I read a post this morning from my friend Lisa's wonderful web site, Single Moms and More. I've known Lisa since I can't remember. We grew up together in my hometown of Kankakee, Ill. We were in Sunday School together. We wrote our future married names and the names of our future children in homeroom during high school. I am the godmother of her oldest child.
I was surprised when I read a post on her blog about domestic violence and she mentioned "Monica" as a friend who she knew she could turn to for the unvarnished truth when she needed to hear it.
"I needed someone who would give it to me straight, no chaser. And I knew I could count on Monica to not sugarcoat anything," she wrote in another related post.
I was surprised and honored by the compliment. We all need friends who will love us enough to tell us the truth in love. It made me laugh because I thought of other friends who have said through the years, "You keeps it real." or "No matter what crazy idea I came to you with you would just say, OK. Have you thought about going back to school?"
Reading Lisa's posts reminded me of how blessed I have been through the years with wonderful women as friends. I always wanted a sister. When I was growing up, I told my parents I wanted a baby sister or a dog. I got a poodle named Pierre.
But through the years, God has blessed me with some very special sistergirlfriends. Some years ago, I wrote a poem for a Kwanzaa celebration for a group that I belonged to called Mocha Moms, which is a group for stay-at-home mothers of color. This poem is a compilation of sistergirlfriend moments that I have shared with others and some are experiences of others that they have shared with me that I incorporated into this poem. But it expresses my love and gratitude for all the grace, beauty, strength, wisdom and love of my phenomenal sistergirlfriends.
Mocha Mom Kwanzaa Celebration
Dec. 26, 2003
By Monica Fountain
I came tonight to talk about
Among the sisters especially
Because they say Black women
Or sometimes they just say we’re B’s
But the truth is
They just can’t see
So this odes to you
For all the things through the years
We stayed up all night
Talking about him
Trying to figure out
How many kids we’d have when we was grown
Making up their names
Playing tricks on the phone
And we watched “Roots” and got so mad
We wanted to beat up every white person
Who crossed our path
Thank you Sistergirlfriend
For making me laugh
Acting crazy together
Even having babies together
1,2,3 and then you went for four
And I said I just can’t have no mo’
We stayed out in the cold that night
Talking about the struggle for civil rights
Our hopes for our children and family
I told you when I was 6, my uncle molested me
You’ve always listened to me
Even if my idea was crazy
When I was pregnant, you called me
When I had the baby, you fed me
When my son was sick, you came to the hospital and prayed with me
Thank you for sharing your pain
Your dreams, your hopes with me
Thank you, Sistergirlfriend for keeping
In the Black Family
Working in your community
Holding things together
Taking something from nothing and making it better
Supporting your man
Making him think that idea came from him
Changing diapers, wiping a snotty nose
Doing homework, dishes and the laundry
Loving your family
Keeping the unity
In you I see me
Beauty, strength, power, dignity
Thank you for making me the
Best I can be
My sister, my girl, my friend
You bring me together
Make me whole
We’re one in spirit, heart and soul
I’m talking unity
And this is for you
Beautiful. Enjoyed the pictures!
If you recall, that was a very trying time in my life. And talking to you reaffirmed what I already knew: that I wasn't crazy for wanting to end that relationship. I was listening to all the wrong folks, for all the wrong reasons. But I knew I could count on you to give me a balanced perspective.
Thanks for the trip down memory lane. It's great to have such fond memories of such a wonderful friend.
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