I learned something earlier today about myself by talking to my next to the oldest sister, Gerri. Our family went through a horrible tragedy when I was just 3 months old and it left us parentless. I am the youngest of 10. From what I heard, 13 but we haven’t been able to verify that yet. I was talking to my sister and she began to open up a lot to me. We had a great conversation. Paula and I talk a lot too, nearly every day and we have a great time on the phone. We all never really got to talk a lot since we all went separate ways after the death of our parents. As we got older, we got to know each other a little better which was really cool, after we met each other. I love my family. I keep them in prayer with our kids everyday. We all have our ways of course, but we are closer than you’d think with all that we’ve been through.
Gerri proceeded to tell me that she used to sing like I do. I was shocked because I didn’t know that anyone else in my family liked singing that much. Not the girls anyway. I knew that Paula, who is now a preacher as well at Bethel AME in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, Pa, and Donna sang, and my brother Eugene sings also. In fact, Eugene and I used to sing in a group together and we were an awesome group…PUSH from Washington, Pa. I was also the lead singer of a well known group from Washington, Pa called “Sundown” in my worldly hay days. We were always in the Observer-Reporter. We always sang at the Tally-Ho on Route 19 and Howard Johnsons on Chestnut in Washington, Pa. (Old videos on my YouTube Channel as well.) Hey, I was Tina Turner while she was still fighting with Ike. Well, maybe not as pretty and she surely has better legs than I ! :)
While Gerri was telling me about how she used to sing, I asked her why she stopped. She said something that blew me away. She said, “I just started to get a lot of phlegm in my throat and it bothered me so much that I just quit after so many years.” I thought, “So! That explains what I’ve been going through now for some years.” I honestly thought of stopping singing as well because of it. I too get it really bad and in my chest also. I remember a few years ago, when I told a certain preacher that I was moving on in the ministry, he shook his head and said, “Yea, maybe it’s time for you to go.” I was shocked he was taking it that way. I think he was kind of upset at me. He went on to tell me that my mind wasn’t in it and that people had to almost ‘beg’ me to sing. I was like….”what?” This man was trying to make me feel as though I was “trying to be cute” as kids used to say when I was younger. I wasn’t trying to be cute, I was really struggling. If someone goes back and watches me singing on my YouTube Channel, they will hear the cracks and etc that I experienced while singing. Telling a singer that they are trying to be cute is like cracking a joke on a piano man with a broken finger. Not good.
You know, no matter what your family has been through or how much you love or dislike your family members, there is always something that you can learn about yourself just by sitting back and allowing someone else to talk for once. Make them comfortable enough to be around you and you will gain wisdom.
For the last few weeks of my life, my breathing has returned. I can expand my notes when I sing now and as far as the phlegm? ….. I just clear my throat when I get up in the morning and I sing like the songbird that God made me. Look, our bodies will only last so long in this old dis-eased world…take care of it the best that you can. Oh….and get a Q-tip and clean out your ears so when a family member tells you something that you absolutely need to know …. you will hear it and adhere to the Wisdom in it.