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I'll remember it for the both of us.

When the matriarchal glue dies, does the patriarchy fall with it? How can the patriarchy remain when there’s no matron? After bearing vines of fruit so wide, who can tell who is the head and who is the body anymore? When the earth turns to flames and ashes, does the Father fall with it? If there’s no daughter standing left, holy, does the Father


die a lonely man? Was he ever the holy one to begin with? It seems my ancestors have forgotten themselves, and I was frightened that when I die, all that will remain is what others have remembered about myself. Are we really this disposable? Is everything she clung to, going to die with her? Inevitably, the timely slow departure of my grandmother’s memory, masking itself as her soul, paired with my fast departure from faith, has me wondering if the irony itself is a sign of God’s existence that’s been planned since I was knitted in her womb. I know her soul remembers, but her smiling eyes can appear blank. Every time I close my eyes, I let the memories I wish she still had, roll over me. I wish she could see what I see, but I know this is her soul just giving the memories back to me to keep for us both. Every part of her runs through me. If we could just close our eyes together, just one last time, to watch them float on by together, I wonder how different we’d see them. I wonder if her intentions were transformed by the time they reached me. I wonder if I learned them differently than she intended. I wonder if she sees her mistakes in me. I wonder if I’m everything she never could be. If we could just sit and watch, we’d see each other in the kitchen. By serving us, she taught us to serve others. No shortcuts, her hands of leather prepared our days, with no complaints. Her busy hands are now mine. Every fond memory of her though, is uniquely tied to the quiet knowing of a paternal absence in my own life. Her desperation for me to see love where it wasn’t, bled true through every faucet of her acts of service. I was never sure of my father’s love, but I knew that God existed; she held me in her arms.


If there is only one way to please such a jealous God, my grandmother is it. If you could remember what she can’t, you’d see every sin she carried for everyone around her. I’m certain she thought their mistakes could die with her and she could let the love continue to live on. My soul hasn’t forgotten though. Those who create and carry and give life, are the receivers. When two lovers come together in conception, there is a transfer of energy, burdens, and joys. One has to give and one has to receive. No relief comes without unloading. My grandmother has received so much of what has been unloaded onto her, from the womb she came from, to what she has taken on in her own womb, and then what she has birthed from her womb. I think she took on so much in place of those who came before and after her, and tucked it back to deal with it later. After feeding the animals, after the dishes, after slew of children are asleep, after the husband is drifted off. But the time never truly comes. She goes into worship, and gives her last drops of herself back into the God that only perpetuates the same system of depletion. I came from that wounded womb. Why do I see a saint begging for grace? Is it all for nothing? I didn’t know that I would have what others would need and no way to get it to them. Do we really serve a God who can have the ability to give relief but doesn’t lose any sleep over their cries? I have brought life into this world now, the way my grandmother showed me how, and I know that God exists, because I held them in my arms. And then I had to figure out how to not hate him. I worshipped these boys before they came from me, the way my grandmother worshipped my father, his father, and our father above us. How can these men deplete us to keep their fires lit? Will they be there in the end? How can they break their own rules and toss us to the embers? We can serve you until we die, and we still suffer in the end. You know, without us, they can’t be above us. There is no God without sinners. There is no father without a daughter.



I could choose to believe in this God thing with her, but I’d have to tell him I hate him. I’d have to tell him I wish he’d die. I’d have to tell him I think grandma’s better than him. I’d have to tell him she cared for his children when he didn’t. And I’d have to tell him I have a vengeful acts of torture reserved for every cry of her pain. I will make him feel what I feel. If he’s a God I am too, and I’m better at it.


But it’s not true. There is no heaven, and there is no hell. But there is a word, and we like to use it to give a name to beauty, resilience, and unconditional love. I’m not sure you’ll find it any ancient books. But I do know God exists, I’ve held her in my arms. The opportunities to feel this embrace is slipping, but one thing I know about God, is if he is real, then I’m God too, and this embrace will transfer to every sinner from my womb that I will spend my life worshipping, too.


If we could close our eyes and remember together just one more time, I’d let her see everything she forgot is still right here. I'll be remembering for the both of us.

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