Sometimes we have to learn how to be still.

Have you ever needed to give a motivational speech?

Not to a large group or even a small group. I’m talking about to someone who depends on you for everything. The one who looks at you to make it right. The one you have to be better for because failure and giving up is not an option.

Zi’Joy has come through the fire she has been in her young life more than some will ever have to go through. I’ve met so many children and parents that have just been warriors this year.

I’ve given so much that my cup has been empty. My friend took these photos of Zi’Joy and I and she sent them to me. If a photo was worth a 1,000 words what would each one of these say?

Zi’Joy asked why her legs stop working.

I had run out of words and we had sat there for a long time alone just sitting quietly. The lesson I had to learn was that I cannot fix everything and that it is okay to let her just be sad.

After a bit she said Donna I’m okay. I’m not sad and I told her it was perfectly okay to feel that way and sadness is just how people feel sometimes even grownups. After that she crawled into my arms and I said her favorite word of the moment POOP AND SHE JUST GIGGLED.

These 2 photos described 2020 for me as it comes to a close.

As always thank you for following our journey and giving me room to share.

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Jane replied 6 months ago

    A really beautiful sequence of photos and very moving words.

    Sometimes maybe words are simply inadequate and it is love that comes through, and that could be enough in some moments such as this.

    You look such a wonderfully close gorgeous fun and loving mother and daughter.

    Sending you both love and hugs xx

  • FashIntern replied 6 months ago

    Ledonna, so good to hear from you and your warrior angel. I hear you on the need to be motivational—welcome to single motherhood! I know you will be the mom she needs to help her through the emotions, and her determination and zest for life will fuel you. Love those matching pink knee pads and shoes. I hope she is comfortable and any treatments she has are easy to take. What does she enjoy doing these days? Favorite books and Christmas songs? Is she into trains & marble runs? Wishing you both, your sister and the rest of your loved ones happy holidays and blessings in the new year.

    Ps I can’t quite read hers, but your shirts remind me of India Arie songs I was listening to earlier today.

  • Angie replied 6 months ago

    Ledonna, it's impossible to have all the answers. And words can be very dissatisfying and inadequate, anyway. Actions speak louder than words, and your actions continue to excel. Emotions are all important, and you relay those positively all day long, and then some....

    These photos are KILLER SUBLIME!

    Little Nugget is blessed to have you as her Mama, which I'm sure she shows you through actions and not words too. Much love. xo

  • Cardiff girl replied 6 months ago

    Sometimes all you can say is Poop isn’t it.Lovely photos of you both,glad to see that you can still smile despite everything.

  • Suz replied 6 months ago

    LeDonna, what beautiful sentiments -- and what gorgeous gorgeous photos. Zi'Joy is so well loved. That is going to carry her through a lot of strain and darkness. 

    Also, is it okay to say I love your skirt? That skirt and the slogan tees also speak of the courage and determination and grit and glam it has taken to get through this year. 

  • Jules replied 6 months ago

    Well done Mama :) Amazing job honouring Zi’Joy’s feelings about her experience.
    I know you both have been through a true trauma, but on a smaller scale I can relate. So much of parenting through Covid has been about themes of: Staying upbeat! Making the best of it! Creative new ways to have fun at home! And of course all parents are doing our best with this because we have to for our kids. But around Halloween memes started circulating about how parents needed to model stiff-upper-lip and sacrifice and ‘Halloween will come again’ to our kids who should learn more grit, or something. Well damnit of course I’ve been doing that all along, and we’ve had lots of fun as a family, but I also allow my kids to be sad when they need to and acknowledging that they are losing time and rites and experiences they can’t get back. And I let them be angry and frustrated when they need to be about seeing adults who won’t make the same sacrifices they are (missing schooling and friends and normal activities, wearing masks). For me to pretend that those feelings aren’t valid and that everything’s just great! would be gaslighting.

  • FashIntern replied 6 months ago

    Jules, the site is really good about working through feelings. You might find it helpful.

  • slim cat replied 6 months ago

    Sometimes there is no words - but being next to each other, sharing the moment, feeling some sadness and hope, holding each other ( or even letting some tears to come out ). It's all part of being the family that stays together and supports each other.
    You have beautiful daughter - love your pictures together! Best wishes - love and hugs.

  • rachylou replied 6 months ago

    Zi’Joy must mean ‘the gift of joy.’ So many reasons to be sad, so what reason Joy? And yet there it is: and thus a free gift.

    ‘Poop’ ;)

  • Bijou replied 6 months ago

    A great lesson to learn is that we will be okay and to have a laugh at poop. Wishing you a wonderful Christmas.

  • RobinF replied 6 months ago

    Sometimes we just need to hug our children and let them go through whatever they are going through. It's hard though because we want to fix it for them. Nice to hear from you and little Zi'Joy. 

  • kkards replied 6 months ago

    I had run out of words and we had sat there for a long time alone just sitting quietly. 

    This year has thought me the truth of this. Sometime there are no words, and just the silence alone, but shared with another, can we soothing.
    you and Zi’Joy are fortunate to have each other. 
    I’m glad that stopped by and updated us and let us know how both of you are doing...please keep stopping by, i like knowing what that you are both moving forward, even if it feels to you like your barely hanging on

  • MsMary replied 6 months ago

    Oh, Ledonna, thank you for this! I don't post much but I have followed yours and Zi'Joy's story here and on Facebook and you two are WARRIORS!! Much love to both of you!

  • Kate replied 6 months ago

    Beautiful images, Ledonna, and wonderful to see your post.

    Sometimes there are no words. You are such a wonderful mother, and the proof of that is sitting beside you on that bench. She is your strength as you are hers. Much love to you and Nugget.

  • suntiger replied 6 months ago

    Hugs to both of you! And love your photos :)

  • JenniferAnne replied 6 months ago

    Ledonna, I was so happy to pop in and find your update. You and Zi'Joy are true warriors, and these photos are beautiful to see. Big hugs to you both and always glad to hear how you two are doing. xxoo

  • avicennia replied 6 months ago

    LeDonna thank you for the update. I’ve been wondering about you and Zi’Joy. I’m so pleased to see the photos— you are both so radiant! My daughter is 8 now — for the last two years we’ve been navigating a difficult trauma. Sometimes I have words, sometimes I don’t. But there is always space for silence and togetherness. And lots and lots of poop and fart jokes.

  • unfrumped replied 6 months ago

    Such a wonderful story and photos. Thank you for sharing and for being such a positive force- for your daughter, and for all your family and friends, including YLF’ers!

  • Janet replied 6 months ago

    I’m only just seeing this now, but both you and Zi’Joy are superheroes! You need time sometimes to just be still and regroup and gather strength. It’s very hard for many of us to do. She is a shining light like her mama!

  • Helena replied 5 months ago

    I mean, 2020 has been poop all around and you and Zi'Joy have had far more than your fair share of poop to deal with, so I say, POOP, POOP, POOP!!

    You are amazing, and so is your beautiful daughter. Every kid should be so lucky to have a mom like you. So much love to you both xoxoxo

  • texstyle replied 5 months ago

    I haven't been here much this year but I popped in today and saw your inspiring post and just wanted to wish you both the best in the upcoming New Year. Great photos and story, thanks for sharing!

  • Ledonna N. replied 5 months ago

    It does my head so good reading all of this and catching up with everyone. I feel as if we are all family. I really love YLF it has brought joy to my heart over these past years. A strong community Guided by all of our voices and unique styles. The village here is strong. Much love during the holidays and new year ahead

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