How To Find And Keep Your Voice

You have to realize just how much our body speaks to us. It’s how we express, say or show our identity and self-worth. Our brains are not equipped to think of us in the same way other people do.

When I was five, our neighborhood was in the process of converting a large church into a retirement community. They were doing so because a couple in the church had a falling out and their home and land were worth thousands of dollars less than they should have been. Since that decision, my neighborhood has gone from one of my favorite places in the entire city to one of my least favorite places in the entire city. It feels awful. But I know I am in a place of healing and I can make a difference by staying.

My father died of a heart attack in 2000. I was two years old. I know this sounds like so much, it is not. It’s something he was meant to be with and I’m blessed to be where I am now. I’m not so lucky to have this opportunity. However, that is why it is so important for us to have a support system and people there to help us navigate life. He had a support system. Not every person’s father has a support system like my dad did. I have the support system I have because he had my brother as well as him. I will continue to have that support system as long as I have him, and no matter how hard it gets, I will find the strength. I will stay in this place of healing no matter what.

When I was ten, my dad passed in his mid-fifties. He wasn’t able to fully live out the remainder of his life because of the heart condition that was causing him to need his medicines and breathing machines. For the two years that I knew him, he kept up with my brother and me. He went to our family’s favorite barber to go straight from his room to the barber, or used to ride his bike every day to get to my sister’s house on the other side of town. We missed him a lot.

He loved being the dad of a big house full of brothers and sisters. We were the ones who got to see him at the gym and see his body transform (which it does all the time). He is such a hero in my life and I’m grateful that he is part of my family.

And, there’s no better person to talk to than my mother. My mom is the most amazing woman. She’s a hero in my life and she is part of my family. I love her. I want her to come home.

When it came time to go away to college, I didn’t think too hard about it because I knew my mom and dad would be around. If anything, it would be easier. Instead of dealing with an unplanned pregnancy or an unexpected move, I would be in a nice place where I would feel comfortable. That’s the hardest thing for me to deal with. Even with my family, it was tough. I don’t know where I would be without them for the past 12 years. When I was fifteen, my mom got a call that her sister had an accident and was now in a coma. To me, this sounded like something that happened to me because I was fifteen, and I could never understand it coming from her. It’s not a question of “If you could do anything to put this behind you.” It is just not something I could imagine her answering.

I wish I could just call her and tell her I love her and tell her how sorry I am. I wish I could just speak to her and not ask, but of course I ask.

I know that even at times it has been hard for me to have her there. And I wish I didn’t have to.

When I got back the second time from school, I was a few years older than my sister.