Sunday, June 28, 2009

Me with my mother

J* What do you pray about every night?

P* I pray for my children, that I can get through the day, for my church, my pastor and friends.

J* What inspires you?

P* I am inspired at how you stand on the promises of God.

J* When you remember Richard what do you remember?

P* I remember his laughter and his jokes.

J* When you remember your childhood what do you remember first?

P* I remember living in the projects and crossing the streets to the rec. And Jimmy crying when I had to leave to go to kindergarten.

J* What do you want your grandchildren to know about your childhood?

P* That we made our own toys and we didn't have it as easy as them. And it didn't take as much money to entertain us as it does them.

J* What don't you talk about about sarcoids?

P* Nothing I don't talk about. I'm trying to tell everybody about it. And that it affects mostly black women.

J* Was there a time you didn't want to talk about it?

P* When I first got it.

J* Why?

P* 'Cause there was so little known about it. So little I knew about it. I just knew I had it. That's all. It was almost rare at that time for me.

J* What does St. Mark do for you?

P* A sense of belonging, friendships, old friendships. People who knew my mother, father, old friendships.

J* Is there anything you want me to ask you that you want people to know?

P* No. I know where I'm going. If I should leave here. I know where I'll be.

J* Do you think about that a lot.

P* I know that it's good to know. A lot of my friends just went all of a sudden. Whatever you're going to do, you have to just do today 'cause tomorrow is not promised to you. The key is to do unto to others as you would have them do unto you. You don't want nobody to cuss you out, don't cuss nobody out. I'll trust anybody 'till they give me a reason not to.

J* Were you scared when I went to Georgia?

P* Yes. You didn't have no cell phone.

J* Is there ever a day that you don't worry about us?

P* Not worry. But think about. Not a matter of worry. I think, is there something I could do? There was a time when I worried about everything. Makin' up stuff to worry about. Now I have to condition myself not to worry 'cause sarcoids is a stress related disease.

J* How do you condition yourself not to worry?

P* I tell myself it's gon be what its gon be and that's all it's gon be, says Popeye the sailor man (laughs). I have a saying that I go by, that's on all my email, that says "worry looks around, sorry looks back, faith looks up."

J* What song inspires you?

P* (sings) There's a leak in this old building, my soul has got to move to a building not made by hand, amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me (end song).
This body is breaking down. Look at it, you maybe have one day, one week, one year. Think about it. In five years I'll be sixty-five. I don't think I'll live past sixty-five. That's pretty old. I don't try to make no ten year plan. Not that I'll be gone in five, but I don't be makin' no ten year plan. Five might be stretchin' it. Whatever you gon do, you should just do it. I mean you got to lean on God.

J* Are you worried about anything now?

P* I'm not worried about not one thing. I got my policy, my grave site, my plans, in other words, I got my ticket. (sings) Got my ticket in my hand and I'm bound for the promise land. Two thousand years ago it was already determined that we were gon have this conversation. What is gon be is gon be.

J* If you were outside of your body where would you go first?

P* Every place I wish I was a fly on the wall at. Birdie will understand that perfectly.

J* Why are you and Birdie close?

P* It's a funny thing. We didn't get really close until Richard died, I guess. We worked so closely and she has that personality. Both of our husbands had passed, we liked to go to the same places. She opens up her house to me and she's free to do anything here.

J* So everything is as it should be?

P* Everything is what it is. I can handle a creditor callin' me without gettin' all panicky. You do what you can do, and that's all you can do. When I was strugglin' (laughs) you remember when you were little and I dressed up like a man to deposit the money in the drop box in the middle of the night so nobody would bother me? Lights was gettin' disconnected (laughs lightly). I put on his hard hat and big ole jacket and put that money in the box.

J* Are you working on anything right now?

P* Yeah. The pictures. I'm trying to put all my pictures in one album. Pat gave me that idea.

J* And then what's the next project.

P* One of these days I'll get back to doing my puzzles. If not, I just won't.

J* What's the last thing you think about when you go to sleep?

P* Whatever book I'm reading at the time, or what time I have to get up so I can go to work.

J* What does heaven look like?

P* I don't think we gon be flyin' 'round in no wings or nothin'. Everybody has a renewed mind and renewed spirit. Everything is about praise and worship.

J* So you could be in heaven now?

P* No, it's a step process. I don't want people to feel like they are in heaven now 'cause then what do you have to look forward to? If you think you in heaven now then you could let your guard down and the devil can still tempt you. In heaven there will be no devil.

J* What would you want to say to your loved ones months and years later after you're gone? You know, in those moments when we may feel sad.

P* I would want to visit them in a dream and tell them everything is alright. Don't put nobody on a pedestal. Aint nothing and nobody that important.


J* You ok?

P* Yeah.

J* You sure?

P* Yeah, I'm on facebook lookin' at these pictures.

Please visit and read my mother's story about living with sarcoids.

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