Thursday, 25 September 2008

Family, like a Giant Tree

Sunday night at 9pm. For two solid hours we laugh, we sing, and we dance and dance. Each song the DJ plays brings with it a deeper memory. Help Me Make it Through the Night by John Holt. The Harder they Come by Jimmy Cliff. Tears on My Pillow the reggae version. Sweet, sweet reggae music that formed the foundation of my youth...

The celebration (for an aunt and uncle who are moving back to JA ) was only a couple of hours long, but boy was I happy for those 120 minutes. My soul felt replenished. But then I arrived home instantly I hit the most bizarre low. Rich even had to ask me several times whether I was alright. I tried to fob him off at first but then conceded that I felt so sad. Felt as if I was mourning. But mourning what? The lost years, I have now come to realise. How it has all flown by in a whiz and I’ve barely had time to experience it with the people I don’t entirely understand, but love so so dearly – my family. When those beautiful melodies first caressed my ears all those years ago when I was a kid I thought life would be happy times forever. But how wrong was I? The disappointments I have experienced in my own personal life, the people I’ve lost, fallen out with, is just the tip of the iceberg. How about my family? Various members have suffered fall out of devastating proportions. Mental health issues, sickness, poverty, drug peddling, imprisonment, eating disorders, domestic violence – you name it, I’ve seen and heard it all. But I so didn’t see it coming when I was a kid - we all seemed so normal and well balanced then. Where did it all go wrong? Who knows. But I guess the most important thing is that we still laugh, we still dance, and we still come together when it matters most. I used to always joke with my older and wiser cousin that I’m sure God put me in this family for a reason. "Trust me" I'd say. "There are too many juiciy/intriguing/dysfunctional stories waiting to be unfolded on a page." And I’m really certain that one day I’ll give voice and meaning to our history if only so that I/we can make sense of it all. I’m not sure when it will happen, but I’m pretty sure that that’s what I’m supposed to do. 

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I am a thirty-something African Caribbean female from South East London. My blog will shine a light on Black British culture offering the best in entertainment, fashion, beauty, community, film & music, with the occasional personal musing thrown in from yours truly. Thank you for taking out the time to peek into the pages of my diary. Now grab a cup of cocoa, relax and enjoy.