March on the coast was cool and cloudy. Isolated and damaged, she waited again for her sister to visit as promised for the last 3 years. Then the attack happened, internet intermittent and communications screeched to a grind. Her face hurt and getting away to safety was a priority. No one was coming to help. The limited times for communication were not used for trying to sell her furniture, there was seldom time to reach for help. The loss was substantial, but she believed that going home was going to be worth it. Family was waiting; or so she thought.
The voices on the other end of a newly initiated cell service was to keep her safe on the journey. Nerve wracking winds were the cause for a white-knuckled grip on the steering wheel. Home. Many with a brain injury became angry people. Not so for her. Scared, hurt, disappointed. Yes. Angry, no.
Arriving home was not what was expected or even intimated. She was immediately an imposition, ‘unwanted’ reverberated though her head. She was not well. But how could she tell them what was happening inside her head and heart. She had a concussion and trying to explain was difficult enough. Trying to look normal, she stuck to simple things to do and say.
Upon arrival in Illinois, her sense of loss was profound. Every African male had the same accent as the attacker. Even the emergency room was unsafe. There was not even a number to call her long lost aunt or cousins for safety. She fled. Back down the road she collapsed. Bed bugs in the dingy hotel, no one to talk her to safety.
The rational of the Ozarks won out. There was no assistance for her and she would only be a burden for her family. Financially destitute, even asking for healthy food and a dentist to fix the damaged tooth would have been met with disdain.But the process to speak up was so difficult for her. Too many slaps down can break anyone.
That is not how she wanted to be returning home, a burden. Already being informed that Sister was not going to be there very often, the sense of drowning closed in. She dutifully went away. Days later after receiving notice that the long separated cousins were connecting, she wept.
You see, years of being told to take her light to the den (her music) and finding that nobody knew that she had been hurt 5 years into a brain injury, was perplexing. How could being told she was loved compute? She was just a conspiracy theorist. They could not see the historian and researcher. Why bother, she would never be a paper-plate, pre-mixed, CNN devotee.
To this day, she believes that her skills and experiences can help others. But the voice of her sister is a deafening silence. Twenty-two hundred miles and now she is no longer called on holidays. The silence given by Aunt (never being told why or given opportunity to heal) now is given by Sister.
Oh, she was ready to be home. In spite of the lifetime of torture and ignore, she was ready to be home. She daydreamed of the possibilities even though a fear of being relegated to the back room, down the street or left alone was keen. She not only needed acceptance, she wanted to share so much love that had no where to go. Working for governments was over and seems her inventions would go unnoticed. Were they afraid of her rocking the boat and taking a morsel of someone’s attention? Smart was never wanted. She spent decades wishing she were small. It didn’t work.
Yes, she would have worn the pearls again. But just that question and ensuing silence took the wind. She will never have the strength of spirit to love, laugh or live now. She boxed them up in tears with a loving note that said to call and she would tell her which earrings were the topaz, etc. There was no call. Not even the stories of her jewels were welcome. How can a sense of self and value survive this loss. She wished someone would have said welcome, you belong here.
She is pleased Sister has found the cousins (too late for herself). Sister will need their support. Keeping her sense of ‘right’ intact. One linked her on Face Book, but not a word hello noting they were offering help as a way of life. She wished she was stronger after the long journey. She would have asked for help. She wished for the confidence of her Admin/IT career and moreover, the confidence of the poet, musician and inventor inside that knew she was lovable, smart and funny. She was just lost and unwanted from birth. Seems the love of a challenging God was all she would come to know.
Nobody will know her stories, they will just wear her stones. The sadness contained will wear away by sitting in Sister’s closet waiting to be passed to the many daughters that could never get to know the woman who wanted to come home.