By: Mia L. Hazlett
It was a lot easier to hate someone because they were a jerk. A jerk was just that, a jerk. And that’s how I had always thought of my grandmother. But this letter made it much more difficult to hate her. I was beginning to understand the deep seeded abuse she cast upon me. Still, how could I erase a lifetime of hate with a letter, well I guess letters? I turned to the only person that could offer some sort of explanation, Macy’s daughter, my mother.
So much pain resurfaced in the two hour conversation we shared – pain for both of us. I realized my grandmother had reached from beyond the grave, and her hatred was revived as she forced me to open old wounds for my mother. When my mother cried, a chord struck in my heart as we relived a past that we thought was buried. As I leaned back on my couch, I regretted calling my mother. It never crossed my mind that my mother was a victim of Macy’s serial abuse too. Macy was a woman so wronged that she carried her wrath for two generations.
My grandmother prayed that my mother would take the routes of my aunts…marry light. But not my mother, Daddy was somehow darker than her. So I guess my baby picture delivered the third strike. My mother was dark, she married dark, and now she had an extra dark baby. She shared with me our first meeting. It wasn’t that warm fuzzy pacing the waiting room thing or waiting by the phone, but I was hidden from her for almost two years. A family birthday brought us together and my hell on earth began.
To those she loved, she was known as Mama. My mother called her mother. I called her Ms. Macy. She called me the black sheep amongst her pure lambs. You see Ms. Macy was the daycare for our family. My mother dropped me off at six in the morning everyday, except Sunday. Six days of relentless verbal torture from that woman…every single week. There was no reprieve. Just a self-hatred that formed from as far back as I can remember.
I sat on my couch for over an hour after my mother left. The letters begged for my attention as I tried to avoid them. I reached for the envelope with the tiny number two in the left corner. Tears streamed as I read each word. I cried myself to sleep that night.
That day at the lake chainjd my life Macy. Therr wuzn’t nuttin’ that happnd to them boyz Macy. Thats just how it wuz back then. Therr wuzn’t nuttin’ that wood happn to white peple dat killd cullurd folk. The thing wuz, white peple didn’t think or care that cullurdz luvd therr babeez. Becuz it wuzn’t only my life dat chainjd, but Mama wuzn’t rite aftr dat eether.
See my daddy dun got killd to. My oldr bruthr Tobias wuz namd aftr my daddy. Daddy shur wuz angree. You mite now think he dun run to therr houz and hurt them, but he didn’t do that. One them boyz walkd passd my daddy in town and daddy dun gave him a bad stare. Thats all it took back den. You dun lookd at a white man rong and you wuz cullurd, then they wood hurt you reel bad Macy. They wood hurt you reel bad.
I dun wish I hadn’t run after them people in the woodz Macy. I dun wish I hadn’t. But I did. Me and my couzin followd thoze therr men and I saw what they did to my daddy. Don’t know if you dun hurd about linchins Macy, but thats what they did to my daddy. They dun linched him.
My daddy wuz a big man. It dun took four of dem skinny white menz to hold onto my daddy. He dun faught dem men through the field, but when they got him to that therr tree in the clearing, therr wuz about twenty othr menz therr. Me and my couzin stayed up in the trees in the woodz, but we could see it all. As I looked past my daddy at the tree, thats when I new what they wuz gonna do to him. Therr wuz already a man hangin’ there. He was just hangin’ therr with no life.
I didn’t do nuttin’ Macy. I didn’t do nuttin’ but cry in that tree. They dun stripped my daddy’s clothes off and tied hiz handz round the trunk ov that therr tree. Sum men had whips and sum had sticks. They dun beat my daddy bad. They beat him till he stopped hollarin’. I thought he wuz ded, but when they untied him, he didn’t fall. My daddy stood aftr hiz beatin’.
A big fat man came on my daddy and hit him in the neez with a big long stick. Daddy fell back with a big crash and cry. Two ov them other men dun put a rope round my daddys neck. I didn’t know where he went as they gatherd in close round him, but then daddy was in the air. They dun threw that rope up over that branch next to that no life man. He kickd and screemd Macy. My daddy kicked and screemed.
When that man let go of my daddy’s legs, he didn’t screem no more. His cheeks puffd and his eyes lookd up. I stoppd lookin’ ’cause I saw one man bringin’ ovr sum fire. I new they wuz gonna burn my daddy. Ain’t nuttin’ no child should have to do, but Macy, I prayd my daddy wuz ded. Macy, I dun prayd my daddy wuz ded. My prayers wuzn’t answerd Macy. I herd my daddy screem to death. All the way to his death, my daddy screemd.
My momma did her best with us other ones after that. But she just wasn’t the same. She dun lost her sons and husband. They dun took the bodies somewhere after that, my daddys, my brothers, and that no life man to. So she lost her men and couldn’t even bury them. Not like all the big stuff that happens nowdays for dedfolk, my daddy and brothers didn’t get no funral. I don’t think it was the no funral so much that botherd her. It was the fact she had to keep cleanin’ the house of the boy who dun killd her sons, raped her daughterz, and got her husband ded.