When it comes to certain things I can be quite basic and simple. I don’t like overly complicated designs and patterns. A few years ago I was made aware of how I wore black more often than I wore colored t-shirts to work. I have been living a tug-of-war that – how could I possibly explain it when I do not even understand it.
My life is simply well beyond my control of any means at all.
I have been taught to believe all things being black have caused such an unpleasant odor/sensation up my nose it has caused a reaction that is borderline hatred. This reaction is born only out of defense of my own body to not be violated in such a way simply to get a reaction.
Besides when it comes to the color black it is more than a one dimensional color – black is all colors at one end of the spectrum.
For as long as I can remember when asked about my background, heritage, ethnicity, etc. I would respond, I am a darker shade of pale. End of discussion.
I have been writing in my head for these last few days – well, not writing, blogging. There is a difference. I haven’t written anything in years. The place I reside has everything to do with that. However, I have been blogging, yet unable to make it to my computer and type because the demand of my time is so incredible.
Let me tell you a little about my growing up, then you might understand why I say I am a darker shade of pale. For most of my life my father worked nights which gave him the excuse to be absent from my life – to be absent from our family. Even when he did not work nights he was never around or there.
So, my mother had to be both mother and father. This is not an uncommon scenario any longer. It is all too common anymore.
My mom loved everyone. And I mean everyone. She loved people, getting to know people, talking to people, helping people, learning about people, sharing stories with people, and so on. This was never more evident than after her strokes robbed her of her brains ability and function.
Growing up my mom told me stories of her and my father visiting friends in Watts. The way she told the story I understood it was years later in her life that she understood they could have been in danger in that part of town. How the Cash’s went to the window when they were inside and gave a signal. So, that the neighborhood understood the white couple was ok.
Driving down a road my mother asked my dad to pull over because there was a cross, so somewhere there might be church happening. Only to understand that what they drove into was not the church of love and forgiveness, but the kind that condemns and kills with hooded sheets. The fear that gripped my mother was still on her face so many years later telling the story.
A nurse would walk into the room, my mom would respond. She wouldn’t wait for them to check her vitals, or whatever nurse duty they might have needed to do she would start telling them about The Cash’s and all their children telling the nurse all their names, what they did for a living. Or, she would tell them about the de la Pena’s, and their children. Sometimes she would start sharing a specialness she believed about them.
Because even a stroke couldn’t take away her wanting to share the gift of friendship. She was saying – I see you beyond the flesh – beyond the uniform, or hairstyle, or any color whatsoever. Just to tell them hello, and you’re ok. To connect with them.
It was extremely intense conversation. Most people did not understand her at that point. What most people heard was an older woman who had a stroke, who didn’t speak in compound sentences. So, I diffused the conversation with the translation. There were few exceptions where people understood.
However, it was intense speech, talk, and conversation. Because who starts talking to a complete stranger saying, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you with deep sadness, strength of conviction, and determination? It was the one she said most often to people. Who starts a conversation that way? Who can expect to hear such a thing from a stranger? Who can respond back to such unyielding, unselfish speak? From the first moment you meet someone? Even as I pushed her in wheelchair through a store she would respond to someone that way.
So much of that life has gone from me in these last few years.
I wish I had never moved here. I wish I was still taking care of her, I placed her in a nursing home because I had become very concerned for my own health being so much heavier then, than I am now. Yet, had I died of a heart attack while taking care of her I would have died so much happier than if I died today.
I believed my life would start and I would be able to begin living, doing all the things I wished I could not but was not able to do while taking care of her. My life is still on hold. My life is even more out of my control than while I took care of her.
Plus, the shame, humiliation, and degradation I’ve been forced to live through in these last several years, I will never heal from. Not a single soul understands or cares. It’s unimaginable.