Tag Archives: forgiveness

My Father

Today would be my Father, 93rd birthday.

100% Daddy’s girl right here.

 

I remember my father who never met my son, as he died in 1980, and my son wasn’t born until 1991, but I recall an exceptional man, who was never hit as a child, and taught me so much; including, I feel, groundwork of limited fork, the way he treated me, and refused to express love through any bullying techniques such as found in so many Christian patriarchal religions; my father never made differences in toys according to gender… I was also encouraged to speak, to both have and share my opinions.   He died 36 years ago, the year before I graduated from Oberlin College, something he would have loved to experience, me graduating from an institution not afraid to enroll women, African-Americans, and Native Americans, and that’s really why I wanted my degree to be from Oberlin, a college that would have accepted me regardless.

He never knew the me I became, but he did know me as a writer, something I started to do when I was seven… He was right there when so much happened….

He asked my mother not to hit me, and she wanted to, according to biblical rules, that if the rod is spared, then the child is spoiled… My father wouldn’t allow me to believe anything like that! He told me that no decent, no authentic father would even conceive of a place called hell, and even if he somehow conceived it, he would never send anyone there… This made more sense to me than biblical rules with such adherence to patriarchal stances, written by men, and subjugating women –I wish my father had lived to hear me say such things, to watch me practice such things, to see me champion these things he always felt were just!

If such punishment is a shared experience that unifies blacks, then I guess that I am not black at all since spankings and beatings were not part of my life.  I understand intellectually, what spankings are; my mother’s sister who lived with us for many years, would often send her son, my cousin Lawrence:Lawrence Turner

 

out to get his own switch.  I observed this, but never took part; I was never sent to select my own instrument of brutality.

I drove my father to the hospital on the day he died…. He chain-smoked Pall Malls (there used to be commercaisl, such as):

and eventually, he was quite ill the last couple of years of his life, and I’d driven him to the hospital quite a few times to have fluid removed from his lungs, but he always managed to come home alive… except, of course, the last time…. I’ve felt guilty about that for many, many years… but am so thankful that he created my name for me, “Thylias” –he told me when I was seven that there had never been a presence like mine in the world, so I needed a name that also hadn’t been part of the world –just what a daughter, what any child, what any person should be told! –I would go to church with my mother, and be told that I was going to hell; but as soon as I got home from church, my father, born in the south would take me for very long walks, sometimes for several miles, and allow me to linger and interact with whatever I wanted to, and I returned home from these walks with a new golden book of knowledge and built an alternative bible, these books were also ‘truth“: Energy and Power, Automobiles, Geology, Meteorology, Mathematics, etc… For toys, I had dolls, and I loved them, but I also had space ships, boats, trucks, and my home was filled with music… (Sometimes, my father sang)

 

Thylias with dolls

 

 

 

My father didn’t have my name picked out for me; he had to meet me first, and then decided, after he met me, what my name should be, a name tailored to the person he saw. Was it the way I reminded him of something? Could he already see some of himself in me? Did he realize then what was always true, that I was more like him than like my mother?

In one of her increasingly rare lucid moments, my mother told me that I am high class and she is low class, and for that reason she and I are unable to communicate. We are too different. My hair came from my father and his people. I am told that my mother, so ashamed of her color, called “the little black one” and ostracized by her family, wanted to lighten up the family, and that my father was considered a catch with his pale skin and mostly straight dark hair; I got the hair, but not the color.

 

Among other things, on those walks I so frequently take, walking to love and to a man I hope will be in my life for many, many years (this man I love [maybe too much, but maybe not nearly enough –he is that special, and somehow proving just how special he really is, as each moment passes]), but this man is also a drinker, and I sometimes imagine how the two of them, about the same color, could sit at my mother’s dining room table and drink together –sure wish that they could someday meet, but as I walk now, I am also reviving what I did with my father from the time I could walk, those walks with him…. He and I would walk to the bakery and purchase freshly baked loaves of “Wonder” bread. How I loved that name for the promise of “Wonders”, the promises of miracles. We once walked to a bridge and stood there and watched a refinery fire, and the smell of that fire blocked the heavenly aromas of “Wonder” bread baking; I would imagine that Jesus had loaves of “Wonder” bread to go with the fish he served in the feeding of the five thousand.

 

My father would have loved me at Oberlin! –this tiny woman, under five feet tall, multiracial, grauating first in the class and Phi Beta Kappa; still oly 98 pounds, with completely natural waist-length buttkissing hair, and as naturally shapely as all-get-out, I cannot show you, but —I do not lie— if you ever see this 62-year-old woman in a bikini (no need for liposuction  or for any surgical reshaping, certainly not of my face, or anywhere else; no breast impants, I don’t need them; no weave, no wig, no extensions –not only booty, beautifully shaped, but also enough brains to graduate first in the class –there are not that many total packages like me; and I have the legacy that makes all of me inevitable:

 

 

nothing is going to dilute or diminsh my joy this mornin’!

some of the wonders of Oberlin College:

And now some photos of this wonderful man, a father I knew until I was 26, a man my son never knew, being born so many years after my father’s death, a man who also did not hit in order to express love… A man unafraid to marry outside his race in the south! –how did this family manage that? –I am so pleased to have as my heritage such bravery, such decisions to insist on a form of justice, and compassion for all! –to insist on love –my real heritage: I will always insist on love. No matter what.

Love first; all else is secondary.

My paternal grandfather, a man I never know, was not black at all, Native American, Caucasian, and Indian. Apparently, many of them perished from Huntington’s Disease, a most nasty and always fatal, requiring inheritance of only one gene (no successful gene modification of that, as there was in the film Jurassic World), but I’ve been quite lucky, and missed that fatal inheritance from this wonderful man, my father part Native American, African American, Indian, and Caucasian in the south when races, as humans classify them, were not supposed to mix yet always, (let’s be reasonable), did. Real love could hardly care about color, or I would not even exist.

Here’s to my father who did not care about such petty things as color of skin.

And here’s to more rising of mixed race people!

Something Claudia Rankine explores in her “Whiteness, INC” that was part of the Ellipsis show at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation in St. Louis, MO, as in:

  (Please look, please love, and please think)

I’ve got love on my mind!

 

 

 

and “Unforgettable” –always:

 

 

 

 

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Moving Forward! –trying as hard as I can…. OBAMA IS BLACK!

I’ve  resurrected the “remembering” posts, in order to tell my truths: remembering, remembering and remembering; this way, I  move forward, acknowledging what will always be with me, rape , abortion, and almost missing a chance to have a successful pregnancy… only one successful pregnancy in my life: as I hope these pictures show:   

sonogram-first pictrue of Ansted PREGNANT THYLIAS

I just want to be able to move in a much less restricted manner… There is no point in inflicting pain into a very long chapter whose covers I’m closing.  That chapter is done, and I’ll leave it that way, focusing on other things including this delicate repair –because it’s worth it.

I’d much rather have a good friend, than not to; I’d rather be able to say at the end of my time, that I was a good friend. 

I’ll be picking up my laptop this evening, and I can’t wait to resume; you know me, doing research on various things including octopi, but whatever I discover from research must become embedded in my mind so that I can speak from having absorbed the info –I will leave that post buried…

It served its purpose, and has been replaced by a greater purpose, one ahead of me… As yet undetermined; as yet unwritten, and I must go forward to find out what it is, to write it as I live it, to live it as I write it –and this is part of my new post now that I have my laptop and am working my way through all the paper that  piled up…

This is one time that I’m listening to ObamaI loved his eulogy

transcript of the eulogy

of course when I posted about “Johnny” being called back for a job interview, I did add “Johnna” being called back but not “Jamallah”, but it was his emphasis on moving forward that struck me the most, his emphasis on forgiveness!!! –I’m for that too! And my Fb posts today  are all about mixtures of this combined with my desires to move forward in whatever kind of ragged friendship may remain; Obama’s need to step into issues so (superficially) different from my own (more of my emotional post right here), but that same need to access something different, and maybe if I’m lucky even with MS –though living without love is so common, and I very well could be one of those, what I’m saying is that if my friend still offers friendship –I will ask him in my blog, only directly if he speaks to me; I want to move forward and find whatever may –or may not!– be there…

This is hard because I worry about what it says about me, that I would forgive him despite how cruel he was –as if there should be no consequences for that cruelty; cruelty and selfishness, his character flaws, but I like him anyway….I have some too, but this is not a contest to determine which one of us is more flawed. My MS (multiple sclerosis) was problematic, ultimately, for both of us I feel; really got in the way, although he was being kind when he said it didn’t… I do appreciate that.  I really do.  I like my friend very much, and I want to keep this friendship.. Do I mean to say that “good sex” makes up for any other deficit? –I hope not, because intellectually, I reject that idea, but on an emotional level, I am saying that, and I don’t like what I have to see when I look at myself honestly… Even as I still regale riding the coattails of, of all things, a eulogy for a most horrendous shooting, in a sanctuary!  for Clementa Pinckney–but even as it happens, police search for fugitives! –and crime continues –did not stop! I have to wonder how many pickpockets and con artists were possibly in the AME church while the eulogy was being made…. Crime did not stop.  Bullets still found a target, willing target or not.

MORE ABOUT THE EULOGY FOR THOSE WHO SHOULD NOT BE DEAD! BLACK LIVES MATTER, SHOULD MATTER TO ALL OF US! –WE SHOULD CARE! -NO MATTER WHO WE ARE!

More of this news; gunned down while preaching of all things!

List of Charleston, South Carolina Victims

more news here, with names! from The New York Times

A list of victims from Wikipedia:

The dead, six women and three men, were all African American. Eight died at the scene; the ninth, Daniel Simmons, died at MUSC Medical Center. They were all killed by multiple gunshots fired at close range. One unidentified person was wounded but survived. Five individuals survived the shooting unharmed, including Felicia Sanders, mother of slain victim Tywanza Sanders, and her granddaughter, along with Polly Sheppard, a Bible study member. Pinckney’s wife and daughter were also inside the building during the shooting. Those killed were identified as:

Cynthia Marie Graham Hurd (54) – Bible study member and manager for the Charleston County Public Library system; sister of Malcolm Graham
Susie Jackson (87) – a Bible study and church choir member
Ethel Lee Lance (70) – the church sexton
Depayne Middleton-Doctor (49) – a pastor who was also employed as a school administrator and admissions coordinator at Southern Wesleyan University
Clementa C. Pinckney (41) – the church pastor and a South Carolina state senator
Tywanza Sanders (26) – a Bible study member; nephew of Susie Jackson
Daniel Simmons (74) – a pastor who also served at Greater Zion AME Church in Awendaw
Sharonda Coleman-Singleton (45) – a pastor; also a speech therapist and track coach at Goose Creek High School
Myra Thompson (59) – a Bible study teacher

And just now, I received another stanza of a poem on “Shadows” that a friend and I have been exchanging via email for several days. I think that we’re still friends, and I responded by sending an additional stanza earlier today. I will say nothing else.  The stanza will say everything for me… Eggshell time….  Delicate Ballet

I hope he is both encouraged and amused by this post.  I just want to continue our friendship that was doing fine until sex practically ruined everything –not because the sex was bad, but because it wasn’t, and– move forward… keep moving in this delicate ballet on eggshells.

A little something about Doormats – a response to dumping

About Doormats:

I cannot deliberately hurt you.

I can’t even say things against you and mean them…

Not what I want for you at all.  

I care too much about you.  

I want you to be happy, and I feel like a fool for saying this, but nothing that has happened has caused me  to withdraw all forms of  love. 

And even a doormat is powerful in its protection of floor! —yes; it’s stepped on, and those who have stepped unwisely can wipe their feet, but they are the ones most in need of services doormats provide. Praise be to doormats!  

Time for me to elevate doormats —Oh, I’ve joked to myself about a sweetness of revenge that I can’t sustain, and I’m glad, for revenge isn’t sweet at all. And I ask forgiveness for even thinking about it.

because I already know that love in any of its forms is much sweeter than revenge… 

Love is stronger than revenge, stronger than hurt for when these are gone, the hurter wants love, the hater wants love, even if they aren’t sure how to get it, but it is something  elusive to them that they want, and maybe the sheltered for protecting all forms of  love know best how to get it, and how to give it… 

I’m still working on this.  

Genuine Friendships are built on the most powerful forms of love… 

For true friendships have to be able to endure storms and rages throughout every universe to which one may fork —it is love that ultimately survives…  —this is a reality of life, a reality of my life —just as real as anything else, and love is also a bridge, a lifeline, a tether —and it works better for being sheltered protected from what would make it less effective by exposure and a reduction of some of love’s power.  Love in all of its forms requires sheltering to be love… 

I AM A WARRIOR FOR FORGIVENESS!  A WARRIOR FOR COMPASSION!

Ted Talk about Compassion with Rabbi Janice Tabick,

my favorite Ted Talk