Saturday, February 20, 2010

Going back to Cali

Lets see how old the average reader of this blog is: do you recognize the title of this blog post? Of course, maybe old school hip hop is the norm now so everyone will/should recognize this title.

Anyway, I'm sitting at my childhood dining table back in the Bay Area of California. I know that I sometimes disclose personal information on this blog, although usually I try to do it within the context of a relevant blog post on issues of race/social justice. However, the truth is, I've had a terrible week. I mean, I know we all have them--terrible weeks. Weeks when you think, "Really? If one more bad thing happens or if I get more bad news, I'm going to throw up my hands and laugh/cry because what else can I do??!!"

There were some things of a professional nature I had to deal with, that became political (as these things often do). And then a close relative was diagnosed with acute leukemia--which brings the cancer count on both sides of my family to 8. That's right--I have 8 relatives between both sides of my family who have had cancer diagnoses. The day after the news of the cancer diagnosis, I received news that a friend had passed away unexpectedly. And then a few days later my doctor told me that I had contracted mono (which explains, now, all those weird low-grade fevers I kept getting, which is why I went to the doctors in the first place).

Now, I tell you all of this, not to generate sympathy for me or my family and friends, but to say that I have not felt like blogging. The mono, of course, doesn't help because one of the symptoms is that you have this continuous headache--and you can imagine what it's like to try to write and think with a constant headache. But honestly, I just haven't had the heart. Not to say that racial issues aren't important, but there are times, I think, when what is really important is something that seems very cliche: if you don't have your health, you really don't have much.

Of course, the academic part of me wants to talk about health issues among racial minorities in this country and the difference that stress can make in your life, compounding whatever health issue you may have.

But the further truth is that no matter what your racial or ethnic identity. No matter who you are, as human beings we are vulnerable to disease and to the mortality that will engulf us eventually.

Wow, I know, that sounds really morbid/dire/depressing. I don't mean it to be. Truly. But it does make me stop to think about my own life: am I living the life I want to live. Am I doing the things I want to do. And more importantly, am I letting people who are important in my life know how important they are--do the people I love know how much I love them?

I hope the answer to that last question is yes. That the people who are important in my life know and feel that I hold them in my heart. And I suppose that the last comment I will make in this post (and it may be a few days before I blog again, although who knows, perhaps I won't be able to help myself because, after all, Tiger Woods had his news conference yesterday, and then there's the tragedy of the IRS building in Austin, TX, and there are just things going on everyday that I'm bound to have an opinion about, being the opinionated person that I am). But I just want to say that I hope that all of you, dear readers, are healthy and that you are doing well, and that the people you love most in your lives know how you feel about them. After all, at the end of the day, these are the things that matter most.


david said...

First off, congrats on being back in Cali. I hope you get healthy soon and get lots of sleep, which is a problem for me. I tend to stay up late and it screws up my mental capacities. So I'm going to keep this short. Hope you get better soon and I'm sorry about your friend and your relative.

FB said...

Ah Cali. I had a homecoming of sorts in January. It was nice to see old friends and loved ones. I hope you enjoy your stay. Be well and I'll be praying for you, your family and friends. Say hi to those that I know.

Jennifer said...

david and FB,
Thanks for the notes of support. The trip was good, if very hard. FB, when's the last time you've been "home"--it's a bit different from how I remember it all back in our day, esp. MEHS.