The Babies Are My Energy

It’s amazing how much of my brothers I see in their children. Joshua sent me the photo you see above of him and Sarai, and I instantly thought about how much my niece looks like my younger brother when he was a toddler. He was BAD. OMG! Joshua was such a handful. I am certain I had high blood pressure dealing with him while he was growing up. Lol. Thyrie looks so much like TJ when he was a baby. I think back to the days of him growing up and I get a little emotional. We’ve always been close. He’s the brother everyone says, “OMG, y’all look just alike” about, and I just nod and smile.

Me and TJ, about 5 years ago.

Their children are my energy. I push myself so that I’ll one day reconnect with all of them. I moved away from home when I was eighteen years old. Truth be told, I was running away from things I didn’t care for and wanted to be far away from, and I just kept running.

But receiving photos of the beautiful additions to my family’s bloodline and being so far away from them all gets to me sometimes. I am missing so much. I breathe in and dream of these little ones. I breathe out and ponder on their whereabouts and well-being.

When everything seems to be branding me with anger and pain, I think about them, and my energy is renewed.

Stories of Comfort. Stories of Thanks.

My Uncle Red and one of my brothers, Michael (Peanut). This photo was taken probably about 5 or 6 years ago.

Today, I am reflecting on the stories from my life that lend me peace or make me laugh or send good feelings through me. My mother’s only brother, and the youngest child on her father’s side, Andrew (who we call, “Uncle Red” and all others simply call, “Red”) is my favorite uncle. He was fourteen years old when I was born and from what I am told, extremely happy to be an uncle. I was his second niece, but I was the baby for a long time.

He likes to tell the story of him visiting my mom, father, and I one evening for dinner. I was probably two or three years old at the time. As we were eating, my uncle rehashes how I looked over to him, and announced, “Are you eating your food, Uncle Red?” And to this, he responded, “I am, baby.” What came out of my mouth next definitely indicates I had been around adults more so than children.

My uncle said I looked up at him, smiled, and rebutted, “That’s a big boy. You eat your food.” He said all he could do was laugh–not that fake, silly laugh, but a belly-full laugh, and for the rest of the meal, he had a huge simile on his face. He tells this story to his wife, to his children, to anyone who will listen, and I still love to hear it.

I believe it was the moment I knew I’d always be bonded with/connected closely to, my uncle.

Caison, the little love of my life. One of my baby cousins, and the sweetest gift my cousin Akua has ever given this world.

If you’ve been reading my work for quite a while, then you have seen pictures, read poems, and know about Caison. I have a ton of stories that make me happy when it comes to this Munchkin Man, but my favorite happened about two months ago.

I had been waiting for Caison and Akua to come back home. I was sitting in their living room talking to Caison’s grandmother and watching television. Akua did not tell him I would be “popping up” to spend some time with him. Caison had just turned four years old, and I had his birthday gifts with me to give to him.

Akua recants the story so vividly and with a smile on her face each time as she tells me how excited Caison was to see my car parked in their driveway. The conversation went a little like this, Caison: “Oh! Mommy, is that Naine-Naine’s car?!” Akua: “Yes, baby. It is.” Caison: “Yay! Naine-Naine!!!”

The babies of my family call me “Maine-Maine” or “Tree” and Caison has a little trouble with the pronunciation of “M-words”, they often come out as words beginning with the letter “N”, instead. I think it’s the most adorable thing–his excitement by simply seeing my car, and knowing I had been there waiting to see him.

It makes my heart smile and reminds me how grateful I am to have the love of a young one wrapped up in me.

My kid sister, Bless. When I was 19, this young woman became my most favorite human being–a little sister, finally! I’d had 5 brothers, I didn’t want another one. Lol!

My kid sister and I communicate mostly via text message. I’ll call from time to time simply to hear her voice. I wrote a poem for a friend of mine a few days ago and I shared it with my sister to get her opinion. I actually said to her, “Read this and let me know if it’s garbage or not.”

She read it and said she found snippets of herself throughout the poem and she believed my friend would love it. Of course, being the big sister I am, I wanted to know which snippets of herself she spotted . . . My sister’s response, although simple, got a chuckle out of me. She said, “Oh, see now . . . you want the deets, sis!”

I laughed so hard and I don’t really know why. I could hear my sister saying this to me as if we were in the same room discussing the poem and its details, and I could see the look that would show up on her face. Lol. I simply said, “Of course, I want the details, kiddo!”

The simple things in life make me happy I am living. I am thankful for family and friends and sustenance and words and love and kindness and breathing.

I hope all of you will enjoy this day, should you choose to celebrate it. I will spend it knowing I am blessed and at any moment, this could change.

Peace and blessings.

It’s Okay to Admit You’re Wrong

A Senryu, 3 Parts

previous testing
done for patient somewhere else
she insists we’re wrong

I search the system
co-worker reviews it too
we find no records

patient dismisses
the mistake’s made on her part
ends the call upset

I will be the first to admit I’m wrong when I am wrong. I cannot tell you the number of patients with whom I speak on a daily basis who are adamant about having their radiological services rendered with us when in actuality, those services have been with another entity. It’s okay to admit you’re wrong, especially if you go to multiple places to have your medical needs met. It’s really okay. My co-worker and I handled the issue accordingly. In the end, the patient was informed of where she had her imaging done based on her description of the location and advised to reach out to them for her medical recordsbut she really just couldn’t believe she was wrong.

Hell in a Handbasket, but There’s Still Time for Autumn

One of the last trees to still sport its autumn leaves. Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

This nation, as I see it, is going to Hell in a handbasket. It will be carried by the same naysayers who believe the all-knowing and loving God is for their hypocritical ways and do not oppose their actions. The God you serve is not the God I serve. My God is more than likely weeping as he watches His children carry on like fools, senselessly taking the lives of others, running amok without fair cause, and denying human beings basic rights.

You are playing a flute that holds no sound, yet you want me to listen. Where is your melody? How does it benefit me? When will it actually do something worthwhile?

We elected a president who, when it all falls down, has sided with a judicial system that purposes a select few. He has said out of his mouth, to respect the system, to acknowledge what has been done peacefully. For real? Like, for real . . . real? Acknowledge a system that has NEVER worked in anyone of color’s favor? Acknowledge a system and respect it that could not bring forth a verdict that actually makes sense?

It is 2021, yet we are reliving days of Antebellum. There is no escaping this. This is what they want. And to get to where they intend to seek refuge, they will continue to whittle us down like pieces of wood.

I’m so tired of people making excuses for America. America has ALWAYS been this way. She isn’t changing. Her ways are not so distant from the 1800s–they’re only slightly different.

I walked through my neighborhood today, still seething in anger from an unjust system. I tried to remain calm. I tried to look to Jernee for some semblance of peace. But I found it . . . in the last leaves of autumn.

**I don’t intend to argue or go back and forth with anyone about my thoughts, feelings, and opinions. I know what I’ve lived, witnessed, been forced to do, and experienced. Racism is still alive and well. I don’t need anyone to tell me what is and isn’t.

But–Had He Been A Man of Color . . .

this dated system
works for melanin-challenged
liars on the stand

there is no justice
for the black man or woman
there never will be

it’s easy when you
have what they are looking for
you get off scot-free

The American “criminal” justice system is an effing joke. How one can be absolved of all wrong-doing when it’s clearly present and lives have been lost because of it is a constant mind-blowing thing to me. But, really . . . I’m not shocked. Re: The Kyle Rittenhouse verdict.