To the Woman Making Unacknowledged History

I am sorry to be so late writing this to you. I know you understand. You more than anyone understand what it’s like to have too much to do and too little time. I hope you enjoyed this month and that you found some time to take care of yourself. You who are always running after everyone else and making everyone else look good. You who are always putting yourself last and the children and the boss and whoever else first.

Go on, do it right now. Sit down and stroke the skin of your always-beautiful face. Close your eyes and imagine yourself on that island you saw the picture of last week and dreamed of visiting. You are under that blue sheet of sky right now, watching that blue water and breathing in rhythm with the waves. You are breathing, rubbing hot sand, living for yourself.

It is hard to relax, hard not to look at the clock. You have a lot to do. I watch you doing it and I can’t even believe it. In one day, you do the jobs of 20 different people: cook, accountant, writer, social worker, teacher, caregiver – I won’t even try to name them all. And you never know what the day will bring, what you will be asked to do next. This morning, someone asked you to make a delivery after hours to an office five miles from where you work and ten miles from where you live. Delivering goods is not even part of the job you get paid to do now. But this is per usual. Everyone expects you to work for nothing. You ain’t having it, though. I love that take-no-shit way you have about you and how it rears itself up like a horse’s behind when people least expect it to.

You know how to hold your own, which surprises people, though it shouldn’t. Haven’t you been doing this all your life? You got it honest, too, from your mama, your grandma, and your grandma got it from her mama and her grandma before that. Resistance and spunk run in the family.

It’s not all about the family, though. Sometimes the family has held you back. Telling you what you can’t do, laughing at your dreams. You have had to build resistance from the inside, keep your dreams safe in your head, at times. You are doing things family don’t know about, like designing book covers on the side and teaching math to women in the prison near where you grew up. Some people don’t even know you like math or that you once won an award for it. You are full of surprises all the time, full of hope, full of light. Some people don’t know what they’re missing.

You are blushing. You are not used to people celebrating you, loving you in public like this. I want to celebrate you because I believe you are everything. You keep the world around you moving ahead while other people are talking about moving. Talking about it, analyzing, criticizing it, investigating it. You doing it. You’ve got what it takes. I love how you keep pushing when people call you insecure, incapable, unmotivated, when people tell you that you aren’t doing enough, aren’t being enough, ain’t living right. You are too busy for self-proclaimed gods of Right, too busy working, driving, shopping, running, and trying to find time to eat.

You need more of what you need and don’t have – money, security, time. You are enough, yes, but you have needs, like everybody else. You need two hours just to be by yourself in peace today with nobody asking you for anything. You need time to enjoy the book you bought as a birthday present to yourself last year that you still have not cracked open. You need time to plan for the future. Someday, when you are not washing clothes, putting up signs, or driving somebody to the store or the hospital, you will have time to do everything.

I’m going to leave you shortly, because I know you’re busy and I’m gon’ let you get back to your life. And, really, I don’t have anything in particular to say, except that I love you. I love your flesh, your eyes, your mind, and your joy. I love how you dance in your kitchen and you sing in bed when the lights are off. I love that you never give up on yourself or on life. You are the sun, the moon, and the life of history, and I will never forget it.

2 thoughts on “To the Woman Making Unacknowledged History”

  1. WOW!!! I Love this!!! As you described my life you also pulled me back from entering the darkness that I vowed to never go again. This encouraged me to continue to push pass everything else because it’s time to love me! I can continue to be there for my family and whomever else that I choose but I will be loving me and and being there for me first!!! Thanks so much for sharing this with us because I know that while it blessed me it’s also blessing millions of women around the world!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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