Kashka & Kuukua: A Celebration of Friendship & Love

Earlier on today

I wrote

My usual attempt

To order my world

Make sense of chaos

As I wrote I thought

This relationship of ours has

Grown

Progressed

Morphed

****

From the days

We just said “Hello”

And went on campus ministry trips

To spending time at

that “Dominican Connection” retreat with mutual friend, KR

Laughing so hard,

Letting go of all defences

Just being

****

Sometimes I wish you had come with

On that other “Dominican Connection” weekend in New York

Or to Ministry in the Mountains

In Colorado Springs

where we could have gotten to know each other better

****


I’m sure there’s a blueprint for our Relationship lying somewhere in

God’s house and at those times

We were not destined to be

that close,

Not yet at least

****

I remember the time when Yaye Marie and I were teaching you steps to

Your first African interfaith dance;

How did you get coaxed into that?

And later pigging out in the Colonial Room during the international day festival

And continental fashion show

****

I remember you coming to my numerous African family

celebrations, my graduation, my 25th birthday

You were slowly building up your

Tolerance for spicy African food

****

An incident of a bright, red face

comes to mind

That night mom

cooked fufu

You had had your first taste a month before

But this time the pepper was too much

Plus it had pigfeet

Which from the look on your face

You had never tried before

I gotta give it to you

You are one brave Diva!

Never hesitating to try something new

****

I remember losing touch after my graduation

Then seeing you at your graduation in

The summer I went back to Ghana for the first time

Don’t recall what you did that summer

Or how we got back in touch again

****

I recall my first semester of grad school

I don’t know how much of the difficulty of my first year struggle with theology you knew about

Looking back now…

It probably wasn’t so much the theology

Although I’m sure it played a part

But rather my depression that made it such a difficult time for me

****

I signed up to lead that trip to Haiti

Returned a changed woman

You helped me move that summer

In between Haiti and Morocco

Me driving 50 miles on the freeway

Getting stuck behind semis and all the while

You patiently driving ahead

I left for Morocco with contact only through email that summer

Upon my return from Morocco it was an even greater transformation!

The beginnings of the woman I am today

An amazing adventure

****

That July 4th weekend

The infamous and dramatic phone call to my boyfriend

That ended a 5-year co-dependency

I remember you being there for me

Encouraging me to come out dancing with the ladies that night, me refusing

Choosing instead to

Wallow in self-pity for

Not being a true black woman

Not making that man love me enough

To marry me

****

Determined for me to get my license that summer you lent me

Your time with an ample supply of patience

In July of 2002,

6 years after moving to the US I finally did it!

****

I tried to finish up teaching and grading

Freshman Comp

You finished up too

Both of us anxious to be done with grad school

You looked at jobs

I looked for tickets to visit Ghana

You interviewed

I booked

You got the job

I confirmed the tickets

I was leaving for home

Second trip in seven years

***

Excitement built up as I turned in my final

Thesis and drove home

The phone call came

Relayed the news

Tragedy had hit; Disappointment took root

Disappointment led to grief

I had lost a parent

****

I got ready for my trip back to Ghana

To bury my father

We met at Panera’s that morning

It was a sad parting

You were moving two hours north to

Start a career

I was returning home to bury a

Father I had barely known

Yet knew I would miss We wrote email

You called twice and each time

I felt hope

After talking to you

This too shall pass Promised I’d survive

****

Blending, bonding, spending time together

Time spent watching “Kissing Jessica Stein”

Or “The Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood”

Or falling asleep during “Runaway Jury”

Or reading Iyanla Vanzant in bed together

Or journaling side by side

****


Us loving and caring for each other

Us sharing our deepest fears:

Mine, my inability to remove race from the conversation

Mine, worrying about fitting in with your white peeps

Yours, your constant struggle with

Feeling the need to sound smart all the time around me

Yours, your lack of knowledge about your

“invisible knapsack”

****

Valuable time spent with each other

Time spent with each other’s families

Each moment building on the next

Connecting us

Grafting us slowly into each other’s lives

Once separate and individual

No longer so

Blended, bonded

That’s us

****

We–you and I have come a long way

And I guess that’s what makes us so close

Makes us friends beloveds

Through most of it we have been there for each other

A relationship that is still Growing Progressing

Morphing

****

My Friend

This is for you

For us

For what we have that is beyond words

For what we have that defies societal restraints

For what we profess

That society denies

For what we have been

For what we are

For what we will become because

Of each other

I appreciate you

I love you

Thank you for

Being my friend

****

Kashka & Kuukua

A Celebration of Friendship & Love

Kuukua Dzigbordi Yomekpe

Penned

Jan 12 2004

Edited

October 26 2012

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