*Before the poem: it would be really awesome if this blog became a huge sensation and Ellen had us on her show and Oprah came to cohost just so she could interview my friends and I and we traveled the world doing interviews and speaking to crowds and offering inspiration, encouragement and laughter. But until that happens, I am supper thankful for a place to go when at 2:30 am when I can’t sleep, either from excitement about a mini vacation, or from the words you are about to read, and put my thoughts in writing. I’ve never been one for journaling as I didn’t understand the point of writing something no one would read. And while maybe only my fellow bloggers, two friends I’ve guilt tripped into reading, my family, and a handful of people who stumble across the page read it, it’s still helpful. I hope you enjoy my early morning/late night ramblings and those of my friends. And now a story/poem of my current thoughts. Not sure what it’ll end up being so we will find out together.*
I regret few things in life
Because every decision good or bad, right or wrong has played some role in who I am today.
A short list of things I regret:
1. Any time I have made a boy more important than spending time with family and friends.
And not in the like hey I’m getting to know you so I’ll be hanging out with you instead of sitting at home.
But more in the way of, I’m going to wait upstairs by the phone as my Nan lays dying downstairs. Because I’m too afraid to miss a call but I’m also afraid of death.
Other people’s and my own.
As in, spending every weekend not on call out of town for fear of argument to the point where my mother felt like I was divorcing her, I turned away from God and I’m too fearful to know how my daughter felt as words like neglected and forgotten come to mind.
As in best friends, who for a brief moment in time became infrequent acquaintances whom I feared I lost and the relationship that took its place was no where near as beautiful and amazing and important as the one being ignored.
2. Mentioned above. As my precious Nan (my maternal grandmother) lay dying down stairs, I stayed upstairs.
Watching Orange is the New Black on the worlds slowest WiFi
Pretending to work
Waiting for phone calls.
Wanting to spend the moments that I knew would be the last time I saw her, with her, but not knowing how.
People often ask where I’m from and I don’t have an answer.
But if anyone ever asked where I called Home I would quickly respond. Nan’s house.
A constant in an early childhood full of adventure and travel.
“We’re going home this summer” always meant Nan’s house.
Always felt like Home
Always felt safe
Always felt like love
Always had her
Until it didn’t anymore
I regret saying bye, having never fully said hello.
I once did a project on her in grad school but asked my mom all of the questions.
3. My father once encouraged me to spend some time at Grannie’s house and learn to cook like her.
I regret saying no
Fearful of a woman I barely knew
Memories of switches torn from branches meant for my cousins for crimes we both committed.
She was a strong, beautiful, black woman.
As a child, this scared me.
I regret not having any long, deep, intimate conversations with her.
I regret not knowing her story.
I regret, as a child, not wanting the black American girl doll that shared her.
I know I will never enjoy corn bread again.
I fear this recipe is now lost on earth but am certain it is enjoyed daily in heaven by all who are there.
I am not certain of much in life. But if this one thing I know.
God has gone to prepare a place for me. If it were not true he would not have said it.
Whether it be a mansion on streets of gold.
Or a wooden shack in a quiet wood.
In it is a table.
And at that table, maybe once or twice a week,
Nan and Granny meet.
Over a plate of corn bread and scalled buns.
And they look down.
And check in on their not so little mixed granddaughter
Who tonight, sits crying in bed for reasons she doesn’t quite understand
Over regrets, that have too, shaped who she is as a woman.
And they laugh, and they cry, and they facepalm themselves, and they high five, and talk to each other.
And occasional they whisper
“It’ll be okay.”