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I’m home, New Orleans

I’m back home. I’m finally back to the city that birthed me. I’m back in the city that developed my soul. I’m back to the city that gave me culture. I’m back to the city that calls me back home whenever I stay away too long. I’m back in New Orleans.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10213073740617693&id=1218678471

I’m back home, in my New Orleans shotgun house that somehow, managed to feel, smell and look as if I never left. Even my plants I sat outside on the 1st of August as I rushed off to the airport managed to take care of themselves in my absence. I’m back home; living in a community hit by gentrification but I can still feel and see the roots of the trees of the village of long ago. I’m back home, smothered in love that is as thick as a hot, humid day in New Orleans.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10213072318222134&id=1218678471

My life will call for me to leave once again; I’m hoping this call is already on my calendar. It would be sweet to leave home to visit my family and some structured fun. Instead of a trip of family recovery, a getaway from the pains of yesterday or the terrors of tomorrow. I’m tired of coming and going only to meet grief as I exit the plane.

When I leave next month as I planned, it will be to assist my grandkids on a flight to New Orleans and maybe a dash to Orlando to get a sprinkle of Disney Magic on us. I want to come home next time greeting New Orleans as she welcomed me back home, especially this time. I was gone for nearly three months, but New Orleans had me steady on her heart. I never knew I meant so much, I had value to others, to the city until now. My heart is overjoyed.

I want to come home with a fantastic story of how the city I left her for fed my soul instead of ate from it. I want to brag to her of all the fabulous things I experienced, instead of cry about the things that happened. Tell her about all the delicious food I devoured without the care of calories, instead of coming back home fat off boring meat and potatoes.

Does a place like this exist or is it an Only in New Orleans thang…??

Is there somewhere else other than New Orleans where I can be around family, friends and all those people in between without it being for us to mourn together?? Even while mourning people manage to be mad, turn up their noses at the very people they are supposed to love. I can picture a Second Line Funeral where everyone even the bitter can control their facial muscles as the sounds of the celebration of life enters their soul, turning that frown upside down as they do their version of a two-step with the beat.

https://goo.gl/images/zE2ZQQ

https://scholarblogs.emory.edu/gravematters/2017/03/25/jazz-funerals/

Maybe that’s what makes New Orleans so unique, makes the city the number one travel destination in the world because it’s only here where everyone can be free. We are open to being loved, to show love and give love. Only in New Orleans, you can find people of every color in the rainbow, people of every nationality, just everyone all gathered together in one place bringing out The Happy, The Smiles and The Love by just being open to living at that very moment.

Laissez les bon temps rouler!! That’s what it’s all about in New Orleans.

That’s what it’s all about in New Orleans.

Not saying this type of living is not going on anywhere else in the world, but in my life and through my eyes, this is what I have witnessed. Other places not so much, especially recently.

Even the babies begging to come back to New Orleans, “Please, Nana please let me come to New Orleans so I can play with all my cousins and friends and eat crawfish, please Nana, I’m gonna be good.” Nah, you know if the kids want to be in that number, New Orleans even with all its issues has to be a happy place. .

I honestly feel wrapped in love when I’m home, a feeling I wish I could bottle up and share with you all.

A native of New Orleans, who left her beloved New Orleans to spend twenty years of living in the land of Minnesota Not So Nice. Minnesota was full of opportunities but would learn that the soul of the state and the people who made it was just as icy cold as the temperatures. After the years and my 40th birthday flew by, I decided it was time to pack up my youngest child and come back to my roots, my birthplace the city that not only birthed me but gave me life. I would not be who I am without my New Orleans beginnings. I am all things that would challenge the belief of growing up in New Orleans. I was a 16yr old teen mother of a premature baby born with a severe medical disability. And only With the help of my mother, was it possible for me to BE! I was able to endure and survive the obstacles laid before my child and me. In a city that was built by my family, but did not allow for us to reap the benefits I overcame. Charity Hospital was my second home — a building filled with miracle workers who made it possible for my daughter to have life. I have lived a life of rainy days with peeks of sunshine, that are my children, including those not of my womb. I'm the proud mother of three and a grandmother of three. My dream was to live the life of the nursery rhyme of ”The Old Lady Who lived in a shoe,” and for the most part, I did. I cared for several children over the years as a special needs foster parent. I would learn that my love was not enough for some children, but I loved them through their pain. I'm not sure if I ever had a case of true love or came close to what love looks like on television, but I had my share of men and the mirage of love. I survived two abusive marriages. Though I longed to return to New Orleans on a daily bases, I must admit my move was one of the best decisions made for me. I am a college graduate; I was a successful entrepreneur. I coowned a soul food restaurant and catering company in Minnesota for 12 years. I developed the talent of creating custom cakes after the murder of my beloved cousin Melvin Paul. He survived Katrina only to go to Minneapolis six months later to be murdered over a parking spot dispute. But with the challenge of creating a simple wedding cake, I was able to find healing. I created the House of Cakes in honor of him. Minnesota life had me pretty materialistic. I worked to the point I do not remember much, but work and handing my children love money. I thought by having the big house on the hill, a husband, having a family, the ultimate provider and being involved in all things that matter, plus having the funds to match would cure me of what I was told was a generational curse of lack of everything from money, love to even self-love. But for the most part, that life poisoned my heart and soul. I was blinded by visions fed to me by the media. I was told I wasn't anything unless I was better than the Jones's. I lived being ok with a broken, bleeding heart. Life like this did not exist in my family while living in New Orleans from what I viewed with my eyes and soul. We may not have had all the things I acquired over the years, but we were happy, we were together. Family outside of New Orleans wasn't family anymore. We lived separate lives and had awkward moments when we bumped into each other in public. I hated living in Minnesota even though life their helped me in so many ways. I felt deep down the only way to repair it was to get back to my roots, my soul, my home, myself, my New Orleans. I'm here, and I love it. Even being in the so-called Blighted Area of New Orleans and not having all the financial and material security, I'm happy. I am determined that She, yes, New Orleans is a woman is just like me; together, we will overcome and will rise from all that tried to kill our spirit. Nothing like starting from the bottom and making your way back up!. I just know in my heart that New Orleans will provide for me. There's a bank account with funds in it owed to me by way of back pay for my ancestors. And I will receive my inheritance, and I will continue the traditions and customs of the old to keep the heartbeat of New Orleans beating. I'm down in the boot, living the life that feels right to me awaiting my destiny...

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