Coming up is a true story about how Abbey Lincoln sang only for me. I was in my car, parked just outside the restaurant where I was to have dinner with my x-husband for probably the last time before he officially became the x. It was a cold November night outside … and it was cold inside. I had moved out a few weeks earlier and that dinner was so we see if there was hope for us … it was more along the lines of re-assurance for me that I have done the right thing for myself, by walking away.
I was depressed, I never before nor after cried like I did as I packed my stuff of 2 and a half years of marriage while he was away for a week for a friend’s wedding in the Dominican. I was broken and alone not wanting to admit defeat after all I’ve had to do to marry a man my family was against from the get go, so I didn’t tell them at all of my intentions and what happened until 6 months later (and still the first thing I heard was, ‘I told you so’). I was confused and distressed about what lies ahead and it showed on my face with acne worse than you can find on a teenager’s face whose hormones are raging off the charts, I had to keep my turtle necks rolled up to my nose to hide my face.
I sat in my car, and asked for a sign. Just anything that could give my heart the peace, the serenity that it was in dire need of in that moment… and that was when the sweet voice of Abbey Lincoln sang to me. It felt like the whole world froze, time stopped and she was singing only for me. Her words resonated through every single cell in my body and a smile reluctantly formed on my face.
She said …
Throw it away
Throw it away
Give your love, live your life
each and every day
And keep your hands wide open,
Let the sun shine through.
Cause you can never lose a thing
if it belongs to you!
This was before I had an iPhone and knew about Shazam or Soundhound, so I kept repeating it to myself as I opened my hand and really listened to the song…way after it was done. I kept repeating it so I would remember. And I did… now 5 years later I still do.
I wanted a sign… though the signs were coming all along and I didn’t take action. Those who know me, know about my dreams. I dreamt that I saw myself disappearing into a ghost in the same condo I was living in with my x husband and that I was telling myself, if I don’t get out, I will disappear into nothing. I had another dream while still married, that I am visiting my husband after our marriage was over (which did happen). The signs were there, I wasn’t listening, or more accurately, I was afraid to listen, I was afraid to take action. I was afraid to throw it away. I believed my lies disguised as excuses.
Throwing it away (whatever the ‘it’ may be) could be one of the most difficult, scariest or impossible things to do. Yet if we don’t, what is the cost? What else is ‘being thrown away’? I didn’t want to throw 2 and a half years of marriage, but in the darkness of that depressed state I was in, I knew very well, that I didn’t want to throw away the rest of my life.
So today, which is supposed to have been my anniversary, I celebrate courage, I celebrate choice, I celebrate being true to myself. I celebrate every woman who says Enough is Enough…I celebrate every woman who says NO to what does not serve her heart and soul. It scares me just how many were and still are in that same boat I was in, and who would never throw it away. To them I repeat what the song says… You can never lose a thing, if it belongs to you.