share him

we all grew up together. same damn town.  went to school together.  same Sunday school class.  our parents fed us together.  we attended each other’s weddings. celebrated the birth of all 11 of my children and all 8 of yours. you were there when God took back my infant.  you cried with me.  Helped me be the mom the others needed and celebrated the births of the others. some of our kids dated. fell in love with each other. married. and now our grandchildren and great-grands and so on are cousins. our families tied. extended. blended. forever. we laughed about it whenever we visited each other.  you were important to me. more than just my friend. you were like my sister.

my question to you is, after all this. all these years. laughter, tears, friendship, why did you sleep with him?  Even if he’s the one who initiated it, why wasn’t our bond tight enough for you to lay with your own and leave mine alone?  Even if he preferred your pretty red skin over my smooth dark tone, why wasn’t our sisterhood strong enough for you to turn away from him?  Even if his caramel sweetness and his soft hair, his bow legs and sweet talk was intoxicating at sight and sound, why wasn’t our pact powerful enough for you to resist.  Yes, I should blame him, but I don’t. cause he’s a man. and you’re beautiful. and just as you and I bonded, he also felt a connection with you as well. You with your “better” color and your “quality” hair.  you who understood words better than I did. spoke more logically.  you who had a husband to move you up the hill and away from the misery. you. you knew better. should have known better.  I loved him. needed him. enough to be willing to turn a blind eye to his desire for you. enough to ignore the hidden moments between you two. enough to share him. with you.

So now that he’s dead and gone.  and I’m gone to be with him. have him all to myself finally.  Now that you’re alone. tell me. which one of your 8 is his?

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How did they do it all?!

Today I am tired because yesterday I did what turned out to be “too much”.  Of course during the “doing” I didn’t think of the possibility of too much; I was simply doing what needed to be done. My day started at 6:00a.m and ended at approximately 2:00a.m this morning. Then I was back up again at 6:15 to continue “doing”.  I look back at yesterday with no regrets, because things got done. Everyone’s request to me was met. I slept -briefly, but slept nonetheless.  And I’m tired. with Purpose.

and so I think….

how did they do it??? our ancestors. the slaves? how did they do it all?!

no cars. no ac. no down-feather comforters. no leather jackets with wool lining. no boots. no maxi-pads or tampons. no diapers and wipes. no baby powder. no deodorants. no pocketbooks/handbags to put them in.  no Dove body wash. no bath and body works lotion/mist/perfume.  again I say: no maxi-pads or tampons! HOW. DID. THEY. DO. IT?!  No marvelous wedding ceremony. no amazing reception venues.  no honeymoon for days.  Everything that needed to be done, got done right where they were. right where they stood. right where they worked.  And somehow it got done. all of it. all the requests/expectations were met daily. It got done.

no headphones plugged into some device so small and convenient, yet so huge so as to give you the sounds you needed to get through the day.  the music was there. within them. their hearts and minds. their souls.  Songs lived. filled. the “holes in their souls”. music. prayer. hope. faith. filled the holes left by the children/spouses/parents/friends taken away.

and the women. those women. our women. the amazing, marvelous, miraculous, magical, spectacularly beautiful, strong, divinely powerful women. They did it all. without the leather jackets with wool lining, boots, maxi-pads or tampons or pain-relievers. without the diapers and wipes. without the baby powder. and no pocketbooks/handbags to put them in.  no Dove body wash. no bath and body works lotion/mist/perfume.  These astoundingly superior women got their work done, with the baby tied to their backs, and the toddler at their feet. They breastfed their own and the ones not even in their bloodline.  They helped deliver the babies and tend to the sick. all this sometimes in one day. laid their babies down to rest. prayed over and for them.  and possibly got an hour or two of rest themselves.  Then got right back up and did it all again.   These women made the choice many times over to run for the unknown/unfamiliar freedom? or “stick to the evil you know”?   these decisions… what’s best for them? for their children?  How did they do it?  daily? These women. These stunning, intense, brilliant, indestructible, fervent women. They did it all.

So today I am tired. With Purpose. and I give honor and gratitude to my ancestors, for being steadfast.  Sonorous. Allowing this strength to ring out from generation to generation.  Nothing I do compares to  what they’ve done, but I do know I couldn’t do/accomplish any of this , had it not been for ALL that they did.  Had it not been for their determination, tenacity and Love for themselves, their children, their children to come, the children unknown.

– Spend My Life With You”

He asked….but in “that moment” I knew not to take what he said seriously. I didn’t answer.

He asked…but I had just gotten to college. It was the first couple weeks of freshman year. I heard the question on my answering machine when I got in from class. It seemed like a selfish thing for him to do to me… I didn’t answer.

He asked multiple times…I replied “but we’re not in-love with each other”. He said “love would come later”. I really didn’t want that. I left it alone. 

He never asked…just assumed it’s what we “should” do. I knew the timing was bad…..

…so she said…

No horns growing out her forehead; fairly easy on the eyes

Dresses well

Educated

Ambitious

Good mom

Dependable/loyal -not like a puppy or a car, but just a good chic to have in one’s life

Keeps her house well

Sees bulls**t for what it is and makes no excuses for it…calls it what it is. Bulls**t

He asked the dreaded question:  “…so why are you not married? what’s wrong with YOU?…”

Made her think.

And so she said, “my patience is thin.  I have no time to help you figure you out, and then help you learn me.  I don’t want to try to ignore your bulls**t in the hopes that you’ll choose me over whatever it is that you can’t let go of.”

So she said, “I like being at peace.  I like coming home and not having anyone question my whereabouts. No one to pick arguments with me for bs reasons.”

So she said, “I know what I DON’T want to have to deal with…what I simply refuse to accept…but I’m not sure what I’m willing to work with…that still remains unknown.”

So she said, “I’m afraid to share my bathroom.  I don’t want to have to walk in and smell someone else’s s**t”

So she said, “I love having the space in my bed for my kids and sisters and friends to just jump into and talk without worrying if he feels… -out of place-”

So she said, “I love having my bed to myself… “the world is mine, when I wake up. I don’t need nobody telling me the time.”

So she said.

“Dig Deeper”

I remember an episode of “The Cosby Show” where the older daughter -Denise- was telling them about a dream she had about one of her teachers….the teacher was wearing a big hat and Denise took it off her head and there was another hat and the teacher said “Dig Deeper!” so she kept taking the hats off and the teacher kept telling her to “Dig Deeper!”  Denise was struggling with this teacher because she would always tell her to Dig Deeper to find the answers she needed.

And so it is with my writing.

I am the one taking the hats off myself and telling myself to dig deeper. It’s continuous.  When I take my “hats” off, what’s there?

I’m a mother. Dig Deeper.

I’m a daughter. Dig Deeper.

I’m a sister.  Dig Deeper.

I’m a friend. Dig Deeper.

I’m a cousin/niece/grandchild.  Dig Deeper!

I’m an employee.  Dig Deeper!

I’m an acquaintance. Dig Deeper!

I’m the one you love.  Dig Deeper.

I’m the one you used to love.  Deeper.

I’m the one you still love.  Deeper still.

I’m the one who loves you.  Dig Deeper

I’m the one who used to love you.  Dig Deeper

I’m the one who can and will love you.  Dig Deeper

I am black.  Go Deeper!!

I am educated.  In what?

Sociology: the importance of the family dynamics. the importance of the church.  the importance of feeling/being a part of something beyond yourself.  The importance of the rich, middle class and the poor and how all these different classes supposedly offer a societal balance.

 Psychology: the way you act is a direct result of what you’ve learned.  Either you walk the same path, or you veer away from it. Either way, what you’ve learned -or been exposed to continuously over a period of time- affects you who are.

Networking: sitting at home, or posted up at your desk is as dangerous as it is safe.  Get out and meet people. Have conversations face to face.  Supermarket aisle “have you tried this product? how do you use/cook with it?”  or a random “I love your hair. what do you use?  Natural hair is not easy to maintain…”   If there’s one thing you can get black women to chat about it’s hair!  If there’s one thing you can get women to in general to chat about, it’s shoes. Chat. Give and receive random compliments. Make new friends.

Love: how to give it and how to receive it. How to walk away from it when it fades.

     Hurt: how to give it and how to receive it.  How to walk away when it becomes too much.

 Happiness: how to appreciate and honor it.

Pain: how to live through it.  Take medications or let it pass. Fix it or get rid of it.

Sex: Good or bad.  Never settle for the bad.  Fix it or get rid of it.  There are too many things to do and incorporate to settle.

Religion: if it suits you, cool. If not, find what does.  But don’t give up on God.

Trust: how educated am I on this subject?…this is the one “class” I never really passed because it seems like all I keep learning is how not to trust.  This is the class I am forced to retake over and over again. Damn it. This is where digging deeper got me.  I’ll keep working….

Daily Prompt: Purple

via Daily Prompt: Purple

Purple is one of her favorite colors.  It should have been incorporated into her wedding dress. Her bridesmaids’ dresses should have been beautifully hinted in purple or hilariously drenched in it. Her reception venue should have been wonderfully decorated in beautiful shades of it along with whatever color he favored as well.  Her dad should have walked down the aisle in his tuxedo or purple linen suit. Her mom should have been seated in the front row in something pretty and purple or lavender or whatever.  We should have all been there to witness this beautiful event.  We should have…. but…. she eloped. Almost a year ago. and. never. told. a. soul.  We see her every weekend. She makes it to all the family gatherings. Never once said a word.  Why?  ….. none of the why’s matter now.  What matters is it happened.  What’s important is that we accept and honor this move she made.  She’s not one of our teens. She’s an adult.  What’s important is he’s now a part of our family; officially.  We’ll love him just like we loved anyone else who signed the papers and entered this family. We’ll love him because she loves him and he loves her.  We’ll hope and pray they last forever.  Pretty shades of purple beautifully displayed throughout their lives.