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I got out of bed and followed the smell of bacon and the sound of my parents’ voices to the kitchen. The Eagles were harmonizing from the tape deck, and I could hear laughter mixed with kissing.

 

Following the morning routine of fathers everywhere, mine poured a cup of coffee and flipped through the morning paper. He then noticed the time, grabbed a can of Easy-Off Oven Cleaner and sprayed it directly down his throat.

Huffington Post | She's a Rainbow

A Letter to My Mother on How Much I Miss Her and How Much She’s Missed

"Dear Mom,

You’ve been gone for seven years. Some days it feels as if you haven’t been here for decades, other days the shock feels as raw and fresh as it did on that bright, cloudless, Carolina blue sky day when I learned you had finally lost your 30-year fight with addiction.

I can still hear your voice. It is getting harder. I have to be very still, the room very quiet, but it’s there. The voice, which with one syllable could soothe all that troubled me, and in another tone fill my soul with anger. Anguish. Disgust. Disappointment. Your voice. Mama’s voice."

Mutha Magazine | I Was in Prison—A Lot: Sosha Lewis on Facing Her Estranged Father

My cell phone rang when I was on my way to the hospital to meet my nephew. It startled me. I was concentrating on navigating the winding mountainous roads of my home state, West Virginia, and I was surprised that I had reception. I was even more surprised by the voice on the other end. It was my brother-in-law. I took a mental note that this was the first time we had ever spoken on the phone. I immediately broke out into a cold sweat fearing that something had happened to my sister or my nephew—sadness and death was the kind of shit my family was known for.

Plumes of black smoke stuttered up from the muffler of my grandmother’s abused Buick Riveria as she rocketed down the unfamiliar winding road. Zack and Angie, my much younger brother and sister, squealed gleefully as they tumbled over every each other in the back seat. I yanked my head phones off and swiveled around to glare at them.

“If you two don’t behave, I’m gonna whip you when we get out of this car.”

At this, Gran flicked the nub of her Lucky Strike out the window, assumed her single malt voice and said, “Sosha, who do you think you are, little girl? You will do no such thing. I know you’re hurting, darlin’, and I know you’ve got a lot on you right now, but those babies haven’t done a thing to you and I suggest that you cut this shit right now.”

I came to Charlotte to outrun my old life, but it caught up with me. And I’m so glad it did

Every November I grieve the loss of my mom and brother. Here’s how I get by.

"On Nov. 9, 2008, my Blackberry buzzed on the counter and jarred me out of my Sunday morning daydream. It was my grandmother.

“Sosh, I don’t know how to say this but to just say it; Darlin’ your mom is gone. It’s over, baby,” she said.

My mom had overdosed."

It’s true. Irrational anger, dumb arguments and spiteful comments only bring me closer to my husband.

Last weekend my husband, Tony, and I enjoyed a fabulous and child-free trip with some of our favorite people. On our way home from retrieving our daughter from her grandparents’, I picked a fight. I was exhausted and cranky and a little sad about leaving my best friend.

Also, after a late lunch with my mother-in-law, my husband mentioned being tired and I thought that he was going to ask me to drive – a long standing source of contention in our relationship. I HATE to drive and if I’m being totally forthcoming, simply don’t think that I should have to do it when we are together. I have a litany of reasons why I think I should get a pass on driving, they range from somewhat reasonable to completely petulant.

Life was hell: My childhood story of drug addiction and domestic abuse

How a woman got displaced by development in NoDa — and how she’s dealing with it

"Caroline “Sunshine” Cunningham is named after Caroline Kennedy and…well, and the sun.

A political icon and the celestial orb that the Earth literally revolves around are pretty lofty namesakes, but Cunningham does them proud. When she recounts being molested as a young girl, Cunningham, much like President John F. Kennedy’s oldest child, is strong and resilient. And, when she talks about being a “daddy’s girl”, her eyes shine brightly and she radiates with the warmth of the sun."

She has a 4.4 GPA and dreams of going to college. Now she lives in fear of being deported

"Once she obtained her DACA status she felt that a “giant weight had been lifted” off of her. She was thrilled that she would be able to land a part-time job, get a driver’s license and car insurance, and apply to college — though she isn’t eligible for most scholarships and since she’s not a U.S. citizen she can’t apply for federal student aid."

Charlotte is ‘nice/nasty’ — and that’s holding us back, says Malcolm Graham

"Former Charlotte City Council Member and N.C. Sen. Malcolm Graham once strutted through his parents’ Charleston, South Carolina, home, full of teenage swagger. He waited patiently for his mother to compliment his new sweater.

He was shocked when she told him that he looked “nice/nasty.” Graham’s mother, Henrietta Graham, did like his new sweater. It was nice. However, she knew that the shirt her son was wearing under his sweater had been plucked from a pile of dirty clothes. It was nasty."

How people with criminal records struggle to get housing — and how they can get help

"Despite Charlotte being thick with bright, shiny apartment complexes, Angie is having a hard time finding an apartment that she feels secure living in with her young son.

This is not because she can’t afford it or because she has a basement-dwelling credit score. No, she is unable to secure one of our regions' ubiquitous apartments because six years ago she was convicted of a felony."

This is what it feels like to love a drug addict

"And, that’s the real lesson, addiction simply does not give a damn what your last name is, what neighborhood your house is in, who you voted for in the election or what you do for a living. Yet, those suffering from this disease and their loved ones feel ashamed and embarrassed. The stigma surrounding addiction is suffocating."

Why we should still find honor in blue collar jobs

"By the standard definition, I was viewed as the more traditionally successful person in our relationship. My co-workers would often do a double take when I would tell them what my husband did for a living."

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