(NOTE: I'll post a more funny blog in a bit. This is just one last thing I want to get off my chest.)
I wanted to come home in time.
I never understood why my father dragged us all over the place. He said it was for his "career" but when you make a "career" out of getting fired from one retail job after another, it hardly seems worth six years of travel.
Oh sure, I learned alot, and the people I saw back then turned me into who I am right now, and I don't think I could be a better person without those experiences. In fact, I've made peace with it all. I have a reminder every day that it all worked out for the best.
But really, I miss you. I'll never forget that day in September of 1997 when Mama came downstairs with the news. I never understood the phrase "you can't go home again" until that moment.
Every December when we lived back home, Mama would bake a ton of sweet potato pies, and then we'd drive up to see you. Naomi would be in the kitchen, waiting with a kiss. And sometimes you'd call around, and Aunt Cleotha, Uncle Richard, everybody, everybody would come over. We'd all have pie, and there was talking and laughter. Always, it felt like a party. I still remember losing a few skin layers on the plastic covered sofa, when I tried to get up to greet someone and forgot the heat was on. The crinkling of the thick, heavy photo albums with all the glued in photos of Native American relatives I still haven't met yet. This visit was always the signal to me that Christmas really was coming soon.
But we don't have Decembers like that anymore.
All of you are gone now, except for Pam, she lives in the city. But I guess you knew that already.
And your son is doing alright with his girlfriend. You'd be proud of him. He's been clean for 16 years next month, and he's getting into motivational speaking. A few years back, he was part of a rally, to bring benefits and safer working conditions to a ton of people in California. He and Mama long ago reconciled their issues with all the times he was absent when she was growing up, so they're thick as thieves now. Best friends.
Your adopted daughter last I heard was up north, but I haven't seen her in ages.
Every December now, I look over to Mama, and I say "Hey! Let's hurry and bake those pies for..." and I remember you're gone. I shake my head, say "never mind" and then cheerfully request sweets anyways.... probably not a GOOD idea for my health, since everyone down here is afraid of diabetes and the obesity monster... but whatever, Mama's a good cook and I'll work it off.
I have blood, but we all live far away. The family I have up here, I adopted. And I want to talk to you about them, but I'll get to that in a bit.
Anyway, I'm not typing this out to talk about Christmas. It's 7 weeks away after all. I'm just trying an experiment. They say that people can see from the other side, and that if there is a Heaven, it's likely past the Milky Way, and not in the clouds as we once thought. But we've chucked more than a few satellites up there, so if you can't see this now, hang tight. NASA will fix it shortly.
I'm typing to let you know... we did it.
We have a man in office, who is Black, White, and just became a two term president.
A two term, ethnic president.
Want to know the best part?
WHITE people voted him in!! :D
No really. They did!
... I know, RIGHT????
They voted not because he's Black, they voted because they liked his platform. He could have been blue, green, polka-dotted, and they would have voted for him anyways!
We finally live in that world Dr. King talked about in Alabama. That world where little Black kids and Little White kids could play together? Yeah, that's actually today. You've only been gone since 1997, so you already saw all the integration as it happened... but a TWO TERM BLACK PRESIDENT, OMG right???
I have White friends who are as good to me as family now. (My adopted kin.) They don't even notice I'm Mixed. They don't seem to care much at all about it, just as long as I'm still .. well I guess the word is.. me. Nobody seems to care if they catch me hanging out with them either. It's no longer a Life Magazine story, it's just called "Saturday" now. (Or Monday or Tuesday, ect.) So I'm ok.
There are still some places that hold racist riots, but those people are called "idiots" now. Nobody seems to pay heed to their words anymore.
...We even have Black Disney Princes and Princesses now.... no REALLY, we do! We had a Chinese Princess after you died, too. They're not novelties, and nobody was in Blackface, it's for real. Like a normal Disney movie, just with different paint!
All that marching you did, the rallies, it all paid off. We're all the same, and it seems like everyone is evolving.
We're all friends now, and we have that world that you wanted to see.
We're doing ok now.
Thanks, Great Grandpa.