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Pieces…Bits and Pieces or WHEN

How quickly the quality of life changes from normal to abnormal

WHEN…

You shaved under your arms with a dull razor two days ago and now two days later your pits are burning

WHEN…

You apply aloe vera to the burning pits, feeling relief until you feel, the LUMPS

WHEN…

Survival mode kicks in, and you’ve been through this before with your mom and know the deal-time is of the essence, so they say, but when it’s happening to you, time goes on fast forward with you driving the train with a clutch when you only know how to drive automatic

WHEN…

Through the layers of receptionists at the doctor’s office and strategically planning, you finally get the receptionist who is willing to help you get that next day appointment

WHEN…

You go through a mammogram diagnostic (you don’t wanna know the details) and ultrasound on the day of your mother’s birth and you keep it on the down low, because your mom is 90 and can’t deal with the possibility of her daughter  being diagnosed with breast cancer, most especially when your mom went through the kidney bean episode  with her sister who died from it.

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WHEN…

You realize how YOU are the THREAD that holds your precious family (mom and fur babies) together and don’t have any provisions or alternative plans for them to follow if YOU should GO before THEM

WHEN…

The diagnosis is normal.

Nothing’s wrong.

No lumps.

Enlarged lymph nodes due to shaving.

And…

the doctor looks at you as if you have three heads but you could care less because being hysterically pro active when cancer runs in the family is far better than sitting back and wishing the lumps would magically disappear  overnight.

How quickly our quality of life changes from abnormal back to normal.

…Bye Felicia Razors…
Hello Nair!

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Sadness to Gladness to Gladness to Sadness or…Dear Lord please stop the madness!!!

Glad…

Cooking red kidney beans and coconut rice requested by your sister who is, inappetent and lies dying from breast cancer in a hospital bed.

Sad…

You deliver the goods on the 2nd day of her request and she dies on the third day without tasting a morsel.

SAD…

You do not cook red beans with coconut rice for a long time…

Glad…

…until you decide to make the coconut rice for yourself and buy the red beans subconsciously at Key Food.

Sad…

…when you realize the beans you bought are the red kidney beans you avoided for who knows how long because you have yet to recover from the red kidney beans and coconut rice incident from so long ago when your sister died from breast cancer.

GLAD…

…because your daughter who avoided red kidney beans like a deadly virus, accidently eats the red kidney beans mixed in with the coconut rice you made, because her mind was discombobulated in a strange way which is normal for her on any given day, but not on this day when her mind went far right instead of staying centered.

Glad but Sad…

My tía Nina (Bernice) died from breast cancer so long ago and mom, my mom did not take her passing lightly. I was by her side when the midnight call came letting us know Nina passed on. Mom cried, cried and cried, as I cried, cried and cried ions later when I lost Pi. I did not cry for my aunt at the time, as I was the crutch to hold my mom upright. I did not visit my aunt Nina (Bernice) during the hospital stay. My memories of her were meant to stay in the past, before the cancer: beautiful, dressed to the best, makeup and hair perfectly coiffed. At times, I say, bullshit to that excuse that acts as comfort when fear probably allowed that excuse of not visiting acceptable.

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Mom and Nina were not the best of friends when they reunited in America after going their separate ways in Honduras. Mom, was sent away with an aunt who lived in Jamaica to be raised in a culture that didn’t accept the ‘coolie shitting callaloo’ looking Indian girl,  while Nina stayed in Honduras, going to school and perfecting her spanish language skills. Once the sisters reunited, got over the female drama, they traveled all over the Caribbean and became quite close.

My tía Nina (Bernice) always paid attention to me while the others (the Honduran aunts and uncles) had no time for the Jamaican blood that ran through my veins and made me the ‘other’ in their eyes.

Ma and Tia Nina in Ja096

I was not aware of the red kidney beans and coconut rice that transpired between them. Actually, I found out today. Mom cried when she told me how upset she was about Nina not eating the comfort food she requested before passing. I reminded her, how happy I was to eat it yesterday. SIMG_1538he smiled…and made another pot of it for my weeks’ lunch…

 

Out of gladness comes sadness and out of sadness comes gladness…

Tia Nina018 (2)

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