Thursday, August 18, 2011

Swimming Ever Since

     When I was younger, my mama was interracially married. She's Black and her first husband was White. My stepfather was a wonderful man. Sadly, they didn't stay married long. I think it was a combination of living in the South, both coming from prejudiced families, and not having enough income. They struggled but he was a good provider. Anyway, that experience taught me a few things.

     For one thing, I'm color-blind. I don't see race when it comes to dealing with people. I love everybody just about the same. Second, I gained an understanding about ignorance real early on. Prejudice doesn't have a color. Last, that stepfather of mine taught me so much in such a little bit of time. He taught me to read and write, swim, ride a bike, and he even bought me my first pair of skates. He never made me feel like I wasn't his own.

     Unfortunately, when they divorced, my mom wasn't in the best place mentally and emotionally. She was at times very abusive and she just couldn't love us as a mother should. Eventually, she lost custody of me and my brothers. We were separated for years. Over 20 years to be frank. Not a day went by that I didn't miss them. I still do. Everyday. Each and everyday. I was raised by my Mom for a time and they by their dad. He and my Mom have never spoken since and it used to bother me something awful. She never had a kind word to say about him and I think her perception was somewhat distorted.

     I prayed about this and I asked God to help me find my brothers. Immediately, I found the baby boy, Matthew, but it wasn't until later that I found my middle brother, Andrew. I've made contact with Matt, but unfortunately, the middle boy wants nothing to do with me. I don't understand it but I've accepted this and moved on. I must say that it hurts terribly. His family is beautiful and God has blessed him with a wonderful wife. He struck gold. Matt has an interesting life and he marches to the beat of his own drum. We're still getting to know each other (thru FB) and it's not what I hoped for but right now, this arrangement seems to work. As for Andrew, I know God has a plan for that. I think of that brother as The Promised Land. One day, we'll get there.

     What brought this to mind was something my Mom said. She said years ago, a really good man taught me how to swim. (I was surprised because she never says anything nice about him.) I was four and she remembers that he spent the whole summer teaching me in his spare time. At the end of the summer, he decided to throw me in the pool. Before he did, she said that he told me I would either sink or swim. She said much to her delight, I've been swimming ever since! My life has been a HARD one and truth be told, there are so many times that I justed wanted to throw up my hands and quit. Instead, I soldier on. I've made stupid mistakes and put myself in terrible predicaments. Every time, He forgives me and lets me know that I'm his daughter and that I matter. In a world of billions, I matter. My mama didn't give credit where it was due. Although, I was blessed with a great stepfather, I say that it's only by God's Good Grace and the love of his Son, Jesus Christ, that I've been able to make it this far. Nothing and no one else.

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