Prepared

The Inevitable

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Tushar Adhikari|Unsplash

Today, I prepared my Living Will & Testament. I had been meaning to draft this up for years, started it, and never finished, but today–it is done. I have all of the necessary mentions, made one of my best friends the Executor and both she and my mom as primary and secondary beneficiaries. Why one of my best friends and not my mom? We have discussed this, my Mom and I. Should I go before her, she is not what one would call a stable person emotionally. She would be too overwhelmed with sadness and grief and probably not the one to execute things accordingly. As grim as death is, in the event of the death of your child, plans still have to be made, funeral arrangements need to be completed, the gathering of souls and notifying them as well must be carried out and well… to be frank, she would not be able to get this done.

My best friend, on the other hand, handles things efficiently and does so in a way that many cannot. Plus, it will not be her first time dealing with death and dying and head-mastering the arrangements. I hate tasking either of them with this, but it must be done. Although I am what most would call young in age, death does not care about that. When I am called by God, I will be called and age will be the last thing on God’s mind. While diligently compiling the list of belongings and making sure Jernee will be cared for and loved when I am gone, I became a bit emotional myself. To think of one’s own death is quite macabre, however, as I stated earlier, this is necessary. I have had a number of peers die “untimely deaths,” and I am certain there will be more. It is not my intention to leave my family wondering what my wishes are nor is it my intention to leave them solely responsible for funding my homegoing.

The nearly three-page document lacks nothing. I went through it with a fine-toothed comb and I am pleased with every item bullet-pointed, including the want to be cremated and have my ashes relegated to my mother who may do what she likes with them at her discretion. I requested a small funeral–family and close friends only. I do not see a reason to have a mass gathering for the purpose of me leaving this earth. The more people at this event, the more my mom and best friend will have to deal with and I intend for their burdens to be light. They will have enough on their plates. Should my Mom go before me, I am the Executor and her primary beneficiary and I will adhere to her wishes as she has laid them out for me. The same goes for my best friend. We talk about these matters, better to do so than not be somewhat prepared.

The only thing left to do now is to obtain signatures and get the Notary Public at my credit union to notarize the document. I will try to accomplish this in the next week or two. I can let out a sigh of relief because after the fall in the shower, nearly two years ago, the one thing bleating in the back of my mind like an untamed billygoat is, “you need a Living Will. Get it done, Tre.”

And now, it is.

Centered

My Great-Grandmother Lucille Tiggs pictured at the far left. I have no clue of when this was, but I love this picture. Not sure who the other people are, but I aim to find out.

I remember my Great-Grandmother being more than sure of herself, she was confident and she had a presence about her that demanded your attention. I was close to her, undeniably and inexplicably close. Her passing more than sixteen years ago now gutted me. I felt as though my world would crumble. Her mind decided to give up on her. She had a form of dementia that beat her to a pulp and shrunk her overwhelming presence to one that we needn’t cower from. 

I do not want to ever know what it feels like to lose your mind, your sanity, your ability to make vital decisions for both yourself and others. When my Great-Grandmother’s condition worsened, her children agreed to have her placed under the watchful eyes of an appointed caregiver. There, in someone else’s home, she was monitored and cared for accordingly by professionals. It was there on my visits to her, that I noticed how aggressive this illness was. She didn’t know me anymore. Oh, she knew that I was family, but she kept referring to me as my older cousin. It pained me to watch her wither, to witness her become someone I did not know. 

Even though she was no longer as smart as a whip and her memory began shifting and leaving her day by day, there was still a sense of groundedness in her. I looked at her and she appeared centered. Was it the fact that she was in her eighties and had been the epitome of strength and tenacity for our family for decades? Was it because I still saw the confident and self-assured reckoning of a woman that she was? I am certain that it was a combination of these things, but now, when I feel as though I may fall or am falling, I think of her. I remember who she was and…

I tell myself that I am of her blood and I am centered, grounded, confident, and sure. 

I am hers even if she’s gone. 

But, what of the end?

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Courtesy of CBS News/End of The World Images

Will it come with fire and brimstone?
Fearful children running alongside their parents–
Threatened to be charred while in motion.
Can we expect it as if in a blink of time?
A piece of history chewed up, swallowed, and spat
Back out to us dripping with disdain?
A deluge, a monsoon, a tsunami wrapped into one
Cast down from the heavens above,
Drowning us into oblivion.

The end will come with hungry mouths
Burdened by fangs–blackholes for bellies
Unable to fill.
It will come without us knowing,
During a moment where love
And destiny meet.
It will come with hopeless wings
Shy of flying and a soul fraught with pain.

The world will crumble,
Break apart, turn into dust,
And find its way jarred and placed
On God’s shelf as a reminder of
What he should not have done.
What of the end?

Can we rely on it to be on time?


Sometimes, I have to write my way out of a funk–out of the pain and sadness that I feel for this world. There is so much we can do if we work together, if we loved each other more. There are so many ways that we can contribute to making our world a better place. I wish… we did so much more of what we need to do.

I Want My Mom

Picture of Hamoudi spreading like wildfire.

The following story that’s being shared here is that of a Middle Eastern 14-year-old effeminate boy who was viciously murdered by a heartless adult based on his appearance. I cannot… My heart breaks over and over reading about instances like this all over the world. Hate is too damn real and it needs to be extinguished. When you can put it in your mind to murder someone based on their appearance or any differences from you simply because you do not like those differences or appearances, you have no heart. YOU HAVE NO SOUL!

Hamoudi’s last words were, “I want my Mom.” Authoritative officials are not doing anything, conducting an investigation into this child’s senseless murder is on their back burner. Beliefs, patriarchy, old ways and traditions are their focus points, not the lives of human beings and the basic need for respect and acceptance. 

A young boy died because a man thought that he was too effeminate to deserve to live. The man stabbed him repeatedly in the gut, and then taunted him while he bled to death.

I want to honor his memory and help infuse his short life with meaning, but I want to think about people closer to home too.

I write a lot about LGBTQ equality. I write a lot about violence committed in the US against LGBTQ people. I write a lot about how violence rates have been rising dramatically over the past two years — ever since Trump came to power.

I’ve been working hard to promote awareness and to educate people. Some of the responses I’ve received from fellow Americans are unspeakable. I’ve been told point blank (and repeatedly) that transgender women deserve to be raped in prison.

I’ve been told that murders of gay youth aren’t important. I’ve been told that rising rates of violence are funny. Fellow Americans have sent me animated gifs of cartoon characters laughing.

So please don’t anyone think I wrote this article to condemn violence in the Middle East in particular.

I Want My Mom by James Finn https://link.medium.com/2qhN5oa8lR

The link above will lead you directly to the full write-up about this travesty by James Finn, a fellow Medium Writer. James does not tire of fighting for equality and LGBTQ rights. Share this, please. If you believe that a person’s life means more than their sexuality, their beliefs, their appearance, and anything else that should not be a determining factor for hate and maliciousness, then please send your words out into the ether. 

There are many instances happening right now in the States that are putting many connected to, affiliated, and associated with the LGBTQ community in grave danger, and causing many more to commit suicide. 

THIS IS NOT LIFE!

Whatever happened to love? Where is it in these times? Why doesn’t it always show its head? Be love. Be open. Know that your ways are not the only ways. 

You are not judge, jury, and executioner. You never will be.