Public speaking is certainly not my cup of ginger tea, but my conclusion? “I must overcome this giant!”
Let’s face it. How will I commit myself to read my future book before my fans, if I keep on using the word “but” whenever I have a chance to express myself in public?
Although, it’s really not my fault. Sometimes, my tongue feels more comfortable when my lips remain sealed, even among friends.
So, to defy this gigantic monster, guess what I did Saturday during my paralegal club meeting?
When the professor asked, “Who would like to be the North Campus President?”
“Well!” I reasoned with a “but” excuse. I thought it best to learn how to crawl first, before I start walking. I wouldn’t want to fall and bust my lips on my first attempt.
Yes, you guessed right. I did not raised my hands.
Turned out, I had a few “but” remaining inside my excuse box. So I ignored the call for the Vice President for both North and South Campus.
But, guess what? I finally raised my hands for the South campus secretary! Ho-ray!!!
But, do you know who beat me to it?
One of my daughter’s friend, who grew up in MY neighborhood, EATING MY FOOD. In fact, she calls me Tatie, which mean aunt, I considered her as my nice.
Wow! That gives a whole new definition of the term, “keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.” Yap!
Can you believe I contributed to her success! All along, I was pulling her shirt while whispering to her:”vote, vote!” But, confidently, we both raised our hands together, for the same position. Hilarious!
Of course I was proud of her!
But, loosing turned out to be my force of motivation. Like a form of training.
So when I heard the next: “Who would like to vote for…?”
My box of “but” was suddenly empty. I found myself raising my hand so high, I almost stood up. Because, all my fears had just flown away.
Yes, I was elected to be one of the officers of the Paralegal Eagles. I”m the Student Governing Rep.!
To keep us motivated, our professor told us “All you have to do is show up!” Which, I have no problem doing.
But, when I finally grabbed my box of ‘but” which I presumed was empty, there I discovered one more ‘BUT” was stuck inside of it.
So I had to swallow my saliva before I read “Algebra class!”
“Dawn it!” I screamed.
“This class still exist?”
What would you do if you were among the passengers who were ready to take off for a nine hours flight, but you heard a sudden loud “BOOM,” from the plane?
Yes, you heard me right! The plane was practically still on the ground when my unbelievable strange daughter heard that boom, and do you know what she did?
“NOTHING!” She just said:
“Ohoh! C’est quoi ça?” Meaning: “What was that?”
So I asked her, “Since the plane was still on the ground, did you take off RUNING FOR YOUR LIFE?”
“No. “they announced it was something to do with the “PLANE MOTOR.” Therefore we were told to remain seated until they “FIXED IT.
So, let me get that straight. “You were in a plane to Portugal, and before it even took off, it abruptly stopped. EVERYONE PANICKED. And even after you heard it was the motor malfunctioned, you were crazy enough to sit there and wait, for them to fix it, with the hope you will travel ALL NIGHT in the same plane.”
“Yeah! But they had the nerve to tell us “The damage was too major, requiring a special order from Portugal.”
“They had the nerve, while you lacked the sense. You both were a perfect match.” I told her.
“Well Mom, that happens sometimes, But I trust they know what they are doing.”
Do you know my daughter had the nerve to call the same air plane company by 6:00 A.M the following morning, to find out when “THE SAME PLANE WAS TAKING OFF?”
WARNING: This is how your children will turn out if you marry an aeronautic engineer. SO BEWARE!
My ex-husband was still attending Northrop University when our daughter was born. I recalled nearly every weekend, we would drive near the LA airport, parked the car so near, where we could practically smell the planes as they landed, in order for him to identify the models number, write down all the details for his school assignment. Back then I feared my daughter would turned out to be deaf, instead she turned out to be immune to plane explosion.
So after she made about a dozen calls, they finally confirmed, “The flight had been cancelled!”
Thank God, my prayers and my whole day fasting were answered. For once, God heard my emergency call.
But after a couple hours, I heard “Let’s go Mom.”
“Let’s go where?”
“To the airport.”
“Are YOU CRAZY?”
“Don’t worry, travelling with another company.” She answered calmly. The downfall, I will just have to take three planes instead of one.
Was I relieved. Of course, that was before I yelled, “THREE PLANES, are you crazy??????”
Why not? Daddy used to do it all the time!
I had such a horrible day yesterday, I seriously wanted to end my life. So I walked miles away near the beach to drawn myself. But after I tasted the first wave of salty water I reasoned: “There has to be a more glorious way to die.” I may wish to die, but I certainly don’t want to look like a swollen corpse for my viewing!
So I decided to relax my body on the sand while all along thinking on my next step. Maybe I should attempt to strangle myself? Then I imagined my tongue sticking out, with my eyes bulging out. Oops! That’s not a pretty site either!
Ok. About if I were to drink some household cleaning products? Between Clorox and ammonia, they should do the job! That was before I realized how strong their smell. Don’t you think so? Besides, they can’t possibly taste that great either! And to top it all, my corpse would become a toxic waste, and I certainly don’t want to contaminate the earth. Hey! Mother earth does not deserve that, OK!
About if I ran in front of a large truck? Then my remains would have to be scraped off the street. About if a chunk of my face were left behind? My children would probably be heartbroken, so it might be a waste of energy since they’ll be forced to identify me?
Lastly, I could have a Med-shake, from a mixture of Tylenol, Aspirin, and Nightquill. Then I thought, “About if I don’t really die? Then I would risk being rushed to the hospital, with a nurse ripping a tube down my nose, in order to drain the nasty mixture from my stomach. YOK! I don’t want to feel any pain before I die!
My mind was so exhausted, I needed to rest. So I thought, why not think about this tomorrow? Then it dawns on me: “Why not address my maker?” He should be able to help me out, don’t you think? I’m told creation is His specialty, so He may even invent a whole new death trap for me.
“Ok God, I’m laying down here feeling drained and hopeless. You can either give me a brilliant idea how to end my life, or send the angels of death to pick me up. I know I really don’t need to tell You the reason why I want to end my life today because you are a nosy God anyway. so You already know the deal.”
A couple hours later, as if I wasn’t already having a horrible day, my daughter came home with the mindset to make me wish I was truly dead.
“You have not been talking Mom, and I want to know your plan? “Mom, you have to talk to me, you’re not shutting up on me… “This is not good for you, you must express yourself! Blablabla!”
All along I could not stop asking God: “Are you for real? This is the best death trap you can think of?”
I don’t know if you’ve heard, “He may not answers when you expect Him to, but “He’s always on time.” Just when I thought I would shut up, and let my daughter drain the last string of life from me. She repeated:
“No Mom. You are not shutting down on me!” What is going on?” So I yelled:
“I FREAKING DON’T –WANT-TO – LIVE-ANYMORE, so leave me alone!”
“Really!” She answered. “So you think you are the only one who feels this way? Sometimes I wish I was dead myself!”
I was so shocked, I just starred at her. Then I thought: “Is this child crazy? After I sacrificed my life, worked like a maniac to provide for her. She went to one of the best university; how could she possibly wish her death, when she’s only twenty-four?” I better stay alive to make sure she’s kidding me!”
So, after a long walk, I went back to bed. Suddenly I remembered seeing a small parcel by the door. When I noted it was for me, I was thrilled. “Oh my God! I don’t want to die before I read the “Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market 2016!”
The moral to this story? “Never give up! And when you think you have it bad, take a good look around you!”
Two of my siblings are on their way to visit Papy, (our Father) since he hasn’t been well. The fact is, while I’m looking forward to seeing them, I doubt their feeling are reciprocal toward me.
Yap, you heard me right! Last I heard, I’m considered like an atheist, and a member of Babylon the great, and lastly one of Satan’s offspring.
Unfortunately for me, according to the Jehovah’s Witness teaching, my soul is now doomed for the pending destruction, with all the other unbelievers.
Why? After I was suffocated with “THEIR VERSION OF THE TRUTH,” I had enough sense to say “Hell no!” Thankfully, afterward I took off running at the speed of lightning when I decided no religious organization will further determine my eternal destination. And because of this fact, my siblings were provided with an allergic prescription, just for our future encounters.
The last time my” Holy” siblings and I had a loving conversation was back in 1988, prior to the three elders visit, from the Jehovah Witness organization. I had just walked in from a prayer meeting when I saw them walking toward my front door. They held a manila folder, which apparently kept a record of my spiritual encounter during my insane years with their organization.
“We’ve been informed that you are currently visiting other denominations, the churches from Babylon the great, is it true?”
“Yes, your honor it is!”
“Do you understand this action on your part is ground for reproof? So do you intend to stop this venture?”
“No Sir. In fact “My soul is rejoicing in the Lord, and as long as they have not asked me to sacrifice my soul to Satan, or to join your future master in Hell, I see no reason to stop joining their prayer group.”
“In this case, you must renounce your title as a “Jehovah’s Witness.”
“My pleasure your honor!”
“You must write a letter with the following… request, so we in turn will submit it to our headquarter in New York.”
“My pleasure Sir!”
What I was instructed to write: “As of today, I no longer wish to be part of Jehovah’s organization.”
What I wrote: “It has come to my understanding, for the past four years, I have been part of Satan’s organization here on earth. So today I’m boldly renouncing my association with the Jehovah Witness organization. Instead, I’m joining the true army of the Living God Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth!” Yes, I still hold to the fact that Jesus Christ died for my sin, and yes He is my Lord and Savior. Furthermore, I believe in the baptism and the gifts of the Holy Spirit, contrary to the teachings of your organization. I believe in the fervent prayers of the body of Christ, and those I once called “The unbelievers,” are now my beloved brothers and sisters in Christ.”
After the elders read my letter, the expression on their face was by far one of the most memorable event of my life.
As they stood up together, they pointed their hands toward me, to recite what they believed to be their final decree upon my spiritual walk:
They said: “Whatsoever we bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoe…”
Unfortunately for them, all along I was negotiating with the following thoughts:
- Remember even Jesus had tantrum?
- So you think you only inherited your civilized paternal side…?
- Grandma Do, would season this nonsense with some lemon and hot pepper for a feast, and top it with some Rhum!
- Finally I said: “ I know you’ve asked us to die in the flesh, but I’m not there yet, so please forgive me.”
“Child, only God is your judge! So, get those ignorant punk out of your house!”
“YOU PUNK – GET OUT- OF- MY – HOUSE!!!” I yelled.
I still recalled how my sister answered me that day:
“I have nothing in common with an unbeliever! Don’t bother to call our brother either!” I was honestly wounded by that. We grew up together, and I loved her very much. But, her arrogance prompted me to answer her!
“Ok. If you ever decide to knock on heaven’s door, I will make sure I drag the latter under your feet, so you can fall back on earth, where your freaking religion claim you’ll be spending eternity!
As unbelievable as it may sound, the Jehovah’s Witness teachings were not the only poison which almost summoned me to the hospice department. Now after years of exposure with other denomination, I’ve learned to set my own religious standard. I will boldly worship with other Christ believers, while I’m there, I will dance and praise God as if it was my last day breathing. But I hold firm this belief, my spiritual walk will remain a personal journey between me and my Lord, and no one will ever have the chance to deter me again.
Meanwhile, I intend to love genuinely, forgive abundantly, while I embrace the wisdom life has to offer. And, whenever I damn please, I will feast with a glass of red wine and laugh my heart to healing.
And while I dance my traditional Kompa, to the beat of the drums from my homeland; if anyone dare to question why? I will answer:
“Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn!”
THE GOOLD OLD DAYS!
Growing up in Haïti, my Father was not only a good provider, but he was a creature of habits as well. We faithfully went to the Drive in Theater every Friday night. We had Ice cream every Sunday. And, he always made sure we went to church every weekend. Unless, he was driving us to the Country Side.
No, I did not say he himself went to church, rather he made sure we were in church. Yes, we believed in God. I’m sure my Father did too. But, to be honest, God had nothing to do with our faithful church attendance back then.
Of course, we greeted him with the sign of the cross, once we arrived at the Church! Don’t you think it would be disrespectful to walk inside a man’s house, and not even devote one second to say at least “Hello!”
For a fact, the most pressing reason why my sisters and I looked forward to Sunday Mass, was just so we can check out the latest fashion. Yes, we practically wore a new outfit every Sunday. For that purpose, we needed to keep up with the latest style. As for my brother? Well! I think he was pre-occupied conversing with God about all His gorgeous female creations!
So, let me share with you our typical conversation during ongoing Mass:
|My Older Sister||Me||My younger Sister||My Brother|
|“Look at that yellow dress to my right, center bench!”||“The one with the lace, or the belt? Because the lace one is mine for next Sunday!”||“Which one? Where? I don’t see anything!”||“Beautiful! She looks cultured, got to have her number!”|
|“Oh! You like the one with the lace? That’s pretty too!”||“Yeah! I can sew it with the blue fabric Papy brought me? Will wear my hair up!”||“Where? Which one? Don’t see anything!”||“OMG! Is it Angel day today? Look at that face? Truly made by God’s hands. Am dying here, DYING!|
|“Now, that’s a purse! Look at her matching shoes!”||“LOOK AT THE JEWELRY and the scarf! I bet you they are from Paris! Her mother own “La Trouvaille Boutique!”||“Don’t see anything! Oh! Talking about her? She’s in my school!”||“OMG! I’m in love! Wonder if her brother will give me a hard time?”|
|“Amen! While she kneels down. “Wow! He is cute!”||“Amen!” While I kneel down! “That ugly boy is staring at me, how freaky is that?”||“Amen!”
While she kneels down.” I wonder if the soup is ready at home!Oh! She’s in my school too!”
|“Amen!” While He kneels down. “Please Saint Altagrace, if you make her look at me, I won’t bug you till next Sunday!”|
|“It’s time for Communion let’s go! Take a good look at the dress for me ok?”||“Check out the front neckline, and any details as she walks by!”||“Is Thomas waiting for us outside? I’m hungry, hope we have some French bread!”||“OMG! She was right in front of me, she smells like fresh roses! But her brother was too close, couldn’t ask for her number!”|
|“So did you see that dress? Definitely my next Sundays outfit!”||“Oh my God, how gross? He asked me for my number!”||“His sister goes to my school, his the colonel son!”||“Who asked you for your number? How dare him?”|
So, at last while at the dinner table, while we’re sipping our traditional Sunday soup; if Papy were to ask us:
“What was the subject of the Mass today?”
“My older sister would answer: “About God’s infinite grace and providence!”
“My younger sister: “I think it was about the life of Saint Augustine, I was too hungry to listen.”
Me: “It was about God’s creations, all the beautiful jewelry, fabrics, flowers, and that ugly boy who winked at me.”
My brother: “Yes! His graceful beautiful providence left me charmed!”
My father was known to be a character. I always admired him for his ability to reason, his sense of humor and realism. Unlike the jealous and unreasonable fathers, who lived in our neighborhood, when it came to matters pertaining to boys and girls, my father was not shy in understanding. In fact, he had such a remarkable ease, all our friends were comfortable around him. Young and old were welcomed to our house after church, to enjoy his sense of humor, while we sat around the table for our Sunday soup.
“If a young man shows interest in you girls, you must invite him to your house, and introduce him to us. A young lady should never permit a young man to court her before he meets her parents; he may fail to show her due respect.”
Of course, my step mom thought differently. “Boys should not be welcomed till the girls are much older!”
“What are you talking about?” My father would answer her. “They are girls, and regardless, boys will flirt. I would rather they do it here!”
So I was fourteen when I received my first letter from an admirer. In fac,t I was home sick during that whole week, and honestly had no idea about the boyfriend and girlfriend world. I thought people just grow old and got married. But somehow, this boy from my class had fallen in love with me. Till this day I try to recollect what gesture I might have done, to draw his attention. Apparently, when he did not see me at school, he decided to write me a letter, which he gave to my younger sister.
The letter was a declaration of his passionate love for me. Looking back, I think he must have been one of King Solomon offsprings because his letter pretty much had the same verbiage as the “Song of Solomon.” The love languages displayed in the letter were like a foreign language to me of course. I recalled my older sister reading it while laughing her heart out. After the long love poem, he would ask me “If I could be his girlfriend?” Thank goodness I was wise enough to answer him: “Thank you for your letter, but I’m too young to have a boyfriend.”
Because my letter eventually fell off my sister’s notebook, so my Stepmother picks it up and asked her:
“What is this?
My younger sister said, “after I swallowed the cup of saliva swimming in mouth, I answered:
“I am asking you what is this?” And you are asking me, “What’s that?” I said “WHAT IS THIS?”
“It’s, it’s a letter to, to.” She swallowed another cup of saliva before she says, “To a boy!”
“Is that right! So we’re paying all that money to a private school, so you can learn how to write letters to boys, AT YOUR AGE?”
“This is not my letter Mom, it’s my sister’s letter.”
“Oh! So now you are a mailman who delivers letters to boys?”
Of course, my step Mom called me. But, any attempt to reason with her was of no use. Telling her ” I did not encourage the boy to write me,” was like pouring a cup of water in the ocean. It did not matter to her. Her logic: “Boys had no business writing me, I had no business answering them, and my sister certainly had no business carrying the letter. So she placed the letter on my father’s pillow for him to scorn us later.
Meanwhile, both of my sisters had diarrhea, and could not relax. I was peacefully taking a nap.
My older sister feared that my father would claim, “She was the one setting the bad example since she was older.”
My younger sister on the other hands, feared my father would say, “She was too young to follow our footsteps.”
My thought exactly: “I did not ask God to make me beautiful, and I certainly did not encourage the boy to write the whole freaking chapter from “The Song of Solomon,” so I had no ground to worry.”
Finally, after my father called me: “What is this I hear you are writing letters to boys?”
“Papy when you were a young man, and you wrote a letter to a young lady for the first time, did she encouraged you?”
“Papy answered “Absolutely not!”
“Exactly! So if I answered the boy, “ I’m too young to have a boyfriend! What did I do wrong?”
“Papy shook his head, then said: “Well done! Go back to your room.”
My Stepmother was furious. After she fussed and fussed: “You are not going to discipline her? She’s encouraging boys to write to her. “The girls should not have any boys showing interest in them at this age, so you are spoiling them!”
“I have four girls, for whom I’m spending my wealth to care for them, paying a chauffeur to drive them back and forth to a private school, so they can obtain the best education; though Am thankful to God they are not looking like a Rottweiler dog; if boys don’t start writing letters to them now, out of all men, I would be the most to be pitied!”
“Didn’t I tell you, will be worthwhile coming to church tonight – Guess who’s going to be there?”
“Who – Brother Bush?”
“Girl, you still have a crush on Brother Bush- I thought you were over him?”
“Over him? Where did you hear that from?”
“Oh! Speaking of the devil, here he comes with his daughter.”
“Who are you talking about?”
“Brother Crook, the one walking with that beautiful young girl. Wow! She’s a young lady now!”
“Who’s child is she? Her mamma used to come to our Church?”
“No girl, that’s Mother Blunt’s grand-daughter, brother Crook is her son.”
“Praise the Lord Sisters!”
“Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord!”
“God is good Sisters, He’s been raising me up higher and higher!”
“He sure is Good Mother Hill, He’s good all the time!!!”
“Sure is! See you in Church Sisters.”
“Yes, what was I saying again? Oh Yes – Haven’t you heard the story about the two sisters?”
“Girl, have you forgotten? I only been here for six Months.
“Brother Crook was sleeping with two sisters at the same time, girl. – With his bad luck ass, both of them got pregnant about the same time – OMG! It was the war from hell!”
“Are you serious? What Pastor had to say about that?”
“Girl, they were not church folks; back then, not even brother Crook was saved yet. Honestly, till this day I still wonder if he’s truly saved. Haven’t you noticed he only shows up here every blue moon? You think someone with his past history would be the first one waiting for the church door to be opened”
“But Sister, which one of the sisters he married?”
“Married? Honey he married another woman instead. For all I know, he’s probably cheating on her too! From what I heard, the older sister between the two, was a bitch, so she had an abortion.”
“Lord, have mercy! So the younger sister kept the baby.”
“Yap, that’s her daughter walking toward us, looks just like her Mamma. But she’s been raised by the older sister, who is her aunt, but she calls her Mom!”
“I don’t understand!”
“What don’t you understand? I heard the older one, had her younger sister killed, and stole her baby. Till this day brother Crook think the surviving child is the older sister’s daughter, when in fact, the girl’s mamma been dead.”
“Oh-My-God-! Are you for real? Oh Lorrr-D! Here comes Brother Bush!”
“You with your “Brother Bush!” Wow! He’s a Bush all right, with all that beard hanging all over his – “Praise the Lord Brother Bush!”
“Praise – The – Lord! Sisters. Now don’t you ladies look gorgeous tonight?”
“Thank you Brother Bush, LOL You’re here to see the Prophet too? LOLl”
“Wouldn’t miss her for the world, I hear she’s a powerful woman of God!”
“She’s powerful all right – “The chuck load is about to spill over, and all the dirt will be exposed tonight!”
“Is she really that good?”
“Child, that woman will shake off the broom, and leave the dirt for us to sweep ourselves, then mop the floor clean!”
“Praise- the- Lord! In this case I need a good sit, although they all probably taken by now. See you later Sisters!”
“Lol, Nice seeing you Brother Buuush! Lol”
“Woman, stop blushing over the brother, all we know he’s probably gay!”
“Gay? Don’t say that about my future husb.”
“Here they come now! Praise the Lord Brother Crook and Mother Blunt! – Who this beautiful young lady might be?”
“Praise the Lord “Sister Noisy and Sister In –Trai-ning! “Church about to start, we need a great sit, will talk another day!”
“That Mother Blunt sure is something! “Goodness – Sometimes I wonder if she’s really saved too!”