Tonight I watched the Golden Globes and I saw Oprah Winfrey get the Cecil B. deMille award and her speech is the best speech I have heard from a woman of color thus far. Keep in mind that I do not watch award shows of any kind, but as I was flipping through channels I happened to stop when I saw Reese Witherspoon talking about all the greatness that encompasses Oprah.
She spoke directly to girls and women of color (women in general) telling us that it is our time to make moves in every industry. We can not only break the glass ceiling but we must tell our truth and walk in that truth.
My truth is that I am Nigerian and British woman, educated, street smart, somewhat funny, loving, caring, God fearing chick. My truth is that I am a little girl from Tyler, TX that had no father. She watched her mother work two jobs, go to college full time, argue with her father (my grandfather), take leftovers and hand me downs rags and spin them into gold, practically raise two kids alone and managed to keep us on the straight and narrow.
My truth is that growing up without my “father” has left a black hole in my soul. Lost little girl looking for love and I had that love of a father in my grandfather. He was my first love and even though he was my grandfather I called him daddy most of the time. When you saw Charlie you saw me right beside him. I grew up being called his shadow.
Death does something to really young person and it affects people differently. I first experienced true heartbreak when my Uncle Sunny died holding my 6 year old hand. I watched my aunt tell the doctors to turn off the breathing machine. His last breath was taken as he squeezed my hand. I wasn’t the same after that. Sunny was my bestie and taught me to not let the world and its people hold me down. Then the world crashed when I lost my grandfather the only father figure I have only known. These two men formed my opinion on the type of man I need and want in my life. At this point I am teenager and wilding out and being out the streets, hanging with hustlers, pimps, playas, dealers and gang banging. As corny as it sounds all I was looking for “love in the wrong ass places and people.” I was mad at God and I told Him “you took the people I loved no matter how I prayed or beg so F you!” God told me “I’ll be here when you are ready for me.” I laughed, flipped the bird and strutted off to do my thing. In the mist of crap I met my best friend for life. This girl is my ride or die.. my ace boon…my sister in high school. B is the ying to my yang we just complete each other on every level. The funny part is we dated some of the same guys at different times. We have been “rolling dirty” every since. We are 20+ years deep in our sisterhood and our lives still intermingle with each other.
I have been married for 13 years now. I was 20 something when I stood in my apartment and just said “Look Lord I am tired of dating the men I am getting. I tired of the mama’s boys, the wanna be thug, dogs in sheep clothing,etc. I am ready to get married and settle down. Therefore, I will wait for you put my husband on my doorstep.” After being single for a few years I met my husband on yahoo personals. Technically, he found me on there since I forgot that I was on the site. It was something I did in college due to boredom in the computer lab.
Speed forward a year or so I moved to Killeen, TX from Austin, TX and into an apartment with man that I loved a lot. He was due to be deployed and we had one day to get married – no honeymoon. That has been my married life has basically been alone due to his deployments, field time, etc. In 2007 I had my daughter once we moved to Ft. Benning, GA and then I had my twin boys in 2009. I was a single mother because as soon I gave birth he was gone a few days/weeks later for a year or more. I had to grow up mentally to handle motherhood. In my dreams as a youth I was successful as was my faceless husband. We travelled the world together. Faced adventures together, but my reality was and is nothing like my dreams as child. Somewhere along the way with all the separation due to his career the only person I had to help me and to talk to was my mother.
My mother has always been there for me, my kids and my family from day one. One my greatest joys was when she lived in GA with us for 8 years. It like I was in Tyler again in my white house, with the yellow swing on the green front porch. My kids loved having grandma in the house and for me being able someone from home (Austin) in my house was just comforting and complete joy. Don’t get it twisted we got on each others nerves from time to time. Just as mothers and daughters do, but the hell started when he would come home. They fought daily it seemed and I was always caught in the middle. I did not take his side and I did not take her side when I know the other is wrong I told them so.
When he retired (against my objections) my mother moved back to Austin and we moved to Louisiana (again I objected) since we decided if this day came we would live in Texas. I hate living here and I am stifled in my growth as a person, mother, business owner, etc. I have no real friends of my own and no real outlet to escape too. So I stay in my office watching television, praying, reading and now writing my blogs.
I was here when my grandmother died. I was sitting on the sofa watching tv with my kids and Doc when I got a phone call from my mother telling me that my bigger than life grandmother had died at my aunts house in Houston. With 3 kids in school we could not go to Austin as a family, so I drove it alone. All the feelings of depression, anger, fear, loneliness at this time. Just as I was starting to see daylight at the end of dark tunnel 3.5 – 4 years later I get a call from my brother asking me if I had talk to momma and if I thought she “sounded weird.” I told him no she sounds fine to me, but lo and behold when I talked her the next time she was not “all there” and kept repeating “I don’t know what to do about that” and “I have to put that away” and I just did not know what was going on. Keep in mind my momma had breast cancer and refused to believe it and stood on faith she would be healed. I stood with her, but I kept trying to talk her into getting medical help. She refused. The cancer had spread to her brain and caused a huge bump on right side of her beautiful forehead.
My brother called me again after taking my mom to the ER and said I am not sure how much time momma has left, but they are putting her on in home hospice. He kept repeating “you need to come home sis..just come home now.” My brother who normally is cracking jokes and laughing had this tone in my voice that I had never heard before. I knew I had to go home. I left on Saturday October 7th and I woke up loved looking at my mother. Even though she could not express her thoughts in words we could communicate with our eyes. I guess its a mother daughter kind of thing. Until I got home my brother said she would not eat, but whatever I bought or cooked she ate hardly. She smiled and laughed with me for 5 days – I never dreamed that I would be the one to find my mother dead. My momma died October 12th at 10:30 am. I can’t erase that day and time from my memory. I never thought I would be speaking at my mother’s funeral, let alone picking out her burial clothes, putting makeup on her at the funeral home. But I did all those things. I was Austin for almost a month and during this time Doc made promises and was overly sugary with the lovey dovey stuff. I gave him the benefit of the doubt, but I knew that he wanted me home so that he could stop playing Mr. Mom. He knows he can’t do what I do on a daily basis without complaint. I went out with my best friend and talked to old classmates while I was home. While I was sad and depressed being home with family, friends and my Texas surroundings I was also at peace and I could breath. I didn’t have a single migraine like I do here. My heartbeat had a natural flow, but now it’s slow (keep in mind that my migraines, slow heartbeat, dizzy spells, fainting,etc) only started happening when I moved here to LA.
After, I returned home the day after my mother’s funeral on October 27th it only took the funeral home a few weeks to cremate momma per her will and her ashes are now sitting on my office desk in the urn that I chose for her. I pray that come this July 18th on my mother’s 71st birthday to go to Corpus Christi or the beach in San Antonio and finish complying with her final wishes and spread her ashes in the ocean. I will have necklaces made for my brother and I with some of her ashes in it to wear.
Since, this time I have truly withdrawn to myself, but I know this is not how my family would want me to live. So I vowed to myself to get back into the Word and share God’s truth with the world the only way I know how and that is through the internet. I share the grace of God on IG, Facebook and Twitter – something to shake up the crazy twitter happiness of the “president” in office now.
I take a Snapchat picture and write a prayer on it and post it to my networks. I want to be a influencer, world changer, business mogul, a solid woman and role model for my children. As Auntie Maxine says “I’m reclaiming my time” and I am not sure who said this, but I totally concur “I ain’t got time for that.”
2018 I have declared is mine thus says the Lord! I am going to do me and shake the haters, depression, and this life off me and make my life count something and someone!
No more #glasscieling #metoo and more #BlackGirlMagic and melanion poppin God made me to be! So this is my truth… If you ain’t ride with me during my struggle DO NOT jump in my ride when I reach the top! #keepingmycirclesmall Ride with me now or not at all… #gotit