Things I Forgot…
Because of a tragedy that occurred today, I realized a lot of the things I had been taking for granted. We walk through life and forget to truly live, and today, I had to figure out how to keep my heart from shattering into pieces. While there may be some truth in the phrase “Time heals all wounds”, time also causes us to forget how badly those wounds hurt and the lessons we learned from them. Because of a tragedy that occurred today, I held my kids a little tighter tonight, I held their warmth in a little closer tonight, and I let salt water streams cut a path directly to my heart.
Before today, I had forgotten the good things. I forgot that my mama used to make homemade strawberry ice cream in the summer, and my papa taught me how to fish. I forgot that my grandma used to love Beyonce’ before there was a such thing as a “Bey-hive”, and she couldn’t dance a lick, but oh how I loved to see her try. I forgot that we used to crack watermelons open straight out of the field, and we used to swallow warm sunshine every summer day. I forgot how much like home watermelon make me feel, but I remember that wasp sting I got that one summer.
I forgot that my cousin had a pet goat with the same name as her and that my great grandmother had a lizard named “Money” that came to visit her on the front porch. I forgot that my dad used to walk me on his feet, and my granddad had done that too. I forgot that my mama taught me to brush my hair, and she bought us a real pine tree with singing lights one year. I forgot that was the reason I always buy a real tree even though I’ve never been fond of Christmas.
I forgot that I was suicidal once or twice or maybe three times, but in that darkness, I fell in love with words. I forgot that death seemed so inviting then. I forgot that God gave me words, but my mama gave me God, and I forgot to tell her thank you. I forgot that Jesus died on the cross for my sins, and somehow, I always forget to show my gratitude. I forgot that my mama was a storyteller, and she could make biblical names become real people, but I still remember her voice when I think of the stories. I forgot that my mama was a choir all on her own, but I remember all the Kirk Franklin songs she ever sang. I forgot all that happy things of mama, but somehow I remembered all the bad, and it’s funny how things work that way.
I forgot to love my skin, hair, and African wide hips, but I remember to tighten the strings on an american bulemia waistline. I forgot to love my stretch marks and the stories they hold because they wrapped security around my children at one point in time. I forget to cherish my kids and their child-like wonder, but I will remember that one red dot my son got for months to come. I forgot to thank God for waking me this morning, and I forgot my tongue somewhere, but I hope to reclaim my voice in these paragraphs.
After today, I will remember that lump that formed at the base of my throat when I heard the news. I will remember how my eyes wept and the numbness of my own face. I will remember my heart breaking for an angel who got his wings far too soon, but I will soon forget how he smiled at all of us every day. I will forget how my son hugged his neck before leaving the daycare every day. He forgot that we loved him; we forgot to tell him. I will probably forget the way he looked the last time i saw him, and it’s funny how memory works that way.