15 July 2009

It was the best of times...

...it was the worst of times. i mean, i had to listen to how my grandfather couldn't remember anything for years and had several strokes in a few weeks time. i had to listen to the IDIOT minister who thought he was on amateur night at the apollo instead of my grandfather's going home service. but, after he was laid to rest, i got to see family i haven't seen in YEARS or in some cases have never seen. so sorry my grandfather is gone; so glad to reconnect with others whose lives he made possible, too.
saturday was the service. the closer we got to 11, the quieter i got...i don't deal well with death. i don't think of the good times-i think about all the times i was supposed to visit and missed out. i think about all the times that will never be. we got to the service, i opened a program and saw...my father staring up at me. my grandparents have lost two of their seven children...both to cancer:my uncle, rufus jr. and my dad. why would my aunt put pictures of my daddy in the program without warning me? i was already grieving him-his birthday is today-AND my grandpa...i didn't need any more on me. THEN, this...this...RENT-a-minister they found on the corner somewhere. he made some valid points while he preached...he REALLY did. but, they were overshadowed by his comedy act. he went from talking about my grandfather's life to telling us, "i don't care nothing about you negroes!" and, i know i make you all laugh a lot (i like to enjoy life and bring joy when i can) but even I COULDN'T MAKE THAT UP...that man ACTUALLY said that to us. the point he was making was that he has to serve God and recognize God and he can't worry about what others think...but ONCE AGAIN his good message was overshadowed by his delivery. i did really well, though. i thought i would boo hoo the entire time (i'm the one who burst into tears when michael jackson's daughter spoke at his memorial!) so, i was strong. what broke me down? being reminded that my father is no longer here while i was trying to deal with my grandfather passing. my aunt got up to reflect on her father. i thought i was going to pass out when she got to the end. my grandfather had alzheimer's for YEARS. i can remember visiting him at his barroom one day and he asked "when is the last time you saw your uncle charles?"...about SEVEN TIMES!!! that was the moment I KNEW. well, my aunt said that he awoke saturday morning and said, "at least i'm going out with a bang!"...he died on the fourth of july. God is SO REAL! i was worried about my grandpa; i wondered if people with alzheimer's REMEMBER God...do they remember to ask for forgiveness before they die. that statement let me know that God brought him back to reality...if only for a moment. but, one moment is all he needed to make things right with the Lord.

he looked good...my grandpa. i made myself look at him once last time before they closed the coffin. he looked like the old him. what made me cry? i could see makeup on his moustache...a reminder that, no matter how i tried to tell myself he was just asleep it wasn't true. i watched my grandmother rub her hand all over this man she was wed to for over FIFTY years, her baby daddy seven times over. it was as if she wanted to store up how the physical him felt until she sees him again. then, they closed the coffin and let him rest eternally.

we went to someone's house (i didn't know whose until we had been there a few hours) and i reconnected with my family. i have a first cousin (our fathers are brothers) who i've only met three times in my life...her sisters were complete strangers to me. her daughter was in jamani's class...he said he thought about dating her because she's so cute. i know it's sad. my parents were divorced when i was two. and even though i know my father's parents, siblings and a FEW of his other family members, the rest are virtual strangers to me. i'm old enough now where i can change that. we have some very wonderful, very talented Perkins' who i'm making it my mission to get to know. of COURSE i had my camera with me! here are some of the pix from that day:
my grandmother with her remaining children. others took this picture, too, so hopefully someone else has a clear version of it!
my grandfather's twin sister, ruth
my bald head jamani holding kea
john with my cousin, myra's daughter jordan. isn't she the most beautiful chocolate drop you've ever seen?
me and my cousin teedie (leticia). saturday was the third time we've seen each other in LIFE (that we can remember!) it's funny: the office that she worked in is next door to the post office i've worked in for 13 years. we actually had people telling us: there's a girl at that bank/post office who looks JUST LIKE YOU!!! that's what made us seek each other out! i think she's beautiful but i don't think we look that much alike...well...yeah, maybe we do!

i made a collage so this post wouldn't be extra long...but, i lost it and i don't have the energy to redo it, so here are a FEW more pix:
my grandmother with my great aunt and aunt/godmother in black with some of my grandmother's grandchildren. there were so many of us that they started taking the pictures in parts...that's why you can see people hanging off the edges of this picture...i do have the other parts!

my cousin, rick, my shadow kaila (who is rick's baby sister), me and my auntie gail, who is also my godmother. my uncle charles has been married twice in his life...both to women named gail...WEIRD!!!
my cousin deedie, teedie, teedie's sister myra (who i met for the first time saturday!) and me

i know that life has to go on. i hope to get better acquainted with my perkins family; i have SO much kreating that i want to do. i have to get the house completely clean before our trip to florida in a couple of weeks. so, i have a lot to keep me occupied....but my heart still hurts. happy birthday, daddy.

8 comments:

Feelin' Scrappy said...

Well, I need a minute to wipe my tears away to type this.....
When you wrote about your Grandma touching all over him to remember what he felt like that just tore me apart. Made me think of how I did that with my mom, but also made me think of EVER loosing my husband who is my absolute heart and best friend. I know it was a hard last couple weeks for you and I hope your trip to Florida brings on some much needed happiness. It still amazes me how much you and I are alike. What you write, its like I could have wrote it. I DO NOT handle death well either and feel much the way you do when I loose someone. I send you such big hugs!!!!!
On another note and so off subject, But you looked so beautiful in those pics!!
Much love,
Mandy

.charity. said...

You hang in there Kean.
I'm praying the "new" connections you have made will be the best experience it can be for you right now.
Keep breathing girl!

Dolores said...

Oh I am so sorry for your loss. I just wanted to say that I cried reading your post, and I also cried when MJ's Daughter spoke. Thinking of you sweetie

Taj White said...

you family sure is beautiful.

Sasha said...

Dang ... I am flooded over here with the tears. Very Very moving girl ... sorry for your loss. Wow .. makes me wanna call my family right NOW.

Hang in there..

Sasha

~Sasha Farina~ said...

what an amazing family.. love reading about everyone. I'm thinking of you Girl.. *hugs*

Peggy said...

This brought tears to my eyes Keandra! The part where you wrote about your grandma touching your grandpa ... I can't imagine losing my husband, I have no idea what she must be going through right now, she must be feeling so lost.
I'm sorry for your loss, you know that, but I am glad you found so many of your long lost relatives and have decided to try and get to know them again. I hope that getting to know them again will enrich your life and they will turn out to be everything you're hoping for.
The pictures you took are beautiful, your family is beautiful, you are beautiful!!! When you have some time and feel up to it, check out my blog. I tagged you, but please, if you don't feel like playing along just now, I'll understand. There's a time for everything, and I didn't really think it through before tagging you, I'm sorry.
Know that I'm thinking of you my sweet friend, and if there's anything I can do, let me know.
Love xxx Peggy

Vel said...

{{hugs}} my friend....so sorry for your loss. Beautiful photos of you and your family.

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