Last week we hosted a Breast cancer workshop at my job and it made me think of my mother; a two-year survivor. Thinking of my mother made me think of her late best friend.
I am no stranger to death but few have left heart prints like my mother’s best friend and my childhood babysitter.
I think I was in college when my babysitter died. She was sick, it was not a surprise but the blow of pain in my chest caught me off guard. By the time I met her, I had pretty much decided I was old enough to take care of myself; she was mostly around for my younger siblings. Eventually, I regarded her as the grandmother I never had.
She was annoying; her voice got screechy when she yelled, she nagged constantly, and made fun of how I played the cello. She taught us bible verses, songs, and how to count fast in French. She was weird; she ate funny stuff and I never really knew much of her life before us. She would cackle, throwing her head back revealing a gap-toothed smile. And she had the longest shock of white hair that she let us play in for hours. I loved her; she was a comforting presence in my young life. It was very difficult to get through her funeral, I felt like I lost a very familiar part of myself.
A few years later, my mother’s best friend passed away after battling breast cancer. She was funny; most of my memories are of me giggling at something she said. I lived for the evenings my mother would gather up rice, sauce pois, and legume to take over to her house. Of course, we would stay a bit, regaled by her latest tales, and I would go find her daughters who later became dear friends. One day she gave me a pair of bronze Steve Madden flats that I loved immediately and wore although they were a bit snug.
After her death, I continued to wear those too tight shoes until my toes cried out in protest. I kept them in my closet, lovingly stored with my other beauties. They were my last memory of her and I refused to give them up. Until the day, I realized she was closer than I thought when I hung out with her daughters and their kids. Her spirit was not gone but recycled in the ones she loved.
What are your favorite memories of some of the special people in your life?
Posted in black women, family, friends, In My World, memories, my thoughts, people, shoes
Tagged best friend, breast cancer, bronze shoes, childhood memories, death, family, grandmother
I have always been overly emotional. I cry when I’m angry, happy, sad, depressed, overwhelmed, etc. They called me sensitive.
I love to read and will do it everywhere. I used to read at the dinner table growing up. They called me rude.
I’ve always liked to stay by myself and while some people call it stuck up, I call it familiar. I trust me. I know me.
I hated parties then and I hate them now. Regardless if the host was a close cousin or a stranger, I would be posted up on the couch. They called me the shy sister. They still do. Continue reading
I was trying to listen to a T.D. Jakes podcast so I could get my life together and it took everything in me to simply listen.
I cannot remember the last time I sat still without doing anything. I watch my ratchet television shows while folding laundry or twisting my hair. I eat lunch at work while typing notes.
It may come from years of watching my mother always doing something. Even when we had guests over for dinner, she was in the kitchen rummaging around, never enjoying her friends. Continue reading
All weekend long, subtle simple truths dropped in my lap.
The Answer Man (paraphrased): “Don’t take advice from people whose lives you would not trade places with.”
“You are exactly where you want to be. No one is making you stay there.”
And then in About Time, (a romantic comedy) somewhere in the middle of a movie about family and time traveling, I learned to live each day as if it were my last. Time travelers have the unique gift to re-live certain moments or occasions. In real life, this only exists in our minds. In real life, you only get to live once.
Sounds innocuous enough. Continue reading
Growing up my father always told me that as a girl born to Haitian parents, I would have to work twice as hard. He said, “When you do something good, they will be proud to call you an American but as soon as you do something wrong, you are Black.”
I thought he was being a tad melodramatic. People did not really think like that. No one in my class treated me differently because I was Black.
Then I noticed little things like when a classmate would ask me the answer to a question posed in class and then would double check with a White classmate. Or if I got a higher grade, their eyebrows would raise in disbelief, but if I got a grade lower, they would smile at me reassuringly. Continue reading
Going into my first pole dancing class last week, I only had two goals for the night: master at least one move (i.e.vnot like Carrie from King of Queens) and not to fall and injure myself (I use my hands for a living).
Among the things my heavily accented petite instructor mentioned, the one that stuck out the most was, “Be sexy.”
She said it nonchalantly as if sexuality was something that could be turned on or off. While I realize that most woman have this ability, I am not one of those women. Continue reading
Image courtesy of mtv.com
I grew up in a performance-based household where praise was given only for good work. Even that praise was rationed.
I remember getting a 98% on a test and my mother saying, “What did you do with the other 2%?”
I always thought it was cute; you know our “thang,” but years later, I realized this was a very telling pattern of our relationship.
Four months after I do, my mother demanded to know where her grandbaby was. Almost four years later, she is still asking. See? Telling.
I always considered myself the apple of my father’s eye when I was younger because that is what everyone told me. I was the favorite because I was a good girl and got the good grades. Nowadays I’m on the other side of being the favorite.
The other day hubby
accused told me that I never praised our dog.
I scoffed, “Of course that’s not true!” Continue reading
Posted in family, father, In My World, memories, my thoughts
Tagged bad habits, dogs, mothers, patterns, performance, pets, praise