A unique and sometimes frightening story with a surprising ending, this is another tale of the lengths to which people of color will go to pass for white to gain the benefits of whiteness. For one New England family this has succeeded quite well by sending a too dark daughter back South to live with relatives and never allowing her to come to the town where the rest of the family lives. It fails when a too dark child is born and the parents keep her with them. It is also a tale of gender identity and how rape and abuse can destroy and deform and of resilience in the face of endless obstacles. This is not an ordinary novel.
Road Trip to Palm Springs
Life brought me to the San Gabriel Valley in Southern California late last summer. A few months later, my childhood friend from elementary school in the farmlands of Northwestern Missouri moved back to Palm Springs. Today I drove out to the desert to see him, Craig Prater. I arrived a little early so drove around, took a walk downtown, and took some photos. We were so intent on catching up and visiting, I forgot to take a photo of Craig and me together. Here are photos I took as I walked and drove around.
Desert mountains surround Palm Springs. It is hot compared to where I live. When I returned to my car after lunch, the thermometer said 121. It really was not quite that hot, only 103. 1.25 hours later when I arrived back home, it was 87 at my house.
I took this to include parts of the palo verde tree and the mountains. Palm trees are everywhere as you can see from the photos.
Palm Springs is Mid-Century Modern architecture country. This photo and the following photos are some examples of the types of houses I saw as I drove around.
My Happy Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day filled my heart. First, when I awakened in the morning, I made coffee and opened this computer. When I logged into Facebook, I found this pronouncement from my daughter:
“I’m so thankful to have an amazing, talented, smart, ambitious, honest woman as my mommy. You made me the person I am today and as I continue to grow, I see things you taught me passing down to my son. I’m the mom I am today because of the mom you were to me. I may not always show it or tell you but I love you so much.” I nearly cried; I am not a crier.
The flowers arrived Saturday from my son who lives twenty hours away if you drive. Look at these flowers!! Fantastic.
Then my grandson gave me a handmade card about 5 by 8 inches with this long note some of which follows:
“Happy Mother’s Day. I know your not my mom but your my mom’s mom so your a mother so happy mother’s day. Thank you for giving birth to my mom because if you wouldn’t have, I wouldn’t be alive right now so thanks….Thank you for all the things you do for me. You always watch me. Your always nice even when I’m mean and you spoil me. I love you and happy mother’s day. ” He is ten.
Then today I received a totally unexpected thank you card with a note from a young man who stayed with me a while last spring just before he graduated from college with an A average. He was experiencing an extremely painful time then. His hand written note: “Happy Mother’s Day! It has been one year since I graduated from college. I would never have made it without you! Thank you for the great help in my most difficult time. You are the small ray of sunshine that really brings me hope! Thank you!” I felt overwhelmed.
The bottle in front of the flowers above is Versace perfume–Mother’s Day present from my daughter.