12,933 days of Eunice…


The “urban legend” that my family tells about the day of my birth is that, After my arrival, my dad ran from the labor and delivery room, to tell my brothers that he and my mother had finally gotten them a sister. A baby girl who was to be named…

Eunice.

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Mercifully, my older brothers were able to ignore the atrocity of a baby named Eunice and somehow became overwhelmed with joy, started yelling, “God gave us a gift, She is God’s gift!”  I always listen to this story with a super side eye and a healthy dose of “Yeah, right”.  But I was probably only 237 seconds old at the time, and I have no idea what is true about the actual story of the day I was brought into this world.

But sitting here with the some of the story of my life behind me, a brand new pencil in my own hand, and the blank pages of my future ahead of me… What I do know to be true is:

There have been Twelve Thousand Nine Hundred and thirty-three days since the sun rose and my eyes opened on July 26,1979.

12,933 and every single one of those days, God has pointed at the sun and at my eyes and said, “Do it Again.”

I have not spent a single one of the 1,117,411,200 seconds, sleeping on a cold, unsheltered street. I’ve never had to attempt a fitful, frightened sleep on a park bench, underpass, or door stoop because I had no place to go and no safety assured.

Every single second of every single day, I have had someplace that was mine enough to call home even if only for a few hours of a night. I’ve always had a soft place to lay my head and a softer blanket to envelop me as I slept. Every place I’ve every stayed was warm when it was cold and cool when it was hot. Every place was safe.

In 18,623,520 minutes, there hasn’t been one sixty second expanse, where I’ve been hungry and left with no conceivable option for more than enough food to fill me up and give me strength. Even when you factor in my many half-heated diet attempts, there has always been an abundance of food in my immediately foreseeable future… and beyond. I have never stood in any line hopeful for just one hot meal to sustain me for any week.

Every time I felt the mild discomfort that I have mistakenly labeled thirst, I have known without a doubt that eventually there would be more than enough clean, safe readily available water or wine to cool my tongue and quench my” thirst”. I have never had to walk fetch water from a well, or carry spilling buckets from a spout to my house just to wash my clothes, bathe my body, or cook my food.

In theory, since the moment the doctors freed me from my mother’s beautiful belly, My heart has beaten approximately 1,340,920,080 times. At times when full of unimaginable love or blindsided by unbelievable pain my heart may have threatened to burst or have skipped a few of those billion beats. But after each millisecond of heart stopping pain or earth shaking pleasure, my great big wide, open, healing, and healed heart kept right on beating every single time.

I have been liked, loved, disliked, and even hated by people who knew me well, knew nothing about me at all, and will never know me again. I have liked, disliked, loved, and even hated people who I knew well, knew nothing about at all , and will never know again…

In all of this there has always has been more love than anything else. The hate is now miraculously nonexistent, the dislike has lessened to become a lesson, and even more love than I can ask think, or imagine is here to stay and growing stronger. Even more miraculous than all of that, is that the lions share of the love that I will have in my life will come from people I haven’t even met as of this my 12,933rd day.

My eyes have seen babies born, life lost, brooms jumped, divorces finalized, true ugliness and unbelievable beauty.  I have gazed in awe at the gorgeous curve you see while flying over the western portion of the continent of Africa. I experienced the beauty of gorgeous Ghana while holding my mothers hand, and have seen the magesty and regality of Buckingham Palace while holding my fathers.

I’ve been 1100 feet inside of a mountain in Chatanooga, Tennessee and seen the most beautiful waterfalls known to man. I’ve eaten the sweetest lobster, drunk the most delicious tequila, and danced with someone I loved deeply to real mariachi music in Mexico. I have felt the waves of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans wash over my feet and have had sand from beautiful beaches all over the world in my hair, there, and everywhere.

I can only hope and pray that in my 310,392 hours in this world…I have already seen the worst things that I will ever see… but I know for a fact that I have not seen the best of what life has to offer me.

I’ve taken 279,359,595 breaths. Some of them I’ve held waiting for something to end or hoping for something to begin. Some of my breaths were halted with tears or quickened by kisses. Some of them were deep enough to keep me calm or shallow enough to get me through but all of them have been just enough to keep me here.

They say in the average life you spend 110 days laughing. I’m 110% certain that I’ve more than tripled that number in my only 3 decades of life.  I am 310% sure that I’ll multiply that number at least 110 times over in the 110 plus years of hilariously, joyful life that I will live.

On 2 of the most lovely of my days, every single miracle of amazing miracle worked in magnificent concert to allow me to become a mother….  3 times over.

In a life only a third of the way lived, I have seen, 3 perfectly healthy, happy, wonderful human beings take their first breaths, come to life, and begin their own beautiful journeys of living.

One one of those lovely days, I decided to pledge love, commitment, faithfulness, forgiveness, and forever to a certain someone who I thought was the right one for me.

On another one of those days, I decided that I was wrong about that one and gave myself permission to change my mind.

And one on the most loveliest days, I decided to pledge love, commitment, faithfulness, forever, and forgiveness to a certain someone who has always been the right one for me…
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Me.

I was right about that one and I won’t ever have to change my mind about me.

As of this moment, I have been on this earth for 12,933 days. On that day, 35 years 4 months and 26 days ago, my family changed their mind about Eunice and decided to name me Senam.

Senam means God’s Gift.

And Senam is my name.

Today, I decided to be grateful for the love of God and the gift of a life well-lived.

Tonight, I will pray my favorite prayer.

“Dear God, Thank you and Please… Do it again.”

Amen and Ay-Woman.

SistaTV loves you, the future, and Psalms 46:5.

 

 

 

 

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9 Comments

  • BroadwayDuchess
    December 22, 2014 at 9:39 PM

    Speechless. Except for a stifled sob at this timely post, I am speechless. Your words are clear, authentic, and ones I needed to read on this night more than you or I will ever know.
    I am about a month’s worth of heartbeats and breaths ahead of you, so I know how good a year ’79 was! It seems trite to say, but this entry just helped me make a decision to take care of me in a way that I never could before and to trust my instincts. Thank you, Senam. I look forward to reading more from you.

    • SistaTV
      December 23, 2014 at 5:41 AM

      Trite?Nah, love. The definition of trite is “overused and consequently of little import… “Your decision to comment and to share your glorious decision to take care of yourself and to trust your instinct is the best thing I’ve read in ages. And your decision to share that comment with me here is the reason I woke up and will write again today. I can’t thank you enough for that and I wish you so much win, Warrior Woman! You can do it for yourself and all will be well. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  • NeoshaGEE
    December 23, 2014 at 6:47 PM

    This post was so beautifully written. It’s so amazing being able to calculate and see time in numbers and not just in days, months, or years. Your name is also very beautiful. Happy holidays to you! #BLMgirls

  • Kerissa
    December 24, 2014 at 5:15 AM

    You have a way with words that is beyond amazing. It was like being at an orchestra’s performance and the final crescendo reminded me to treat myself well. Thank you! Music to my ears :)

  • staciesayzso
    January 9, 2015 at 1:13 PM

    Beautiful sis! Just beautiful. Life is so grand, yet we take it for granted. Thanks for the remind of how good God has been to us all, for I too am God’s gift. Happy 2015 to you!

  • Khloé Gee
    January 9, 2015 at 6:17 PM

    That was beautifully written, Eunice…I mean Senam. You have a gift of writing, keep sharing it with the world.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Khloe Gadson
    Editor in Chief, Touched Magazine
    http://www.touchedmagazine.com

  • MJ
    January 11, 2015 at 4:48 AM

    How beautiful is it to tell your story and share your appreciation for life like this. To think of your life in days, minutes, seconds is a beautiful thing. To appreciate all the big and little things and acknowledge the privelege of it is a blessings. Thank you for sharing your 12,933 days with us.

  • Janeane Davis
    January 11, 2015 at 10:01 AM

    I enjoyed getting to know you a little through your story. The optimism and confidence were quite enjoyable.

  • Tiffani G from MyMommyVents
    January 12, 2015 at 8:46 AM

    That was so cool! I’ve never thought about life in snippets of time like that. I wonder how many minutes I’ve spent doing laundry? Beautiful post.

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