We found this such a beautiful story, and Sister Kendra wrote: “This month of October is domestic violence awareness month.
James Baridi Williamson wrote a beautiful piece about his experience and honoring his dead mother and his sisters and ALL women out there.”
Dear Outside World Humanity
As a child, I would find myself sometimes standing outside the locked bedroom door hearing my mother-Queen (Betty Jean) crying and screaming, as her insecure, possessive male brute (boyfriend) was beating her repeatedly. I don’t know if hearing my lil balled fists beating upon the door and hollering at the top of my lungs for him to stop, helped to get him to open the door, and exit, while knocking me aside. But I hated him, and carried those horrific childhood memories with their bloody images inside me, while I would run to the bathroom to get a wet towel and go try to help her wash the blood from her face.
To this day, I find it amazing how she would be more worried about me than her own painful injuries. Hugging and comforting each other, she would somehow make sure her youngest baby boy know that he did not break her free spirit inside. Unfortunately, we got separated when I was 12 years old and sent to Kansas, never to see, hug and kiss my Queen mother again. She passed on recently (October 2010), which are two reasons why this “Domestic Violence Awareness” month is very personal and important to my heart and soul. So with that shared, there are some things that I would like to say:
1. First and foremost, I send a heartfelt embrace of care, respect, appreciation and honor to all the (grand) mothers, aunts, daughters, sisters, nieces, wives and women – queens, princesses of the world. You, each and all deserve to be treated fairly, equally and with the utmost dignity and respect, no matter what.
2. Secondly, raising awareness about domestic violence must be a continuing effort all year long, because it’s the only way to break the cycle that has become a part of this society’s collective psyche over the centuries. Its passed on generation to generation from (grand) father to son, brother, uncle, cousin, nephew, friends, neighbors, and from television to viewers!
3. Third, “understanding” is the key for each male to grow-mature and develop as real ‘men’ by recognizing, caring, respecting and appreciating women and the value that daughters, mothers, sisters, nieces, aunts, wives, friends, etc… has (and continues to) bless upon our world since the beginning of human civilization. Remember, “understanding” is key to real change. It took me years up into adulthood to grasp genuine “understanding” of some of the many reasons why women are so important to us and our world.
And for all of the above reasons and more, I apologize first to my mother Betty Jean Carr-Stanford, my sisters, my grandmother, and all the women, whose lives crossed or connected with my presence years ago in my immature and irresponsible past. When I was that frustrated, confused, lost and out of control “male” who did not know how to do my best by you. It took me over twenty five (25) years, but I have grown up inside and is man enough to say “I’m sorry” in front of the entire world.
Today, I promise that I will continue to be my best toward all (grand) mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, nieces, wives – women whom I come into contact with as I have been doing for years now. In hopes to lead by example for others to emulate.
Much care and respect to you all.
James Baridi Williamson
P.O. Box 7500
Crescent City, CA 95532
Written to and transcribed by Kendra Castaneda. Written on October 18, 2012 and postmarked October 22, 2012.
Please send James some love and light.