Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Food for Thought: Tragedy... and Residue, Part 2

Continued from Part I...

I was watching some of the 9-11 related segments o  various morning shows yesterday morning, and there was a guy who was telling the story of his being actually inside the towers when they fell, and how he was rescued from the rubble.

Something traumatic like that has to stick with a person. I wouldn't doubt for the rest of their lives.

But the man said something interesting: he talked of people who have the sentiment of "9-11 is over. Get over it."

What a terrible thing to say. Yes people think such things, but to verbalize such thoughts?? Wow.

And part of me could understand. Afterall, we are a desensitized bunch, we are. A friend told me long ago that people aren't too concerned about situations or tragedies until those events fall right on their doorstep. What that means is that if it's not happening to you and/or directly affects you... it just doesn't matter.

I've had trouble in this area my ownself in something non-related and comparitively insignificant. Like, I don't understand people who wail about having to take medication. Shoot man, I have this lupus, and I take a good bit of meds twice a day... so I can just feel alright and function everyday. So I'm a little O_o when folks bellyache about having to take a couple of pills for a short period of time. I gotta take them for a lifetime.

Back in the day, the medication options weren't available. They would just take you out back and shoot you. Period.

I must admit to myself that I shouldn't feel this way. It's wrong to judge someone else's choices and concerns, no matter how insignificant they may seem.  Instead, I've learned to relate it all to something that I bellyache about, or I can't stand. And when it comes to medical craziness, for me it's blood transfusions.  I have had to have a couple of those. I do NOT like someone else's blood being pumped into my veins. Thank God that they can test blood for ratchetness, but all in all I don't know that anonymous person's history. I avoid blood transfusions at all costs. No more of that! It gives me the creeps just thinking about it!

So now I can relate to someone who is all squeamish about meds. I feel that way about blood transfustions. That kills out any judgment mentality I will have concerning that.  I understand.

And I do the same with the 9-11 tragedy. No, I wasn't there at Ground zero when all that occurred. I was way across the country in a training class. I watched it unfold while sitting in the bar in the hotel lobby.

Yet I would never even twist my mouth to tell anyone to "Get over it."

We all have had tragedies and loss in our lives. I will sit back and be still and think about what loss I have had in my own life. What has left me just shellshocked and downright unable to mentally function for a moment of time. And for me, the most recent occurence is the loss of my friend Nikki.

I won't write much about it. I may short out my laptop with my tears. I wrote about my feelings the week that she passed back in the post "To Nikki... from the Heart of LadyLee".  That was my closure piece, even though with a friendship like ours, there is never any real closure.  But I will admit that I remember her around this time, albeit privately.

Now, I'm kind of a "different" person. If we are friends, you will consider me your "unique" friend.  Me and you... we're not gonna be discussing hair, shoes, or shopping, because I am a tomboy, and frankly, I just don't like those things. My personality ain't like others. I am very quiet, especially if I don't know you. I do NOT fake the funk. I don't particularly think that I get along too well with people, nor do I care to. I like to be able to tell my friends apart (I don't like people who run with the crowd or have no sense of individualism). I detest cliques of any shape or form. If there is any inkling of you trying to get over on me or you having too much unnecessary drama going on, I will most likely vanish. I don't deal well with constant complaining and negativity. I do much to hide my own negativity, so as not to irritate others.

And CowgirlCre, who has known me for the past 15 years (at least), told me the other day that if I fall out with folks, I will completely cut them off. This is true. I ain't mad with you. It's just that I didn't like you much anyway, and you wrecking my steelo and bringing down my quality of life. No hard feelings, but I'm leaving you alone.

I don't like that about myself. But at the same time, I hate being in bondage to folk even more. And I don't want folks being in bondage to what I think about them. So that idiosyncracy sticks.

But I am a nice person. In spite of all that. At least I try to work on it. And "nice" is in the eye of the beholder. I ain't stabbing you in the back, not trying to deceive or trick you, not trying to cause trouble in any shape or form. In this day of time, that makes me "nice."

Now here's what I liked about Nikki... and frankly, it is what I miss about her: she loved me in spite of my complexities.  In spite of all my imperfections, she celebrated my strengths. And she understood my weaknesses, and tried to help me in that respect.

How often do you find that in people? Not often.

Such an incredible asset. That's what she was. I loss someone who had gone from friend to perfect asset.

I so so miss that unconditional friendship we had. Because frankly, I don't have much of that anymore. I watch closely what I say to people. CLOSELY. I have even slipped up this year and spoke my mind on some things, which weren't accepted, and it didn't go over well... those people get sat on the outside of the heart of LadyLee. And when those things happen, I think of Nikki. And how I miss the ability to speak my mind, her to speak hers, and we all good afterwards. We've increased in understanding afterwards. How great is that?

She is one of the few people in my life who asked me the hard questions. And she waited for the answers. And she didn't judge me for what I said, or how I felt, no matter if she didn't quite understand it. She would ask more questions or just let it stand.

How tragic a loss is that? Sigh. I do miss that. I REALLY miss that. It is a treasure to have people around like that.

That is my own personal way of relating to those of 9-11. Someone is there, then they are gone. Well at least I knew Nikki wasn't well, but still... it was a hard loss. I think I was barely functioning for a week after her death. I refused to crochet, because we were in a crochet circle together (yeah, erotic Nikki. Knitting and Crocheting. And talking me into joining a crochet circle. Imagine that). I refused to sit on my couch because I could still see her sitting there, and still hear us yelling while watching March Madness.

Just crazy man. And to add to all that, we had similar related diseases. I have, and still go through feeling...  why I am still alive, and she isn't?

I think about her every time I make my required bimonthly doctor's visit. It unnerves me just a little to walk into the office. I hold my breath, hoping that there is no bad news of my own deterioration.

Never will I tell anyone to "Just get over it." Insulting, that's what it is.

For there is always that... residue. Residue of tragedies in our lives.

Residues may or may not be removable. You just don't get over residues. Human emotions are just not that simple.

You don't get over loss. Not like that. Yes you put it all in some type of perspective, but there is still that dark area of your heart that grieves.

And that's how I feel. I miss Ol' ATLien Nikki.

So I remember her during this time.

On another note, I talked to her mother on the anniversary of Nikki's passing. We had been playing some serious phone tag all that week. It si always startling to talk to or see her, because she and Nikki look alike, with those locks of theirs, and they sound alike, as both have that same cadence and New York accent.

"I miss my girl, Lee," she said.
"I miss her too, Mama Nikki."
"My granddaughter said something that helped me, though," she said. "She suggested that we release balloons on her birthday. She said 'Grandma, don't be sad on Nikki's birthday. Send up balloons so she can have them as gifts.' And that helped me much."
"I'm sure it did."

Then the convo turned funny.
"Listen Lee. My sister is coming down on the 15th and we're having a dinner party. We really wanna see you. And My sister's been asking about those cookies of yours."
"I'll bake some," I said. People LOVE my cookies. (Still seems a bit odd to me. Hmm.)
"And look," she said. "I know you all vegetarian now, so I gotta figure out what to cook for you."
"Uh, I have reduced meat out by 95%. Haven't figured out the other 5%. So if I go somewhere, I will eat whatever."
"No, no, no. I'm going to make sure I fix something special for you. Gotta make sure you are able to eat with us."
(I suppose all those times I went over with a sack of my own food just in case I got hungry didn't go unnoticed, lol).
"I'll be alright. Cook whatever."
"I have been cooking this really good vegetarian dish lately," she said. "It's really good."
I was about leery, yet interested in what dish she spoke of. One of Nikki's family friends ranted and raved about a hot banana dish he made. Me and Nikki tried it and we were both O_O. 
"I made this dish called eggplant parmesan. It is really good. And I'm gonna make if for you!"

Eggplant parmesan.  We have had the most interesting vehement discussions about all things eggplant in our cubicle area. I don't care that much for eggplant (although I have grown to like the foreign varieties). CowgirlCre made an extra large bottomless pan of it and she was a bit... traumatized and troubled about it all. My coworker Detroit Meek-Meek LOVES all things eggplant. She is an eggplant fiend. (And she don't like onions and peppers. O_o). So we fuss about this often.

(When I mentioned this to CowgirlCre, she laughed hard. Meek Meek slapped her thigh and let out a yelp of satisfaction at the mere mention of eggplant. *crickets*)

And here Mama Nikki was. Making eggplant. So she could make sure I had a variety of things to eat.

"Mama Nikki, you can give me a slice of light bread and a glass of water. I will sit in the corner and be happy."

I'm there for the fellowship.

"No, no, I'm making it."
"Alright. I'm not gonna argue with you. Go for it."


And I will make some 6 dozen cookies. And I will sit and eat my eggplant parmesan.

And remember old times with Nikki.

I am really looking forward to that.

I know it is good salve for the pain I still feel because of  her loss.

The residue is still there, you see.  I'm not sure that it ever goes away.

Nikki... man I miss you. You will forever hold a place in my heart. You surely will.


  1. What a nice post. I do miss reading Nikki's posts.

  2. Beautiful post Lee.

  3. I miss ya Old girl! I hope you enjoy the eggplant parm. Thanks for the post, it was a good read. Food for thought for sure.


Slap the *crickets* out the way, kindly step up to the mike, and SAY something!!