Love Letter From A Mother:

As a mother, what happened yesterday splintered my soul. It truly truly is a parent’s worst nightmare.

I wanted to acknowledge what I imagine Mrs. Bryant’s devastation to be. I hope to honor her:

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My Darling Daughter:

This is a letter I never thought I would ever be called to write. A mother is never supposed to have to say goodbye to her child. Especially one so young. Yet, here I am, writing to you to say goodbye.

How do I begin? Where? Do I start at the end of thirteen or at the beginning of one? If I start at thirteen… words fail me. If I start at one knowing now that it ends at thirteen… words fail me. So, let me start in the middle. Yes, maybe I could piece together my soul if I started in the middle.

You topped me up and overflowed me. You did. Who you became exceeded everything I thought you would be. You surprised me. Not because I didn’t think you were capable. But because you knew you were capable. So did your daddy. He didn’t have to use words to express the magic he knew you were, when he looked at you we knew. I pray you knew.

Arrogantly, I imagined having a lifetime with you. In secret parts of me I planned a very sweet sixteen, graduations, a career and a wedding. I got my arms ready to hold you after your first heartache. Never, ever did I plan on readying my soul for my own. Never could I have imagined that all my dreams for you could turn into my worst nightmare of you.

My darling, as my soul continues to shatter, what brings me some comfort is knowing that in those final moments of this beautiful but too short life you have lived, your daddy held you. That he held you as tightly as he did the moment you came into his world. Being sure of that is all I have left. I know you were scared. I know. As I know your dad, friends and everyone with you yesterday was. I know. I know because darling, your mommy is scared too. I am scared of life without you and daddy. Scared for your sisters. Scared because our light as a family has been so dimmed.

Do me a favor, okay baby? Tell daddy we will be okay. Eventually. Not now. Not tomorrow. Not for many tomorrows. But, eventually. Tell him he showed me well how to love and take care of all his girls and I will never let him down. Just ask him to be patient with me until I find my way back from this pain. But tell him I will. I promise. I will. Right now though, mommy is shattered. Do me another favor, Gigi. Ask daddy to give you a million hugs for me… all the ones I thought I had time to give you myself. I am sorry you didn’t get them all. But, they’re yours.

Baby, you and daddy travel well to your final resting place. Pick a spot that you both like and rest. I have now commuted all my other wishes for you to this one… rest. Hold daddy’s hand, okay? I know he feels guilty for all of it. Whenever he needs it most, let him know it was not his fault. Let him know the only thing he is guilty of is loving us well. Tell him.

My darling daughter, thank you for the time you spent with us. Your sisters love you. We will see you again. Until then…

I love you. You filled my soul.

Mommy.

How A Red-Headed Kid From London Instituted A New Meaning To The Acronym, HRH

Like many of you, I am sure, I have been sitting and watching the unfolding of the bits and pieces that constitute Harry and Meghan’s past/current lives and their future one. I have not been quiet. Nope. I have had much to say about how I feel and more importantly, how I feel they are being regarded, judged and vilified. I have grumbled, cursed and called everyone – yes, people I do not know and will never meet – all sorts of names because of what I feel they have already done and are continuing to do to them. So, as you already have a gist as to my opinion, let’s just go ahead and address this…

They, Harry and Meghan/Harry and his wife/Meghan and her husband/Archie’s parents, are absolutely within their right to and in some regard have an obligation to make this decision. And, any of you who think otherwise, stop being hypocritical! Yes. I called you hypocritical! “Why” you ask? Let me tell you… A great number of us tuned into their wedding ceremony two years ago. Shit! We tuned into them from the moment their relationship became public. Many of us had a lot to say about his adorable red-headed self picking this black woman. Many of us cheered him on for his coolness and bravery. Many of us cheered her on for seemingly “choosing well,” giving divorcees hope and even some of us for showing black girls everywhere that there can be brown-skinned real life princesses. So, we watched.

We talked about how we “always knew that Harry was different/cool/a renegade” and giggled about how “whipped” he must be after getting some black ass! Some of us even giving him the “side-eye” with the “he better marry her!” face! He did. We watched. We commented on her dress, hair, freckles and mama. He scrutinized his face for his/its trademark emotional transparency. We talked about his wearing of a wedding ring and “ohhhhhhhh’d” at the validation of Prince Charles walking her down the aisle. We monitored the arrival of the guests, documenting this and that celebrity. We sang with the choir and applauded their doing things their way.

So, guess what? They still are.

This couple, Harry and Meghan have insisted from the very beginning that we recognize and respect those touches, big or small, that signaled their insistence on being true to their relationship. We may only now realize that what we had always been allowed glimpses of were moments of their desire to be normal, not traditional. Their relinquishing of their titles should now express to us what our good-natured giggling may have potentially made us miss in the beginning… Meghan and Harry’s desire to have and conduct a relationship steeped in the same shit we infuse in ours. A desire and a right to have a relationship where they put each other first (not a country), are able to employ the same set of compromises you and I have when deciding where to live, where to work, who stays home with the baby and the ability to recognize what is not in our best interest… and do something about it! Because folks, that is what they did. That is all they did. They made couple decisions. They made married-people decisions. They made family-first decisions. They made grown folks decisions. And, just like it is for you and me, whether she “started” it or he, it is none of our fucking business! Remember, married folk! I wish someone would tell me I cannot influence a decision, major or small, in my home! Try. I dare you! How do we get to insist our men/partners stand up for/defend us to their parents, public and friends and wage all hell if they don’t but condemn her because he seems to be doing the same? Why does she, why do they deserve any less from and for each other than we insist on for ourselves?

Listen. Yes. They also have royalty considerations. I am in no way callously disregarding that reality. What I am doing however, is granting them the ability (and my humble and resounding approval) to make married-people decisions… then do exactly what they did, exactly what we all do, massage the rest into place.

So, they stripped them of their title, HRH. As for me, it is even more applicable now, cause, well, HeRespectsHer.

Let’s Talk Shoppe:

Recently, a friend (lovingly) got in my face about not having blogged in quite a while. I was two things, ashamed at my lack of attention in this area and tickled pink that I have been missed. I promised to address and correct my behavior, so, let’s address this…

On December 14th I officially opened my specialty dress shoppe, Dressed Up. Many of you know I have been working on this venture since January 2019 and, throughout the process I have learned so very many things… about real estate, financial fitness, government and myself. I have cursed and carried on and I have remained resolute in my determination and refused to take anyone’s “no” as an answer. I have challenged the systems that have (seemingly) been put in place to discourage minorities (I HATE that word!) from advancing past where “they” think we belong. I have stood in people’s faces and forced them to see and speak to me instead of hiding behind emails and telephones. I laid claim to my intention and did not move. I made/make sacrifices that make my social media feed look so very much less exciting than yours. My social life occurs within four walls and my besties are five bald-headed mannequins.

But, I am now the very proud owner of a dress shoppe

This post is about this morning with a subtext of the past few (read, 90+) mornings as well. Some of you may know the ins-and-outs of opening a business either through personal achievement and experience or education. Here’s what I had to learn quickly: my shoppe is new construction. At pre-determined phases throughout the construction process, city/state inspections are necessary – fire, electrical, sprinkler system, building, etc etc. Upon completion, there is a final building inspection and if approved you then move on to obtaining your Certificate of Occupancy or Approval. I will not bore you all with sordid details, but suffice it to say, a process that should have taken three to five business days from final inspection stretched on for weeks. After showing up in City Hall myself I was given my CofO. Once given that I was only then able to schedule a Fire Inspection to get my fire permit. Did that. Got that. Got my waste permit. And my zoning approval. Payroll filing as well. Check. I submitted all my bits and pieces onto the NJ Portal, paid my $250 fee for my business license and was told “it could take a few days, one week or one month.” You may have surmised by now this is not a version that will end with either of the first two options, right?

In early December I hung all the permits I had and also posted the receipt for the business license application. I opened the doors on December 14th. Then, I waited. Every few days I would check the portal and/or call… nothing. Today, more than a month later I head to City Hall. I enquired. A very nice gentleman printed my license and took it to the woman in charge of signing it (oh yes… ALL it needed was her signature!). He brought it to me and I was absolutely elated! Finally! Yay me for showing up and handling my business! Yes, I was feeling all kindsa proud of myself and empowered until he said, “Young lady, keep an eye on your calendar, okay, as your license expires in March.” What?!?!? Yes folks, the City of Newark thinks it is okay to, no matter when you are issued your license, make all expirations at the same time. So, I have just paid $250 for a license that is valid from today, January 16th, 2020 to March 31st, 2020! What the absolute fuck?!?!?

So yes, I am back writing alright, because my next piece will be addressed to Mayor Ras Baraka! You see, he speaks often about wanting small businesses and black-owned businesses in downtown Newark, yet THIS is what he rolls out as our welcome mat! Nope. Most certainly not good enough! Will update you all after my next trip to City Hall.

I’ve missed you…

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