I like trap music. And I love Dateline. Not that the two are related although I’m sure if I reach for that shit like a pack of Oreos on the top shelf, I could make the connection…
Ok, wait…Let me start over.
I like trap music. And I love Dateline. But at the start of this year, I decided to do away with them both.
And not just because I found myself doing strange things, like practicing jiggling body parts that quite frankly, at my age, jiggle on their own and not in the good way. Or side-eyeing folks that I know have dead bodies in their trunks because their FB profile picture looks like it belongs in a Dateline photo montage.
But because I am making a conscious decision to consider what I feed my soul before I sit down to a smorgasbord of pop culture madness. I once heard said that every single thing we eat is either curing or killing our bodies slowly. If the same applies to our souls, what is the impact of all of the “junk food” we expose ourselves to?
What if it’s true…what if all that shit we see on TV or social media or hear in the music we love or the people we interact with is either curing or killing our souls?.
I have changed.
Ok…maybe not all the way yet but I’m working on it.
I’m trying to be less of a snarky bastard and more a positive, dare I say, pleasant voice in the cacophony of InstaLife.
As I get older, I find that I’m just not with the shits. My third eye is opening and I’m learning to see and accept what is rather than resist and fight about what ain’t. That’s right. I’m a light worker, bitches…ok, so I’m still working on it. It’s a long road from where I was to where I’m trying to go. And my Uber has not yet arrived…so I’m walking and, although I’ve jettisoned a great deal of crap, I’m still carrying some of my baggage with me.
Life is a process.
In my last post, I asked you to sit tight. In my defense, I wanted the story to have a happy ending but I didn’t know how long you would have to wait. Anyway, here goes…
I have become keenly aware of the unfolding of life as I experience this year of firsts without her. The first Independence Day without her. Her first birthday without her. My first birthday without her. Soon, the earth will have completed one revolution and we will return to that fateful point in time, Easter Sunday, the day we lost our baby sister.
In the days immediately after, I woke up every day, feeling anxious and restless. Waiting for the spark, any small circumstance, meaningless in every other context, that I knew could start a wildfire of grief that would not be extinguished. I lived those days in constant fear of that spark.
But this story, my friends, has a happy ending. Here’s why…
In these last few years, I had reduced my little Noodle to a list of symptoms and medications.
“Did you take your medication today?” I often replied abruptly to her welcoming, “Hey, girl!” greeting and adorable little face, rolling my eyes at the pack of Newports on the table as I walked into the house she shared with our parents and her son. Because I loved her, then and now, and I wanted…no, I, in fact, YEARNED for her to get better and be well. But she already knew that her body would eventually betray us both. Betrayal can only come at the hands of someone you love.
I spent countless hours researching her illness, trying to talk her into experimental treatments and new medications, wanting her to stay and fight – not knowing, or rather not accepting, that she very elegantly and courageously decided that her physical body wasn’t the battleground that mattered to her. She understood that we are not our bodies that we are our spirits. And she set about sharing her spirit with everyone that came in contact with her. She was completely accepting of everyone exactly as they were, flaws and all. You never had to be anything or anyone other than you were to be accepted by my sister. This was her spirit – total acceptance. That’s why everyone loved her instantly and always.
But really, all this spirit stuff, though? Ugh…I couldn’t…so intent was I on salvaging the body with which she had long since and happily parted ways. Her medical records indicated “Do Not Resuscitate” because she was larger than this physical life and she looked forward to being on her way. Everyone saw it but me, but watching her let go, I learned her in an instant. See, I didn’t meet my sister for the first time until that Resurrection Sunday.
I know, right?
Since then, I am with her every day as she is with me. I am coming to know her better now than I knew her during her short time with us. I see her…finally. And she is lovely and perfect. In spirit and indeed. I promise her every day, I will never make that mistake again. I will never allow the physical realm to interpret the person that God intended. That ability to see others is her legacy. It’s her gift to me. I mean that. I see her and I see you.
All of that said, this is the last time I will share publicly about my sister’s death (although I’m always willing to share about her life.) Thank you all for the kind words and show of support these last few months. I am finally going to be okay. She will see to it.
Now, quick…somebody say something funny!
“My [sister] has died. And I don’t think I can go on.”
I once read these words in a letter from a grieving friend. They popped into my mind as I sat in the hospital waiting room. My family had gone but I remained to nurse an irrational fear that my baby sister was still in that room because she was always accusing someone of leaving her somewhere for dead. As we entered the sixth hour after the flatline, “You take as long as you need, sweetheart,” turned into hushed whispers at the nurse’s station and stolen glances to make sure a security officer was nearby.
I pulled the blanket up around her shoulders and warmed her hands in my own, keenly aware that this would be the last time I would touch her. I couldn’t bring myself to leave. I literally could not will myself to leave that place. Not until I heard her say, “Can you get a blanket for me before you go?” just as she did on countless other visits. Time stood still while hours passed. My uncle arrived at the hospital and said in his heavily accented English, “It’s ok. You can go home. She’s not in there anymore.”
And with that, I finally understood how futile it all was because my little Noodle had left. The grief came in a sudden tsunami right in that moment. I stood still and felt myself violently tossed in the waves of sadness. Wave after wave crashed into me and forced me to hold my breath. I was completely powerless to change the course of this storm. I was helpless against it…so I let go. First unable to cry then unable to stop. I quit fighting it and let myself be pulled down to a still, dark place beneath the storm where I could silence the deafening quiet in my head and quite possibly, maybe breathe again.
And I closed my eyes.
Sit tight…there’s more.
At last count, 16 women, the most recent being former supermodel Beverly Johnson, have accused Bill Cosby of drugging and, in some cases, sexually assaulting them.
To be clear, I find Beverly Johnson’s account, as I found some of the others, to be credible.
But to be fair, I’ll let the man have his day in court. And not just because it’s easier to throw a book at him there. Oops, I meant it’s easier to throw the book at him there.
But more importantly because his comments about innuendo really piss me off. This is just one more example of rape culture. Where 16 women can make strangely similar accusations about being drugged and some even assaulted and the accused is still allowed to call those accusations innuendo, suggesting that the women are not speaking factually.
His defenders will say this is all The Man tryna take Bill Cosby down because he was on the cusp of launching a new “positive” black network. *sigh* Really? Stop playing with me…the powers that be ain’t hardly scared of no positive black programming when they already know how to control us with the programming that’s in play today. We’re not hardly sitting around waiting for positive programming – we’re too busy watching reality T.V.
We gotta thing in our community where we can’t believe bad things about our heroes. We’re not being fair to ourselves or them. These folks, particularly those in entertainment and maybe even politics, are as flawed as any one of us. It is entirely possible – hell, in my view, probable – that Bill Cosby did exactly what these women are accusing him of. Unless we can accept that…we risk victimizing these women all over again. Just so we can continue to worship a fallen hero.
#DontRape #RapeCulture #YouAreNotEntitledToAnyonesPuddingPop #TheresACommaAfterPudding #NoMeansNo #YesUnderDuressMeansNo #HasAnyoneCheckedOnClare
I can’t keep still. Or quiet.
While I feel a deep sympathy for the families of Brown and Garner, I can’t help but view the lack of state indictments as symptomatic of a much more insidious disease.
What we are witnessing goes beyond police reform. Rather it is the overall collapse of the relationship between Blacks in America and our government. Like every failed relationship, reconciliation must begin with renewed trust in a mutually beneficial objective. We don’t have that today. As an African American, I’m hard pressed to believe that I am respected and valued by my own government.
But neither do I believe I am powerless against them. Nor have I ever.
The civil unrest that we are facing today provides us the opportunity to agree finally and unequivocally that America has a systemic and festering problem with racial equality that is now playing out for all the world to see. This showing weakens our standing amongst both our allies and those states that seek to harm us. If that’s too strong a statement, our civility is certainly in question and our credibility undermined as our allies send war correspondents to our cities to cover the protests. In other words, our race issues, often called crimes by other nations, have now become an issue of national security, homeland or otherwise.
These protests, while uncomfortable, are beneficial because we cannot begin a dialogue on solutions until we have agreed on the problem.
Our federal government must indict on the possible civil rights violations that were left unaddressed by state and local governments. Failure to do so, at this point, is a nonstarter of the healing process and true dialogue cannot begin.
#WeWereWrongAboutTheRevolution #ThatMofoIsCertainlyBeingTelevised #AndTweeted #BlackLivesMatter #AllLivesMatter #GodSaveUsAll