(Many things will trouble me in my lifetime. Mother Sayer thinks to herself that this statement is akin to telling yourself I need oxygen to breathe. A more important introspection would be to examine what are my defensive and offensive capabilities when I find myself faced with the inevitable ‘difficulties’ of life. She thinks, “It is more advantageous to embrace hardships because they will surely harden your skin.” Better yet, it is like stretching a cable to its snapping point and holding it until the ‘stress of the weight is absorbed’ and then held.
These analogies are indicative of the belief in ‘shields’ or a ‘coat of armor’. Protection is the theme and delivering on the promise of extending the life of the holder or wearer is of absolute importance. A shield or coat of armor then becomes more an offensive weapon because it allows the wearer then to concentrate on strategy that will enhance his or her keys to victory).
Mother Sayer: (Father, Mr. Sayer would need to sign with me to in order to get the start-up capital I need to begin my chapter of the family name. The telephone rings at her father’s house in Birmingham, Alabama). Hello Father?
Servant: No it is not. Who may I say is calling?
Mother Sayer: It is Se’May.
Servant: Ah, Se’May, I will summon your father immediately.
Mother Sayer: Thank you.
Father Sayer: This is Ableman.
Mother Sayer: Father, it’s Se’May calling. How are you? How are the children?
Father Sayer: Oh, Se’May. Your children are fine. What a joy to hear from you. Are you in town?
Mother Sayer: (Father is still father. I sure hope there is a lot of him in me because he knows I enjoy his council.). I will be soon father. I need to finish up my paperwork here on base and I will fly out on Friday done with my length of service in the Army.
Father Sayer: There is much to discuss about the last few years, not to mention your close call in Afghanistan.
Mother Sayer: I will be home soon Father, okay.
Father Sayer: See you Friday my beloved daughter. Goodbye.
Mother Sayer: Goodbye Father, see you soon. (Mother knew her father would need a better account of her time spent in the military. The military, she thought was an honorable way to serve the country that she knew would not return her loyalty evenly. It was never the less a time folding math problem that would solve her needs to learn many critical lessons about life (different cultures, leadership, conflict, etc.…) quickly. That is why she embraced every event, trial, difficulty and even the wear and tear on her shoes for clarity. Getting caught in a torrential downpour offered insight she thought. Now she would give the proper respect to her father, and she would ask him to believe in the future she would set in motion with a vengeance!).
(Mother’s plane lands in Birmingham on a bright sunny day and Mother thinks that life is constructed. Maybe it is constructed from the shards of past failures, or maybe life is forced into being by a determined will catapulted by movement that is voluntary or compelled. Whichever way it has to happen, my plan for my life will be realized. It is not enough to know you’ll be successful. I order it!).
It is a bright and sunny day in June 2008. Mother Sayer is glad she is wearing her sunglasses as she is making her way down to baggage claim with other passengers from her flight. She knows her father will pick her up, but she wonders if he will let Justus and Doy come to the airport. Oh well, I will see what’s what in a few anyway.
Mother Sayer: (She sees her father waving at her. Oh, he has them with him. Mother notices how inert her children are in the presence of her father. She can’t help but let out a chuckle and wave back at her father and the children). Father. It is good to see you again.
Father Ableman Sayer: It is most pleasing to see you Se’May. (He gives her a hug first before the children get a chance to corral her).
Mother Sayer: Children. My my my, I’m glad you’ve missed your Mother. Have you been behaving since I’ve been gone?
Doyenne: Yes Mother.
Justus: Yes Mother.
Mother Sayer: (She is struck by the children taking turns to talk. Huh? What has been going on this last year? Well, I’ll add it to the things I’ll discuss with Father). Good. Now, shall we go home Father?
Mr. Sayer: Yes. (Ableman turns to his driver and assistant and motions them towards the bags as they start to walk towards the parking deck). So, how was your flight?
Mother Sayer: It was okay for a ticket paid for by the military. I’d prefer to ride in first class, but they weren’t going to spring for that. Anyway father, I want to talk to you about some ideas and plans before I settle into a home back in our old city of Louisville, Kentucky.
Father Sayer: Okay, what do you want to talk about?
Mother Sayer: The main thing is that I want to start my own business. It will have different lines and forge into different industries.
Father Sayer: (Father gestures with a wave of hand). Yes. Why don’t we talk about it later tonight after dinner? We will not be disturbed by the children and you would’ve had a chance to settle in a little bit by then and get your strength.
Mother Sayer: (Mother nods in agreement as she knows her father practices age appropriate conversation protocol at all times). Well, I can’t wait to see your new place here in Birmingham. It must be nice. I know it fits your need for function over fashion.
Father Sayer: (He chuckles and knows it is true). All too well. I’ve made it a point to have a big yard, so it’s not in the city limits of Birmingham. It’s in Trussville. Yeah, you can call it a farm.
Mother Sayer: Excellent. I need the fresh air without the pressure. It should settle my thoughts nicely to know that I’m finally back around family.
Father Sayer: You are my child Se’May.
—In Trussville: Mister Ableman Sayer’s Home—
(The home is in a word. Identical. It is the embodiment of Ableman Sayer. The front porch is laid out like the observation deck of an ocean liner. It goes halfway around the house from right to left. It is covered with a retractable shade over the exit doors of each guest bedroom on the bottom floor. Only the master bedroom upstairs has a deck. The interior is like I said, functional. The door to the house is huge, at least double the size of a normal door. The entry hall is ten feet with no access to the house until you reach the doors to enter the home itself. These two doors are slanted toward the front door.
Like a half-dome, these doors open and close off the rest of the house from view. Entering the atrium, it is filled with paintings of historical significance to the Negro Race. Martin Luther King Jr., Frederick Douglas, W.E.B. Dubois, Harriet Tubman, Emmett Tills mother, slavery and the instruments of oppression. Replicas of leg irons, whips, model size shacks (homes of a sort) indicative of the ones used to house the slave labor that drove the engine of economics in the deep south.
Father believes in “keeping in sight the horizon while standing in remembrance of what his people had to overlook for a glimpse of that beauty.”
Well, dinner will be ready in two hours. I’ll clean up and put my things away in my room while it’s cooking. It is good to be in the presence of my father again. We have much to discuss so I better get ready.
Dinner: A nice spread of Steak, chicken, mashed potatoes, asparagus, and collar greens. Cornbread and buttered rolls. Dessert included peach cobbler, strawberry and lime Jell-O, sweet potato pie and pound cake. The beverages were soda, water, red wine, and various moscato brands from Italy).
Mother Sayer: (Father sits at the head of the table. I sit at his right hand as an unspoken expectation permeates the air. Justus and Doy sit across from me. We all hold hands and say grace and begin to partake of the meal before us). A wonderful spread it is father.
Father Sayer: You deserve it. What have I taught you about climbing each layer in the journey of your life?
Mother Sayer: Father. As you reach a layer of success in your life, stay there until you are ready to climb higher. Do not negotiate failure with yourself. Do not say that you will be satisfied with a stumble that makes you fall a level or two lower. “Obtain ability to maintain stability.”
Father Sayer: (Smiles as he intensely watches his daughter as she speaks. He has spent years bringing her up in the way that she should go. Time well spent without a shadow of turning. Let’s hear what she desires of me). The meal, was it enjoyable Se’May?
Mother Sayer: Yes father, very much so, along with the wine made it quite satisfying.
Father Sayer: Good. Now what did you wish to ask me?
Mother Sayer: Children, you may leave the table. You can have your dessert on the patio if that’s alright with you father?
Father Sayer: Yes it is.
Mother Sayer: Father, I wish to set up my company in the place you got started. Louisville.
Father Sayer: Go on.
Mother Sayer: I know you left the business in the hands of your manager and lawyer. I need your help. More precisely your signature on a small business loan to insure the government that I have solid backing. The loan will be in my name and I will be completely responsible for paying it back. (Mother stops talking here. She allows her father time to let it set in his thoughts as he contemplates his answer. She knows her father doesn’t need a lot of time to make decisions).
Father Sayer: I thought you would never ask. I thought I may have pushed you too hard. (His voice starts to crack as he is overcome with joy).
Father Sayer: Yes yes, of course I will give you all the help you need to get going. I do have a requirement that is non-negotiable though.
Father Sayer: A three-day communion with you and on the fourth day you must leave. It is a ritual born of old and I’ve updated it to be gender neutral. This passage will cover everything and things you may already know. No pen or paper is necessary as everything you will be taught has to be remembered. You may take notes at the completion of each day if you wish.
Don’t worry, you’ll develop new techniques for situations you may encounter in your life. Probably what you’ll develop will be more adaptive and creative than anything I could’ve ever imagined.
Mother Sayer: Very well father, when do we start?
Father Sayer: Tomorrow morning after breakfast. Get a good night’s sleep okay. I’ve always thanked God for my good fortune. It is a great honor to have reared such a proper child. It’s like a kid having his own cookie jar.
Mother Sayer: Thank you father. Good night, I will see you in the morning.
The June Sun is not for those who find hydrating tedious. It is 93 degrees Fahrenheit and 80 percent humidity. It’s feels like wearing an electric blanket over all your clothes while cooking over a fire pit. In any case, breakfast is finished and the day has begun.
Father Sayer: (Father goes right into his discussion with his daughter). Se’May, what I want to cover first is the humanity of business. There are always different dynamics at play in any operation be it large or small. What you will get from your people depends on what you say and more importantly what you show them.
Pay them well of course, but pay them more with your heart and your time. More satisfying dividends comes from the second part of that sentence.
Mother Sayer: (She knows that already. Father was right. Keep listening).
Father Sayer: I want to hit on the topic of vulnerabilities now. (Father sees a look of puzzlement on his daughter’s face, but he continues his oration).
When you make the choice to bear additional burdens, ‘the weight from the top puts pressure down below.’ Let me explain. Your mind carries these changes or their formulations until they are realized. Saying this is what I want is brave of you. Preparing for the onslaught of doubt and uncertainty separates let’s say ‘the women from the girls’.
Understand as well this, a crack; an opening is produced in what you are. Your mind is vulnerable in these moments. Unfortunately it is a necessity to fulfill the rule of growth. Granted, it is a flaw, but it is a flaw you must know how to conquer. The attack on your mind (confidence versus uncertainty) in these moments are not a sign of failure on your part, but a challenge that adds another layer, so to speak, to your abilities.
I can only tell you that you must get through these moments intact. Do you understand?
Mother Sayer: I have a few ideas on how to keep myself in check and gather new strength.
Father Sayer: Good. (He turns away smiling so his daughter does not see him). In conclusion of this topic, you need to remember that your body is willing to help you. Don’t be indifferent to the pain you’re undergoing. Don’t neglect it. Keep it in shape for the rigors it’s about to endure.
Mother Sayer: How long will this upheaval last father?
Father Sayer: (Yes, she is paying attention!). It only lasts overnight. The doubt or resistance last until you accept the fact that this is what’s required to get it done. We both know all of us are vulnerable to foolishness in the night more than in the daylight. If this pain or your striving is going off the rails, it is your duty to stop and ascertain the situation and solve whatever problem is preventing your progress. This is critical Se’May. Do you understand?
Mother Sayer: Yes Father.
Father Sayer: Now we turn our attention to business. “Repetition breeds familiarity, familiarity breeds efficiency”. It is not so crucial you get out of the gate like a thoroughbred; more importantly, it matters how consistent you are.
Don’t strive for perfection when your business is young. Listen to me now. (Pause). Your venture may look like ‘a reed bending every time a strong wind comes through’, but I suggest you use an analogy in that moment. Think of a newborn baby. It takes a few years for that baby to stop crapping on itself right? Your business will take a dump on itself now and then.
What do you do in that moment Se’May?
Mother Sayer: (I know my father sees me chuckle a bit at his analogy). I need to hold my nose and clean up the mess as I stay focused on the mission. The goal, I mean father.
Father Sayer: You spent 4 and a half years in the Army Se’May. I expect you to think and speak in terms according to your training.
Continuing on. It took you less than 3 years to get your Bachelor’s Degree in Biology. You finished nursing school in 2 years. The Army put you through a Master’s program and you finished that in another 2 years. That’s quite impressive for a 17-year-old starting college.
Mother Sayer: I learned my lessons well father. Being a child in your household was a blessing beyond measure or should I say, my fortune arrived early in life.
Father Sayer: You were given to me by the ‘All Father-Mother’ and I wasn’t going to fail the parent of us all.
As you reach a new level in life, stay at that level. Again, I tell you, do not negotiate with failure. Success is a relentless and demanding demi-goddess. You know some though, she can be mastered as well. By governing your mind, spirit, and body through faith in a higher being. Additionally, by discipline and living a life done decently and in order.
How you run your home is how you will run your business. I know you noticed how docile your children were at the airport? You did the right thing leaving them in my care. I didn’t put them through as much instruction, per se, as I did with you. They are 9 & 10 and the quicker you bring them up right; the better they will thank you for it when the dark times come in their lives.
By the way, how is your husband? Corenth Z. Stableman is his name?
Mother Sayer: (I didn’t expect my father to ask about my husband. I know he worries his legacy will not be allowed to shine and burn off some of the flaws lingering in this country. I carry his hope and I accept the scepter of continuity he has laid on me. If I do anything in my life, I will not forget one of my unspoken duties. The tearing down of strongholds restricting what an African American woman is and what she can do). Zar is cool. He is in that field in the Army that I don’t like to discuss much because it scares me.
We both married young and knew the consequences and accepted what both of us wanted to do with our lives. He is serving his country in his own way, and I am carrying on with the children as agreed.
Father Sayer: He is full of confidence, and he is a studious man. I know he needed to be to grab and hold your attention. Very well then. A few more things and we’ll close out Day One.
Mother Sayer: I’m ready father.
Father Sayer: Addition by Subtraction. The research you did to know what you’d be facing in college and complete it early. The same method you used I call addition by subtraction. It took what 120 or 130 hours to complete a Bachelor’s Degree. Each semester you completed subtracted from the school’s tally and added to your tally. “Every time you knock down a requirement, task, permit or expansion to meet growth head on. You are taking from the top of success, and manifesting your vision by laying the foundation to build from the ground up.”
In other words, don’t look at the task as this huge structure you have to build. Every building ever put up started with its’ foundation. Whatever your business stands on had better be solid.
Mother Sayer: Of course father.
Father Sayer: Let’s close out with the dangers of being alone without your husband around to satisfy your needs. There is no immunity to sex. How will you combat this truth?
Mother Sayer: Sex? Well, I guess I better have my own toys. (Her relationship with her father is clear. She is honest with him for he saw to it that she acquired all those life skills that she needed to thrive all over the world).
Father Sayer: Well, that’s part of it, but how you defend against a potent force as sex. I’ll tell you how. You give precedence to what you wish to accomplish. If you want to realize your dream of being a major presence on the world stage, then you have to respect the fact that all human beings need sex. You are no exception.
Do you understand?
Mother Sayer: Yes father. Do not underestimate my need for sex.
Father Sayer: Good. I think we’ve covered enough for one day. I’ll see you in the morning. Goodnight Se’May. (Father Sayer knew he wanted to cover as much as he could the first day in order to not have to pack the 3rd day with so many sessions. Don’t need to hold her past say 3 pm on that day. She would need to pack and get the children ready to fly back with her. Note to self: Make sure you tell her not to deny to her children what she surely received).
Mother Sayer: Goodnight father. (Oh my God. I expected him to talk to me a little bit just to pass on some things he wanted me to know. Father is not playing with me. I’m glad I learned how to ‘flip that switch’ when I realize that somebody is serious.
Okay, let me review today’s discussions. I want more out of life than what I have now. A business is a heavy burden to take on. Therefore my life is going to undergo an ‘expansion’ of some sort. Huh, what do I know about things growing bigger?
Well it could be that when something expands ‘its’ outer shell becomes thinner’ until it settles into a larger size. So I must prepare for the stretching of my mind, which will result in me being vulnerable in that moment? Just believe it okay. Jeez.
Don’t have pity parties with myself. Set goals and keep knocking down requirements by addition by subtraction. I’m glad he put me through college, but what he doesn’t know I was scared to death of disappointing him.
That’s it! He want’s me to leave Thursday because he knows I probably would live my life by how he thinks I should live it. He wants me to live life the way I want. My father knows I must fully let go in order to achieve the goals I have for myself. Oooh, that man!
I got the other stuff pretty much as well, but there is no immunity to sex? I think I can reject a man better than any woman. Wait wait slow your roll girl. He said don’t think of yourself as something you’re not. Watch it now.
Take heed to all warnings just like you did when that idiot, I mean, that commanding officer of mine thought he could make me chicken out of my duty as an officer. I ran those convoys like the officer I was trained to be. I knew it could happen because I was told in Officer Candidate School to be ready for anything.
“Your survival and the survival of those under your command will depend entirely on you. Act like it is true at all times.”
Remember you got shot over there girl. Be diligent and focused in the matter of your goals. It is entirely up to you. That’s good for now. I need to sleep).
(Breakfast is served in the east room of the quaint yet mildly sprawling home of my father. The table is furnished with spicy sausage, hash browns, and orange juice spiced with a little Courvoisier to chase some of the grease off the stomach. Mother smiles a bit as she is surprised, but her surprise is an acknowledgment of love that her father keeps tabs on her.
The usual fruits and various tree nuts accent the morning meal as her children of course join them at the table. Afterwards, the children are excused and the two of them wander off to the porch to enjoy the breeze as the Sun is approaching 80 degrees before the clock strikes 10 o’clock a.m.).
Father Sayer: Well Se’May, let’s get going on Day Two.
Mother Sayer: Very good Father.
Father Sayer: I want to cover a bit more about sexuality and youth today. Then I want to turn to loyalty. Lastly I’ll talk extensively about enemies and how to out maneuver them. A topic of course with your exploits in Afghanistan you are quite familiar.
Mother Sayer: Please proceed father.
Father Sayer: First about your sexuality and being without your husband for prolonged periods of time. You must divert your energy allocated for that practice and channel it into your business. This will make you come off as stuck up or aloof. Your enemies, mostly males, will believe that when they see who they’re across the table from.
Mother Sayer: I need to play the card that is dealt me at all times if it is to my advantage of course.
Father Sayer: Yes that is right. If your gender is a weakness to your adversary, then use it against him. You are trying to collapse time and time is the key to everything. Time is also an adversary. I know, I see it in your face. Look Se’May, you are here because you are a proper child and whether you believe it or not; favor of the Gods are upon you so don’t contemplate it right now. Just take what I’m saying and remember it. It will hit you later.
Mother Sayer: Yes father.
Father Sayer: Oh, and one other thing about sex. One of the worst or troublesome stages of males and females is when they discover their sexuality.
It is a new phenomenon that occurs without a frame of reference. When the feedback occurs, the interpretation from the senses that this is pleasurable, it is often overwhelming to the majority of people that experience it.
Your children will not be immune to the various sensations either. That is why I believe there should be a righteous buckler of sorts. A person capable of calming and teaching a person about that part of their humanity. A parent or a righteous protective adult who has the child’s best interest at heart.
We know that left to their own discovery; a child or young adult can be manipulated by the exploitation of stimuli to their destruction. Now even if there is no one there to help a young adult who has passed puberty into maturity; it is critical that they learn to govern their body before having sex with somebody.
If not, then I know I’ve seen family and friends act like they were roaming dogs and cats every time something stimulated their sex organs. I’ll tell you now that that is a lost soul so foolishly lost that they actually believe that sex is the only element of love. Yeah Se’May, I’m sure you’ve have people think that everybody wants to sleep with their boyfriend or girlfriend. Pathetic I say. That’s a sad state of affairs for an adult to be in by not being able to live their lives above their waist.
Mother Sayer: I’ll certainly try to keep an eye out for that father. (She said that slowly).
Father Sayer: Okay loyalty. This is a powerful ally when it is cultivated carefully. Listen to me Se’May. Loyalty is not of the kind that you learned in the military where it is simply part of a code of behavior that leadership hope the ranks would adhere to it and practice it.
Loyalty in its’ purest state stands up families. It is a brace against turbulent forces. It is righteous and no betrayal is present because a leader requires of her people unquestionable character. Your people will give their all to you if you hold yourself accountable first to righteous deeds, and hold them accountable so that they present themselves in the same manner as do you.
What loyalty is not, and I have to explore the negative or the perverted side of it, is loyalty without truth. Don’t ever defend your people when they are wrong. Do you hear me?
Mother Sayer: Yes father.
Father Sayer: You can request of the other party in such a disagreement that the incident will be made right by you. The employee or associate of yours will be disciplined accordingly. All if the facts are clear your associate is in the wrong.
You will be surprised by the reaction of your associates when they know their leader will give a fair hearing and get both sides of the story before rendering any decision.
Father Sayer: When human beings know that they will be held to the highest standard, as close as humans can be with all their faults, they will try to reach for righteousness as best they can. Because pleasing someone who is fair to them will make them want to do better in their lives.
Mother Sayer: So I need to be their spiritual leader father?
Father Sayer: I’m glad you asked that question. Se’May hear me well on this aspect of life. Human beings may desire privacy and autonomy when they are a part of the masses, but when they are part of a group, a family, they will fight to keep that family secure. They will fight to keep that family safe and everlasting.
When they know that foolishness on their part will bring sorrow or harm to the family, to the leader, they will restrain themselves because they will not want to be shunned from such a family that is honorable, fair and loving to them. Structure is still necessary and may I say critical to achieve great success.
Mother Sayer: (Se’May’s understanding is growing now and her father notices the subtle awareness that is blooming in her eyes and body movements. She knows her training in the Army focused on team building and trust, but that was mandated by rank structure and obedience was required or there was consequences. This is beyond that she’s starting to contemplate it now).
Mother Sayer: You know I’ll be thinking about all this stuff you’re telling me for quite some time long after I leave on the fourth day father.
Father Sayer: Stop stop. I do not want you to halt your plans and only think about what we’re discussing here for even one day. I will say it again as I’ve told you when you first told me about your future.
This is not a class where there is a test at the end of the course. This is about life. I’m sorry to be doing this like a crash course as if I missed telling you something as you were growing up. Our talk here these three days is only a review of your upbringing Se’May.
You know what you know. I am only doing what I’m supposed to be doing as your father. You are a grown woman with a husband and children of your own. It is not possible for you to be a better person in my eyes.
My purpose here as I’ve said before is to make sure you remember what you were taught and go forth and make a name for yourself. Look, you will create your own maxims. Do you remember me telling you that?
Mother Sayer: Yes father I do.
Father Sayer: (Pauses and stares at Se’May and looks over her head to the sky. I wish I could shield her from all the trouble that lies in wait for her. I must be strong for her though. If I show weakness in my eyes, she may be doubtful about her abilities to accomplish what her dreams demand of her).
Father Sayer: (He pushes back against the doubt that has found a crease in his armor. No he speaks to himself. —- I have fought battles against the odds on a daily basis to get to where I am today. You did not defeat me then and you will not defeat my purpose with my daughter now. Away with your madness doubt!).
Father Sayer: Se’May, you may have to fight with your own doubts and fears. This is normal. Yes it is normal. Do not feel weird or eccentric doing it either. Your mind is part of the solution and you must fight to keep it free of injury.
Mother Sayer: Injury father?
Father Sayer: Failure, doubt or the naysayers can affect your mojo if you let these forces penetrate your defense perimeter. Don’t be discouraged if they get through from time to time. Do what I do at that moment. If you have to, stop and do battle with them when you get a chance.
Father Sayer: Don’t think that the words of other people don’t matter. You can’t afford to be arrogant and think you’re invulnerable or something to it. Inventory your weapons, mental ones that is, pick one or two or all of them if you like, and fight back hard like you’re trying to close a stubborn breach in a large dam holding back millions of gallons of water.
Father Sayer: Your mind can be injured. Please repair and heal all wounds, both physical and mental, as either kind can deteriorate or worsen the health of the whole body Se’May.
Mother Sayer: Of course father.
Father Sayer: That should cover enemies, mental health, loyalty, relationships, sexuality and fairness in general. Whoa look at the time. We are basically done for today.
Mother Sayer: Oh you are right about the time as it flies when a discussion is stimulating father.
Father Sayer: Se’May, I want to talk to you about making decisions tomorrow. Some of your decisions may compromise your integrity. I want to make you aware of something in my walk through life that I’m tormented by. (Father smiles and his expression is encased in pain behind his eyes. He sees Se’May read this and he turns away quickly).
Father Sayer: Goodnight Se’May, I’ll see you in the morning.
Mother Sayer: Goodnight father. (Did I just see what I saw in my father’s eyes. What could he possibly have done that would be that bad in his life. I mean if he can marry my mother and stay with that woman he couldn’t have done anything else to cause him such regret. Could he?).
(Breakfast today is packed with protein sources. Many different tree nuts. Peanuts and peanut butter. Skim milk and hot chocolate. There are many flavors of tea lining one of the trays. Oatmeal to help the blood flow more smoothly.
The choice in beverages are appealing as usual. There is orange juice, cranberry, apple and both flavors of grapefruit juice. The children are allowed to have waffles with only honey as it is made naturally in nature by bees).
Father Sayer: How’s breakfast on such a beautiful morning Se’May?
Mother Sayer: It is wonderful as usual father. Although I’m beginning to think that you’re trying to tell me something.
Father Sayer: What, that I want you to eat healthy or something? Sure I am. Mix it up from time to time even.
Mother Sayer: Oh it’s beginning to sink in father, trust me.
Father Sayer: (He laughs as he knows his daughter would never demand or even request a specific breakfast item. He knows she is raised properly to eat what is before her and be thankful for it). I’m glad. I try to change with the times and times I mean my age as I can’t eat all that greasy and heavy food anymore. Hell even eggs are a no go for me now.
Mother Sayer: Eggs aren’t that big of a lost for me either father.
Father Sayer: (Okay I know that means that she is not ready to give up sausage, grits and egg whites for a long time to come. She can eat what she wants when she goes home to her house). Let’s get started with this last day of walking down memory lane.
Mother Sayer: I don’t remember anything about you compromising yourself father.
Father Sayer: Ah, yes that thing. I have left instruction with my lawyer to provide you with the complete story upon my death Se’May. I will tell you now what I can.
Mother Sayer: Okay father. What is the big deal? You grew up in Alabama for goodness sake.
Father Sayer: Alabama holds many evils that will never be written in history Se’May. Remember I’m not a young man. I just look this way because I’ve taken care for myself and avoided a lot of confrontation and insults against my honor or better yet, humanity.
Mother Sayer: Father, what is it you want to tell me?
Father Sayer: Growing up in the South was not a walk among the sunflowers. There were obstacles to getting out of poverty left and right or whichever way you turned. I wanted what I wanted.
Mother Sayer: Father, did you kill someone?
Father Sayer: No, not by my hand if I could claim that truth when I am judged. I worked with the FBI during a period of time before the civil rights movement came to prominence.
Mother Sayer: Ohh!
Father Sayer: (He just saw disappointment in his daughter’s eyes towards him for the first time in his life). I just helped them craft an approach method to take down black men if they didn’t cooperate with the FBI. In essence, I helped them find the weakness in black men so they could exploit it and discredit them when they needed to.
I used the money they gave and the wheels they greased and got out of town. I started my mechanics shop in Louisville, Kentucky and I have been working to erase that stain from my ledger for decades now.
Mother Sayer: So that’s why you know so much about sex and how it can be used to destroy people’s lives. You used your gifts of insight and maturity when others were simply following their hormones. You took advantage of this fact and bartered with the FBI for seed money?
Father Sayer: Yes I did.
Mother Sayer: What what happened to the men that you reported on?
Father Sayer: I saw they were blackmailed into quitting the movement or strong armed out of helping people register to vote or provide rides and things like that.
Mother Sayer: I am now at a lost for words father. I don’t want to continue speculating on what happened to these men based on your actions.
Father Sayer: When I saw what the FBI was doing and how the program was destroying lives, I just ran. I told them I wanted out and I got out of town and I didn’t look back.
Father Sayer: I held them to the agreement and they seeded my business and cleared the way on licenses to open my shop. I’ve been busting my ass to make it right since that time in my life.
Mother Sayer: May I be excused?
Father Sayer: (This request is shocking to him). Ah ah yes Se’May.
Epilogue to Day Three:
(Se’May walked away not knowing how to handle this revelation from her father. She knew she can’t erase nearly three decades of instruction from the man who has spent the time to give her so much. This man has taught her that love means much more than affection.
She must come to an agreement on this information about her father before tomorrow. Then suddenly she thinks, maybe he told her this to make her feel the pain of betrayal. The impact of it landing with such force because she needs to know how it feels if it happens in her life again.
This guy she thinks, is everything about training and teaching? Couldn’t he just be a proud or loving father and not share these mental atomic bombs with me? What makes him think I want to know this stuff?
She yells loudly, ahhhhhhhh! Okay okay wait let me see something. If I’m going to have power, then it must be in the hands of a person of sound mind and body. This power must be entrusted to someone that is capable of not loosing control of it. A person who will not allow emotions, slights, insults or perceived indignities to cause its’ misuse.
Am I that woman Se’May? That is the question that must be closed with an answer. ‘Close the circle’. Cute. It is not complicated Se’May she says to herself. Answer the question or walk away. Are you up to the task? Yes or no? Yes I am!
This power will be held in good hands, my hands. (At this moment, let it be recorded in the annals of history that Se’May Sayer decided to step forward and meet her fate).
‘The Arc of Time has bent towards one more, a woman this day, has decided to seek out and claim her glory. Let all who seek to oppose her know this. She accepts your challenge and advises all to beware their fate.’).
This Ending is my Beginning:
(Departure mornings are often laced with anticipation of the trip home and the sadness of leaving family members that have shaped so much of your life. Se’May and her father have always said goodbye in words and mannerisms of body language that allowed each other to keep their purpose in life front and center.
This day however will call for more energy mentally to not break that tradition. Maybe after their greetings are made at breakfast they will experience some enlightenment to chart a way through. After her father’s household personnel finish placing the food out, Se’May and her father enter the room behind the children).
Father Sayer: How was your rest last night Se’May?
Mother Sayer: It was okay father. I thought about what you said and came to terms with it. Am I right in thinking that you want me to be secure in my thoughts and defiant against all naysayers if I want this right?
Father Sayer: Se’May, do you remember what I told you about the children coming to stay with me when you had to deploy to Afghanistan?
Mother Sayer: You said I will limit the time I will keep your children because they need to get to know their mother and their mother should always hold the preeminence in the home. I’m sorry both me and Zar, that’s his nickname.
Father Sayer: Women, Se’May are naturals at reading personalities. How can I say this you ask? First, why do you think the children of big families are such a close-knit group and seemingly the parents have complete awareness of where they are?
Mother Sayer: They give the children instructions before they leave the home?
Father Sayer: That’s a part of it, but what is the key to it? The key is that women can read the signs of personality and even shape them when they have to in their children. The mothers that know what their children are capable of and know when they’re lying are mothers that make their living on paying attention to detail.
Tell me Se’May, you know what I’m saying is true don’t you.
Mother Sayer: (He is right and I’ve picked up on how determined my daughter is and how Justus is a bit of a day dreamer that needs a firmer hand). You are correct father.
Father Sayer: Now do you know why the majority of women lose this talent or simply ignore it at home or worst in their professional life?
Mother Sayer: Why father?
Father Sayer: No give me an answer first and I will tell you if you are close to what I’m thinking.
Mother Sayer: Women think they can’t be too motherly in the workplace?
Father Sayer: (His eyes light up with joy as she said it another way, but it is what he was thinking). In a way Se’May you are correct. Women have been told that information about other people in the workplace is bad. Women have been told that reading the people in the room in order to know how to approach them is bad. Women have been tricked into forgetting that they are the creators of all those men in charge of them.
Women have been flimflammed into suppressing their abilities because it is bad to know the tendencies of all those personalities and use it to their advantage. Men can’t do it as well and it is wrong to be better at something than men are.
The worse chicanery that has been overwhelmingly successful against women has been to actually make them act like they are men to get respect in life. The author of confusion huh?
Mother Sayer: That is certainly a harsh guilty verdict you’ve just rendered against the defendant Mister Prosecutor. Albeit a just and truthful one. You are right on every count of the indictment father. ‘Hopefully I can commute that sentence from life to time served.’
Father Sayer: I trust everything I’ve told you these three days was relevant if I may attest.
Mother Sayer: It was relevant alright father. I want you to know that I appreciate who you are and I am thankful for my good fortune of being your daughter.
Father Sayer: And my confession?
Mother Sayer: I would never think any less of you father. We all make mistakes that we have to atone for at some point in our life. I declare that you have been a father that has made me understand that wanting something is different than needing something.
I do not need to start a business, but I want to help other people reach their full potential and I believe for me the only way is through a business. So I need to be my own boss or I will always be the one following someone else’s dream.
Father Sayer: Good. Let me know when you and the children are ready to travel.
(Father Sayer rides in his car as his ears ring from the many passenger planes that are taking off from Birmingham International Airport. He still can’t believe he is in a place so free of trouble that he can think back to the times when he betrayed his brothers and sisters to the police.
He hopes when he stands in judgment that God forgives his many indiscretions. Well Se’May will be a highly sought after product in a few years God willing. I hope I’m around to see it.
Se’May sits across from Doy and Justus as she is high above all her troubles for now. She has a few moments of reflection before the plane lands in Louisville. When it hits the ground and comes to a stop at the gate, she knows her life will speed up and she hopes she keeps her feet).
A Continuous Expense?
Let’s say I buy an SUV with all the bells and whistles and just can’t take my eyes off of it when it’s parked. It requires gas beyond the full tank the dealership provided? Why do I have to pay for gas when I bought the vehicle and it came with everything I need?
I should be able to drive into a gas station and get the gas for free right. You’d say that thinking is stupid wouldn’t you? Then what is the difference when I’m faced with maintaining the health of my body?
Oh well one person not having health insurance is no big deal right. How about a hundred or a thousand refusing to purchase health insurance. Let’s not talk about a million or fifty million taking the chance, which leads to a collapse in the system. Is a mandate under consideration now perhaps?
Just like a motorized vehicle needs continuous maintenance to function normally; a human body needs continuous care and attention so it can give years of life without the pitfalls of unknown or undiagnosed illnesses. Human beings may balk at paying their car insurance, but guess what they pay it if they want to keep their drivers license right.
Government exists to move people’s mindset along to accepting the fact that some things need to be mandated so the whole system doesn’t collapse in on itself from free riders. Legislators hold office to help the collective good, not help people continue their delusions of invincibility.