I have been playing safe when it came to my blogging and introducing readers to my writing and book in progress. Until I stripped myself of my ego and became vulnerable, will I truly allow others to see my passion and purpose. As a writer it gives you the opportunity to speak freely. It provides you with a platform to touch others. Today, I have decided to share intimately the person behind London’s Prints. I have realized that not many people still read with all of the social media and visual art we have freely at hand. The stories I have shared within my blog only allows people create their own images within their mind. They create the characters (people whom they envisioned) or they visualize themselves in similar circumstances. I decided to put visuals of the event that has drastically changed my life. The person that I shared my body space with that did not make it outside of me. The stories that I share are my truth. They are chapters within my life journey that have shaped me into the woman I am today.
Thanksgiving 2010 was the last day that I saw my Grandmother. She was going back and forth to the hospital for pneumonia, but this stay was different. She was diagnosed with Lung Cancer and landed a lengthy stay in the hospital. Two weeks had passed before I made it my priority to go and visit. I spent most of my Thanksgivings as a young girl in her home. Things changed when we encountered death of my grandfather, aunt and uncle. Something about my grandmother died with them. I felt guilt going to her empty-handed, but hoped she was still happy about the fuchsia roses I bought her the last time. She bragged to all the nurses and doctors about how beautiful they were. It meant a lot to me because she loved flowers. I would do anything to put a smile on her face after being faced with death. When the doctors told her the diagnoses, I was there. She denied and cursed the doctors for even telling her something like that. She didn’t understand Cancer, but her nicotine dependency throughout her life seemed to finally cause her body lethal damage. One in which she could not erase. In her mind the doctors weren’t telling the truth, that was her story and she was sticking to it.
Thanksgiving day, I did not cook the Okra. That’s all she wanted from me, nothing more nothing less. She loved my cooking and knew I could cook it, but Lard was never used in my kitchen. She told me how she wanted it but my schedule didn’t permit me to even eat during this time. While I went to visit my grandmother, I was also visiting county jail, and working two jobs to maintain my household and a jail cell. I had lost about thirty pounds from working 24hrs straight some days, so my grandmother immediately took notice. “Girl you starting to look like that girl off the Jenny Craig commercial!” I could do nothing but laugh and reply “Jennifer Hudson”. That day was different when I went to see her. She was at peace. Peace with the hospital food, peace that I came empty-handed, and peace with her illness. My grandmother gave the hospital workers hell most of the time, but thanksgiving day 2010, she was giving God thanks for her life. The visit was quiet she told me about who came to see her, “Where is that boyfriend of yours?” she asked. I had lied to her every visit by telling her he was at work. I was embarrassed and was not ready to hear what she had to say. When I decided to leave, I gave her a kiss on the cheek. That was the first time in twenty something years of my life was I able to be affectionate with this woman. With that kiss, she said nothing. She did not reject it, or tell me to get out of here with that mess. She accepted my kiss at peace. I left. Later that evening my grandmother went into cardiac arrest.
Thanksgiving day 2011 my water broke.
Exactly a year later my son was born stillborn. I was asked by the doctors, if I wanted to see and hold him. Everything about that day was not normal. I did not know what to feel. I wanted to protect my sons father, because he was weak. His weakness had a lot to do with his guilt for the way he treated me during my pregnancy. I was giving birth and planning for death at the same time. I was afraid of what my child was going to look like because there was no amniotic fluid. I had to give birth to my son via vaginal with no natural fluids. My son had fought for days, here it was a week since thanksgiving. No one was able to realize that something was wrong. I trusted the doctors over myself, and I knew my body. The doctors gave me morphine and an epidural to numb my experience. My body swelled from the fluids. The amount of tears shed in that room, that day, could have replenished the womb that once carried my son. Fear does not live here anymore. I have endure pain and have seen things no one should ever be exposed to. All I am left with, is his footprints. With that my job is to share my story and to support other women who have endured such tragedy. There is life after loss.
P.S. I apologize for the graphic image however this is my truth. London Kyrie Exantus 12/5/2011