In the Foreward of the book Shaquille O'Neal, the NBA basketball player, calls his mother an angel. Since I did not know anything about Lucille O'Neal before opening the book, my eyes would always glance down to the light green round circle on the front of the book, Walk Like You Have Somewhere to go. The words in the circle are "From Mental Welfare to Mental Health." I had never heard the term Mental Welfare. The two words had my attention until she explained their meaning in the book.
For a long time Lucille O'Neal did not have Mental welfare. She had a very low opinion of herself. Being very tall at an early age and thin caused children to make fun of her every move. There seemed an ugly name for every occasion. As she grew up, other situations evolved in her life. Situations that just made her feel unnecessary to her family and community.
I identified with Mrs. O'Neal because of my school days too. I've always been short. I have been called pipsqueak, peewee, short stuff and "petite with an attitude." I've been in a crowd trying to make my voice heard. People would totally talk over and around me. I felt invisible. Perhaps, Lucille O'Neal felt too visible. Either way the laughter behind your back, the blatant stares and the name calling slice away at your feelings of worth> You feel like a piece of trunk. The feelings that God must have made a mistake when He began to shape me in my mother's womb try to make a fortress in your mind.
Lucille O'Neal makes it clearly known the way she chose to deal with life was a personal decision made by her. She does not blame school friends or any adults for how she chose to fight her life's battles. I think this is very courageous because in our society sometimes I've heard professional people say it's alright to find and blame someone for the person who made you the person you are today. Taking this step relieved me of guilt for a little while. If it had not been for so and so, I would not have become this or that today. That is just a bunch of hooey-phooey. Those words are negative mind games.
Ultimately, with God by her side every moment Lucille O'Neal does gain Mental Health. She never depends on herself. She depends on God. She gives a few pages of the scripture promises that helped her in those dark days make it out to the light. She also gives a list of her favorite Gospel songs and hymns.
"I've been through tests and trials, suffered losses, been used and abused; however, through all of this, God never left me."
This book, Walk Like You Have Somewhere to Go, is like manna from God's heavenly table. There is so much in this book that filled my empty places.The book is fabulous on many levels: a spiritual level, a celebrity level, a parenting level, a marriage level, and a purposeful life here and now.
Before I end there is a fund special to Mrs. O'Neal's heart. Her mother died of Ovarian Cancer. This fund helps to educate women about Ovarian Cancer. Lucille O'Neal loved her mother very, very much. Words can not express how much she and her siblings loved her mother. So the family established the Odessa Chambliss Quality of Life Fund. The hope is that education will help women realize the importance of health and their bodies. There are also many other ways the Odessa Chambliss Fund is being used. The complete address is at the end of the book.