The past few weeks has, for me, definitely thrown me in to a nostalgic mode. Not that I want to make this public knowledge, but I’ve been absent for the past two, or three weeks. Not present on Twitter, Facebook and even from this blog/website as I’ve been attending to a family crisis in south-central Virginia. It’s been exhausting traveling two hours one way, every other day, but it’s something that I must do. I know it’s not always family issues that bring about nostalgia: it could be a tune on the radio, hearing from an old friend – someone you haven’t seen or talked to for years, or running across an old photograph.
It is more acceptable, maybe, for women to suffer on occasion from what’s called “the blues,” and actually most times it creeps upon a person before they even know what hit them. I don’t have that, but being in touch with childhood people, places, and things has without doubt sent my brain to wistful overload. Let me begin by saying I have always been a deep person, even as a teenager. At the tender age of eighteen I had a dear friend with whom I would spend hours, simply talking. Not to be offensive, but if you’re that age and reading this – I know you think you know many things, but believe me – you don’t. I said that to say, unbeknownst to me, my dear friend held a reputation for being addicted to some hardcore substances. When did I become aware of this? When the news of him being found face down in a neighbors bathroom with a needle in his arm and a tie-off around that same arm, traveled around the corner to my house. I remember the understanding hitting me like a kick in the gut – that explained why he had always been capable and willing to debate things with me.
Over these weeks, I’ve done much reflecting – not only of my beloved departed friend, but also of family members who have gone on: missing them and wishing they were here to assist, and even help with decision-making. I’d like you to think back to when you were a little person. If you had a problem arise, you only had to run to your mother or father, even an aunt or uncle knowing they could set it right. But, as we get older, and I’ve said this before, roles change. Suddenly, you become the person to whom a younger one will run to for protection or help. Being the adult that I am, I’ve found myself wishing lately for someone to rush off to, and have them instantly make it all right. But, regardless, I have to continue forward.
I find myself listening to The Temptations, David Ruffin, Jimmy Ruffin, and The Delfonics as I recall a younger time on Riverdale Avenue, Shepherd Avenue, New Lots Avenue, or the sparkling white concrete of Halsey Street in Brooklyn, USA when the world made sense. When I had protectors, who were simply a room away, and they could fix anything. All of my family – father, mother, grandmother, grandfather, aunts, uncles, and cousins were all around, all young, or younger, vibrant, full of life, and filled with spirit. Yet, I find myself asking, when did I become the older, responsible one? When did I become the keeper of secrets, the keeper of the ancestral torch? I perceive myself as Moses, because the other misfortune is, and I do hope I’m mistaken, but there may be no one under me who is as interested in any familial history as I. But, if you haven’t already, do yourself a favor, begin writing family information down. I mean, how else would anyone know of the trials of the Israelites if Moses had not kept a record of this stuff. Your family will appreciate it. In the meantime, I trudge forward. But, in the least, please light a candle, and/or say a prayer because this family dilemma has already revealed a long, hard road ahead. With gratitude – that’s all for now.
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