Discover more from Illumination Diaries by Jakari Wing
gift of life
the surprises that stick
A new moon & gemini season calls for themes of two, so surprise i’m back in your inbox two days in a row.
Life was supposed to be a gift, my dad would say.
We never really gave gifts early on in life, at least in the traditional sense. Gift giving was something my parents and I learned about together.
I loved the thrill of a surprise, but that too was something my parents and I learned how to maneuver together.
There are two surprises that come to mind from childhood.
One: my brothers and I woke up in the room together to news from our mom that we would bring home a dog. We of course didn’t believe her until we held a miniature dachshund on the car ride home. Her name was Jenee short for Jennifer, what our second cousin named her. She was their first choice, they couldn’t take care of Jenee so we came in second. We were bad at making decisions so we kept her name. I had always dreamt of a puppy so to me she was Genie.
Another very distinct memory was when my dad returned from a day trip. We heard the sound of the garage closing, and door slamming shut. He told us, I have a surprise for you in the garage.
My brothers came down, hesitant. We stood frozen at the door with our bare feet on the threshold.
Our two cousins sat on a carpet playing with a few of car toys. Their bags beside them. It was the best surprise ever.
Whenever anyone asks me if I’m close with my cousins, this memory comes to mind.
Sunny, was one of the cousins.
We only spent a few more years with Sunny, he passed probably 6 years after that moment on a warm day, in the summertime.
I’ve talked about him in a previous newsletter before.
My grief related to Sunny has been forever, one that I grew up with, one that informed my teen years, my 20s and now my 30s.
My mom made writing a hw assignment when I was little to better my English. But writing was what I returned to when he passed. I have a very thick 100+ page journal where I spoke directly to him and my grief for 4 years in high school.
My therapist asked me where I first started to implement routine and why. She asked if someone taught me. And all I could respond with was YouTubers, random blogs, and self help books.
I guess now I can say, 15 year old me. Writing directly to my cousin, creating space to continue my conversation with him. Like our myspace messages. But now in paper and with no response.
Last year was the first time I wrote directly to him in a while.
I apologized for taking so long to reach out, I burned the letter and placed the ashes under an olive tree where both our family dogs, Jenee and Frazier chose to pass.
My ex sent me this quote when we broke up by Drake in 2012 . Unfortunately this is all that comes to mind while I end this letter.
Time heals, but heels are hard to walk in.
Maybe I just want you all to know that if you’re dealing with some insurmountable grief, it gets easier.
I have these little signs I ask the universe to send me whenever I’m missing him, I saw a few of them today and felt affirmed in putting these thoughts down. Signs that made me feel inspired to believe that there is truth behind what Drake said. Truth that I hope you believe lol.
My cousin was/is a gemini. Whenever the season roles in, I think about my favorite things. Beaches, summertime, the sun, 200ISO film, pride, and ofc geminis.
So cheers to a new moon, divine routines and acceptance of things that come in twos.
P.S. Kiss of Life by Sade is what I’m listening to while I write this.