November 11, 1991 to February 9, 1992 was our angel season. It was the time chosen by God for what later became our spiritual evolution. This was the birth and death of our daughter D’Anika LaShay. The doctors called it SIDS, we called it purposed, ordained, part of HIS plan. Now, it took some time for us to grasp this reality and call it anything other than wrong. We couldn’t see past the hurt. We couldn’t stop screaming why, and passively blaming one another to stop and acknowledge the plan. There is nothing in life that can prepare you to birth and bury a child. Despite what you think, and regardless to what you’ve heard, there is no manual to heal such hurt. There is no 10-step program, and no magical words to bring understanding to the parents of an angel.
Throughout the years, Richie and I found ourselves, both collectively and individually seeking wisdom and guidance. We read, prayed, and we cried, which was a constant series that stayed on repeat or rewind. Spiritually we found peace, yet emotionally, we escaped into pockets of our own comforts, which grew into twenty-five years of denial and avoidance.
A few years ago, I began running, broke my ankle, needed something physical to stay ahead of, Fibromyalgia, so to Google I went. A search for healthy alternatives to running led me to GirlTrek and Atlanta’s City Captain, at the time, The Captivating Carla Haynesworth Harris. I was immediately enamored with the GirlTrek movement and was elated to find something that all of my friends could do with me. Discovering GirlTrek helped me, to evolve into Dynamic Deb, that’s my GirlTrek, Super Shero name, by the way! I unfolded layers of self, I forgot were there, and some, I truly never knew existed. I found passion and surprisingly, yes, surprisingly, I found a true sisterhood engulfed in certified #BlackGirlHealing. One step at a time, thirty minutes a day and Saturday strolls in my community, that’s all it takes, I thought, hmmmph, I can do that in my sleep. But wait, these ladies, Morgan & Vanessa, are literally encouraging me, Deborah, to be selfish, and commit to walking thirty minutes, for “my” health, is that all? Count me in! I’m down, and let me tell anyone who would listen about this new self-care phenomenon, that was waiting for me to discover.
Though, this inner-city girl, isn’t a strong swimmer, (translation, can’t swim,) I’ve always been intrigued with water, be it, lakes, oceans, rivers, or streams, I love its beauty and respect it’s strength, but mostly I’m in love with waterfalls; they, are my favorite. I find peace, and a special connection with waterfalls. There is a sense of serenity in the trek to the falls and an excitement of reaching the beauty of the falls, that’s irreplaceable.
Richie, my best-friend and husband, began taking me to the falls of Georgia, in 2011, and it’s now, “our thing.” It is in the woods, with the sounds of nature and the unmistakable calm of the waterfalls that I found my connection, a natural place of healing, the perfect place of peace. It is there where nothing else matters and all is well with the world. It is there, that I kinda borrowed TLC’s “chasing waterfalls” idea; however, I chose to chase the waterfalls, and not just “stick to the rivers and the lakes that I’m used to.”
........continued in the next entry. This my friend was Pieces of our 4:44, (Part 1) on 1.29.18.