…to get some milk and co-okies…

August 12th, 2008 — 3:03am

It is always so fascinating when you have a moment to reflect. Only in these moments do you realize just how much you take for granted. Or who for that matter. My great Aunt Phyllis passed away last Sunday and while I cannot forwardly remember her, I still prayed for my grandmother very, very hard. “They” say these things come in threes. With a lot of people the three started with Morgan Freeman, but with me it started with my great aunt.

I’d be lying if I said I watched every episode of The Bernie Mac Show and I’d also be lying if I said that he was one of my absolute favorites in comedy. But, I will say this: his was the funniest spot on The Original Kings of Comedy and you can always spot talent when you watch a comedian do stand-up. Even the few bits of The Bernie Mac Show I remember still stick with me and make me smile.

Bernie Mac was truly hilarious and, even though I only saw him in things here or there, I was still devastated when I read that he had passed. It seemed so simplistic and just far too soon, but I guess God knew it was his time just like with anyone else. What really interests me is the fact that he seemed more cherished to me than say Isaac Hayes. My heart goes out to the Hayes family, but with Bernie Mac, you know he is somewhere where there is no more pain and no more tragedy.

I watched The Original Kings of Comedy tonight because it was the only thing I had with him that didn’t require going all the way back downstairs and sifting through my DVDs, but I’m very glad I did. In the film, right before he goes on stage, he does the coolest thing; make a cross over himself and clearly say a short prayer before performing and his was just as funny as the first time I saw it. When he got into the part that turned out to be the plot of his show, I was crying with laughter for ten minutes straight.

While the bipolar in me wants to rush out and buy several seasons of The Bernie Mac Show and watch ten episodes of South Park straight, that “moment” passed without incident just by seeing Bernie Mac make that little cross before he performed. When I learned of Isaac Hayes passing, I prayed for him and his journey because it seems he went before the Creator a Scientologist instead of a Christian as he should have been, but with Bernie Mac, everything is all smiles. I know where he went and I can’t imagine how best to “pay my respects” to someone than to laugh with them on home.

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Musings of a person with too much time on her hands.

July 27th, 2008 — 12:02am

I always find it fascinating how well I manage to get side-tracked when it comes to my writing. It never feels bad initially, because it is contributing to my knowledge of a subject and thus, making me a better writer, but I am amazed nonetheless.

Take for example my efforts are re-writing/inserting Chapter 31 of Flight, a novel. I decided I needed a scene where two of the principle characters are coming to some kind of reconciliation and then spent an hour trying to figure out how to make it happen.

I said to myself, How should I present this scene? So, I figured a board game between them. At first it was Battleship, since they would be facing one another, but then I was like, “Would people their age even play that? Do they even make that game anymore?” and then went researching to find a decent board game they could play. When I was about to give up and settle for Jenga, I found Othello. It sounded like an interesting game with all its various stratagem, but I did not know how to play and I cannot think of anything more humiliating than to spend hours writing about something about which you know very little, only to realize that you got everything wrong and sound like an idiot, even if the prose is magnificent.

So, to Wikipedia I went and ended up spending the rest of the night playing game over and over and over again. I did not get anymore writing done for the rest of the night, but by the time I had left work (all these revelations came to me at work), I had a rather firm grasp of the game for a beginner.

Another instance of this same issue was when I was working on my Harry Potter fanfiction. I decided it would be best to have an understanding of how streets intersected in the areas I had them going and found myself, hours later, becoming so mesmerized by the River Thames that I just zoomed in on Google Maps and followed the river from its mouth to as far as I could follow during the rest of my shift (again, hard at work).

I mention this as mostly a memoir to myself when I look back and think about my levels of procrastination. I remember a long time ago talking to my roommates in the dorms about how beneficial procrastination always seemed like a good thing, like going for a run or cleaning instead of studying. While it feels like something is being accomplished, the main goal still goes unrealized.

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Time

April 4th, 2008 — 1:22am

Every once in a while, I find myself in an anxious stupor (if that’s even possible) as I feel time ticking away from me tick by tick by tick by tick…Whoops! There goes another second.

Sometimes I feel like I’m the odd one out in a room of millions. Like being the only girl in a room full of men. Like being the short person in a standing crowd. Like being the only black person in a classroom – Oh wait! I already face that every day!

But really, sometimes I wonder if anyone else in the world looks at the fact that every second that passes is a second closer to death. I think about it…often. Far too often. Sometimes, I think about it to the point that my breath catches and I run a dozen prayers through my mind to calm my spirit to the point that I can face the world again. And, there goes another ten minutes.

The entire idea of life bothers me. Twenty-three years have come and gone for me. One day I’ll wake up and I’ll be thirty or forty or sixty or ninety or I’ll just wake up to some searing pain in my chest as my body goes into cardiac arrest and I run a dozen prayers through my mind hoping that all “bad stuff” I’ve done or said or thought can be washed away in the .0310 seconds before I take my last breath.

The Christian in me does not fear death. I know – no, I really know – that I have accepted Christ in my heart and if I were to die at this very second…there’s a pretty good chance I would go to heaven. That part doesn’t bother me, in fact, it’s the only thing that comforts me. But then come the “what-ifs.”

The what-ifs drive doldrums into depressions, they drive eccentricities into insanities, they…I don’t know if I can sit here and list all the ways the what-ifs make the world a miserable place, but every time I think about another second passing…the what-ifs plague me.

What if this is all there is? What if there is no after-life waiting me? What if when we’re gone, we’re gone? What if I’ll never see Edrith or MawMaw again? What if my own mother dies and that’s it. No more hugs or lengthy birth stories every 26th of September; no more nothing. What if I never get married and have children? What if I end up old and alone? What if death is painful? What if it starts happening to me and I’m conscious of every part of it? What if I’m in such a panic when it starts to happen, I don’t even think of prayer and my last thoughts are “Oh shit!” instead of “Oh Christ!”? What if I think back to writing this post in my last moments and think, “What an utter waste of time!”? What if…indeed.

All the what-ifs notwithstanding, time keeps on marching. Already twenty minutes have passed since the moment I wrote “Time” as the title of this. Twenty minutes gone in a life that has to end at some point. Twenty fewer minutes to wonder, to love, to think, to grow, to create, to cry, to smile, yearn, eat, sleep, breath. And, there goes another twenty.

I think this is just a reflection on procrastination. I haven’t had time all week to even practice the lesson to be able to teach the adult class on Sunday, but what has me on edge is the fact that there hasn’t even been time to procrastinate. It’s already April and the book’s not done. It’s already April and the weight isn’t down a bit. It’s already April and I still don’t feel like I’m a greater, stronger, better Christian. And, another ten minutes into April gone.

Time…keeps moving on. Heh.

Time keeps movin’ on,
Friends they turn away.
I keep movin’ on
But I never found out why
I keep pushing so hard the dream,
I keep tryin’ to make it right
Through another lonely day, whoaa.

…maybe that should be my new song for the blog. Hmm…

1 comment » | Deep Thought, Jesus, On Me

This isn’t supposed to start ’til the end of the month…

March 12th, 2008 — 11:25pm

God, I’m so frustrated.

That’s it. I’m completely and utterly frustrated with life.

Hillary Clinton lost another state. Just so frustrating. I’m not even a Democrat and it still pisses me off. Why can’t people just be honest with themselves? Barack Obama IS only winning because he’s black. That’s it! If you compared him against a white senator whose full of “ideas” and only been in the senate for all of two seconds and then take away race, there no difference. People say he’s charismatic. Who the hell cares? Hilter was charismatic. How the heck do you think he managed to nearly take over the world? Charisma has nothing to do with leading the country in right direction. And, I think I’m just truly insulted by the fact that this is affirmative action at it’s absolute worst. I can’t even stand it. There is nothing about him that would make a good president. No one, and I mean no one, can explain to me how he’s going to beat McCain. Good God! If Hillary won, I would vote Democrat for the first time in 3 years, and I’ve only been able to legally vote for five!

Honestly, this country is just not ready for a black president. If Jena 6 can be manage to be national news, this country’s not ready for a black president. If the state of Ohio can vote Republicans into every other office except for the governor’s chair for whom the Republican candidate coincidently happens to be black, this country’s not ready for a black president. What is wrong with America? Why can’t we see past the flash in the pan charisma and quit getting caught up in the moment? The only way this country is ever going to see a black president is if he (and I say he because I will never see a black woman as president of the US in my lifetime) is a Republican. A black Republican will win the conservative vote and will win the proverbial “black vote” at the same. We’ll see how many of these “time for change” people will back the first considerable black Republican taking a shot at the candidacy.

Grrr! I’m getting to the point that every time I hear the name Barack Obama I want to throw something high into the air and shoot it into oblivion. I just can’t stand it.

I’ll just start listing everything else I hate about the world right now:
Gas is 3.45 a gallon. That’s right. I can feed two people off Wendy’s dollar menu for the same cost as a gallon of gas.

Working sucks. I’m just not cut out for this 40-hour week thing. In fact, I don’t think I’m cut out for any job, but I can fake it real well; that is, when I’m not actually crying over the fact that I can’t be perfect in a job I hate.

Hypocrisy is alive and well. *coughSpitzercough*

My weight is never going to be normal. I’m just going to get fatter and fatter until I’m one of those people who has to have a wall torn out off my house just so that eight people and a tractor to carry me to the fork lift so that I can attempt a risky quadruple bypass surgery.

The environment is in the tubes. Apparently, in fifty years, we’re all going to be dead from either some super virus that mutated from something that escaped from a lab, or we’ll all bake to death from global warming. Though, I suppose I could add freeze to death as well because if having two feet of snow follow three days of near 70-degree weather in March is not a sign of climate change, I don’t know what is.

School sucks, too. I just turned in the single worst thing I’ve ever written as a final. I deserve to get a C in a class where I couldn’t pull together two coherent thoughts for long enough to even come up with some crap that resembles a thesis statement.

I lack the desire to update any creative writing. Nothing poetic, nothing short. Just nothing. I know I have the desire to write or I would’ve abandoned this post after my “Grrr!” about Obama, but I don’t want to update anything to create anything new. All these ideas have just piled on top of me to the point that I’m all worn out and now, I don’t want to do anything, but go to bed.

In case it wasn’t already obvious, I’m losing touch with my faith. I think that’s probably just about the most depressing thing out of all of this. A part of me knows that this is just the ADD in me feeling ready to move onto greener pastures, but will Jesus ever forgive me if stray away for a bit…even if I promise to come back later?

Sigh…

This kind of depression and frustration is not supposed to hit until the end of the month. Well, hurray for surprises and multiple disappointments.

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Why do people love music?

March 4th, 2008 — 2:17am

Removing the sad song from the blog that I had originally added after Edrith had died got me thinking: Why do I love this song?
{Fukai Mori (Deep Forest)}

  • I have no real relations to J-Pop and hardly anything to the Japanese culture outside of Sailor Moon and InuYasha. I cannot understand a single word of it and the English transliterations of the lyrics make no sense to me. And speaking of English lyrics, English version of the song is nearing terrible. So, why on Earth do I love, no obsess over this song?

    I suspect it may have to do with the fact that it was the second ending them for InuYasha; a theme that showed images with a focus on Sesshoumaru, over whom I have been very OCD, but i don’t think that is it. InuYasha introduced me to the song, but I loved it before I became enamoured with Sesshoumaru. Which makes me think about this song:
    {Shinjitsu No Uta (Song of Truth)}

  • Again, I don’t understand one word of it, but I love it. The big difference here is that when I became OCD over Fukai Mori, I went through and downloaded every theme song of InuYasha. In this case, however, I had no images of Sesshoumaru leading me to the story, I just heard the song and adored it. Mind you, once I heard it on the anime, I was jubilant, but only because I already loved the song. I guess I could say that I just happen to love Do As Infinity, which I do, so i guess that may discount my underlying theory, but what about this song?
    {Come}

  • Again, I have a song in Japanese and though there are a few words here and there in English, I still don’t understand 90% of it and yet, I love it. I adore the song and it almost moves me like Aaliyah’s “I Care 4 U” or The Beatles’ “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” I loved the song before I heard it on InuYasha, long before and this one is not by Do As Infinity. So, now I present my real question: What makes people love music?

    This subject has always fascinated me in regards to instrumental music, but I had always brushed of the idea as simplistic due to the lack of lyrics, meaning that everyone could understand the music and therefore love it. My introduction to InuYasha brought me J-Pop and brought about loads of questions. It’s not like I am totally enamoured with J-Pop and every song I ear. Far from it, but there are songs that just sound good. Take the theme from Bleach. What intrigued me even to watch a little of it was the song. Interestingly enough, once the anime changed themes, I lost interest.

    Here’s another piece of a crazy puzzle. Mos Def, on his album “Black on Both Sides,” there is a song Rock N’ Roll . Most of the song is very hip-hop, but the end of it breaks into mosh-pit worthy thrashing. I like the song up to that point, but why? I love rock music, revel in it, sometimes I prefer it to “my own” cultures hip-hop and definitely over rap, but I don’t like the rock music of that song.

    I have a theory: What separates humans from the other animals is not just our intelligence, but our ability to use that intelligence to create. Since we create, there is something as yet undiscovered in our brains that loves a certain aspect of music that exists outside of nurture, culture and politics. That is how someone can appreciate Bach, Tupac and Do As Infinity on the same iPod.

    Nurture, culture and politics, as much as we hate to think it, shape who we are as human beings Nurture being are close environment, the place where eat, slap, spend most of our time away from the world, culture being farther from us, but represented by a community; this is what tells us that we are an “us” and everyone else is a “them,” culture tells you that that a black American likes rap music and a Southern white American likes country or bluegrass. In other words, culture sucks. Politics is what keeps culture in line. Politics is what makes it seem odd that a white Scandinavian can find fascination in the soulful music of Jill Scott or that a black American can find solace in the seemingly nonsensical words, since she can not understand them, of Japanese rock music. Music breaks all three of these moulds in a way that even literature or visual art cannot. Since music has this remarkable ability, it allows me to ask the question, what gives music its appeal? Why does the song “American Pie” seem to transcend time? How can Chopin’s music still elicit emotions centuries later?

    I wish I knew. I wish I had an answer, but I doubt my finite human mind can truly grasp such ideas. I suppose, for now, my shuffled playlists of John Williams, Jill Scott and The Strokes will simply have to suffice.

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    Things Fall Apart

    February 24th, 2008 — 11:22am

    Rejection

    It’s not official yet, but I feel it coming.

    This is first somewhat tangible thing I have ever wanted, but cannot have. I have to admit, it is odd feeling; not getting what I want. I am an only child, loved by my single parent mother who once told me her reason for living was to have me. I always get what I want.


    I have been doing this a lot with my posts lately. I start one and then weeks later I come back to it when I am really ready to write, but by that time whatever had sparked the initial post has passed and now I am in a new element.

    Currently, I am procrastinating on everything. I have a paper due at noon and I should be at church right now, but I am procrastinating on both. Procrastination has always ruled over every facet of my life and it does not seem to be relenting any time soon.

    I need to blame something so I will blame my brain’s ever-increasing siege under ADHD. It has gotten so bad that I can barely focus on anything for more than five minutes unless it is always changing and presenting something new. Perhaps that is the real reason I give up on posts five lines into them; by the time I get ready to type what I want to say, my attention has already waned.

    The ADHD, this lack of attention, sometimes troubles me. I end up procrastinating on the things that I want to do. I want to read an incredible story on fanfiction.net, but by the time I bring it up and reach for the next chapter, I have already lost interest. I want to respond to each review of Flight that I get as soon as I see them, but the time it takes to click the ‘respond’ button and think of what to say, I have already lost interest. My attention span has grown so short, I lack the capacity to even watch television. I want to watch new episodes of Law & Order, but even if I am able to overcome the act of finding the remote control, turning to the right channel and blocking out any other disturbance so that I can actual watch the program, I lose interest 30-seconds into the first commercial break. It is getting bad and things are “falling apart” all around me as a result.

    Not really, I guess. I could shape up at any moment, but by the time I take initiative to do so, something else piques my interest and I forget what I am supposed to be doing. Stories are lost that way, as are great passages of books. By the time I reach for the post-it note to remind myself to type up my idea later, it is already forgotten. Like now, I took a moment to create a proper paragraph break and now my interest in this post is waning. But, procrastination rules my life and, as my paper and church are both waiting for me, I will still continue.

    My mouse broke on Friday night. It simply stopped scrolling after 4 years of continuous use. I searched for close to an hour on BestBuy, Target and even the dreaded Walmart before finding an adequate match for what I have already got. I find, unfortunately, that my wireless keyboard/mouse combo does not like to be separated from themselves. For example, if the mouse is disconnected, the keyboard stops working. Absolute bull if you ask me, but I guess that is how Logitech gets you in the end.

    I started at BestBuy yesterday knowing they would have more than what they offered on their site, but was sorely disappointed. The closest thing they had was seventy dollars and after living a year on less than 25K as a salary, $70 for a keyboard just wasn’t going to fly. I then trekked all the way into a different county to seek for what I had found on the Walmart site, but surprise, surprise it wasn’t there. Either they had not restocked it or they just couldn’t be bothered to have it out when the site clearly stated it would be available. It serves me right for even thinking of purchasing at the corrupt, homogenize-the-world emblem of capitalism crushing all others for the sake of “progress.” I found the object of my desire at an Office Max after parking nearer to it than the BestBuy to which I had digressed to return in order to buy the overpriced combination. I not only found it in a bright, clean atmosphere, I was assisted by employees who A) could be found and B) knew what they were doing. Living in a “Walmart” world has jaded me to what actual service should be.

    I then went home, not wanting to go through the steps of having to get used to new controls on a new keyboard, but found that the new mouse worked off the same signal of the old combo. So, I ended up spending $40 for a simple mouse, but in the end, I get to keep what I want and also have a new keyboard ready once I wear out this one.

    Though I was able to remedy my mouse “issue” fairly quickly, the “ordeal” reminded me of the time my glasses broke. I had been writing for half the night and then placed my hands at my temples as I tried to properly imagine a scene and felt something loosen on my face. I pulled away my hands and my glasses came with them, in two pieces. I remember staring at the broken pieces, one arm of the set still holding onto its single spectacle, and not knowing what to do. I had no back-up glasses; why would I need them? The glasses are back-ups for my contacts, but there I sat for a full minute in shock and disbelief. I remember realizing how greatly I took the sense of sight for granted.

    I cannot see much without glasses and, the idea of having only my contacts to use, especially when my eyes were already tired, was just not acceptable. I always need a back-up plan. I always need some sense of control. My eye doctor finally got back in touch with me, after I had nearly blown up his emergency number, nearly in tears with each call, and I was able to get a new pair. I had learned many things that day: Things I truly take for granted are so forgotten that I would never even think of them when considering things I take for granted. I also learned that glasses and contacts have two different prescriptions. I know it has to do with the physics behind the fact that glasses sit just before the eye and contacts sit directly against the eye lens, but the argument I had to have on the phone with the lady at Lens Crafters pissed me off nonetheless.

    Looking back on my original purpose for this original post, I realize that many of my dreams may not be feasible and that I am still without a back up plan. I was not rejected and I got what I wanted, which had me in this “Oh praises be to the king of kings!” mode for a few days as I ran on the feeling that I was finally on the path which God had set me, but the reality of the situation has hit me in spades and, I am not sure if it has got to do with the overwhelming depression that is mostly like this side of bipolar affecting me now, but suddenly I am saddened about what lies in my future.

    I see myself forty and alone, with some money in my pocket because I write and win a few contests here and there, but without real friends any longer and no desire to have or even foster a child and living on just because God hasn’t decided it is time for me to come home yet. It is a very depressing future, but I cannot see a way out of it.

    My mother has just called as I happened to glance at my phone, knowing that she was going to call since I had not appeared at church. I always think it’s funny when that happens.

    I have more to say, I guess. More about writing, more about ADHD and BPD and OCD that continually plague my life, but I think I have hit the last possible moment to make something happen on this paper. Perhaps I’ll have more to say later, but then again…I will probably end up procrastinating on writing it.

    1 comment » | Deep Thought, On Me

    Still struggling

    December 29th, 2007 — 11:15pm

    Time has been passing me by so quickly these days it seems like I get home from church, then wake up Monday morning and then only a few minutes pass before I’m right back to a new Monday. I suppose the time warp is really not really much more than a combination of procrastination and stress. What is really irritating that is I procrastinate procrastinating and I am stressed over things that really should not be stressing me at all. In fact, it is really all the stress that is slowly but surely eating away at me.

    I worry about what I am going to do with the rest of my life. I have a lot of dreams, but there are millions of people in this world with dreams just as big if not bigger that go unrealized everyday. Am I doomed to become one of them? What am I going to do if this “writing thing” doesn’t work out? I can see myself slowly disintegrating from the absolute doldrums of a nine to five job that is so boring that every day I wish for death just so I could stop working. I also see myself living that life all alone. I think I could make it without knowing my dreams if I just was not so alone all the time, but it is so hard to separate my “old self” from my “new self” that when I go out to meet people, I end up finding myself attracted to the same old people with whom I shouldn’t be associating. It’s very depressing.

    I can’t keep to commitments, even the really important ones that I have every intention of keeping. I chalk this up to procrastination. Even as I type, I procrastinate. It seems to be etched into my very soul and then I realize all the planning I do to keep from procrastinating is just a new form of procrastination in itself. I keep meaning to do this for people, spend time with people, call people, heck, do things for myself, but it never gets done. I suppose I could use the tired excuse of fatigue being the reason I don’t do what I should, but that just feels, for lack of a better word, lame.


    It’s been about three or four weeks since I started this post. Sadly not much has changed in my life regards to my recent depression. Actually, that is not quite true. If anything, I feel like I’m spiraling to a new low. I’ve only just now even wanted to write anything. When I get depressed to the point that I don’t even want to write, it just depresses me even more.

    I feel like Flight is a disaster. There are points as I re-read it, I just want to pitch the entire project. The reviews I’ve been getting are always positive, but the part of my psyche that judges everything I do too harshly, looks at every word of every chapter as complete tripe. I haven’t updated it in weeks, and while a part of me truly wants to the words, “what’s the point?” keep billowing through my head.

    MawMaw died two weeks ago. Her homegoing was last Friday.

    I’ll be honest in saying I did not cry as hard as I did for Edrith, but I’m certain it’s because I’m all cried out at this point. When I first heard the malpractice, I wanted to burst into tears right there and then, but as there still seemed like a glimmer of hope existed, I didn’t. I cried when I called Caprica. I could hear her crying on the other end and I just kept thinking, “We just lost Edrith…” I could say that this doesn’t seem fair, but so rarely in my life have I seen anything that could qualify as “fair,” that it is ridiculous for me to get into it. All I can say, is that I’m less saddened by the fact that she’s no longer in pain and no longer struggling. I, however, continue in both regards.

    I had a list of things I wanted to talk about in this post: more members of Edrith’s family have joined the church and I burst into tears each time they do; I feel like I’m only going through the motions when it comes to church; the fact that I want to tank the book; my urge to write combined with my lack of motivation and the idea that bipolar disorder could be the cause of my doldrums; I’m not in the mood for any of those.

    Something that did happen about three or four weeks ago was mightily troubling, though. We had an afternoon service one Sunday and I’d told myself the Thursday before it that I wasn’t going and that I would not be swayed by a change in mood come Sunday afternoon. And I didn’t. That afternoon, instead of second service, I was in my apartment looking for a church video of our choir singing Stephen Hurd’s “Revelation 19.1” and I had prepared myself for what, or should I say, who I was going to see.

    I’d found a video of our choir singing from September. It was the last time Edrith sang with us. I was all right for the first few minutes of forwarding to see which specific service the video was from, but then I burst into tears and continued crying for the rest of the day. The only thing I could to was let the video play and have my own personal, second service as I watched and listened to a sermon from months earlier. I thought I had been prepared to see her, alive and well, but I was not. A part of me wonders if I’ll ever get over this; another part does not want to get over anything because then it feels like she’s gone forever. It’s just still so hard coming to the realization I’ll never see her again in this life. Which brings me back to MawMaw…

    When I’d first met her, a year earlier, she’d said to me “Hi. I’m Grandma.” I already had a grandmother, so she was “MawMaw” to me then and had been until two weeks ago. It feels like I can’t properly mourn her because my tears for Edrith have not yet dried. It’s times like these that I’m happy I’m saved because I can’t imagine how else to get through something like this.

    My heart hurts, mostly because I couldn’t imagine hurting even more so closely to a previous loss, but there’s more to it. The Mass Choir sang at her homegoing and at one point, her second granddaughter had come to be hugged by her godmother in choir stands. There is something so heartbreaking about listening to a five-year-old cry for the loss of a loved one. You think that someone so young can’t really understand what’s going on, but they really can.

    I think what had been bothering me most when I first started writing this post, weeks ago, is that I mourn so thoroughly, but I feel like I don’t even have a right to mourn so hard. Edrith was a friend, but she was not my best. MawMaw was MawMaw, but she wasn’t my grandmother. I feels like I don’t have the right to cry so hard for them, but I can’t help it because I loved them both so much. What’s even worse, is that I cry even harder because I know my time is coming too. I know one day I’ll be sitting in the front row of our church crying over my own mother or my own grandmother, father, step-father, step-brothers, cousins, friends…Death is coming and there’s no way out of it. There’s no escaping it. I hate not having control of something in my life. I don’t fear what happens after death. It’s the act of dying that causes my heartbeat to race like it did when I almost drowned when I was eight years old. The only thing I can do about it is pray for Jesus to give me strength throughout the rest of my Christian walk.

    A new fire feels lit, though. I want to write again and I yearn to be published.

    Of the six goals, I laid out for myself last January, only one was partially completed. I finished a novel and “submitted” it to the world. Sadly, it’s not publishable, but I still did it. This year, the goals are still very much the same: get fit, graduate, write and stay neat. I will not however dwell over these goals by reading the post several times and forget them as soon as the month of January had ended. I’ll just say that I aim to be a better person and just do it. We’ll see how this goes.

    This is the first time I am entering a new year in this deep of a “low” and my hope is that ringing in the new year in the house of the Lord will diminish some of that and pull me up so that I have the desire to do what I need to do.

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    The greatest thing happened today

    October 21st, 2007 — 4:04pm

    The greatest thing happened today!

    It comes after two of the most endearing and tearful weeks of my life and it takes a special resolve to keep my composure now. This past week might have been the most difficult of all. At times I would seem fine and at peace, but then something would happen to bring out the tears once more.

    The funeral…The Homegoing was very nice. I nearly forgot. We don’t have funerals for saved people. We have Homegoings to send them on home to their Father. Her homegoing was just very, very nice.

    I got there early to help my cousin set up her video and I was completely unnerved because when I first walked in the church, one of the other members looked at me and said I looked just like her as I walked through the door, and I took it as a complete compliment, but I was still rather unsettled at what the sight of me was doing to her. It was a compliment, however. To be compared with someone who was in tune with her Lord…always a compliment.

    So, I’m helping my cousin and another member comes into the sanctuary and she pauses as she stares at me because I’m standing right next to the pulpit. At first, I thought she was going to say something because of what I was wearing (I hardly ever wear a skirt and I was wearing white because I kept telling myself that this wasn’t a funeral, so there was no need to wear black), but then she too told me that she thought I was Edrith standing there. She started crying as she sat down afterward and I had no idea what to do even as I kept rubbing her shoulders and telling her that we all knew where Edrith was. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord…

    At that point, the funeral home had not brought her there yet and my cousin and I kept trying to make the video work, but it simply would not function and as I’m handing her my cell phone so she can call my other cousin, her husband, for more direction, the church doors opened and then they came in with her. The casket was a shade darker than Tiffany Blue and I froze. I stood on the pulpit with my cousin who was working with the video equipment just behind it and I stared anywhere except at the casket. I simply was not ready. I had been trying all week long to get ready, but I simply wasn’t.

    The Sunday directly after we had first received the news was the most tearful service I have ever experienced. Everyone was so affected and it really hit home when we didn’t see her there. I remember driving up to the stop sign just in front of the church, as it sits on the corner, and I just sat there in my car for a full minute just staring at the church. My hands were shaking and the tears were beginning to come again because I knew what was about to happen. I knew that I was going to walk through the church doors and instead of getting a quick hug from her and a little “happy dance” that I had made on time for Sunday School for the third third week in a row, she would not be there. I eventually gained my composure and got to the church, and you could just see it in everyone’s eyes.

    I tried to keep my lesson light-hearted and my other students and I tried to laugh about how Esau must of have looked being covered in red hair and how simple he seemed to give up his birthright for a bowl of soup, but even toward the end of the lesson, I began to feel it again. When we concluded Sunday School, our secretary only had this year’s records because her mind was clearly elsewhere and the atmosphere was very subdued. It only occurred to me then, that our Sunday School director had forgotten to come around and even collect the offerings for my Young Adult class. I also hadn’t realized how much I’d taken for granted seeing her standing next to Deacon Jordan as they concluded. I nearly lost it at first when we consecrated before Sunday School and she was not the one to lead the prayer. I had grown so accustomed to how she would pray: “Oh Heavenly Father, we come to you…” She would continue to say it throughout her prayers: Oh Heavenly Father, this and Oh Heavenly Father that. It was so Edrith and her style of praying and I miss it dearly.

    The devotional service was subdued as well. Normally, it is filled with upbeat songs to get everyone in the spirit, but the songs were slow and moving throughout the service. You could just see it on the face of everyone in the church. Hugs lasted longer as you could feel others shake as they tried to hold back tears and I had held it together until I saw our choir director, her best friend. She was surrounded by others who just kept telling her that we all knew where Edrith is, but the tears just kept coming and when I hugged her I broke down with her. I don’t normally cry in public if I can help it, but I broke down as we cried together for our lost sister.

    The rest of the service went along, though also greatly subdued, and I kept trying to keep my eyes dry as I stood at the door and greeted people as an usher, but I kept running for the tissues and simply had to leave for the restroom at one point. I normally take a collection plate down the aisles during the missionary offering, but I could not and asked to just hold the door during the offering. I was not ready to see all the faces yet because I knew what was coming.

    The announcements went as normal and I nearly lost it altogether when I followed along in our bulletin. A project she had been heading was still on schedule and her name was still there as someone to speak to about the project. Our announcer, also the same member who broke down after thinking I was Edrith standing at the pulpit, had paused as she read the reminder for the event and thankfully read the other name as the event leader, my cousin, but we all saw it and the other ushers came out with several news boxes of tissues.

    Pastor said a lot about her and I was okay at first until he started to tear up at the pulpit. Dear Jesus…everyone was crying at that point. It was just so sad because we knew where she went, yet our hearts still wretched for her and still do. The youth was began singing and with each song, I grew more tearful even though I tried so desperately to keep my composure. One of our lead ushers kept asking me if I was okay and I kept saying yes, wanting to believe the words, but during altar call prayer, I held hands with him and another usher as one of the ministers lead the prayer and I started shaking violently because I was trying to hold it together, but the tears kept coming and eventually, he just pulled me into a hug and allowed me weep openly on his shoulder. By the time, the altar call prayer was over, I knew others were crying just as much and even harder than me, but the tears would not stop and I crossed the church to where my mother sat and just fell into her arms as I cried. She pulled me into the hall continually saying “I know baby. I know.” as I just wailed in the hallway. The hardest thing about it was that…as old as I am; I am 23 years old, I live on my own, I have a job, I go to school and I have my own insurance. I am, for all intents and purposes, an adult, but all my grown self wanted, no needed in that moment was my mother. As I crossed the church, I just kept saying to myself “I just want my mommy.” I had never experienced grief before and I’ve found that as grown as I pretend to be, at the end, I just needed my mother.

    She eventually took my outside because a short while after we left the sanctuary, Edrith’s goddaughter, also the daughter of her best friend, was having a fit not unlike mine in the arms of her mother and it made me cry even harder. Outside, my mother just kept telling me that these should not be tears that I would never see Edrith again. She said, that we knew where she was and we know that she is praising Jesus right next to the father; she said to me the same thing I had been trying to tell others all morning, but I just needed to hear someone say the same to me as well. We were joined by other friends who had come to check in on me and my one friend began to cry slightly. She said, “I don’t remember who got on me most about coming to church and Sunday School. Edrith or Dorienne.” and it made me laugh because that was just the kind of person Edrith was.

    After a while, I was okay and I haven’t had screaming tears like that since, though the silent ones have slipped every now and again and did so immensely at the Homegoing. Throughout the rest of the week, I was so unnerved by the fact that I could be shaken to my knees with grief and be brought to the point that I needed to just hug my mother and cry. I kept having to tell people what happened and write e-mails to my professors to explain what was going on in my life. I had to turn in a paper a week late because I had had every intention on beginning it Sunday night, but it did not cross my mind again until the class I was able to attend that week. Even now, I am still trying to play catch-up, but it is slowly coming along. My employer has been oddly understanding. I had a vacation day scheduled for last Wednesday, but was able to get it moved to last Monday so that I wouldn’t have to just call in “sick” to go to the Homegoing. They let me work “mail” a lot because somehow, listening to someone gripe about why they had to pay a $4.38 finance charge on their credit after I had just lost a dear friend was just bound to cause problems.

    Previously, I had never been involved with the plans of a Homegoing. It never occurred to me that the programs that were passed out during the service had to made. Things had to be written for them, they had to be printed and put together. That first week was probably the most stressful week of my life. I offered help where I could and even then I still felt inadequate. That Saturday, nine days after it had happened, I had called our choir director, Edrith’s best friend, and the director of the choir in which Edrith sang, to see if we were going to have a practice/getting together in remembrance of her and she told me that we weren’t and that they were just looking at the site for her grave that day. I went to work that day able to keep it together unlike the previous week, where I was okay until someone asked me what was wrong, after seeing the look on my face and probably noting that I was still in glasses and had on no makeup. My friends from work tried their best to console me and I pulled it together quickly, but I was in no mood to deal with customers regardless.

    Last Sunday was the first time we had to sing without her. It was…very difficult. At one point, right before we began another song, Caprica, our director, looked to Edrith’s seat in the choir stand and this look came over her face. She had to keep leaving the sanctuary after each song and I knew she left to weep away from the eyes of the rest of the congregation. We could just sense it as we sang up there. She was with us, but she wasn’t with us and that’s what made me cry hardest during altar call prayer. It was not as drastic as the previous week, but I still cried hard because I knew that at no point again in this life would I look two seats down to the soprano section and see her smiling face.

    After service, we had to put the pieces for her programs together and we had this fun assembly line going as we kept the conversation light-hearted via my other cousin, who I had poked and prodded about the staples not being on the pre-made creases from the assembly line until she sat back and let me do it. It took close to three hours, but I stapled together all 200+ programs…directly on the crease. 🙂 We had pizza together before afternoon service, and we joked and laughed and just talked like women do when we get together and every once in a while we’d talk about how pretty her picture was on the programs and who was doing her hair and such. It was a very bonding moment for all of us and I got to show my sarcastic side more than I had previously.

    All of this was going through my head when the men from the funeral home came in the sanctuary with the casket and when they had opened up the casket and I could just make out her hair between the top of the closed part and where I stood, I handed my phone to my cousin and I ran away into the side hall. I had tried to keep it together, but I really wasn’t ready. I came back quickly, though, to help her and when it looked like she got a good handle on making the video work again, I left again to sit just in the hall. I hugged those I knew who had come through the doors and at one point I stood just to the side of the casket’s opening and could see the white of the pillows around her face before I left again. My other cousin just kept repeating that we were not having a funeral. We were just sending her home.

    With everything set up, we filed up to see her and I was holding the hands of two of my cousins as we walked toward the casket. I began to shake again as we approached and I thought I was going to lose it again and I felt my cousin squeeze my hand just as tightly as I squeezed hers as we finally got there.

    Her hair done exactly like she always had it, even with the little flip across her forehead and as my other cousin said as we stared at her, she really looked at piece with all the white around her. My memory of what I saw is very blurry because the tears were coming down my face so readily that it blurred my vision, but that’s okay because that’s not how I plan on remembering her anyway. All of my memories of her are happy, not sad at all.

    Our choir, with my two cousins included, took the choir stands, but as we sat waiting for the service to begin we noticed how full the sanctuary was and by the time service was about to begin, some of the actual church members were sitting in the choir stands with us to make room for all those who had come to pay their respects for her. It was just so full. The doors of the sanctuary remained open and they had set up more seats out in the hall to account for all the people. We actually ran out of programs and someone had to quickly run out and have some xeroxed to accommodate everyone who was there. What is amazing is that there were so many people and yet, lots of people had already left during the wake and even more had left because there just wasn’t anywhere else to sit. So loved…

    I kept it together for the most part once we were in the choir stands and we sang twice before they showed her video. Tears were streaming down my face throughout most of it and I was trying so hard to pull things together because I knew what the last song we were going to sing was and it was always one of my absolute favorites.

    As this was a Homegoing and not a funeral, the songs we sang were bright and uplifting and that is how we sing “Pass Me Not.” I think I’ll post of video of us singing it a couple months ago in this post…but my favorite part of “Pass Me Not” is when we break the harmony and the different parts sing alone. Edrith was a soprano and though she was not some Whitney Houston-type singer, she could carry the soprano part all by herself and even before October 5th, it was one of my favorite parts of the song; how Caprica would point to Edrith and the other sopranos and we would just continue with the song from that point. I knew the song was coming and I glanced at where she should have been sitting. We had lain this shimmering throw over one of the seats in the soprano section, right where she should have been, and tears fell down my face before we even started the song because I knew whose voice I would not be hearing as I tried to maintain my own alto part.

    Right when we broke into the soprano, alto and tenor parts like normal, the tears began to flow even harder, but I sang Edrith home as loud as I could. Afterward the music was playing and Pastor was yelling about how great God is and how we’re just singing our sister on home and I had a little moment of my own. I’ve never been one to be so moved during service that I dance and so on, but I had this moment where I was sort of bouncing in my seat a bit as I cried tears of mixed joy and sorrow. Something like that for a person like me is akin to jumping up and screaming and taking laps around the sanctuary as I screamed “Jesus!” I really can’t explain that moment, but it brought me peace afterward and throughout the rest of the service.

    I rode in the car with my cousins and some other friends to the grave sight and we had a nice talk on the way there. We sang along with some of gospel songs that had come on the radio and jokingly suggested what we wanted for our own Homegoings. No one really wants to think that kind of thing, but it’s good to get it out early on so that when tragedy strikes, everyone knows what you wanted. Caprica had said to us that Edrith hadn’t wanted a sad funeral. She wanted it to be joyous and she wanted everyone to be happy. That kind of conversation had probably taken place months or years earlier, but at least we knew what she wanted.

    I should ask my cousin what the exact number of her marker is because with all the twists and turns we had done in the cemetery, I know I’ll never find it again on my own. She rests by several large trees and it is so peaceful out there…

    We had dinner at the church afterward and I had to explain my choices for vegetarianism multiple times and endure several calls of “I’ve never heard of a black person who didn’t eat chicken.” before I was able to sit. I sat next across from friends and between Pastor and one of the ministers I just call “Paw-Paw” even though we’re not related. I laughed a lot when talk with Paw-Paw turned to me ever getting married, since Pastor had talked about how Edrith was not willing to settle for anyone, but waiting on a good man. I had never given it a lot of thought, but I really do want Paw-Paw to dance at my wedding someday, so I should probably get on with that, too.

    This past week had gone by in interesting spurts where I was upbeat having sang her home to points when I wanted to watch one of our church DVDs, but knew I couldn’t because I knew most of the services I have are ones where our choir sang and I wasn’t ready to see her just yet and the thought of that kind of brought me down a bit. Most interesting is that I don’t see myself ever trying to sleep in on Saturdays anymore. I don’t know because I know getting up at eight on Saturdays when I don’t have to probably won’t keep anyone else from passing, but I still don’t see myself doing that anymore.

    But…today, the greatest thing happened.

    I had been so crazed this week trying to just push through things that I hadn’t got to the lesson until I was literally driving myself to the church. I won’t be allowing that to happen again because there’s just no excuse for it. I know I should be prepared to teach the adult class on any given week and it would have been due justice if Deacon Jordan had looked at me and asked and I would have had to tell him that I simply wasn’t ready, but we got through the lesson and had a rather fine discussion as a whole group as Sunday School concluded, though it was very small with the fewest people I’d seen there yet.

    As I stood my post at the door later on, greeting people and handing out the bulletins, I saw her mother and hugged her as she came through the door, though I had never hugged her previously even though she was a church member. Some people I hug, some people I don’t because we just don’t know each other like that, but she I hugged and probably will continue to hug each Sunday. What was so great though, is that directly behind her was a face that had only become familiar to me last Monday. One of Edrith’s sisters had come to our church.

    I remember Caprica telling us after it had happened that Edrith was the only one of siblings who was saved and seeing her sister this morning nearly brought tears to my eyes. Throughout the entire service I kept praying and praying that the Word would touch her and that she would see reason to join and “give her life to Christ” today and like always, my Lord Jesus answered my prayer when I prayed so earnestly. She probably had made up her mind to do it when she got up this morning, but I prayed for her anyway. I was so sad for her when I saw her at the Homegoing because I knew she wasn’t saved and that was probably the hardest thing to deal with, but there she was and when Pastor Emeritus opened the doors to the church this morning, she stepped out in the aisle and I nearly burst into tears.

    She joined the church today. She’s older than Edrith was, but she’d never been baptized and I’m just so happy and I burst forth with happy tears. Anytime I see someone join the church, it is cause for me to smile, but she in particular was most moving.

    1 comment » | Deep Thought, Favorite, Jesus, On Me

    So…this is grief

    October 6th, 2007 — 11:40am

    I was enjoying my Saturday morning; simply lying there as the sun streamed in through my window, completely comfortable. Warm and cool at the same time and lying against my soft pillows on a bed with more feather bed and egg crate mattresses than anyone could ever need. I hadn’t slept-in on any given day in weeks and yesterday, upon hearing that my choir practice had been moved to later in the day, I rejoiced at knowing that, for once, I would get to enjoy my Saturday morning.

    As I lied in the bed, I considered all the things that I could get done today: write a little, check website stats, see if anyone’s left any book comments, go to the church business meeting, go to work, Gallery Hop tonight as the finale of my birthday celebrations…Today was going to be a good day.

    The call between my mother and I:

    (My cell rings to the tune of Law and Order)
    Me: Yes?
    Mother: Hi…did I wake you?
    Me: Kind of.
    Mother: Oh…I guess you haven’t heard yet.
    Me: Heard what?
    Mother: Well…Sister Edrith passed away last night.
    Me: What?
    (It takes me a moment to bring her face to the name and then I’m confused. She just turned 36 a couple weeks ago. Only old people pass away. What the hell does she mean “pass away?”)
    Me: What? What d’you mean pass away?
    Mother: She passed away. She was in a car accident last night and she was killed.

    Something else was said by my mother, but I’m not sure what. All I can really remember these hours later is the feel of immense pressure bearing down on my chest. That’s what it feels like. Grief.

    It didn’t make sense. That’s what I kept telling myself. It just didn’t make any sense. Edrith is a good person and she’s got a lot to do. She’s the Sunday School teacher for our adult class, she’s a lead soprano in our “young adult” choir, she wants to still get married and have children, she wants to begin a wedding planning business; she’s got a lot to do.

    My mother kept talking as the initial tears began to spring from my eyes. “When we’ve done what we’re supposed to do, God takes us. You know, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” I heard the words, but my body shook as it still shakes now, making it very difficult for me to type. How could she be dead? I just saw her on Tuesday. I shared my Matthew Henry commentary with her during Teacher’s Meeting because she hadn’t brought hers. I had meant to ask her if she had just come from work that night and if that was why she hadn’t brought her things with her. What am I supposed to do now? My mother kept saying “I know. I just had my own…”

    Then, I started to cry out loud. I’d never heard my own cry of grief and now that I reflect back on it, I suppose it sounds as it should. A long wail followed by gasps and gasps of screaming and gurgling in the back of my throat as my mind could no longer prepare words to describe what my heart was feeling. I just set down the phone and started to cry and scream. I couldn’t see anything and my thoughts were simply “How could this have happened?” “What do you mean pass away?” “She couldn’t be dead. I just saw her?” “This doesn’t make any sense.”

    I couldn’t collect myself. Me, Dorienne, I couldn’t collect myself. I can pull it together in any situation, I am the strong one, I am the leader, and yet I couldn’t collect myself. I told my mother, who could be heard sniffing softly through the phone was talking, but I couldn’t hear her. I told her I would call her back. I needed to collect myself.

    I went to the bathroom, but I had a temper tantrum and slapped and kicked anything close to me. I banged against the shower door and kicked at the walls and stomped my feet and cried and cried and cried. It just wasn’t fair.

    As I’m writing now, a friend of mine is IMing me. She wants to know when we’re going to Gallery Hop tonight. What can I tell her when I am only now able to form coherent thoughts?

    …”oh, i’m sorry” is her response and then she asks who was it. It’s someone you’ll never meet because you’ve always been too high and mighty to humble yourself and come to church with me. That’s who it is.

    I keep remembering my own thoughts that flew to mind as I cried. At one point I remember thinking “Jesus…I hate you.” That’s right. I thought that and it was almost as good as saying it. How could this have happened. How could He take my friend away from me? She had so much more to do. My mother had been saying to me God only takes when we’ve finished what we’re supposed to do, but I still say it’s crap. How could He have done this? It’s not fair. I’m not prepared.

    We have a lot of sick and elderly in our church, and for them I was prepared. Someone had a seizure not two seats next to me in the choir stands last Sunday. For her, I was prepared. Our “mother” had a stroke a few weeks ago and is recovering. For her, I was prepared. So many of my “family” are over seventy and have been sick previously. For all of them, I was prepared. Not for Edrith. She’s my friend. I just saw her on Tuesday. I was going to see her today at our church business meeting. I was going to see tomorrow when we all consecrated for Sunday School and I was going to see her next Tuesday at Teacher’s Meeting. And now…

    I don’t like not being prepared. I don’t like not having control. I kicked at the walls and pulled at my hair because I didn’t know what else to do. I’m so unprepared. It’s like I have no control over anything. I don’t like this. I need to be prepared. I need to be in control. I need to be prepared.

    I remember thinking “Why do you do this to me Jesus? Why do you have us live only so that we die? Is this what my own life’s going to be like too? At the end, only a series of phone calls and gallons of tears shed? Why do you do this? It’s so unfair.”

    What am I supposed to do? The one place I think I should go, church, is the one place I can’t. I associate her with church. I’ve been at that church for eighteen months and when I think of everything, from the seats to the fellowship hall to the steps to the parking lot, I think of her. What am I supposed to do now?

    Last year about this time, we lost another member of our congregation. I had only just gotten to know her at that time, but it still hurt. Is this what you’re going to do Jesus? Are you going to take someone from me every fall? It’s so unfair. There was so much more she was going to do.

    One of our choir’s songs just popped to mind and I have to collect myself again.
    The struggle is over for you.
    The struggle is over for you.
    You’ve been in this place long enough
    And the mountainside has been rough.
    The struggle is over for you.

    Dear Jesus…what am I supposed to do? It’s just so unfair. I was just talking to her. I can’t even remember the last things I said to her on Tuesday because it was so meaningless. It didn’t matter. I was just going to see her again on Saturday at the business meeting, so there was no reason to bother remembering what I’d said to her. It just doesn’t make any sense.

    At one point I told myself I needed to get dressed, so I did. Everything except my glasses. It was as if I kept my eyes in this blur of the unseen, then I could delay reality. To put on my glasses or put in my contacts meant I’d have to see the world clearly and face the fact that our family had suffered this tragedy and the longer I delayed, the longer I could go without seeing it.

    I just don’t know what to do. I still don’t know what to do. My mother called me back after I hadn’t called her and I answered after the second call. I barely remember what we talked about. I don’t want to see anybody at all. If I go without seeing anybody, then this can just be something in my mind; something that didn’t happen. More real than a dream, but something imaginary nonetheless.

    I write all the time and I live in my head. I imagine things and perceive feelings and events that never happened all the time, and yet I am completely caught off guard. I had recently written about grief. It’s stages and what it was like when someone looked upon another who was grieving.
    Something I had written months earlier:

    “He was always out,” a voice said from the dining room doorway. Mrs. Whickfield, having recovered from the initial shock of hearing of her son’s death, stood just behind where the detectives sat, looking extremely distressed. Her blonde hair with its slivers of silver was tousled and standing on end in places, and blue eyes appeared dull behind the torrent of red in what should have been the whites of her eyes.

    I find it almost laughable now to read the words. Once I dressed and finally digressed to put on my glasses, I took a look at myself in the mirror. My black hair stands on end in places from having been pulled at in fits of frustration and my brown eyes are laced with these traces of red lines everywhere. Months earlier, I could imagine grief, but…

    Last Saturday, just one week to the day, I sat next to her as we prepared for our Mass Choir rehearsal and revealed to her that I had written a book. Her response: “Oh you go, girl! You gotta make your dreams come true. Like me and my business. I’m really looking into it too. I’m just imagining where I’d set up shop…” There was so much more she was supposed to do. I don’t understand why He would take her now. My mother kept saying that she had done what God had wanted her to do and he took her home, but we are selfish and we want her here with us. Mother said “God called her home and if there was ever a person I knew who deserved to be with her father, it’d be Edrith.” I just remember when our Sunday School lessons had brought us into Revelation and how she described the home of our heavenly father and how grand it would be. She spoke with such elation. I know she sits with Jesus never worrying, never crying, never stressing again, but…I’m still here and the shaking has returned as have the tears. I’m not prepared for this, like I’m not prepared for my own eventual end. Why doesn’t the fact that I know she’s at peace stop the sudden outbursts of tears? It just keeps happening and I don’t know what to do.

    It’s almost time to leave for our church business meeting and I don’t know what to do. If I leave now, I suppose I can drive at a normal rate, right? Instead of speeding for once. I keep thinking, “Is this my punishment Lord? Is this what I get for not studying your Word enough for my own class? Is this my lesson for speeding throughout the city every single day? Is this some message you’re boring into me because I won’t listen?” I don’t hate Jesus and I haven’t lost my faith, but I’m still so unnerved that he could leave me this unprepared. I just don’t know what to do…So, I do what I always do in times of strife. I write. I write to bring these thoughts out of my mind, if only for a little while. I used to write poetry, but my mind cannot form even the freest free-verse right now. I can barely type at all, but I just need to write. It’s the only thing I can do to make some sense of this. To give it some perspective.

    Mother kept saying that this is not something we’re meant to understand, but I still say it’s crap. I should get an answer. I want one now. I don’t want to wait for it. I deserve an answer!

    She’s the third person I’ve ever known to die, but they are becoming increasingly worse as I get older. God, she just put her birthday money in the jar with me barely two Sundays ago…I didn’t know either of my grandfathers and I’d never met my mother’s cousin. I had only met my step-father’s mother once or twice and while I knew Kim, I didn’t really know her all that well. I saw that she looked a little sick, but I had only learned that she was on dialysis that Monday before, and had I known how truly sick she was, I might have been more prepared when Pastor announced from the pulpit that Sunday “Sister Kim passed away last night.” causing me to think “Who? No, that must have been some other Kim. Some Kim I didn’t know.” This is so much worse. We laughed together, worshipped together, prayed together. Wasn’t she just teasing me last Sunday because I had made it to Sunday School on time for two weeks in a row. God, what am I supposed to do?

    Four of my own surgeries and now two deaths associated with Grant Hospital. I’ll never be able to go there again. I just…I don’t know.

    I called Mother and told her I won’t be going to the church business meeting. I have to go to work today and I haven’t the strength to do both. I’ll be in the same place with which I had come to associate Edrith and I’ll fall to pieces again.

    The first hints of a smile are trying to form, though face lacks the capacity to do it currently. When I spoke to my mother, she said something to me that makes me feel like all is not lost; that Jesus still hears me and still loves me even through my anger, frustration and sadness. She said to me, without me even mentioning that I didn’t know what to do, “You know what to do in times like this. Pray. We all have to pray. It’ll get you through this.” I needed to hear the words because I’ve realized I just kept saying it. That I didn’t know what to do. So, that’s what I’ll, now that I’ve written. I’ll pray about it and surely cry about it some more, but I think…I hope I’ll be okay.

    It’s interesting because Pastor has always said that we never know when we’ll next get a chance to be in the house of the Lord. A part of me feels like if I had only known what was happening, I could have prayed about it right then and there and saved her, but I didn’t know. I would’ve known earlier today, but as my eyes fluttered open, I realized that my cell had been on vibrate all night and I turned it on to see I had missed several calls. I saw that my mother had called, but she’s always calling, so I turned the volume to normal and lied back against my pillows just as happy as I could be.

    So many times earlier, I have prayed with all my strength and the Lord had delivered. It’s why I’m back with the church now. I had left when I was eighteen, insisting that I believed in God, but that he was not ever-present in my life and I had no reason to go to church. It wasn’t until I needed something, really, really needed something and literally fell on my knees praying for something specific, that I realized that God still listens to me. I asked for something specific; very specific and God delivered precisely what I needed. I would call it a miracle, but even now that seems far-fetched. I had prayed fervently weeks earlier as our church received some other terrible news. I had prayed and just said, “Jesus, it’s me again. I only really, really call out to you like this when it is most dire. Forget all the other little crap I’ve been asking about. This is what I need.” and He delivered yet again. If only I had known. I feel that I had only been awakened some time in the night when it happened; if I had just known, I could have prayed heartily again and there would only be need for a post about how great God is as opposed to my sorrow-filled lament.

    My mother had told me earlier today that she thought Edrith was gone before they had even taken her to the hospital. I am just so despondent. I went to the bathroom and the toilet seat is broken. Now, I know what to do, but I just…

    I just find it fascinating that this is what grief is like. I can imagine and ponder and theorize about anything this universe, but it’s not the same as actually experiencing it. I’m just…

    I suppose I’m in awe.

    6 comments » | Jesus, On Me

    I need to stop reading the BBC…

    October 6th, 2007 — 2:05am

    I’m so ashamed. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7030170.stm

    It’s not even me; she just shares my skin colour, and yet, I am so ashamed. The only word I can think of to described this feeling is “saddened” I remember looking at her image in magazines and thinking, “Wow! Look at her. Go Marion, go!” I rooted for her, cheered for her, defended her in my mind and said, “I wish they’d just leave her alone.” And, now. Look what’s happened. Now, I understand how my mother felt during the Vanessa Williams scandal. To look at someone with such pride and also happiness at knowing that she was a wonderful, graceful black woman athlete who “triumphed” over all, and look what’s happened. I find myself wondering who else will let me down next. Perhaps Oprah will down fall to some horrible scandal? Perhaps Dr. Rice will be warped by some kind of disgrace?

    God, she couldn’t have died without telling the world that? Disappointment doesn’t even begin to describe this feeling. Only sublime shame. I want to say this doesn’t even have an impact on my life, but it does. It impacts every woman who has every stepped foot on a track, every person who dares to succeed, and every black face that has ever found glory. I just have all these swimming memories of her on magazine covers and how the thought of her would just bring a smile to my face. “Marion Jones – fastest woman in the world” and she’s black. I suppose this is all supposed to be very humbling or something, but I still call it rubbish. Today, I wish I was any other colour in the world except for hers.

    I just don’t know…All I can really say is, it doesn’t help having heroes in this world. Eventually, every[one] will let you down.

    2 comments » | Politics, Rant

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