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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

3 Stories to Learn From and Grow By...

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Gather around everybody.

For some time, I've been thinking about a lot of things: people that have passed away...and the people I used to know, seem to consume my thoughts.

Many people take life for granted and never really stop to take in what they are experiencing.

I've met people from around the world and at last count; at least 48 states. That's a lot of people...with various backgrounds, life experiences and knowledge. What have I learned from them? So much.

Everywhere I go, people will engage me in conversation--I don't have to try and muster up discussions, they just seem to evolve. I often tell some of my friends, associates and family that they wouldn't believe what some folks have told me. I started thinking about a lot of the stories I've been told and began editing my brain and pick the ones that really struck me the most. On that note, I'd like to share these three stories:

Tabatha: Tabatha is a former coworker that I knew about 8 years ago. She lives in Chicago--grew up on the West Side. Anyone that lived or grew up in Chi can tell you that the West Side is not a great place to be--the violence is off the chain. Tabatha often would tell me the most intriguing stories about life in her neighborhood and in her family. During lunch one day I along with her and some other coworkers got into a discussion about death. Tabatha told us about her two older brothers, both of whom had died 8 months apart. The first brother died suddenly--she was 17. Tabatha told us that after the funeral...some months later, she was just laying down in her room. All of a sudden, she felt the bed compressed. She was facing the wall--and turned over to see who it was. Tabatha said that her late brother, was sitting on the edge of her bed, just looking at her. She began screaming uncontrollably and ran out of the room. It took her family over an hour to calm her down. For those who've always wondered...we really do survive death.

Monica: Ms. Monica Y. Our class "It Girl." She got voted for (((EVERYTHING))). Monica and I have known each other since third grade, but we were never friends. Junior High, High School, we would chat, but it was always banal--not like true girlfriends. Monica was too busy being the popular girl. Her head swelled from that. I and some other people got turned off and basically we made the decision that Ms. Monica was a little too special for us. Graduation came...and well, afterwards, everyone went their separate ways. Monica went off to college, only to drop out after she met a young, smooth talking cat named Clifford. He gave her diamonds, bought her a car...and gave the impression that he could fulfill all of her needs. She bought into the bling. They got married--a wedding fit for a princess. Her prince became a monster and would beat her. But she stayed, because of the "things" he'd bring her. Then...we found out: Clifford was a drug kingpin. Her family got involved. The government got hot on Clifford's tail and made their move. When he was arrested, Monica's mother lost her job at a very large pharmaceutical company--her father was indicted, a real estate agent and a lawyer, all part of the drug ring. Long story short, Clifford cut a deal with the government and got five years--only because he brought other folks down with him. Many people's lives were ruined. Monica was damn lucky she didn't do time. I guessed he really loved her, part of the deal was that she wouldn't be touched. Monica ended up raising two boys alone, and on Welfare. She's OK now...that was a long time ago, but sometimes it's not always a great thing, being the "It Girl" especially when smooth talking dudes entice a naive girl into thinking that easy money doesn't have a price.

James: Another classmate. Since third grade. James was always a cut up. But there was something else he was known for: his temper. Saw him hit a guy so hard in the chest--you could actually feel it. That was 5th grade. We went on to high school. James began dating a girl named Lauanna. She was a cute girl--had a great body. James was aggressive and he began to beat her. One of my friends saw him beating her in the hallway during a bathroom break. He was literally smashing her head against the wall. No one came to intervene. That was 10th grade. 7 years ago, after conversing with an old classmate, she told me that James had been beaten badly--so badly, he was in a coma. I asked her what happened, and she told me that he had hit his...then girlfriend. Her brothers and other family members confronted him. They beat him unconscious--he was put on life support. After some time, he came out of the coma and he healed slowly physically, but never mentally or spiritually. I found out through some reunions on Facebook that James had died from a drug overdose in 2006. I thought about Lauanna. Karma really is a B*tch.

You can take what you want from these stories...but just understand, that everything happens for a reason...and everyone has a story to tell.

Thanks for listening...

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