This is not a “woe is me” or sympathy post. Writing is therapy for me as it helps me get things out of and off of me. For the most part, I’m easy-going, happy, and optimistic. But I have to admit that lately I’ve been a bit overwhelmed and have had to intentionally keep my mind from wondering to a “why me” mindset. I have not talked about this publicly but back in July I found out I have some health issues that will require surgery. I was referred to a specialist and got a scheduled surgery date of August 28th. On the morning of August 13th I got calls from several family members telling me to hurry and get to my father’s house as my aunt (his sister) was not able to wake him up. I rushed to his house and by the time I got there, the ambulance was already there. When I walked in, and my aunt slowly shook her head with tears in her eyes, I already knew what that meant. My father had died in his sleep. I couldn’t believe it. I knew he was sick but I was not prepared for him to die so soon. We were actually supposed to be leaving that morning to go on a road trip. But when I had gotten my surgery date, I told him we needed to move the trip. The reason for moving it was because I had a lot of running around and preparation to do before surgery. After the surgery I wouldn’t be able to do much for at least 6 weeks. Plus, my daughter’s first day of school would be August 30th and we still needed to go school shopping. If I hadn’t moved the trip, my daughter and I would have arrived that morning to pick him up and possibly would have found him dead. That would have been traumatizing for my daughter so I was actually glad that we had moved it. I was then filled with regret for not taking the trip sooner. I was filled with regret for not taking our family pictures that he’d been pressing me about. I kept putting things off because I assumed we had more time. There were so many things my daughter and I was supposed to do with my father and it all hit me that none of that would be possible now that he was gone. If you’ve read my book or follow me on social media, you know I’ve been pretty open about my life and the fact that my father and I did not have the greatest relationship. In my early years, he was the BEST thing that ever happened to me lol. I loved when he came to visit; I would be anxious all day in school knowing I would see him after school. After my mother died when I was 10, I really got to see him a lot. I went to his house on the weekends and we went to the movies, the zoo, the aquarium; we were always doing something. Fast forward to age 15… I had to live with him because my aunt could no longer handle me. My father had a drinking problem and he was very verbally abusive. It caused me to have very low self-esteem that carried over well into adult-hood. Fast forward to years later… I eventually forgave him and our relationship had gotten so much better. These past few months were the best they’ve ever been. My daughter and I had downloaded Google Duo on his phone so we’d been video chatting him. We talked often, laughed, etc. I felt like we were friends. And he was sooo looking forward to our trip. He had even gone out and bought a new suitcase and some new clothes. And then all of a sudden he was gone. Just as things were getting GOOD. The thing I’m most thankful for, though, is the fact that our latter days were better than our former days. That was my prayer and it was answered.
On August 23rd, two days before my father’s funeral, I got a call that my oldest brother may have been found dead. I was in the middle of planning my father’s funeral (which I had to rush because of my upcoming surgery) and I honestly couldn’t handle the news of my brother. So, I pushed the news of my brother to the back of my mind. I told myself, “I’m not going to think about this right now. It may not be him. I will worry about this when he is identified.” Well, the next day, I got the call that it was in fact my brother. Again, I pushed it to the back of my mind as my father’s funeral was the next morning. It was at the repast after the funeral that it hit me that my brother is GONE. While my father’s funeral was closure for many people, it was just the beginning for me as reality was setting in that he is gone and now I have to bury my brother. Thankfully, my sisters took over planning my brother’s service. After planning my father’s funeral and with my surgery scheduled for that upcoming Saturday, I did not have the mental, physical, or financial capacity for anything else. (Oh and at the last minute, my surgery was postponed smh) For days, I was literally STUCK. I would sit and stare into space. I honestly could not put into words what I was feeling. I just know it was a mixture of sadness, anger, and confusion. I could not believe this was my reality.
My brother had no life insurance so my siblings and I had to pool our money and my sisters ultimately decided on cremation. I wasn’t happy about it but there wasn’t much we could do. As I’m writing this, I’m realizing its just SO MUCH more to this but I’d be writing forever. Long story short, my sisters ended up doing something for my brother and left me out. That pain was worse than the pain of losing him. My oldest sister, who is 20 years older, disowned me as a sister years ago. My mother had her when she was 15 and she had me at 35 so our experiences with our mother were VERY different. Back then, my mother had chosen the streets over being a mother but by the time she had me, she had gotten her life together. To me, she was the best Mommy in the world. To this very day, my sister takes her anger for my mother out on me. She knew how close me and my brother were and the fact that she left me out was intentional.
Between losing my father and brother and having to deal with family members on both sides, I’m exhausted. I don’t know if I’ve ever felt more alone. The people who all loved me the most and would usually be here for me in times like this are all gone- My mother, my Aunt Tricia who raised me after my mother died, my stepfather, and now my father and brother are gone. And let me tell you, my brother loved himself some ME. He was my protector, my personal comedian, my tickler… he would tickle me until I was in tears lol. He never had kids so I was his baby. I just can’t believe my brother is actually GONE. And he died on the same date my other brother was killed years ago, August 23rd. 10 days after my father. Again, this is not a “woe is me” post. But this hurts. It all hurts. I’m still waiting on my new surgery date as I type this smh. I’m just ready to get it over with. But at the same time, I’m glad that I’m not dealing with all this and trying to recover from surgery at the same time. So I suppose it’s better this way. If you’ve read this to the end, thanks for letting me vent. If you remember, say a prayer for me and my daughter the next time you pray. Thanks.