Slow Medicine

...All of the roads I’ve traveled, led me into this very space, grieving experiences I hadn’t had an opportunity to see. Longing to feel connected to something that substantiated my existence beyond explosive anxiety and crippling depression. I wandered around in my mind, taken into account all of the traumatic seasons of my life and how I could make them mean something...and, I came back with nothing. Too heavy in thought to not get out of my own way and lacking confidence that I’d figure out what my purpose was before I became too old to not feel stuck. I mean, being a preschool teacher wasn’t all that bad. But, I felt called to do more. Be more. And, just like the good ole saying, “you betta watch what ya pray for”....life.

A gut-wrenching hypersensitive summer had me questioning life with the “what’s next” expectation buzzing. Anxiety was seemingly at an all time high, and devastating visions and dreams of death and transformation loomed but I just couldn’t figure out why, and then, it happened. The God I knew in the flesh, the earth that birthed me, the only somebody that loved me, my Umi, my mother, my everything, experienced cardiac arrest and a stroke simultaneously and slipped into coma. I knew something was going to happen. I felt it. It could smell it. But, I didn’t know it would be the one thing I feared the most.

For the next 8 years, my mother, the smile flashing, electric slidin’, Marconi salad maker, laid in a bed in an unfamiliar place, with a voice she couldn’t use, arms that couldn’t hold me, and life she couldn’t enjoy. She had just turned 48 when it all happened, and I was 23. If you ask me now, 12 years later, I’d still say neither of us was ready for this.

My grace, my very best friend, the soil that enriched my growth transitioned into an ancestor a little less than 4 years ago. Though pieces of me have gone with her, the ones I needed stayed.

At the very beginning of my mother’s new life, I had a ton of questions: why, what, who, how, why again. More so, what could I do to prevent this from happening to black girls and black mommas in my lineage and in my culture. Once I found my footing in my routine with being present for my mother daily, while also working and trying to juggle a newly single life, I returned to school to study nutrition. Apparently, this soul changing event, was the sole factor in helping me find myself and my purpose. As grim as it may sound, had I not lost my mother to the impact of cardiovascular disease, I wouldn’t be walking in this path.

Through heartache and heartbreak, I returned to school in 2012 and begin diving deep into nutrition holistically and clinically with a deep desire to study nutritional genomics, the impact food has in gene expression and how to transform habits and behaviors so that generations to come, generations of blackness could thrive without the threat of being number 1 to suffer due to the disparities in a disease care system.

Today, I am transmuting my pain daily. Evoking the spirit and warmness of my mother, the sweetness of my grandmother, and the wholeness of my great grandmother to generate intentional medicine, slow and ritualistic, for the edification of my people because we have nothing left to do but heal.