In My Write Mind
The guest of honor had her songs all picked out. She started off with a nod to A-Town (Alabama...lol) with Usher's "Yeah!", then turned it up a notch with Prince's "Adore" and, after a seemingly endless parade of songs and stylings, wrapped up the evening with what has become her anthem, Salt N Pepa's "Push It."
There we all were...co-workers, colleagues, friends...in the same spot as before. Except this time, it seemed different. It meant more. You see, we were there for a celebration. It was the guest of honor's birthday. And celebrate we did. But not just her birthday. Nope. This night, at the spot we always frequent for "All-Star Karaokethons", it was much more than an annual acknowledgement. It was a celebration of life. Of laughter. Of making it to another Hump Day.
Of making it over the hump.
Just seeing her sing, seeing her smile, seeing her having a good time at a party thrown in her honor, made the night worthwhile. She needed this. And we all needed to make sure she had it. Because it proved that she'd gotten over the hump. Gotten past all that took place during her birthday month. All that happened before this Hump Day.
Just three weeks ago, all was not good. The week before Mother's Day, her mother disappeared after going out for a leisurely walk to a neighborhood grocery store. She already suffered from shortness of breath on occasion, always equipped with an oxygen mask to help alleviate the dizziness, to balance out her breathing. On this day, she never returned home. One week before the day she was to be celebrated by her loved ones. She was missing for three days before being found on a Brooklyn street, half-naked, a victim of kidnap and rape. She would say later that her attacker attempted to kill her using the cord from her oxygen mask, thus trying to take her breath with the very device that helped her breathe.
Needless to say, our co-worker, our colleague, our friend was beside herself with worry. Her mother, her best friend, had been taken and abused, taken advantage of. For any of us to imagine the type of pain and hurt and fear she experienced would be impossible. We did what we could. We prayed for her, for her mother. We prayed and gave thanks that our relatives were safe and sound, knowing we wouldn't be able to bear anything like that happening to them.
When her mother was found, very shaken, abused, but alive, those prayers were answered. But by no means did the prayers stop. She still needed to heal and needed all the help possible to do so. She arrived home just in time for Mother's Day, just in time to be celebrated and cherished. That Mother's Day, for that family, meant so much more. It was her first step of healing. It was more than a celebration, just like this Hump Day, when we could see our friend finally get over the proverbial hump. When she was able to let loose and enjoy herself for her 27th birthday, singing songs like there was no tomorrow. On this third Hump Day of May, we finally saw her happy.
She was finally able to relax. Her mother is doing better, going to therapy to deal with the trauma. We still pray for her. For the family. There's a long road ahead for them in order for them to recover from such an experience. They might not ever recover. But taking steps to do so is necessary. Steps like her mother is taking through therapy. Steps like the guest of honor took last night, crooning at the top of her lungs on her special day.
That made us all smile, made us glad that we could be there for her to help her celebrate much more than just a birthday. We all gathered at our usual spot, ironically a place called Proof.
For last night, on the third Hump Day in May 2005, we were able to see proof that she was finally getting over the hump. And that's definitely something to sing about.
scribbled by Will at 5/19/2005 07:15:00 AM
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I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear. (Joan Didion)
The Write One
Will. Lefty. Since Summer 1971. Over the next six months, I'll be saying some hellos, some goodbyes. Living, laughing, growing. Don't.miss.a.word.
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