(I wrote this piece over 5 years ago, and it still makes me want to cry when I revisit, I hope this give you feels, good or bad, I hope the power of these words, resignate with you as much as they have with me)
It times like this when I wish emotionally I was more sound. Not stronger, because I cant remember the last time I cried, but sound, able to express freely without going through complications and worrying about how someone else will feel when I show how I feel, but this is the way I have made myself. I see that sometimes things that we dont exactly express outwardly within a moment, maybe because you cant find a the words, or the emotional outlet, doesnt mean that they go away. i didnt realize this until tonight after enduring a really emotional weekend that I have been really missing something that hasnt been in my life for sometime now. When these things left my life, I didnt think that I would be so outwardly effected until today, in this very moment why my heart is so full, I can say I never got to express my total gratitude and love for my grandparents Richard and Margerite White.
In Baltimore, on the 3000 Block of Windsor Avenue there was a house that holds a history so rich and full. The carpet, if my memory can recall was a off colored green, that matched the couches that sat in the living room, covered in plastic for as long as can remember. The old wallpaper that smelled like age old glue, and the piano that sat in the parlor area near the stairs, the stairs that led you to the bedrooms upstairs including the bedroom of the missing sister Gootashchineta (Family tale). I remember always sneaking away while visiting to try and strike a key on the piano while being undetected or visiting the back bedroom to see if the stories were true. The home of Richard and Margerite White was a place where only the most keen of social graces were displayed. Sunday dinners and Family gatherings were always executed with great poise. Often as a child I remember sitting there at the table trying to follow the conversations, but often being distracted but the china cabinet filled with an elaborate collection of salt and pepper shakers my grandmother collected. This opportunity to sit with the grown ups was very rare considering during such events kids were to sit in the kitchen and eat. The big yellow kitchen. Its sad that I didnt recall more intimate moments in their home, The most I truly remember is seeing them both in their final moments on earth.
With this in mind I recall the thing that I missed the most. Even though my actual memories of these amazing people were short, the thing stuck with me the most was the union of Simple Strength and Sophistication that represented them both. They were very refined in an old worldly manner. I remember on long car rides to Eastern Shore during my weekend visits, Grandmother sat in the back. Richard White was a man of few words to my knowledge. Every time i would see he would give me a dollar, and tell me to be a good boy.I would always waste that dollar as soon as we left at whatever gas station we stopped on the way home. He could just give a look that would stop you in your tracks, even as I remember when my grandmother was sent to the hospital, I never saw him break. It was almost like he knew what God's plan was for his and his wife.
My Grandmother was a socialite in its truest form. She was part of woman's league,and social groups, and the lived life in the utmost etiquette. There was never time when I saw here with a curl out of place. She her class was undeniable and her closet would be a vintage shoppers dream. I remember the way her glasses would push up when she smiled. She gave birth to my whole family. The idea that one person could create something so great constantly perplexes me.
Parts of them live on through me. My respect for social graces and ability to be poise under pressure comes from my Grandmother Margerite. Every time I have a gathering I also feel a presence that guides me to makes sure things go perfectly, and now it know where the energy comes from. My ability to be a gentlemen, comes from my grandfather Richard. I never remember seeing him with a button down shirt, and for those of you who have know me since childhood know that I that I have often gotten in trouble for wearing my church clothes outside or to school. I still get upset when I think about the cufflink collection of his that I lost after he past. They say you never really realize what you have until its gone, and today I feel that loss.
I wish they could have been here for some of my accomplishments, physically at least. Seeing me walk across the stage, Or my coming to one of the events that I created. I know that they would have been so proud to see the pieces of themselves within me. I truly envy the time my aunts and uncles have had to spend with them, I know that they value those moments more than anything on this earth. I think that anyone who encountered them was left with a piece, and I wish that my piece would have be greater.
I love you Richard and Margerite White.
I wish that times like this I could just call someone and talk about them, look at an old photo album or just take a trip down memory lane, but pride has taken and paved over some of the road. The last time I have seen of the people most important to me, was at a funeral. i just hope it doesnt take another funeral for everyone to realize that the only thing greater than a loss of a loved one, is the loss of love.