May was a month of death and dying for me and frankly — my head is just fucked up right now…
First, I watched as my beautiful, sister-in-law lost her battle with metastatic kidney cancer in Upstate New York after she left the Mayo Clinic in Minnnesota where her oldest sister lived and she’d been being treated for almost a year. She was 70, and died on Mother’s Day, a day after her baby brother’s (my husband’s) 68th birthday.
From April 28, when we arrived at her Upstate, NY home from Texas (the family’d decided we’d all take turns being there cuz she couldn’t really do anything for herself and her husband was undone), we were relieving her twin brother who’d been there for a week.
I’ve never been in the house with someone dying. That shit f*cked me the hell up, Fam. But something I think we Black folk are conditioned to do — is love folk up as they “go through it.” I massaged her legs and when her oldest sister, Joyce asked her if she wanted us to say the rosary with her — she said,”Yes, please.”
And damn if that Jesuit-indoctrinated, Oblate Sisters of Providence shit didn’t come right back to me! I said the rosary with Joy & Caroline (her daughter), despite what I think about Catholic indoctrination — cuz that’s what I’m sure Jan would’ve wanted.
When I realized that on May 21 — a white, 18 year-old , killed 10 Black folk buyin’ damned groceries and injured three in the May 14 Buffalo mass shooting just four hours away from where we’d been, I lost my f*ckin’ mind.
Then, on May 24, by the time we got home, 19 Latino children and two teachers were massacred at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde by another white, 18 year-old for a total of 30 people dead in nearly as many days as had the month of May! Fam, I’m really undone.
I’m always there it seems, or in close proximity to this sh*t. I was living in Charleston when Michael Slager killed Walter Scott and when the Emanuel 9 were murdered by Dylan Roof; I was in Minnesota after George Floyd was murdered, not far away from Kenosha, WI when Jacob Blake was murdered. I was living in South Texas when the El Paso massacre happened. It’s startin’ to creep me the hell out, Fam!
Either that, or I need to get busy…
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