I Won’t Die Twice

Yesterday started out really good.

I was done working before 7 A.M. I was able to see my daughter off to camp.  I was going to catch up with Love, Louise Photography) and take some new pictures and stretch my mind.  My stomach looked flat (hey, I have my moments), my back was feeling better and it was pay day. 
my friend Dana (who, by the way, is the young lady with the camera at the bottom right of my blog.  She takes the most MAGNIFICENT pictures and if you want pictures done, you should check her out at

But this whole week, my past has been hanging on my shoulders.  And it’s been hitting me right in the center of all of my insecurities, EVERY failure I’ve ever had, EVERY mistake.  And I started to feel it creep up on me and I was taking those pictures.  Dana prayed over us before we started because we’ve had some pretty emotional moments during these sessions and I wonder if she could sense I had been fighting.  Exposing my body in ANY way always leaves me wide open for self-criticism and when I did the unthinkable, I started feeling that girl I used to be creep up in me….but we’ll talk about that later.  It was what happened after I left that made me want to fight that girl and get her out of my head forever.

I pulled up in Kroger to pick up a few things.  I was on a side of town that I am normally not in, got turned around, ended going the right way but thought it was the wrong way, wasted a bunch of gas, got frustrated, was hungry but FINALLY made it to Kroger.  The first thing I did was look at the clock thinking, “How long did it take me?” It was 11:00 A.M.  And then it hit me.  Like a ton of bricks.  Right there in the parking lot.

Tim’s funeral was starting.  Right at that very moment. 

Why couldn’t I have pulled up at 10:58 or 11:07?  WHY 11:00 A.M.? 

Dr. Timmothy Bailey and I met in the summer of 1993 when we both started as freshmen at Tennessee State University.  We were close to being from the same place but he was from Joliet and I always teased him about that NOT being the BIG city.  🙂 We cycled in and out of each other’s lives.  When I found out he had died on Saturday, everything in my life from those years starting circulating from my brain as I tried to reach all of our college friends and let them know the news.  See, Tim knew me when I starting dating the boy who would eventually become my first husband.  He hung out with us when we were newlyweds.  And he worked with me while we were going through a divorce, after the divorce and while I was going through the struggle of finishing graduate school as a single parent.  A bitter, overweight, stressed, depressed woman, I was.  He saw all of that.  So when he told me he was proud of where I was today, he meant it.  When my son and I saw him in September, it was so refreshing because we talked and laughed and gave each other hi-fives (he was a doctor with his goofy self) and he told me to bring what I was doing back to Chicago because he needed it.  We promised to do lunch.  It never happened.

As I went into the grocery store, the first thing I wanted was ice cream.  And chocolate.  Any kind.  This whole week, I have been sticking to my workout plan and keeping myself in order because, well, I wanted to stay busy in my grief and I also realize how short life really is and I told Tim I was going to hold it down.  But I was losing it.  Because I was hurting.  I just wanted the hurt to stop.  Right then.

And I realized that I was letting her win.

That’s how I had always done everything.  Check out.  Eat food.  Drink.  Sex.  Whatever.  ANYTHING not to deal with what was going on.  I missed my friend and I was sad that I was not there at his funeral.  But downing a pint of ice cream and a chocolate bar at 11:00 in the morning was not going to bring him back.  It was going to bring “her” back.  That her that both of us saw and knew I needed to get away from forever.  How was I going to honor my friend by dying to who I had become?  That woman that he (and so many others including my present day self) was/are so proud of?  I started seeing images of myself, floating through my mind of the pain of that life.  I didn’t want to go back.  Wasn’t that what those pictures were about anyway? 


Why have I been working so hard this week?  This month?  This year?  For the past 8 years?  10 years? What would Tim say?

“I wish you would.  Tasha, if you don’t stop being so dramatic!”

I gave up my life because I couldn’t get out of that hole.  I refuse to die again.  I’ve had enough death.

And I know Tim is up in heaven, “Y’all better eat that stuff now because when my girl gets here she ain’t havin’ it.”  🙂

Thank you, Tim, for your wisdom in flesh and in the spirit.

I’m ready to live.  I’m done with her.

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