She was moving a refrigerator when she went in labor with me.
(Moving a refrigerator after coming from out my Aunt Gloria’s house getting her hair touched up, cause she had to be fly for birth- that’s my mama!)
I didn’t come out until mama, deep in labor called on her mama, Annie Mae Williams who’d been gone from this earth nine years, one month, and four days before I was born. When my mama called on her mama, as her story goes, I came on through.
And the way my daddy told it. He held me, his first one to make it out alive, on his right side. He held his best cuban cigar (he’d been saving a decade) in his left hand.
An old ritual. Calling mama’s mama. Pushing a fridge- My welcome to this world.
This week I saw another birthday; and I turned a corner.
Mama told our birth story again and I tried to remember it.
In dad’s physical absence two hawks followed me all day.
Jemar held complete space for me to simply do me and not the 1,000 other things I usually do in a day. And I felt deeply seen and understood in that space.
Oye “baked” me a cake out of play dough, pine needles, and red clay. And I remembered the beauty, mess, and sweetness of my Gainesville, Georgia childhood.
I cried, laughed,smiled, and remembered a lot on my birthday. Mostly laughed and smiled.
I got a facial for the first time in 5 years. Katie took me to another planet with massage + reiki. I ate icecream for lunch. I met up with my life/business coach who helped me recount another birth story of sorts, how I got from the mud of last October to the lotus of this October. That night, I stayed up way too late and read a book from cover to cover, Kiese Laymon’s memoir- Heavy…A love letter to his mama (y’all read it-it’s brilliant).
Retracing steps, I turned a corner and ran into my whole self. We stood for a moment staring at one another full of shy admiration of who we have become. Who we love. How we love. How we are loved. How we’ve pushed all manner of “bigger than us things” out of the way when necessary. How we’ve inherently known when to call Annie Mae and nem (our Ancestors) when we couldn’t push anymore. How we’ve known to tuck our best away for our very best ,even at our worst like my dad did with that one cuban cigar.
I come from real, loving, and imperfect people. From a real, loving, and imperfect place.
That has always been true.
I turned a corner and ran into an acceptance of my past and present that I didn’t know I needed in order to access the infinite potential of my future..
This year is a rebirth.