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True Love Never Dies

Updated on November 4, 2017

Energy is neither created nor destroyed; only transformed - Albert Einstein


I visited RocMo (Rocky Mount for those of you who don't live in my head or pay attention to my facebook or twitter posts) on Sunday, September 18th and watched the Z's. The Z's is collective name for my three grandchildren whose names all begin with the letter "Z": four month old granddaughter, Zamora who I call Zen because she balances me; one year old Zara, the middle child who we all already see will be troublesome because she is exhibiting signs of "middle-child syndrome" and my two year old, precocious, first born grandson, Zion.)

Every year, for some time now, since the death of my Daddy, 13 years ago (time really flies!) I become a bit mournful from the end of August, the anniversary of when Daddy went into the hospital. Daddy lived until October 21st, my third of September. The 26th of October is also the anniversary of the death of my favorite cousin, Perry, Jr., who had passed away some years earlier. Daddy was buried on October 26th and Perry was buried on October 31st.

All this sadness and and all these tears for all these years during such a beautiful time of the year when God is just showing out in nature. God paints the world crayola during the Fall and I read somewhere that we all have front row seats in God's theater of nature. Too bad so many of us are out getting popcorn. I digress. I do take a break from mourning on October 30th which is my son's Devin's birthday. I do have a strong belief that life should be celebrated.

The previous evening proved pretty challenging for Grandma Hard Knocks, as I refer to myself. I had trouble getting the two older Zs to sleep. They wanted to stay up and play. Zion eventually fell to sleep. Zara fought sleep to the death. I streamed Mozart for Babies on my telephone and she finally settled down, which meant that I could finally get some rest also. As my cousins from Baltimore would say, "I was toured!"

Morning arrived much too soon. I had my coffee and made breakfast. Zion clean plated the eggs while Zara clean plated the grits. Zen clean bottled some formula.

I gave the two older Z's a bath while young Zen slept. After the bath, on this particularly hot end-of -summer day - yes, hot even inside, Grandma Hard Knocks didn't bother dressing the babies. Why bother? We were all inside. We weren't going anyway. (Even me, on my best day, don't think I can handle two toddlers, an infant, three car seats and a stroller!) Their parents weren't home. Yes, Grandma Hard Knocks allowed the grand babies to run through the apartment and play - naked as jaybirds. (Grandmothers can do this. We know the world will not come to an end if toddlers are naked or if the carpet gets stained a bit if someone has an accident while not wearing a diaper. Life would be so much easier for new mothers if they realized this right off the bat. I know this realization would have made my life easier. Someone once said that cleaning a house while you have young children is like shoveling snow in a snowstorm. How true!

Ironically, have been accused of stealing some property from another family member who swears that the police have copies of my fingerprints and a video of me entering the house and absconding with property from their home. I was told that the police had planned to set up a sting in order to catch me entering the home, stealing and leaving the house with property. I'd checked with an officer of RocMo Police Department on the prior evening and was told that no theft reports had been filed and I shouldn't worry about any impending arrest. (Perhaps I should add here, like Snoop Dogg said at the end of his 1994 MTV Music Awards performance of Murder Was the Case, "I'm innocent.")

As I contemplated potentially being a suspect in a burglary, I watched my naked grandchildren play through the house, while occasionally stopping to watch that one Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles video that they own, eat cookies and drop crumbs on the floor throughout the apartment. I thought about my visit to the police department and my conversation with the young officer. I thought of the planned sting to catch me stealing. I thought of the singer Sting and his group, The Police. I reached for my telephone and streamed the song, "I'll Be Watching You" by Sting and The Police hoping this would soothe my anxiety about possibly being arrested for burglary. This anxiety led to mourning which led me to stream P. Diddy and Faith Evan's 1998 remix of "I'll Be Watching You." I'll Be Missing You is a tribute to the rapper, Notorious B.I.G. aka Biggie Smalls who was killed in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles in 1997.

As I began listening to I'll Be Missing You, I began thinking about Daddy and Perry, Jr and Uncle Earl who passed away in March and began to tear up and get all up in my feelings, as the young folks say. While the Zs were running through the apartment naked, I hung my head and began to cry...

Until I looked to my left and my naked granddaughter was standing up in her car seat - a cloud of wild, bushy, uncombed, hair - smiling, dancing, waving her arms and bobbing her head while holding a half eaten cookie in her hand - jamming. I looked across the room to the right where my naked grandson was standing in the stroller smiling, dancing, waving his arms and bobbing his head - jamming. I immediately ceased and desisted the tears and stood up in the chair where I was sitting and joined the Zs. I began dancing, waving my arms and bobbing my head - jamming along with the Zs. At that moment, everything was alright. Everything was okay.

I could imagine my Daddy and Perry, Jr. looking down from heaven saying, "Everything is okay!" I could imagine Daddy skinnin' 'em back (which means smiling in the vernacular of old Southern Black men born in the mid 20th century). My lemons to lemonade moment of 2017. My authentic smile!

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