11:33pm ][ let it go.

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When I was a teenager, I remember hearing my late grandmother and mom on the phone discussing me.  The conversation was anything but pleasant.  My mom was venting to my grandmother about my behavior and how out of control my mouth was.  I was sassy, packed with attitude and my mom hated it.

Its funny how very little has changed in that area.  I guess some characteristics are just a part of who you are…

I remember hearing my mom find solace in the conversation.  Although young, I was bright enough to pick up on the fact that this solace came from my grandmother cosigning with my mom.  To my mom, I was “too much.”   And it seemed that my grandmother agreed.  This wasn’t the first Josie venting session that my ears laid claim to and unfortunately it wasn’t the last.

Thirty-one years of memories and this one is still here.  It was in that moment that I realized I didn’t know or like my grandmother very much.  Although she might have at times, I don’t remember her ever coming to my rescue.  From the outside looking in, she was widening the divide between me and my mom.  She showered me and her other grand-kids with savings bonds and other gifts, but I don’t remember feeling as if she loved me.  I’m sure I’m mistaken…I’m sure my memory has failed me after all of these years…I’m sure of it…

However, I do know that it was through my grandmother that I first felt betrayal and distrust; especially for family.  But there was one aunt, who when I looked into her eyes, I saw myself.  She was beautifully flawed.  She dated the wrong men, made bad decisions and partied more than she prayed.  But she was brilliant – the first black female scientist I had ever known.  And I loved her.  Not because she was a genius…I loved her because she was unapologetically imperfect.

Eager to be around what I viewed as normalcy, I was always quick to volunteer as babysitter for her 2 little boys.  Man…the stories I could tell from my overnight adventures at her house!  I would play every Mary J. Blige and Isley Brothers CD I could find while getting ready for my male visitors. Rummaging through all of her clothes, I was determined to find the perfect outfit for the night: halter top, Express jeans, Nine West boots and Mary Kay makeup to finish off the look.  I would put the boys to sleep and then the phone calls would begin.

She died…my aunt.  Alcohol poisoning…

Her alcohol addiction was no surprise to my family.  She was battling a dangerous addiction for years and they had done everything in their power to help.  But in the end, it just wasn’t enough.  Her boys, both under 11 at the time, found her laying motionless in the bed.  I will never forget that phone call…

My grandmother was never the same after…she died shortly after.  My mom never really got over the death of her youngest sister either.  And with any mention of wine or any other alcoholic beverage, my mom goes ballistic.  Tonight I mentioned that I was having a glass of wine with my ice cream and instantly I regretted my negligence.  As frustrating as it is to be reprimanded for drinking at 31, its even harder to ignore the root of her pain.  My mom doesn’t know how often I think of my aunt, but I do.  Every time that I pour a glass of wine.  Every time that I listen to 90’s music.  Every time that I see Nine West boots.  Every time that I date the wrong man.  And every time that I wear the Giving Keys that I got made in her memory…


I think of her more than she knows.

Nosy Josie heart JE10

via Daily Prompt: Hike

About nosy josie (88 Articles)
Josie is an aspiring writer living in Chicago Illinois, inspiring self-love through her own tragicomic life journey. Follow Josie as she details her collection of dating fails, life lessons and heart-to-heart confessions with her nosy readers.

6 Comments on 11:33pm ][ let it go.

  1. I loved this, Josie. So beautiful and emotionally raw. What’s the story with the giving keys?

    I’m sorry your much-needed indulgence of a glass of wine drew negativity from your mom. 😑

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you :). I had such a rough time enjoying my wine after our conversation. But it helped me write – so I guess not all was loss.

      The Giving Keys exists to employ those transitioning out of homelessness in Los Angeles to make key necklaces and other jewelry out of repurposed keys. The goal is to put something meaningful and encouraging on them and eventually to pay them forward to someone else who needs to be uplifted. Mine say “LET IT GO” on one key and has a semicolon on the other in support of Project Semicolon (a faith-based non-profit that encourages and supports people with depression, addiction, and thoughts of self-injury or suicide). I got that in memory of my aunt :)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This was so beautifully written. I am so sorry about your aunt and how it affected your family after.

    Also loved reading the additional comment about The Giving Keys.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much. It definitely impacted the dynamic. The good thing is that it inspired my move to Chicago aka dream chasing and independence. Its funny how something can be hurtful and helpful at the same time. Thank you for being so kind <3 :)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Eboni Katrice // September 21, 2016 at 1:27 pm // Reply


    Liked by 1 person

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