5 years ago I lost 60 pounds from juicing in about 2 months. Friends and family didn’t recognize me at the end. I had multiple health issues that literally dissipated in that short time. I’m on the same journey now. Since 2012 my weight has swung widely up and down, but in total I gained back about 40 pounds of what I originally lost. With age and stress the health issues I had returned with a vengeance and with new issues. I had to do something. So I’m back on the same journey that got me such great results before, and this time I’m trying to chronicle my steps along the way. This is outside my nature, as I like to post only after I’ve gotten to a drastic change, but in the end I know it will be more beneficial to those with these same issues, or who want to take this same journey if they see the process… so reluctantly, here we go.
There are the times when police shootings of innocent men hit us harder than others. It’s all tragic, it’s all loss, but because we’re human sometimes we’re affected with one story more than another. We have to be because taking in too much tragedy is not good for the soul.
For me it was Sean Bell, Trayvon Martin, Eric Gardner, Sandra Bland, all for different reasons, these tragedies hit me in a deep and personal place.
Now Philando Castile affects me in that same place, with the legacy of all the others behind him.
Every person who knew him called him kind, sweet, generous. I have had to go to the Father so regularly in fighting the urge to fall into a low place over his senseless death. That tragedy can strike because of an assumed threat, based on the color of your skin, even though you are kind, generous, AND innocent, is an overwhelming notion.
The boy with the disability holding the sign in the picture, says more than what is written on his board. Losing someone special to him surely hits him harder than it would most. When someone is kind when you have a need that is outside the norm, you are dealing with an extremely dear person. #Tears
Praying for his family, his friends, for our nation, and for the hearts of many like me who have been hit hard by this loss. #LetTheKindAndGenerousKeepYourHeadUp #BlackLivesMatter
So let me be clear. I am not a man. I never have been one, and by the looks of how these things work, I probably will never be one. One thing I do know for sure however, my son’s father is ghost. He is out. He is totally and completely absent. I have not heard a word from him since May of 2015, and that was a year after he stopped paying a cent of child support.
He does not call to check on his son, he does not ask how he is doing, he does not inquire, he does not send a text, telegram or message pigeon. How could he do that? There are questions that I had years ago that I now have answers to, this is not one of those questions. After being born into a marriage, and being planned for, I do not understand how a man denies his child. Part of me has lost interest in trying to understand.
I am very clear that I cannot be a father to my son. I cannot teach him how to be a man. I do not fully know the challenges and conundrums of what it is to be born male. But I along with so many single mothers are caught in this target practice of still needing to fulfill dual roles, regardless of our inability to do so completely. And the shaming of women who have this insurmountable task, who cry out for acknowledgement of this insurmountable task on a painful day of reminder like today, is to me one of the sure ways that we live in the last days, where love in action is condemned and criticized, instead of applauded and admonished.
Just before tucking my baby boy into bed tonight, I brushed his teeth and rubbed his back, just like good Mommies do. That was just after disciplining him for pushing beyond his boundaries, just like good Daddies do. And tomorrow I will fix his breakfast and his dinner, just like good Mommies do. And I will take out his trash, and put oil in the car he rides in, just like good Daddies do. But not after I work all day, like good Mommies and Daddies do, I have to of course bring home that bacon AND fry it up in a pan. I have continual vertigo as I swing between roles in being all things for my son. No one can ever tell me different. This is real life. This is everyday.
Father’s Day is for fathers, men who are present. I don’t claim this day as my own, but I dare anyone to question my dual roles, beyond holidays, constant juggling act of raising a child that requires at least two people to raise, and maybe five if I’m including my son’s special needs.
So excuse me if today, Father’s Day, is tough for me. Do I claim it as my own day? Not really, they don’t have a Happy Single Mother to Child of Deadbeat Father’s Day. But I do know that each and every day, no matter the fall on the calendar, I play all roles to my son, the feminine and all the masculine I can muster.
So goodnight young prince, with my hand in the Lord’s I will lead you in all the ways within my reach. And I am willing to play as many roles as necessary to do so.