I Miss Her Most on Sundays…

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On Sundays…

we would cook our meals. Sharing the space called kitchen.

I, in her way.

Her, in mine.

But we loved it. We had the most genuine smiles

On Sundays…

we prayed through the mornings. Churched it in the afternoon.

Lazy moments spent on the sofa

Provided the best ‘spoons’

The breeze from the patio, the whisp of the ceiling fan

Made life a little more livable and two fools more lovable

On Sundays…

The park called our names, hurried us there…carrying our troubles away

if only for those minute hours

we lay among the flowers, sharing our hopes

Dreams for the future, laughing hysterically

at nothing, at the whole of it all

On Sundays…

The beginning of a new time, the end of another

Sundays were the times we spent together

where the world existed of us. For us. With us. Just us.

where heaven was on land

where I loved her and she me and loving was our plan

Our greatest times, our defining times

were made

On Sundays….

I guess I feel nostalgic

over days that’ve gone & past

Milling over all that was, remembering the good of it and also the bad

I don’t know how she spends those days now

we’ve not spoken in awhile

I miss her still

Though it doesn’t show

I miss her most

On Sundays…

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It’s Forever…The Eternity of a Bond


Holding Hands

Yesterday was a beautiful day. I went home to celebrate the homegoing of one of my oldest family members, Cousin Jack, my Grandmother’s first cousin. What a blessing is it to experience 96 years of life! Always a smile on his face unless he was ready to go or annoyed. He & Grandma can catch up in Heaven now. I remember her telling stories of them growing up together & yelling at each other across the creek. I imagine little kids: “Hey Jack!, Hey Chris!” When you’ve been family for 90+ years, you literally know almost everything about a person. Every piece of dirt on them. Every accomplishment. Every heartbreak. Every moment of triumph and moment of defeat. Every first and every last.

The children of two brothers: One having all boys; One having all girls. Growing up together in rural Sparta, Georgia. What they must have experienced growing up in a time where being Black could be a death sentence. Before cars. Before microwaves & television. Before lynching was frowned upon. Before civil rights. When all you had was what you grew or made yourself. When greetings were: “Yes mam.” “No mam.” “Yes sir” and “No sir.” Before social media. When social media was hanging out on the porch. Before mega churches. When you attended the Baptist Church your parents attended and their parents attended because that’s just what you did. Before vegetarian or pescatarian was a thing. When organic meant you grew it in your garden or killed it/skinned it/cooked it all at home. They knew a different kind of strength than any I think I would have. A hardness and a softness at the same time. A matter of factness. They understood the importance of joy and none more so than when you experience pain. I can’t imagine. They watched the whole world change. They watched each other grow and change. Age yet remain the same.

He would come to visit my Grandmother when she became ill. She had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. We knew she didn’t have long. She knew she didn’t have long. He knew too. It was a short turnaround between her diagnosis and her passing. When she got home from the hospital, we just wanted to make her as comfortable as possible. She had an influx of visitors. Sooo many visitors. Way past driving age although known to be caught driving in the early part of his 90’s, his nephew would drive him around. I saw the truck pull up…and always in the same spot. Left side of the front yard right up under the pecan tree. Coming to see Grandma. He had been coming every other day. He would come in and pull his chair up right beside hers on this day. (It was actually in the middle of the doorway) We just went around. She was not feeling well that day. She was pretty much unresponsive. In sedation from either the medicine or from the pain. Her body was tired and so was she and so she rested. He would talk into her ear. He held her hand. He told jokes to her. There were times when he would just stare at her…He did whatever he could to let her know he was there and that he loved her. The kind of thing that brought tears to your eyes.  I know she could hear him. I hoped she could hear him. Although she wasn’t able to respond, I hoped she could. You could see him trying to put on a happy front. He was this very positive, lively, jovial man. But I saw…

There was a sadness in his eyes. A look of disappointment on his face. He knew his cousin, almost like a sister, was leaving this Earth soon. He could tell. And although he understood life and death, heaven and earth; The woman he’d known all of her life would be gone soon. I felt for him. I loved her more than I can explain. It was in that moment I saw how much someone else loved her and he had called genetic shotgun. 188 years between them. Amazing does it no justice.

I loved him for that. Loved him more for loving her. I’ll remember the man that gave the firm hugs and sugar. He, a humble man who loved his family and showed love to anyone he came in contact with. She, a humble woman who loved her family and showed loved to anyone she came in contact with. That’s how they were raised. Instilling in us that we are no better than anyone else and God loves everybody the same: rich, poor, pretty, ugly. The elders who sat at the head table at our big family gatherings and reunions, along with my Aunt Mae, now 96 herself.

Standing at the grave site surrounded by family members, I was aware of how powerful and important family bonds are. How those people you never chose are born into your life. Become a staple in your life. People you can’t imagine your life without. Knowing one day you will have to imagine your life without them because immortality is not real and one day they will transition. To heaven, the other place, or whatever afterlife you believe in. That that moment may be surreal. Knowing that even after life, we will see each other again. Because for eternity, we are still connected to one another. Some bonds are forever. Family.

GERMANY-ELDERLY

The Numbing Effect

 

It came to mind how we find distractions.

People, places, things.

Who do we/What do we use for our leisure, our pleasure, our sedation, our replacement to stay high

Away from the truth or the pain or missing someone or everyday reality

Afraid to feel so we numb

A sip here| A line there | Yet another warm body |

It seems like harmless fun and it is for awhile until the “fun” becomes habitual and repetitive.

When do we say no to ourselves?

As the new year came in, I thought of how many people would be spending their time getting blazed, lit to the skies–To celebrate the now, new year. How many people spend their days and nights staying in a constant state of euphoria, buzz, high? To deal. How many people spend time jumping from person to person, man, woman, or both…in search of a peace they cannot find, because its too difficult to deal with themselves? By themselves. With themselves.

No judgments. My hope is that we finally find a way to deal with what is, what was, and what now. To allow ourselves fun without fake. Happiness without the temporary high. That its no longer about being numb. Its about living a life worth feeling. Being fully present. That hey…maybe its okay to be a little high sometimes. High off life. And maybe an occasional, non-habit forming aid.

 

 

What’s Eating You?

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I woke up this morning hungry. Then not hungry. I know food was in the kitchen. If I were to eat breakfast, I know exactly what I’d have. Cinnamon oatmeal, one egg, and a big glass of oj. But I didn’t want that so I just drank some water. I realized, I wasn’t hungry for food.

I’ve hungered for many things. Things I subconsciously blocked out. I really thought I was hungry. So I ate. Alot. All the time. For no reason. My stomach didn’t growl. No hunger headache. Just needed a bite or two. At 2 to 3 hour intervals, I was snacking on something. There were times it curbed my hunger. Most times I was left feeling unsatisfied. Not thrilled. Gluttonous. Still empty.

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I hungered for life, full life. For love. For consistency within myself. Within my relationships. Family. Friends. Lovers. Hungry for knowledge. For smarts. Not feeling smart enough. Smart anymore because life’s moments & bad choices had left me feeling stupid. I hungered for happiness. A thing that had long ago left my presence my life and I yearned for it. Pleaded for it. Thirsted for it. Cried for it. Prayed for it. It would peep its head in the doorway, smile, and disappear.

I hungered for normalcy. For a leg up. To make sense of the things happening around me. Hungered for reciprocity. Hungered for freedom. Hungered for joy. Hungered for happiness. For harmony. To numb. To erase those bummer feelings.

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I had to check myself and understand what it was all about. I was hungry and now I know why. Trimming the fat has a new literal meaning for me. Trimming the emotional & mental baggage. Learning the difference between emotional hunger…mental hunger…spiritual hunger…and physical hunger. Learning the why, the when to & how to feed each. Perhaps knocking off a few lbs in the process.

To the other emotional eaters in this world: Here’s to enjoying your meal. Your actual meal…In front of you. Not the plate of miscellaneous crap in your brain. Bon Appetit!

I Agree With Raven…I’m Over Labels.

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The world has been buzzing, almost losing it, over some comments made by Raven-Symone on a recent episode of Where Are They Now? with Oprah Winfrey. For those who don’t know who she is, She was the cute little curly haired girl on the Cosby Show in the 90’s known as Olivia. Funny comebacks & a sassy little attitude. She later had a show in her namesake along with many shows, films, & business ventures. Well she is grown now. There has been much speculation about her sexuality in the last few years. Is she gay? Isn’t she? Though she’s a celebrity, she manages to keep her private life private, which I can appreciate. Why does the world need to know all of your business? What restaurants you frequent? Who you’re dating? What gym you go to? Do you love eggs or just like ’em when you go to B&B’s? Who cares?

Truth is, Her job is to be an entertainer. Not to be a poster child for GAY. She admitted to being in a very happy relationship with a woman. Kudos! Glad she’s happy. That still doesn’t mean she wants to be labeled gay and I get it.

Gay is life for many. Gay is a label. Whether you choose to identify as gay or homosexual or bisexual or sexually fluid or “I like who I like, period”, gay is the label attached to you. Some of us don’t mind it. Some of us proudly wear it like a badge of honor. Letting everyone we come in contact with, just so you know, I’m gay! I’m here! Get used to it! Kudos to you. We all should be proud of who we are. Some of us don’t care either way. More of statement saying, I know who & what I am. Your approval or disapproval does not matter either way. No one proclaims their straightness. No one seeks acceptance to be straight. They just are and go on living their lives. I think the same should apply for gay. If I know you personally, then you know about me. If I don’t know you, why should I be anything more than just another human being?

This brings me to Raven’s now infamous statement: “I don’t want to be labeled gay. I want to be labeled as a human who loves humans. I’m tired of labels…I’m an American. I don’t want to be labeled African-American. I’m an American.”

People, especially Blacks were and still are upset with her for making that statement. They feel like she is denouncing her Blackness. Most African-Americans are made up of a mixture of nationalities, due to slavery & the rape/relationships of slave owners & slaves, along with the other nationalities migrating to America. For her, African American is a term. A label made by society to say this is what you are. This is the category you fit in. But what if you are an array of nationalities and cultures? What if your genetic make-up is a blur? Unknown because you cannot trace that far back nor are there sufficient records for your ancestors. Because they were African & therefore deemed as property as opposed to a person. All you know for certain is that you were born in America. To American parents. An American citizen.

I have been having this conversation with myself for awhile. I know I’m Black. Then too, I know I come from Native Americans. Looking at the fair skin of some of family members & as well as hair textures also leads me to believe we are derived from European ancestry as well. So why do I have to label myself as African American? I didn’t come from Africa. I have friends who did come from Africa, took their citizenship test, & became true African-Americans. It makes sense to me. I just don’t feel as if that applies to me. So with Raven, I understand the hesitation to be labeled. Labels are fixed, concrete, one-dimensional. Sometimes the labels don’t fit who we are or who we feel we are.

And if we decide to not be defined by a label, That’s okay.

Take A Long Walk.

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Runner:
Person who runs, enjoys the art  of running & the freedom of hitting Earth’s landscape step by step, even if it isn’t everyday. *Insert photo of self.* 🙂

One of the great things about being a runner is what you learn about miles & distance. To someone who doesn’t walk or run, a mile may seem ridiculously long. A runner knows that ain’t nothing!

  I’d walk 3 miles before I’d consider driving it or catching a bus or cab. It’s not a challenge. It’s not drudgery. It’s not that far…How you think about it is how it is. Alot like life.

If it seems too far or too hard, do we just not try? Give up? Take the easy way? Or do we take a different route? What seems to be the long way? Both pathways will get you there. One quicker. The latter may take a little longer, but in the end, you pushed yourself a little farther. Discovered new things along the way…about the route you never took. New scenery. New neighborhoods. New people. New ideas you wouldn’t have had time to think about that you now have time to ponder. Maybe even discovered something about yourself. It’s a Jill Scott, proverbial “Take A Long Walk”…That I can do.

Bypassing the train this time. Here goes…

Who’s Shining That Light In My Eye??

Drawn To...

 

I’m attracted to lights…

Glaring, piercing, shining, sometimes dull low-light but light no less…

Blinding? Sometimes.

Guiding lights? Sometimes.

Light forced through the blackest darkness? Mostly.

Sometimes needing these same lights to get out of the way…blocking my vision

because they can also make it hard to see my own way…

And I need to see my own way.

Asking myself: Should I wear shades?

Nah…

I’d rather see clearly.

When you lose two loves of your life, are you truly expected to be alright? People die.
People leave.
Sometimes you are the one who has to go.
Do you shake that off? Like an accidental stumble on a table end…
Oops, silly me. I’m fine. It wasn’t that bad….
Loss hurts. It lingers long after the initial hurt has happened…

My heart’s still sore.

One would walk into my life only to walk right back out…again…when I needed her most. As I dealt with…

The other losing her battle with cancer. I watched her fast demise. Hating to see her suffer, praying it would go away. Knowing the time would not be long.

It’s been two months. Still, It’s as fresh now as it is then. I suppose one day it’ll be alright.

Just not today.