No Longer Waiting to Exhale

You could’ve bought me for half a penny last night when I found out Whitney Houston had died. I HATE the internet for the kind of  false alarms we have about celebrities dying. The first thing I do is search out the info on big sites…which I did this time and the top source was ABC. She’d died in the Beverly Hills Hilton Hotel and was found by her bodyguard. (even though for a second folks thought Ray J had found her). She was there to attend the Grammy’s which is to be aired tonight at 8pm EST on CBS. I’m sure the show will reflect the industry’s loss. Especially since we’ve also lost Etta James and Don Cornelius as well. ~sigh~

Let me tell you…I couldn’t even talk to my girl Tei anymore. I had to get off the phone. CNN was reporting and I had to hear every bit of it. I search for words right now and I’ve got a swirl of info and thoughts and emotions competing for space in this blog right now. (It doesn’t help that VH1Soul is on and playing her songs) I cried and cried some more…and turned her music on and cried some more. I’m still in disbelief…probably will be for a long time. It’s hard to accept the loss of such public people when they’ve left so many living visuals of themselves to keep them alive.

::exhaling::


Most people my age grew up with Whitney the way my mom grew up with Michael Jackson. In their beginning years…WITH them. My first album ever(which I purchased with my allowance) was her first album…vinyl. I played that album until it skipped. I loved EVERY song and played it and sang it EVERY day. I was 11 or 12. I used to hang with the Bunches…Shawn and Equenthia…and I think we all thought we were Houstons and Jacksons. I KNOW their mom Sandy got tired of us singing all the GAT damn time. lol  “You Give Good Love” summoned Shawn and I into his mother’s room one day as we laid eyes on Whitney for the first time singing. Mouths and ears open. That intro is unforgettable and I don’t care if we’re riding in a car of loud folks, with the windows down, wind whipping and what not…I can still spot that song on the lowest volume by the 1st few notes. “TURN IT UP!!!” is what you’ll hear me say out of nowhere. My 2nd fave became “Thinking About You” which is the 2nd track and honey it goes on for each song on this album. Her duets with Teddy Pendergrass and Jermaine Jackson…classic.

Then her sophomore album hit, “Whitney Houston” and I played THAT like it was going outta style. My girl Leah and I sat around and played that album (often crying and feeling every emotion…even though we were 12 & 14). “Where You Are”, “For the Love of You” the Isley Bros remake, which I had the nerve to correct Leah’s mom when she said that in the car:

Judy *as the song plays on the radio*: “Oh, this is a remake of the Isley Bros song…”
Smart Ass Me: “Nah uh, Ms. Judy…that’s Whitney Houston!”
Judy: “Yea, but they made it first…”

Smart Ass Me: “Oh…I like Whitney’s better” (KNOWING I hadn’t heard the other and thinking…who cares?) LOL

“So Emotional” was the song my sister and I sang often…mics and all. “Just the Lonely Talking Again” another remake, this one originally by The Manhattans. I swear…I sang this song to an ex of mine and he was mesmerized. He was like, “Wow…you sound just like her!” Back in those days I could actually hit those notes…now, not so much. lol

Whitney’s music, along with Michael Jackson, Prince, Stevie Wonder, New Edition, and so many more were indeed the singers to the songs that made the soundtrack to my adolescence. I can tell you who I was “in love” with, where I lived, who was my bestie and how I wore my hair to each song.

When Whitney visibly fell victim her drug usage…no longer functional, it was heart-breaking. I used to tell people…she’s human. Yes, we love her…but she’s human. There has to be enormous pressure on someone like her to be “perfect”, that we shouldn’t expect her never to fall, make mistakes and lose her way. I believed in my favorite female artist of all time. I believed that God and her strong mom would help her through. Whitney came from a family who although were connected to the gospel world…also had substance abuse issues. Both of her brothers at one time or another were addicted and her cousin Dionne Warwick had her own battles.

I wrote on Whitney before…click here…to see what I had to say back in 2009. As I read that older blog, I see some of the same memories written there as in this one, but hey…it’s my blog…I can repeat myself if I want to. LOL

~sigh~ Whitney Elizabeth…”Nippy”…I’m gonna miss you girl. I’m gonna miss pulling for you to get better and come back and reclaim your glory. Never again though…you’re in HIS glory now. I pray that for you. I pray an abundance of comfort, peace and understanding for Bobbi Kristina, Cissy, Bobby and the rest of your family and friends. I pray that your struggle speaks so loudly to those doing the same and that they’re convicted to get it together. I’ll never EVER forget your angelically pure voice, your sass and your artistic offerings. Rest in Peace, Whitney.

Love Always, Kali

**I want to thank my tumblr family for the pics @queennubian and @notesonascandal**  

A Year Later





I had to write about it…I mean, it’s what I do. I blog. I blog my life, the life around me and in this instance…a life missed.


A year ago today, my grand-kween (as I’ve grown fond of calling her) left this plane for a more heavenly one. I remember the day so vividly. Waking up lethargically…not wanting to go into work. Sitting on the side of my bed, wondering how she was doing in the hospital and trying to wait for a good time to call my dad to check in on her. As I sat there feeling dismal with the dread of what I already knew…my sister called. She’d called the job thinking I’d gone in and decided to try the cell. She was on her way to get me because dad had called and asked us to come soon. The doctors weren’t expecting her to make it.


I began dressing and when sis got to the house…we left for Mt. Vernon.


When we got there…she was gone. I went to her bed where she laid…her chest still moving from the machines (to keep her viable until the family had seen her) and all I could do was hold her. I held her and cried the hardest cry to date. I choked on tears and pain and didn’t want to let her go…but, I did.


I’d done so two days before. I sat and spoke to her spirit and told her she could go. 81 years is a  grand and beautiful age at which to go out. 8+1=9…which is a number of completion…divine. (Think 9mos of pregnancy or the 9 numbers)


She was inspirational and loving. She had a hearty laugh and a sassy attitude. She’s made her mistakes, but still lived as best as she could without apology. She raised her kids and she held them down no matter what. She was a pillar of the community and helped many through her job at the city hall of our hometown. To sit in her funeral, March 8th, 2010…and hear so many speak of her as I knew her and MORE…was a wonderful way for her to cast off and transcend.


I am proud to be her grandbaby. Her “Baby Love”. Her “Monkey”. (the buck stops THERE…you will NOT laugh at the other name she had for me) LOL


I love you, Grandma…I miss you…and I pray that I make you proud in the way I’m living. Hopefully, I’ll see you one day not too soon.


R.I.P. Beautiful…






**I’m changing this pic as soon as my dad gives me another one 🙂

Ye Old Year End Blog







For REAL for real? …I can run this year down to you by month and point out every major thing that took place that played a part in the shifting of my so-called “ME” year into a “WHY ME” year. LOL


I’ll spare you though…really, I’m sparing myself. I don’t need to rehash EVERY single thing that took place this year. You need only scan this blog to get a glimpse of that. I’m a trooper, a soldier, a rogue, maverick mofo…and I love that about me. I rock when shit starts rolling. I stand when challenged to be seated…refusing to cave. I laugh when there’s no reason to it (even though someone looking at me might think I’ve snapped and cracked my cookie jar) LOL


Things got testy. Things got REALLY dicey. I almost lost it. For real. You all don’t know. I got so angry with life that I was ready to go IN on whomEVER was within reach. ::stop:: (This is where I decided to go talk to a counselor for my grief and anger. It didn’t work out with the chick I was seeing…I got ANGRY when chick couldn’t remember who she was counseling O_O Where they do that at? Oh, I know…THAT chick’s office) ANY who…I decided that I could work through it with some basic tools of understanding and my faith in God. I did it. No…HE did it along with the help of some beautiful people. Myself, my friends and family and all of their prayers and love. They are the ABSOLUTE best. Thank you, Mommy, Sis, Joy, DeeBo, Cee, Maria, Harmony, Caprice, Chante, Dani, The Mama for checking in on me, my old neighborhood homie, T. Shannon…and you know what? It would be totally unfair to not say thank you to Chap. Yes, my ex was there for me in the beginning weeks of my grandmother’s passing and even though we parted ways…he helped tremendously. Thank you, Pito. lol I hope ALL of your New Years are blessed, folks. You all deserve it!


NOW…onto 2011. I am open to all of the positive opportunities of love, prosperity and happiness. I always am. 2011’s beginning is pure ceremony to me. I practice love in my kweendom daily. I pray that whatever it is that means something to you all…becomes practiced and perfected. Thanks to my readers, cheerleaders and naysayers (you matter, too). With God’s grace, I will see tomorrow…


Happy New Year!!


Lovingly, Kween

The Lonely Poem





have you ever been so lonely,
that you remember
the embrace
from cold arms
of a past charmer?
have you ever been so lonely,
that you consider
going back
to a neglectful cat?
with a short reach…
and an attention span to match?
have you ever been so lonely,
that you consider dealing
with profanities,
infidelities,
insecurities,
obscenities,
idiosyncrasies…
possibly even a ode to thee…
on your knees…
just to get an “i love you”?
sometimes,
the void
is unending
the longing,
vacuous…
leaving room for
distorted images
of perfect times
of enveloping hugs
that felt like love…
even when it wasn’t
that can make you want to
abandon abandonment…
for deluded contentment
have you ever been this lonely?
…i may have felt that lonely…
but i’m not.
not so lonely that i’d
suck up miles of shit
regurgitated and remixed
into a safety net
with a hole
the size of lonely’s pain
and hate’s despair…
not so lonely that i’d
toss my dignity
to the wind
attached to a feather…
even when the lonelies
sneak in 
and lay me down tearfully,
tucks me in with doubts…
wakes me up on the wrong side of the bed
gives me attitude
headaches from
love hangovers…
i’m
just
not
that lonely.

Thanks Fantasia

Well, as I’d written in a previous blog…I lost my paternal grandmother. This blog…I guess, is just a way to say, “I’m okay” and touch base with you all.

This song, debuted itself the night my grandmother died and I tell you…everytime I hear it I am crying by song’s end. Honestly…it’s one of the best songs I’ve heard Fantasia sing. She usually screams through songs…so this softly sung ballad is a refreshing joy.

“First step, take a deep breath…you don’t need a reason why. You can (You can) take, take time…you can (you can) walk…run…dive.”

I’m stepping back into life gingerly. Going to work and functioning. Talking and laughing with people, at shows, singing and smiling with music. Trying to find my way back to poetry and writing. What I DO regret (now that I think of it) is not allowing my grandmother to see the poetic part of me. It never dawned on me to show her. I wasn’t hiding it or anything…but, I never brought that stuff up. We’d talk and laugh and swap stories when I called her…but, I don’t think we ever discussed my love of writing. I hope she can see it now.

The wake and funeral services were beautiful. People of course said beautiful things…but they also said REAL things. Some called my grandmother “bossy” *giggling*…and that she COULD be. Some referred to her as the Queen…which I never knew. Funny that is what people call me now. Her love of her family and community was honored…especially the way she treated everyone like they were important. She’d make you feel so special. Never would she even outwardly display a dislike for you…even if she didn’t. She still showed you respect and concern…she just kept her eye on you. LOL

There was a gathering of a medley of people who loved her. So many felt our loss. I mean, the pastor of the church, rented out the first floor of our family house. After attending church became difficult (because of my great uncle’s care)…her pastor would come upstairs from his own apartment and have private bible studies with her. How special WAS she? *beaming*

Anyway…thanks, Fantasia. There’s a song that evokes the deepest of emotions about my grandmother. From now on…it’ll serve as a trigger to my memories (as if I really need one)…yet, it will bring about a positive sense of coping that I need to get through.

Love,

Baby Kween

Josephine

I’ve got to blog this out before I implode…picture to come later…


Yesterday on March 2nd, 2010, between 1 and 2pm…my paternal grandmother, Josephine…died.


To say I’m devastated to my core, is an understatement. To say that my heart and soul physically aches…is speaking lightly. Yes, she was my favorite person in the world. I love my mom and dad…yet, the truth is that growing up…when their relationship was unstable and I felt lost as a child…she was an anchor. I learned love…how to love, how to receive love, how to be a lady and how to be cherished. I got that from my grandmother, who never let a day pass when we were together without saying, “I love you”.


She called me Baby Love…among other names throughout my childhood. (I will not share them just so you all can laugh at me, lol). I have some GREAT memories of my grandmother. I learned to love coffee because of her. She wouldn’t give me my OWN, but she’d give me a few sips here and there. (In her beer drinking days…I’d steal sips of her Miller) LMAO


Her and my mom’s oatmeal run neck in neck. Perfect consistency with applesauce and every now and again…raisins. She ALWAYS had cake mix and on demand would make one for me. She had the private stash of Krasdale sodas (what you know about that?) and indulged my love of novelty cereals. I was telling my girl, Joy…that my grandmother would prepare a picnic for my friends and I. We lived in the projects in Mt. Vernon, NY…in an era where it was perfectly fine for your kids to play and be safe. My grandma would make me Kool-Aid (the red flavor) and put it in a jar. Make PB&J’s cut into fours, give us carrot and celery sticks, Twinkies and pop-tarts…all to sit under her window on a blanket behind the benches. She’d watch as we had a blanket party and played with our dolls.


She was the only person I knew for the longest who made scratch rolls, that were so good…she had requests throughout the buildings for them. She made her spaghetti and meatballs with her own homemade sauce and she kept Parmesan cheese because I wouldn’t eat it without it. She was the beginning of my love of cooking.


My grandmother was my best friend. She was understanding and nurturing. She’d give me the truth, but she’d also support my decisions. When I was in a relationship no one else agreed with, she supported me and embraced my ex. To this day, he loved her dearly…and she him. She’d always tell me when she saw him and spoke so sweetly of him. She knew that keeping me at arm’s length would only alienate me and she couldn’t keep an eye on me. Even at 37, she was constantly trying to give me money and considered me her baby.


Sadly, the stress and strain of trying to take care of her elderly uncle (who was more like a brother) took it’s toll. Her heart gave way to two attacks and her lungs to pneumonia. Severe dehydration and thickened blood made it hard for her frail frame to recuperate. I know she fought as much as she could…but, as she’d told me when we spoke the day before she went into ICU…she was tired.


One day, I wont cry until my chest heaves and my breath shortens. One day, I will think of her name and only smile instead of cry. One day, I will get through a night without tossing and turning. Today…I miss my grandmother like crazy. Today…I’m a baby girl without her precious grandmother.


I love you SO much, grandma. Be at peace. Be my angel.


Love, your Baby Love.

Not Bye…Later

 
Lately, a once foreign concept has become commonplace in my 2010 year.  There was a time, when the idea of “putting it all out there” for public consumption via blog…was something I shied away from doing. I’m a very private person and only talk to those I feel I can trust. (THAT is becoming a very short list) One of my bigger reasons for having chosen to avoid spilling my guts on blogs, was because I know that sometimes folks aren’t prepared to look up and read about themselves. They can take offense, when seeing their life written. I know that if someone was talking about me in my worst light…or just even my most private one…with no real way to defend myself, or feeling like I HAD to by commenting publicly…I would feel badly. SO, I’ve taken great care up until now…to share with the cyber-world the daily shit factory that has become my life. I know that this may come across eyes that will recognize themselves, but all I can say is…at least it isn’t facetiously written.
I also believed that, if you spat out ALL the things you go through AND with a not-so-nice tone….you run the risk of looking A-Class Jack Ass when you and the source of your rant kiss, make up and are making goo goo faces and playing patty cake…in the SAME damn forum. So, yes…saying what’s been on my mind on HERE has been a last resort. A cathartic release to help me move past the hurts and pains.
This week was bittersweet. While in my new job, I found my groove…exhibiting my skills of organization and efficiency, and winning accolades of my co-workers and supervisors. I LOVE that. I feel  really good right now about my progress. Yet, I lost a couple of friends this week as well. It shouldn’t have happened how it did, but when perceptions and personalities clash…and no one is willing to discuss the issue properly…little can be resolved. I wish that more than anything…it didn’t play out publicly and without clarity to the situation. Nevertheless, I can’t do a thing about that now.  If I’d had my choice, before swift and rash decisions were made to end things without knowing if the reasons were factual…I would’ve sat on it for a while longer. Not commit to actions that couldn’t be taken back…because guess what? Even if you delete/block someone, the damage is done already. You’ve already drawn attention to the tension. Giving folks a front row seat to the fiasco. Facebook isn’t where I saw these connections ending, but God knows that I am not for being made to look a fool on the word of someone else who doesn’t have all the facts. Deletion, was simply a way to assert my position of not allowing for anyone to fence me OUT and still keep me hanging…but, of course…I’m looked at as the bad guy. 
I’m sure there will be a great divide of mutual friends…people deciding before knowing, whose right and wrong. No status of 140 characters could elaborate the true reason for the estrangement, but I’ve ALSO decided not to make that a concern of mine. If people are smart, they’ll remain neutral. If not neutral…perhaps true to their allegiances and make a clean break instead of pretending to like me/them. I said this year was about me…and I meant it. I wont have ANYONE diminishing my importance, my feelings, my love…for any reason.
I’ve lost the one I thought I’d marry…I’ve lost a sister-friend, and a person who I thought transcended ANY definition of bond with…but, I wont even say I’ve “lost” anything. What’s truly mine to have cannot be taken away. True relation/friendships aren’t easily broken on words or even hurt feelings…even with time they reconstitute, sometimes stronger. Sometimes, people need space to grow in their own directions…to come back later having become apart what they couldn’t together. We don’t always realize that certain bonds can be crutches and distractions…enabling each other to remain stagnant. So, like butterflies…they go wherever the winds take them…
For them…I pray nothing but beautiful journeys, love in teeming waves, and success of the stellar kind. I love every last one of you…more than you’ll ever know.
1 Corinthians: 13