Breathe Easy, You've Found Me ((HUGS))

People will wonder why this blog is needed, why minority midwifery student? It's very simple actually; I was looking for this blog...but I couldn't find I created it. We all have unique experiences, and every experience, every story, can help someone else. I am a black girl from the hood at an ivy league professional school. That, alone, is reason enough to write. Somebody was looking for this blog. Someone wanted proof that what I'm doing can be done - even when you come from where we come from.

To that person especially, WELCOME.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Coming Out from Under

I'm home, from home. It was good to go and be surrounded by people who understood the enormity of the hole that is left in the world. Brittany Williams
was joy,
To be home was to be in a place where my "I don't understand" did not echo back on itself. It was good to have coffee, and hug my baby, and sit with my grandma, be with my parents. Yes, it was good to be home.

I can not begin to explain it...what it feels like to see so many young people in a funeral parlor. Many of them desensitized because it's not the first time. Nor will it be the last. Who can blame them for talking about something else, anything else? It's crushing and heavy and suffocating. I was so hot. So, so, hot. There were so many people that the wake was basically done in shifts to keep people from having to be outside, which meant that I couldn't even stay as long as I wanted to, needed to. The funeral was held elsewhere to accommodate the community. But I did get to speak to her mother, which was really something that I needed to do. I kept thinking I can't leave here without seeing her, saying something. When I finally made it I didn't
get to say anything, she said everything:

Oh my god, it's you. She loved you. She talked about you always. She never stopped talking about you. She looked up to you. She loved you. She loved you.

"I'm so, so sorry" was all I could manage. But I'm looking for a card, actually, a post card, to send her a very simple note of what a difference her daughter made in my life, too.

What her mother said to me that day is on my mind. I started to think about whether or not what I've done with my life is enough. The answer is yes. YES. I know I'm young to be saying so, but I realized over the weekend that if I knew I were to die tomorrow, I could (outside of initial human shock) be at peace with that. I have loved, hard. I have given without expectation, I have shared my last. I have honored those to whom I owe my existence. I have been a friend. A real friend. And I have spent time thinking critically of my life, what I want, and what I have to give.

And this week or the next, during one of my first call shifts, I will have ushered life into the world, safely (please dear God, safely).

In keeping with humanness, I am flawed, of course. But I am happy with my contribution to the universe. Everyone that I love and cherish, knows it. If I never do another thing, I did enough. I just want people to know that, because one day you're here, the next you're not.

One moment she was here, the next she was gone.

I sit with that all day. I pray for her, and her mother, and the rest of us. I try not to look at pictures too often, and lately I've been avoiding the song used for her tribute. I am building back up my armor because there is just no way to keep this pace, and this work load, without it, and I am vulnerable here. I don't know these people, even though they think they know me. Right now I'm sticking to the two or three people that I know have my back, and that's enough. And of course, the man. Those who are far away, please call. Don't let my schedule deter you. I'll call more, too. Who are we, and what do we think we're doing, otherwise?

What I know now for sure, that I was only saying before is this: we've got it all wrong.

If you don't give love, fully, thoroughly, then you're lost. I'm sure. If you can not think of one person who you love no matter what the hell they do or say or know or don't know or look person whose life you find yourself directly responsible for, you've got work to do. Please don't confuse this with marriage or a boyfriend or a girlfriend, or any other label you can think up. No labels allowed. Just love. Unwavering, unconditional, love. The kind that says I am happy that you exist....I will be the person who thinks of you before I lay down my own head at night...I will leave the porch light on for you, even if only theoretically...I gotchu...I'm here, to the best of my ability...I'll remember you, when you're gone...if there's nobody else, there will always be me, in body or spirit. Love. That's it.
That's the answer.

Thank you all for leaving your well wishes. Thanks for reaching out. Thanks for reading.

I'm coming out from under.

1 comment:

Dark Daughta said...

I was thinking about your last paragraph and about how I've encountered so many people who confuse love with caregiving or with energy draining that's really one sided.

After I left your blog a minute ago I continued on visiting the sites of people I've encountered while being in blogland. I thought about how many people use the word love and how little I do.

I had to stop and separate out your meaning from the way that people utilize the word "love" so much that it is repeatedly emptied of meaning and only refilled with platitudes, with hallmarkisms, with craving rather than with care, affection, presence, mindful listening and overall intentionality in support of compersion that identifying with the needs of the other, the person you relate to.

I realize that often love hasn't been giving the person what the request, because sometimes our children the little inner people ask for things they think they want that they don't need...
No, I think about coming with what I've got: focus, vision, speaking, affection, support of the other person's trek towards something greater than either they or I can envision.

I think for me love is synonymous with a kind of care that most people don't recognize as love because it's not a comfortable kind of caring like a warm embrace.
It's a tougher kind of love.

I was thinking about my mentor whose interview I posted today. I've only been in the same city with her a handful of times over the past fifteen years. We've been out together for coffee or for food maybe five or six times.

But she was someone who saw me. She saw right through into my heart and into my brain. She allied with me and supported me to write and to give credence to my own ideas, to my words in a way that no one has done since.

She understood who I could become, what I could do. I understand that as a kind of love a kind of presence I hadn't received.

I'm smiling as I'm typing because I'm thinking about that woman nurturance. I'm thinking about Ophelia and about the kind of feminist she is. She's not a mama figure. :) She brought more stuff many people don't want to see or hear coming out of the mouth of a seventy year old caribbean woman. When I think of her and the conversations we've had, I have to smile.

Do I know how to love these wimmin in ways they and maybe only they can appreciate? Mos def. Do I know love, the love of people beyond my children and Papi? Yes. Do I have the love of people who know me and who get what I'm after who see what I'm trying to do with my life and in the world around me? I'm smiling. I don't necessarily call it that...for the afore mentioned reasons...but I get what you're saying.

Thanks for this, Loving Pecola.