I fell down a rabbit hole a year and a half ago. All that I thought would be a constant for many more years was taken away . I decided to travel and have adventures because my mom was a shy traveller . My relatives have always been superstitious and restricting. They were kill joy types, pushing church and obeah in one breathe. They manipulated their version of love to obtain control. My mother was raised in this environment with a mother and a father and many siblings. She was in some ways a Cinderella .
About 7 years ago , she had a health scare . She was in the UK for holiday and fell ill . When she spoke to her sister, who is suppose to be able to see the future, she told my mom it was witchcraft. She told her that being far from them had brought on the respiratory problems. She didnt express loving concern about my mom just DOOM. After these words of damanation, my mom went to hospital. The doctors discovered she was highly allergic to the pollen. Case Closed.
I think about this moment because it’s when arrived my Fuck all attitude on who makes a family and how I want to live. I had been cleaning up my house and discovered a very old journal of a 10yrs old me. She wrote with big loopy cursive letters, stylish capitals “T, S, F and Z.” ….( she loved making the Z’s). This little person was a part of a reading club; Book IT.
BookIT was a program that encouraged reading with a reward system. Lil me was already an accomplished reader so it was super easy. I surpassed the amount each month earning stuff and food. Being a Caribbean child in “foreign” USA; we didn’t trust nor eat fast food. If it wasn’t cooked in an island home of association then it wasn’t good. Anyway, I earned a pizza at PizzaHut. I had convinced my mom that we should try it. I had never tasted a pizza before so I was impressed( I was 10! , it seemed good at the time).
I took a bite , liked it and asked the guy who worked there , where did this come from? “Italy”, he said smiling. I ate my pizza looked at my mom and told her I will one day go to the land of the people who make pizza. She smiled showing her big pearly whites. Never did I think I would be living in that land of Regina Margherita for almost 5 years now.
I remember buying the ticket for an European tour after being pissed at my boss. My mom and I spoke a bit about me leaving to do life abroad since all the future held for us was DOOM. She was scared for me and yet was proud that I did it. I wanted to break this mentality of what we can and cannot do.
She was the reason I really left. I wanted to live for her when she was unable to because of work. She was getting ready to retire two yrs ago. She made the transition from Head Nurse to Retired Mom when she got sick. We did what could be done. It was strong, it was mysterious and doctors were baffled. It wasn’t until the end they figured it out. Cancer stole her retirement. Cancer stole my Home. Cancer took my mom away .
I miss her.
I am currently climbing out of the rabbit hole. I pause at times to grasp the reality that life is continuing regardless. When I say the word home, it feels hollow. I feel truly nomadic now. I am from the West Indies, I have the DNA of a stolen people, the soul of night women , a heritage rich in color, food, music, sexuality , supersition and pride…..and some how I feel homeless.
Now who will say things like ” Who will be Diego?, We’re both ladies”.
“Nothing is worth more than laughter. It is strength to laugh and to abandon oneself, to be light. Tragedy is the most ridiculous thing.”~Frida Kahlo