I can’t.

The soft, pastel dawn feels disingenuous.  My heart, heavy with darkness, clenches and the news of last night and the preceding two days clings to me like stink on rot.

Today is also the tenth anniversary of my father’s long, slow painful death.

Some would say he did every human atrocity short of killing a man to warrant it, but I can tell you with certainty that watching someone suffer does not bring you peace.  It’s just more pain on top of despair on top of senselessness.

I texted my sister last night.  We keep each other abreast of the anniversary each year.  Sometimes I “forget,” sometimes she does.  Though “forget” isn’t the right word, it’s more of a willful overlook.  My cells remember.  I’m sadder, testier, more sensitive in general and there’s nothing to be done but sit through the gale of emotional winds that beat down.

Three years ago, on July 9th, my grandmother’s birthday, my friend Sara killed herself.  I weep as I write remembering the shock of the news.  She had a child nearly identical in age to Peyton and the four of us would meet for coffee and play dates when the kids were just barely out of toddlerhood.

We shared our marriage woes and mothering challenges.  She divorced, like me, and we continued to share parallel lives until the fateful night she decided to hang herself and forever rob her daughter of the fierce, beautiful soul that was her mother.

The pain she must have suffered to think that was the solution strikes me down, barren and broken.  Blackness.

There was nothing, nothing, in this world she cared more about than her child.  It overwhelms me with grief on top of grief on top of grief.

These guns…

Two black men legally carried them to protect themselves from what I can only assume would be that “other” nut job we all keep hearing about and instead they brought police brutality upon their carriers out of stark raving fear and racial discrimination.

Yet more guns killed five cops, injured seven others and two bystanders during what was supposed to be a peaceful protest of the two murdered men.  The protesters, there to hold accountable the officers who use excess force and discriminate against people of color, were now being protected by these same men and women as they all ran for their lives and the snipers shot officers in the back.  Fucking chaos.

My brother-in-law is black and he and my sister have to discuss things like, Will he get any extra grief trying to pick up my white, unaccompanied minor at the airport gate alone because only one adult can go back there?  What’s the protocol for if he gets pulled over?  What do they tell their son who’s darker-skinned? 

My sister lives in fear that her husband and son will be murdered because of the color of their skin and it’s paralyzing to think I can’t assuage her fears.  I can’t tell her she’s being overly emotional or paranoid because it keeps. fucking. happening.

Guns, guns, and more guns.  Children in schools, people in theaters and dance clubs.

The afternoon after Sandy Hook I went to Peyton’s daycare early and cried as I pushed past the gate and earnestly searched for the little body that came from mine.  A school.

A hundred highly trained professionals were armed last night and their guns did nothing to stop the snipers for hours.  I consider it a small miracle that only two bystanders were injured and more weren’t killed by friendly fire from either side of line last night.  Bullets go where their physics tells them.  They don’t stop if it’s the wrong person’s body.

 

And so I can’t today.

 

It’s all too much.

My father, Sara, guns robbing families of loved ones, the anarchy that seems to be seeping into the fabric of our nation.  It all runs together like watercolor, like that impertinent dawn that played across my window earlier so oblivious to what has happened.

If only tears could make it all go away for if they did I would be washed anew and feel nothing.  Death is only an end.  It’s never a solution.

 

 

 

9 thoughts on “I can’t.

  1. I’m sorry Hy. Wish there were anything I could do to help ease the pain.
    Sending hugs and warm thoughts is abot as much as I can do, so… here:
    XOXOXO

  2. I can relate…..the one year “anniversary” of my father’s death is August 1, 2016…..he went so damn quick….diagnosis was beginning of June and her died 2 months later…stage 4 lung cancer…..although it sucks regardless I think the fact that he died fast was better….it would have been complete MISERY to experience my dad go through a slow death……I am sorry you, your family and dad had to go through that…….yeah and I can’t even watch the news and those FU&*KING graphic clips….I just can’t…I have only seen a few seconds of the R. King incident..it is deafening….sickening……revolting….wicked…..atrocious…..it is horrifying to think I belong to the same to the same species that comments these vile acts…I was embarrassed to be white yesterday……I felt bad yesterday when a person with a brown colored complexion politely let ME walk in front of their car to cross the street….we exchanged smiles….I just wanted to embrace him and just say “I’m sorry”…..”I’m fu%king sorry for everything”…..people LOVE to pretend racism is something of the past it has NEVER gone away….the result of camera phones has opened a whole new chapter in showing people’s true colors…..it is everywhere….people of all colors freaking out and pulling guns on each other……this is especially disturbing for Hy’s son this has become the absolute norm for him…he is learning that this is how people interact…..with hate…..people are taking one another’s LIVES….and what minorities hear is “it is under investigation” WTF is there to investigate?? These videos clearly show it in black and white

  3. I wish I had the words to take away your pain, but I don’t.
    Yes, it’s terrible and senseless situations like these that makes me feel like we as a society are back in the 60’s with all the prejudice and bloodshed going on.
    I too am very saddened and fearful for our loved one’s safety and our own.
    We all MUST rise above this somehow.

    Sending HUGS from across the miles to you Hy.
    And may you have many reasons to smile and be peaceful in the very near future.
    Joyce C recently posted…Intoxicated…..My Profile

  4. I am weeping in an airport waiting to travel home with Baby, wondering when the tipping point towards justice will be. I pray it’s before this baby grows much more, so we will never have to see Baby’s black and brown friends murdered in the streets over skittles or bb guns or CDs or cell phones, and before any armed individual comes into my children’s classroom and mows them down beside their educators.
    No justice, no peace.

  5. I hear you Hy…. The last few weeks are ground me down too. My country seems to have lost its mind, the place I thought I knew doesn’t look familiar any more. Outside the door everything looks the same, the shops are open, the kids are at school etc and yet something feels different and for the first time in my life I am really scared about the future and even more so the future of me children.

    Big hugs beautiful Hy

    Mollyxxx
    Molly recently posted…Fucking MissionaryMy Profile

  6. I have been ignoring the madness, because I believe the only way to fight it is with stillness. People need time to reflect and find wisdom. Thing is, the way we live doesn’t allow for that anymore. Not to mention, I am only one person. It doesn’t do any good if I am the only one NOT feeding the beast.

    I’m with you, Hy. I can’t either. As an open-minded man of color, I’m resigning to staying in the house for a while. At least until I build my resolve. Usually I hold my head high and believe goodness will carry me to safety. What I’m seeing lately has dismantled that notion.

    Ironically, I realize all I should do is sit still. Like I always do. Reflect. Notice the absurdity in all. Hopefully, I’ll go back to laughing and making the best of their crazy thing called Life. Maybe more of us “should not” as well.

  7. Good morning, Hyacinth!
    I don’t know whether to offer you a coffee or milk and cookies! Your mind is racing! 😛 I was captured today with reading the part about watching your dad die. ”
    Some would say he did every human atrocity short of killing a man to warrant it, but I can tell you with certainty that watching someone suffer does not bring you peace. ” This is how I feel about my dad, minus the dying part. My dad is so mean and hateful he has even intimidated death itself, and likely continues to outdrink himself, outdo himself w/ his poor diet, and perhaps he is even still chain smoking. After two hip replacements and a 5-way heart bypass surgery….you’d think he’d have killed himself by now with his living choices but no. He’s just too mean for that. It seems the best folks go early. My grand mother died while I was in Iraq and I couldn’t even be at her funeral, but she was the one who really raised me. I have fantasized about my horrible father dying to bring me peace since I was 9 and learned in Catholic school that Jesus was tortured and killed. In my religious classes, I wondered how a God could be treated this way, as we were taught, and how men like my dad can happily walk around treating people in a Machiavellian manner and live without repercussions for his detestable actions. I didn’t come up with death fantasy for my father at 8 b/c I was a sick child. I was listening to graphic portrayals of the Stations of the Cross and thought, “HM! Why can’t that happen to my dad? He deserves it more, I think.” Anyway, that was way long before I dropped religion altogether. I often wonder if I will cry when I hear about my dad dying. We literally have no relationship. My older brother told me his lawyer advised him to leave me $500.00 in his will so that I can not, as his biological child, contest his will or the doling out of his estate. What? The only thought he’s given to me in the last 30 years is how to keep me from interfering with his 5th wife’s access to his estate? That’s right. Wow. I never asked for him to be my father. I never asked for him to abuse me. Sometimes I do wish, however, that everyone would leave him cold and alone and miserable, the way he deserves to be for his hateful life. His current wife has nothing of her own…no education, no way to support herself without him. She was a husband collector, herself. And he’s a dentist. For small town folk, that means $ signs. He always relished being a big fish in a small pond. Anyway, the fact that you said seeing someone die doesn’t make you feel better…that resonated with me b/c I imagine that to be the exact case when my resilient, but evil father dies. I will feel like nothing was solved. Nothing resolved. Nothing more lost and nothing more gained. I’m just waiting for that phone call from my older brother. My father said to my brother and me when we were young that he didn’t want to have a funeral when he died, that he wanted NO TEARS and no good byes. Very John Wayne of him. I think he flattered himself. So on the one hand, I don’t want to cry for such a person. But I also don’t want to comply with his wishes. Actually, I really wish I could just slap him one very good time in the face, but given the opportunity, I would probably just look at his withering, barely recognizable body and just gawk before turning and leaving him there, a pale memory of the stalwart presence he used to be. Anyway, just writing to let you know I really enjoyed the read this morning. I don’t always get to slow down to read your posts but when I do, I really enjoy them! Great job, girl! 🙂

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