Friday, December 7, 2007

Childhood Stories...

I am not sure about you but I am a visual person. A picture to me- can say a lot more than some words. The thing with pictures is that they can only tell a part of the story- they part the picture captures. The other part of the story extends out from the corners- was happening across the street, around the corner and way cross town.
Here I am in 1978!!! It was a happy day for me as a child because I was going home- even though I had really been home the whole time...(kinda like the Wiz). As a child I had to construct a story out of what was happening to my family because it was too painful for me and probably others to really talk to me about it... The story I made up was that I was tricked, yes tricked into taking a visit that lasted about 2 or 3 years away from my parents to live with my grandparents. This "story" I believed until I was an adult - but it had holes...
What was more correct was that I HAD TO LEAVE in order to be safe and shielded from the people who wanted to do harm to my family... you see the seventies were very interesting times...we as a people had made it pass the civil rights era (so to speak) and we found ourselves in the hustle..."tryin' to make a dollar out of 15cents", blaxploitation films, disco music, platforms, afros - it was a time of serious diversion for some of us. My father got caught up in the mix...big cars, furs for the moms, fancy houses and money. You see it wasn't like he didn't know about how to be a good father or husband- he had a father in his life. It was more that he strayed away from the values that he was raised with...he forgot who he was and his the end I think he found himself regretting that detour - it cost him his wife, two girls, grandchildren and eventually his life.
Remember it is the CHOICES that we make that shape the stories of our future. I am my father's future, my son is my father's future, and any child that comes after him is my father's future. I think my elders understood this... I am grateful for that time with my grandparents because they taught me some things that I don't think my parents would have remembered to teach me - like the value of working hard, sacrificing for your family, being responsible for your actions, of helping your community and staying close to your God. Much Love to my grandparents for taking me in during those times and for their continued guidance from the Ancestor world.
Sistah C


M.Abena O. said...

Thank you for sharing that. I am reminded to give thanks to my great grandmother, who took care of me and my brother for part of my life also. My parents also had a time in my childhood where they didn't have it together, either.I also had a made up story to rationalize why I wasn't with them.I am very thankful that my relationship with my parents has greatly improved,with a lot of love and healing. Praises to those grandparents that held us together!!

Sistah C said...

I remember when I asked Sistah Faiza what Afrikans in America needed to do in terms of protecting our young people and she said that they should develop relationships with their grandparents. I think elderhood is a powerful position yet everyday you see ads that say use this cream to look younger or there is a pill to help you feel younger...We need our grandparents, we need our elders - who else will pass along the stories of our bloodline and teach the values of our traditions?
Thank you for your comment.
Sistah C