Uncomfortably Numb: The Loss of My Grandma

I’d stayed up late again. I even documented it. I was happy that I had managed to write two days in a row. I’d¬†honestly thought that the next time I wrote it would be much of the same. What a difference just a few hours make. It wasn’t until 4:30am that I again went to sleep. I was busy being busy. This morning I was awoken by a phone call from my mom. At first I didn’t think much of it. For all I knew it was already mid-afternoon and I had slept the morning away. The phone rang with the distinctive ringtone I have for her, Luther Vandross’s, Here and Now. In typical fashion I answered with my ear plugs in. The sound that came from the phone made no sense at all. I immediately knew something was wrong. My mother sounded labored, delirious, upset. I knew that sound, I remembered it from almost 8¬†years prior when my Aunt Gloria and my Papa died. I sat up in bed and Kenrick jumped from the bed ready to go and find my mother wherever she was. She sounded frantic. She kept repeating that she couldn’t find her car. It was somewhat nonsensical. My brain couldn’t understand why my mother sounded so bereaved because she couldn’t find her car. But then the words came that I never wanted to hear, the words that pierced like a knife through the confusion, “Mommy is gone!”

I was still coming to, my brain trying to keep up with the conversation, the sounds, the feelings. Nothing made sense, nothing felt real. There was a delay in my tears but they assuredly came as we neared the end of our conversation. My husband rushed back into bed and held me close. He hushed me in a manner similar to how my grandmother, the very one who’d just passed, would when I’d skinned my knee or was upset about something that had hurt me. I immediately wanted to call my grandfather to see how he was doing. I knew the answer but as their only granddaughter and oldest grandchild my thoughts gravitated back to my youth. The image of every night grandma and grandpa going off to bed together played back in my mind. They have shared the same room for the entirety of my life. And here I was, in that moment, thinking of what he would certainly feel when this dreadful day was done. I’d seen them together just two months ago as we all celebrated the wedding of their middle grandchild. There were even plans for her to come and visit this year. It was to have been a truly wonderful Thanksgiving with a big part of my Jamaican family here with us during the holiday. But that, as my mother said, wasn’t meant to be. Continue reading

How Unlikely It Is?

Those who know me also know that I’m a huge Apple person. I purchase and use Apple devices exclusively. Thus, today’s iPhone 6 release was not much different from all the others. Gone are the days of me camping out at the local AT&T store in order to be the first at the chance to get one in my hands on launch day. Instead, calmer heads prevailed and I pre-ordered my new phone and had it conveniently delivered to my door like an anticipated Christmas gift. But what made today much different from all the others was that as I sit here, almost 12 hours after getting the phone, it still sits beside me in its cellophane covered box, it’s recently purchased protective case sitting on top. I’d tweeted about the excitement earlier in the day when it arrived and I was still working on a client project. But then, once that was over, instead of surgically opening the package as has always been my practice, I set it aside neatly so that I could work on another project.

And although I was quite happy with that, I found that as the day stretched on and the hours I spent working on the project increased, I was experiencing a waning of interest and a feeling of sadness. I find that I spend the most time on the project that I earn the least. Crazy, yes, I know, but I think I’m understanding why. In general, it’s a project that once I’m finished with it, I’m truly finished. Sure, there are endless emails and annoying reminders, things that I’m not at all paid for that creep ever so much into the entirety of my day, but I always come back to it. A bit masochistically, am I drawn to simplicity and finiteness of it? Do I like the project only because it allows me to use as much or as little of my creativity and skill as I desire? Today wasn’t even a great day on the project. I went to sleep this morning at 4:30am, after one of my clients sent an errant Skype text. Continue reading

Fully and Thoroughly

I am exhausted. I feel as though today and the past few days have really worn on me. However, I’m not tired in the usual way, limping defeated into bed. I am inspired and gleefully exhausted at the notion of being so fully inspired that I lack the containable energy to even contain it. I suppose in some way I’m physically on the opposite side of the spectrum than how I feel inside. I had a lightbulb moment earlier this week. It was simple, radical and filling. Why not take the time to actually and deliberately come out of debt. We all live with it, the albatross that is with us every waking and resting moment of each and every day. I am so meticulous that I know to the penny how much I am in debt at all times. What finally dawned on me was that since this is my first year as a small business owner it provides me with a very unique opportunity to pay off debt. Since I have not established a true baseline of what my monthly income is, I have not yet started paying estimated taxes. And while it is quite possible that I’ll end up with a tax bill at year’s end, there’s a very big chance that I won’t. Regardless, the best thing is that even if there is a tax penalty assessed, it will be far less than the interest rates of the debt that I’ve accumulated.

I suppose what I’m feeling is a bit of euphoria. I can’t remember the last time I was this poor. Financially poor. I am wealthy with love and support but financially I am not at all where I need to be to stand on my own two feet. It’s a stark contrast to where my life was a year ago. Last year I was gearing up for another Library Fair, another period of being fully committed to a job and a purpose that a year later would be a mere glimmer in the rearview window of life. I feel a bit destitute in some ways but empowered and revived in others. I love my new life. I hate the debt and I hate the occasional house drama, but I love living with my brother and his family and I love the time I spend with my husband. I honestly didn’t think that after having had a failed marriage in my early 20s that I’d remarry. The taste that left in my mouth was pungent. It was a very long time before I was even able to entertain the idea of me being with another person in any way. And then, as they say, when I wasn’t looking, when I’d given up, that’s when my now 50-year-old husband came knocking at my door. There is a calm that I feel with him. There is a relief in the way that I feel, knowing that he loves and accepts me just as I am. For better or worse, he’s there. Continue reading