The Fifteenth Day…

We had the largest auditorium in the city, even bigger than the High School’s

…the day you graduated (choose any that you remember most)

I choose my graduation from elementary school.

I was a great student in elementary. My 7th grade year would begin a descent into academic mediocrity due to the onset of Narcolepsy. We wouldn’t find out for an entire ten years later WHY it was I couldn’t stay awake in class or focus.

Anyway, I graduated from 6th grade with honors. Until about the last semester, I had the highest test scores and grades which would’ve made me Valedictorian of my class. Some kid came in and took my glory, leaving me with the honor of Salutatorian. fucka. lol

I had to write a speech. (I have NO memory of the topic)

I remember sitting in bed next to my grandmother and practicing that speech on her. She calmed my nerves because I was (and am still) horrified at the idea of public speaking. Some time before that…my mom had taken me shopping for my dress.  I hated dresses. I was a consummate tomboy and could only appreciate pants and shorts. I can’t remember if it was Macy’s, Sears or JC Penny’s…but, I remember my mom buying me this light-colored dress that had a very light rainbow pattern. Spaghetti straps. Flared at the waist. FAR to revealing for me. I wanted something with sleeves. Not that nightgown she insisted I wear. AND she made me wear heels. UGH.

Someone gave me that corsage…don’t know who. Probably mom. My hair was done nicely and for the first time in a long time, my mom and dad were in the same space without an argument.

I hated leaving my school. I loved Washington Elementary. I loved our principal, Mrs. Nellie Thornton (RIP) and I loved knowing everyone and the safety of our class. That would all change in 7th grade. A.B. Davis Middle School is where I’d go to. I’d heard horror stories of fights and how large the school was. They said that you had to change classes every period…never staying in the same class all day. WHAT? Are they CRAZY? How am I supposed to LEARN moving all around all damn day?? LOL I begged my grandmother to send me to Sacred Heart…a catholic school that sat vertically across the street from the back of my old elementary school. I was SO afraid of being picked on and beat up.

CHILE…by the time I got there…I’d spent the entire summer agonizing over it and building up my defenses. So much so, that “I” became the mean one. Grilling folks and taking no shit. lol

Yea, anyway…6th grade graduation had a lot of meaning on a few levels and I sometimes wish I could go back to that point with what I know now. Too bad there are no do overs. eh…whatever.

Glad I Did

Me, sporting the b-fly ring my Auntie gave me!

I spent this past weekend in Connecticut.

My cousin Kaitlyn recently graduated from Sacred Heart University and is about to soon start grad school in Hartford, CT. Child Psychology…

I’m so very proud of her. She and my cousin Arthur are the first to graduate in this family since Kaitlyn’s father, my uncle Ken. She’s so mature and I truly do see a lot of myself in her. I didn’t tell her that, but I do. She’s thirsty for knowledge…but, she’s going the distance. (Interesting analogy since Kait used to run track). It was also a birthday party. She turned 21 on July 1st.

Kaitlyn and her boo, Stan…isn’t he cute? 🙂

When my mom asked me if I wanted to go, I said yes immediately. I wanted to go and support my little cousin, but I also wanted to just SEE them. My uncle, his wife Kathy and their two girls Kaitlyn & Megan live about 2 hours away in CT. I don’t drive. My mother visits more than I do, but often her trips have an agenda…normally church-oriented. I’m not into church like she is. She and my uncle both are reverends…so, I tend to want to stay home. Due to this being more about Kaitlyn, family and fun going wasn’t an issue this time. I figured, we’d go and come home. The day OF…my mom informs me that we’d be staying. One, she’s not driving the 2hrs there to turn around and do it again later that night. I couldn’t be mad…but, I didn’t really wanna do an overnighter. I sighed hard and reluctantly got up and began packing a bag. All of a sudden, I wanted to stay home. I love to travel places, but sometimes I just want to be by myself. I thoroughly enjoy my own company. Sue me…lol

We got there and before long my uncle had checked us into the nearby hotel. He’d secured (and paid) for rooms for us all. We rested and eventually back at the house for the tent-covered BBQ in Kaitlyn’s honor.

In attendance (other than my uncle and his family) was my Aunt Iris, her youngest son Arthur, his girlfriend Tracey and my other cousin’s daughters, Damia and Amaya. My youngest uncle, Maurice came with his wife, JoAnn, son Stephen and my grandmother and matriarch, Mary. Missing in action: My sister, Monifa and her man, Michael, Damia and Amaya’s dad, Damyan and my middle uncle, Ernest Sr., his wife Lorraine and their sons Ernie Jr. and Eric. (Down south: My cousin Tisha, her husband and two kids. Their brother Ken Jr…wasn’t there either, even though he lives in NY.)

It was something like a mini Family Reunion…but there were also others there from my uncle’s church family, his in-laws and neighbors and friends of the girls.

Food was served, live blues was played and we fought for our lives against the mighty Connecticut Mosquitoes. LOL I was eaten alive…back, legs, arms…chile…it was a BBQ and we weren’t the only things snacking out there in the woods. LOL

Sunday morning…we all congregated at my uncle’s church. He preached a wonderful sermon out of 1st Samuel 19. To summarize: Sometimes no matter how good a warrior you are, you have to let GOD do your fighting FOR you. Those who think they can conquer you when God has already sought your victory…are foolish and will be dealt with. In the meantime, to quote his sermon’s caption, “I’m Running For My Life”. I realized just how much of that I’ve been doing. In the past I could have stood my ground, made my statements, retaliated back with words of things I shouldn’t have said…but, I chose silence. While doing so…others who know and love me, spoke for me and perhaps that may have irritated my adversaries…but, the truth is the truth and no matter what spin is put on it…the truth needs no garb.

I came away from this weekend…spiritually rejuvenated and duly refueled. My reluctance to go died a very quiet death on the 95 to CT. I didn’t want to go on Saturday, but I’m glad I did.

I love my family…they’ve proven to be more than I even knew. God bless them and those who have become my chosen family. Life is good. God is better…I’m blessed. PERIOD.

KASEY ROCKS!!!!



Ok, this is PURELY a kudos blog to my niece Kasey!

Yesterday she graduated 5th grade and with HONORS! She know the president yall…ok, maybe she don’t KNOW that fool…but, she received a letter and pin from that asshole. If there’s nothing else he could do, it would be for him to make some really deserving children of the country feel appreciated for excelling and working hard all year.

This was not the only highlight of her day. She put on her dress and her shoes and walked out the house all bootyful and what not…but, she FELT it…and that’s the beauty in her beauty. That she recognized it. It is hard enough to get young girls at the tender age of 11 where they’re impressionable and susceptible to the pressure of fitting in, to see their worth…but, try telling that to our model-esque Kasey and you’d understand. She even got her ears pierced to top off the feeling she was having.

I’ve never laid eyes on her. Yet, to me, she’s a rare bird. One of those beautiful full-winged birds whose wingspan is record-breaking and whose stature dwarfs normal-sized birdies. Yet, who has the sweetest spirits and at the same time wields a mean peck when fucked with. One who can sing the prettiest birdsong and then can bust ya eardrums with a sorrowful wail. She’s our beautiful swan…the difference with her and normal swans…is she was never an ugly duckling. She’s a rare bird b/c she’s been beautiful and full-grown since birth. I cant wait to meet her.