Before anyone thinks I am making fun, that’s not so. This came to me the other day when I was still hugging the couch.
It was a long time ago, when I first arrived in Long Island, N.Y. as a nanny. After I was there a few months my aunt and uncle came from Munich to visit and we took off to see New York.
It was a hot, sweltering July day. I believe it may have been the 4th because I remember a long Parade with music, drums and everything. When it was over, the people dispersed and we were thirsty and started to look for a diner or Cafe. Not knowing the area and had no map, we got lost.
We ended up in a very different neighborhood. Not another white person. We were watched and looked at but had no idea why. No one bothered us though.
We came upon a building with multi-colored windows. From inside we could hear a Tamborine and singing. I thought it was a bar. We stepped inside. Right away I noticed that this was not a bar but a church. Filled with Black people. Dressed in their absolute best. Hats, gloves and pretty dresses, the men in somber dark suits. We just stood there, not knowing what to do. The Pastor was saying that someone should start giving ‘Testimony’. My English was still in its infancy, so I was not sure what that meant. Suddenly, a lady got up and started shouting’ :Lawd, Lawd have Mercy!’ She was looking toward the ceiling and lifted her arms, while repeating. (I thought she said ‘Lard’ and couldn’t understand why someone would shout to heaven, to get it.)
My aunt and uncle who spoke no English asked me where we were. Before I could answer, the Pastor waved me forward and greeted us nicely. Asked where we were from and how we found our way to their church. I told him that we were glad to be there. The congregation gathered around us, talking and smiling and being very friendly. When the service was over, the Pastor walked with us to the edge of Central Park and pointed us to the right direction. We did stop at a diner and had a Cola. We had got lost in Harlem, in the 60′s. It was for us a very nice experience. I still smile when I think of the ‘Lawd’ and hope whatever that Lady wanted, she got.
When I started walking, with the bum leg painful and heavy, I too said ‘Lawd have mercy’.
I couldn’t write anything for awhile as a horrible tragedy happened to a very good, dear friend of ours. Just a few days before his wedding, his Fiance’was murdered by her sick and violent ex-husband. Shot in front of her teenage daughter, in broad daylight, in the parking lot of the dressmaker where they had gone to try on her dress. (He too was shot by Police after he opened fire.)
I was stunned and cannot imagine the grief and sadness over such a senseless act. Instead of the wedding, there was then a funeral. Anything I had to say about my problems, paled immensly in light of so much pain. I was supposed to be there for the wedding and had so looked foreward to a visit and to get to know this beautiful, vibrant lady that our friend had chosen for the ONE in his life. Due to the Thrombosis, I couldn’t go. My son had flown to be ‘best man at the wedding. What does one say? What words can possibly be used? What sense can make someone out of this hellish act? So many people who will miss her. The mom, the daughter, the aunt, the good friend to so many. I’ve cried for days. For her, her daughters, her family and our good friend. From the very beginning when he told me about her, I loved her name– ‘VIOLETA.
For the last few days, the leg has improved. I am doing ‘baby-steps’. I can now walk 3 blocks. In between, I had chemo. The blood test shows that the numbers are down. I am grateful. In 2 weeks I will have a CT scan to check on tumor. I envision that it is ‘dried up’ hanging by a thread, and I can stop having chemo.
Meanwhile, life goes on and my beautiful granddaughter is now 22. My daughter will have a birthday soon and then, it’s my turn. So much has happened in that year. And, we are molded once again by all the happenings in the tapestry that is Life.