Monday Musings: Remembering to Live

Tonight, I awaited in distress patiently for my frog princess to finally go to sleep (she skipped another nap today and she gets very aggravated though I don't know if she realizes she's doing it to herself).  I had a lot to say. I planned on writing a blog about women.  How we pass judgement (myself included), how instead of helping out at times (because of that same judgement) we allow other women to drown in their personal sea of decisions when we could very well throw a life raft to help them out or at least be honest enough in our love for them to explain ourselves while still honoring the love and bond that we share (before all hell breaks loose).  I was going to write about how some women, so unhappy in their own lives will add to a situation that they are not even a part of, their own flare of bullshit and drama, simply to watch the fire burn because it is easier to do that than to face their own iniquities, disappointments and sad lives. Then my sister posted something on FB and tagged me on it.  It was a video of someone I knew and the story of his graduation day.  And as usual, God used a very real, very painful thing to redirect my attention.

See, my sister posted the video because she had heard that John had died.  John.  Dead.  Ms. Tweeka Weed herself gone from this earth?  I'm pissed with myself that I didn't keep in touch but, I do not lie when I tell you that I thought of him often.  You might be confused at this point in time and asking yourself: who is she talking about? Is it a he or is it a she?

John was his birth name but Tweeka was his personality.  See, John dressed in drag. Well, scratch that, John owned drag.  Tweeka was fabulous, fantastic and fine!  All over-the-top and wonderful. Always with a beautiful smile plastered on that bright face.

I won't ever forget the day that he was lusciously shampooing my hair (I swear, I think he's the only man that probably could've made me orgasm from a shampoo! A fact which he loved to remind me of) and with the same bright smile on his face told me in the most nonchalant way that he was HIV positive.  He said he wanted me to know because he considered me a friend but that he was going to be okay.  And I believed that.  Because when Tweeka spoke, people listened.  I believe it's why he was such an influential advocate in the community.

Tweeka was diagnosed with sinonasal carcinoma earlier in the year and this is what ultimately took his life.  I'm pissed off at cancer right now because that's two people that were so full of life and THE WANT TO LIVE gone this year.  You might not understand why I am writing about this today since Monday Musings is about finding the beauty in life in order to make it through the week.  That's simple to answer:

LIFE IS SHORT. LIVE IT! That's the one thing that I can say about Tweeka, SHE LIVED!  And although I didn't keep up with my sweet friend, I never once had a doubt in my mind that John was out there doing the best he could to fulfill his purpose in life.  I knew that he was out there STILL SMILING IN SPITE OF HIS CIRCUMSTANCES.  Still motivating others and above all always making people laugh (oh and using his easy bake oven ;-) ).

One day Tweeka made this comment to me and I always found it eerie.  I have this dress that looks rather fabulous on me and he was in love with it.  That day I walked in the shop and he handed me my glass of wine and in a very matter of fact way he told me that he wanted my dress and then he said he wanted to be buried in it. In my mind, I thought: NO! You are going to be fine.  But even then it seemed that he was okay with whatever life might bring.  I think it's because he was living at that moment, in that space.  I'm not saying he didn't get concerned, I'm sure he did.  But his spirit was such that all he could stand to do was live in the now.  Although I have cleared out my closet several times since, that dress still hangs in it.  I loved it before but his appreciation for it made me love it more.  And not a time goes by when I wear that dress that I do not think of Ms. Tweeka Weed herself!  The bitch would probably look better than me in it!  And if she wants it, she can certainly have it!

So, are you ready to get past the petty bullshit of this world, the judgement of others (and yourself) and get down and dirty and look at your own life, your own decisions, your own situation and simply, beautifully, live?

I will enjoy this moment a little bit more.  I will enjoy the struggles, the betrayals, the disappointments.  Because I want to concentrate on living.  Now.  Because tomorrow is never promised.

Dear Mami: If Heaven Had an Inbox

Dear Mami: You have been gone almost 3 months now. It's unreal to me that you are truly no longer a being on this earth. I struggle most days because you were such a big part of my life. How does one go on without a limb? I still feel you here, near me in the same way that an amputee feels phantom pains.

So much has changed and yet not much is different. As I navigate through the decisions in my life, I remember conversations of the past where you shared some nugget of wisdom, reminded me of something important I needed to keep in mind or just reiterated my worth. Invaluable thoughts, all of them. Now I stare at serious decisions that must be made and I can see them from your perspective. From a place of peace. The most frequent phrase I hear in your voice as the thoughts race through my head is this: forget it. That doesn't matter.

I am your child so you know this is one of the hardest things for me to do. But I believe that I am getting better at it. The perspective of losing the stronghold of my life, the bearer of my soul, will do that to you. In focusing on those words I am feeling a certain level of peace I had not yet experienced. Yes, there are flare ups and there are annoyances because I am human after all. But mostly, I smile. Because it's taken me so long to see exactly what it was that you were trying to teach me. I wonder. Did you know my life would come to this crossroad? Did you perceive it (after all, moms know everything, right)?

One of the things I loved most about you (and not just because you're my mami) was your ability to be clear and concise and yet be impartial. If I was arguing with someone else that you loved and told you about it, that never changed your relationship with that person. It is a difficult thing to do when you are a mother and all your heart wants to do is protect your child. But you did it perfectly and seamlessly. In that manner, you taught me that everything I do should come from a place of love. No matter what someone else has said or done. I am to act from that love that is in my heart and I am to let whatever that is, go.

In death, you remind me that most things that we worry about are not important and that in giving them thought, emotion or words we, in fact, breathe life into them. I picture your knowing smile as I type this. The one thing I absolutely adore about you (besides how perfectly you loved me) is how proud you are of me. I choose to use the present because I like to think you are looking down on me now from your place in heaven where everything is much clearer. Now you look down and your heart fills with pride because I have arrived to the place where you so lovingly walked me to. To myself. With all my flaws and imperfections. With all of the things that you loved most about me. With all of the worth that you prayed for and instilled.

And I realize as I take each and every step, each and every day that every action you took in steering my heart and actions (whether intentional or not) was to get me to this place. To remind me of how I am loved and therefore how I need to love. How I am valued and how I need to value.

I am moved to write these words because, unfortunately, there are still moms and daughters out there with a less than perfect relationship. And I know you wish them to know that the bond is never broken. Not even after your child holds on to your hand and watches you take your very last breath.


(if you are pregnant, think you might be pregnant or real emotional right now, skip this blog entry ;-) )

It is with a mixture of great sadness and pure joy that I write this.  Mom's body lost her battle with cancer though her spirit won the sweetest victory the morning of February 2nd.

She passed sweetly, softly and in the arms of her children.  We could not have been more blessed to have witnessed the spirit of this beautiful woman leave her body to take her rightful place in heaven as a child of God.  The best part was that was our fears of her discomfort and pain in her last hours were never realized. Mom was pain-free, comfortable and peaceful as she made her transition and that was a wonderful gift to her family.

I want to personally thank each and every one of you for the beautiful cards that you sent her and the powerful prayers that you sent up.  I want you to know that they were answered.  Mom is healed!  Perfectly and completely.  Please continue to keep our family in your prayers as those that are left behind embark on a new journey.

My mother was the nucleus of our family with a magnetism that will surely be seen in the coming days.  Everyone that she met became family.  As her kids, we were always slightly resentful of having to share her with so many people because, as you very well know, every child wants their mami to themselves.  However, we learned a lot about how to treat others, how to live life and what really matters.  I would like to think we radiate some of her light and goodness because of it. Due to her gravitational pull, mami is survived by a great number of people, not just blood relatives.  I cannot name them all and will not because it would be a great tragedy if I forget someone's name.

Again, thank you for your thoughts and prayers.  They were heard and they continue to sustain us as we mourn the homegoing of this wonderful woman.