R.I.P. Aaliyah…

I turned on the tv this morning and was reminded that Aaliyah died today eight years ago. She was the first person I truly didn’t know whose death made me cry like she was a family member. She was simply a celebrity I liked, but when she died it felt like I had lost a friend. It’s funny how these days I feel like I know celebrities because of shows and blogs, but I don’t they are strangers. For example, I saw Suchita Vadlamani and I kept thinking this woman looks familiar I know I know her from somewhere. So I said “Hello, how are you? ” Thinking since I know I know this woman she will recognize me and remind me of how we know each other. She was very gracious and said hello very pleasantly, but the look in her eye was not one of recognition. Then I realized omg I don’t KNOW this woman I’ve only seen her on tv.

But back to Aaliyah, I remember playing At your Best you are Love over and over…which is still one of my favorite songs of all time. One of my childhood friends was at my house and she kept trying to put in Aaliyah’s second cd, but I was adamant that we listen to that one song. I even told her if she wanted to listen to something else she needed to go back to her house. She backed off. After that we both sat on the floor listening to that song on repeat. Her voice in that song was just so soothing to me after hearing that she had passed. She was someone I wanted to meet. I even thought we would be friends. She seemed cool, sweet and a fun to be around. It hurt my heart that she was gone.

I believe it’s always harder to deal with the death of someone young, as opposed to older people who have had an opportunity to lead a full life. When people die unexpectedly and in her case tragically in a plane crash, it’s crushing. At least when someone is sick you deal with the possibility of death and it gives you an opportunity to prepare yourself for what may be the inevitable. 

I think the lesson for me today is that you never know when it’s your time to go. So whatever it is that I want to do or want to get I need to go get it period. I’m constantly having conversations with people about their lives and what they can do to improve, but what am I doing to improve myself? I need to stay in my lane, focus on my goals and be the best me I can possibly be because even if I don’t die tomorrow a lifetime goes by in a flash. My current situation has certainly taught me how to deal with stress on a whole different level. I don’t worry about things the way I did in the past, but maybe I need to bring back the sense of urgency that worry does produce. Today I realized I have nothing to show for the seconds, minutes, hours, days, months and years I’ve been here. I need to get busy, urgently. I’m also always reminding friends that time is valuable. Moments are precious. Turn off the tv, put down the cell, edit the email later and enjoy life right here and right now. I say this, but I don’t heed it. Today I will take my own advice because life certainly isn’t permanent.

Advertisements

It’s Sunday…

and I went to church. That’s what I’ve been up to this summer on Sundays. I go to church. It makes my mother so happy. I generally meet up with her after the service. When she sees me she just beams, and when she sees someone she knows she always introduces me as her daughter followed up with a great big smile. It’s funny her apparent happiness propels me to church now even if I don’t want to go.  

What’s better is that I actually got to church on time. So I wasn’t relegated to the rafters. I am very content to sit in the rafters because there is a lot more space. When you are seated on the bottom (or I should say on the sanctuary floor) they don’t like to leave the customary seat between each person. It’s like the movies when it’s opening night for a block buster they pack you in and there is a body in every seat. When I arrived I was directed to a partially empty aisle and told to go all the way down to the end. I made my way down the aisle and put my bag in the seat next to a very large teenage boy man. He was taken up a good one third of the seat that I sat my bag in. Side caveat: He really was taking up way more space then he needed to. I know that guys need space for the banana and berries, but my word there should be limits to how wide they can sit. They should square up with their shoulders or something there’s got to be a consistent way to bring order to the ridiculousness. Before I could sit down, an usher that I didn’t see quickly came over and asked me to move down a seat and hold my bag in my lap. Dang! He caught me. I picked my bag up and moved over as best I could into two thirds of my seat. I situated my bag in my lap and when I look up who do I see walking down the aisle? None other than Mr. Mean.

This is actually funny because I go to a rather large church, it is considered a mega church by some standards. While my church is large, it’s obviously not large enough to keep me from running into Mr. Mean again. I thought maybe he doesn’t recognize me so I immediately turned back to the pulpit. When he sat down he leaned over and said “I guess the Lord decided that our paths should cross again.” To my chagrin he remembered me. I didn’t respond I kept my eyes straight ahead. Then he said “I guess we are on the same schedule.” Again I didn’t respond. He leaned back over “You look very nice today.” To this I nodded (I know how to take a compliment), but kept my eyes straight ahead. Then he said “I’m still holding a brunch rain check just for you. What are you doing after church?” I leaned over and said “Thank you, but I won’t be using that rain check today or any other day.” I was actually expecting something harsh from him, but he said “I apologize. I hope you aren’t holding what I said before against me.” My response to this was a “ShhhHhhHhhhHhhhhush!” I then turned away from him, crossed my legs and attempted to find a space for my foot between the large leg of the teenage man and the seats in front of us. Despite my unreceptive body language, he was not the least bit concerned because he whispered in my ear “You need to forgive me so we can move on.” I inched closer to the teenage man, which caused him to turn and look at me. I just smiled and nestled myself behind his large arm and our shared portion of my seat.

Mr. Mean continued whispering every once and a while throughout the sermon things such as, “Your hair smells good, your shoes are pretty, I see you got a tan it looks nice, You should let me take you out I promise you’ll have fun.” I kept my back to him the whole service. As soon as the service was over, I leaped across the teenage man to get out of the aisle and bolted towards the exit. I looked back a few times, but didn’t see him. So I was safe.

I met up with my mom at our designated spot. She ran into a co-worker and of course introduced me. My Mother has the gift of loquaciousness so I politely excused myself and went to my car. As soon as I pulled out of the parking lot my mother called me.

“Hey Mama.”

“Are you still in the lobby?”

“No, I just pulled out of the parking lot. Are you okay?”

“Yes. I just met the nicest man.”

“Lucky You. Just what you’ve been praying for.”

“Not for me. For You!”

Then I hear her telling someone to talk to me.

“Hey Ursala!”

“Hello?!?”

“We give you our blessing. I know him. He is very nice, comes from a good family, no kids, never been married and he has a great job.”

Then I hear my mother asking for her cell back

“Mama?”

“Ursala, he’s cute, not like you like them, he’s a pretty boy.”

“You’re funny Mother.”

“I’m just telling you that he is nice looking.”

“Ok.”

“I gave him your number.”

“What?!? Mother!!! No!”

“Yes, he’s a good guy, comes to church, looks nice, comes from a wonderful family. He was so nice he gave us a ride to my car. You should thank me.”

“Wait, you got in a car with a stranger. You can’t do that.”

“He isn’t a stranger, Mrs. B_____ knows his mother. And he goes to church”

“Just because he goes to church doesn’t mean anything. He is a stranger to you. And you gave my number to this strange man. A man you don’t know.”

“Don’t be so dramatic. I know you’ll like him.”

My Mother has discerning taste, but she has never given my number to anyone so I’m a little concerned about her experimental match making.

“It doesn’t matter considering you’ve already given him my number. What if he starts calling me all the time?”

“Don’t answer your phone then.” I can tell she is exasperated with me, but I’m equally exasperated with her for giving my number to some strange man just because she met him at church.

“Mother you know I can’t do that I have to answer all calls to my cell right now. Well what did he look like?” I decided to be nice and not work my Mother’s nerves since I know she meant well.

“I told you already he’s a pretty boy.” I can tell I’m already working a nerve because I’m clearly not paying attention since I asked a question she has already answered.

“Could you be a little bit more specific? And what’s his name?”

“His name is L_____.”

“Wait did he have on a brown suit and a purply-lavenderish shirt?”

“Yes, he looked so nice.”

“NoOoooOoooo Mother you didn’t give that man my number.” Oh no my Mother gave my number to Mr. Mean. “Please tell me you are just playing or you meant to say you got his number for me.”

“He has your number and he is going to call you.” Click. My Mother almost never says bye when she is done talking she just hangs up.

I hoped there was some other pretty boy, in a brown suit, with the same name as Mr. Mean at church. I highly doubt it. I can’t believe my mother gave my number to Mr. Mean. The question is did he know it was my Mother or did she just pimp me out?