Category Archives: LIFE DEATH LOVE LOSS

Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.

So now I just can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I CAN’T BREATHE! Can you hear me now? Have you ever been so full that when you try to cry it gets caught in your chest and you can’t breathe? I cannot breathe/I cannot die. I am full/I feel empty. I cannot get everything out/there’s nothing there. I can tell you that all is well/I don’t want to tell you anything. You understand/you’ll never get it. I don’t want to exist/I want to live. Life is hard/death is easy… for losers. I am a winner/I am losing. He makes life bearable/he makes living easier/they make life a necessity/they make living enjoyable/she made life possible/she makes living lonely. I am not a loner/I am lonely. Life in constraints is freeing/living freely is prison.

You have Lupus/you suffer from anxiety/you are depressed/you have Sjogren’s Syndrome/you also have Reynaud’s/you are still grieving/your PMDD is getting worse/I think you may also be suffering from RLS/your ANA results were positive/you are a textbook case/you are quite lucky that your kidneys are not involved…. yet/You have Lupus. You have Lupus. You, my dear, have Lupus.

Think you’re having a hard time trying to figure out what I mean? I’m having a hard time trying to articulate it.


Why do I continue to hurt those that I love? How is it possible that I can be so miserable when I’m surrounded by people who love me? I don’t know. I don’t have the answers to anything. I don’t even know why I feel unhappy. I have no idea why I cry uncontrollably at times. I cannot grasp the concept of taking my own life, yet I have always felt that I will die young. I am in so much pain. The emotional pain sometimes overshadows the physical pain that I endure on a daily basis. Lupus was a diagnosis that came with a sigh of relief for me. I was relieved to finally have a name for all of the pain that I have endured for years. Yes, years!

I made up my mind on Saturday that I would no longer seek happiness for myself, rather I would make sure that everyone around me was happy. And then on Sunday, something happened that pretty much derailed my plan….

Have you ever…..

been so completely sad that nothing can cheer you up? I mean absolutely NOTHING!! Sometimes I wonder if my mother or father had some sort of mental illness that was perhaps passed down to me. I will never know because they’re both dead.

I remember the day that my father died like it was yesterday. I was eleven years old. My friends and I started the day out going over to Canada with one of the mothers of the Richardson clan. We were having so much fun! We ended the day at the Adams’ Theater in Detroit. No adults! No one really paid us much attention, other than a few stares we got because one of my friends carried the albino gene. Some people acted like they had never seen a person so light before, more white than white, with eyes lighter than you could ever imagine in your wildest dreams. Sigh…. anyway, we ended up walking home, taking Michigan Avenue from downtown, past Tiger Stadium, all the way to Southwest Detroit. Cracking jokes, talking smack and singing the whole way home. We passed the Richardson’s street (30th) first, so they went on home and me and my best friend Krystal walked the rest of the way home to my street, North Campbell, which was about six blocks shy of Livernois.

Me and Krystal at Granddad's house on West Grand Blvd.

Krystal was spending the night so we planned on staying up and being silly, maybe play on the phone, call some boys, listen to music, do our hair, watch “Hart to Hart”. Our options were endless. Or at least we thought. We walked up the street in the dark with only the streetlights every few houses to light our way… dancing around, giggling, just so happy to be young and out “after the streetlights”. My oldest sister Adrienne was walking up the street towards us crying…. trying to get her words out but the tears were  coming so fast, no time to well up in her eyes, just streaming down her face, and rolling under her chin…. “D..D..Da…” she sobbed… “Da…Daddy dead Lenette….” My whole world turned upside down. I mean, I knew my father was sick, which is why my sister was even in town from Cleveland, but dead? My young mind could barely process the words that came from her mouth. It was like a dream sequence almost, like, when you try to reach out for something in a dream but it’s beyond your grasp. Or when someone’s saying something but you hear no sound, as if someone hit the mute button. Her lips were moving and I knew it was bad news because as soon as her lips stopped moving, she and Krystal wrapped their arms around me so tightly that it hurt. The days that followed were even more muddled. I remember what I wore to my father’s funeral because, believe it or not, I still have the dress. I took my eighth grade picture in that dress a year later. I get so sad thinking about it now…. and thinking about all the times that I muttered under my breath as I walked away from a scolding  “I wish you would just die”. All of that was said before he ever became sick with cancer. I get so mad sometimes at all of the people that still have parents or a parent, just one would be good for me, and they treat them like crap. Why Lord?

My inebriated Daddy and me. I don't have many pictures of myself as a child.

But I digress. I’m inconsolable right now. I think I definitely have what Holly Golightly described as “the mean reds” in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. It went something like this: “You know those days when you’ve got the mean reds…. the blues are because you’re getting fat or maybe it’s been raining too long.  You’re sad, that’s all.  But the mean reds are horrible.  You’re afraid and you sweat like hell, but you don’t know what you’re afraid of.  Except something bad is going to happen, only you don’t know what it is.”  ~Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, 1958, spoken by the character Holly Golightly. My sentiments exactly!

If I should die…

before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take……

I love you Loren Ashley Graham, my first born!

I love you Eric Jermel Graham, my second born!

I love you Elijah Joshua Graham, my third born!






I WAS……………..