Heaven Has Gained An Angel. And She Is My Friend.

A few hours ago, I was told a friend, a very dear friend, was dead.

My heart is broken. I am struggling to breathe. Almost as much as I struggle to make sense of what I was told.

Please bear with me as I write through my tears and my grief. I will write because this is what I do. And, because my friend, Gloria, never missed a post (for those of you who follow closely, you would recognize her name; she commented often). This is for her. About her. In honor of her.

My friend, I truly do not know where to begin. Perhaps I should start at the end, right here, this place they just told me is the place I must now live in, without my friend in it.

Okay, I will need your help, because I do not know how to move past this terrible moment right here; this place that will forever mark the start of a brand new normal I must live.

When we met a few years ago in Professor Cuteness’ class, my academic soul sang. It was refreshing to sit in a classroom with a contemporary; someone with whom I could relate to and learn from. Lord have mercy… we became such fast friends!

Since then, we have been on a path together. A path that demanded we supported each other through the ups, downs, papers, finals, midterms and asshole professors. The path that meant we celebrated important moments together, cried, laughed and scolded. We pushed each other when we each knew the other was capable of better. Of more. We talked about our daughters, our loves, our dreams, our graduation and our Scorpio sisterhood (your birthday is Sunday and I just do not know what to do!). We shopped, drank and ate. You complained that I only took you to “skinny-ass” stores; but then rejoiced because you said you got to keep your money in your pocket. You were my biggest fan… read all my posts. You called me a “Rockstar” and told me how proud of me you were. How brave you thought I was. How you wanted to be just like me when you grew up (which was always funny to us as you were older than me!).

My heart is broken.

I cannot believe you are gone. You still had plans. Dreams. You had loves to meet. We weren’t finished talking.

My friend, my heart is broken.

This right here is a lot for me to handle. We were supposed to do this academic walk together. We were supposed to cross that stage together.

I cannot breathe.

Gloria, I miss you… already. Thank you for happening to me. Thank you for accepting all the sides, angles, corners and edges of me. Your beautiful spirit will be missed in this world. Please know, wherever you are right now, please know that I love you. Our friendship, our sisterhood strengthened me and helped to give me the courage I need on this academic journey. Your sense of humor, your humility, your kindness and graciousness made you one of the most beautiful human beings I have met and, my heart will miss yours.

Please continue to believe in me and prop me up; because my friend, God willing, I now continue this journey without you; but for you. I will finish this for you, my friend; and, we will cross that stage together… because you will be in my heart.

I love you BIG. Please soar.

#Me

I hope yall were expecting me to have something to say about the Weinstein situation in particular and sexual harassment/abuse in general; because, I do have quite a bit to say.

Any light that is shone on and brings awareness to any injustice is a good thing. The more that is revealed, the better position we will all be in toward a solution, a cure, a resolution, or a conviction. Then, when the business of the wrong-doing is out of the way, the potential for healing can be possible.

Okay; I have stated the obvious. Now, I will also state that I am a bit irked that the world stands up to listen seemingly only when someone they deem important speaks. No; I am not minimizing any celebrity’s right to be heard or for their entitlement to justice. But I am shaking my head at how immunized we have gotten to the plight of the ‘regular’ man. That our voices count less than theirs. That our harassment, abuse and rape take a bit longer (or sometimes, never happens) to be recognized as such. That we are always questioned and often doubted. But the words of a rich, white, celebrity causes an immediate reaction and response around the world.

Okay. But, injustice has been uncovered; yes? And, that should be all that matters; yes?

It is not.

You see, we ‘regular’ people should not be relegated to the corners of society and only allowed out as a response, or in order to substantiate the words of others. Our realities should be front page news, “break the internet”, trend and the subject of much conversation and the reason for interviews as well. Instead, too often all we are allowed is the ‘too’ in the situation; as in #metoo.

So yes, I thank Ms. Judd for speaking out. But, I am rejecting Ms. Milano’s offer to be a ‘too’ because what happened to me (and to you), makes us the headline in our story; not bringing up the rear in someone else’s. Because when someone has you suspended off the floor by your neck, staring you in the eyes and saying to you, “Say goodbye cause you’re going to die,” the only behind I am interested in is placing that reality behind me.

I am not minimizing anyone’s experience; I would never do that to them or you. I am simply expressing my sadness at a reality that only/mainly responds to those voices it considers worthy. Cause here’s the thing… after he left me tormented, terrorized and broken, once I regained my voice and stopped hearing his, once I stopped preferring death to living, once my soul healed and my fear receded, ”worthy” was a promise I made to myself, of myself.

I celebrate all the women who have spoken up; good for you! I pray you continue to heal. Know you are strong. I also encourage you to not only speak up in response to another, but to know you deserve to speak up for yourself, by yourself. You can do it. I know… because you have already survived this much.

#ME

 

 

 

 

Yet Another October 26th.

Today, October 26th, (2012), is the day my baby boy was to have been born.

For every woman, for every partner, for every family for whom the loss of a child has become a reality, that is an ache that is your companion, I share in your pain. I know your loss. And, I am deeply sorry.

Baby Wiltshire-Alabi, I love you.

Mommy.

I Used To be Scared. Now, I Celebrate. Cause All I Am Is Scarred.

I had an interesting conversation with a friend yesterday who, when she saw this picture and the caption I posted on IG, remarked that to look at me one would never attribute to me any of the insecurities I spoke of.

I posted about my scars.

The one that runs from the middle of my spine down and the others below it. I posted that it has taken a lot of years for me to confidently expose these scars; and in fact, at times I purposely do so. I purposely frame them to draw attention to them. Yes. You see, they tell part of my story. They are my way of letting you in and drawing you close. They are my intimacy. Because, they are my truth… in a way that very few other things can be.

I survived.

The pain. The fear. The anxiety. The insecurity. The anger. I survived that particular part of the journey that has now brought me to this part. So, now when I look at them, I see them as a testament of survival from all those things. Those markers of grit along the path I have chosen and the one that has been chosen on my behalf. Each wound, every cut, each stitch plays an integral part on the tapestry that is my beautiful life. Every tear, every scream, every cower are now reminders of what not to do, where not to go and who not to love.

Every once in a while I wear something that shows off these scars.

And, every once in a while I write something that exposes the rest.

#live #badgesofstrength #survival #will

 

Bully For You!

 

So, I’ve recently joined the Twitter community. I admit it was neither my idea, nor did I succumb willingly. I did so on the advice and the insistence of a very trusted marketer. Now that I have done so, I further admit to being in awe of the fact that through this medium, I like you, am able to reach anyone. I am able to have two hundred and eighty-character conversations with people I would never meet; some people I would never want to meet. Like Trump.

I ‘follow’ him. I do so because it allows me access to his minute-by-minute rants, his bullshit and a front-row seat to witness the incongruity of a madman legally allowed to not run, but to ruin this country. And, I tweet him. Almost daily. Sometimes a few times a day. I tag him so there is no mistake I am speaking to him. Cursing at him. I tell him how much of an asshole he is. I tell him how petty, destructive and vile he is. What a narcissist. How small his dick. How his mind mirrors his dick in impotence. I tell him I wish we could all go back in time and give his parents free birth control. And, I invariably end each tweet with either, #fuckyou or #fucktrump.

Judge Judy has said that one cannot be held libelous or cited for slander if what they have said is true; I wonder if that is what I am depending on? The fact that all I say to this contemptuous man is the truth, will that wrap me in protection (the same type his parents should have used when fucking) if, as I have been cautioned, the Secret Service comes looking for me? I am joking, of course; there is no way the SS could possibly round up everyone who curses that asshole! And, as eloquent as I may think myself being, God will have to be truly pissed at me if I am the one used as an example!

Having said that however and Constitution aside, isn’t it a tad interesting that so many of us are able to access a medium that allows for contact with someone in his position? Yes, I understand fully that he is an easy target, that his narcissism is partly to blame for both our reach and our words; but still… doesn’t it strike you as off-putting that we can? Do you ever cock your head to the side, those of you on Twitter, in awe that now, the only barrier between us and world leaders, political figures and celebrities, is a key-pad? Are you as intrigued as I that our world has evolved so very much that, within the specified number of characters, you could applaud, agree with, berate, beg, encourage, celebrate, shame, inform or bully?

I hate Trump. Let’s be very clear on that. I find him small-minded, egotistical, racist, mealy-mouthed, abusive, childish, destructive, antagonistic, petty and narcissistic. I am embarrassed by what we are now presenting to the rest of the world. I hate him because, by his actions he has exposed all our asses and has rendered us all extremely vulnerable! I hate him because I believe him to be an abusive husband (let us all never forget that moment during the inauguration when he literally wiped the smile from his wife’s face!). I hate him because through his ignorance and pettiness, he is seeking to undo all the good our president, Barack Obama had done on all our behalf. Simply because he can. Simply because he is petty. Simply because we dare to admire, support, respect and miss the fuck out of that black man!

But with every tweet am I not sliding into the realm of cyber-bullying? Aren’t my words, as justified as I believe them to be, the precise behavior we encourage our children against committing? Am I not in violation of maintaining a respectful cyber presence and committing some crime or the other by using my words to harm? Because let’s be clear, my intent is to have him read it. To have my words touch a particle of him that will cause one corner of his ridiculous toupee to curl and itch! I unleash onto him the type of disrespect and hatred I feel he is levelling at us. But again, I ask, simply because I believe it true and countless others may agree, does that excuse my using Twitter to attempt to shame and ridicule? You see, I have nieces. I have God-babies. So, what will I tell them? That depending on the audience, it is okay to break the law? That given the right motivation, (cyber) bullying is permissible? That if given good reason, it is okay to shame? Am I right in telling them it is okay to behave as badly as the person you are now focused on? That if they make it easy, “go for it!”?

I cannot promise I will stop cursing this man; but I will try. I will do so not because he deserves it; but because I refuse to sit next to him in the sub-level he inhabits. I have realized that if I/we continue to inhabit this space we do – the space of humanity, fairness, respect – he will never find us… his elevator cannot rise that high.

In the meantime, here is some of what I have said to him…

 

Las Vegas, What Happened There, Will Stay Everywhere.

We are getting sicker by the minute.

And when I say, “sicker” that denotes that in some ways, we have already been diagnosed as being sick and it is just getting worse! The disease that courses through the veins of many, that dictates the levels of depravity they allow themselves is staggering! The ‘thing’ that wakes one up in the mornings and says, “Today is the day you kill multitudes of people you have never met!” and the voice that is so fucking compelling you actually go out and do it…

I do not know about you all, but I am sick and fucking tired of, ‘praying for the souls of _____ and their families’! I am sick and fucking tired of imagining what X situation must have been like for those who had a ring-side seat to someone else’s depraved decisions! I am sick and fucking tired imagining similar scenarios occurring in those moments I, like so many of you, am walking through Grand Central, Penn Station and any of the subway systems that are designed to solely take us from here to there; but that truthfully, can be vehicles that carry the depraved! I am sick and fucking tired of being scared to leave my home because the next murderous asshole could be standing shoulder-to-shoulder with me at any of the modes of commuting I take to get me to where I need to be! I am sick and fucking tired of people who believe they have the right to play ‘God’ in my life and decide how and for how long I get to enjoy the realities I have worked for, loved for, fought for, cried for and prayed over!

FUCK YOU!

I, like you I know, am sickened by this latest bit of human depravity! And, I am so sure God is regretting His mistake in making this particular asshole! I am certain He is working on a do-over and since that fatal moment on Sunday, has created thousands of new beautiful souls to try help soothe the pain. I, like you I know, am shaking my head in complete befuddlement at this world we now inhabit; wondering just when did things go so very wrong? It’s as if we (the collective) have gone completely hay-wire and have given ourselves the authority to do so without any pause or conscience! Just when did our (the collective) souls become so devoid of anything human or humane? Just-the-fuck-when did we decide that it just wasn’t good enough to know the devil walked amongst us (praying we never encountered him) and opted instead to not simply invite him into our homes, but making the choice and decision to fuck him as well?! And procreate?!

My heart hurts. It is hurting in those places that only those who love me and for whom it beats should know about. The pain and grief are radiating to those crevices where my dreams, hope and confidence inhabit. They are making my feet stumble; unsure if any stride will be my last stride. I walk praying, “Not Today!” every day as I go about the business of living; praying to not encounter someone going about the business of dying.

FUCK!

THIS IS NOT WHAT IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE LIKE! We are not here for this! This journey is supposed to be the manifestation of what we can dream of for ourselves. With bumps, yes; they keep us focused, driven and humble. What is nowhere in the handbook however, is the fine print that your sick, depraved, homicidal, suicidal aspirations trump mine! Nowhere is it written that your lack of hope and humanity get to snuff out my joy, excitement, optimism, pride, hope… my life!

God have every mercy on us! May the souls of those murdered on Sunday rest in peace, even as I wish them wings to not just fly, but to soar. I pray the hearts of those whom they loved and who love them in time, find solace. I pray for their strength to carry on and the peace of mind to eradicate any survivor’s guilt. I pray that someday, they smile again.

And finally, I pray the body and the vacant spot that should have housed the soul of that murderer burns in a hell that is tens of millions of times worse than the one he has visited upon us all!

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