About Me

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Philadelphia, PA, United States
I suck at bios. Am horrible at telling interesting things about myself without embarassing myself at the same time. So I stick to the basics: My mind is forever active; always thinking and asking questions. I enjoy reading. Love writing. But if it were up to me, I'd love for a lifetime because love, is an animal that as untamed as it is, it's perfect.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hanging in the Balance

I was at work when I’d gotten the call from my mother. Sitting at my desk, with a freshly made cup of raspberry green tea, I was counting down the hours as they passed and ushered me closer to signing out and taking my 40 minute train and bus ride home. My evening was somewhat planned: Aveeno stress relief foaming bath, dinner, write my nightly letter, and off to bed.

My mother was hysterical, frazzled and could barely get her words together. When it finally did come together, the news was that my cousin, to whom I carry her name as my middle name, was high off of wet, PCP, marijuana/weed/ganja/ooo-wee soaked in embalming fluid – whatever name you want to call it by, had jumped out of her sister’s third floor window and wasn’t responding. The words you just read don’t even look right in print, but it’s the truth. This, is currently my family’s reality as we pray that she makes it through without knowing how severe her injuries are or possibly, how difficult her life may become due to this horrific situation should she make it out. It’s that deep.

With a fractured skull, concussion, internal bleeding, bleeding in her head, partially collapsed lung, partially fractured spine, and broken top portion of her back, it’s a wonder she’s still here. It’s a blessing and a reason that she’s alive.

I come from a family of drug abusers and addicts. The list is long and the affects that it’s had on my family is saddening. But this situation, tops them all. Takes the cake. And truthfully, pisses me off. Some may question, why are you even dishing your family business out there for the world to know? Let me tell you why…

Aside from this blog, I also write for an online magazine, Urban Plateau. And I really wanted to save this piece for our October issue. But the issues in this “blog”, in this “piece”, this “work” are too important to hold off for a few weeks when maybe, just maybe, I may be able to save someone. Or help someone save someone. Or give someone the thought to be proactive instead of reactive. Urban Plateau is an online magazine that gives me a monthly opportunity to write from my soul. And that’s what I attempt to do each and every month. This online magazine, for those of us who contribute to it, we don’t do it for the glory or for the comments. But, because we have something to say and so long as our words reach at least one person, we’ve succeeded. We don’t do this to increase our friend requests or followers on Facebook or Twitter. We don’t do this for recognition or accolades either. But because there’s something to be said. I don’t know how many people read my work. I don’t know how many lives my work has, do, or will touch. I don’t even know if there’s a point to me writing. But I do it. And I’m faithful to it. All of the same aspects apply to this here blog. I do this to share. To write, to be an artist and not share your work, your God given gifts, to be selfish at all costs.

As I write this, my cousin’s life literally is hanging in the balance. Should it falter in any way, shape, or form, she could be gone – forever. But as her life depends on the steady hands and intelligence of hospital physicians, our family is split right down the middle. Separated and torn. Yes, we’re all devastated, but, not all devastation is the same. Not everyone can carry or handle life when life itself becomes fragile and tender like a nerve. And many of us in my family are proving we don’t know how to handle tragedy. That we don’t know how to conduct ourselves in public, or in the confines of our own homes.

In my family, in my community, drugs rule the world while they simultaneously destroy them too. I’ve watched aunts and uncles, cousins, my father, be destroyed by deadly chemical concoctions that are not meant for human consumption. Yet, they consume. They take in. The high takes them somewhere they’ve never been before. Some think they are invincible and won’t burn in a house fire. Some, think they can jump from windows and roofs, and fly. Some think and thought, they could puncture veins and no one would notice.

Yes, it’s just that deep!

Life is not a game to be played with. It’s not Spades where you get rewarded for having more books than you originally predicted. Or 2500 where the winner takes all. This life is not a game meant to be reckoned with. The fact of the matter is from the moment we come into this world, from our first breathe and first cry, we’re dying. And because of this, we ought to live life daily as if it’s our last.

There are so many things wrong with what’s going on right now not only in my own family, but in families and communities across this country and throughout the world. Mothers and fathers are abandoning their children to “do them”, and leaving these same children to grow into adults who don’t know how to be adults. Parents are being incarcerated at alarming rates while state department of corrections can’t build prisons fast enough. So bad that in Pennsylvania, men have been transferred to Michigan and Virginia, and the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections is building a new prison to which they’ve already named SCI Benner. Schools are failing, below average, with sub-par teachers who do it for a check – or do it and don’t know how to get the job done. The rich get tax breaks while the poor get taxed and are forced to work outside of their county in hopes of earning a better living to support their family or themselves.

Yes, it’s just that deep!

In black communities, we don’t take the addictions of our friends and family serious until the elephant in the room decides it’s tired of sitting still, quietly, not making a sound. It’s not until this façade of one of the world’s most dangerous animals becomes a reality and comes to life to realize and admit that there’s some direly wrong with this picture. Same applies to my family, and hundreds, thousands, millions of families throughout.

Our survival hangs in the balance.
And something gots to give.
Something needs to be done.

I know I usually write about love and life as if I’m looking through rose colored glasses, where I fill it up with sweet words that we get drunk off of. But this is something like love. Matter of fact, it is love. It’s love enough to take off the rose colored glasses, sit them down, and look at what I’m surrounded by and admit that this life, is a mess. And something gots to give! Daily, I’m watching little girls bigger than me, switch and prance hips and breasts that they don’t know what to do with them. They lick their lips and talk slick without understanding the meaning of these innuendos. Yet, no one says anything. No one loves them enough in these rough streets, these war zones, to let them know they’re better than what people see. I’m a woman and I’ve been there. But someone loved me enough, a woman who knew me and my girlfriends only from seeing us huddled in the back corners of the 32 bus. She loved us enough to check us and pull our coattails because no one had done it with her. She loves us enough to guide us and protect us during a time when our mothers couldn’t. She was privy to our young girl mentalities and loves us enough to love us as if she were our kin. She showed us where we could end up should we not abide by life's rules where it gives us very little wiggle room to create our own rules. She showed us that being naughty can be a good thing - when done correctly and at the right time; then, wasn't the right now. She checked us. And because of her, to an extent, one of us is a married mother of three, we all take care of ourselves, and have grown into responsible, respectful and respectable women.

At the end of the day, something has to give. Something has to be done to promise our children and grandchildren, those here and those to be, a life worth living. A life worth fighting for and struggling on behalf of. Our todays are not guarantees to become memories. It's not promised to us that tomorrow and next week, month, or year, that we'll be given the chance, the opportunity to remember today.

And while my cousin fights for her life, and my family bickers worst than a gang of alley cats fighting for scraps, I write none of this for condolences, empathy, or conforting words. But instead, I hope that someone, at least one person, takes something from this because our lives don't have to hang in the balance. They don't have to waver or linger between days. They don't have to be meaningless. So I pray you, the reader, gets something from this. And if not now, someday.

Visit Urban Plateau @ http://www.urbanplateau.com/ It's a well-worth treat!

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