A fine Sunday morning ushered in the news of my grandmother's demise. Her death led to a detailed funeral and a minor procession. A hoard of well-wishers who weren't family arrived at the funeral; people no one knew, but they claimed to be her acquaintances. Grandmama was feisty and believed in independence. She urged everyone to stand their ground and brace the world. A mother to six (two sons and four daughters) she had taught herself the family trade when grandpapa passed away, when my mother, her youngest, was just a year old. A female-centric household wasn't an exaggeration. Five women dominated my two uncles. Hence, they grew up sensible and open towards women issues more than the average man.
You would expect a woman who has taught her children the value of freedom to express their views unperturbed by society, but when it was time to live by the preaching, grandmama backed out. My uncle Hex had a secret; a secret that confused him. His best friend of 12 years, Jason had slipped in the three words; eight letters that appeared utterly bizarre and precious at the same moment. He had returned the favour, wishing his first to be a secret. Unfortunately, grandmama witnessed the exchange, and she uttered out her harsh opinions, "Boys are created to love girls. You do not pretend to play house with other boys."
Uncle Hex had no doubts lingering in his mind. He knew his mama hated his view of love unbiased and unscathed by the filth, their society called morality. Exasperated by the indifference from his own mama, he and Jason silently spirited away; someplace far where they had built a home; a paradise.
He remained in contact with his siblings for they loved him for who he was; they loved him for being the person their mama failed to gauze upon. When the news arrived, he came back to look at his mother's peacefully sleeping face. He had missed her but never dared to reach back, even though grandmama had tried many times. It was hard for him to forgive her. Now, he stood by her coffin; a heartbreaking letter from his dying mama clutched in his hands; bawling his eyes out, "Mama, mama. Look at me. I have been a terrible son. I love you. Wake up, mama."
My dearest baby Hex,
I am ashamed, horrified, and disgusted. My words pierced your innocent heart, and it turned our relation sour. I wanted you to meet my friends. They have taught me so much; I lacked in ways a mother shouldn't. Your love is pure and right. You deserved a better parent. I tried to reach out to people just like you. They were everything I never thought you were and nothing I accused you of being. I am sorry.
Hex, I only hoped to see my baby and his better-half one last time. Oh, bless that boy, he has always been loyal and stood by you when I didn't!
Forgive your mama, will you? I miss you a lot; come home now.
My son, keep kissing boys in the street.
When I'm gone, keep kissing boys in the street.
People say respect comes easy based on two formats; seniority and priority. Older people secure their spots based on seniority while our ideal images based on priority. But is this true? Uncle Hex respected grandmama's pride and image, so he separated himself from her. But grandmama failed to respect the sanctity of his love. She played it out as a mistake; believed him and his partner to be a dread to society and virtue. Once she realised her mistake, she pleaded guilty; but now he disrespected her wishes, for his hurt ego stood tall over his mother's pleas and warm tears for forgiveness.
Respect and love are two sides of the same page; in fact, effortless when it's deserved. But how do we decide the list of deserving people? Respect is an equivalent exchange. Your thoughts, your actions and your words. When you respect you beget respect. Let us endeavour to be more conscious about our ways of treating others. This Respect Day, each individual should aspire to create an environment to encourage people to focus on aspects and ways to respect others, irrespective of absurd defined formats.
My daddy's dying
And he's finally realized I'm not lying
We sit in silence but we're smiling
Because for once we are not fighting
There was no way of knowing 'cause all I was taught
Is men only love women, but now I'm not sure
My son, keep kissing boys in the street
My son, keep kissing boys in the street
When I'm gone, keep kissing boys in the street
Free Image Source
Music Source ~ Spotify