Moments that followed

So there I was, my mother had been murdered. My younger brother in a coma. My home was no longer. People either treating me with kid gloves or like a fish in a tank to be gawked at. Friends behaving as if they’d never known the real me. My then boyfriend in jail before, during, and after the tragedy of my life. And all I saw before me was the cold shadows of gloom that my home town had engulfed me in. The tall buildings caved in on me. The few trees were no longer colored in vibrant autumn hues. Smog overtook everything in my view. Not only was I buried deep inside myself but now the world around me wanted to swallow the outer parts as well. I couldn’t breathe.

Even the simple task of riding public transportation became an ordeal. A display of pitied eyes and over zealous displays of affection from random people became part of my norm. Imagine riding the same few buses for most of your life and sitting next to the same people each day, having casual conversations and random small talks before your stop to get off. Imagine those same people now unable to look you in the eyes or worse can’t stop looking. Imagine a new passenger getting too close to you on that bus which being public transportation is bound to happen. Imagine forgetting to shut your eyes to the bus stop that let people off right in front of your once apartment building, the very same apartment building you no longer resided in because your mom had been brutally murdered there. Imagine those passengers glancing over at you, anticipating a melt down once you come to that bus stop in front of that apartment complex. How did I forget to look away? Why did I not shut my eyes? Would taking the train be any different? Would it be more of a chance to bumping into people I knew? Who knows? It was unclear. Nothing these days was clear. Nothing made sense. Was this now my life?

Ugh, the feeling of uncertainty was becoming my frien-emy (friend and enemy), more so enemy, now that the thrilling spontaneity of the unknown was no longer part of its equation. Uncertainty, now was just that, uncertain, unknowing, unsure, unclear, fear-filled vagueness, and those qualities, those qualities, were not friends of mine. I was secretly afraid of them but my life now possessed nothing but. Everything was uncertain.

Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

…Letting go and letting God, what a concept. You mean I have to give Him those fears too?… I guess, no I’m sure, had I done that even just 3 years ago, I would be so much closer to fulfilling His destiny for me. So much wasted time holding on to stuff I honestly wanted to let go of anyway.

 

My once home

It was that time. Boy, how things moved along. We were in a special category since her death was what it was.  They couldn’t exactly kick us out in the streets. We were relocated to a much smaller apartment in another part of town. Our once 3 story apartment was to be a 3 bedroom, section 8 whatever. I had nothing against section 8 but it was just another slap in my already bruised up face. I am grateful however that we were at least of age enough to be on our own. Kinda. We all know early 20’s ain’t really adults, might as well have been 16, 17, but yea.

We had been staying with an aunt but it was time to clear out our home. The scene was no longer a part of the investigation or what have you. So my older brother and I set out to dispose, clean, and sort through 3 floors of a lifetime. As we got closer to our destination my chest reverted back to the puking feeling I dreaded, an odd feeling that resided deep in me since that day. The feeling I got the minute I was put in the back of the cop car, naked, wrapped in a sheet a female officer handed me from the house, and watched as they rolled my mother out on a stretcher. She was covered as well, completely covered with a sheet not from our home. My stomach twisted and turned. I refused to express the emotion, especially to my older brother who was dealing with his own feelings, I’m sure.

As we stood in front of the building before entering, he inquired whether or not I was scared. I said nothing. He assured me that our mothers blood should have been cleaned up. I said nothing. He then continued to say not to be afraid of ghosts or anything because if anything it was the spirit of our mother and she was all good. How I wish we had smoked before this. Or did we? That’s all I ever did anymore, well most of anything I ever did. It was whatever. So in we went.

We came through the bottom level, the living room, which I wonder if it was strategic on my brother’s part. The back door, the middle level, which we could have come in was the kitchen, where it took place. Maybe it was me, for having gone through the ordeal, but the smell of my once home was so different now. The faint smell of real authentic Haitian cooking was once a staple in our home. Now, the walls bled the odor of death muddled with the hint of bleach or whatever the city’s cleaning people used. I decided to close my senses to everything but the memories rushed over me like a wave. I wasn’t fit to ride this wave. My brother handed me an industrial sized black trash bag. I should’ve just jumped right in because that’s how I felt, like trash.

Psalms 34:17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.

…I wasn’t ready to cry out to Him, not then, not the way He wanted. If I had I wasn’t sure I’d ever stop. I was a leaky faucet of emotion. A slow drip that made its appearance during appropriate times, nothing more. My few outbursts were reserved for me alone. Otherwise, I’d…I’d drown outwardly as much as I was drowning inwardly. I was fine holding it together the way I had been. I was… I was fine… I was fine.

…I held on to that lie for what seemed like forever.