hiatus pt.1

hey everyone,

first and foremost, I want to say thank you to everyone who stuck around over the last month while I did some much needed mental healing and soul searching. I can’t wait to tell you all about my time away and am so happy to see so many of you are still here — we even made a few new friends! I promise not to leave again for this long without warning.

so let’s dive right in!

let’s start with the hard stuff – I lost a family member very dear to me and because of circumstances out of my hands, I was unable to attend the funeral. you know how people say “she was the life of the party” … she really was. she was the best of everyone around her, she would tell you exactly like it is – her honesty is what I loved most about her. I will never forget the fall of my first semester in college; my boyfriend at the time came to visit for a few days. I wanted him to meet my great-grandmother (her mother) and she happened to be at the house when we stopped by. She was sitting outside as we walked past the gate into the driveway and of course I stopped to say hi and introduce him before heading into the house.

after the hello’s and small talk, she looks my boyfriend straight in the eyes and says:

I’m gonna tell you something right now. you gotta be careful around these bitches because they don’t give a damn if you’re in a relationship or not, they’ll still try to take you. you seem like a nice young man so I just just had to let you know. these bitches don’t care about shit, they’ll see you happy and still try to fuck up what you have. be careful.

y’all! in that moment I felt a level of mortification I’ve never felt before, but at the same time I was so amused that THIS was the first conversation my boyfriend had with anyone in my family aside from my parents. we had a good laugh about it after the fact, but that memory of her will always be the first one that pops into my head.

honest and real.

I miss her. I will always miss her. this world just won’t be the same without her.

rest in peace, auntie.

butterfly

her, she shone with a light that radiated the darkest night my favorite moment was the night we met she shook my breasts, and not my hand; how could I forget

when I would wear my flower crown headbands around her she would tell me ‘you look like a snapchat filter’ her laugh was infectious, as was her smile so it was impossible to tell that all the while

she suffered from a sadness no one could have known in silence, she fought her fight alone

so when she left us, it broke my heart

even though it hurt to see her go I find happiness because I know there’s another guardian in the sky she was always meant to fly

entry #1

dear depression diary,

today is a good day.

yesterday was the anniversary of my brother’s murder, the event that triggered my depression. despite how much I miss his presence, I managed to get through the day okay. I know I owe that strength not only to myself for being able to accept my struggle, but also to the family and friends that support me daily — especially my mom. for 12.5 years I kept my mental state from her because I know thinking about that day is so much harder for her than it is for me. I did not want to be the reason her day was ruined, I didn’t want to be a downer for her. but after we talked and I explained why I kept her in the dark for so long, I realized that even though tears were shed, it was comforting to talk to someone who remembers him exactly the way I do. she wanted to be that person that talked me through my rough days; my ear, my shoulder, my rock. so we spent an hour talking, reliving memories and laughing through tears — she is honestly so amazing.

lesson for today: sometimes, it’s the most unlikely individuals that help you find the light in your darkest moments (thanks mom)

senseless.

shots fired

it’s us against us

childhood friends turned foes and the fueding begins

gone are the bonds we spent half our lives building

we’ve grown up and apart, nothing is the same

shots fired

over girls, over money, over friends who aren’t friends

rumors spread and the fake news becomes a disease

blocking all sense and sensibility, everything has changed

shots fired

one more dead

and a community dying

800 miles

February 10, 2008 had suddenly become a day she would hate for the rest of her life. How could he be gone, she thought, staring at the mess of trophies, papers and books strewn across her bedroom floor. Tears hot with anger and regret streaked her face as she thought about the moments that had led her here.

As children, they spent summer days in the tree that their swing hung from, filling the afternoons with laughter and conversation. When the sun would set, and the moon began to light the night sky they would catch the fireflies that made the front yard twinkle until their parents called them inside. Young and innocent, they were inseparable; and they only grew closer as the time passed.

In their teenage years, she was surprised at how often he included her in plans with his friends. All her friend’s older brothers acted as if their sisters didn’t exist – but not him. He would ask her to come to the mall and hangout or invite her to tag along as he ran errands. When he would finish a song he had been working on and was ready to record the choruses and background vocals, she was the first person he would ask. She loved those moments with her brother; they were few and far between because they lived in different states, but every time he could- he chose her.

When she started dating, he was more protective than her dad. He would warn the boys she spent hours texting and talking to on the phone that they should be careful with her; and they all heeded the warning. He gave her ‘the talk’, even though she was still nervous about kissing boys. He was honest and told her that sometimes he lied to get girls to fall for him, and that he knew how smart she was, so she should know the difference between genuine interest and sugar-coated persuasions. He was her biggest supporter. From the literary awards she won to her acceptance into the magnet high school, he was there and proud.

So, it was no surprise that he died the way he did.

He had a younger brother who was just a year older than her. Just as he was with her, he was protective of his brother, too. When some neighborhood kids tried to jump him one day, her brother immediately ran to the rescue. He couldn’t have known they were carrying guns; that they were cowards who could not finish a fight the way they started it. Two in the chest and one in the head, he lied there bleeding out. The cowards fled and his brother called the ambulance before running to get help.

She was 800 miles away, getting off the bus when her brother was shot. 800 miles away putting pizza rolls in the oven as the ambulance sat stuck on the other side of the train passing by on the tracks, as he continued to lose more blood. 800 miles away watching tv on the couch as the paramedics picked his weakened body up off the ground while simultaneously trying to stop the bleeding. 800 miles away as she sat down at her desk to do her homework and he took his last breaths in the back of the ambulance. 800 miles away … screaming and crying and throwing everything in sight at the four walls that surrounded her after getting the phone call that her brother was dead.

He was murdered three months before his twenty-first birthday, she had just turned sixteen.

The tears flowed heavier now as she collapsed to the floor in a crumpled heap and remembered the last day she spent with her brother. He had asked to hang out and she had declined to be with her friends instead, how selfish she had been. She thought she had more time, more moments to look forward to, more memories to make. Feeling cried out and empty, she wiped the tears away and uttered “I love you” before picking herself up from the floor.

That night, as she laid her head on her pillow, she opened her phone and dialed her brother’s number – it went straight to voicemail. She closed her eyes and as the tears began to fall once more, she listened to her brother’s voice, hanging up just before the beep. She dialed the number eighteen times more before drifting off to sleep.

babylove.

with the blade in my wrist, I welcomed death with open arms. I was done with this life, lost on how to exist now that he was gone.

and then I thought of you.

you never told me “it’s okay. he’s in a better place now”. you didn’t push me to faith or rush me to grieve. you gave me your time and patience, but most importantly

you gave me you.

afternoons spent on playgrounds sharing headphones and laughs. nights spent in conversations that drowned out my pain. meeting me at my locker between every class and hall passes just to sneak into my lunch block to say hello.

you were my peace.

when the storm clouds approached and my tears rained down, you were the earth that absorbed the flood.

because of you, I threw away the blade and chose my life. you gave me a reason to keep going. more than that, you kept going with me.

you gave me shelter in the warmth of your heart. you gave me love in its truest forms. you gave me life anew

you gave me you


photo cred: IG @krunchymamacrafts