A Letter to my Silent Loved Ones

I look at my husband – I see his ambition, his drive, his warmth, his humor, his love. I see his Blackness. I see his humanity.

Why don’t you?

Why is it when a Black or Brown life like his is taken, there is no mourning, but rather deafening silence on your end? Are they not deserving of your compassion? Of justice for themselves and their families?

What’s worse is during this heavy and tiresome week, your silence has only been broken by your proclamations that “blue lives matter”. Now, I won’t debate this. We know cops’ lives matter. We grieve for them when they are killed. We are deeply disheartened for their families. We are able to see their humanity. There isn’t a need for a hashtag to reiterate a fact that isn’t being disputed.

However, what I need you to understand is my husband can’t take off his Blackness like officers can take off their blue uniforms. I fear for his safety every time he leaves our home because unarmed men, women, and children that look like him are killed for simply being. And in contrast to when a “blue” life is taken, there is generally no benevolence when a Black or Brown life like his is lost.

“Well, I don’t see color.”

Please miss me with this problematic bullshit. You and I see color. We see differences, which I celebrate, unlike you that tries to be dismissive of our variance in melanin in an attempt to avoid important conversations and discourse about our nation’s issues. My husband is a proud Black man and rightfully so. Rather than adapt to your “colorblindness”, I embrace his Blackness and everything it has molded him to be: determined, resilient, powerful.

I write this, not to embarrass or chastise you, but in hopes that you, too, will see that your continued silence supports a racist system seeped in anti-Blackness – a system that wasn’t built for us either. Hopefully my words push you to recognize that his life matters. The lives of our future Black children matter. Black lives, as a whole, matter and asserting this isn’t saying yours matters any less.

Resolute about my Resolutions.

New Year’s resolutions get such a bad rap. Granted, the “New Year, New Me” (and back to the old me before Valentine’s Day) stuff gets pretty old. I’m big on accountability, so in order to not be a part of that crowd that doesn’t remain resolute with their resolutions, I’m writing all of my goals for 2016 here. Continue reading

Seventeen

I sat on the phone with my childhood best friend, reminiscing of days past in my hometown just across the bridge from Philadelphia. We laughed about growing up with our small, dysfunctional group of friends: road trips, arguments, car trunks, hanging out in the Burger King parking lot at 2 am after graduation (because what else is there to really do in South Jersey).

“Man, we really were our most genuine selves at seventeen,” he mused.

We were.

At seventeen I was carefree, outspoken, and surrounded by people that understood how I operated. They respected my values, even if they didn’t necessarily agree with them. We were very candid with our words, but there was never any malice or ill-intentions behind them. No matter the disagreements that could’ve pushed others apart, we always found our way back to one another. We were a family trying to find our way through life together. It was with them I was comfortable enough to be my truest self.

But adulthood tends to fuck things up.  Continue reading

Hello, old friend.

1,350: the number of days since we’ve last spoken. I’ve been reading our old letters, remembering how easy it was to open up to you and how much of a means of catharsis our conversations were for me. You got me through one of the most difficult periods in my life and for that I am forever thankful.

So why did we ever stop speaking? Continue reading

Maybe.

#20. Do you push the elevator button more than once?  Do you really believe it makes the elevator faster?

I’m guilty of pushing the elevator button more than once. Maybe it’ll come faster that way. Maybe it’s taking so long because it didn’t register the first time I pushed it. Maybe I’m just impatient. Maybe.. Maybe.

Maybe you’re the elevator. I keep pushing your buttons thinking you’ll hurry up and figure out what’s here waiting for you: a good woman who just wants to be happy with you. Or maybe I’m being overly optimistic. Maybe I need to stop thinking that this time when I push the button the outcome will be different… That you’ll come around.. That you’ll finally open your doors and let me in.

Maybe I should stop, stop trying to rush you, stop holding out hope that you’ll get here when I want you to… or even at all. Maybe I need to realize that regardless of pushing the elevator button once, twice, five times that you’re going to get here on your own time.

Let’s just hope that maybe when you do finally get here I haven’t caught another elevator up.

Mr. Bewildering

He said..

“I love you and I’m going to wait as long as it takes to be with you..”

He’d been hinting at it in previous conversations and visits, but had never before flat out said the words, “I love you.” The feelings were mutual. Honestly I felt that way before he ever said anything. Yet, as he whispered the words I longed to hear from him, I laid there not sure how to reply.

See the situation between us was a difficult one and had morphed into something confusing over the course of our friendship. I went from barely acknowledging Mr. Bewildering to spending hours lost in conversation with him. I could talk to him about any and everything. He made me laugh, made me smile, made me feel comfortable. We were good for each other.. or so I thought. Continue reading