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Healing, Just Thinking

3


So despite my dreaming and wishing, despite my desire to wedge my shoulder on it and push hard against 11:59 pm with all my might, the day still managed to eek into my life. 4-17 is here. Again. The first 4-17 was beyond painful. I sat by his grave and couldn’t bring myself to leave. The last poem I had written for him, tucked on the marker of his final resting place with me sitting on the hard ground talking to him as if he were coming home. I spoke at Candlelight Vigils, used my voice to speak out against violence, wrote til my fingers were numb and cried until my eyes were weakened by the overload of grief. I checked out. In a world where mom handled everything, loved everyone, coordinated everything, it was every man, woman and child for himself. I watched my family crawl into separate holes licking our own wounds because my balance was terribly upset. One man dies, one woman flings herself into his open grave and made a home there. That first year was hard. The following year was spent clawing myself out of that grave and from beneath the shock and horror of murder suicide nightmares which spilled onto the everyday life of my existence. Reminders, revelations and responsibilities forced me to fight my way back from the pain. The pain. Such an unimaginable disruption. A hot force of shock that lodges in your spirit and consumes you into an oblivious state. I couldn’t recognize the world around me because I was operating in a dark fog while pretending the sun was shining. In order to repair my family tree, I began to give Oscar worthy performances, until I became the semi healed character I was playing. Somewhere in the second year I began to rebuild my own broken home. It became apparent to me that unless I was in the moment, I would be useless to the people who depended on me the most. My children. Now grown, now growing, still hurting, still lost, still in shock. Year two became about their lives, their struggles, their needs. So through the fire, I ran, through the earth quaking beneath our feet, I steadied, through the sky opening torrential downpours, I protected. Everyone but myself. It became a mental necessity to relocate. Too many memories, too much disparity, and no progress. I chose to rebuild my life in Philadelphia. Most likely the first best choice I’ve made in my life. Certainly the first life decision I made completely on my own. For once I wasn’t running, I wasn’t searching, I wasn’t undecided, I wasn’t being prompted, guilted, controlled or conflicted. I was taking my own life into my own hands and intending to control it by any means necessary. Me, my children and their respective mates have experienced some major triumphs and devastation in this, the third year. Through each life altering episode my family has reset itself on offerings the paradoxical gifts melancholy provides and so far we’ve survived. My nurturing role has not changed drastically. I have simply been released from restrictions I hadn’t realized were imposed on me. I have, as long as I can remember, been a woman who thinks “differently” and cares deeply. I was born with arms wide open and whole communities have always gathered within for warmth, love and protection. My experiences and opinions have always been sought by those I come in contact with and as I age I have more, I have better, I have honed what I have to give. This has always been my story, however, I had to enter into an exclusive contract with my children only. It is their lives I care about and my energy is was reserved for them. One has two of his own, one has inherited the gift of his girlfriends and my only daughters womb is now host to her first child. They are my focus because the cipher must roll on. They must be able to instill a warrior spirit into their children. But that spirit must not be shielded from reality, it must be taught that reality is what it is and it may take a monumental amount of time, it make take a burning, a scorching, a hurt and a hand, but reality will not beat you. It may stall you; but it will not stop you. Time is not a great healer, it is a buffer between moments of release. It is inevitable that time will pass, memories will fade, pain will subside; but these anniversaries will go right through you, if you allow it. My children each have keys to their own homes. I am a mother “consultant” now. I am living a new normal. I have done what I needed to live comfortably within the borders of my new normal. I have happy days. I laugh, I enjoy each day as it is presented to me because tomorrow is not promised. I still have mental dragons to sleigh, I recognize them as they come and continue grief counseling and balancing the post traumatic stress which rears its ugly head now and again. It’s part of the new normal of me. But all things have a purpose. I am finding my way to mine. Advocates, survivors, media, pyschologists, communities and politicians tend to be reactive in their focus on domestic crimes. I think “differently” and care deeply. My arms are once again wide open gathering my people within for warmth, love and protection. I plan to proactively shake the leaves of lies and misconception from the tree of violence that has taken root in our homes. To truly pay homage to the dead and buried, you must take away something from their lives. I have learned many lessons from Charles, Sandy and Supreme. Personal lessons which help me when I investigate, observe and contemplate life. I reflect these lessons when I speak with people who struggle with what they believe a relationship should be. These lessons aren’t found in the gruesome way they died, rather in the complicated way we all lived. I made it unscathed through my third 4-17 and there is much work to be done before the next. Inshaallah. Iya Isoke ©4/17/13

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About The "SoKey" Experience

Each morning I wake I pour myself into a goblet, slowly inhaling the scent of my own faults, swirling them around the glass, allowing them to breath, then I sip, allowing my own inconsistencies to soak my tongue before swallowing. If I am tipsy from my own frailties - I'm less likely to become drunk on yours. -SoKey (introspection)

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