…to show you exactly who people are. Sure they’ve told you all along through their actions, or lack thereof. But there’s nothing like that level of raw, uncut, unadulterated vulnerability to bring out the true character of those around you. Allow me to explain…
Mollie died yall. Chial she pulled it! I don’t like saying that word, die. But after all, her body did expire. I know her spirit lives on and her soul is free, but yep, physically she is no more. It’s cool (not really), I’m dealing (as best I can) and I know it’ll take time (step by step, day by day, hell minute by minute!). And while I can’t say her death is totally surprising to me, it still came as a shock. See you’re never fully prepared to say goodbye to a parent, especially your mother, but that’s a different post chial we won’t go there.
Folks gathered round and round from all across the land. No seriously, I literally knew like a handful of people at that funeral. They knew me, or knew of me “I remember you when you was just a little ol’ thing…” They appeared concerned, but I suspect they were there to look. See, a funny thing happens when someone dies, particularly if your mother dies; your sense of vulnerability goes on a hunned thousand trillion and everyone stops and stares, literally. They’re watching you to see how you gone act. They wanna know if you’ll crack under pressure. It even seems like some of these people try they best to get you to break down in front of them, so they can console you and make themselves feel better, which is the most twisted form of voyeuristic behavior I’ve ever seen. Chial one bamma apparently taped the funeral with her hand-held device; it couldn’t have been a phone cuz if it was then she has the best battery known to man.
Then you have the people who only come into your life when you’re in such a fragile state for some other purpose. Sadly, this is usually self-serving although it can be presented under the guise of authenticity. They put on PDA’s- that is, public displays of attention, but in the end it turns out to be pure phuckery at its best. If you’re not careful they’ll pull one over on you. They act right at the service, and stop by the house like a bawse afterwards and maybe even they follow up a day or two later, but don’t be fooled. Narcissism rears its ugly head in several different forms, and like I stated earlier- small people like to be around big people when they are wounded. It somehow makes them feel not so small, if you catch my drift. After the dust begins to settle, and you start to feel…anything again, they’re usually gone. They’ve had their moment for all the world to see and maybe even got away with taking a little piece of your care and concern with them. They’re takers, so that’s what they do- they take.
Now there is one other group of people who really matter to me- those who were there on their own accord for one reason and one reason only- to offer me their unconditional love and support. And I’m not just talmbout the actual day either. Some of them came from miles away and crossed several state lines while others were right down the street. But whatever the case, I am grateful for these people. That level of vulnerability is very sobering. In my darkest hour, God still blessed me with the clarity to see people for who they are. Now, while my usual modus operandi would be to just try and ‘man up’ and completely separate myself from the outside world until I magically heal myself and arise, like a phoenix from the ashes, this time was different. I’m not a superhero. I’m not a phoenix. I’m not immortal. And what better way to be reminded of this than at a funeral? Mollie’s funeral at that. Chial…
See, the people in this last group have known this all along. And I’ll admit that logically I know this too, but I still would like to pretend otherwise. So they showed up for me, not just physically and not just on that day. They’ve sent cards, emails, texts, came to visit me, and most importantly they prayed for me and are continuing to do so. These are the kinda people you want in your corner when some real shit like this goes down. And let me tell you, it gets no realer. Now, I recognize that not everyone is capable of being fully present for another person and I can respect that. We’re all human and nobody’s perfect
(except me). But real recognize real, no matter what your ‘real’ is, or who you are authentically, I be knowing and I appreciate you for being just who you are; good, bad, or ugly. At a time like this, that’s all you really want. You want love; pure, unconditional, selfless love. You want 1 Corinthians 13 love. And see, not everyone is capable of that kinda love.
Conversely, I’d like to say that I can appreciate the people in my life who are aware enough of who they are and did what’s best for all parties involved: stayed the fawk away! I know this is some heavy stuff yall, and I know everyone aint built for this kinda intense emotional free for all. So, rather you retreat than try to force yourself to be something that you’re not on my behalf. Really, it’s cool. Because I have heard some of the most blissfully mindless and hurtful things over these past 2 weeks. I’ve even had people try to group this sort of thing with something similar or even relate to me. Who wants to be able to relate to me on this???
One thing I do know is that there is absolutely no comparison to any other experience that you’ll ever go through in life. Ever. When my aunt died, I grieved and still mourn her from time to time. But baye-by when Mollie left the room, a part of me left with her. No lie. I’m a different woman now. And to try to fit that into some pretty little box to be able to help you deal just doesn’t do me, her or the experience justice. I just pray whenever the time comes to say ‘goodbye’ to mother, that it’s not even a fraction of the emotional whirlwind I find myself caught up in. And what’s funny is that I actually am ‘ok’- or at least I will be one day. The fact that I’m still alive lets me know this.
PS: So…yeah I’mma prolly be writing or making reference to my mother or this ordeal in some form or fashion in the posts to come. It’s a part of my process and you will deal. If not, then you can always just not read my blog. *Kanye Shrug*
Here’s my obligatory recipe. For those of you who don’t know, a hoe cake is like a pancake but thicker, on account of the cornmeal that replaces some of the flour in the batter. Very tasty.
- 1/2 c all purpose flour
- 1 c cornmeal
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 c milk (you can use buttermilk here too)
- 1 stick melted butter (use 1/2 stick if using buttermilk)
- 2 eggs
- pinch of vanilla
In a bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Whisk the wet ingredients (except for the honey) together in a separate bowl and combine with the dry ingredients. Ladle onto an oiled griddle or cast iron skillet 😉 to your desired size. Cook until the cakes start to bubble. Flip then cook until golden. Serve with honey and butter if desired.