~I am somebody with a purpose who desires to tell her story.—Kim Sisto Robinson
I. Am. Somebody.
I am the daughter of a high school dropout, a stay at home mother, a chocolate chip cookie maker, a hugger, a mouth kisser, a Jesus lover, and she adored me before I inhaled my first breath. At 16 years old, I became her Master Class. And she became my hero.
She confessed I was beautiful, flawless, and abundantly remarkable. She told the nurse on duty to watch over me because she was absolutely positive somebody would steal me from the hospital while I slept. She still watches over me like a sweet, gentle sentinel.
I am the daughter of a man of Sicilian roots, which run so deeply and profoundly that I’m still amazed he doesn’t speak fluent Italian— Io non parlo bene Italian. All of my girlfriends wanted to visit our house on 65th & 8th Street- because he looked like Elvis Presley with his polished crow-black hair, brown skin, and curled upper lip. After church service, he’d create these colossal Sunday dinners with hot sausage, authentic tomato sauce, garlic bread, and Gnocchi drenched in bacon and mozzarella cheese.
I am a mourner of a murdered sister of domestic violence who will never be silenced, who will never be forgotten, who will never be completely gone. She is the only person in the universe who knew every inch of my mind and never once judged me for my insanity. She believed in me when I didn’t, and she loved me when I was utterly unlovable.
We baked sugar cookies with gold sprinkles at Christmastime while listening to Brenda Lee sing Rock Around the Clock. Every year I’d buy her a new fluffy cat ornament for her massive pine tree, and we’d sit around an oak kitchen table exposing our darkest secrets. It’s sad to acknowledge, but nobody will ever fill the void of her loss.
I. Am. Somebody.
I am the friend of women who are changing the world with their powerful words, tongues, and steadfast hearts. Women who write with fire and stand up for what is right. Women who travel to Washington D.C., Afghanistan, Paris, Russia, Africa, and speak to the United Nations about human rights.
One voice can change the world.
Joan Peterson. Leslie Morgan Steiner. Linda Riddle. Jodi Aman. Mercy Adbiambo.
I am the friend of women who are making this transformation exactly where they are by standing up, speaking out, and declaring,— “No. More. Not one more day will I tolerate verbal abuse, bullying, punching, hitting, hating, demeaning, belittling, devaluing, or exploitation.
Not. One. More. Solitary. Day.
I. Am. Somebody.
I am a student of words and books and metaphor. I visited my first library at seven years old and still remember walking up the towering cement steps as if it were the stairway to heaven. The old building smelled of mold and soil and something wet; as if people had been reading their paperbacks in the bathtub, or perhaps it was their tears.
The librarian was a mean man in a stiff grey suit, and his right pinky finger was sharp and long and witch-like. He was frightening, and I didn’t realize until much later that he probably utilized that yellow claw to snort cocaine.
The first book I devoured was called ‘The Pink Dress.’ I read it so many times the pages began to disintegrate, the ink began to smear. After that, I was intoxicated by language and stories and escaping to Bali, Italy, the Pacific Crest Trail, India, London, and inside the minds of Hemingway, Ginsberg, Dickens, Plath, Woolf, and Nabokov.
Parts of my soul have melted and emptied inside every page I’ve ever read.
I. Am. Somebody.
I am a child of God. It’s not as if somebody shoved a Bible down my throat or made me believe; I just did. Simple. A child like faith. A faith I could tangibly touch. God was real and approachable and He heard my cries, saw my face.
Lamb like. Father like.
Not the lion some Christians made him out to be. Never roaring or condemning, only loving. That was my God.
I remember reading Anne Lamott’s book, Traveling Mercies, screaming—“Yes! This is who I am. This is the kind of Christian I am!” When I told this story to my Pastor, we both began jumping up and down like two teenage girls.
A few years ago, I asked my sister, “What do you call God when you pray? I mean, do you call Him Emanuel, Jesus, Lord, Prince of Peace, Dude, what? She smiled and said, “I call Him Papa.”
I simply loved loved loved that response!
When I pray, especially after my sister’s murder, I imagine I’m sitting on God’s lap while He softly strokes my hair, saying, “Kim, everything’s going to be okay.” And I believe Him because when I think about who I am, where I’ve been, and the possibilities of what will happen next, I hear my heart pulsating wildly outside my body like a thousand beating wings.
—-Darling, Reader, Who. Are. You?
—-Please pray for Paris and our world. God only knows, we need it. BADLY. Thank you. xxXX
Jodi Aman’s Site: http://jodiaman.com/
About Joan Peterson HERE! JOAN Peterson
Leslie Morgan Steiner TED TALK BELOW: