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Category Archives: Relationships

Belated Father’s Day

My First Love

Trips to the beach
Weekend shopping sprees
You holding my hand in yours,
Protecting me from the world.
I was your “Boop”.
Tall, lean and caramel brown;
A clefted chin and
Beautiful smile.
Your singing drove me to breath-taking giggles-

I thought no one could compare…

My hero
My king
My love.

Lonely days of waiting melted into lonely nights
And inconsolable tears.
Years went by.
You came back, charming as ever.
With your sincere words and tender kisses, that would lead to
Days unaccounted for
Unexplained.
Broken promises,
Money borrowed.
The shock of your fist knocking me to the floor.
The flashing lights,
Me giving a statement
As a crimson print settled onto my pale cheekbone.

At graduation you came smiling
As if you had a hand in my milestone.
Be nice and smile for the camera, said mom.
You had no right.

My hero
My king
My love.

So save the apologies
And personal attacks on my integrity.
You were an asshole long before the rock
Became your motivation.
I remember Mommy on the floor of my room
With a blood-stained Afro.
Me, wide-eyed in four-year-old feety pajamas
And you, swooping down to take me.

I remember our trip to Florida in a yellow, foreign car
You shimmying up a tree to get me a coconut.
Then twenty years later without decency or restraint, you shattered that tender memory
with the truth-
A truth that would have changed my identity.

My hero
My king
My love.

So excuse me.
Excuse my contempt.
For you
Your family and
Your life.
Excuse my hardened heart
And inability to trust.
That mean streak that everyone loves to hate-
Lovingly molded by you.
Excuse me,
For shielding my children
From your poisonous nature
And lobotomizing you from my life.

As a woman, my journey continues.
For the one to console me
Who will guide and protect me.
To rub my hair
And tenderly kiss my forehead
As a father would.
To rescue me
From the world
From myself
From you.

A girl never forgets her first love.

 

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There Are Still Good People

This Tweet halted my late-morning Hootsuite headline scan.

 

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I clicked the short link and read the article, periodically wiping my tearing eyes. This is an excerpt from Deborah Greene’s blog post.

Such stories give me hope. 🙂

 

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Radio Silence

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I don’t think I’ve ever gone this long without posting.

Sometimes the world becomes overwhelming and I become withdrawn. Like I need to recharge or reboot to successfully interact. I usually write poetry to get back to an even keel, but the words did not come…

I’m searching for higher ground.

 

Keep Doing What You’re Doing

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Happy Father’s Day!

You don’t have to be perfect, you just have to be there! To all the fathers, uncles, grandfathers, cousins, brothers and mothers who are helping to guide and raise our children to be secure, happy and productive, thank you. It takes a village.

 

The Dynamic Definition of Family

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According to a new Pew Research Center poll more than 34 percent of U.S. children are being raised by a single parent. And only 46 percent of us live in a “traditional” family household (two, married heterosexual parents in their first marriage). The decision to rebuke marriage is cited for some of the shift. The study does not include information on percentage of children in same-sex marriage households.The benchmark seems to be data from 1960.

Having not delved into the actual data (although I am unsure if it dug in), I am guessing that people feel more secure about choosing what is best for them rather than the popular choice. What I’m curious to know is the resulting analysis: are our children happier?

 
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Posted by on December 29, 2014 in Family, Relationships, Single Parenting, Youth

 

Collateral Damage

Collateral Damage

Andrea McDaniels at The Baltimore Sun wrote an article that I had to thank her for writing! It is one in a series but I just stumbled upon this installment via my Twitter feed this morning. And I am sharing it with as many as I can…

I was a 20 year-old college student when I lost the man that I planned to marry, Frederick Walker aka “Bula.” He was also a college student, studying Electrical Engineering. Bula was shot multiple times by his best friend’s nephew who was 15 at the time.

This all happened three weeks before my junior year in college. Instead of going back to school, I sat out for a semester. I found out that I was in the early stages of pregnancy but miscarried with the grief.

The only reason I returned to school was because he would never be able to earn his degree so I could at least earn mine. IT WAS THE HARDEST THING THAT I’VE EVER DONE. Burying him, then getting my head together to finish school. I was functional but crazy and I don’t say that lightly. Somehow I did it. My college friends rallied around me and my writing helped.

But graduation brought a new wave of hurt. My graduation gift from him was to be an engagement ring. He asked me to marry him, but could not yet afford the ring. We had picked it one out together and he promised to give it to me at my graduation. He was working several jobs while in school and we were so excited for a life that we would never share. I graduated and returned home to him being gone.

I used to tell anyone who would listen that the field psychiatry needed to study this issue of family grief resulting from homicide. I knew that the intensity of such loss could impact the health and well-being of people; and because African Americans were disproportionately suffering from this pain, I knew it was changing our community. People who loved me chalked my theories up to grief.

I can identify with people who were interviewed from the article who said that people judge the loved ones who were killed. As an African-American woman who was very young at the time, people assumed that he must have been a drug dealer or somehow on the wrong side of the law or doing something that earned him those bullets. (And even when that is the case that doesn’t lessen the pain felt by those who love them dearly!) But it was quite the contrary; he remains one of the best people that I have ever known! He had been helping the 15 year-old get his life together. The young man got into some mess and my fiancee found out. He was angry with him and they began to argue. Reportedly, the young man became afraid (although Bula was unarmed) and shot him repeatedly in the chest and torso.

Although I did not receive any counseling, I have learned to carry him in my heart and to release most of the anger. But losing him in that manner changed me in ways that I probably have yet to realize – people can not begin to imagine. I still plan to seek professional help because I think it can still be valuable and, as an adult, I am unafraid to do so. I am so thankful that research is beginning to address the “ripple” effect because we live in a violent world that doesn’t seem to be getting better.

 
 

World AIDS Day

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Today is World AIDS Day.

We’ve come a long way in advancing the effectiveness of the drugs but not the effectiveness of public communication. Talk to your partner about it. Talk to your friends about it. Talk to your kids about it.

I’m gonna check out this documentary tonight. And if you’re doing some Cyber Monday shopping, today Apple is contributing a portion of all proceeds from every product, accessory, and gift card sold at the Apple Retail Store and Online Store to the Global Fund to fight AIDS.

Do you know your status? Find testing locations in your area and get tested TODAY. It can save your life.

 
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Posted by on December 1, 2014 in Health, Politics, Real Talk, Relationships, women, Youth

 

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