As this month comes to an end I think about February and what Black History Month actually means. I realize that I never really got a chance to look back at my history and where I came from. I remember before vacation one of my friends was joking about how every year it's the same thing. Slavery, slavery, slavery. She said that she was tired of Black History Month. And I get that she was just joking but I didn't think it was very funny. Real people had to live through that. Real people were victims of segregation and discrimination. Real people overcame all that violence and persecution. Real people, black people, invented lots of the things that we use in our mundane day. And I believe that those people deserve recognition. No matter how trivial the youth of today think it is, it says something. Those people, my people, achieved it not only for themselves but for everyone who was being wronged. They deserve a moment in the spotlight, hell, a month to shine. I'm just upset that so many people take it for granted. So as February trickles to an end, from now on I'm gonna take a moment every day to reflect on my history. It's important. If you don't know your history, how will you ever make a better future? One man had a dream and you must remember him to make it come alive. World Peace.
But that's not all I wanted to talk about in this blog. I wanted to talk about my cousin Melissa. She's the daughter of my half-drunk, failed at marriage, unsuccessful handy man uncle. She was born in Haiti and because her mother thought she'd be better off here with her father, she moved here. I remember when she first came to America. She was so young. And I was still young. You know how in school you have cliques? As much as you don't want it to be true, there will always be separate groups. And it's just weird if someone from one group started socializing with your group. Well, that's how it felt when Melissa first joined us. Uncle Jean, her father, was in the midst of a rocky marriage that for such the hyped up, beautiful wedding they had, honestly didn't last very long. Well, he didn't really have any room for her... yet. Being the kind, caring people that they were my parents decided to take Melissa in for the meantime. Me, being the youngest child, didn't know how to handle it. There was this awkward foreign girl taking my spot as my mom's little girl. Or at least that's what it felt like. To make matters worse she looked a lot like my mom and had nearly the same childish mannerisms as her too. Melissa barely spoke any English so they communicated in the same language too. I couldn't stand it. I couldn't stand her. I was all too happy when she left a few weeks later.
Little did I know what would happen in her years to come. She was bounced around from house to house because her father was anything but. None of my cousins particularly liked her. They all thought she was weird and annoying, including me. Only my sister took initiative and played with her and cared for her. It was almost to a point where she was considered Melissa's mother. A small part of me always felt that my sister's actions were based off how she barely cared for me at all when I was a child. I thought that loving Melissa was a way for her to make up for her not loving me. I don't know how that's would've worked, but that's what it felt like. Even my dad was willing to go out of his way to help her more than he ever helped me. And it made me dislike Melissa even more.
Still, no matter how much I disliked her in the past, I still feel bad when I see my cousins act strange around her, like she's the outsider. She's still family, no matter how awkward she is and how annoying she gets. She grew up in an unstable household. Her father dropped her off like an unwanted being. She never had a real childhood communicating with kids of her own age. She was friends with adults. I just wish I had realized that and done something about it when I was younger. All I can do when my brother tells our family that she's gonna end up with attachment isssues and problems with men is nod in agreement. I can see her future clearly. I hope that she proves us wrong though.
I wish that I was nicer to her when I had the chance so that she wouldn't just look at me awkwardly and mumble hi when she sees me. Today her father showed up unexpectedly while we were having a gang outing (just some food and games with a few cousins). I opened the door, he pushed her in and told me "She's all yours". Is that anyway to treat your daughter? I have no idea where he's going. He could be going out for a job to make some money or going out to drink with his friends or spending a night with his girlfriend, but Melissa is staying the night now. I see the way my father acts with her now. Annoyed, but still nice. My mother spent 5 minutes playing a game with her and then went back upstairs to play a game. And she doesn't come near me because she still remembers how I treated her as a child. I feel horrible. And when my sister stopped by for 5 minutes the first thing Melissa did when she opened the door was run up and give her a hug. And my dad sounded a million times happier when he heard my sister's voice. I can't believe my family sometimes.
In my mind I imagined me going downstairs and playing Connect Four with Melissa and bringing the guinea pigs' cage upstairs and me painting Melissa's nails. But I don't think I have the guts to do it. I'm pathetic. Clearly this girl needs a companion. But I can't bring myself to do it. On one hand it's not my job as an 18 year old to befriend a child, but on the other hand I'll never forgive myself if I don't patch up our relationship. She needs someone. Is it me?
And not only that but somehow I feel guilty because on AIM I see all my old friends' statuses about depression and cutting. Could I have done something to change that? Especially with my ex-best friend Blakey. If I had stayed in her life could I have changed her life? I can't help feeling that I could've. That's why I'm scared to death of losing the ones that are near and dear to me now. My head is spinning as I try to type through blurred eyes, but I'll get through it. Victoria, Star, we haven't talked in a while and it scared me terribly. When I saw you yesterday we didn't have a chance to talk. And I miss our talks. I miss knowing that I'm still in your life. Don't push me away. I need you as much as I hope you need me. I made a promise that I'd stay in your life. And though I couldn't keep it like with Blakey, I really want to make this work. Losing you as a friend break my heart much more than the thought of breaking another life promise.
I miss you.