Sunday, August 26, 2012

I Had A Moment

I took a self imposed time out if you will from most of my social networks. Last week at church, the preacher preached about the power of words and how the heart actually controls the tongue. I've used the last four days to shift my focus a little bit and read my bible a little bit more. See, I start my day reading my two Bible devotionals but for the most part that would be where it ends. Soon after, I'd jump on my social networking sites and go on with my day. The challenge with being overwhelmed with the good and the bad of Facebook and Twitter is that it would cloud my mind. So I decided take a break. When the moments would come up and I would want to hop on Facebook and Twitter, I would open up YouVersion instead and read some of the Bible.

Last night and this morning, I did some extra reading in addition to my devotionals and the Word talked about getting on your knees and praying. I've gotten better about praying more often. But at times, I'd ask myself if God was really hearing my prayers. I read something about actually getting on my knees and actually praying. I wondered if that was really the key to a true connection with God.

Then, today at church my pastor talked about what to do when you feel like you're in your own darkness. The three keys were to get on your knees and pray, look up (because if you're looking up, you can get up) and finally Praise God no matter what. God will give you a song to sing, even in your darkness. Then it hit me. Lawd, I just need to get on my knees, pray and keep singing.

Today, I had a moment and I an relieved about it.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Timing Is Everything

So I'll sit down and write the blog I'm supposed to write.  I guess part of me is waiting on the right time. So many things have happened, so much to say. Just gonna sit down and say what I need to say. Just waiting for the right time.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Mortality of the Immortal

Life...I wonder...will it take me under...I dunno... 

Those words are the opening line to a popular 90s hit by Nas featuring Lauryn Hill, "If I Ruled The World" and I felt like those words would be the perfect opening to this blog post. Why? Because if there was anything that could take someone under it would be losing one of their immortals (a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle or child). The topic of this blog post has been on my heart, actually for almost 5 years, but has really come to light over the last 48 hours. As many of you may know, my father has battled tremendous health challenges for the last 5 years. What his fight has shown me is that my father is mortal. I've been fortunate that I haven't had a lot of death affect me directly. I had a conversation with my cousin, who is now in a similar place. My cousin mentioned to me during our conversation that one of his students lost his mother when he was 14. My cousin responded, if there was ANYTHING that would take him out of the game, it would be having to deal with that, especially at such a young age. We agreed that you don't think of having to deal with something like that, until you have to deal with something like that. You don't think you have to deal with it because there are some people who are in your life forever. They are your immortals. For example, here's a look at my situation with one of my immortals, my father.

In October 2007, I was faced with the strong possibility of losing my father. My father, you know, the big light skinned guy that everyone in the neighborhood knew and liked, the guy would drove the blue and the green van, the man who commuted over an hour to work to a job that provided so much for his family, the first man I ever loved and loved me, the person who first taught me about sports, my super hero, my daddy. Growing up, I had regular (read: daily) interactions with my father. He went to work everyday and came home every night. We talked about our days. Even when I lived on the East Coast, I still had a connection with my father. So in 2007 when that connection was interrupted, it caused changes and thoughts in me I could have never dreamed of. I remember being younger having the thought that IF (not when, but if) my parents had to die, I would want them to die together. In my mind, they were together when I came in this world, so I felt that they should leave the same way. In 2007, that thought was challenged, when my father laid in the hospital for a LONG time, following his heart trauma (attack). One half of my everything was laying in bed, fighting for his life. It was at this point that I realized that my Superman, Iron Man - my super hero, wasn't super. He was mortal. And in that moment, I was seeing that mortality up close and personal.

Now I'm not a "parent", but I've been around enough of them, and I have a couple of my own to have some insight to the ways that they might see things. From the moment a child is born, a lot of parents treat their child as an immortal. Yes, this is an irrational thought but to new parents, it doesn't matter. Parents see their children as the gravity that holds their Earth together, the sun in their solar system - their everything. To parents, their children will live forever. From a child's perspective, it's similar. There are these people who have been in my life from the beginning. Everything I have, everything that I am, is because of these two people who love me and support me. My parents will live forever.

What happens, when a child has to bury a parent or even worse when a parent has to bury a child? What happens when a church has to bury their pastor? What happens when a nation loses a leader? That is one of the life changing moments when you have to deal with the mortality of the immortal. I recognize (rationally) that there is a very strong possibility that I will have to say an earthly goodbye to my immortals - my parents, my grand mother, aunts, uncles and children because no one lives forever. Even though Jesus lives today, He still died. Memories live for a long time, but can fade when enough time has passed. I might be someone's immortal, but there will be a time when I won't be here. The rationality of it all is that nothing, no one lives for ever. Therefore, no matter who you are or what super powers you have, you are still mortal. 

I can say that seeing my father come off of my immortal pedestal to his mortal plane, I (believe) am in a better place to deal with and move past that time when it comes. I take less things for granted with him and I know that WHEN (not if) it happens, there is nothing that I can do about it other than thank God for that time in my life. Also, I have friends who have had to face the mortality of their immortals and when my time comes, I will look to them for inspiration and courage. If you can bury a child and continue on your journey, I love and respect you for that. If you've buried a parent, grandparent or a sibling and keep pressing on, I salute you and am inspired by you. If you have dealt with the mortality of your immortal, God bless you. While it's a feeling that I wouldn't wish upon anyone one, I know it's something that we will have to deal with eventually. And as I continue to age, I realize that more and more I have to deal with the mortality of the immortal...

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Real Life SVU/Ain't That Some Ish

So it's been a little while since I've posted a blog. It's not that I don't have anything to say but more so because my life has been taken over by my life. But this particular topic has been sticking to me for most of the day. 

Newsflash - I live in the hood. I grew up in the hood, the hood is my home. Notice I said that I grew up in the hood, not that I AM hood. Some folks might consider me a little bourgeois to be from the hood. But that isn't the point of this post. There are some who live by the hood code. Keep your head down and your mouth shut. You see the D-boys on the block, you know what they're doing. You see the hot girls walking up and down the street, you know what they're looking for. I know these people. We played two hand touch football in the street, freeze tag or run and go get it. For a long time, I wouldn't say anything to the "folks" from the neighborhood. I knew who they were, they knew who I was. There wasn't really a need to mark territory. That was until the hood broke into my apartment. Thankfully nothing was stolen, partially because the hood clearly forgot that I have a BIG baby brother (big and baby are both true, but I love my brother) and he chased them off. But ever since the hood broke into my house, I've been changed, for the better. Before, I kinda just let things happen around the way and as long as it didn't harm me and mine, I was good. That's the wrong attitude to have. Everything that happens in your neighborhood effects you and yours. 

Last night I was laying in bed on my way to sleep, tired from the running around that I did that day. And I heard some yelling, which isn't uncommon. Hell some times I feel like I live next door to a 21st century Ike and Tina. But, the person who was yelling said a buzz word, that made me immediately get up, RAPE. She was screaming that she had been raped. I don't know what she was doing in the middle of the street but she was shaken up and scared. I jumped up from my warm bed and positioned myself better to get an assessment of the situation. She was obviously scared. The only thing that I could do was call 911. I explained to the dispatcher that there was a young woman in the middle of the street who said she had just been raped. I described her as best I could. When the dispatcher asked if I wanted to give my name, I declined. After all, that wasn't necessary. A few minutes after I got off the phone two cop cars pulled up to the scene, which is good timing in my hood. I overheard her telling her story, very much traumatized by her recent ordeal. And while I'm listening to this story, I have to ask myself, would this situation get the same amount of attention if the victim looked like me. That the part of the story that I forgot to chime in on. The young lady who said she had been raped, was white. Two squad cars had shown up first, shortly followed by a black Ford Explorer, which I assumed was for the SVU detectives (yeah I might watch a little bit of SVU, but so what). 

I sat and waited a few minutes before I retreated to my bedroom again. And even after I got in the bed, I heard sirens that sounded like the ambulance coming to pick the young girl up, probably take her to the hospital where they would probably ask her some more questions and do a rape kit. Before I went to bed, I couldn't help but think, no it didn't have anything to do with me and mine, but it could have been my brother's girlfriend. It could have been anybody. The truth is we are all connected to each other. If something feels wrong, speak up. Even if it isn't wrong, it's better to KNOW it isn't, than to think it is. I hope that young lady is okay. 

Now I understand that things are tight around my local police department and I don't want to be cynical. But I can't help but wonder, does the young lady's color, more than her circumstance have an impact on how the police handled the situation. Today on my way to church, I noticed a squad car driving down the street, which isn't too uncommon because I live on a pretty busy street. On my way home from church, a squad car turned down my block. Was the block suddenly hot because a young lady was raped? The block wasn't too hot after there was a shooting 50 feet from my home (I missed it but other folks didn't) a few days prior. It's things like this that caused me to change the title of my blog. At first it was just Real Life SVU, but then I have these other thoughts about the situation which makes me say ain't this some ish. I really want to believe that the police were just doing their jobs regardless of race. But I can not afford to look the other way and act like racism isn't alive in well in 2012. Based on what I was seeing from the young lady, I believe she had experienced some sort of sexual trauma. And based on where she was, it is possible that some men of color were involved in the attack. I really hope she wasn't lying. 1) because that would be a terrible waste of resources in a depleted city but also I'd feel like I got played. I know it's not about me. I know that some of these things that I'm feeling are not rational, but they are real. There is a part of me that feels really bad because this woman was attacked. There's another part of me that says, "She betta not be lyin'". It's a sad state that we live in where people are so jaded that they think someone would make up a story about being attacked. It's also a sad state when someone cries out for help, and no one helps. Well as long as I'm around, if I hear the call for help, I will answer. 

But as this scene was unfolding last night, I couldn't help but think, "Damn. This is some real life SVU."