*lights a candle*
This is going to be a bit all over the place but I’m going to try to say goodbye. She knows I was the type of person to be all over the place so I guess it’s okay.
I understand why you did it. I really do. Your brothers and sisters knew your torment. There were times I felt so helpless to be honest. But you always made me believe that every chat or every chuckle was worth the immense effort it became to you. It became so draining to participate in normal life things for you. But you tried. You tried for us, your friends. Your tribe.
I feel like I let you down. I wanted to do more. To be that rock you were for me. I could always turn to you when the world was at my throat; when the demons were at my feet. Grabbing at me. Now I have to face them on my own.
But you’re at peace now; this was all I have ever wanted for you.
You hated it when I would complain about my weight. Looking back, it feels so stupid now. You always encouraged me to keep writing; to keep painting. Thank you for believing in me especially on those days I had no hope for myself.
You were my gangsta, and I was your blood. We were homies.
You complained that you were old. But you were so badass. That’s a fact. You’d send me the best music. You had fucking good taste. And I loved that we both crushed on LL Cool J. Why you crushed on him I don’t know. 🙂 Makes me smile just thinking of all the drool we lost to that guy. PS. Thank you for keeping all my guy and lady crushes TOP SECRET. Thank you for never judging my taste either.
Oh Ulla, as I’m typing this, I still can’t believe that it’s true. I keep looking at our old chats, I send you “I love homes” messages but watch silently as they don’t deliver. It breaks my heart. You always responded; you were always there.
I’ve been wanting to paint a picture for you for the past two weeks (to send with the flashstick I still needed to send to you). Something abstract, something nobody would understand- just like this fucking illness. I wanted it to give you hope because your sense of hope disappeared long time ago. In fact, the real Ulla seemed to only come in flashes towards the end, I used to tell you to leave the hope for me. I had it in the bucket loads for you. I had hope that you’d come back to us.
You fought so hard.
Please know that you were never a burden to me or any one of us. You were loved. And it’s because of this love that we’re making such a fuss.
Thank you Ulla.
Thank you Blue, for all that you’ve done for Our Lived Experience. Thank you for the back and forth emailing, for doing the interviews (probably from your couch). Thank you for keeping us going, for keeping me going.
So many times we’d talk about meeting. I said I’d cook and you’d make the coffee. We’d sit together on your stoep. You’d obviously have your smoke and I’d watch and you take it in and exhale. All I wanted was to be in your space- to be next to you, to care for you. I guess I’ll have to hold onto those memories that never really happened.
I’m sorry for not being able to save you.
I love you Ulla. I always have, I always will.
**For those of you interested, I’ll be painting a series of paintings as a tribute to Ulla (Blahpolar). I want to sell them and all profits made will be donated to the clinics she went to in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. It will be an ongoing project. Spanglish Familia will be helping with the setup of a gofundme account.
I’ll use some of Roughghosts pictures and some she sent me. If you have anything specific in mind, let me know.
I work in oils and mainly use a palette knife. I am however flexible with my tools.
She always encouraged me to keep on painting even when I wallowed in self doubt. How stupid of me. Her mom used to paint shells btw. Anyway, I’d love to use my talents to remember her fondly.
You can see my works here: http://www.yvettehess.com