I remember when I was a child; I thought my family was perfect. We had these fairy-tale like Christmas events, the traditional round-table get together Thanksgivings, we celebrated each other’s birthdays. Beyond all of that, we communicated. We had fun. My cousins visited often-the fondest memories I could have.
But as children we are naïve. Blinded by adults faults and their issues to understand and respect one another for their interpretation, difference, and experience. Their life. Those same issues that keep adults apart perpetuate the cycle and keep offspring, I, my cousins from growing close.
I’m hurting. I’m dealing with the recent: My cousin Tuesday-who died of a sickle cell induced heart attack in January. She and I were extremely close. She wanted so badly to see her family, our rock that was submerged 50 leagues under the sea float again.
The old: 9 ½ years ago her brother murdered my Grandmother. And for a foundation with cracks in it, couldn’t stand another shake to the core. The foundation gave way and we as a family were lost.
It took Tuesday’s death to remind us who we were as a family. We were all shocked by her sudden death. It could have been anyone else, but not her. It is unreal. And my delayed reaction has finally set in…
We are slowly moving back together as a unit. It’s a start. A start that Tuesday cannot physically see, but one that she wanted so badly. I feel a strong rhythm in my heart to get my family in some sense of order. If not for the legacy of my Grandmother; the matriarch who held it together and rightfully so; the cousin who was my strength-and who tried to fill my Grandmothers shoes, maybe for my mother who has done all she could and has just thrown her hands up, maybe I should do this for my sister who needs to know where she comes from and who her family members are, for her own healthy upbringing. I have to do it.
My cousin Mark whom you’ve heard me mention before, he and I haven’t spent time since we were teenagers, because we were both victims of our cycle. Until recently I found out he was in jail for some dumb shit (typical Black Male shit…) doing things to get attention and using his best coping method to deal with the cycle. I’m not any better because I write about mine. I’m will become better because I will help him channel his life in a better direction and catch up on time lost because…of the cycle.
It boggles my mind at times how things can just turn for the worst and how we are tested…but I welcome this. It makes me stronger. I like the idea of being able to help my family change and become one again. If drama is the formula for success, then bring more of it. Without struggle there is no victory. Without victory there is no lesson.
My point in my personal life from today forth is to ensure 5 things:
1. I break the cycle. For my sister, for my generation, my children. I’ll do it by…
2. Reaching out to my mothers brothers and sisters before God gives us another test, wake up shake, or reminder that we need to focus on him and the gift of each other.
3. Keep lines of communication open with my family.
4. Being proactive about the future by not holding on (not forgetting) but not holding on to what was said or did 10 years ago that got us in this damn position in the first place.
5. Saying I love you.
My challenge to you; the blog reader, if you can relate-start to make a change today before we are made the examples. Lets collectively choose to set the example.