For a long time, I have studied several patterns in my family. While some are unique to my family, others are quite common. Patterns in the way children are oblivious to the hardship of their parents. The way they are innocent and curious; asking why they share different last names with their siblings or have features that aren’t the same. The way they play, share and care for each other. The way they disagree, fight then reconcile in that same hour. The way in which they understand no real danger.
I have spent time studying patterns like the way women have been the head of our homes for the last four generations. The way these women play double roles and perform exceptionally at them. The way men are absent from their capacities as a brother, father or role model. The way the girls strive to emulate the women but boys have not a single man to look up to. The way the last wedding was almost two decades ago and how we have adopted a ‘live-home’ culture. The way money is budgeted to overcome debts and ensure a good education.
Above these, the way our grandmother loves us so much yet never spared us a good ‘cut ass’ and the way we choose family over logic. The way we stop talking then start talking again without ever discussing what happened to open the door for healing. The way we support each other in all our endeavors, never believing any dream is too big. The way we share every part of our lives with each other and laugh at our ‘bung’ jokes together. The assurance we can look forward to always hearing our grandmother say “Don’t worry, you did your best” even when we feel like the biggest failure.
Like every family, mine is made up of a myriad of patterns; tightly woven. As an adult, I have decided to weave only some of those patterns into my fabric. The rest of them, I pray become lost in time. For the sake of the generations that proceed me, I cannot continue to weave patterns of poverty, neglect, hurt or anything that will cause us to suffer. I must weave patterns of love, discipline, support and those patterns that will make us greater.
In doing so, I may have to say no when the opposite seems softer. I will speak my truth in its rawness even if I’m thought of as rude or rebellious. Not taking for granted, I may err in my attempts to make things better; I intend to weave the good patterns and untangle those that serve me no longer.