Drought and Famine: Desertion of Self

Wow! It’s been quite a while since I’ve written, or rather typed, an entry. As I was going through my previous blog entries, my last entry was back in September of last year. Believe me, a lot has happened during my hiatus. Usually, when I’m going through so much, I result to my writing or blog to purge and release. However, somewhere along the way, I lost my voice, my way. Then, the madness’s undertow caused me to drown…

I know I was supposed to pick up with a blog about “The Unexpected Adhesive;” on the other hand, that particular entry will have to be addressed at a later time; this one is more pressing at the moment. Bear with me as I attempt to share a little of the trials and tribulations I’ve had to endured after the month of September.

For starters, I had to take a leave of absence from school. From stressing to find a place to stay to trying to attend my night classes, it really took a toll on me wholeheartedly. My legs and feet had swollen so bad I could barely walk nor put shoes on. My migraines became more frequent; stress continued to escalate. Then, I applied for a job at Amazon; I passed the drug test and background test. All I was waiting for was a chance to start working. But, Amazon kept changing my “start date” to I never heard from them again. When I did try to call and speak to someone about the issue, I could never get anyone on the phone. Of course, I received a refund from school. So, I took that to book hotels, buy food, and gas for my car. Within a short time frame, I quickly learned how expensive it was to live in Massachusetts and not to mention all those doggone tolls! I did the best I could, but I had to admit defeat. I couldn’t find a place to stay nor a job. Money dwindled, and I had to come back to where I was trying to escape, HOME! I did not like it. Once I got back home, I knew things were going to pick up right where I left it: a redundant, endless cycle.

Things were still the same; I was still looking for a job with no luck. Adding insult to injury, the same ordeal happened with Cracker Barrel just like it did with Amazon. I applied, interviewed, and had to wait on the background check. I kept calling a few times to check for updates on being hired or not. “We still waiting on the background check,” the manager would tell me. I’m thinking to myself, “It shouldn’t take this long for a background check.” After that, I never heard from them again either. The same was for my partner too. He would get the interviews, but nothing else would follow. So, here we were. My significant other and I was back to sleeping out of the car with no money for food. I would tell him, “We just traded one hell for another.” I would cry myself to sleep and wonder would this nightmare ever end. I’m thinking, “We’re cursed. Still struggling to survive.”

Fortunately, my sister was kind enough to let us stay with her for a while. Finally, we were grateful to a warm place to sleep, a bathroom, etc. He and I continued to job hunt, but we still kept getting the same result. Then, my sister decided she wanted me and my partner to move out. My mother told me we could live with her. Well, my partner was able to finally get a job. I was relieved because I was on the verge of losing my car. However, my elation ended not too long after. The car broke down, and he never received his first check. We kept contacting human resources about it, but they kept giving us the runaround and lying; he filed a complaint with the Department of Labor & Wages but nothing. With no money to fix the car or catch up the payments, I had no choice but to surrender the car. First, I had to leave school; now, I lost my car. I’m telling you I was trying my best to stay afloat; the undertow was something else.

Still applying to jobs, we had one good thing to happen. My dog had puppies; she had seven at first but two died, and it left her with five puppies: Pinky, Red, Apple, Sweetie, and Baby (3 boys, 2 girls). Being around my babies, it helped offset the bad that was beginning to take over my conscious. During my childhood, my dad raised dogs: chows, rocks, and pits. This would be my first time raising pits, let alone five at the same time! It was a challenge at first, but they grew on me. Pinky was claimed by my partner (he’s also the one who dubbed him “Pinky.” He thought Pink was a girl. You can imagine his surprise. LOL). Over the passing of time, those five babies began to wear me down. Despite the turmoil and chaos happening to me, they began to center me. I felt a little peaceful. I just didn’t know what was about to happen. Another blow was getting ready to be administered.

Pinky was the biggest male among his brothers and sisters; Red was his twin, and they were red-nosed pits. Baby, Sweetie, and Apple were the blue-nosed clan. My mother kept complaining that I needed to “get rid of them”. I gave Apple to one of my cousins; his dog was very old, so he wanted one of the puppies. I knew he would love Apple. She was the toughest girl in the bunch; she gave her brothers a ran for their money. It was hard because I was so use to her being the little trouble maker and instigator, yet, I knew she would be in good hands.

A couple weeks later, Pinky was sick, really sick. He was vomiting brown liquid with a strong, sour odor; he lost a lot of weight and stopped eating. I didn’t know what was wrong with him. At first, I thought it was something he must’ve eaten. Then, I thought he had caught the CPV that dogs get. I moved him into the room with me and my partner. Pinky would climb in bed and sleep right beside me. I tried to keep him hydrated, but he would urinate frequently whatever he would intake. With no other choice, I called a vet for help. I’ve never been to a vet before. But, I knew if I didn’t do something, I would lose Pinky. That was not an option. I took Pinky to the vet. Basically, she told me he was dying and wouldn’t make it. I cried my eyes out as he just sat there, staring at me. Then, she was like we had 2 options: 1) put him down or (2) sign over our rights in order to treat him and find him a home. Me and my partner wanted to bring him back home with us, but she claimed he would not make it through the night. The decision was very hard, but I told my boyfriend to sign over the rights. I did not want to kill my baby. I picked him up with tears in my eyes. I kissed and told him that I loved him. My boyfriend did not take it well at all. The vet took Pinky away. I was very heartbroken because I felt he wasn’t going to make it, and I would never see him again.

Later, I found out that they did surgery and he survived. I felt that me and my partner were tricked. The vet said he was dying and he was not going to make it. She never mentioned anything about him just needing surgery. If that’s what was wrong with Pinky, why didn’t she just tell us that’s all he needed? I tried to see if I had a chance to either get him back or re-adopt him. The answer was no! I’m like how did this happen?! Everywhere I turned, I was losing everything! Pinky, my baby, was somewhere and not home with me, his brothers or sisters. He had a home; it was here with us! I think about him everyday; I’m still heartbroken. They would not even tell me where he was other than he was in foster care until he gets better; then, they were going to find him a home.

THIS WAS NOT FAIR!!! I wanted my baby back! The decision was bittersweet; although I was glad he made it, the thought of not seeing him again broke me. He continues to cross my mind. I secretly pray that I will be reunited with my Pink Man someday…someday soon.

It looks like the madness won after all. First, I had to leave school; second, I lost my car, and now, Pinky was gone. I have nothing. I’m dying everyday on the inside. I don’t have a plan and nothing to fall back on if nothing works out.

We still keep applying to jobs and nothing. We thought we had a job; however, we are still getting the runaround. I hate this era! All this technology, expansion of everything, and jobs are still scarce; people are still homeless and need help. I tell you this scares me, and I was fighting harder to stay afloat. Eventually, I got tired and surrendered.

Sinking to the fathom below me, thoughts and memories overwhelm my mind, my heart. But, the only repetitive thought that consumes me is what people have littered my mind throughout my existence: “Your hard work is going to pay off, one day.”

Ha! All my hard work hasn’t gotten me anywhere except for losing what I worked hard to keep. It may not have been much, but it was mine.

It hurts too much to talk, feel, or think now. I’m covered in gunk; I’m numb except to what I feel on the inside. No matter how hard I try or pray, it won’t cut off nor go away.

I was a fighter; I wasn’t going down easy. Everything that happened gradually stripped me down to nothing. Naked, vulnerable with no more defenses to hide behind this time.

“I haven’t the humanity to care anymore.” (C) “Branded” by J.N. McGhee

 

 

Book Anniversary and In the Wilderness

It’s definitely been a long while since my last blog entry. I’m going to have to play catch up again. For this entry, I mainly want to share a few of the obstacles I’m facing; and, the unexpected surprises I never planned to happen.

First of all, today marks the one-year anniversary of my book, “Little Girl Blues: Existence of an Image,” being published along with the birth of my nephew. As I reminiscence, I would have to say it was one of the proudest moments of my life. Though my nephew has grown quite a bit, I can’t help but smile when I look at him. In this generation, babies do not stay babies for long. They grow up rather quickly. He’s already a handful like his father and grandfather before him. So, he has it honest; the apple really doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Digressing…

Now, secondly, I’m here at Emerson College in Boston which is quite a culture shock. It’s very expensive to live and thrive here. Do not even get me started on the parking; it’s a nightmare. Many people have revealed that it would be better to commute and I see why. I must confess – I miss the country. I’m trying my best to adapt; it’s not as easy as some would believe. Also, the people here are very cold and intellectual, not much common sense. For example, I’ve noticed that some people will just walk out in front of cars on the pedestrian walk while the signal is still flashing the hand to wait. I cannot count how many times I’ve come close to hitting someone. Yes, I’ve freaked out on multiple occasions. It’s very different up here and congested.

Thirdly, I’m facing several hectic obstacles concurrently. Things that were supposed to work out fell through at the last minute, and it led to me and my partner sleeping in the car for a little over two weeks now.  (I’ll have to do a separate entry about me in a relationship in next one). We barely have any money, hardly any food, and not a place to…well. You get the idea. He and I were questioning everything: being here, trying to find jobs after we were promised positions, etc. We were fighting battles after battles – we were losing, badly. Every time we thought things were going to ease up, we would get slammed with countless bundles of other stuff. I was at my breaking point, so was he.

Then, my legs and feet swelled so bad. The school clinic had to put me in a room for me to prop my feet and get some rest. Then, I was so stressed out, I caught a migraine. I’m thinking: “Why is this happening? It wasn’t supposed to be like this when I got here. Why can’t things just work out for once?” My partner stayed by my side even though I knew he hated to see me in that condition. Similarly, I hated for him to see me at my weakest point too. The school helped as much as they could such as granting us emergency temporary housing. It felt good to have a bed, bathroom, and food. But, we both knew we would be back to square # 1 again.

I had applied for several jobs at the school, but I never heard back from them even after I did a follow e-mail as the school department suggested. There was nothing. And it was the same for him too. He kept telling me, “We’re doing everything right, so why is this happening? It’s always one thing after another.” I couldn’t even begin to form an answer to his question. I was thinking the same, secretly.

In addition, the school helped with food like letting me access the “Student Food Pantry” and adding cash on my student ID to use at On/Off Campus Merchants. So, they have really done all they could. Some felt that they could do a lot more. I’m just grateful for what they did; a little truly does go a long way.

I felt like David when he was in the wilderness. I’m telling you. We tried to ask for help from home. A few did help but not from the ones we were expecting. I’m like, “Lord, we’re in a strange land. Things are different than what we’re used to back home. How can one get ahead when others won’t even give them a chance?” I even had someone tell me, “Oh, yeah. It’s expected for you to have money when you come out here to Boston.”

I told her, “I’ve never had money. Since I came into this world, I’ve never had money. All I’ve ever had was God, my faith, and my driven ambition. I come from two parents: one is sick with Diabetes Type 1, and the other is basically doing all she can, on her own, to provide for the family. So, I’ve never really had helped. Generally, I’m not accustomed to even asking for help. I just try to get by with the little I have.

Most people will “sympathize” your struggle, but will not genuinely “understand” it. Guess why? Because they do not have to go through it or endure it. Guess who does? Me and my partner. Eventually, I got tired of trying to explain and expecting empathy. Very cut-throat.

Even during these obstacles, God has continued to show us, teach us that he’s the ONLY one that will provide, protect, deliver, etc. It’s taught us to be more humble, patient, grateful, and to trust and depend on him, not man. He’s strengthened our faith and belief in him. For the most part, it has gotten just a little better. I believe it will continue to get better as long as we keep God first in everything that we do. He’ll never leave nor forsake us. He’s been with us every step of the way.

I got a few job interviews lined up, and he got a couple himself. But we’re still waiting on the good Lord to open doors, keep us safe, and lead the way. At this present moment, we’re back to sleeping in the car. We now know that it’s only temporary. God is making preparations.

There’s this quote: ““Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.” —C.S. Lewis.”

I didn’t know how true it was until now. The wilderness is not always a bad place to be, just like “rock bottom.” In the wilderness, you’re broken down. Then, you’re remolded, transformed. You evolve and embrace the path and person that God is shaping you to be. As for “rock bottom,” you have to build on a rock solid foundation. If there’s a crack, the whole thing is unreliable. To paraphrase T.D. Jakes, “anything in life, you have to build it and build on it: relationships, jobs, school, character/personality, etc. It just doesn’t happen or develop on its own.”

Raw truth.

That’s all for now…

*Next Entry: “The Unexpected Adhesive”*

 

Day 4: May 16th and July 1st of 2009 – Dates of Infamy

Out of all my prior entries, I think this one will be the hardest.

I was sick most of the day due to another incessant migraine attack. I thank God I am doing better in order to stay on track during this sabbatical and not break stride.

FDR said, “December 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy.”  Because of the atrocious event that happened at Pearl Harbor, countless people lost their lives. As for me, May 16th and July 1st of 2009 are the dates that are deeply rooted within the heart and soul of this wanderer.

In 2009, this year was filled with a couple of events that would bring any titan to their knees. For the most part, I’ve never wanted to revisit the ghosts of this particular past. Deep down, I knew that I would not have the choice of dealing with just one but both.  For a long time, I didn’t know how to deal with one or the other. So, I chose to not deal with it all.

Why are these dates important? Well, May 16th is the day I graduated from high school in 2006; in addition, it’s the day my grandfather, Robert Lee Rogers, passed away. While growing up, I only had two grandparents. On my mother’s side, you had “Paw Paw”. My grandmother, his wife, had passed away while I was very young; I do not remember her at all except the stories my mother have told me and my siblings. Then, there is my grandmother, Leola Magee on my dad’s side of the family. Just like Paw Paw, Grandmo Leo is the matriarch of the family. My grandfather, her husband, passed around the same time as my other grandmother. So, Grandmo Leo and Paw Paw Robert were the constant pillars in my life. He was the only positive male figure in my life; I was very close and attached to him. I never thought the day would come when he would no longer be there.

Mother’s Day in 2009 was fast approaching. My mother, sister, and I wanted to visit Paw Paw. Suddenly, I caught an instant migraine. I was highly upset.  When it came to visiting Paw Paw, I was like a little girl – I would always get excited about seeing him. Paw Paw was big, stout, and tall. Every time I would hug him, I could never get my arms to fully embrace him. Also, he and my mom’s relationship was pretty funny as well. Whenever they were around each other, like any other parent and child, they had different views on how to handle certain matters. My mother would get so easily irritated with Paw Paw that he would just laugh. At times, I would too.

Anyways, I had to stay home due to me being sick. At the time, I was in a relationship with this guy who shall remain anonymous. All of a sudden, tears began to roll down my face profusely. I had no idea why I was crying. I had this strange feeling that I would never see my Paw Paw again – the foreshadowing served as a warning of what was about to happen.

Later that week, we received a call that Paw Paw was in ICU and in critical condition – he had an aortic aneurysm. I got scared; I wasn’t a medical person, but I knew the situation was not good at all. My mother, sister, and I rushed to the hospital. Since Paw Paw was in ICU, only two visitors could see him at a time. My sister decided she didn’t want to go in. So, my mother and I entered the room. I barely recognized my grandfather. He was very skinny, white towels engulfed his body, hooked up to some kind of machine, and unconscious. I was immediately heartbroken to see him in that condition. I wasn’t used to seeing my Paw Paw like that. I approached the bed and began to talk to him. While I was talking to him, the nurse and my mom were talking. My ears overheard the conversation, and I knew… I told Paw Paw that I loved him and ran out of the room in tears. I told my mother in advance that I would not be coming back; I couldn’t handle seeing Paw Paw like that. We went back home, and I went straight to my room. I called my boyfriend and relayed the news to him. While doing that, I said a prayer, “Lord, if it’s Paw Paw’s time to go, please take him. Don’t let him suffer like that.” I had a hard time finding sleep, but eventually, I got my wish.

Early, Saturday morning, May 16th, Paw Paw passed away while my mother was on her way to the hospital. Later, the staff told her that he was holding on until she got there. But, she was too late. My father was the one who broke the news to me; I screamed in pain. I’m telling myself, on the inside, “No! Don’t tell me that. Paw Paw’s gone…he’s really gone.” When Paw Paw died, a part of me died too. I really did not know how to handle that kind of loss. I’ve suffered losses, but this one…this one was…too close.

I attended the wake, but I didn’t go to the funeral. If I did, it would be real, real that Paw Paw really wasn’t coming back. To this very day, I don’t dare go to the city he lived in because of the little girl part of me. She’s still looking for her Paw Paw; she hasn’t grasped the fact that he’s not there, he’s not at home waiting for me to visit him. It was too much to handle, so I ran. I kept running because I didn’t want to believe reality – my life was forever changed.

After Paw Paw’s death, another trauma would occur. Just like his death, I didn’t see this one coming at all. The guy I was in a relationship was acting strangely: no phone calls, no texts, just absent. Even with him knowing the death of my grandfather, and I needed him for comfort, he was still nowhere to be found. The relationship between us was already rocky: abusive and declining fast. In the month of  June, we were having multiple arguments, and the violence quickly escalated. With our last argument, he left and gave me the silent treatment for 3 to 4 weeks.

In my mind, I had already made up my mind to just break up with him. As if on cue, he called and claimed he wanted to talk. He missed me and wanted to see me. I agreed to see him, but he wanted to come to my house. I told my mother, and she told me that her and my sister would be at home with me in case something happened.

July 1st, 2009, he came to the house. My mother and sister were in their rooms with the doors closed. My mom was listening to her vinyl records, and my sister was playing video games. So, the guy kept trying to move in on me, and I pushed him off and said, “I thought you wanted to talk.” He didn’t want to do that kind of talking. After I realized this, I moved to the other end of the couch and told him to leave. He sat there; then, he asked could he go to the bathroom. I just pointed in the direction of where it was located. For a split second, I had withdrawn within myself, just thinking, “I guess it really is over.” The next thing I knew, he jumped on top of me, overpowering me… (I won’t go into details.)

I was shocked and mad. How could this happen to me in my own home? I kept trying to push him up off me until he made it to where I could no longer do so. I closed my eyes crying and praying her just hurried up before my mother and sister walked in. When he was finished, he got up and fixed himself. Then, he pulled me up and fixed my clothes. He looks at me and says, “Whew. I sure feel better. What about you?” I looked at him and said, “I told you no, multiple times. You didn’t come down here to talk! You came for “that!” I ran outside and fell on my knees. Once again, I let out this agonizing scream asking, “Why? What have I done to deserve such a fate as this?” He came outside and handed my Bible to me. “Here, why don’t you find and read a scripture to help you feel better,” he said.  I just looked at him. He got in his car and left. That was the last time I saw or heard from him.

I was already half dead from Paw Paw’s death. The other half of me was struggling, fighting to the surface to survive. He just finished me off. So, I spiraled and took a plunge into the abyss and for 9 years…that’s where I stayed. Fear took over my life. I was scared to trust, let anyone in, or get close to anyone. I knew people would leave me: voluntarily or involuntarily. Not knowing how to deal with that trauma, I ran from it too.

In the beginning, I tried to split hairs by trying to choose which one to deal with first. I quickly realize I couldn’t; the floodgate would be unstoppable once it opened. Running just seemed easier, simpler. Now, I can’t run anymore.

Recently, I’m slowly accepting my grandfather’s death. And I do mean slowly. A month ago, I did drive down to the church to visit his grave. He didn’t have a headstone, so it was hard to find. I didn’t find it but just me finding the courage to finally go was good enough. I have my memories of Paw Paw. Yes, I still get sad everytime I think of him. But I love him still. I will never, ever forget him.

However, the rape is a different story. I don’t talk about it. I may mention it, but I’m afraid that scar will never heal. He took something from me – something I was saving to share with a husband one day. Now, I feel like damaged goods – unloved and unwanted. The cut was truly deep – twice upon my heart and soul.

I’m slowly getting better. But, I don’t know what will happen once July 1st is here. It’s right around the corner, waiting to ensnare me again. Every year, for the rest of my life, July 1st is a day I will never escape.

These two dates are so colossal. Whenever they arrived, my psyche is literally at stake. Sometimes, I’m telling myself, “I just have to make through the day, and it’s over.” Some truth to it. On the other hand, every year, the pain and trauma I have to relive are endless as time itself is placed on pause.

R.I.P. Paw Paw, Robert Lee Rogers. I sure do love and miss you more than you ever know.

*Blog entry for June 28, 2018.*

10387139_10152060651931053_905348729011903003_o.jpg

Little Girl Still Not Heard. The Story Continues to be ignored

Today is the day. A decision has to be made…

So, I had purchased a book review and an author review for $60. This individual claimed to support Indie Authors. I’m thinking, “Well, maybe this person can help. I’ve been getting lies, the runaround, etc.” When I woke up this morning, (I wasn’t fully awake yet) I read that review. It felt like someone sucked the life out of me. (The book review is a reblogged entry if you want to read it).

Basically, I’m a “failed poet.” “This book is the most difficult, most underrated form of art using words. Clumsiness, some metaphors seem forced, artificial, and not at all inspired. This short book is an example of what a few neatly placed words can done (it’s supposed to be “do”), what can be achieved within the confines of letters and punctuation.” And my book received a 4-star rating. On the contrary, my book was critiqued not reviewed.

To be honest, I don’t even care about the rating. It’s the wording of the review! Poetry is an art! Just like a painting, sculpture, or anything. It’s not the beauty of words; it goes beyond that!!! There’s a story within the poems that I’ve dedicated my life to writing, to convey.  For some reason, nobody is listening to the doggone story! They’re so busy trying to restrict my poetry to guidelines, rules, and how “they” think it should be. The cliche’, “You’ll miss the forest looking at the trees.” This review is a prime example.

Nobody doesn’t want to listen to the story, yet everyone is very quick to say, “everyone has a story to tell.” But who truly wants to listen? Who out there has the open mind to really see what the little girl is saying in that book?!

There is a huge difference between a writer and a poet. I’m a POET! Someone once shared “poetry burns the soul and evokes emotion.” A true and profound statement.

As I stated, I am that little girl. Yes, my story still goes unheard. Perhaps, if it was a novel, it would be more receptive. My allegiance is to poetry. I’m open to all types of literature. Poetry won my heart a long time ago. It saved me when “people” didn’t have the time to listen, care, or just have the time.

Being a published author is one of, if not the only, accomplishment in my life. Like, “Hey, after all the hurt, pain, multiple types of death, it all lead me here.” Now, I’m undergoing another type of death: the death of the soul, the death of a poet. Poetry used to be held in such high regards. In this decaying, withering, society, most wouldn’t know what art was if it was right in front of them.

I’ve been facing so much rejection because I’m a self-published author, or my book is poetry. But, I kept trying, trying to connect, trying new ideas…..

My worst fear: my poems out in the open; I can’t protect them or keep them safe. As long as they were on my computer, written in composition books and journals, and within my safe haven, I could control who I wanted to read them and put my poetry away. However, that’s no longer an option.

There are some who share my vision while others heartlessly mutilate my soul.

“Sorry, Little Girl. No one is listening still. So let’s go back to our unreality. Pretend we have a few like minds there. The world’s reality is not my reality. Their sense of rules is overbearing and unrealistic. But prejudice, isolation, and fake patriotism is the drivel that fuels society’s sanity. If rejection doesn’t kill me first, then I will be the world’s main course. And those that speak “truth” will be silenced within Dante’s Inferno. Never to be seen or heard from again: The ‘One-Hit Wonders’.

Subjected to mediocre meanings such as the period, an end. A comma, a possible addition. A semicolon, another addition making it more complex. Letters birth words involving the alphabet. How else would man have learned to categorize, to define the ‘thing,’ the ‘it.’  Yes, ‘it” could be anything. But what would yours be?

Let art live. Just let it be. Stop trying to cut it up, define it, understand it. It simply just the ‘is.’ Words do cut deep, and the truth is supposed to free the soul. Do you really want to be set free? Or be condemned to the world’s crumbling, archaic method of thinking?

I’m an artist; I will die an artist. But I will choose my demise.
NOT YOU!”

© – J.N. McGhee, poet (first), published author

 

 

 

 

MY BOOK of Poems COMING SOON!!!

ATTENTION: THE MOMENT YOU’VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR!!!
Coming September 18, 2017; LITTLE GIRL BLUES: Existence of an Image; Paperback!

Kindle version is available now! Here’s the link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075KPJ7WV

BE on the lookout!!! Book Promos starting NOW!!!

I just thank God for this milestone! I’m so excited and nervous. I have so much work to do, and I have to get started. More posts coming soon.

Thanks for the support!Little_Girl_Blues_Cover_for_Kindle.jpg

Twin Faces: The Stranger I Will Never Know

This blog is a little more personal for me. Mostly, all of my blogs are. But this one is coming from apart of me that seems to be in the interim space of lost but not quite yet found. (If that makes any sense).

Look at the picture above…..that woman. We look just alike, don’t we? We could pass for identical twins, couldn’t we? Same smile, same eyes, and yes, those cheeks. (I hate mine). But all in all, this woman was my maternal grandmother, Rose Edkar. To be honest, I’ve never met her in person. She lived in California. As I was growing up, there were many pictures of her and stories my mom would tell me and my siblings about her. From her attitude to how much she changed when she turned her life over to Christ, I still did not know this woman. She was my grandmother, yet I just never knew her.

My mom would tell us that Grandmo Rose said hey and she loves us. She never met us either; well, not since we were babies. I’ve never know my mom’s maternal side of the family. Other than one of my aunts who came to visit every now and again, her side of the family lived in California. Only family I knew were my dad’s side of the family. (No comment). I’m cool with an aunt, an uncle, and a few cousins; however, I was never really treated like part of the family. I was always the “black sheep” on both the paternal side and maternal. As my brother and sister grew older, they shared the same category as me except for my brother. LOL, women just fall in love with him whenever. Maybe it’s his charm.

Back in 2010, I spent a week in California with my grandfather. I called Grandmo Rose to let her know, so I could finally see her. I remember her being so excited and saying she would finally get to see one of her babies. But my grandfather wouldn’t take me to see her; unfortunately, I did not know how to drive. I called her crying as I told her what the situation was. Boy, I could feel her anger through the phone. She said, “You tell George Williams that you’re my granddaughter too! And I want to see you!” I just burst out laughing so hard while still crying at the same time.  Even though I relayed the message to him, he still didn’t take me.

I was so defeated. I was like after all these years, I would finally see Grandmo Rose. Connect with her, share some stories, ask for her wisdom from her past situations……that day would never come to pass.

The very last time, I spoke to Grandmo again was Christmas. I was cooking the traditional, nontraditional Christmas dinner. Mom said if she cooked Thanksgiving, I would cook Christmas. Grandmo wanted to speak to me, and we talked on the phone momentarily. Then she says, “Tell Gina I’m tired of talking to her. I will talk to her later.” I was stunned. So I told mom what she said, she was like, “Tell her I’m tired of talking to her too.” Grandmo heard what she said, told me bye, and I hung up the phone. My mom and Grandmo’s relationship was very peculiar to me, but that’s how they got along.

In 2014, Grandmo Rose went into the hospital. She had diabetes, high blood pressure real bad. They took a picture of her smiling…me and my sister shared it on Facebook asking of prayers. Of course, a couple of family members got mad and told us to take the picture down. Me and my sister didn’t; you see, they had Grandmo. They were around her, knew how she was, and everything.

All we’ve ever had were pictures and a voice; that’s all. No memories long enough to hold onto. Long story short, October 16, 2014, Grandmo passed away. She had a stroke and end of story.

My life just paused…….I never met this woman. Never seen her in person; I wanted so badly to form a relationship with her. It was not fair to me or my siblings. We just always seem to be the odd ones left out in one way or another.

The funeral was in California; no, we did not go, but my mom did.

Before Grandmo passed, she was in the hospital. My mom had gone to see her. Mom said that Grandmo said, “I guess I will never get to see my babies.” She was holding on just to see us at least one time. I hate that we nor she will never get that chance.

Grandmo Rose, you’ve been on my mind and heart heavily all the time. I don’t know why nor do I understand. But I am sad….

When I look at this picture, and as I look in the mirror, I see you. Same eyes, same smile, and those big cheeks…

I love you, Grandmo. Though we were denied a bond, you’re still a stranger , a voice, and albums full of pictures that I only wish I had just a little time to get to know.

 

R.I.P. Grandmo Rose