Even though your not physically here with me, I can still hear your voice yelling at me. Remember that one fight we got into over me wanting one of your beers. You weren’t going, be dammed. You literally shut me in the fridge you tackled it so hard. Man, that hurt. I know your probably thinking to yourself about how sorry you truly are. It was the addiction and fear of withdrawals. This I now know. Please don’t be sorry though because I wouldn’t change a thing about all the sisterly fights we have had. You always told me to defend myself and I think today that you’d be super proud of me. I sat and served those 4 years I was dished out. I did in fact always learn things the hard way. Granted you tried to keep that from happening by trying to teach me life lessons. Only I was so young and naive I wasn’t putting all the puzzle pieces together to see the bigger picture you were always trying to show me. I couldn’t plan out my life as far as you had seen it for me because I was never sure myself I would make it further than you. But I did. I’m now here in this future we once talked about together. Only your not here with me. God seen fit to let you go home and be with Lil Jesse. I don’t think they’d have been able to get him to stop crying for you otherwise. Years have gone by and guess what? I’m about to be a grandma! Can you believe it Sis? Not even have I hit the 40 yr old mark and Mrs. Mercedes has already turned me into an old maid.
I was on the phone with mom one day last week. We had been talking about mostly things past. I told her that you had told me the truth. Also, why you didn’t choose to tell her exactly the things I knew. I told her it was you being you. Always looking out for her and I. Wanting nothing but the best for us both. Even if you had to put yourself through hell in order for that to happen. I look back at all the close brushes with death you had where God could have taken you from our lives sooner than when you went. I’m thankful he didn’t. I remember all the silly games we played as poor bored kids with nothing better to do than to cause a little mischief. Man the ass whippings we got. Remember that one time we got told on for smoking cigarettes and our older cousin refused to do as he was told and smoke that cig in front of all the adults? Man he got whipped like no one else. If he’d of just listened to his mom he would have been sent to sit in time out or lay in a vacant bed in another room as the rest of us who had obeyed were already doing. Our childhood was never dull or boring even though we couldn’t see that. It was because we let our imaginations run wild and we turned our backs at the thought of having nothing to do. When we were together the possibilities were endless. Together our imaginations soared high above everyone else’s. We lived in the real world that’s why. Growing up poor. No matter where it was, it was the ghetto.
I remember that time mom and I walked to the county jail to meet you at the door when they let you go. You sang that song by “Tupac : Dear Momma” all the way home. Of course I joined in an we sang together. You usually only went to jail for fighting. Always something petty was usually what it was. You and all those fights over your ex-boyfriend. So many fights you were in over that boy. I thought you were crazy. Sometimes I swore you were. You were like a magnet. You attracted all the crazies. People loved to hate you because they were jealous. I seen what it was that made them act so foolishly though. You were a nurturer and a care giver by nature. People felt safe in your presence. There were a few good one’s in the bunch. But if they were in touch with their feeling they had to kick rocks. You had no time to be turning pansies into men. I’ll give you that. You always knew exactly what you wanted in life. With me however, I always wondered where my place was in this thing called life. Was I going to be a good mother when the time came? Would I be independent? Or rely on a man like the world taught us to do back then. Women were just getting rights to do certain things when you left me here. Would you believe we have had a woman vice president? Yes ma’am we sure have. That’s how far things have developed since your time here last. It has already been 20 years since the terrorist attacks in New York that claimed the lives of thousands of innocent people.
Man! The memories I have of those years. I was with the brother of your true love when that happened. Living in the infamous Hummel house, dating one of the older brothers. I was barely 19 years old when all that happened. Working at ChemPak Chemical Plant. Coming home smelling of sulfur and other toxic, probably deadly chemicals. The things they need to manufacture tires. Who knew? It was my first ever factory job. I absolutely hated it. Being a mother though I had to have employment some where. I remember coming home after pulling a morning shift, to see Mrs. Helen sitting in front of the television crying. I asked her why she was crying and if she was okay. I guess it was supposed to be obvious what was wrong. That’s when I remember looking directly at the tv seeing people make the decision of umping to their death versus being burnt alive or buried beneath mountains of rumble. It was so tragic. I couldn’t take my eyes away as I watched in horror what the entire country was on their knees praying about. So many people giving their all to help others in tragic circumstances all around them. Seemingly smothering them with doubt. They never gave up and continued to find and pull people miraculously alive under all the rubble from those buildings.
Fast forward 20 years and here I sit with my laptop perched in my lap typing away and the keys on the board telling you things I know you know already but can’t help but to mention. Your little Nicky ain’t so little no more. He’ll be 21 this coming December. On mom and dads anniversary. Mercedes will be of legal age next month. !8 years old Finally!!! She’s not with the BOY that got her pregnant. I’m glad she phased out of that one quick enough. I was so worried about her mental health when I first found out that it literally made me feel physically sick. Like I was going through those withdrawals you feared so much. Yeah that bad. I always remember watching you live your life and telling myself that I would never do this or that. I would never do that drug or become like you. Everyone in our so called family only seen the bad you did or that you brought when you came around. They didn’t see the life threatening injuries you had on the inside. How you were always trying to keep from bleeding to death from the loved ones that were cause for those cuts in the first place. How harsh were their judgments. The way they gossiped behind your back, only to tell you they loved you to your face. Get the hell out of here with that fake ass love you spout. Teaching others to be one way when in the dark your the devil in disguise. Oh the secrets you kept. People you have kept from going to prison for the rest of their lives. No one could say they ever met anyone as real as you. What you said behind ones back you would always say to their faces.
You also taught me forgiveness in one of the most amazing displays I have ever witnessed. I’ll leave that one unspoken. Always close to my heart. In the book with sister’s rules of never betraying that sacred bond of never telling on each other. God, Jennifer I miss you so much it’s crazy.