A Dedication to My Diddy

I’ve been owned by a fat, black cat named Diddy for 13 years and I love him very much but I’m saddened by the fact that he’s getting older. Because that means he won’t be a part of my life anymore and it hurts acknowledging that. I wished that our fur babies had the longevity of us humans but that’s not the way Mother Nature created the world. So I’m going to enjoy my time with him and love him. My old man🐈‍⬛🐈‍⬛🐈‍⬛🐈‍⬛

Reclaiming Joy in Your Life

The Sociological Imagination

I majored in sociology in college because it made sense after reading the first paragraph of the textbook I had been assigned. I had been a sociologist my entire life but didn’t know it.

When I was a little girl, I used to go to work with my mother during summer vacations and we would take public transportation. I always noticed that everyone would go through the same exact turnstile when we got to the train station, although it would be several that would be empty. That never made any sense to me because why stand in line when it was another turnstile available? Ugh humans but despite of their flaws, humanity is utterly fascinating to me.

Due to sociology, the social media, and aging, unfortunately I’m noticing that people are pathologically unhappy and it makes me sad. Because life is so short and it’s precious. Everyday you wake up is a blessing and a new opportunity to start over again. Who wants to wake up mad and miserable all the time? Not me.

Childhood memories

For this new year, I’m hoping that everyone claims their right to happiness and joy. I would have thought that living through a pandemic would have awakened some people but it hasn’t. Be happy and love the people in your life. Love them with all your heart and soul. Because at times, life can be rough as hell and you never know when the grim reaper will be knocking on your door. Reclaim your life from misery and have a grand old life.

Diddy the Fat Black Kitty

My buddy

Almost 13 years ago, an eight week old black kitten came into my life. He didn’t have a name for several weeks and then my eldest daughter named him Diddy. Because he loves the spotlight and women.

Diddy is a naughty critter. Fuck it, he’s bad as hell and although he is considered a senior cat, he still be running around starting shit. Yowling like a damn fool, doing the crab walk although he’s 17 pounds, and taking off running like the hounds of hell are chasing his bad ass. But I wouldn’t have him any other way.

During the almost 13 years he’s been a part of my life, we have had many adventures. When I moved to Minneapolis eight years ago, he rode in a carrier on my lap. We have lived like Gypsies over the years and not one time have I thought about leaving him behind. Well except one. I was going to be living with my sister friend Trena when I moved to Minneapolis and I didn’t know if she was going to welcome Diddy so I started looking for a no kill shelter but when I talked to her, she told me that he was welcomed too. My boo is an ancestor now and I wish she was here so I could tell her how wonderful she was for allowing me to bring my critter with me.

I got Diddy from my girl Angela. Her cat Silver had a set of kittens who were born May 17, 2009 and when they got old enough, they would be given to loving homes. And I put my bid in because at the time, I was living in an apartment complex with a mice problem. Those mice were some bold fuckers too. Straight squeaking and partying when the lights were turned off at night.

He became a part of my family officially on August 1, 2009. I went to her home to pick him up and he was laying in a box with his sisters. His mama was laying on Angie’s bed looking at me anxiously because she knew I was coming for one of her babies. I rubbed and comforted her, telling her that he would be loved and would always have a home. For almost 13 years, I’ve kept my promise to Silver because as long as I have a home, Diddy will always be there.

We have gotten old together, Diddy and I. I’m 51 and he’s 64 in human years and sometimes, we be fussing and fighting with each other. And then we be chilling out on the bed. He’s my booga cat, my fleabag. I know that cats don’t live as long as humans but the little girl that is in me wants him to be the world’s oldest living cat because I’m not ready to let him go. But as long as he’s here, he’s going to be loved and cherished.

Me and my fleabag

Merry Christmas🎄🎄🎄🎄

Merry Xmas Y’all💋💋💋

I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas to everyone but in particular to everyone who has suffered the loss of loved one this year or previously. The holidays are rough for those who are grieving and it’s hard pretending to be happy when you’re not.

While on Facebook, my memory feed popped up and I saw a picture of my brother Larry who died last year. The picture was taken seven years ago and he looked so happy and I was so happy to see him. We ate good, drank good, and had a marvelous time commiserating with my children. And now he’s gone and all I have left is memories and it’s so hard for me to believe that he’s gone.

There are many like me who are experiencing this sense of loss, loneliness and confusion during what is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year. So get some rest and chill out my fellow grievers. Don’t let anyone work your nerves. Brighter days are coming.

Memories, Memories, Memories

I’m sure that any folks who come across my blog and read my work is probably thinking “Man she morbid as hell!” And I don’t mean to be but so much has happened to me in such a short time. Loss of loved ones, health issues, all kinds of shit. But someway, somehow, I manage to persevere. The way I go about it might be puzzling to some but it makes perfect sense to me.

American culture shames people for having emotions outside of being constantly happy all the time. Even through times of immense grief, people are expected to put on their best faces and pretend that they aren’t hurting in order to not offend anyone. How selfish and inane is that mentality. How cruel and heartless. And utterly American.

So as I dwell in the valley of the emotion called grief, I’ve decided that the best way to deal with it is facing it squarely in the face. I look at pictures of my lost ones, laughing on some days and on other days crying. But I have to see their faces so I refuse to stop.

I’ve started a collection of pictures on my Facebook page called “Blackness Personified” and it’s filled with pictures of Black people from various decades. Some of the pictures are of celebrities and some of the pictures of regular Black folks. I chose those pictures because they reminded me of simpler times, when I was a little girl and my family was still alive.

I reread books that I read when I was a much younger woman and marvel at how much I’ve grown as an individual. Certain passages in those books I didn’t get in 1989 I understand totally now in 2021.

I talk to my ancestors too. I’m not a religious person. I’m downright heathenish for the most part but I do believe in the power of the ancestors and that they watch over us from wherever they happen to be.

I talk about them constantly because I have to keep them alive, if not in body but spirit because if I don’t, they will truly be dead and I cannot face that. It’s enough that I will never be able to see them again in the physical but to pretend that they never existed just because they died is beyond cruel: it’s sick.

So I will continue to tell their stories. Like the time my mother and I beat up my older brother because he was drunk and ignorant and we had to let him know the true power of Black Girl Magic by whupping on that ass. My memories is all I have left of them and I will continue to tell their stories. And when I become an ancestor, my children will do the same for me. Or I will haunt their asses.

In Honor of Boogie Woogie – My First Cat

A black cat

The first man who broke my heart was a black cat named Boogie Woogie. He became my cat in February of 1980 and he was my first pet.

Back in the 70s and 80s, the schools in Chicago stayed on strike and it was during one of these strikes that Boogie came into my life. It was a snowy day and I was outside playing in the snow with my friends Rosalyn and Derrick when we saw a man walking down the block.

He was a tall, dark skinned Black man wearing a black wool trench coat, a black fedora hat on his head, and a black cat wrapped around his neck (I swear I’m not lying). Derrick asked the gentleman,”Can this little girl have that cat? She loves cats and need one because her house has a mouse.” And we did. The fucker had chewed up one of my dolls.

The gentleman took the cat off his neck and gave him to me and strode off down the street, never to be seen again. I took my new cat into the house and fed him some lunch meat and when my mother came home from work, she was greeted by the sight of me laying down on the couch with my new pet that I christened Boogie Woogie. Can’t remember why I gave him that name but he was Boogie Woogie for then on.

Boogie was in my life for just two short years but during those two years, he became my little buddy. He would walk me to school and would be waiting on the porch when I got home. He slept with me nightly under the covers and would sit next to me when I read to him.

My mama wasn’t a cat person but she tolerated him and would toss him the innards of the whole chicken she cooked every Sunday. I can see them right now with him waiting patiently to get his weekly treat and her rolling her eyes but still feeding him.

He was an outdoor male cat who wasn’t neutered so sometimes he wandered off for weeks but he always came back to me. But one day he didn’t and I never saw Boogie again. For years, I dreamed about him and in those dreams, he came home and jumped into my bed purring like crazy because he missed me too.

During the years since Boogie left, I’ve had many cats and currently have one, a bad ass cat named Diddy but Boogie will always have a special corner in my heart. My first pet. My buddy. And if there’s a place where souls go after they cross over, I’ll see my Boogie Woogie again when it’s my time.

Those two years he was in my life were very special and he made a little Black girl happy although his absence brought pain. I will cherish those two years forever and will always remember a black cat named Boogie Woogie.

Self Love & Why It’s So Important to Black Women

All The Time

It’s time sisters. It’s time to love yourselves and stop worrying about men who wouldn’t piss on you if you were on fire. The same group of men who spend their days and nights on the social media defaming your character and calling you bald headed, ugly, Black ass bitches. I know it’s hard living in a culture that hates you because you were born Black and female but take this advice from a middle age Black woman: fuck them.

Love yourselves and your children if you have some. Concentrate on making your lives better and easier. Make some money and don’t be dependent on anyone because financial dependence is dangerous for women. Go to school, get a degree or a trade. Go to brunch with your friends, eat good and straight get fucked up in the words of DJ Quik.

Travel the world and go to all the places that you have wanted to explore since you were a child. All the places you read about, watched on television and films.

And love yourselves. Love yourselves with all the heat and passion in your souls. Some folks think that self love is selfish, especially for Black women because Black women are considered the mules of the universe but it’s nothing selfish about loving yourselves ladies. Because if no one in the world loves you, you have yourselves and never forget that❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Love Yourselves Boos💋💋💋💋💋

A Rough Season

This summer was supposed to have been a great one but unfortunately, I lost two childhood friends that I loved like sisters in two months. Most people lose contact with their childhood friends as they get older but I have been fortunate that I’m still in contact with the majority.

I spent my teens, 20s, 30s, and 40s with these ladies and was hoping that we would grow old together, sitting on the porch with our canes cussing folks out but it wasn’t meant to be. But as I write this, I’m sitting here smiling through my tears, grateful that I had the privilege of knowing them at all.

So many sisters complain about the lack of friendship amongst Black women but I was truly blessed to have known these ladies. I hope that the ancestors greeted Genial and Mikki with love and I promise to keep them alive with my memories. Because what memories they were❤️❤️❤️❤️

The Art of Aging as a Woman

Being a woman ain’t no cakewalk at all, especially in a society that deems a woman old and washed up at the age of 30. But someway, somehow I have managed to survive turning 50 years old.

I was depressed in the months leading up to my birthday. I was grieving over the loss of my brother, coping with the pandemic, and getting diagnosed with epilepsy. I cried literally every day from February to December. But that isn’t healthy at all so I managed to find some ways to keep me calm.

I started watching the cartoons of my childhood. In January, Me TV started showing episodes of Popeye, Tom and Jerry, and Bugs Bunny and Friends every Saturday morning and I haven’t missed an episode. Watching those cartoons brings me so much joy because they bring back memories of the little girl whose biggest issue was whether she should eat a bowl of cereal for breakfast or nag her mother into making her some scrambled eggs.

I also started creating Tiktok videos featuring me singing (howling) along to some of my favorite music. Music that makes my soul sing and body move. I cackle madly when I watch the videos, knowing that singing is not a talent of mine at all but it’s good seeing the happiness in my eyes.

And most importantly, I decided to embrace my age. So many people I know and loved didn’t make it to age 50. So I will be strutting around like I’m the baddest bitch in America. Yes I’m fat, my hair is turning gray, and I have some funky ass dark circles under my eyes that won’t disappear but I’m still here. And proud as fuck about it. So ladies, embrace becoming a Crone and stop giving a fuck about the opinions of others, in particular, the opinions of men. It is in their best interests to keep women insecure and filled with self loathing, groveling for crumbs. Fuck that dumb shit girlies. Live your according to the standards that you have set up for yourself and keep rising to the top.

The Howler

Memories

In the months since my brother’s death, my emotions have been a kaleidoscope, ranging from the deepest of grief to fear.  My mother gave birth to three children and I am the only one left. That’s real deep isn’t it? I have no one to grieve with: most people don’t know how to deal with emotions, particularly the emotions that come with death and at times, I have felt so alone. Even with being a mother who has children living in her house.

Back in December, I learned that my brother was missing. Then he was in the hospital and then put in a nursing home. In January, I learned that he was dying and on February 10, 2020, he crossed over. Just like that. That quickly, that quietly, and with that, my brother became an ancestor.

Randy, my second oldest brother died February 7, 1994 and February 10, 2020, Larry died. Our mother died back in December of 2006 and now it’s just me. Notice I did not mention a father and I will not. At this point, it doesn’t matter but many would disagree.

My little family is gone and all I have is memories and pictures.  Like the time Larry came over drunk and rowdy and my mother and I beat his ass. Or the time Randy had some Sea-Monkeys and I poured a cup of sugar in the fish bowl to see what would happened (they died naturally and he was mad as hell). Or memories of going to work with my mother during school breaks. Memories that have made an indention on my brain that I cling to. The memories that keep my people alive in spirit if not in body.

Currently, the world is experiencing a pandemic and for 2 ½ months, Chicago was under quarantine. During that time, I had nothing to do but think and grieve. And that it is what I am currently doing now and will continue to do so. Only a demon will pretend to be blowing sunshine out of their asses when deep down in their heart, they are hurting and I’m not a demon. Will I be showing my entire ass, no, but if you see me lost in thought, smiling or teary eyed, I am thinking about my people.