Daydreams Diary: Journey

Well, I’m not dead.

(Sorry, my dark sense of humor is showing itself.)

August is behind us, and I couldn’t be more grateful for that. Life is something I certainly don’t take for granted. When you lose a lot of people before their time, it has a way of making you appreciate waking up each day.

We went through a significant loss while I was away. This event is not something I could just glaze over, no matter how private a person I may be. Doctors discovered around the second week of last month that I had an ectopic pregnancy. What was then explained to me soon after devastated us as a family. There was no way I could go forth with a healthy pregnancy, and my life was in danger.

I had two options. Both of which seemed terrifying to me at the time. Surgery or a chemotherapy drug called methotrexate. We’d already been in the hospital 13 hours with no food or water. My body was extremely weak and my mind was beyond stressed. I was told surgery was extremely risky because they could open me up and find nothing, since I was only 2 weeks along. There was a considerable risk of me bleeding out. The chemo agent didn’t seem much better as it was explained to me because it is very toxic to your system. I had no other options. I have a (then 8, now 9) year old son I have to think about that very much needs me.

We chose door number two—the methotrexate therapy. The first night was hell. I was shaking uncontrollably from fever chills and I was in pain. My entire body was weak while my mind was a complete fog. Things got better as the days went on, but as my condition improved, a sort of guilt and grief seeped into me at the same time.

I’m still going through it. Though some parts of this story have gotten a little brighter. I no longer need chemo treatments. My hormones are stabilizing and starting to taper off where they need to be. My body is still healing. There’s still some pain, and I still have to go back weekly for blood testing until I’m considered fully “back to normal.” There is so much more to this story. The rest is all I’ve got in me for now, though. I’m mostly anxious to get back to work.

We named her.

Somehow we both know it was a girl. It’s the kind of knowing the women in my family that I’ve spoken about here before possess. “Seeing” as we call it.

Her name is Journey.

I’ll save the meaning behind that for some other time. Though, if you’d like some clues, take a look at this past review, or even better play that game. It’s a beautiful experience you won’t regret, I promise. And you know I’m big on promises.

(Journey screenshots property of ThatGameCompany and Sony Computer Entertainment)

Blood in the Streets: Part II, The Women

Why

In Part I we touched on the men whose lives were violently taken. 

Today we’re going to explore the women who have also been abused, mistreated, and in some cases, much worse. 


The Women

TheWoman

By now many of you know the name and story of Sandra Bland.

What we aren’t hearing so much of, is how her story seems to be repeating itself in prisons, and other institutional facilities across the country.

These are the lesser known stories, and why are we not hearing about them? Well, picking apart that question can create many theories. One may find those theories all lead back to a single assumption.

The black woman is one of the most disrespected women in our country.

This is a phrase I’ve heard kicked around lately. Some of you may beg to differ. I invite you to share your thoughts in the comments, so long as you keep things respectful both to the site and to each other.

What I’d like to delve more into is the why and how do we fix this as a nation?

Vines

In kindergarden, I was not a sociable child. I was very damaged, having just lost my father. I wasn’t friendly and everyone was unspeakably cruel to me for it. The only person that was kind and brave enough to approach me was a beautiful little girl with giant pink bows and braids, whose skin just so happened to be a dark chocolate brown.

“They tease me too, ya know. But I don’t let it get to me. I know there’s still nice people out there.”

I hugged her.

She knew I was hurting and she sensed it on me. Her friendship was like a warm blanket after being left in the cold.

She told me stories of how they made fun of her hair, called her horrible names, and sometimes even threw things at her.

Even though we went to a diverse school, it didn’t matter. She still got picked on for being the darker-skinned girl.

Her story from back then breaks my heart to this day. (But I’ll have you know that beautiful little girl grew on to be an award-winning gymnast, graduating at the top of her class.)

Why is it that we as humans feel the need to categorize and label so much? Even those of us that don’t do it much are still guilty of it some of the time. If we’re all humans, then what is the need?

My fear is its something deeply-rooted in the blood that’s been spilled in this country, and many others. The blood that later, nations were built on top of.

I’m not sure where or how or why the first racist(s) began. Too much has been buried, written over, and smudged out.

We need to help end this kind of irrational fear and prejudice right now. If we sit idly by and pretend everything is dandy, there will be more women like Sandra Bland.

The black women I grew up knowing we’re not the horrible stereotypes you see portrayed on television. They were strong, nurturing, caring, powerful women that I admire.

One of those women took me in and tried to legally adopt me when she found out I was being beaten mercilessly at home. (Long story for another day.)

Another is a well-known musician that is part of this site’s success story. She still reads here to this day.

One is a grandmother. Someone who I consider family. She has been a mother figure to me since my own passed.

I could keep going.

Now do any of these sound like an “angry black woman” or “ghetto bird” to you?! Or any of the other disgusting terms I’ve seen thrown around so lightly on the internet recently?

I didn’t think so.

Now, can we start uplifting these women instead?

 

Blood in the Streets: Introduction & Part I, The Men

Why

Blood in the Streets is a three part necessary storm created due to modern injustice and violence in our current society. Although some of these occurrences are limited to the United States, their effects have been felt globally.

  • Part one of the series is titled “The Men” touching on topics of police brutality while highlighting the innocent lives taken due to senseless violence.
  • Part two is titled “The Women” and aims at spotlighting the lesser heard stories of women brutalized; sometimes for seemingly no reason at all.
  • Part three concludes the series with “The Children” and delves deep into fear and ignorance while highlighting the lives of children taken too soon.

CardCastles understands some of these topics are uncomfortable. With that said, the material shared within is not recommended for users under the age of 18.


The Men

TheMan

July brought in a heat that no one was expecting. I’m not talking about the kind of heat generated by the sun, or the kind manufactured by man, but the kind that seems to take on a life of its own once started.

On July 5th, video circulated the internet of something you may have seen an infinite amount of times portrayed on COPS. An unarmed black man was pinned down to the ground with a knee in his chest. We didn’t have much knowledge on what took place before. What was different this time was the end result. The officer fired into the man’s chest killing him. The officer’s life didn’t appear to be in any danger. He simply could not contain the suspect. That man’s name is Alton Sterling, and his funeral was just last Friday, July 15th.

This is not the first time this has happened. Nor is it the first time there has been evidence of such a thing. Though now, in today’s world of technology, the Average Joe can be a journalist. There was video everywhere and it circulated quickly.

No matter what side of the fence you stand on, there is no denying that black men die at the hands of police at an alarming rate. We can sit here and debate guilt. We can sit here and have a race war.

I’d rather ask you simply this:

If you believe there is corruption and you believe that innocent lives can sometimes be taken by people wearing the good guy suit, then why is it so hard for some to believe this is happening right in front of their faces?

Have we become so caught up in political ideals that we can no longer see right from wrong?

Vines

Disturbingly, less than 24 hours later, on July 6th, the world took in more news and video of a senseless killing. This time, from the up-close perspective of the victim’s girlfriend who sat in the car with him as his life slipped away. The video begins with a bleeding Philando Castile, whose arm is visibly swollen from a gunshot wound. His girlfriend is heard pleading with police trying to make sense of why her boyfriend had just been shot if he was complying. As she calmly speaks, perhaps most disturbing of all was the fact that his daughter can be heard in the backseat. Castile slips away on camera, in front of them both. His girlfriend is seen being thrown to the ground and cuffed shortly after. The video was a recording of the FB Live stream his girlfriend sent out during the incident.

The black community will tell you this sort of thing has been going on for centuries. The only difference now is we have video evidence.

I’m going to let that statement sink in for a moment, because it seems not to be with most of the media pitting us against each other.

There is something to be said about racism in this country, and how it seems to be just as alive today as it was back in the days of slavery. Some may not want to accept this, exclaiming “Oh no, but we’ve come so far.” Though, with all of the death, the harsh realities at our feet, and blood in the streets, you simply cannot be blind to it any longer.

Blood in the Streets: A 3-Part Series Coming Soon

Why
Why
Why? © 2016 cardcastlesinthesky.com | Snapping Turtle Publishing

Blood in the Streets will be a 3-part series delving into the topics of violence and modern injustice. We’ll take a look at both past and current events involving three separate yet similar stories all taking place within a somewhat short timespan.

This series is not meant to upset, but rather to educate and bring about positive change. Please keep an open mind.

COMING SOON

She’s Got a Way

She's Got a Way
She’s Got a Way

If you ever read I’ll Light a Candle for You, then you’d know today is both my mother’s birthday and the anniversary of her death. It’s been eleven years, and yet the wound can still feel raw on days like this for my remaining family members.

We miss her. Her absence left me with a hole in my life, one I’ve tried to mend with Paper, Paint, and Stitches.

So I made this today, for her. Since childhood, art has always been a cathartic release for me. So we’ll play her songs. We’ll post her pictures. Hopefully, somehow, we’ll all get through the day.

It’s been eleven years.

—And yet I still miss her like it was yesterday.

Happy Birthday, Mom.

We will always love you.

(Whitney was her favorite. 🙂 )