How I Got Over
By Janie McGee Published 2010 by Black Revival Studio
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A story of a Marmalade, a 19 year girl coming of age in the summer of 1932. She is trying to leave on the train that summer to go to Harlem to become a artist. This is a story of love, adventure, riots, and escape that I hope will touch your faith and heart.
Aunt Mayhead was a round woman next to my thin frame. She laughed and her golden brown hair would fly up and down. Her skin was like momma’s pink and light brown. It seems strange how black folks can have 12 kids and they all different shades and yet all family. Aunt Mayhead showed me things that day that had nothing to do with baking. She showed me love, kindness, strength, and. how to die peacefully.
Why I had to be there Lord? We said the Lord prayer together before we ate that cake. She held my hand real tight and told me to get all that God has for me in life and reach for the heavens. She had a picture I drew of her when I was seven of her as an angel with wings. She was holding it tight in her hands. She talked about crossing through the clouds and seeing Jesus on the other side. Her pink finger wrapped around mine as she laid the art on the table. So tight and loose at the same time. The light leaned through the window through her pale white drapes. The walls where yellowed with glory that come from a ‘summer day’.
‘Hold my hand while I cry’ is all my soul could say. Her skins was glowing and the room felt like angels had packed her things and was just waiting for the second cake in the oven to rise so they could take their journey. She had a tear that came out of her eye that was full of every memory life could hold and soaked with joy. It ran slow and thick with time down her pink cheeks, running past her smile that stretched to glory. Her round body seemed air-like and full of lifted burden from the world. ‘Hold my hand while I cry’ is all my soul could say.
She said I could have the picture of her on the wall when she passed. I got up to go get her pictures and share an idea I had about painting her one day…one more time… just one more time.
‘Hold my hand while I cry’ is all my soul could say.
I took a few steps away from the table. I didn’t hear her fall or anything. I heard her life’s soul like a breeze blow slowly to heaven. The angel whispered her goodbyes. It was a sweet lift of air and then the feeling of standing alone. Like I was the only person left in the room… and I was. I slowly looked back to confirm what I felt and she was gone. I knew the angel had her. I could feel her wave her hand and sing “Alleluia” through the window seeing Jesus face. Her skin was as soft as a baby’s and the house were as lit with freedom. She must be up in heaven I thought. I sang a song to her as I pulled the cake out the oven, reached for her picture, and turned to say ‘good-bye’. My tears felt like icing running down my face. Melted with joyous sorrow. Thick with grief, pain, and understanding. I burned my hand on the pan, but it didn’t matter, Aunt Mayhead was gone.
I sang, ‘Safe in the arms of Jesus’ to the lonely corps. Aunt Mayhead was not there. I touched each picture of hers as I walked out of the house to get Momma. The last picture I touched was her baby picture. I knew that day that old age and babies have a lot in common: the beginning and end of life is met with angels, cake, and tears. I love touching these pictures and I touching the past. Hold my hand while I cry.
How I Got Over
By Janie McGee Published 2010
by Black Revival Studio