“I don’t feel no ways tired
I’ve come too far from where I started from
Nobody told me that the road would be easy
I don’t believe He brought me this far to leave me.”
Those are the lyrics from one of my favorite gospel songs, by the late Reverend James Cleveland. The song came to mind this week as I listened to people from all walks of life (friends and family), tell me how tired they were.
They are tired of the noise from television, tired of the noise from social media, tired of being stuck at home, tired of being tired.
I so understand. Yet, when we recall other challenges that we have come through, I am sure we can get through these times as well.
Shortly after my daughter was born in Misawa, Japan, I became deathly ill. I can remember the doctor who was treating me telling me that he didn’t know if I had three days, three months, or three years, but he had no idea what was wrong with me, and he was sending my children and I back stateside, without my husband, who was serving in the United States Air Force at the time.
Flying on a cargo jet with a toddler strapped to my chest and a five-year-old whose tiny hand was wrapped tightly around mine, we climbed aboard this flying monstrosity called an airplane. Sitting in jump seats alongside tanks and trucks, we were the only civilians onboard.
Landing in Seattle, where I knew no one, I did the only thing I knew to do. I called my parents and grabbed a flight home. With two little ones, no job and a husband who was more than 4,000 miles away, I was tired.
I remember my father singing this James Cleveland song, as he often belted out his favorite gospel tunes while sitting on the front porch. A man of few words, he watched me become weary day by day. I was tired. I did not plan for my life to look this way. Quite frankly, I did not have a plan at all.
“Lonnie,” he said… He had called me that nickname since I was a kid…
“Waiting is one of the most difficult things as humans, we have to do.”
“Dad, I don’t even know what I’m waiting for?” I said.
“You’re waiting for life to get better. You’re waiting to no longer be tired and weary, as if you will know when that happens,” he said.
I remember that day sitting on the porch with him. My dad was one of the wisest people I have ever known. A quiet man by nature, he would hit you with these nuggets of wisdom, that would leave you scratching your head. That day was no different.
I realized that day I was waiting, like so many other days in my life, for the weariness to pass. Waiting… to fix my anguish. To fix the hurt, the pain caused by my sickness and my disease.
Today, I realize that my family and friends are weary in the waiting for racism, bigotry and hate to end. Waiting for sickness, disease and this virus to end. Waiting for our fear of each other to end.
Like you, I have come through enough weary days. But I have learned that weariness is in the waiting. I believe we know the path forward and are now standing in that gap of waiting. We can see the way forward.
Today, do not give up. Do not give in. We are in the home stretch of equity for our fellow man, diversity in our institutions and inclusion in our lives.
What I know about the waiting is that I have come too far from where I started from, and I don’t feel no ways tired.
“And That’s A Brilliant Glimpse of Insight!”