. Thank you again for having this conversation. I know this is not easy. Not even being a year, why would you want to talk about this and share this? Why is that important to you? It’s the pink elephant in most Black communities, especially in Black churches. Even while I was going through this separation, I was still speaking. People were coming to me, asking me questions, and looking for answers for the situations they were going through with primarily bipolar. For example, I had a marriage conference. There were about 200 couples in 4 days. In those 4 days, I had 4 different pastors approach me saying, “I’m going through the same thing with my wife.” I had one pastor’s wife who said, “The church drove my husband crazy. I don’t know who he is. Can you talk to me?” I talked to all those people, and God seemed to be saying to me, “This is going to open up a new avenue. Now you know what the pain is when someone loses their spouse through suicide, and you’re able to leave a well in the valley. You can’t totally alleviate, but you can make an effort to lighten somebody’s load.” That one pastor’s wife was still amenable to him getting guardianship. He called me up, “My guardianship went through. It took a couple of months, but I got guardianship now.” If she gets to the third or fourth stage, he’s able to say, “My wife needs to be in here. She does not want to come, but I have the paperwork. I need her.” You helped somebody. Even in my congregation, people were coming to me and saying, “I never told anybody, but my son, my daughter, my husband, and my wife committed suicide.” They’re coming to me, and I meet with them and share. I’m not a “professional.” I always encourage them to find themselves a good Christian counselor who knows about these mental illnesses. It helped me with my seatbelt. There’s a thing called DARVO when you deal with people who are bipolar. They go through Denial, Anger, Retribution, Victim, and Offender. My wife went right through it. He told me, “I was struggling. I don’t want to do this. I made the slip earlier because everybody was trying to get me to do an order of protection because my wife said she wanted to kill me.” I said to him, “What does an order of protection mean?” “She can’t come within 500 feet of you. How is that going to work? How am I going to take care of her then? That means I can’t go within 500 feet of her. I’m not doing that,” but then when he explained it to me, I was struggling. He said, “This is what will happen. I’m not the one that’s sick. You need to get up off of me. You have some issues you need to deal with. You’re trying to take it out on me because it’s you who had the problem.” Seeing a psychiatrist helped because I learned some things like DARVO where they will go through a phase, and you will hear it. First, there’s denial, anger, and then retribution. They become the victim and then the offender. It all fell into place. I said, “That’s what she said. I’m not sick.” The anger part or the venomous spurred out, and then the retribution, “You are this, that, and the other.” She becomes the victim now, “You are the one that’s doing this to me.” She’s then the offender, “You need to do this. You need to do that. You are the one that has the problem.” When he shared that with me, he said, “You’re mighty quiet, Pastor Ford.” I said, “This happened. This has been happening, and I didn’t know it. You’re telling me this. I wish I had known the things that you were telling me early on. I should have done my homework early on.” That’s what I would say to anybody who’s dealing with anyone that you even suspect that they have mental illness. If they’re amenable to it, get them evaluated and checked. You learn as much as you can about that illness. When we were taking care of her mom, I learned everything I could about Alzheimer’s. I learned that there are seven stages to it. All of this stuff made a difference. I said, “If I would …

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My Twelfth Rose: A Story Of Love, Bipolar And Suicide With Pastor James Ford Jr. – Part 1

WRT | Suicide

Psalm 86 says, “When walking through the Valley of Baca, leave a well in the valley.” We have all gone through those tough, dark moments in our lives. In finding a way to make it through, we have the power to share our stories to help others do the same. Pastor James Ford Jr. from Christ Bible Church has gone through the unimaginable loss of a loved one from suicide. In this first episode of a three-part conversation with Tina Fornwald, he tells us the beautiful love story between him and his wife—from the moment they met to overcoming divorce and finding Jesus Christ in their marriage. Pastor James then shares the transformative moment that took him from Pittsburgh to Chicago, from a drug dealer to a pastor. Thank you for viewing this post. I am not a licensed therapist or professional life coach. I am sharing my experience of loving the same man for 32 years, a mother to two adult children, a retired military officer, a breast cancer survivor, and my connections with others.  Anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts should reach out to a suicide hotline or local emergency number in their country: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/suicide/suicide-prevention-hotlines-resources-worldwide How To Contact Pastor James Ford, Jr.:  Pastor Ford: https://www.facebook.com/pastorjamesfordjr/  Christ Bible Church of Chicago: https://www.christbiblechurchofchicago.org/pastor-ford-s-bio#:~:text=Pastor%20James%20Ford%20Jr.%20has,at%20Trinity%20Evangelical%20Divinity%20School  Pastor James Ford Jr. YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@PastorJamesFord  — Watch the episode here Listen to the podcast here My Twelfth Rose: A Story Of Love, Bipolar And Suicide With Pastor James Ford Jr. – Part 1 We are in my hometown, Chicago, Illinois. Oftentimes, I tell you that the word hood means family. I am here in my hood and having this conversation with Pastor James Ford at his church here in Chicago. I want to warn you that this conversation can be heavy. This is a conversation about suicide. If this is a trigger or something you feel like you should not take part in, I ask you to refrain from reading this. If this is something that you feel will help you and will be welcoming and something that you can learn from, I encourage you to read this three-part conversation with Pastor James Ford. This information is impactful and informative, and I believe that you will find information to help you heal from the suicide loss of a family member or something that you are struggling with. Let’s get into the conversation’s part one now. Our guest is Pastor James Ford from Christ Bible Church. We are in my hometown, Chicago. Hello, sir. I’m well. You? I’m doing good. Thank you for allowing us to have this conversation. I appreciate your willingness to bring your voice to this conversation. We’re all going through the vicissitudes of life. It’s a part of life. When we talk about the gospel, the old preacher used to say that the gospel is one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread. For those of us who have experienced the loss of loved ones, especially our spouses, Psalm 86 says, “When walking through the Valley of Baca, leave a well in the valley.” The idea was that you’re in a desert place, and people would find water but then they would hide it. He said, “Don’t hide it. Put a sign up.” Baca means weeping. When going through the valley of weeping, leave a well. In other words, you came through and found a way to make it through. Put a sign up so that others can follow that and get their thirst quenched too. I believe that’s what we’re doing. We’re saying we have gone through some things. We have experienced some things. We want to as much as possible help others who are going to go through the same thing that we have gone through. You have defined the entire premise of the show from my personal loss of my husband, connecting with other people, and seeing the suffering, the loneliness, the inability to connect with other people, and the inability to be able to outright honestly share that weeping, discomfort, and the desire to connect with other people to understand what I’ve experienced, not to be a crutch that I don’t learn how to walk this walk on my own but every now and then, I want to tap into someone else who understands to have had that great love. Before we jump right into that, who is this great love? Let’s talk about how you met. I met my wife, Leslie Ann Ford AKA Sugarbabe, my twelfth rose, or my caramel mocha latte. I want to hear a breakdown of all these. Let’s go. She’s my twelfth rose. She loved roses. She got roses every week, sometimes twice a week. Fifty-two weeks in the year, she got at least 52 roses, not a dozen sometimes 2 or 3 times a week because she loved roses. I came up with this. He knew she liked flowers and he gave them to her. I want to make sure that they get an educated moment. The first time I did this, I don’t know where I stumbled on it but I said, “I love that idea.” I took a rose out and brought her eleven roses. She said, “Preacher, they got you.” I said, “What do you mean they got me?” “There are only eleven roses here.” I said, “There are twelve.” “That’s not Greek or Hebrew. There are only eleven roses here.” I said, “I beg to differ with you. There are twelve.” She said, “Why don’t you count them?” I said, “Put them up and I’ll count them.” She put them up, and I said, “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11.” I pointed at her face and said, “Twelve. You are my twelfth rose because your godly personality and your beautiful spirit are greater than the beauty of all of these eleven roses.” Long after they become potpourri, you’re going to continue to blossom in the bloom. You’re my twelfth rose. I called …

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