I've been in my (Wo)man cave for weeks. Tragic news of my Uncle/Godfather's passing put me in another mental state...not crazy, but extremely sad. One, I'm big on father figures. He was one. Two, I love the loved ones who support me no matter what. He was one. And three, it was unfreakin' real and sudden...like split-second life changing. I was living in a nightmare that I feel like I still haven't woken up from. It's heartbreaking...but the things that keep a smile on my face are: My family's strength, love, and perseverance and the fact that my Uncle planted valuable seeds in all of us. He instilled entrepreneurship, beyond-the-classroom learning, and that living your dream is the only way to live. With that, family, and God (constant prayer), I have all I need to succeed.
So what is it that I need to let go of? Not my Uncle's memory- not at all. I'll explain...
In beginning to search for family photos of him a couple of weeks ago, I kept seeing and remembering this picture of myself at the age of no more than 2. I was dressed in a white bonnet (too cute) and a white gown made by my Granny with lace detailing on the front and pearl buttons. Pale, pudgy, and barefoot. I was inside of a church, First Baptist of Georgetown. It was my christening and I was in the arms of my handsome, protective, loving Uncle and Godfather Darren Thompson.
I wracked my brain the other day. "Where the heck is that picture??!! I need it!!" I figured as the days went on, I'd remember. So I waited...just for the location to come to me. Days came and went. No pic.
My mom came in town and I asked her about it. She said, "Sam, I gave you the picture. I put it in the photo album I made for you one Christmas. You took it to Florida. I haven't seen it since you've been back."
My heart dropped into the deepest part of my stomach...I hadn't seen that album since 2006. I ran to an empty room in the house where I'd stored miscellaneous things. Nothing. No album. I ran downstairs to a closet under the stairs where I'd stored more items of mine. Ripped through boxes and more boxes. No album.
My mom came downstairs. She asked, "You haven't found it?" I balled, "Noooooooo!!!!"
I cried, "It's with all the others!" I was referring to the whole box of family photos I had lost in college. I left the box of pictures on my closet floor as I literally ran for my life from my Florida apartment and my college boyfriend- Mr. Evil. I left him with all my stuff. I escaped with a smidgen of my sanity and a couple of suitcases.
Because I knew I was safe with my family and in a very loving and healthy environment, I became okay with the fact that I had left that man with my plasma T.V., my ultra comfortable queen bed, the non-stick pots and pans, the reading chair, the glass chess board, and my pictures (knowing his evil ass, he burned or tossed them), but I didn't know my Uncle was in there.
Back to the other day, my mom consoled me as I was broken down crying on the floor. She said, "Samantha, it's okay. You were going through a lot then. We had to get you up outta there...What's most important is that the memory of Darren is in your mind and in your heart. That's all that matters."
As mad as I was, she was right. It was okay. And every time I think about the picture of us that I'll never see again, yes, I get angry, but I remember her words. He IS in my heart and in my mind. A small picture can't hold the kind of wonderful man he was and what he meant to me, but I can.