Saturday, January 30, 2010

Out of Death Comes Life

Todays is the two year anniversity of my cousin "Big Mike"'s death. It affected my family dynamic in so many ways. I watch his little girl grow up everyday and i am so thankful for that. She is beautiful.

Drugs and alchol have always been a part of my life. They have always surrounded me, and often the way i feel was built around their influence. Although I have done a fair share myself (what does that mean? a "fair" share? what amount would be fair.. hmm... random thought on the common phrases used in english language here) it was often not their direct influence on me that affected me most, but instead the hold they have over others I love.

My cousin died of drug related causes at a very young age. He left behind miss Kyra who is now 7. It is sad, but through his death he has given his daughter, and other very dear to my heart a chance to truely live. I thank him for that.

He was always a bit of a brute. He wanted to be gangster and embraced ghettoness. However, I know this to be a front. I know what it's like to grow up feeling that you never truely fit in anywheres. He had to make himself larger than life. He threw his weight around and acted tough, because he had to. When you grow up ghetto there are few choices. You can either embrace the ghettoness, as many in todays culture are now taught to do, or you can feel the shame. I know for a fact that either way you feel the shame. The front is really just that- it's a way to not show the shame.

I remember our poker games. I remember going to the casino. I remember when we were little and when he'd come to my house we'd stay awake in our room while the adults played poker. Who would have thought that someday that would be us. Jack 7 all the way!

As for myself, I have straddled that line and struggled with it. I often felt that I did not fit in with the ghetto part of my life. I do not fit in with those who have given up hope, nor with those that embrace they are "from the hood". I do not want to see children raised that way, because their parents knew no better. I have always been the book nerd. The really smart girl who always felt like she was overlooked and stood no chance. The girl who hated that she was smart, because she just wanted to be left alone. The girl who never felt she had any options to do anything with her smartness. I am the girl who befriends the professors, who reads insanely, and who can't ever turn her mind off. I am the girl who drives her self crazy, thinking she is so, when really she's so sane it's unbelievable. It seems as though I have been resented, due to my intelligence. That to some I seem like I am stuck up. This is so far from the truth, and has always caused me much pain. When I am hanging out with the professors it is as though they could never fully grasp the other "ghetto" part of me. It is straddling a wall and trying not to fall. Remembering where you come from and why. Learning to grow as a person and embrace your intellect, and learning to use that intellect to inspire others. It is believing that although we are products of our enviroment, we are also products of ourselves.

Mike, I miss you. I am thankful for the life you have given to others. I feel you died for a cause, and yes I am grateful for that. Thank You.


  1. What a beautiful way to pay tribute to your cousin. His daughter is lovely & her holding up the flower is perfect. This is so eloquent, Vee, and it really touched me. You said it perfectly - we are products of ourselves as well as of our environment. You have no shortage of the capacity to inspire others. Thank you for sharing a bit of your cousin's and your own story. ♥

  2. You're so sweet! You help inspire me dear :)
    I was actualy looking for my fav pic of her, but than i saw this one. She's the "princess brat" and i love her. <3

  3. What an amazingly touching tribute. Thank you for sharing it.

  4. Thank you for reading and joining my blog :)
    It's taking me a lot to start writing again, but i truely belive in is good for the soul.
    I miss Mike dearly and it is a very complex story, but i truely belive life comes from death. I have too, because otherwise many more would be lost also.