We Aren’t Our Grandparents; Not Sure If That’s A Good or Bad Thing

When I was growing up my bedroom was right next to the living room and there were so many nights I would hear my grandmother and grandfather sitting in the living room talking. It was their routine. My grandmother would sit and read her bible and my grandfather would wait until the news went off and join her while she fixed him something sweet to eat.

Most nights I’m not sure what they talked about but I know they had very few secrets if any and they were each other’s sounding board. The thing about their generation is that they understood at some point your family evolved. Your immediate family went from your mom and dad and brothers and sisters to your husband or wife and your children. Your secrets and concerns stopped being between bestfriends and siblings and started being with your husband or wife.

Our generation has moved away from that and I can’t tell anyone reading this whether or not that’s good or bad, what works for you and your relationship works for you and your relationship but I can tell you that it can’t help that we don’t have that same sense of closeness and loyalty anymore.

It also works on the opposite in. My grandparents and that generation, the women didn’t ask a lot of questions and in a lot of cases, they didn’t have a lot of options. If they found a man that had a good job and was a good provider they didn’t divorce him no matter his flaws. Our women are different, they have jobs and careers and in a lot of cases are more financially stable then the men they’re with. There isn’t that same sense of accepting whatever he brings.

How cannot that not be a good thing?

I wish I could work and not worry about my wife working but we don’t live in that world anymore. You need two incomes and when your woman has to work how often can you come home to a homecooked meal? It’s the last day of 2017 and I haven’t one time this year.

Like I mentioned in the beginning, there’s no right or wrong answer but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a happy medium.

In case I get the feeling to write at 10:00pm on my cell phone this will more than likely be my last blog of 2017. So let me leave anyone reading with this thought.

Generations may change, cost of living and eras may change but the bond that a man and woman share will never change. If you find yourself questioning the priorities you share with a person you need to talk to them, make sure you’re on the same page. Often times we spend so much time analyzing that we forget to put down the cell phones and laptops and talk.

Do more of that in 2018.DSC_0341(1)

Legacies and Dreams…

Last week I was messing around with this website that does this face mash thing where they take two faces and create a baby. I thought it was the coolest thing in the world until I realized all the children looked the same no matter who the parents were. But it did get me to thinking, I’ve never really known my father on a personal level and I can’t say how that’s impacted me. I’ve had good role models in my life.

But I’m sure it has in some sense or another. How could it not?

I often think about my son though or who my son will be. I think the dream of any father, of any man is that your child becomes a better person than you were. Is that you leave him a legacy and a path that will allow him to be great. I don’t know who his mom will be let alone what he’ll look like or what his passions will be but I do feel like I’m creating a legacy for him.

Him being proud of me when the day comes is what matters to me most. Him standing up in a classroom and talking about how cool I am or how I read to him.

When I think of Dr. King on a personal level I think of the legacy he left his children, his wife. They had to share him with an entire community, a race, a cause. I’m sure he missed a lot of birthdays and little league games but it was for the greater good and how can you not be proud of that if you’re his children?

MLK had a dream that the world he came into wouldn’t be the same world his grandchildren came into to, that his children grew up in and that came to fruition. More than the speeches, the photos and the quotes is his sacrifice. Because not many are willing to give up what he gave up, to leave your family and peace for a greater good!

When I do have my son and I’m going on book tours or working crazy hours so that he could go to schools I didn’t go to or travel to places I couldn’t I want him to know this didn’t start with me. This started with the men and women that made these sacrifices in 1963, 1964, 1972… I want him to not only have a sense of what I’m giving up to make sure he becomes great but I want him to know what others before he was even thought of gave up.

Today isn’t just about celebrating a man, today is about remembering a legacy of selflessness that is rarely seen anymore. He didn’t run for office or try to build a mega church, he marched, turned the other cheek and pushed for real reform. And it’s not just about Dr. King, it’s about the countless others that were there with him.

My son will be a better man than me as I am a better man than my father. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about what could have been but I do I will forever have a voice. And for better or worse I will use it and I will make a legacy and I will keep fulfilling his dream!

Demez F. White

‘The Day Happily Ever After Died…’

“I’m worried, I don’t feel anything. He should be kicking or moving, he hasn’t moved! Why hasn’t he moved?! Why hasn’t he moved!? Baby! Baby! Feel my stomach! Tell me I’m crazy! Something doesn’t feel right!?”

I looked at the cable box; it was four am. She hadn’t been sleeping well which meant I wasn’t sleeping well. But tonight was unusual; tonight she barely moved which meant I was sleeping like a baby. She took my hand and put it on her stomach, I wanted to move my hand away but I couldn’t. My body went cold, at that moment all the blood inside of me was drained. I could read her mind and she saw the fear in my eyes. I tried to blink it away but it was too late.

Her tears started to fall and I dropped my head. “It’s going to be alright, it’s cool babe. Let’s just go to the emergency room to be on the safe side.” I got out of bed and faced away from her, I was petrified. I didn’t want to say it and neither did she but there was a feeling in this bedroom that was sickening.

I threw on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, my jacket and some boots. I came out the closet and she was still laying in the bed, still, her hands on her seven month abdomen. I pulled her hand, “Baby, we have to go to the hospital!”

“Don’t touch me! Don’t touch me! I’m fine! He’s fine! Just get back in bed, please! Just get back in bed!” She pulled at the sleeve of my jacket! The urgency in her words broke my heart. I climbed back in the bed and wrapped my arms around her. I could feel her trembling so I squeezed her tighter. I closed my eyes and prayed, wished, pleaded that this was all in our head.

This was our first child, my first son… This wasn’t, isn’t how our story is supposed to end. Her hand was on top of my hand, her face in the pillow. My lips on the back of her neck, as much as I wanted to be strong all I could do was close my eyes and let the tears fall.

Four months later…

“Do you love me?” I heard the question but I didn’t understand the question. The Lakers and Knicks were on one channel, Baylor and Washington on another, I just wanted to find peace in these games. Most mornings I was gone to work before she got up and I didn’t leave until six or seven. This house just wasn’t a home anymore.

I ignored the question.

“Do you love me?!” She asked again. She wouldn’t move from in front of the TV. I looked up at her.

“Yes I love you now can you move.” The beer flew out of my hand and into the wall, I just looked thru her. “What is the matter with you?” I raised my hands in the air and got up to leave.

“Scream! Yell! Hit a wall! Hate me! Tell me you fucking hate me! But do something! Say something! Don’t walk around this house like I don’t exist! Don’t avoid me! Ignore me! He was my son too! Mine!!! I carried him in my womb! I laid on that cold! Ass! Table! While I gave birth to a child that was already dead! Talk to me please! Please….

My hand was on the doorknob, I wanted to turn it and just drive. Drive as far away as possible but… I turned around and grabbed her shirt!

“You want me to yell! To scream! To break shit!” I knocked a vase off the table!

“He died! He died and you acted like it was God’s plan! Like everything would be alright! You didn’t even want a fucking funeral!? That was my son! My legacy! And we were supposed to mourn him together but you just went out like he didn’t mean shit!? And now you stand your punk ass up here asking me if I love you!? I hate you bitch! I hate you for taking him away from me and not giving a fuck!”

The words, the emotions just exploded out of me. The same hurt I saw in her eyes that night her womb died was the same hurt I was seeing now.

“You hate me?! You hate me?! Fuck you bitch! You don’t think I think about him every night, every day! Where do you think I am when you’re up writing or working!? I’m in that nursery lying on the floor wondering why the fuck this happened! I would lose my damn mind if I didn’t think God had a purpose for doing what he did! You’re fucking selfish! I’m your wife and instead…. Instead of you being here for me or letting me be here for you… you punish me and hate me!”

Her hands were touching me face, she was grabbing my face. All of my hate, my hurt, my anger…

I was tired of holding that shit in, tired of wondering what our lives would be like right now if he was here in this house. I pulled her to the floor, both us on our knees and I just held her. For the first time since that night I held her in my arms.

“You can hate me all you want but you love me! You’re all I have and I’ll tie you to the bed while you’re sleep and set this fucking house on fire before I let you leave me!” She looked me in my eyes and I knew she was telling the truth.

“I’m not going anywhere… I’m not going anywhere…”

Thank you for reading and supporting Walking Down the Aisle and Conversations Between Adults in 2011… I look forward to even more in 2012!!!

 

Demez F. White