known you in my time. in these days. I feel you would be proud of me. I feel you would have sat me down and told me your own stories, your own struggles, how you overcame. how you birthed all those beautiful children and then raised of few of theirs. I feel you would have told me to just stop thinking so hard. so much. to be at peace. I feel you would tell me about the “white side” of us. told me the truth of our bloodline because looking at your pictures, you seem more native-Indian. told me how racism/prejudice outside is one thing, but racism/prejudice WITHIN the family was something different…deeper…more painful. looking at your pictures I see such strength. your skin is bright-colored -red, as they call us. your face, freckled; a mark that can be seen even in the ones I birthed. your hair long. your body, strong. that smile…I see my grandma in you. I wish you were here to see your grandson, my father, become a handsome man who absolutely sucked at being a husband, but does really well at being a dad and is an amazing grandpa. You would probably say “he’s horrible, but he’s yours. pray him through. love him much. he’ll get better.” and he did. you know this.
I wish I had more time with you. you were horrible to my mom. yet you loved all her kids to pieces because they were planted by your son. I wish you didn’t push back against her pain. I wish you hadn’t contributed to her hurt .I wish you hadn’t supported your son, my father, in his bulls**t the way you did. and yet when Mother Time passed by and walked off with your memories…it seemed she only took the bad ones. because when you remembered my mom, you remembered her as “the nice girl your boy married“. you didn’t have a bad thing to say about her. and that same Time, allowed me to sit with you once again. sing with you. use my thick thighs as drums as you sang along and it pleased you so well you smiled and said “likkle gal, yuh good pan di drums yuh nuh?” and I grinned back with “only for you though granma!” and me, though a 29 year old mother at that time, was once again a 5 year old in your presence. and though Mother Time confiscated your bad memories, she left you with your knowledge of the words of the bible, the spiritual songs you learned growing up and throughout your years, your love of music and your love of family. and even though as we sat together and sang, and at times you had no idea who I was, I knew you. and I introduced myself to you many times throughout the day (as all your grandchildren had to) and we would start fresh. I loved you. I wish I had more time with you.
Dad, I’m glad I didn’t know the true you growing up. I’m glad I saw you as King. I’m glad I saw you as Lead. I’m glad I was hoodwinked into thinking you were the best. I never thought I would feel this. but I am glad. I’m glad I was well into my teenage years before I knew who you really were. we have gone through some crap. I always say, that of all your kids, I’ve dealt with you longer and deeper. I know you better. and we have gone through some crap. you’ve crushed me, and I’ve hurt you. but we always, ALWAYS, forgave and got back to being right. I wish you did right by your own physical health. I wish you listened to our pleads for being better. but I’m glad that after all of it, you’re still here. we me. with mom. with all of us. I’m glad my children know and love you. I’m glad you still care. I’m glad you feel you still have some control over us…I’m glad I’m able to respectfully remind you of the truth.
great-grandma> grandma> dad> me> mine…. this lineage of love and faults continue. and though I wish I had known the ones before, got to spend time with and learn about and from them, I’m glad I had and have what I have. I’m glad I have truth.