This morning while I rode the crowded bus to work I missed my stop ‘cause I had so much on my mind. I was thinkin’….thinking about my sister Crystal who passed away four years ago this New Years Day. She died in a bad situation that didn’t have to be….and the more I think about it the more the anger just grows.
You see, she died in the middle of the night in a hallway of a crack spot in the projects. Nobody checked on her as she lay in that freezing place….they just stepped over her again and again so they can get their hit before disappearing into the night. What have we turned into? But you know what? Those crack heads have an excuse for being so cold. Don’t you expect them to be? I mean, we know how vicious a crack addiction can be. It’s been around for almost 25 years now and is just as much a part of the fabric of the Black community as the friendly neighborhood drunk who directs traffic on a Sunday morning down on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. We who live in the inner city and Black neighborhoods across the country and all over the world all have been touched by this epidemic either through neighbor who may have fell victim to this powerful drug if not a family member or even ourselves.
Most of us give strength to the hold of this chemical demon by at first acting as though everything is okay. Whether it’s family who can clearly see the obvious signs of addiction in your people or if it’s you PERSONALLY hittin’ that glass dick tryin’ to act as if it will just go away when we realize that it’s our turn to deal with it. So I can see an addict doing this….even a family member. But what is at the root of my anger is the fact that the very people who were supposed to NOT be in denial were the people who were instrumental in her eventual breakdown because of their ignorance.
So many of my close friends have asked me why I waited so long to take action if I knew what she was going through. The real deal is that like so many people that go through this same situation is that I DIDN’T know! She was so clever in hiding her addiction as I and the rest of the family went on about our lives without spending that all important quality time that is so very necessary in detecting something wrong. But After she died I found a letter in the bedroom that her grandmother always kept for her in the old house. She would go there to get away sometime to recharge and think.
You know what it said?
It was a letter to me that was never mailed….it detailed how she went to the deacons, elders, sisters and pastor of the family church. The church that we all grew up in…..She went to them in a sincere effort to make a change in her life. She revealed to them at different times how she told them of the molestation she endured from my uncle.
I never knew this.
She spoke on how when she tried to tell my deceased father about it, he brushed it off as though she was starting trouble in the family and said to “let it die ‘cause the damage is already done!”
“GET OVER IT!”
How cold……….How cruel! But what took the cake for me was the collective response that the church body gave when she confided in them. Seems like my father tipped them off to the fact that she was about to open up on the molestation that she endured from uncle Frank in order to bring about some type of healing to herself from within. He wanted to save face and not bring “drama” to the family name. Imagine that! He was more concerned about how the family looked to others than relieving the unmeasurable pain in his own daughter’s heart! How many of us are born into dysfunctional families whose parents are more concerned with an “image” while our family members are suffering the worse internal pain imaginable?
You know what those damn “prosperity preaching” hypocrites said? They said that it was her fault why she was molested. They said it was her fault why she was a crack addict…..that she wasn’t a tithing member so of course she would be cursed! They said she was too weak to resist her demons and that is why her life has taken the downward spiral that we have witnessed! Here we had an emergency where she could have been truly rescued but all her plight was for them was just more gossip material to be whispered amongst themselves as they smiled at us on the front steps after church service between them shouting “Praise the Lord” and “God is so good!” Colgate smiles and murderous hearts!
And to add insult to injury, many of the church brothers KNEW that her addiction was real and in the name of the Lord, found themselves “counseling” her…….counseling her in the lover’s lane parking lot late at night in the reclined front seat of their car with their pants pulled down to their knees? So I guess after she finished “showing her thanks” they would “encouraged her” with a twenty dollar bill knowing that she would go afterward straight to the spot for a hit!
Is this “advice” reflective of the love of God?
Or is it the arrogant egos of men and women who put themselves up to be a god beside God? I have had a hard time dealing with this as I’ve found that no one in my circle truly cares and really do not yet have a sense of closure. But because of their responses I can see why some people out here in the world think they don’t want nothin’ to do with God because the first line of contact with the church can be even MORE scandalous than any situation that you may EVER find in the ‘hood! And THAT’S REAL!….
A very bitter, wounded and confused Alvin Groves, 46, Detroit Michigan, on the pain, loneliness and hurt that his sister Crystal had to endure before she died unnecessarily in that cold hallway at the neighborhood ghetto crackspot.