5.22.2006

Bidding Adieu

I've never been good with good-byes. Actually I guess I should say I'm horrible with good-byes. That would be far more accurate. I don't mean good-byes like death. I'm actually quite good with those. I attribute that to the fact that I was exposed to death at such an early age. When I was 6, my sister's best friend Cara got hit by a car. She was supposed to wait in the car for her father. But she chased after him instead. She was four years old.

When I was 6, my uncle died. He had had a kidney transplant about 10 years earlier. In those days, that was an extraordinarily long time to live with a transplanted organ. He used to call me "James-Ellen" because he said I looked exactly like both of my parents. I hated it then, but when he died, I was sad because he wouldn't be there to call me that anymore. That was October 1988. December 24, 1989, his mother, my grandmother died. I still have the last Christmas gift she gave me. It was a yellow sweater I loved. Now one of my bears at my mom's house wears it. I actually got the gift the night she died. She'd had one of my aunts take her to pick out gifts for her 20+ grandchildren. September the next year, days after his birthday, my grandfather followed his wife of 50 years in death. August of the same year, my softball coach was driving a tractor trailer back home from a long haul. He fell asleep from the wheel five miles from his home and was killed.

After that it was a while before someone I felt a strong attachment to died. I went to a lot of funerals. I even went to funerals of a guy I didn't know to support a friend. I cherished being able to say good-bye. I had to watch the casket lowered to the ground. If they would've let me, for every funeral I would've watched them completely cover it with dirt. When my parents die, it will be my request. Wait, nevermind, both of them insist on being cremated. I talk about death a lot. It scares everyone around me. Its not like I'm suicidal. I'm controlling. So I want things to be the way I want them, even in death. I have threatened to haunt people. Hahaha. But I was serious. If it was possible and they purposely ignored my wishes, I would do it.

My organs must be donated. Obviously. Organ donation saved my uncle for 10 years. And the organ of a relative just saved my cousin's life as well. Another uncle on the other side has had his donated kidney for about 4 years. You can't take them with you. Well, you can, but they'll do you no good. You can give life to someone else. That's amazing. Part of you can live on for years. And if that person has a baby, just think, you've helped bring another life into this world. Okay this is one of my (once) private obsessions. I could go on for quite a while. But I'm probably scaring you, so I'll get to the point. I'll blog about Kenny's death another time.

I'm going to have to say good-bye to Pittsburgh at some point. As much as I hate to admit it, the city is growing on me a little. (I don't want to hear it dp or duck). But I'd actually like to visit more than I'd like to live here. Which is very strange. I actually also like showing people around the city. As much as I can with these crazy streets that end and pick up and curve and wind and go down hills and have no street signs and turn into the blue belt or yellow or purple or orange and go over a bridge or 20 into Homestead, the South Side, Wilkinsburg, the Hill, McKeesport, Mount Lebanon, Moon, Cranberry, Ross Township, and on the parkway north, east or west (no south), also known as 376, 279, 22-30, or Rt. 60. But that's how I feel about Atlanta, too. I love to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there. But I'm used to my life and I really hate starting over. But alas, I must. So if you want to offer me a job in my field, in a major city with upwardly mobile Black people.... I'll take it! (Be reasonable folks).

The tangents!! I was also supposed to be adding something in here about saying good-bye at Hampton and when I graduated from high school, but this post took over itself. So alas, you will have to wait.

********LIGHTBULB. I just realized why this post came to me today. I couldn't figure it out. And it was kind of disturbing. Katherine Dunham died yesterday. If you don't know who she is, let me help you. She was the woman credited with bringing African and Carribean dances to the mainstream. She began the first black modern dance troupe. It traveled to 57 countries on 6 continents. Ms. Dunham, an American icon, was 96 years old. I love dance. This sista even had a style of dance named after her. FIERCE. I wish I'd had more formal training. But you wait. When I get a little more money, I will dance again!!!! May the spirit of Katherine Dunham forever reign in the world of modern dance.

26 comments:

DP said...

FIRST.


HA...i never get to do that. moving on.


I dont know if Duck is older than me, but I feel like the standing authority on the Burgh (even though I dont live there) and there is a certain charm to it. It DOES grow on you, which is why some people just REFUSE to leave. I have found that as a native..if you stay past 25...you WONT leave..especially if you enjoy ANY job security at all. The place makes you COMFORTABLE (or complacent...either or)

Youll miss PGH when you leave..(and you will...or at least youd better) but youll come back to visit...We always come back.

but if you stay another 2 yrs...youll be a steeler fan...resistance is futile.

DP said...

oh and Ms Dunham will live FOREVER.

Miss Ahmad said...

after spending the better part of last year in the 'burgh I miss it!

well maybe i miss the handsome coach in particular, but i miss way the hills turn vibrant green the warm winds that pass during the early football games of the season, the garlic fries i've consumed at what I believe to be the best damn baseball stadium outside of san francisco. i miss drunken nights at on the south side, and i miss the pittsburgh jeans company, and did i mention football?

we don't have a damn team out here and I would give my left arm for some decent NFL ball and tailgating!


Thanks for acknowledging Katherine Dunham...she was truly a queen!

DP said...

Miss A...i live in DALLAS..and there aint NUFFIN like Pittsburgh Football.



nuffin.

Epsilonicus said...

I have only visited the burgh a few times i even miss it

Ladynay said...

Yah know, at first I thought you was gonna stop blogging...

Thanks for the info on Ms. Dunham

jameil1922 said...

dp... duck is like 12 years younger than you. the whole you won't leave if you haven't by 25 explains at least 5 people i know here. i can't get for the life of me why you're not getting the promotions you want but you won't leave. makes no sense. don't worry, i have no plans on becoming a steeler fan, tho i could see that, too.

miss ahmad... i've heard such great things about pitt jean company. i guess i should go huh? i'm trying not to buy any more jeans. i have like 22 pair and i only wear 4 or 5 of them b/c those are the only ones appropriate for work (not uber tight). i can't imagine a town w/o football!! horrid! and esp. after this football PSYCHO city, i would be appalled.

dp... ok that's quite enuf of the steeler love.

epsi... ha! i don't know about all that! but that's how i feel about the dc/md/nova area.

ladynay... fear not! i was going thru a lazy spell. i just couldn't write. i don't know what it was.

HUGE NEWS!! TONIGHT RACHAEL RAY WILL BE IN PITTSBURGH. SIGNING AUTOGRAPHS AT THE BOOK STORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'M GOING TO DIEEEEEEEEEEEE!! SO EXCITED. I'M GOING TO GO GET IN LINE AN HOUR AND A HALF EARLY. I HOPE THAT'S ENOUGH. I'M CHARGING UP MY PHONE. ITS NOT A GAME.

Mrs A. said...

you and rachel....hmmmmmmmm!!!! anyhoos, i hate moving. and thats all i have to say about that.

Epsilonicus said...

I think i miss the burgh bc of erie. If you were trapped somewhere so small pittsburgh would seem like heaven

Stacie von Kutieboots said...

Awwww. Nice post J-Meezy. I was getting a bit scared at first but luckily its just a relocation piece. When you first got to HU did you like it? When you left did you miss it? I KNOW for a fact I will miss Tally. Awww, (Insert boys to men) "Its so haaaaard, to say goodbyyyyyyye to yesterday-aaaaaaaaay"

jameil1922 said...

ok sad news. rach is sick and will not be here this afternoon. rescheduled for june 3rd. how sad. :( i yelled "noooooooooo" in the newsroom. it was actually hilarious but i was sad.. poor melly.

epsi... ok i guess...

stace... you are foolish! didn't i say i was gonna get into the whole leaving hampton thing in another post? stop pressuring me!! pressure, pressure! lol

Karamale said...

j...get the hell outta pittsburgh. just leave already!

ol' girl had a whole TECHNIQUE. the only thing higher than that is a METHOD.

The Princess said...

Wow. I did know who she was and can't believe it. She was one of the people on my dance teacher's "wall of inspiration". I know what you mean about moving. I was thinking I can't wait to move out of Tally but now that the inevitable job search is upon me, I am starting to feel kind of sad. I keep thinking how I should have went to more FAMU homecomings when it was up the street from me. LOL

jameil1922 said...

karamale! hahahahaha!! how you gon run me out of pittsburgh?

princess... that was the main reason i did so much stuff at hampton. i went EVERYWHERE. i said, i don't want to look back and say to myself, geez! i didn't do anything! or i should've done whatever. it can never be said i didn't have a ball! and w/all kinds of groups of people. lol

Honey-Libra said...

I hate saying goodbye...I cry, and cry some more then I get over it. Then again saying goodbye provides me with closer...

I don't like going to funerals though I can honestly say that I've been to maybe 10 and that's with rounding up...it just makes me sad and I cry even more.

KHALLI 88 said...

Never visited Pittsburgh but reading the post now I want too :)

So...Wise...Sista said...

I know right, Khalli! Let's take a road trip. lol

Goodbyes are hard...even when inevitable...like to somewhere near CT perhaps? ;)

nikki said...

i never say goodbye. i always say "take care"...i'm not even sure why i do that...

jameil1922 said...

khalli, so wise, COME ON cletus! you walkin over, but you limpin back. wait... that's for a fight right? ok well just get in the car. ride or die! go hard or go home!

honey. i very rarely cry.

wise... i have no idea where i'm moving. that actually won't have a lot to do w/where i move. i would looooooove to be closer. but if i'm not, that's ok as long as i'm making enough money to fly out of wherever i am.

nikki... i've never understood the whole thing of never saying goodbye. but i'm big on semantics. i know the meaning. this lady at my church is only like 45 but always tries to be my surrogate mother. annoying b/c my actual mother is 50 so why would i take on another woman around that age to be my surrogate mom? plus i think she gives horrible advice. anyway! the point is, she tried to get me not to say goodbye but couldn't explain why. which made me rebel against it even more. so stubborn. that's the main reason why i don't cry. controlling. ah well!

DP said...

Just so yall know...DaveyWayne will be in Pittsburgh the 15-19th of August.

Just sayin...in case...well im just sayin

jameil1922 said...

clearly nabj (nat'l assoc of blk journalists) is in indy the 16th-20th. i'm sayin. we need to get duck to come on down. she ain't doin nothin.

Stacie von Kutieboots said...

word? mindpsace??

jameil1922 said...

what? you don't like it?

The Very Reverend Ace Clemmons, Jr. said...

i always say goodbye in some way or another - to people anyway... you never know if thats the last time you'll see them. I learned the hard way.

ace

"N" Search of Ecstasy said...

Jus stopping by to say hello.

Have a Great and Safe Memorial Weekend!

~♥Nic♥~

jameil1922 said...

rev, that's what i'm sayin.

nic... HOLA!