Paying Homage.

Today my Facebook reminded me via its handy dandy memories tool that prior to sharing my personal thoughts and experiences here, I first did it there. Around this time last year, and for the first time, I publicly shared a piece of writing. That piece of writing is still one I love and I think it does deserve a place here. If you’ve never read it before, or if it stirs something new for you, by all means leave a comment and let me know!

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I wrote this yesterday after reading and internalizing posts where others expressed confusion, contempt, and even some disgust. I hope it can shed some light on the “why” that so many seemed to call for. I dedicate it to my mother, my grandmothers, and the other admirable women of color I am blessed to call family. To the wonderful women I have gained through marriage. To my girlfriends, who have exemplified strength in so many different ways. To my high school drama teacher who set the foundation of my own sense of womanhood through her example. To the important men in my life who have never made me personally feel anything other than loved and supported. But mostly, this is for my children.

Marched.

Here in the United States there is no guaranteed paid maternity leave.

So, I marched.

I personally know women who were physically, mentally, and emotionally abused by men they loved deeply.

So, I marched.

Once, I saw a mother lose temporary custody of her children because her abusive husband convinced her to let him see them after he had recently tried to kill himself in front of them.

So, I marched.

I know a woman who spent years in the same job field that her husband would much later join, and hardly made more than him at the time he entered the work force.

So, I marched.

I remember being sexualized at the age of thirteen by men twice my age, and seeing it happen to friends as well.

So, I marched.

When my husband was out to sea, I became highly paranoid that the alcoholic who lived below us would one day snap and try to hurt me because my kids were loud.

So, I marched.

When he was deployed, I hid knives in each room of my house, I kept a panic button next to my bed, and sometimes slept with the key to our gun box on a lanyard around my neck. So, I marched.

I know women, myself included, who have been made to think they are not as worthy as other women because of outward appearances.

So, I marched.

I know of women who were date raped, but never reported it.

So, I marched.

Once, one of my husband’s higher ranked coworkers told him I would need to pause my career for his to succeed, and he wasn’t wrong about that.

So, I marched.

When I was interning as a new mom, there was no where for me to pump breastmilk, I had to do it in the bathroom.

So, I marched.

When I go out with my daughters, people always mention how we better have a gun in the house.

So, I marched.

I marched. I marched. I marched. At one point I cried. And then I marched.

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