It’s hard to believe the cute little girl in this picture would grow up to be me.
When I was twelve, I watched my mother walk away from me and my four brothers. In her wake, she left behind an angry fifteen year old boy, a confused little girl, a lost five year old boy and a tiny set of twin boys with too much skin pigment.
After being fully inspected via psych tests, physicals and a visit to the dentist we entered “The System.” Where like cattle unaware of their fate, we were herded to where children like us go. Unfortunately, we had to go it alone and without each other.
I felt lost for awhile and then…I found…Oprah, my chosen mother. She was consistently there for me, if I turned on Channel 7 at 9 a.m. that is. She filled a void in my life my real mother left wide open. For the first time, I saw myself in another and sometimes many. Those “Aha moments” gave me hope. Secretly, I believed it was only a matter of time before she would personally invite me on her show. I would imagine myself sitting in a chair facing an audience mostly wearing red and they would know and I would act like I didn’t know, that in the “green room” awaited my 4 brothers for our much anticipated reunion. This thought alone got me through those terrifying, lonely years as I floundered in a grownup world.
My relationship with Oprah changed the day she told me she was African American or in reality, I noticed. I didn’t know she was different from me, just like I didn’t know my twin brothers were not the same as me. She explained her hips were nice and wonderfully thick, her nose was of a certain shape which hindered her career and she wore wigs at times. In addition, she suffered not only because of the similar childhood we shared, but because of a skin color I did not have. I knew, but I didn’t know and now I realized I didn’t belong in her world. An icy realization of truth swept over me, my brothers were like her and I didn’t belong in their world either. My secret hope of her finding me, embracing me and reuniting me with brothers was not to be my destiny. I would have to wait another twenty-seven long years before my dreams would come true…without the help of Oprah.