Ok guys... I know I owe you at least three Sanaya Diaries episodes. But for those of you who follow me on Facebook or Instagram, since the beginning of the year I have been promoting an event in Atlanta, called LitEvol, which I was scheduled to attend. But before I go into details, a special thanks must be given to the person responsible for the event, author K.R. Bankston. It's always a blessing to be presented with opportunities to meet new people, but to be provided a platform to introduce yourself is an act of kindness that I will not take for granted.
Thank you Ms. Bankston :).
Prior to this event, I had never been to Atlanta. Never thought about visiting- nothing. When I thought about Atlanta, I thought about poorly scripted reality television shows, rappers and extreme weather. Perhaps I really am a California girl at heart, but for me Atlanta did not seem like the place to be. And when Ms. Bankston had reached out to me about purchasing a table, little did I realize that this trip would hold a lot more meaning than just selling books.
Last year, I finally built up enough courage to find my father. To sum up a long story, my parents split and we lost contact. The last time I saw him was in Hawaii (I was born there) before my mother and infant sister boarded our flight to California. I was seven then.
I will be thirty-four this coming Saturday.
Anyways, I conducted a background check on my father and through that process I found his wife's social media information. Three years prior to that, I simply Googled my dads name to see what would come up and what I found, I refused to accept. I found his obituary. There was just no way that my dad could have passed away - at least that was what I told myself at the time. So when I reached out to Sandra, a part of me had hoped that she would pass the phone to him. I hoped that I would still be able to hear his voice for the first time in all these years. But she didn't. She confirmed my previous discovery was true.
But instead of the phone call coming to an abrupt end, we both cried. My father was a man that we both lost. She lost the rest of her life with him, and I lost years past with the man my mother said I mirrored not only in appearance but in personality. It was also in this conversation that I learned I have a brother and a sister AND A NEICE! (Can you believe it?) I remember telling her in that phone call, promising her even, that at some point I will make my way to Georgia. I didn't know when exactly ...as a matter of fact I didn't know if it would be within the following year.
God apparently had a plan.
Fast forward to January, KR reached out to me and on the 6th of September, I boarded Southwest (for the first time. I usually fly with United) en route to Atlanta. Two weeks prior to my flight I reached out to Sandra inviting her out to the event, unsure if she would be able to attend.
She said she would, and she did.
As much as I would like to go into details about every author and vendor I met while attending the book event, or share how many books I sold, the only thing I can think of, is the time I got to spend with Sandra. I felt my dad's energy through her and just knowing how loved my dad was - still is ... I don't know... I feel whole again. I hope that I will find the love my father found; someone who loves, appreciates, respects and understands me as a person. Because she loves my dad as much as she does, it was easy for her to accept me.
I see why my dad loved her.
And I embrace her whole heartedly.
A prayer that I didn't know I had was answered. God never subtracts, he adds. And I have four new people to add to my heart space. I know my dad had petitioned God to allow this to happen. And I know my dad wants us to look out for each other.
I promise you daddy, I will take care of them, I will love them, and I will annoy them (lol) just as much as I do my daughter, my mother and my sister.
As mentioned in a previous blog, 2019 has not been an easy year for me. The ground beneath my feet crumbled and the old me, the woman that I had to be when I was in my twenties had to die. Old cycles, old thought patterns, the willingness to be less than who I am for the sake of others died. Wounds had to heal and a new foundation had to be built for this new season.
This new chapter had to be rewritten in order for the blessings that have unfolded to be given.
I love you Ronald Kevin Jenkins. Your prayers have been answered.