Who here loves a good oldie but goodie? “Just gimme some kind of sign, girl.” Allow me a forum to tell you that it’s bitter sweet. Going down memory lane quickly makes me skip to a new genre of music. I hate those oldie songs as much as I love them.
October 10th marks Mental Health Day and this day I’m reminded of cool, summer nights, on the back of my grandfather’s pickup truck, gossiping with my two favorite cousins whilst listening to oldies. One who, years later, felt that it was much more painful to live on that hellish April day.
On that day, all I could selfishly think of in that moment was, “on my birthday?!” “How?’ “Why?” The rest, I don’t remember. Only swirling, blurry faces of college students as they walked past me and the weight of my backpack. Those are the only memories I have of that day. I can tell you, and many of you can attest, it really does feel like your heart is LITERALLY breaking. It’s a pain I can’t describe and a pain I’ve never felt since.
Today I’m reminded of her. Of social media and the affects on our little girls. Of the Texas abortion ban. Let’s be honest, even the choices some of us have made during COVID contributed to each others’ stress. We all add to each other’s sadness and deteriorating mental health. We force others into silence because we don’t SEE them; we’re too busy, we’re always right, we’re the ones with reason, we’re superior, our support of profit and capitalism above all. Our reasons go on and on and we’re all responsible for "us”, as part and parcel of a larger interwoven, community.
In honor of those who struggled and still struggle, let’s remember to radiate love; a phone call, a text, grabbing breakfast, the simple realization that time spent with someone, with another human being, is not time or money waisted.
“Silenced”. Print of original on canvas.