Archive for the ‘Chapter 32’ Category

I was home for one week before it was time to go to the Links Convention in Detroit. In the days leading up to the convention I sat in the park and allowed myself to live into my memories. I was so thankful that Courtney had re-introduced me to Horseshoe Lake. In the afternoons I went there, spread out a blanket in the grass, and cried. it was beautiful there and the wind and air soothed my open wounds.

Sitting alone on a blanket in the grass, I thought about our magical dates: 10 hours in Lambertville…    Dancing in Agabidi Park in the middle of the night… I was thankful that everything that Kesner had done was so memorable; he’d held me so tightly when we hugged for two hours in the park that I could still feel his embrace. I experienced joy and pain in the same moments, I smiled and laughed through my sobbing. Remembering. thanking him:

“Thank you Very Sweet, My Love. Thank you for our special romance, it was so sweet. so beautiful. Thank you Baby…”

But I had to pull it together. It was time to go to Detroit. The National Links Assembly was being held in Detroit, Michigan and my mom was running for National President of the organization. Mom, The Comforter, had been so present with me in my grief, dropping everything to come to New Jersey to be with me immediately. She had done so much, I could do this for her. I could package my grief, contain it, hold it in, and go the convention and support her. It was time.

We decided to drive.

…we had too much luggage to check on an airplane. Plus, Detroit is only three hours from Cleveland so it made sense. The drive was pleasant. We took The Comforter’s comfortable Lexus, and she drove while I rode. We listened to Satellite radio, talked on the phone some, and talked to each other. We relished the last few quiet moments that we had together before the week began. When we were 20 minutes away from the convention hotel, mom called the chair of the national protocol team to let her know she was in range, and from that point it was on.

The Detroit Renaissance Center

We pulled up at the Detroit Renessaince Center and mom was greeted by the beautiful sisters of the protocol committee. They immediately began to orchestrate the unpacking of the car and quickly ushered mom to her suite. The two bedroom suite on the 70th floor of the Detroit Renessaince center was the next comfortable place where I would stay. It was large and spacious, with floor to ceiling windows and panoramic views of the Detroit River and Windsor Canada.

There were fresh flowers, and a fruit and cheese platter. During the convention, this suite would become “home base.”

The committee worked dutifully to get mom’s things unpacked and closets organized for the week, there was so much excitement in the room. I might have felt overwhelmed except in the midst of the commotion was a familiar and friendly face: Monique.

Monique is my Link-Friend from the Gulf Coast Appollo Chapter in Houston Texas. She is a psychiatrist, a daughter, a wife, a mom and a really great person. I met Monique through my involvement in the Scott Hawkins Leadership Institute. Named for our Links Founders, Sarah Strickland Scott and Margaret Hawkins, The Scott Hawkins Institute is a program designed to prepare young Links for organizational leadership.

Links Founders, Sarah Strickland Scott and Margaret Hawkins

Links Founders, Sarah Strickland Scott and Margaret Hawkins

But Monique and I really got to know each other because of her work with my mom on the protocol team. Monique had been assigned to my mom at the Western Area Conference the year prior. Mom liked her a lot. She was savvy, smart and competent. They had synergy. Mom came home talking about this great young Link that she met, her new second daughter. I soon got to know Monique differently when we were in Atlanta for a governance meeting and she became my friend.

Monique is real and she is thoughtful. She has a wonderful sense of humor and she is the type of person that you can just sit and be still with; you don’t have to talk all of the time. She is also a great dresser, and always well adorned with beautiful shoes and accessories to match. She is a sharp young Link with a great smile, a great laugh, and a great Houston accent, and I’m excited whenever I get to see her.


Seeing Monique calmed any anxiety that I had. A friend was already there in the midst. LOVE had traveled with us to Detroit and I was going to be just fine. I began to adapt to the energy and excitement in the room; in just a few days we would be surrounded by some of the most dynamic Black women in the country. This was exciting. I began to feel the spirit.

I went into my bedroom and began to unpack my clothes. I pulled out beautiful dresses, one after the next. I hadn’t been involved in the packing of my clothes, but mom had done a great job. She’d selected my most beautiful things. I took a step back and looked at my beautiful things hanging in my closet and a feeling came over me: this is going to be a great week...

 We were at a Links Convention, after all.   Links Conventions are fabulous.

© Copyright Thank You Very Sweet, 2011

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