I’m Not Gonna Lie

I’m offended.

Those are really hard words to say.  I don’t know why, but I realized day before yesterday, that I had been trying to fight it out with myself.  Taking both sides (I don’t know the other person’s side).  I think it’s been so long, since I was able to admit I had been treated disrespectfully by someone I cared about, that I don’t know how to approach it.  Call it what it is.  Deal with it appropriately.

Move on.

I am a doofus.  Incredibly awkward.  Probably an acquired taste.  In my usual style, I thought, “This is not a big deal.  All I have to do is quick state my position. And be done.” In my haste, and because I wasn’t more judicious in my behavior, this person proceeded to shut me down.

Only I didn’t even realize it.

At first.

I could make a lot of excuses here.

There’s a 99.9% chance that I said something other than I meant.

But the other person said some things that were illogical to the most simple mind.  Some unbiblical things.  Some legalistic things.  Some shockingly insulting-by-implication things.

Pleasantly, to be sure.  Not like a friend.  Like a person who knows they are talking to someone with less understanding.

There are a lot of things I’d like to say back. But it wouldn’t do any good.

I mean, it might.  But based on the way it was handled, I don’t think I would be heard.

If I had waited on God before, it would have mattered.

But I went against the still, small voice and with an audible one.

So now, I am retreating.  Letting the wound wait.  Seeing if it will heal on its own.  Struggling with the idea that when you mess a beautiful thing up, rushing in to cover it may not be the best idea.  Maybe, you need to step back and see if it can become part of the work.  Intervening only in the least measure.  Using a delicate touch.

I get to do the hurting.  I hope the other party isn’t hurt.

!@#$%

I don’t have a right to be acknowledged.  I don’t have a right to be understood or to have my agenda be met.  Those are privileges.  Luxuries even.

I want to see great things from God.  And that always means to “seek peace and pursue it.”  To seek healthy relationships.

I have no idea what to do.  Letting go doesn’t always mean walking away.  Sometimes it means walking back into the line of fire.

 

 

Do You Mind If I Pass?

The girls are in a production about the Civil Rights Movement.  I learned what ‘passing’ was.  It’s when a light-skinned African-American person used ‘white-only’ facilities.  Quietly, respectfully.  Not drawing attention.  Hoping just to sit on a train, for example, if they could.

Oh.

Like me?

I heard my mother and grandmother discussing an event that happened a generation or two ago.  In the process of breaking up housekeeping of one of my great-great-grandparents, a photo was found.  It was a photo of a black woman.  On the back, it said one word…

“Mama.”

At the time, I said nothing.  Sometime later, I referred to that event.  Mother just stared. It was anger and “I-don’t-know-what-you-mean?” at the same time.  Had she forgotten?  Was it a secret?

Nevertheless.

Whose mother? The answer is lost. Only Mother is alive to know it and, she isn’t talking.  There were the great-greats who both died, leaving the little girl who’d be my great grandmother, an orphan.  There is also the great-great who smoked cigars and only changed underwear twice a year–when she put on the winter underwear and when she took them off.  Her son would live 76 years, only to decide to end his life.

Someone kept a photo labeled, ‘Mama’.

My mother was born in the 40s.  My grandmother in the 20s. My great-grandmother died in 2005 at age 93.  If she was still alive, she’d be 101.  Given forty years for the two previous generations, that would place her grandmother’s birth in the year 1867.  Five years after the issue of the Emancipation Proclamation.  If by some chance my forebears in both those generations were older than 20 when my great-great was born, ‘Mama’ could have been born a slave.

It’s possible that the woman in the photo isn’t actually a relative at all, but a nanny.  Someone may have found a photo labeled ‘Mama’, and just never disposed of it.

Neither of those seem terribly likely, as this de-cluttering would have taken place before my grandmother was born.  Would it have been extremely likely that a white person, living in the 1920s in America, would keep a portrait of a black woman labeled ‘Mama”, if it held no personal meaning?

The photo, if kept, wasn’t kept by my branch of the family.  Of whom I am the only descendent.

May I pass?

Feel free.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t Tempt Me!!!

I am generally not a bare naked blogger, where I let it all hang out about my life circumstances and my joy and pain and medical needs and romantic disappointments escapades.  More and more I find that if I am going to move forward with the blog (and the cheap substitute for desperately needed therapy, it provides) I do have to be a little more candid.

Ima vent.

We used to live in a major city.  Gigantic house, for which we paid practically nothing.  Great relationships.
We now live in what I consider a small city. It considers itself ‘whatever-will-make-you-love-it’. Doesn’t meet the definition of ‘urban’.  We lived here right after Mr. S. graduated college and moved to be nearer to family after the kids came along(learned a lot…like, ‘family’ is ‘who has your back’). Through a series of circumstances, we moved back here in 2006.

Since then.

Dance Camp… My kids excluded from play at “free time” because of skin color.  Teacher’s reply, “Some babies are born yellow; some people turn green when they are seasick. Some people are blue when they are not getting oxygen. So, you just happen to be black.”  Official line to me, “We can’t dictate what is taught in this child’s home.  We are sorry for your daughters’ experience and hope you won’t hold it against us.”

Private School… My kids got put back a grade because of a math placement test.  They consistently had a hundred average and I was asked to speak to my children about slowing down in their work so that they didn’t have so much free time in class. Again, skin color was not a non-issue in class.  (Our fault for having been involved in a cross-cultural church before we moved and the girls really didn’t realize that skin color is a dividing line.  Fortunately, the schools are willing to teach values that are not taught at home.)

The Job… We had been back just about two and a half month, when a mom at the pool, asked me how was my husband liking his job.    As I considered how to answer, I realized hated his job and was trying to be the grown-up and give it a chance.  I told her I would have to ask because I didn’t know.  She looked right in my heart, and was as horrified as I was.  She’s cool that way.

I think there has not been one day that the job has been awesome. My husband’s personality is changed.  I think he is seriously depressed.  He is like a man in chains.  For fifteen of the last twenty months he has taken a 25% cut in salary in order to help the firm survive.  I am trying to teach the children that we need to be grateful Daddy has a job. We would be equally grateful for the ordeal to be over.

Digression, the first: One of the partners said, “People who blog are morons,” when I had been blogging about 9 months.  I did not flip her off tell her she is number one. One day, I will send her a link.

The House…historic.  Flipped by folks who had clearly never lived in a site-built/stick-built single family dwelling.  We were going to renovate/restore it.  WITH WHAT FREAKING TIME WHEN THE JOB DEMANDS HIS SOUL?  ‘Nuff said?  No.  We believed the drug house across the street would be swept away in the gentrification of the area.  But, no.  The non-resident homeowner makes more in a month than anyone is willing to give him for the property.

Digression, the second: We found out that our house was the scene of horrendous child abuse. A little girl used to crawl out on the roof to cry, so they would not hear her.

Why…Had we remained in the other city, we would not have our son*.  That, in itself, is a miracle story.  Miracles are made out of hard work and letting go.  We got the lesson…sometimes what looks like a terrible accident(clearly, you ‘screwed the pooch’ were mistaken.) is really accomplishing God’s design(bringing orphans into families.  Trials make us more mature if we let them).

Last week, our best friends, whom we left behind when we moved, told us they may be moving three hours away.  I failed to rejoice with them. Or even for me.  In my selfishness, all I could see was that they get to start fresh with a clean slate.  They are getting the only thing I want in the world.

What would it take for me to pick up and move?

Boxes.

This post was written due to the very welcome inspiration provided by Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop.  Everyone is welcome to participate.

Mama’s Losin’ It

*or a lot of other really great things like being a doula, the girls success in track,  or my dog.



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