Atlanta, Blue Hurt, Blue Lines, Blue Lines Blog, Bob Rude, Brooke Suffern, California, Cancer, Chanhassan, Chapel Hill, Coachella, cry, Death, Don Watson, Georgia, iPhone, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone Post, iPhoneagraphy, Key Yemaya Walker, Keypsiia, Keypsiia Walker, Keypsiia Yemaya Walker, Love, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Mourn, mourning, music, musician, North Carolina, Pain, Paisley Park, pop, R&B, Red Phone Booth, rock, Sacramento, Singer-songwriter, songwriter, Soul, Starbucks, UNC Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, What I Learned Sundays
Back to March, Bob let me know that Paisley Park was set to resume Prince Celebration this year. In the brief moment, I thought of how to get the time, being that I was about to be off for Coachella in less than a month. Before I had time to think deeply, Bob confided that he had Type 4 terminal cancer…I was floored, and I knew that I would be going to Paisley Park to meet he and Lisa. I arrived a day after Bob & Lisa, and was trying to coordinate when I would meet them. Standing in line at registration, I happened to hear a voice, and turn around to see both Bob & Lisa. There were a flood of emotions. Seeing them for the first time since 2018. Seeing what cancer had done to my friend. Being in Minneapolis for Prince. It was hard. The celebration was very emotional, but I hoped and prayed that that would not be the last time that I saw him. On October 27th I messaged him about the 40th year of Prince’s 1999 album. He let me know that he was too sick to go in for his chemotherapy. My fear grew. I sent a picture of a Prince shrine that I happened across in in wine bar, to cheer him up. The last message I received from him was “Wow…wonderful,” in response. I messaged him about Thor: Love & Thunder when I saw it, and how the themes reminded me of him. Knowing that it was streaming, I messaged him that he could watch it. On October 31st, Bob posted that he had cancer. He subsequently posted that he was stepping away from social media…we had this conversation at Paisley Park.
I went to sleep Sunday night to posts celebrating Bob, then woke up, in California, Monday, November 7th to people mourning Bob. Amidst mourning someone that I lost, and could not adequately pay respects, my dear friend Bob transitioned. My heart was broken, and all of my empathy reached out to Lisa. That encapsulated my therapy that day.
Before all of that, my plan was to see Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and prepare for the emotional roller coaster of that. I saw the film, and with the aforementioned article, I chose to mourn alone on my terms. I ran to Lobos Point, grabbed coffee along the way. I proceeded beyond the treacherous Sutro Baths to find a desolate and solitary position to be with my thoughts, mourn and cry for my sister Brooke, Bob, & Don. I put together a string of songs to force me to be in touch with my feelings, combined with the peaceful and powerful crashes of the Pacific Ocean against Seal Rock, and the other formations. It was important to have this extended cathartic moments alone and in a place that is sublime. It is important that I do this as much as I need. I learned to take care of my emotional needs, and embrace, rather than pack away my pain and mourning.
The manuscript Blue Lines is the fictional coming of age narrative of a young California woman Key Yemaya Walker, and her 2 year growing journey through school, love, and life period piece, written by Kenneth Suffern, Jr., taking place at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill between the years of 1997 – 1998. Loosely based on true events, and experiences during that time, told through the eyes and voice of the main female protagonist, a freshman first attending the school.