10k hours and 10k memories

The black, curly, windshield lashes of my eyes-wiping tears away

Each and every time I drove past my uncles street for months I could never hold it in

Triggered-

Some years ago, I wrote one of my favorite pieces called “Life’s Nutrients” it was inspired by a visit to my uncles place and his showing my dad and I around his blossoming garden-full of peppers and melons. Okra and strawberries. Tomatoes and berries. He nurtured and grew in his back yard every year. He’d always share not only with us but also with his neighbors.

Every time I saw him I would always laugh, eat and enjoy good conversation. That day was one of my favorite visits to his home and there were many.

My dad always tells the story about when my siblings and I were all very young. Like babies. there was a very bad blizzard but we needed milk and diapers;

My uncle walked I think like 30 minutes each way there and back in the blizzard to get what we needed

I love this story because it’s just a snapshot memory of the essence of the sort of person he was

Last year, end of May, his life ended

In his home

A home he’s lived in for over 25 years

A home I always admired the ceilings in because they had sparkly spikes and it was mesmerizing

A home I ate so many plantain, Yam and stew in

A home my dad found shelter and safety in

On many occasions

I know what it’s like to lose

To miss someone who isn’t coming back

Last year I experienced what it felt like to lose someone so very close

Feels like just yesterday chilling in his house in his Gucci sweatshirt and sweats and slippers cracking jokes about the current president

That was the last day I saw him

I remember my uncle used to alter a lot of my clothes and for free

Always for free

He teared up and thanked me in Twi, the day I gave him a thank you card when I picked up my things

I thought it was the least I could do

He taught me so much about how important it is to be grateful

And to be a good person

One of integrity

Last year, some of my closest friends organized some time

To spend with a deeply grieving me

I was so sad

Buried in grief

So unlike myself

And they surrounded me in love

We never talked about why we were all there that day

And we didn’t need to

We danced and laughed

I still wish I had the appetite to eat all that seafood

We shared drinks

And we just plugged into the moment

That helped launch me out of the pits

And it meant a lot to me that I knew people

Who chose to spend their time on me

Time we will never get back

It’s urgent to me

To spend time

Not just physical time

minimum time

required time

obligated time

scheduled time

planned time

but intentional and quality time

with people I love

It means the most to me

Because we don’t know what will happen

in any other moment than the moment that we are in

Anything can happen

So I don’t take it for granted

Often, I reflect on my journey

journey of self love, self care, healing, growth and awareness

and sometimes I feel like the only one

The only one who can feel the changes

The only one who felt the bandages fall away

The only one who can see the scars

The only one who experienced such a great pain

The only one doing it on her own

The only one who’ll even acknowledge the progress and growth at all

Life gets really hard

Sometimes we will grow weary

But I’ve grown to keep love and only love near me

The thing about grief is that it never ends really

You just shift through cycles

It just becomes a part of you

So please excuse me when I’m in a bad mood

And I can’t quite explain it

And please, show me love even when it’s not my birthday

Cause I see things differently

If you’re important

I need you to feel special and loved

Especially by me

I thought my uncle would live forever

He survived so much already

But man, anything can happen!

And I don’t wanna die all alone

This world is so cruel

So take the time to say your grace

Take the time to hug your friends

Take the time

Until there’s no more time left

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