Written on April 3, 2009.
I’ve been honestly battling about writing this up, but I think it’s my obligation to do so. If not, then how will I honor you?
Two Saturdays ago, I woke up with the feeling of something heavy on my heart. A mixture of that and being tired made yours truly a grumpy dude to be around. Thankfully I made it up to the country, seeing my family after spending some time in church. I still couldn’t shake the feeling that something was up, but I was at least smiling from just being around the people I love.
Monday rolled around, bringing forth another day at that soul-sucking school (shout out to everyone I don’t see anymore. You guys made it tolerable). When I got home, I finally got the chance to check my e-mail – something I hadn’t done since Saturday morning. That’s when I realized why I was heavy hearted.
My boy Jo-Jo sent me a message that shocked me. My girl, my “big sister”, Veronica Peterson, a.k.a. “V” was gone from this world. I won’t get into the details because that’s not why I’m here. It just shocks me that another one of my people has left me.
For those who don’t know V, we go way back; back to those hot summers of the mid-90s when everything was so fun. V in the front, me and Serena right behind her. Those days were some of the best. When I made it to high school, V was always calling, keeping me in line. She made sure that I was keeping away from those chicken-heads.
I was in the 10th grade when she made her way down to South Carolina to start her life after graduation. It’s funny that both V and Serena moved to the Carolinas that year for different reasons, leaving me by myself without my crew. Even though I had a few friends at school at that point, they were my girls. I couldn’t talk to everyone like I talked to them. We were on another level when it came to conversations.
But V refused to stay out of my life no matter how far apart we were. She came up from Clover, SC for my high school graduation. During that year, I was throwing up the “Version 1” hand sign so much that people started calling me that. That day as I walked across that stage after getting my diploma, I threw up the “V1”. That day it didn’t mean “Version 1”. It was a thank you to V for being a great friend to me.
The next time we got the chance to catch up was two years later. She saw the hurt in me after dealing with the loss of my grandmother before having to face cancer taking over my aunt’s body. That day we just sat and talked about old times; when things were easy. When she read my blog about the passing of Cicero, she sent me a card. I felt her remorse for me in that card.
If I could give you a good description of V it would be “bubbly”. She tried to always keep a smile on her face and the others around her. When I saw her in December of 2007, she didn’t have that same spark in her eyes. She expressed the pressures of being on her own were starting to get to her. Like she had done for me countless, I tried to bring that smile back. By the end of the day, I was successful.
That December day it was V, Serena, and myself sitting around a table at Red Lobster, talking about our recent relationship failures. Most of you know about what happened to me around that time, and they pretty much experienced the same thing. In truth, nothing had truly changed between us; and I was happy about that. I never thought that’d be the last time we’d be together.
A year later, we talked about our mutual struggles. We both were crying out for solutions to problems beyond our control. I think for the first time neither one of us had the power to cheer the other up.
“My little cousin is gonna graduate from high school in June, and I’m planning on coming up for it,” she told me.
Maybe that would cheer us up. I expressed my excitement for the reunion a year and a half in the making. In actuality, that would be last time we’d talk.
I’m not here to judge her because she was like the big sister I never had. I think she was trying to numb the pain – a pain I couldn’t fathom she was feeling. Like myself, 2008 for her was the worst. It gave us the worst, and pulled out the same. If we were closer in distance, maybe that pain could’ve been numbed by friendship; by the love that we had for each other since ’94 when we met.
I can’t help but note that it rained the day of her funeral. The clouds parted just as the casket was being lowered. Even God had to cry knowing that the world will be a worst place without V in it.
This is a dedication to Veronica “V” Peterson, my “big sister”. I know when the gates opened up for you, the angels turned as it was proclaimed, “Our pillar of faith has arrived!”