The Final Exit

by Yaya Nkisi


I am sure you have heard someone say she/he seems to know they were gonna die. So and so seem different today. I wonder if they knew they were going to die. This is usually said when someone seems to die suddenly.

I believe that you do not just die on a given day, but that this is a process much akin to that of being born. In birth you are making an entrance and in death you are making an exit. Both of which are planned events that coincide with that of Mother Nature and Father Time.

Even in death the teaching goes on for us the living. In violent deaths a lesson is being given. This lesson may be different for each intended student. One for a friend, a different one for a lover and yet another for the child. A learning process that may take years for the student to be aware that they have even learned anything from that tragic moment in their lives so many years ago. With the aged or the ill make their exit this to is a lesson in reflection on how this person interacted with you and yours.

As I was growing up I was what was then call incorrigible. My momma used to tell me that I was a social path. I turned this over in my mind for several months and then decided that she was right. I had no conscious. I could do some really mean things to folks. I was vengeful. If you got me you could rests assure I was gonna get you, and I know I have done some real hateful things in my young days.

When I turned twenty-five I started seeing a pattern. Believe when I tell you what goes around one day sho nuff is going to come around. Everything karma has brought back my way, I know just which sin I am paying for. So at twenty-five I decided I needed to give out more positive than negative. So when payback time came round I would have more positive than negative stored in my karma.

One incident always comes to mind when I shine that memory flashlight back into the past. This woman who used to baby-sit for me had a daughter around sixteen. The daughter and some friends had attended a high school football game that night not a mile from her home. This was in the sleepy little town of Pasadena California. Her boyfriend had stopped at a light on Orange Grove Blvd. The light turned green for them and as he made a turn the gas pedal stuck and the car plowed into a tree. The daughter was the only one to die. The steering wheel shifted in the car crushing her chest.

I could not understand then why she had to die. So young and so full of life. I myself was only 20. But it started a pattern of thinking in my mind. The seed was planted it just took 5 more years to come to harvest.

We are all getting a little closer to death with each and every breath we take. If you were to draw your last breath tomorrow, what would your life look like played back on the VCR? Did you leave more than you took. Is the world a better place for your having passed this way. How will your family record your journey in the history of their minds?

I decided I wanted to be remembered as She lived her life and she ainít coming back no more. I try to imbue the meaning of family into my family. I try to keep the old stories alive. This way the ancestors are apart of our future. I try to teach that success is buried deep in your mind, just waiting for an opportunity to spring free. That imaginations are the stuff dreams are made of.

So I am older now, anchored a little more, trying to get my house in order. Trying to share this little wisdom I have gotten. Trying to get all I can from these breaths I have got left. Because we die a little each day. Nobody knows when they have used up all their days.


The Final Exit by Yaya Nkisi

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